Links 25/11/2020: GamerOS and Biden Transition in Motion

Posted in News Roundup at 1:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Meet DevTerm: An Open Source Portable Linux Terminal For Developers

      You may be familiar with Clockwork company, which earlier launched an open-source Linux-powered portable game console called GameShell for gamers.

      Now, they’re back with another new portable and modular device called DevTerm for developers, which you can easily carry along wherever you go.

    • Assign Actions To Touchpad Gestures On Linux With Touchegg

      The application runs in the background, transforming the multi-touch gestures you make on your touchpad into various desktop actions. For example, you can minimize a window by swiping down using 3 fingers, pinch in using 2 fingers to zoom in, etc.

      This is a demo video recorded by the Touchegg developer (image above credits also go to the dev).

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • Sysmon – A Graphical System Activity Monitor for Linux

        Sysmon is a Linux activity monitoring tool similar to Windows task manager, was written in Python and released under GPL-3.0 License. This is a Graphical visualization tool that visualizes the following data.

        By default distribution like Ubuntu comes with a system monitor tool, but the drawback with the default monitor tool is it does not display HDD, SSD, and GPU loads.

        Sysmon adds all the features to a single place similar to the Windows Task Manager.

      • myMPD – standalone and lightweight web-based MPD client

        My favorite pastime is to see an eclectic range of bands, solo artists, and orchestras live. It’s such a life-changing and exhilarating experience to be present. It’s one thing to be sitting at home listening to a CD or watching music videos on TV or on YouTube, but being with an audience, packed out in a stadium or music hall, takes it to another level. But it’s an expensive pastime, and still on hold given the coronavirus pandemic. I’m therefore listening to music from my CD collection which I’ve encoded to FLAC, a lossless audio format, and stored locally.

        Linux offers a huge array of open source music players. And many of them are high quality. I’ve reviewed the vast majority for LinuxLinks, but I’m endeavoring to explore every free music player in case there’s an undiscovered gem.

        MPD is a powerful server-side application for playing music. In a home environment, you can connect an MPD server to a Hi-Fi system, and control the server using a notebook or smartphone. You can, of course, play audio files on remote clients. MPD can be started system-wide or on a per-user basis.

        myMPD is a standalone and lightweight web-based MPD client. Its developer claims myMPD is designed for minimal resource usage and requires only very few dependencies.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Shading in Blender – Linux Hint

        Shading is an act of adding shade to a drawn object to give it a look and a perception of depth. Nobody likes white bland 3D objects. In 3D modeling, it is very significant to give objects some color material or texture. The process of adding shades to color materials and textures is called shading. Shading is so essential in 3D modeling that Blender has a dedicated workspace for shading.

        Shading workspace will automatically bring us in the “Look Dev” mode. Look Dev mode approximates lights and gives a general idea of the output of the object or scene. The shader editor will show the shader nodes of the selected object. Every object in Blender can be assigned a default material with white shading. And these shaders can be manipulated in the Shading workspace. You can add material to any object by going into the material tab.

      • Blender Viewport Navigation – Linux Hint

        The viewport is the main view of Blender that a user sees after getting it installed. At first look, it may appear intimidating, but it has become a lot comprehensible after the launch of the 2.80 version. The interface is less complicated and simple to learn.

        The viewport is a window that allows you to look around the scene or object you created. Viewport and camera view can be confusing, but both are not similar. A camera is an object in the scene, whereas the viewport is a part of the interface.

        Basics of navigating viewport include rotating, zooming, and panning the perspective of the view. There are various ways to navigate in the viewport.

      • Blender Cloud Rendering – Linux Hint

        How does it feel when you create a beautiful scene in Blender with high definition textures, shaders, particles, and volumetric effects and when you click on rendering, it just says that you need 2 hours to render just one frame? Yes, it feels discouraging. It is not easy to render a high-quality image or animation using an ordinary workstation.

        It is not a piece of cake to render in Blender, especially when working in Cycles (rendering engine). 3D rendering requires a lot of computing power. If you are rendering an animation, then it will take much more power and time. It would be best if you had a powerful PC with high-end specifications to get decent results. The trouble is the affordability of a robust workstation; they are costly. But this issue is fixable; just use cloud rendering.

      • Delete/Drop a Database in MySQL – Linux Hint

        MySQL is an RDBMS (Relational Database Management System) that is famous for its speed and easy-to-use interface. In this article, you will learn about the different methods to delete or drop a database in MySQL. In this article, we assume that you already have a working knowledge of the creation and listing of databases in MySQL. So, feel free to read on if you have already installed MySQL on your system and have some dummy databases in MySQL that you want to delete.

      • CentOS 8 Restart Network – Linux Hint

        Among the most frequent system administration practices is the process of restarting the network. To connect your machine with the Internet, a sound networking service is always required. At times, due to undesirable issues, the networking service in a particular operating system may start malfunctioning. If the issue is temporary, then it can be resolved simply by restarting your networking service.

        There are multiple methods that you can use in any operating system to restart the system’s networking service. Today, we walk you through the two primary methods of restarting the network service in CentOS 8, one of the most popular distributions of the Linux operating system.

        If you are using a system based on CentOS 8 and are not able to establish a secure connection with your network, you would be shocked by how many issues a quick restart can solve. You can restart the Linux networking service using various commands, but you must execute the commands to restart the network using sudo or su commands as a root user.

      • Installation of Sublime text editor on Ubuntu 20.04

        Sublime Text is a well-known text editor used to write source code for web development. This tutorial will assist you in installing Sublime Text on an Ubuntu 20.04 machine.

      • WireShark in-depth Tutorial – Linux Hint

        Wireshark is an open-source and free network traffic inspection tool. It captures and displays packets in real-time for offline analysis in a human-readable format with microscopic details. It requires some sound knowledge of basic networking and is considered an essential tool for system administrators and network security experts.
        Wireshark is the de-facto go-to tool for several network problems that vary from network troubleshooting, security issue examination, inspecting network traffic of a suspicious application, debugging protocol implementations, along with network protocol learning purposes, etc.

        The Wireshark project was initiated in 1998. Thanks to the global networking expert’s voluntary contribution, it continues to make updates for new technologies and encryption standards. Hence, it’s by far one of the best packet analyzer tools and is utilized as a standard commercial tool by various government agencies, educational institutes, and non-profit organizations.

      • How to Access Google Drive on Debian 10

        Google Drive is a cloud storage and synchronization service that allows users to keep, synchronize, and share files across many devices. It offers 15GB of free storage space for each Google account to store files.

      • Keep track of multiple Git remote repositories | Opensource.com

        Working with remote repositories gets confusing when the names of the remote repositories in your local Git repo are inconsistent.

      • Merging and sorting files in Linux: Easier than you think
      • How to Administrate CloudLinux OS from Command Line
      • 5 Ways to Install IntelliJ IDEA on Ubuntu

        Here learn how to download and install IntelliJ on Ubuntu. Intellij Idea can be installed simply from GUI and also from CLI.

      • How to Install Htop in Centos 8? – Linux Hint

        Htop is more like an immersive Centos 8 system process viewer and device monitor. It shows resource-usage measures in color and helps you to conveniently keep track of the performance of your system as an enhancement. With both an additional array of choices and a clear picture on the board, it is the same as the standard main command. It shows details about the usage of Processor & RAM, tasks being done, average load, and uptime. Besides, Htop shows a list of all operating processes and can even show it in a tree-like structure. If you are interested to interactively control your device, then one of your best choices ought to be the Htop command. It runs on all distributions of Linux, and in most situations, is enabled by default.

        In this tutorial, you will learn to install Htop on Centos 8 using the command-line.

      • How to Install Steam on NixOS? – Linux Hint

        When installing things on NixOS, you need to have a package in the right format on the nixos.org web page. Steam is available, but some quirks may trip you up when you try to install it. You will hear more about this here.

        In particular, it is a non-free software package, so you must enable this option. You will also need to handle the ‘glXChooseVisual failed’ problem. The process will work one way in NixOS and another way on other distributions. It is more complex with just the Nix package manager.

      • How to Install and Configure Angular CLI on Linux Distributions

        Modern and dynamic websites require many features, menus, and widgets to make the website user-friendly and reach the perfect marketplace. No matter which tool you use to create your website, javascript is always required to draw the finishing line

      • How to Install and Use FFmpeg in CentOS 8? – Linux Hint

        If you’d like a fast way of converting between audio and video files in Linux and would like something that doesn’t chew on resources and does the task properly, then you may give FFmpeg a try. FFmpeg is vital for keeping some level of familiarity between files uploaded by multiple users, as well as help maintain your storage space under control. When using FFmpeg, you can translate, adjust sample rates, record audio/video streams, and resize files between different video and audio formats. It provides a collection of audio and video libraries that are shared, including libavcodec, libavformat, and libavutil. Whenever it refers to converting files, FFmpeg has several command-line choices, and it is also recommended to use it from the CLI. Follow me on, and I’ll lead you to install FFmpeg in Centos 8.
        FFmpeg is not offered in the default repositories of Centos 8. You may opt to build FFmpeg utilities from the source or install them from the Negativo17 directory via DNF. In this article, we’ll move ahead with the second choice. It is also the fastest way to implement FFmpeg on the Centos 8 OS.

      • How to Kill Zombie Processes on Linux

        Linux, of course, has to keep track of all the applications and daemons running on your computer. One of the ways it does this is by maintaining the process table. This is a list of structures in kernel memory. Each process has an entry in this list that contains some information about it.

        There isn’t a great deal in each of the process table structures. They hold the process ID, a few other data items, and a pointer to the process control block (PCB) for that process.

        It’s the PCB that holds the many details Linux needs to look up or set for each process. The PCB is also updated as a process is created, given processing time, and finally destroyed.

      • How to Setup a Firewall with UFW on Debian 10 Linux – Linux Concept

        Nowadays, a Firewall is an essential utility and property of any system for security; by default Debian Operating system having a firewall configuration tool named UFW (Uncomplicated Firewall). UFW is a user-friendly front-end tool to manage iptables firewall rules. It provides you more straightforward methods to manage iptables as the name of this tool start from Uncomplicated.

      • How to Use arping Command in Linux – Linux Hint

        To a network administrator, the ARP protocol may sound familiar. ARP is a protocol that Layer 2 devices implement for discovering and communicating with each other. The arping tool works using this protocol.
        Now, why would you need arping? Imagine you are working with a small office network. Using the classic ping command to ping hosts to verify their availability is very tempting, right? Well, if you are using the ICMP protocol, then you are actually performing ARP requests for probing devices in the network.

        This is where the arping tool comes in. Like ping, arping pings network hosts using network layer ARP packets. This method is useful for hosts that do not respond to Layer 3 and Layer 4 ping requests.

        This article shows you how to use arping command in Linux.

      • How to configure YAML schema to make editing files easier – Red Hat Developer

        YAML is a friendly data serialization standard that works with all programming languages. While configuration files are often defined in YAML, it can even be used as a programming language, like the workflow language at Google, or Apache Camel K.

        It has the advantage of not having any braces, making it lightweight visually. One of the drawbacks is that editing YAML files may not always be easy. For instance, writing a tag at the wrong indentation level can be hard to detect. To help with editing, it is possible to provide a YAML schema that can be leveraged by a large set of integrated development environments (IDEs). Unfortunately, this practice is not widespread. Consequently, users waste time searching for a missing or extra space and browsing documentation.

        In this article, you will discover the benefits of providing a YAML schema and how to make it consumable for all your users, making it easier to edit YAML files.

      • How to connect and share data between two Linux systems

        I got an interesting request (not from singles in my area). One of my readers asked me, how does one go about connecting two Linux boxes – I presume for sharing purposes. This is a topic I’ve touched upon frequently, but often indirectly. As Commandant Lasard from Police Academy would say, there are many, many, many, many different ways to do this.

        So perhaps it’s time for a proper tutorial. I will show you several common, robust ways to have two Linux systems communicate over network. We’ll do it on the command line, then move up to file managers, and finally, also perform a remote data backup using a friendly GUI tool. Let’s start.

      • How to manage user passwords on Linux

        If you’re a Linux admin, you probably take care of any number of servers, all of which contain numerous users. Those users log in via various means or protocols, such as SSH, FTP, HTTP. In order to successfully log in, those users have to have—passwords.

      • Linux patch management: How to back out a failed patch | Enable Sysadmin

        A good patch management plan always includes a good patch backout plan.

    • Games

      • Best Command Line Games for Linux – Linux Hint

        This article will list various command line games available for Linux. These games do not require you to commit a lot of time and can be played in short bursts. If you are using a lightweight Linux distribution with minimal UI elements or using a headless OS based on Linux, this list should be useful for you.

      • Tristam Island is a Infocom-inspired text adventure available on over 30 platforms | GamingOnLinux

        Okay, now this is quite impressive. Tristam Island is a text adventure designed like old Infocom works and it’s playable across more platforms than you might expect.

        Developed by Hugo Labrande using modern, open source tools on Linux naturally it has first-class Linux support. However, it’s also available on over 30 other platforms too. From Linux to Windows, Amiga to Spectrum and even some calculators can run it. The technical details of it are just as impressive as the adventure you go on. The developer also supplies the plain “.z3″ file to run in your favourite interactive fiction interpreter. It could run pretty much anywhere.

        “After crashing your plane at sea, you end up drifting to a small island, with not much to survive. You explore, and find out the island was inhabited, years ago. But why did the people leave? And why is there a fence around the white house at the top of the hill?”

      • SteamOS-like couch gaming Linux distribution GamerOS expands with a new release | GamingOnLinux

        Need an up to date Linux distribution for your living room big screen experience? GamerOS can fill that gap for you while Valve sit on SteamOS.

        GamerOS is one of the easiest ways to get a full-screen Steam experience on a big screen, with no-fuss updates and a whole bunch of special tweaks to make it run as nicely as possible. Not only that, it has a bunch of extras to support other stores and platforms too.

        With the release of GamerOS 21 the standard components included have been upgraded like the Linux Kernel 5.9.9, Mesa 20.2.2, NVIDIA 455.38, RetroArch 1.9 and updates to their Steam Tweaks and Steam Buddy apps too. Their Steam Buddy is web-based tool you use to manage non-Steam stuff, with these release it expanded to support the Atari Jaguar and PlayStation Portable through emulators. It also now has audio controls, it will generate banner images based on game titles when one isn’t available, fixes gamepads not working with the Epic Games Store and more fixes.

      • Cloud Gaming Services: Explained and Tested on Linux – Boiling Steam

        Here’s a quick test run of some of these game streaming services, and I’ll explain what they do. In particular, we’ll see how well each service fares on the desktop Linux side.

      • 340 or so days later and I am still lost in The Longing | GamingOnLinux

        Remember the unique mix of point and click adventuring with an idle game in The Longing? It’s supposed to have taken people 400 days to finish and it released back in March 2020 – to which I was impressed with it.

        This is because when you start, a big timer at the top of your screen will count down from 400 real-time days. It’s a painfully slow game, and one that’s very much the anti-AAA shot some readers might be needing. It’s all about loneliness, and the longing to know more and have more. It’s such a thoroughly strange experience.

        The Longing sits between a point and click adventure with an idle game. You can walk around, interact with things and explore for a while. However, certain parts of it force you to wait. You might need something to grow or get broken before you can pass, or even just opening a big door might take an hour or two. You can just quit and come back, and time will continue on so you don’t need to have it open.

      • Jedi: Fallen Order arrives on Stadia, six new free games for Stadia Pro for December | GamingOnLinux

        Google continues to boost their game selection with many fan favourites continuing to arrive on their Stadia game streaming service. They also have big plans.

        As of right now, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is available to buy on Stadia and it’s 60% off at $23.99 / €27.99 / £23.99. The sale on that will end on December 3. They’re also offering a free Stadia Premiere Edition (Controller + Chromecast Ultra) with pre-orders of Cyberpunk 2077 and I do have to admit I love the feel of my own Stadia Controller.

      • Re-live the experience of Half-Life with Black Mesa: Definitive Edition out now | GamingOnLinux

        Black Mesa: Definitive Edition is the final big update to the re-imagined fan-made Half-Life game, and it’s looking pretty awesome. Easily the best way to experience the first part of Half-Life.

        Don’t get me wrong, the original from Valve still has plenty of true charm but for modern audiences it’s not the ideal way to try and get into it. Black Mesa (especially now with the Definitive Edition) makes it easier for a new generation to get invested into the crazy world that is Half-Life and experience the adventure of Dr. Gordon Freeman.

      • NVIDIA plan to support Linux with GeForce NOW using Chrome | GamingOnLinux

        For a while now you’ve been able to stream games using NVIDIA GeForce NOW in your browser, however it looks like NVIDIA will be making that a bit more official for Linux.

        Currently on certain platforms like Windows and macOS, NVIDIA have a dedicated downloadable application for their GeForce NOW streaming service. They expanded support into the browser for ChromeOS / Chromebooks in the Summer, which initially needed other platforms to spoof their browser string to ChromeOS but that hasn’t been needed for a while.

      • Radeon RX 6800 Series 1440p Linux Gaming Benchmarks With 15 GPUs – Phoronix

        While the new Radeon RX 6800 series is suited for 4K gaming, a number of premium readers inquired about seeing 1440p gaming benchmarks for the cards. Now that all the initial launch coverage is out of the way, here is a look at the Radeon RX 6800 / RX 6800 XT with 15 graphics cards in total for this round of Linux gaming benchmarks focused at 1440p.

        Up for this comparison based on the cards I had available were the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060, RTX 2060 SUPER, RTX 2070 , RTX 2070 SUPER, RTX 2080, RTX 2080 SUPER, TITAN RTX, RTX 2080 Ti, and the RTX 3080 (unfortunately, the RTX 3080 remains my lone Ampere card at the moment with NVIDIA not yet sending out the RTX 3090/3070 for Linux testing). On the Radeon side is the RX 5600 XT, RX 5700, RX 5700 XT, Radeon VII, RX 6800, and RX 6800 XT.

        The very latest open-source Radeon Linux graphics drivers were used for this testing, which does incorporate the recent driver optimizations. Via the Phoronix Test Suite a variety of OpenGL and Vulkan test cases were conducted. The GPU power consumption and GPU core temperatures were also monitored on a per-test basis.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Kubuntu 20.04 LTS Review: The Familiar Operating System

          Here’s my review on Kubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa. Two years ago I call it friendly computing, now in 2020, I call it familiar operating system for everyone. We have so many good news with Kubuntu today and let’s go, I hope you enjoy my review.

          Kubuntu 20.04 has a lot of benefits and a little of issues. I believe it is a familiar operating system most computer users can afford, by purchasing real Kubuntu laptops or by installing manually, you can push your computing for daily purposes, teaching and graphic designing quickly and comfortably. To complete everything, let’s not forget it is a Long Term Support edition which will receive Ubuntu-based updates for five years until 2025 and desktop-based updates until 2023. Win-win solution, nice to everybody, that’s Kubuntu Focal for you. That’s my review.

    • Distributions

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu maker wants app developers to stop worrying too much about security

          Buoyed by the recent Snyk security report that found security vulnerabilities in several container images except Ubuntu’s, the company behind it, Canonical, has published a whole portfolio of hardened images.

          Unsurprisingly, Canonical has partnered with Docker to streamline the delivery of the secure portfolio of images through Docker Hub.

          “Canonical and Docker will partner together to ensure that hardened free and commercial Ubuntu images will be available to all developer software supply chains for multi-cloud app development,” Docker’s Matt Carter wrote in a blog post announcing the collaboration.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.1 Office Suite Enters Beta, Promises a Plethora of Improvements

          After about six months of development, the upcoming LibreOffice 7.1 office suite is now ready for public beta testing. The first beta release has arrived and anyone willing to help the development team discover and fix bugs can download it right now from the official website for Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms.

          LibreOffice 7.1 promises a plethora of improvements and some new features, starting with a new outline folding mode for Writer. This adds a button with arrow next to a selected heading in a word document, allowing users to fold all text from the current heading to the next one when clicked and with all its subheadings when right clicked.

        • LibreOffice 7.1 – Top New Features and Release Dates

          The upcoming LibreOffice 7.1 is under development. LibreOffice 7.1 Beta 1 is released just a while back. Here we take a look at the LibreOffice 7.1 top new features and release dates.

      • Programming/Development

        • Get started with Fossil, an alternative to Git

          As any programmer knows, there are many reasons it’s vital to keep track of code changes. Sometimes you just want a history of how your project started and evolved, as a matter of curiosity or education. Other times, you want to enable other coders to contribute to your project, and you need a reliable way to merge disparate parts. And more critically, sometimes an adjustment you make to fix one problem breaks something else that was working.

        • Booting from a vinyl record

          Most PCs tend to boot from a primary media storage, be it a hard disk drive, or a solid-state drive, perhaps from a network, or – if all else fails – the USB stick or the boot DVD comes to the rescue… Fun, eh? Boring! Why don’t we try to boot from a record player for a change?

        • Python

          • Python Namedtuple – Linux Hint

            Python comes up with many built-in data structures like lists, dictionaries, and tuples to store and manage the data efficiently. The namedtuple is the dictionary-like container available in the “collections” module. Similar to the dictionaries, the namedtuple also contains the keys that are mapped to values. However, the namedtuple allows accessing the values through keys and as well as through indexes. As compared to the Python dictionaries, accessing the values through indexes is the additional functionality in namedtuple. This article explains the Python namedtuple in detail with examples.

          • Python OrderedDict – Linux Hint

            Data structures are the essential components of any programming language that store and manage the data efficiently. Python provides many built-in data structures, i.e., lists, tuples, and dictionaries, that help the programmers to create efficient applications. The Python dictionaries store the data in key-value pairs. The OrderedDict is the subclass of the dict class and maintains the order of the keys in which were inserted in. This is the one and the only difference between the dict and OrderDict. The dict does not maintain the key’s order.

            The OrderedDict keeps the order of keys insertion, and when we iterate through the OrderedDict, then it returns the keys in the same order. On the other hand, when the iteration is performed on dict, the keys are returned in random order. However, the dictionaries are now ordered in Python 3.6 and above versions and return the values in the same order as they are inserted. The OrderedDict class exists in the collections module. Therefore, to use the OrderedDict class, first, import the collections module. This article explains the Python OrderedDict in detail with examples.

          • Python Yield – Linux Hint

            Yield is a Python built-in keyword that returns the value(s) from a function. The execution of the function is not terminated. Rather, it returns the value to the caller and maintains the execution state of the function. The execution of the function is resumed from the last yield statement. The yield allows us to produce a sequence of values rather than one value. It is used inside a function body. The function that contains a yield statement is known as the generator function.

            There are several advantages to yield keyword. For instance, it controls the memory allocation and saves the local variable state. However, it increases the complexity of the code.

          • Python defaultdict – Linux Hint

            Python offers many built-in data structures, such as lists, tuples, and dictionaries, to save and manage data efficiently. Dictionaries provide an easy way to save data as key-value pairs. A key acts as an index and is used to retrieve data. Keys should be unique and immutable throughout the dictionary. Keys are mostly strings and integers, though the value of a key could be of any type, such as an integer, string, floating-point number, or complex number. Meanwhile, a dictionary can contain a collection, such as a list, tuple, or some other type of dictionary. A dictionary in Python is created using a pair of curly brackets, in which each key-value pair is separated by a comma.

            What if you try to access or modify a specific key in a dictionary that does not exist? Well, in this case, the Python interpreter will raise the “KeyError” error and terminate the execution of the program.

          • How to Add Command Line Arguments to a Python Script – Linux Hint

            If you have developed a Python script or application meant to be primarily run in terminal emulators or even GUI apps, adding command line arguments can improve its useability, code readability, application structure and overall user friendliness of the application for the end users. These command line arguments are also called “options” or “switches” and work similarly to arguments you usually see in bash scripts and other C / C++ based programs.

            To add arguments to Python scripts, you will have to use a built-in module named “argparse”. As the name suggests, it parses command line arguments used while launching a Python script or application. These parsed arguments are also checked by the “argparse” module to ensure that they are of proper “type”. Errors are raised if there are invalid values in arguments.

            Usage of the argparse module can be best understood through examples. Below are some code samples that will get you started with the argparse module.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • JavaScript

          • What is Vue.js, and Why is it Cool? – Linux Hint

            Vue.js is a progressive JavaScript framework, which is used to build UIs (User Interfaces) and SPAs (Single-page Applications). This framework is famous for its fast-paced learning curve. It is such an easy to learn and approachable library that with the knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, we can start building web applications in Vue.js. The fast learning curve is kind of a signature of this framework. It is a versatile framework for our need as a library or a full-fledged framework for building huge web apps.

            Evan You have created this framework. The idea of Evan You behind this framework is to build the best framework by combining the best features from already existing Angular and react Frameworks. Before building Vue.js, Evan You was working at Google. Inc and worked on Angular based projects. So, he came up with the idea of building his own framework. He picked the best parts of Angular, like template syntax, easy to use, and picked the best parts of React as well, like two-way data binding, the concept of props, component-based approach, and combined them to make a new framework Vue.js better than both of them.

  • Leftovers

    • ‘Mom, is it true?’ What happens when children find out their mother is a sex worker. A report from Russia’s heartland.

      No one knows exactly how many sex workers there are in Russia, but the number is said to be in the millions. Most of these people are young women trying to pull themselves and their families out of poverty. Faced with the illegality of their labor, the dangers of the job, and the powerful social stigma that haunts prostitution, Russia’s sex workers walk a tightrope at home, where many feel compelled to conceal or justify the work that puts food on the table and keeps a roof overhead. Meduza special correspondent Irina Kravtsova traveled to Volgograd, Samara, and Ufa, where she met with three such women and spoke to their children to learn how Russia’s sex workers navigate these enormous challenges.

    • Back to Reality
    • The Teachings of America

      But that’s a strange teaching.

      There’s teachings that say all soldiers are automatically heroes, and as a result, war is holy.

    • Unleash a Desert River and Its Wisdom
    • She had a foul mouth and a bottomless heart Meet Oksana Karas, the director of a new film about the late Elizaveta Glinka, Russia’s humanitarian icon

      Oksana Karas’s new film, “Doctor Liza,” is currently in theaters. The picture follows a day in the life of Dr. Elizaveta Glinka, a story whose protagonist manages to comfort, hug, warm, and save hundreds. Chulpan Khamatova stars in the film, which features many other prominent Russian actors, including Evgeny Pisarev, Andrzej Chyra, Konstantin Khabensky, Andrey Burkovskiy, Yulia Aug, Tatyana Dogileva, Timofey Tribuntsev, Alexey Agranovich, Elena Koreneva, and Yana Gladkikh. Karas told Meduza about what effect she hopes to achieve in Russia with a film about charity.

    • Education

      • Defenders of US Public Schools Call on Biden to Ditch Trump’s Disastrous Education Policies—and Obama’s Too

        “50.8 million children who attend real public schools need a secretary of education who will be their advocate, not an advocate for privatization.”

      • The New Secretary of Education Should Actually Listen to Students, Unlike DeVos

        At the moment, one of the biggest debates in education is whether or not campuses should reopen during the pandemic. The Trump administration has demanded that schools fully reopen irrespective of COVID-19 rates, budget constraints, and before there could be a proper assessment of the risk of community transmission, and DeVos has stated publicly that she does not see tracking the virus’s impact in schools as the Education Department’s responsibility. Meanwhile, the Biden campaign has promised emergency federal relief funding and assistance for schools to address the effects of the pandemic, a move that is in line with many student activists’ demands.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Russia’s coronavirus vaccine developers says ‘Sputnik V’ is 95 percent effective

        Russia’s “Sputnik V” coronavirus vaccine has shown more than 95 percent effectiveness 42 days after the first dose, the researchers developing the vaccine reported on Tuesday, November 24.

      • Betting Pool? Tyson Managers Bet on How Many Workers Would Get COVID. Advocates Call It Grim Pattern

        The family of a former meatpacker who died from COVID-19 alleges in a lawsuit that managers at a Tyson Foods plant in Iowa knew working conditions would result in illness, and even placed bets on how many workers would be infected. The family of Isidro Fernandez, who died in April, says the plant manager set up a winner-take-all betting pool for supervisors and managers to wager on coronavirus infections. Since the start of the pandemic, at least six workers have died and more than 1,000 tested positive for COVID-19 at the Iowa facility. Tyson Foods has suspended the managers involved in the alleged betting scheme, but worker rights advocates say it is further evidence of abuse and exploitation in the meat industry. “These companies are treating them like animals. They’re treating them as disposable,” says Magaly Licolli, executive director of Venceremos, an advocacy group for poultry plant workers.

      • How Many Lives Would Have Been Saved, If We Had Cooperated on a Vaccine With China?

        In recent days, there have been articles in several major news outlets about how China vaccinated close to 1 million people, under an Emergency Use Authorization, for vaccines that are currently in Phase 3 clinical testing (here, here, here, and here). While large-scale distribution of vaccines, that have not completed testing for safety and effectiveness, is probably not a good public health practice, none of these pieces raised any questions about whether the United States, and other countries, might have benefited from access to the Chinese vaccines.

        It would not be reasonable to distribute Chinese vaccines here based on safety and effectiveness data that had not been thoroughly vetted by the Food and Drug Administration. But, if we had chosen to go a collaborative route in developing vaccines, we could have done our own tests, in addition to using data available from tests done by the Chinese manufacturers.

      • Combating the Hazards of 5G – The Project Censored Show

        Guests: Kate Kheel, Phoebe Sorgen, Amber Yang, and Kenn Burrows.

      • Capitalist Competition Is Sabotaging the Race for a Vaccine

        The global race for a Covid-19 vaccine appears to be in its final leg. The research was publicly funded. But Big Pharma stands to make enormous profits, at the expense of people the world over.

      • YouTube Suspends OANN Channel Over COVID-19 Misinformation

        YouTube has temporarily suspended and demonetized the channel for pro-Trump outlet One America News Network. OANN will be barred from publishing videos and livestreams for one week, and will need to reapply to the YouTube Partner Program to regain its monetization status.

        The suspension is the first “strike” for OANN under YouTube’s terms of service. YouTube uses a three strike system, with repeat offenders ultimately being removed from the video platform.

      • 4 in 10 Americans Plan to Defy CDC Guidelines on Thanksgiving
      • YouTube temporarily suspends OANN account after spreading coronavirus misinformation

        YouTube has suspended the pro-Trump One America News Network from posting new videos for a week, and the outlet has had its old content demonetized after uploading a video containing misinformation about the coronavirus, YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi confirmed to The Hill on Tuesday.

        The weeklong suspension is the result of a “strike” issued for saying that there is a guaranteed cure for COVID-19, a claim that runs afoul of YouTube’s coronavirus-specific policy.

      • YouTube Suspends OAN, a Trump Favorite, For Touting Covid Cure

        YouTube is temporarily banning One America News Network for breaking rules about Covid-19 claims, shuttering the right-wing cable outlet on the world’s largest video site for a week.

        “After careful review, we removed a video from OANN and issued a strike on the channel for violating our COVID-19 misinformation policy, which prohibits content claiming there’s a guaranteed cure,” Ivy Choi, a YouTube spokeswoman, said in a statement. After a channel receives three strikes, YouTube terminates it altogether.

        YouTube, part of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, is also suspending advertisements from the network for violating other unspecified policies.

      • Top epidemiologist says Sweden has no signs of herd immunity curbing coronavirus

        Sweden’s top infectious disease expert said Tuesday that the country has not seen evidence of herd immunity slowing the spread of the coronavirus in the country.

      • The New Humanitarian | Even if famine isn’t declared, Yemen has a massive hunger problem

        In the coming weeks and months, a group of experts will decide if Yemen, a country the UN has deemed the “world’s worst humanitarian crisis”, is in the midst of, or at risk of, a famine.

        Despite a recent stream of statements from aid officials – including last week’s warning from UN Secretary-General António Guterres that “Yemen is now in imminent danger of the worst famine the world has seen for decades” – such a declaration is not a foregone conclusion.

        That’s because, although it’s an emotionally weighted and frequently used word, famine actually has a highly complex technical definition that is hard to meet and requires a level of quality data that doesn’t always exist in Yemen, which has been at war since early 2015.
        For example, the threshold was not met in late 2018, and that was despite similar cries of alarm, despite the fact that some children were clearly starving to death, and despite the finding that nearly 16 million people were expected to be above “crisis” levels of food insecurity.

        Two years later, and after more than five and a half years of war – Houthi rebels in the north are fighting an internationally recognised (but mostly exiled) government and its allies in the south, backed by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition – it seems to many Yemenis that almost everything that could possibly go wrong in one country has done so.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Strange case of the art dealer, the tech billionaire, his email and Picasso’s lover

        The only problem, a judge said yesterday, is that Allen may not have written the email. In fact, Mr Justice Trower said, evidence pointed to the email having been fabricated “for the purpose of misleading the court”.

      • Proprietary

        • This Bluetooth Attack Can Steal a Tesla Model X in Minutes

          Lennert Wouters, a security researcher at Belgian university KU Leuven, today revealed a collection of security vulnerabilities he found in both Tesla Model X cars and their keyless entry fobs. He discovered that those combined vulnerabilities could be exploited by any car thief who manages to read a car’s vehicle identification number—usually visible on a car’s dashboard through the windshield—and also come within roughly 15 feet of the victim’s key fob. The hardware kit necessary to pull off the heist cost Wouters around $300, fits inside a backpack, and is controlled from the thief’s phone. In just 90 seconds, the hardware can extract a radio code that unlocks the owner’s Model X. Once the car thief is inside, a second, distinct vulnerability Wouters found would allow the thief to pair their own key fob with the victim’s vehicle after a minute’s work and drive the car away.

        • Security

          • Ransomware gangs likely to start monetising stolen data: researcher

            Ransomware gangs have shown themselves to be an innovative lot, incorporating more and more tactics as they look to extort money from their victims and this trend will continue into the new year, a veteran researcher of this brand of malware says.

          • Victory! Court Protects Anonymity of Security Researchers Who Reported Apparent Communications Between Russian Bank and Trump Organization

            Security researchers who reported observing Internet communications between the Russian financial firm Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization in 2016 can remain anonymous, an Indiana trial court ruled last week.

            The ruling protects the First Amendment anonymous speech rights of the researchers, whose analysis prompted significant media attention and debate in 2016 about the meaning of digital records that reportedly showed computer servers linked to the Moscow-based bank and the Trump Organization in communication.

            Imagine walking down the street, looking for a good cup of coffee. In the distance, a storefront glows in green through your smart glasses, indicating a well-reviewed cafe with a sterling public health score. You follow the holographic arrows to the crosswalk, as your wearables silently signal the self-driving cars…

            Despite widespread complaints about its effects on human rights, the Brazilian Senate has fast-tracked the approval of “PLS 2630/2020”, the so-called “Fake News” bill. The bill lacked the necessarily broad and intense social participation that characterized the development of the 2014 Brazilian Civil Rights…

          • Every system is a privileged system: Incorporating Unix/Linux in your privilege management strategy

            Despite their importance, Unix/Linux local and privileged accounts often don’t get sufficient oversight in a centralized PAM strategy.

            True, the Unix/Linux userbase is typically more technically savvy and has a greater understanding of security than your typical user. In some ways, Unix/Linux actually led the move toward PAM decades ago. The problem is, not much has changed in decades. They still heavily rely on their own methods for privileged management, such as Sudo controls, and are still using Sudo with few differences from when it was first introduced.

            No matter how savvy the user, Unix/Linux privileged accounts are time-consuming and tedious to manage, so they often don’t get sufficient oversight. In addition, when it comes time for an audit, it’s extremely difficult to piece together all of the privileged account activities and security controls. You might have one report for Windows and Mac and a separate one or many for Unix/Linux. You can’t get a consolidated view of risk to use for decision-making or show progress to your auditors.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Seattle PD Detective Took Clearview Facial Recognition Tech For A Spin, Possibly Violating Local Laws

              It looks like some members of the Seattle Police Department have taken an interest in Clearview. Clearview scrapes photos and data from the open web and sells access to its untested facial recognition AI to government agencies, private companies, and the odd billionaire. According to Clearview, it has 4 billion scraped records in its database. What it doesn’t have is a proven law enforcement track record for solving crimes, despite making extremely forward overtures to hundreds of law enforcement agencies around the globe.

            • FBI Asks To Perform An Intrusive Search Of A Phone For Evidence It Doesn’t Need From A Device That Probably Doesn’t Belong To The Suspect

              It looks like the FBI believes it should be able to pull pretty much anything from someone’s phone for pretty much any reason. A recent warrant affidavit [PDF] submitted by Special Agent Brian De Jesus requests access to nearly everything contained on a cellphone abandoned in a car, supposedly by the suspect now being charged for being a felon in possession of a handgun.

            • Moscow City Hall seeks to expand ‘digital profiles’ of local residents through new monitoring system

              Moscow’s Information Technology Department has is soliciting bids to develop a system that will build detailed “digital profiles” for all users of municipal services, as well as constantly monitor the activities of Muscovites throughout the city and at municipal facilities. The website Open Media first reported the 280-million-ruble ($3.7-million) contract’s appearance. Although the system is reportedly designed to collect information anonymously, experts warn that it could include surveillance mechanisms and that abuse of the system could result in people’s personal information ending up on the black market.

            • UK group wants Google’s ‘privacy sandbox’ tech launch delayed

              An alliance of British businesses, that is campaigning to stop Google from allegedly controlling the open Web, has asked the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority to delay the release of technology by the search firm that is claimed to be able to cement its alleged dominance of online business.

            • Six Australian spy agencies collected COVIDSafe data: watchdog

              Six Australian intelligence organisations have “incidentally” collected data from the COVIDSafe app, according to a report from the watchdog, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, issued on Monday.

            • Advertising for police databases: Germany wants „European Data Quality Day“

              Alerts in the Schengen Information System are increasing significantly every year, entries in Europol databases are also continuing to grow. The German government now wants to use video messages and giveaways to promote the acceptance of the largest European police database.

            • Despite Not Finding Drugs Nearly 95 Percent Of The Time, Judges Keep Approving Drug Warrants For Chicago Cops

              The Chicago Police Department has firmly established itself as one of the worst police forces in America. From running an off-the-books, Constitution-evading “black site” to interrogate detainees without bringing in their lawyers or rights to loading up its gang database with thousands of non-gang members, the department is a horrific mess.

            • Google sued for using 260mb of cellular data per month to track Android users without permission

              The complaint detailed:

            • Amazon’s Ring moves even closer to becoming the perfect urban police surveillance system

              An investigation by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) found that the Ring doorbell app for Android was “packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable information”. The EFF’s research discovered that four main analytics and marketing companies were receiving information from the app that included things such as the names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent identifiers, and sensor data on the devices of paying customers. Also potentially concerning is the fact that Amazon keeps records of every motion detected by its Ring doorbells, as well as the exact time they are logged down to the millisecond. Conscious of the growing concerns about privacy, Amazon has improved account security and privacy control, although not significantly.

            • Twitter verification will return early next year

              If no changes to this proposal are made, the accounts that would be eligible for verification would include government accounts, companies, brands, nonprofits, news media accounts, entertainment, sports, activists, organizers, and what Twitter refers to as “other influential individuals.” Each type of account must meet specific requirements, like being profiled in a media outlet, in order to receive verification. The entirety of Twitter’s draft policy can be viewed here. After receiving feedback, Twitter plans to release the final policy on December 17th.

            • Popular Wireless Doorbells May Carry Cybersecurity Risk

              If you’re not the handy type or perhaps just don’t want to put the effort into putting in a wired security doorbell, such as a Ring, you may opt for a wireless doorbell, saving yourself the hassle. However, you could end up with more hassles than you ever dreamed, as 11 popular wireless doorbells failed basic cybersecurity tests, according to researchers. Cybersecurity Research These 11 wireless doorbells that failed the cybersecurity tests were all available on common online shopping sites, such as Amazon and eBay…

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Yes, It’s Time to Come Home—Now

        Actually ending the war in Afghanistan.

      • Biden’s Pick for Secretary of State Has a Record of Militarism
      • Biden is Facing a Showdown on Iran Sanctions

        This past summer, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began a series of appeals to the UN Security Council, saying that the United States was still a member of the deal, based on the council’s 2015 favorable vote by former U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power. Therefore, Washington had the right to initiate the “snapback”—a procedure that allows participants of the deal to reverse any easing or lifting of sanctions instituted by the pact.

        This led to several UN Security Council meetings, where most members rejected Pompeo’s arguments. But Pompeo called for the snapback in late September, despite “objections from most other countries.”

      • ‘Total Reset’ is Wishful Thinking: The Daunting Task of Reordering US Foreign Policy

        While a ‘total reset’ is, perhaps, possible in some aspects of US policies – for example, a reversal of the Donald Trump Administration’s decision to abandon the Paris Agreement on climate change – it is highly unlikely that the US can simply reclaim its position in many other geopolitical battles around the globe.

        President Trump was often accused of leading an ‘isolationist’ foreign policy, a misleading term that, according to Stephen Wertheim’s “Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy”, was deliberately coined to silence those who dared challenge the advocates of military adventurism and interventionism in the first half of the twentieth century.

      • The US Still Penalizes Thousands of Veterans

        I have known several veterans who had serious health issues connected to their military experience and had to fight for support from the Veterans Administration. The plight of those suffering the ill effects of exposure to the defoliant Agent Orange used to make forested areas of Vietnam visible for attacks by the US, are among a group that had to fight strenuously for deserved benefits. A friend from the post-World War II era fought until the end of his life to get the benefits he deserved after serving as a military photographer in the Pacific whose work involved taking photographs of nuclear tests.

        Following the Vietnam War, Jimmy Carter issued an amnesty program that offered the chance for amnesty to hundreds of thousands of draft and military resisters. There were 432,530 veterans who qualified to have their discharges upgraded, who were discharged with either undesirable or general discharges. The Carter amnesty program (“Carter Authorizes Military To Review Viet Discharges,” Washington Post, March 29, 1977) had several pitfalls, with a narrow window of opportunity of only several months for veterans to apply to the program and a lengthy process that typically required the veteran to appear before a special discharge board made up of military officers and plead his case. The earlier Ford program of amnesty was so punitive that amnesty organizations boycotted it. Those veterans who qualified for that program were given a second discharge that further penalized them and marked them negatively. Most had to complete a punitive form of alternative service.

      • Why Biden Must Ignore Sen. Coons’ ‘Caveats’ and Stay on Course to Return to the Iran Deal

        In restoring the Iran deal, Biden can successfully correct the conflict-laden course he is inheriting from Trump, repair U.S. credibility, and prove once again that the administration he served as vice president was right to choose diplomacy.

      • Flare-ups between India and Pakistan in Kashmir are getting fiercer

        Though India and Pakistan agreed on an informal ceasefire in 2003, it fell apart a decade later. Since 2018 the number of ceasefire violations recorded by the Indian Army has almost doubled, while Pakistan has documented a 10% jump (the figures differ because violations are defined loosely, including everything from a stray bullet to an artillery barrage). Things have been getting steadily worse: in 2019 the Indian army recorded 3,479 violations; the figure for this year so far is over 3,800.

      • Lugano attack: Two hurt in suspected terror incident in Switzerland

        She attempted to choke one and stabbed another in the neck with a knife before being stopped by shoppers, police say.

      • The New Humanitarian | Rethinking Humanitarianism podcast: The future of aid

        Refugees from Ethiopia are currently fleeing across the border into Sudan. If this crisis plays out like many do, big aid agencies will soon begin setting up shop, organising camps, handing out food and water, and leading an organised response to those refugees.
        But what if things were done differently?
        In this fourth episode of the Rethinking Humanitarianism podcast series, hosts Heba Aly and Jeremy Konyndyk talk to three disruptors about their visions for alternative humanitarian action.
        They delve into mergers of international NGOs with Simon O’Connell, the incoming CEO of SNV, an international development organisation based in The Netherlands.
        They unpack networked humanitarianism with Paul Currion, the founder of a blockchain company for the aid industry.
        And they hear a vision of local solidarity from Muthoni Wanyeki, regional director for Africa at the Open Society Foundations.

    • Environment

      • Diane Cook’s Morality Tales for Our Climate Future

        “The Way the End of Days Should Be,” a story from Diane Cook’s 2014 collection Man V. Nature, takes place in a flooded world. The story’s unnamed narrator defends their home from desperate strangers with the help of a man named Gary. The narrator’s neighbor, meanwhile, houses every newcomer who washes up on his porch—he welcomes so many people, in fact, that his house begins to deteriorate. No matter how bad things get for the neighbor and the refugees living in his house, the narrator refuses to change their isolationist ways. Eventually, Gary abandons the narrator to help the neighbor, and the narrator reacts by suspecting Gary and the neighbor of conspiring against him. We leave the narrator lingering near their front door, a knife in each hand, waiting to defend his home from a siege that may never come.

      • Energy

        • Cancer Alley Community Leaders Are Cautious As Biden Picks Their Fossil Fuel-Friendly Congressman for White House Role

          Richmond has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars in fossil fuel campaign contributions during his career. Despite this history, some fenceline communities in Louisiana are looking forward to the potential of what Joe Biden’s ascension to the White House with Richmond by his side could mean for their majority-Black neighborhoods which are impacted daily by air pollution from an expanding petrochemical industry.  

        • Will a Tar Sands Pipeline Become a Covid Super Spreader?

          From a climate perspective, a clean water perspective and a Covid perspective, Line 3 is nuts.

        • The trashcan bribe How an ambitious software project led to Russian Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Tikhonov’s arrest

          GIS TEK, an expensive software that compiles information about Russia’s entire fuel and energy sector, was created to help fight illegal business dealings and tax evasion. Its main result so far, however, has been an embezzlement case implicating the heads of one of Russia’s largest technology companies, LANIT, along with Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Tikhonov. Meduza technology editor Maria Kolomichenko reports on the story, which involved secretly-recorded phone conversations and reports of bribes being transferred through a trashcan in a women’s restroom.

        • A Power Company’s Quiet Land-Buying Spree Could Shield It From Coal Ash Cleanup Costs

          Over the past several years, utility giant Georgia Power has embarked on an unusual buying spree, paying top dollar for people’s property in places where cheap land was easy to find.

          In 2016, it bought a veterinarian’s 5-acre lot in the rolling hills of northwest Georgia for roughly double the appraised value. The following year, it acquired 28 acres of flood-prone land in southwest Georgia’s pecan belt for nearly four times what the local tax assessor said it was worth. By the year after that, it had paid millions of dollars above the appraised value for hundreds of acres near a winding gravel road in a central Georgia town with no water lines and spotty cellphone service.

        • When Can Pipelines Take Private Land? Jordan Cove LNG Project a Test for Eminent Domain

          After calling around, they soon found out that a company wanted to build a liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal in Coos Bay on the Oregon coast, and run a natural gas pipeline to California — and Evans’ land was in the way. If the company’s plans worked out, the pipeline would travel right through their property.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Trump Lost the Election, But He Is Still Doing Terrible Damage
      • Trump camp says Michigan election hearing next week; lawmakers say no

        While the Trump campaign is encouraged to submit written testimony, Michigan lawmakers say the hearing the campaign announced is not happening.

      • On to the Inauguration, Please

        So many questions. So many unknowns. To take the pulse of the country, I took the pulse of a small group of intellectuals. What was Trump going to do, I wanted to know. I heard a wide range of views, though almost everyone I asked said, “Your guess is as good as mine.” Nobody I talked to— all of them white, relatively well off and male— saw what we used to call “the light at the end of the tunnel.”  Or, if there was a light it wasn’t all that bright.

        One professor, an expert on the American war machine, suggested that Trump might well launch a military attack on Iran. “Yuk, it’s a scary time,” he emailed.”I worry that Trump will refuse to leave office and provoke a civil war.” An East Coast historian who has written a lot about the American Civil War, has, for months, urged friends to calm down and de escalate their rhetoric. That historian wrote, “I think a lot of what Trump is doing is bluster. I can’t really see what he can actually do to stay in office.”

      • Time for Democrats to Drain the Real Swamp

        Even in defeat, President Trump’s villainies command the spotlight. Speculation is rife over whether the Biden administration or the various state and local criminal investigations in New York will lead to prosecutions of Trump himself on everything from campaign finance violations (the alleged bribes to his mistresses to keep silent about Trump’s dalliances with them in 2016) to tax fraud to obstruction of justice. President-elect Joe Biden has stated that “”this is the time to heal,” suggesting that he’ll leave the pursuit of Trump to others. But for the country to heal, one critical remedy is to rebuild trust in government and pride in public service. And that will require putting the spotlight on how the Trump administration systematically traduced our government.

      • Is Trump’s No Concession Endgame a “Stab-in-the-Back” Gambit Which Helped Bring the Nazis to Power?

        The post-World War I claim in Germany was as big a lie as the American “Biden stole the election” claim, but it came to be believed by a sizable proportion of the German population and helped lead to the collapse of the Weimar Republic.

      • Following Outcry, US Government Halts Deportations of Women Who Allege Medical Abuse in ICE Detention—At Least for Now

        “ICE and others at Irwin thought they could silence these women… But the women have organized and had the audacity to speak out.”

      • Progressives Say Any Cabinet Post for Rahm Emanuel Is Unacceptable
      • Get Ready for Donald Trump’s Shadow Government—via Twitter and Fox News

        Other Republicans, in fear of the wrath of Trump’s supporters, will obstruct Joe Biden at ever.

      • Trump’s End Game

        President Jimmy Carter

        My interest in other presidents became more serious, starting with Jimmy Carter when I joined the US EPA in 1979. Carter reviewed agriculture and, probably, he might have favored a sustainable version of family farming. He was amenable to change, like preparing the country to face global warming.

      • How Should Former Presidents Behave?

        The question is particularly pertinent as speculation abounds about Donald Trump’s future, assuming that he will no longer be in office after January 20, 2021. Apparently, he is already collecting money to be used for a second presidential run in 2024. There are also rumors that he will be trying to start a media platform to compete with his former sycophants at Fox News. One can only hope that the New York State Attorney General and Manhattan District Attorney will take up some of Trump’s future time by dragging him into court for various financial sleights of hand. And, we shouldn’t forget, he does have hundreds of millions of dollars in outstanding personal debts that have to be paid off before 2024.

        There has been no mention for the moment of a Trump presidential library. Perhaps at Mar-a-Lago next to the 18th green? Also, surprisingly, there seems little publisher interest in his memoirs, perhaps because a compendium of his tweets would not be marketable or all potential collaborators are afraid of sullying their careers. But, after all, The Art of the Deal did sell 650,000 copies. The New York Times refers to several publishing executives who warn that “publishing Mr. Trump could be perilous…and that the possibilities of boycotts, libel lawsuits and social media campaigns outweighed the obvious financial benefits.” Also, as one top publisher commented; “We’d want to know that he would be willing to be edited and submit to a rigorous fact-checking process.”

      • Election 2020: a Democratic Mandate or a Vote Against Trump?

        The questions that arise now are simple enough: what caused Trump to lose the election, and to what extent did Americans vote for Biden, as opposed to voting against Trump? Answers to these questions emerge from a careful examination of pre-election polling and Edison’s national exit polling, the latter of which surveyed both in-person and mail-in/absentee voters to collect information on voters’ demographic backgrounds and their political and economic motivations. What we find is that mass anger at racial injustice, the disaster of Covid-19, and the depressed economy that accompanied it, were all chief difference makers in the election outcome.

        Continuity with Previous Elections

      • How to Lose Friends and Not Influence the Election Results

        Support independent cartooning: join Sparky’s List—and don’t forget to visit TT’s Emporium of Fun, featuring the new book and plush Sparky!

      • The GOP: Grotesque, Outrageous Putschists
      • Rudy Giuliani Went to Court and Made a Compelling Argument—for His Own Disbarment

        Federal Judge Matthew Brann dismissed Donald Trump’s over-the-top challenge to Pennsylvania’s election results with a withering rebuke to arguments made by the leader of defeated president’s legal team: “This claim, like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together.” Then the judge, a former Republican Party operative whose biography identifies him as a member of the conservative Federalist Society, let rip.

      • Birds Of A Feather: Lame Duck Pardons Turkey And Everything’s Fine Here Why Do You Ask?
      • How Biden Can ‘Build Back Better’ With or Without the Senate

        In 2008, as the economy was in free fall, Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama worked together with their secretaries of the Treasury, the chair of the Federal Reserve, and the president of the New York Federal Reserve and created one of the largest financing schemes in the history of the United States to prevent total economic meltdown. Part of this was the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $700 billion package that Congress passed in response to the financial crisis. But the overwhelmingly greater part of this plan used the Fed to lend out somewhere between $7 trillion and $29 trillion in near-zero-interest loans directly to banks to keep them afloat. While this worked to save our banking system and avoid the worst possible disaster, the plan neglected to invest in rebuilding the real economy. As a result, Americans saw a grueling, decade-long recovery—if they saw any recovery at all.

      • Unforgetting: Confronting El Salvador’s—and My Family’s—Past

        As a young man, I joined a guerrilla insurgency and went to war, but I didn’t really know why I did so. Just six years after the Vietnam War ended, my family and all other Salvadorans started facing the profound consequences of the Reagan administration’s decision to begin spending billions of dollars to bolster the universally condemned Salvadoran government and military in their war against the leftist guerrillas of the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front. The FMLN was the Salvadoran embodiment of what Reagan referred to as the “evil empire” of communism. By the end of the war, some 80,000 people had been killed in a country of just over 5 million that’s the size of Massachusetts. Most of the innocents were slaughtered by their own government, according to the United Nations and international human rights groups.1This article is excerpted from Roberto Lovato’s Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas (Harper).

      • Trump Scheduled to Meet Devil at Manhattan Crossroads

        Washington, November 24: Mephistopheles, the prince of darkness, announced today through his press spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, that he would meet on Thursday “with his old friend” President Trump and return to him his soul. The transfer is expected to take place at noon at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 57th Street in the shadow of Trump Tower. The event will be observed by a small audience, selected by the Devil from among Trump’s most fervid supporters. Mephistopheles is expected to wear red, Trump orange.

        The Devil has been in possession of Trump’s soul since 1973, when he met the young real estate heir through their mutual friend, attorney Roy Cohn, described by one colleague as “pure evil.” It’s not known what Trump was paid at the time and there is no record of the transaction in the president’s tax returns, recently published by The New York Times. But it’s likely that profits from the sale – dispersed over many years — were offset for tax purposes by losses from Trump’s Atlantic City casinos, Doral Country Club and multiple golf courses in the U.S. and Scotland.

      • When They Had to Kill the King. Learnings for the Post-Trump Age.

        The U.S. will never be at peace so long as Trump is free to create mischief and mayhem. He needs to prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

      • Activist expelled from university over ‘crucifixion’ protest outside FSB building in Moscow

        The disciplinary commission at People’s Friendship University of Russia (RUDN) has decided to expel activist Pavel Krisevich from its Economics Faculty over a performance protest he staged outside of the Federal Security Service (FSB) headquarters in Moscow’s Lubyanka Square.

      • ‘Shameful and Concerning He Is Even Being Considered,’ Says AOC as Rahm Emanuel Floated for Role in Biden Cabinet

        “The thing about covering up the murder of Laquan McDonald is that it disqualifies you from holding any type of public office. Forever,” said Rep.-elect Cori Bush.

      • Latinx Voting Surge Boosted Biden’s Victory—but That’s Not the Story Corporate Media Want to Tell
      • ‘Closest Thing to a Concession’ Trump Could Muster, Say Observers as GSA Approves Biden Transition After Weeks of Delay

        “It should not have taken the ire of Congress and the American public to convince Administrator Murphy to do the right thing.”

      • Donald ‘I Concede NOTHING!’ Trump Retweets Utterly Unhinged Randy Quaid

        In one tweet thanking the actor, the president says he’s “working hard to clean up the stench of the 2020 Election Hoax!”

      • As Feinstein Steps Down as Top Judiciary Democrat, Sunrise Movement Demands She Go One Step Further: ‘Resign’

        “Feinstein lost all credibility when she showed she was more willing to treat with contempt 11-year-old climate activists demanding a livable future in her office, than the Supreme Court nominee who refused to say whether she would uphold the laws that would give that future a fighting chance.”

      • Trump Hints of “Big Lawsuit” Even as He Greenlights Transition Process for Biden
      • Sanction Trump’s Election Lawyers—Now!

        That didn’t stop the Trump campaign from declaring victory and saying the quiet part out loud: It had dropped the lawsuit because it had succeeded in its goal of delaying certification of the election results. Rudolph Giuliani, who appears to be leading this coup d’imbécile, spoke for the campaign even though he did not personally represent it in the Michigan case. He said the goal of Trump’s lawsuit had been “to prevent the Wayne County election from being certified prematurely before residents can be sure that all legal votes were counted and all illegal votes were not counted.”

        This statement is effectively an acknowledgment of a violation of legal ethics that is sanctionable under Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. It is an admission that the team’s legal arguments in court were not designed to achieve victory but only to delay the completion of the process entrusted to the Board of Canvassers. Having achieved that mere delay, by a matter of hours (and not an actual injunction), the legal team withdrew its lawsuit and claimed “victory.” It shows that the lawsuit was a ploy and not a valid legal argument.

        Lawyers are not supposed to bring lawsuits that are merely designed to cause a delay in the normal operation of law. They’re not supposed to bring lawsuits that are frivolous and have no legal rationale. The Federal Rules anticipate the possibility of an attorney doing exactly what Giuliani has admitted the Trump campaign is doing and authorize judges to punish attorneys who do it.

      • The Route to Independence Leads Through Oban
    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Will Parler Users Treat Its ‘Glitch’ That Hid Georgia Election Content The Same Way They Treated A Twitter Glitch?

        It’s been absolutely fascinating — though not at all surprising — to watch a ton of Trumpists mentally struggling with the process of understanding the nature, importance, and necessity of content moderation online over the last few months via Parler. As you may recall, after whining about being moderated on sites like Twitter and Facebook, a bunch of Trump fans started using Parler, a site that was only recently revealed to have been cofounded by Rebekah Mercer (Parler fans like to claim that their users are migrating from Twitter to Parler, but most of them are still using Twitter, because Parler is mostly them preaching to the converted).

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • The assassination of a ‘Brave Journalist of Afghanistan’

        Dayee, who was 33, was born and raised in Helmand and spent his working life covering the ebb and flow of violence between the military and the Taliban. In the months leading up to his death, the violence had been flowing. Even as peace talks got under way thousands of miles away in Qatar, with the aim of ending the war, Afghanistan was experiencing a surge in assassinations of people in public life.

      • Google’s Vint Cerf takes up cudgels for company over news media code

        Australian news businesses that are arguing for a news media code to ensure that digital platforms pay for their content are trying to turn back time and make the Internet much less open and its business models less diverse, the Internet pioneer Vint Cerf, a Google vice-president and Internet Evangelist, claims.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Another Drug Lab Scandal — One That Took Kids From Their Parents — Ends In Prison Time

        Another horror story involving the government and a drug-testing lab is finally coming to a close. And the owner of the drug lab is going to jail.

      • Juan González Remembers NYC’s Only Black Mayor David Dinkins & Vieques Activist Carlos “Taso” Zenón

        We speak with Democracy Now! co-host Juan González about the deaths of two leading figures he reported on: New York City Mayor David Dinkins and beloved Puerto Rican social leader Carlos “Taso” Zenón. “Most people forget [Dinkins] was a Democratic Socialist before democratic socialism was in vogue,” notes González. He also recalls how Dinkins backed the movement against apartheid in South Africa, ordering the city to divest its pension fund from companies doing business there, and brought Nelson Mandela to the city right after he was freed. González also recalls how Zenón was a longtime activist who for decades led the fight against the U.S. Navy’s occupation of the island of Vieques, his hometown, where the U.S. government tested weapons and held military training exercises.

      • ‘Brutal and Shocking’: Outrage After Paris Police Violently Evict Hundreds of Migrants From Tent Encampment

        “To think that we will solve a social problem with police batons is totally delusional,” said the mayor’s advisor on housing and refugee protection.

      • As 2020 Sets Grim Record for Trans Killings, Advocates Call for Holistic & Uplifting Media Coverage

        At least 37 transgender and gender nonconforming people were violently killed in 2020, making it the deadliest year for trans and gender nonconforming people on record, according to a new Human Rights Campaign report. Of those killed, 22 were Black, and seven were Latinx. More than 200 trans and gender nonconforming people have lost their lives to violence since 2013, when HRC began recording and reporting violence toward trans people. The media often perpetuates systemic discrimination by covering trans and gender nonconforming people “when we’re celebrities or when we’re dead,” says Tori Cooper, director of community engagement for the Transgender Justice Initiative at the Human Rights Campaign, noting that the true number of deaths is likely much higher. “It is important that the media counteract some of the negative imagery around us by telling stories that uplift our community, that provide a more holistic view of who we are.”

      • Demanding Reversal of Trump Cruelty, Immigrant Rights Groups Welcome Biden Pick of Mayorkas for DHS Secretary

        The former director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services was a key architect of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and also expanded fee waivers for naturalization and immigration applications. 

      • Two women detained by border agents for speaking Spanish settle with agency

        In a press release, the ACLU of Montana said that Ana Suda and Martha “Mimi” Hernandez had reached an undisclosed settlement with the agency while adding that local backlash surrounding the case had forced the two to move from Havre, Montana, where the incident occurred in May 2018.

      • Russian state investigators announce raids on Jehovah’s Witnesses across the country

        On Tuesday, November 24, the Russian Investigative Committee announced that it is carrying out searches targeting Jehovah’s Witnesses in Moscow, as well as in more than 20 other regions across the country.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Comcast Expands Its Bullshit Usage Caps…In The Middle Of A Pandemic

        Contrary to what some try to claim, broadband usage caps have always been bullshit. They serve absolutely no technical function, do not help manage congestion, and exist exclusively to nickel-and-dime captive customers in monopolized U.S. markets. Worse, they can be used by incumbent ISPs anticompetitively to hamstring competitors in the streaming video and other markets.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Let’s Stand Up for Home Hacking and Repair

        Let’s tell the Copyright Office that it’s not a crime to modify or repair your own devices.

        Every three years, the Copyright Office holds a rulemaking process where it grants the public permission to bypass digital locks for lawful purposes. In 2018, the Office expanded existing protections for jailbreaking and modifying your own devices to include voice-activated home assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home, but fell far short of the broad allowance for all computerized devices that we’d asked for. So we’re asking for a similar exemption, but we need your input to make the best case possible: if you use a device with onboard software and DRM keeps you from repairing that device or modifying the software to suit your purposes, see below for information about how to tell us your story.

        GitHub recently reinstated the repository for youtube-dl, a popular free software tool for downloading videos from YouTube and other user-uploaded video platforms. GitHub had taken down the repository last month after the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) abused the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s notice-and-takedown procedure to pressure…

        Next time you hear someone blame Section 230 for a problem with social media platforms, ask yourself two questions: first, was this problem actually caused by Section 230? Second, would weakening Section 230 solve the problem? Politicians and commentators on both sides of the aisle frequently blame Section 230 for…

        Today EFF is launching How to Fix the Internet, a new podcast mini-series to examine potential solutions to six ills facing the modern digital landscape. Over the course of 6 episodes, we’ll consider how current tech policy isn’t working well for users and invite experts to join us in imagining…

      • Podcast Episode: Control Over Users, Competitors, and Critics

        Cory Doctorow joins EFF hosts Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien as they discuss how large, established tech companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook can block interoperability in order to squelch competition and control their users, and how we can fix this by taking away big companies’ legal right to block new tools that connect to their platforms – tools that would let users control their digital lives.

    • Monopolies

      • Mine, Mine, Mine! Nintendo Neuters The Cool Ways People, Groups Are Using ‘Animal Crossing’

        To be honest, Animal Crossing was always going to be a hit. It’s just the perfect distillation of the Nintendo experience: a cutesy social experience couched in harmless video game fun. Still, one unanticipated side effect of the global COVID-19 pandemic was how plenty of people and groups turned to the game for new and innovative ways of connecting with others. Examples abound, including players building a real-world economy around the game’s resources, TV stars plying a version of their trade in the game, protests and social movements springing up in the game’s world, and even the use of the game as part of the presidential election campaign. Mostly absent was any pushback from the gaming community. Instead, these few instances of crossover from real world to gaming world appeared to simply show the power of what Nintendo had created: an open and innovative gaming experience based on community and unbridled social interaction.

      • Patents

        • FOSS Patents: European Commission’s Action Plan on Intellectual Property deemphasizes automotive industry concerns, prioritizes upload filters

          Today the European Commission formally adopted and announced its Action Plan on Intellectual Property (“IP Action Plan”).

          A near-final draft of the document already leaked last week and generated some media attention. I elected to wait for the final document (also because I’m very busy with the impending launch of my iOS and Android game). Given that some significant changes have been made, I’m glad I did hold off.


          The fact that the Commission deemphasizes the automotive industry’s SEP issues may be attributable to the immense lobbying firepower and persistent, highly professional efforts by major SEP holders such as Nokia and Ericsson, which is not a conspiracy theory but based in fact (and would serve to explain the repeated postponement of the publication of this document). The automotive industry’s lobbying departments are basically one-trick ponies that only know about emissions standards and similar topics. Those organizations may need another decade or two before they figure out IP policy.

          I actually doubt that the automotive industry would have had to expect anything positive to come out from the Commission’s DG GROW (formerly called DG MARKT) “brokering” an agreement between the automotive sector and major SEP holders. That’s because the commissioner in charge of DG GROW, Thierry Breton, is totally in the tank for Nokia and Ericsson, even up to the point where he describes fake news as “a fact! A fact! It is a fact!”.


          The IP Action Plan is per se underwhelming and unspecific, but that doesn’t mean that the initiatives it outlines as potential measures couldn’t be impactful in the end–possibly even with respect to SEPs. We’ll have to stay tuned.

        • Compulsory licensing: you said “taboo”? [Ed: Blackmail or extortion with #patents euphemised as "Compulsory licensing"]

          1. In his 1913 essay Totem und Taboo, Freud defined taboo as a prohibition related to what is considered sacred or impure. The famous psychoanalyst insists on the irrationality of the phenomenon. Thus, compulsory licensing, which is often seen as an impure danger, seems to be a kind of taboo for intellectual property specialists. But the numerous research studies related to COVID-19 and the need to be ready for eventual health crisis of this type in the future invite us to try to (re)examine the question rationally: what is the real nature of the compulsory license?


          6. Finally, the ex officio license seems to be able to serve as an economic lever for States, more particularly by helping them to encourage patented producers to relocate manufacturing to their territories and to lower prices. Thus, patent law could be a key to addressing the crisis as research for treatments and vaccines is in full swing. More generally, this crisis could lead to a strengthening of the geopolitical and economic roles of intellectual property, provided there is no misunderstanding about its purpose: it is definitely a tool to foster innovation and growth, but also a tool directed towards the society and not only towards the interest of its holder[21]. And, if they refuse to understand this, the rights holders, instead of seeing their prerogatives simply limited, risk expropriations, as has already and notably been proposed by some in France and decided upon in Germany.

        • Researchers and European Patent Office Team Up to Fight COVID-19 [Ed: This is pure propaganda because granting monopolies does nothing towards fighting a virus; but the EPO wants exploit a crisis to do lots of evil things and be seen as heroic]
        • Ferring B.V. v. Allergan, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2020)

          The Federal Circuit has taken the occasion, in appeals from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board as well as district courts, to remand judgments whenever the Court believes that the record below is devoid of sufficient detail to properly assess the correctness of the decisions made below (see “Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. v. Wyeth LLC (Fed. Cir. 2019)” and “NeuroGrafix v. Brainlab, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 2019)”). Recently, the Court took advantage of another opportunity to remind a district court of the need to provide ample factual bases for its decisions and avoid a “rush to judgment,” in Ferring B.V. v. Allergan, Inc.

          The case involved the claims to patent ownership of a former consultant, Seymour Fein, for Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Fein was a consultant for Ferring Pharmaceuticals for a little less than four years, until Ferring terminated his consulting agreement in November 2002. During his contract, employment Mr. Fein was involved in a project involving desmopressin, a synthetic analog of naturally occurring arginine vasopressin that is a hormone related to water retention in humans. In particular, desmopressin was used to treat sleep disruption caused by nocturia. The compound had low bioavailability and a large range of absorption, and it was thought that increasing desmopressin doses (to reduce these aspects of use of the drug) could pose a safety issue. A study performed by Ferring scientists starting in October 2000 supported the use of low doses and plasma concentrations of desmopressin as a clinically effective nocturia treatment. However, the drug was also accompanied by hyponatremia (low blood sodium ion concentration), which can be life-threatening, and Mr. Fein was asked to consult on this problem as part of his consulting duties. According to the opinion Mr. Fein suggested using low doses of desmopressin formulated “in a waterless orodispersible form (a ‘melt’) [and administered] sublingually through the mucosal membranes of the mouth” as a solution to the problem. When tested, such a formulation showed double the bioavailability of previously marketed forms of the drug. Clinical trials and a patent application filing by Ferring followed (but this application named no inventors). Thereafter, Mr. Fein was not further involved with development of these formulations of the drug. Instead, he was tasked with overseeing (until Ferring cancelled his consulting agreement) an intravenous desmopressin administration study, where he suggested improvements that permitted a greater weight range of participants. When Ferring filed a PCT application claiming priority to the initial application, Mr. Fein was named as an inventor but his contract with Ferring was terminated shortly thereafter.


          Finally, the Federal Circuit addressed the issue of unclean hands. Being an equitable remedy, defendants’ assertion of equitable estoppel requires their own conduct to be without reproach. In this case, Ferring contended that “the district court erred by ignoring evidence that Fein intentionally and deliberately copied Ferring’s . . . clinical study protocol for use in his own clinical studies.” Ferring asserted several bases for its unclean hands allegations that the panel did not specifically address. However, the opinion notes that for some of these arguments and evidence supporting them there was no discussion in the record and thus “[we have] no basis to infer that the district court considered Ferring’s evidence” in this regard, which the Court found was another abuse of discretion. The Court accordingly left correction of these errors to the District Court on remand.

        • Software Patents

          • Changes Reducing IPR Institution Rate Have Increased Litigation Frequency and Cost

            The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s precedential opinions on discretionary denial are the subject of significant attention—a withdrawn attempt by the Trump Administration to codify discretionary denial as a rule, a request for comments on rulemaking by the Office, and a challenge to the practice of discretionary denial as illegal under the Administrative Procedure Act.

            The attention is deserved. Fundamentally, discretionary denial has harmed the patent ecosystem, reversing the positive changes observed in patent litigation frequency and cost. The changes even appear to have increased the cost of IPR itself. Using cost data from AIPLA’s Report of the Economic Survey, decision analysis from Unified Patents, and statistical data from the PTO itself, the following charts show a clear correlation of the implementation of discretionary denial and these negative impacts on the patent system.


            In other words, after the PTO made the discretionary denial opinions precedential, innovators were more likely to face patent lawsuits, less likely to be able to use the IPR process as a meaningful defense, and the total cost of defending themselves—both in court and at the PTAB—increased significantly.

            It’s also increased the costs for patent owners, who face a more expensive set of proceedings at the Patent Office and more expensive litigation overall. While a discretionary denial might save them money at the Patent Office, it doesn’t provide a petitioner with any reason to back away from their invalidity theory—in fact, in cases like the recent Philip Morris IPRs, the petitioner might even be more likely to fight invalidity in court given the panel’s statement that their merits case was particularly strong. And without a reason to back away, petitioners are more likely to fight in court, increasing overall costs for patent owners.

            Cui Bono?

            So who actually wins here? Innovators—plaintiffs and defendants alike—are forced to spend more on less consistent proceedings, taking money away from their R&D efforts.The chief winners are patent lawyers and law firms, like Irell & Manella, Director Iancu’s former firm, which will have more trials to litigate, leading to more billable hours, and the patent trolls, like prolific filer Fortress Investment Group—represented by Irell & Manella in manycases—who receive higher value settlements when litigation costs increase.

      • Copyrights

        • Anti-Piracy Coalition Seeks Powerful New Tools To Tackle IPTV Piracy in the EU

          The Audiovisual Anti-Piracy Alliance, which counts major TV broadcasters, sports rightsholders, and content security companies among its members, is seeking enhanced anti-piracy tools from the European Union. These include real-time stream takedown tools, toughened repeat-infringer policies, plus ‘take down means stay down’ measures.

        • Twitter Under Fire for Refusal to Attend Senate’s Anti-Piracy Hearing

          US Senator Thom Tillis is incredibly disappointed that Twitter declined his invite to testify at a subcommittee hearing to discuss how online piracy can be tackled through voluntary agreements. In a letter sent to CEO Jack Dorsey, the senator criticizes the company’s track record, suggesting that “Twitter simply does not take copyright piracy seriously.”

        • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day Four: Why Many News Sites Are Captured by Bill C-10

          The potential scope of news sites regulation is vast, covering everything from the Rebel (which sells video subscriptions) to podcast networks like Canadaland. The law also applies to foreign sites, raising the possibility that sites with considerable audio and video and significant Canadian subscribers such as New York Times could be captured as well. As with economic thresholds, it will be open to the CRTC to decide what obligations online undertakings should face with regard to news or to potentially exempt some of these services. However, as it stands now, Guilbeault is incorrect when he claims that Bill C-10 excludes news since the bill opens the door to regulation and creates uncertainty by leaving it to the CRTC to determine precisely what regulatory obligations or exemptions might apply.

        • What happens when a virtual streamer doesn’t own her body?

          Projekt Melody swears her body belongs to her — the purple hair, the cat-eared bow, and all the barely there clothing that strategically covers her up. She commissioned it from an artist for $5,000 and even kept the receipts as proof. And for her thousands of fans on Twitch, this is what they see when she streams herself playing Minecraft, watching movies, or just sitting around chatting in her room.

          It wasn’t until this month that she ran into a problem: the artist, alleging that Melody owed him money, filed a copyright complaint claiming that she didn’t actually own her body — he did. Melody was banned from Twitch.

        • Inconceivable: TikToker Who Made Paint Mixing Very, Very Cool… Is Fired From Sherwin-Williams For Doing So

          TikTok remains a somewhat fascinating service to me, as different people experiment with using it to express all sorts of things in ways that are unexpected and often delightful. A couple months ago I discovered that there appears to be an entire genre of TikTokers creating videos about… mixing paint colors. I know… I know. At first that sounds insane. Who could possibly want to watch that? But some of them are truly amazing, as first noted by reporter Rebecca Jennings who tweeted about her discovery of Christian Hull, an Australian TikToker whose videos of him watching paint mixing videos and trying to guess what color the eventual mix will be is just so insanely joyful and addicting.

An Orwellian December

Posted in Humour at 1:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: With December around the corner and states tightening the screws on the population (or employers on employees) at least we can look forward to spring

THE DAYS get shorter

Medics falter
COVID stronger
Goodbye to Orange Ogre

Get the app
Life is crap
Raise the cup
And don’t you shop

Report to Brother
Won’t you bother
Information they gather
Protesting gets harder

Spring will come
At least for some
Privacy is dumb
Upload to Instagram

Amsterdam forest

The Non-Technical (or Lesser Technical) Software User That Wants Software Freedom

Posted in BSD, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux at 12:44 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Open Letter to Figosdev from Mogz (a reply to this one)

Duck with Slinky

Summary: Assuming that Free software should care about what users — not only developers — really want (and need) it’s important to understand how they view the current situation (with growing waves of corporate takeover and compromises, even expulsions)

First, thank you very much for posting your open letter, and for registering my genuine concern that free software succeed, and for apologies. I really appreciate that a lot, and thank you for taking the time to respond in detail. I apologize also, for the delay in response (ill health delayed me finding your letter). Very interesting to also read your commendable history of contributing, and past posts. Reading the quotes and your responses is bringing more clarity to my questions and concerns, so thank you for that.

For example, I realise that I need to make it clearer that part of what I’m addressing is a resource loop-hole, non-tech users who deeply care about privacy/freedoms. More about that later.

Winter Fun seriesI understand what you’re saying regarding [Alex] Oliva [who] won’t fork, thus Linux won’t be fixed, and that integral large packages (perl, python) can’t be forked, and too few devs to fork halfbuzz, plus the Gnu Project aren’t making the effort to fork what they could. It was actually a relief to read things in your response that nobody else ever says, such as most devs don’t care about users/freedoms, about having contributed to bad projects, who is fine with mixing with github … that makes the list a lot shorter regarding who/what to give energy and time to, also. I don’t find it depressing to have a clear bullet-list that shortens my own list, so I can double down on what IS positive. Stopping paying attention to users/devs who ignore problems, who don’t take things seriously, for example, is very uplifting to realise further, too; no more writing to some main linux youtubers (nb not gardner) and receiving no responses, for example! To read that you too are fed up with the attitude to users is very heartening, as nobody says this stuff. No longer feeling like some kind of lone crazy person, lol. And when people see mirrored their own real feelings, they definitely feel they can relate, and it can move them to be part of things.

“I see BSD is being pointed to as the ‘bunker’, but that is a big step for any non-tech people.”There’s been an unnerving journey of realising what’s going on, but, if the only people talking about this stuff are saying it’s all too rotten to fix, that has to be looked at seriously, along with my own experiences, observations and concerns to date. A main thing I live by is that there’s a time comes when stepping out and away from something becomes critical; that frees up energies for what is timely and important to move onto, and to not step away would jeopardize what CAN be safeguarded and built in the new space. As long as everything’s been examined and understood fully before taking such a clear step, better to observe from a distance and be doing something positive with life, rather than go down with the ship.

You asked directly what sort of hope I want to see … really clear bottom-line summary about how things are, which the letter from you is already covering more. Also, what people can do, and HOW (for non-techs), in order to maintain the freedom/privacy/values that are so important.

I don’t mean about coddling infants, as you reference, but those who don’t have any tech DNA yet want to get on the BSD ship/into the new place, to support free software, respect, privacy, care about users, but know they just can’t get their head around that without clear instruction. The corporate are dumbing people down by the year, ‘bread and circuses’, ‘leave it to us’, ‘we make your life easy’ (as we siphon off ALL your data and make money) … they want people’s energies, power, everything, whereas what I mean is what empowers people, the ladder that can get them into that place, where they can then do what they do best, contributing in other ways. You can’t give a jet to someone and expect them to fly it, but if they’re a passenger on the jet, they could be a doctor, a lawyer, anything non-tech, but still play a critical part.

“If the talk all the time is about values and who/what cares about users, then let’s care about the users, actively and practically, helping them to find a ‘bunker’ and batten down those hatches, as they wait for the albeit large tornado to pass, and meanwhile can do what they can in the ‘bunker’ to hatch something new.”I see BSD is being pointed to as the ‘bunker’, but that is a big step for any non-tech people. Can there be a beginner series on running an easily installable BSD, to get non-tech people started? Are there a few people willing to do that? Are there any very beginner tutorials anywhere already, all in one place and up to date? How many non-tech users, who deeply care about privacy/freedoms, read Techrights? Are most of them lurkers, since privacy/being offline is so important to them? I have many questions, lol. If a series were done, it could be shared all across the Linux places? So even non-techs, who could number far more than realised, can take part? adding important numbers of people who really care. There’s a very vocal part to Linux, and it tends to be those pushing for Wayland and the corporate and gaming … no wonder those who care about the freedoms, or are non-tech, may often be found increasingly offline, but will be reading articles, and wondering HOW to function and, in parallel, how to add to the numbers actively making important shifts.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m talking about bringing more on board those who care about the values. I have no ability or desire to code, or become more tech … I want only to support the freedoms, values, respect, the space where people can be themselves and as happy as possible. That is the only reason I crossed over to Linux. I leave the technical aptitude to those who practice that so well, who have that DNA, while I do what I do best.

So many new users have come over in the last year. People who care and want to contribute tend to want a clear list to get on with, to know how serious things are, at the same time as beginner instruction on HOW to exit from Linux. They’re the sort of people we want, who care about privacy/freedom/respect/values, so how do we get them to the ‘bunker’, even if that ‘bunker’ is e.g. at first a non-ideal BSD install, but at least a starting place to learn, and with clear tutorials as a main priority? Get everyone who cares to the best place possible, where they can function and have a foundation that doesn’t feel like shifting sands; then the new can come through when possible.

“Those good at tech can do an incredible contribution by distilling what they know into a simple clear set of tutorials.”I can’t possibly be the only privacy-conscious and non-tech person on Linux?! So please don’t mistake any of what I say as me trying to get personal help for me; I know ‘go offline’ is my answer, if there’s no other way, but I’ve believed for a long time that there must be many users similar to myself, but who won’t speak up or ask … that’s been a theme in my life, and anyone’s life who can’t stand by and say nothing, when it comes to the crunch … and there’s always others afterwards who say they agreed! Those people can read and ACT independently, no head above the parapet stuff, via clear tutorials, and that shifts things away from the negative corporate who treat Linux as their resource to mine, and it really matters that the corporate, and corporate-supporting, lose the numbers and influence, and any kind of attention. Providing very clear tutorials would end up being very low-maintenance overall, once the tutorials are done. Gathering those in one place is also very important, rather than lots of bits everywhere that may be old or new, accurate or not. I understand you will have your own life and commitments, so my question is an open one, about if there are people who would do tutorials.

To jump to covering the depression part a bit more … it is definitely not about avoiding the real truth, which ends up freeing people up to go where IS positive. If others are reading messages mainly pointing out what is depressing, they can get the message nobody else is going to do anything, and everything’s too difficult, which makes their fight harder, and makes getting involved just about impossible. It can seize them up. ‘Let’s all be depressed together’ doesn’t work, in this instance, except briefly at the start, to know we’re all on the same page.

Just to reference the ‘not enough work/effort is going in’ too … that can’t be where things stop, and is certainly not what’s written on my page. If the talk all the time is about values and who/what cares about users, then let’s care about the users, actively and practically, helping them to find a ‘bunker’ and batten down those hatches, as they wait for the albeit large tornado to pass, and meanwhile can do what they can in the ‘bunker’ to hatch something new. Rolling over and saying we’re defeated is what the corporate want … no freedoms, privacy, respect, happiness, stable space to function, etc. There’s loads can be done about shifting across to BSD, that can bring in a lot more people that normally can’t, or have tried, to be involved in the movement. Such articles can add to the already very good truthful articles, and inspire people, and article writers, helping to generate momentum in shifting across to BSD, making it doable, if that is the definite consensus about where we all need to be going.

Those good at tech can do an incredible contribution by distilling what they know into a simple clear set of tutorials. Just as with drawing on how many non-tech users there are out there, those with tech ability not sharing what they know would be a big loss. It’s uncomfortable to be asking regarding doing this initial outlay, but if it brings in lots of non-techs who care about what matters, and the move across to BSD can gain big momentum, that could buoy everyone up and really achieve something productive. I’d rather it be me rattling off all the tutorials, but that’s a complete non-starter. I can follow very clear tutorials and be part of the shift, supporting the freedoms, caring about users, and I can contribute art to the cause. There’s no way I would put these ideas on the table if I wasn’t willing to contribute something in kind, and I know I would regret it later if I didn’t ask now.

Would expanding the range of articles be something useful to do? … focusing on other things e.g. those stepping away and how they’re doing it, those dropping big tech and how great that is, those who left working for big tech and how they’re doing better things now, how hyperbolaBSD is coming along/interview … after the critical tutorials about how to cross over! Articles from non-techs who’ve been able to go to BSD via the tutorials? How many more users does BSD have this year? By all means, the clear truth, but also articles that cover the features of the better place we all want to inhabit. Just throwing out some ideas, in case anything is useful.

“And, as you rightly say, covering the difference between open source and free software is very important; another tutorial!”Let’s also remember that the corporate psychopaths have many blind spots, not caring about or being able to recognise the things we do, thus not able to come up with the appropriate solutions either … yes, they read and watch, and their answer to everything seems to be ‘shut them down’/’invade their space’, never dialogue or connect, but there are far more non-psychopaths in the world than psychopaths, otherwise there wouldn’t have been 30 years of Linux before this corporate/psychopathic stuff started to rear it’s head. The tech sites that promote the corporate etc want us to believe there aren’t enough good people out there to make a difference, and such as Red Hat, showing their cards the very next morning like that, wasn’t very bright, so not crediting them with lots of real wisdom seems a wise thing to do!

Interesting to read the work you’ve done. I too worked with the homeless, but in non-tech ways. Background of lots of carework, then art (digital). I didn’t know about your remastering tool! It would be great to see the article about that, and maybe others reading, or just finding, TechRights don’t know about it also.

“Art can certainly lift people, get things expressed, be very unifying (in the traditional pre-PC/diversity way), and literally brightens up the world.”Thank you again for your response, and it’s refreshing to dialogue and get clearer on things, my wish being that all kinds of users can be involved, including non-techs, as, beyond all the ‘stuff’, I’m certain there are doable things that can really shift things along more in the direction we want to go, and the more numbers the better and faster things can shift.

The more I think about this, the more I think creating that place we need involves bringing in all types of user and very clear and basic documentation, as numbers and the how-to are integral to that creation. Potential new users today, who’ve just realised they need to make a shift, could see a set of BSD tutorials that are actually easier to understand than Linux documentation, and just go straight to BSD, for example. People need to be informed, included, and to have the tools, then the numbers just keep rising, along with those good at tech, and that new space takes shape. And, as you rightly say, covering the difference between open source and free software is very important; another tutorial! lol.

I agree that a non-corporate community/usergroup(s) is very important; no egos, no diversity, no PC, but just basically be decent, which I think would be there, when people are making effort to do something because they care about people being free and are all working together on the same page. None of your ‘giafam’s okay’ half-hearteds! It would also need to be solidly private/encrypted, so no big tech can get in and threaten or harm people. Maybe we’re all watching to see which of the new communities pan out better, but there needs to be one secure one we all know of and go to, yes? Gathering information, tutorials, whatever is the ladder to get more people on board, and into a new space. Information and energy frittered everywhere doesn’t seem to be working for Linux as well as it could now, so one central place is definitely important. Some direction on that I feel is important too, so users know what is the best place, where are people at, etc. I can’t access the Slated site, but understand what you’re saying about big tech’s agenda and the ways they try to take people’s freedom and power.

“My conclusion, when trying various non-systemd distros, was that it was all about enclaves and either deliberate or broken-tech barriers, which, despite relating to them wanting their own space, made it impossible to take part in moving away from systemd.”I haven’t heard Free Culture spoken of, and need to look up Lessig, for sure, so thanks for pointing me that way. Art can certainly lift people, get things expressed, be very unifying (in the traditional pre-PC/diversity way), and literally brightens up the world. Creative people tend to have plenty of ideas and inspiration to draw on, to apply to real world issues, too, so I look forward to reading more about Free Culture and what others are doing with that at this point. Great to hear that there is openness to free-as-in-freedom art being a good contribution, too! I need to balance what I do with health issues, but am used to working around that, and would be able to reliably contribute art, for sure; my pleasure.

I couldn’t agree more about Devuan too. My conclusion, when trying various non-systemd distros, was that it was all about enclaves and either deliberate or broken-tech barriers, which, despite relating to them wanting their own space, made it impossible to take part in moving away from systemd. Every non-systemd distro I tried that week ended up the same. So thanks for not recommending Devuan, lol. I run Anarchy and Mate, not ideal but as lean as possible, at this point, so fully agree with tidying up a small distro. Debian seems a massive monolith, and definitely looks like an overwhelming amount for anyone to take on. Getting away from the problems is definitely good. Am up for the adventure, for getting away from the dark, to somewhere where things can get done, in freedom and stability.

From this self-advocator, who will never stop championing what enables people to have choice and freedom, and who doesn’t feel quite as out in the forest as I did, thanking you again for not being one of those who shunned, and instead is refreshingly direct and fair, signing off for now.

The European Patent Office Should be Run by Patent Examiners (Scientists), Not Politicians

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

EPO should not be run by “COVIDiots”

EPO hypocrites

Summary: Europe would be better off (and patent quality much improved) had people with an actual grasp of science and reality were in charge of the EPO, not a money-chasing kakistocracy (which is what we have now)

YESTERDAY was the deadliest day (as yet) in terms of COVID-19-linked casualties (11,710 deaths, many in Europe, and over 60,000,000 cases in total as of now).

Italy (over 800 deaths yesterday) initiated lock-down in winter, Germany (worst day yesterday in terms of casualties) and France followed, and the United States had a dictator too arrogant to acknowledge the severity of the problem (it was almost another ’9/11′ yesterday).

“Good vaccination regimes take 5-15 years to develop and properly test.”When one looks back at the whole thing, the “Second Wave” seems to be a lot more deadly than the first; in spite of precautions and taking into account the scarcity of testing at the start of this year. Did EPO management respond to the crisis like a bunch of scientists or self-serving politicians in pursuit of nothing but money?

Gloves and handsLooking at early publications (pre-lock-down) from the Central Staff Committee, we see the CDC cited; the actual scientists at the Office (i.e. not Benoît Battistelli, António Campinos and their buddies/family members) warned repeatedly.

To share/reproduce here a letter from March (when much of this began and before the lock-down in the UK):

Reference: sc20046cl-0.3.1/4.3
Date: 19.03.2020

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

Mr Stephen Rowan
VP1 Office


No “business as usual” at times of a pandemic

Dear Mr President, dear VP1

COVID-19 has triggered conditions unprecedented at that scale in the professional and social environments world-wide. Governments are prescribing drastic measures which are accepted as appropriate by the citizens. The EPO continues to function in that context and under the prevailing conditions.

As we have addressed in earlier communications, the strain these circumstances put on individuals are aggravated for a population predominantly composed of expats. All colleagues are currently called upon to give their best, for work, at home and for their families in their country of origin. Logistics nowadays are a challenge, whether they concern getting a screen or a dossier to the home office or getting food when we should not be meeting people. All this comes on top of an already high level of stress and relentless pressure for “performance” in recent years.

We feel that the crisis management team is doing well to ensure business continuity. Announcements and instructions abound, presumably because we have no experience with situations like this and decisions are development-driven. But it is confusing and unsettling.

We experience an imbalance between ensuring business continuity and the Office’s duty of care. There is a strong focus on production and production means and a lot less evidence of support for maintaining staff’s physical and mental health.

Office communications are clear on the WHAT. Stay at home if you belong to the group of staff that form a risk for colleagues. Take your laptop, and screen, and any dossier you need – but don’t come to the Office to do so if you have been ordered to stay at home. Don’t eat in the canteen. Take sandwiches if you have to come in.

We see little consideration, though, for the HOW. Will my boss understand that I’m struggling to combine work with childcare and an increased need to stay in touch? I have to process a lot of new information and devise plans that depart
from routine, that are not the well-oiled machine that I and the Office are used to. Can I rush to my mother when she needs me?

Unequivocal instructions are still missing for staff who have no option but to stay at home. Actually, with national initiatives focussing heavily on containment, we should all stay at home with the exception of the few requisitioned staff indispensable for keeping the EPO on tick-over.

With the recognition that we are coping with an exceptional crisis situation needs to come the readiness to let go of control-mania and management by Excel. What staff needs most now is the reassurance that our bosses trust us to give what we can. We feel left alone with coping with the consequences of conditions beyond our control on the business continuity of the Office. We find it insane and disturbing that managers and HR make us individually responsible for compensating production losses caused by these exceptional working and living conditions, or suggest us to take leave or parental leave designed for different purposes if we feel we cannot cope. Civil servants are offered the possibility of special leave in Bavaria and EU nationals may have the right to time off from work on grounds of force majeure.

The bean-counter needs to be switched off during the COVID-19 crisis. Instead, we see insult added to injury with teleworking-registration in FIPS. The managers know where and that we are working and giving our best. Staff perceives the control-mania, and the assumption that we – if not constantly monitored – will leech the system, as offensive.

Governments and authorities lead by example. Losses in production are losses the organisations have to accept.

The vast majority of staff have proven time and again that they are intrinsically motivated to do a good job, also in difficult times. You should not assume the contrary. This period must not have any detrimental effect on performance-assessment.

What needs to happen now is to release pressure for all our colleagues who are already troubled by the exceptional circumstances. In areas with measurable production, like in DG1, collective and individual targets must be temporarily set aside and the annual production targets adjusted once we have surpassed the pandemic.

Staff representatives are concerned that staff health is maintained, as a priority. We reiterate our offer to contribute to the joint efforts.

Yours sincerely,

Alain Dumont
Acting Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

The Central Staff Committee told staff that “[i]n this letter, we explain that COVID-19 has triggered conditions unprecedented at that scale in the professional and social environments world-wide. Office communications are clear on the WHAT but we see little consideration for the HOW. The message is confusing and unsettling. Staff feel left alone with individually coping with the consequences of conditions beyond their control. Managers and HR make them individually responsible for compensating production losses caused by these exceptional working and living conditions.”

Notice focus on so-called ‘production’ (monopolies aren’t products) rather than people’s well-being. It’s rather telling, isn’t it? “The Office must release pressure for all colleagues who are already troubled by the exceptional circumstances,” the representatives said. “Especially in DG1, the bean-counter needs to be switched off during the COVID-19 crisis.”

More of what they said back in mid March: “The Central Staff Committee (CSC) has addressed Mr Campinos on 13 March to explain that it is unrealistic to expect that the EPO and society will be able to conduct “business as usual”, as the situation in some Contracting States has already shown… We repeated again our request to be involved in the (until now) solely management based COVID-19 Task Force as staff’s perspective seems to be thin on the ground during deliberations..”

The following letter is from Jesus Areso Y Salinas, who was abused by the Stasi of Benoît Battistelli for union/staff representation activities (to the point where his health was severely harmed and he reportedly had a breakdown). It was sent to Campinos a week earlier:

Reference: sc20044cl-0.3.1/4.3
Date: 13.03.2020

Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO

ISAR – R.1081

The Coronavirus pandemic – an unfamiliar challenge for the EPO

Dear Mr President, dear António,

COVID-19 challenges decision-makers and citizens, managers and staff world-wide, also in our host countries and within the EPO. You are preparing the EPO, with the help of your COVID-19 Task Force, for dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic. Measures have been taken by you in Munich and we believe that the same would apply to the others sites should the situation in Berlin, Brussels, The Hague or Vienna become critical.

Like everyone living in our host States, we must do all we can to ensure that the spread of the virus is contained. The collective effort will ensure not only that we minimize the risks to ourselves, but also that the national health systems do not get stretched beyond their limits and that the most vulnerable citizens will have access to adequate care. That is why, Article 20 (1) of the PPI obliges our Organisation to co-operate at all times with the national public health authorities of the host countries.

Abiding by the health recommendations may at times be difficult to reconcile with the task of keeping the EPO operational. Staff was instructed to keep the EPO running, occasionally, however, at the risk of their own or their colleagues’ health, e.g. by coming in to pick up a laptop or paper files whilst asked to work from home or having been put on home-quarantine.

It is unrealistic to expect that the EPO and society will be able to conduct “business as usual”, as the situation in some Contracting States has already shown. Staff has already shown to be flexible for the EPO but as expatriates they also have to deal with unfamiliar authorities, provisions and news-channels, as well as the challenges of feeding into national medical systems already struggling to cope. National action-cascades often do not accommodate expat-communities, so Office-guidance and support are necessary.

With that much on their plates, the colleagues need to be encouraged to put their and their families’ health and welfare first, while contributing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among colleagues and the public. It would become easier if they had authoritative advice on how best to deal with the crisis, e.g. how to have access to medical services and social assistance if affected or how to disinfect one’s surroundings.

The colleagues need reassurance that, whilst working from home, any contribution on top of their Coronavirus-triggered activities towards keeping the EPO on tick-over will be welcome and much appreciated. They currently have to deal not only with suboptimal ergonomic conditions or tools not performing as well as they do in the Office, but also challenging family situations with children staying or quarantined at home, or relatives/parents in need of assistance whilst tied to their accommodation in the home country.

Any work-contribution under these circumstances is of tremendous value to the EPO. Any pressure, be it self- or management-induced, is counter-productive.

The rapid developments must be putting quite a strain on your COVID-19 Task Force. From the communications so far we notice that the staff’s perspective seems to be thin on the ground during deliberations. We therefore reiterate the offer – and request already made during the GCC meeting of 2 March– to involve staff representation1 in the activities of the COVID-19 Task Force for short communication lines and immediate mutual update.

Thank you very much in advance for your favourable consideration.

Yours sincerely,

Jesus Areso Y Salinas
Vice-Chairman of the Central Staff Committee

cc.: Mr S. Rowan; VP1
Ms N. Simon; VP4
Mr C. Ernst; VP5
Mr C. Josefsson; President of BoA

1 see e.g. “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” including “Recommended strategies for employers”: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

Looking back at those letters, the managers at the EPO were greedy, careless and reckless. Whereas the staff doing all the actual work was cautious and realistic. This thing wasn’t going to just be a bump on the road; as we approach December the pandemic is more deadly than ever (worldwide) and there’s no a vaccine in sight, not an effective one anyway (all those news articles about vaccination are more like advertisements for companies with patents, looking to consume taxpayers’ money, based on untested claims and secret data). Good vaccination regimes take 5-15 years to develop and properly test.

Member of the EPO’s Boards of Appeal Explains Why VICOs (or ViCo/Video Conferences/Virtual ‘Hearings’) Are Not Suitable for Justice

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Those also outsource the legal process to another continent, which is inherently and fundamentally unconstitutional

U.S. Supreme Court building, Washington, DC

Summary: It’s interesting to hear (or see/read) what people inside the EPO have to say about the “new normal” when they enjoy a certain level of anonymity (to avert retribution)

THE coming few weeks we at least intend to devote to other issues, new issues. We’ll allocate and dedicate more time to Free software, but we’re still watching very closely what happens at the EPO and later today we’ll watch what happens in the Bundestag. We’ll probably write about the UPC almost never (except for humour, as it mostly became a circus) and about the EPO we’ll write once a day, at most, if/when something important happens. To be fair, there’s not so much to write about anymore. The EPO is still secretive, it’s still releasing loads of ridiculous puff pieces to distract from its corruption, and approximately 90% of articles we find about the EPO are pure fluff, usually self-promotional marketing pitch from patent lawyers.

“…approximately 90% of articles we find about the EPO are pure fluff, usually self-promotional marketing pitch from patent lawyers.”This morning we noticed a new comment from someone claiming to be a member of the Boards of Appeal of the EPO. Assuming this person is honest (in describing oneself as a board member; based on the content, we have no reason to believe it’s a forgery), here’s a view from the inside:

Being a board member myself, the idea that worries me most is that before long the boards as such will no longer meet in a single location. Nowadays we often have lively discussions when deliberating, which makes the final decision much more reliable (no stone being left unturned), but this will not be easy when we see each other behind a screen, with all the inevitable technical trouble that comes along (and we have had some of that already in our VICOs, believe me). Now if the deliberation process suffers, the very heart of the appeal proceedings suffers. I fear that the quality of our decisions will decrease if the boards do not meet in person, face to face. Oh I know that the powers that be do not really care about quality, and that they see that VICOs can be so much cheaper. But in the end, our raison d’être is providing good, well-founded and fair decisions, and that will be made more difficult to achieve.

There are some more comments of interest in there.

Courtroom tea“When reading the EPO is using Zoom I was surprised,” the next comment said. “Of course, the EPO is immune, so they can use whatever they want… But, since Zoom is critized for not following the General Data Protection Regulation, for lack of encryption etc., I was wondering: assume you would like to prevent a VICO, would it be possible to send your opponent a cease-and-desist-letter (Abmahnung) not to use Zoom professionally? Are patent attorneys, at least in Germany, bound by their professional duties not to use such a defective tool? Well, I guess Mr C [António Campinos] couldn’t care less…”

This was in response to the latest decent article from Dr. Bausch.

Speaking of lack of justice at the EPO, it’s hardly better at the ILO Administrative Tribunal (ILOAT) when EPO staff brings grievances there. “Justice denied” is a publication going back to March of this year (“Report on the 129th Session of the ILOAT”) and it explains how in “Judgments 4255 and 4256 the ILO Administrative Tribunal dismissed a total of 653 complaints coming from EPO staff. The majority of the complaints concern reforms and other controversial decisions dating back to 2012 – 2014. In earlier judgments the Tribunal found that the Administrative Council or the Office (i.e. the President) had made formal errors in the procedures and sent the cases back for re-examination. This line has now been confirmed. Arguments of the complainants why further delays would amount to a denial of justice were ignored.”

Here’s the full PDF published about this matter back then.

Open Source Initiative (OSI) Co-founder Bruce Perens: Open Invention Network (OIN) is Protecting the Software Patent System From Reform and OSI Approves Faux ‘Open’ Licences (Openwashing)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, OIN, OSI, Patents at 6:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Well, maybe ironically he posted this in a Microsoft site. Microsoft now gets the majority of the OSI's work/budget, basically to help cement its monopoly. OSI has just advertised a job opening for its leadership because at the moment it lacks any.

Bruce Perens in 2020

Summary: Richard Stallman was right about the OSI and the fake ‘movement’ that claims to have ‘coined’ the term “Open Source” (it wasn’t a new term at all; it had been used in another context and the Free software community spoke of things like “Open Hardware” years earlier)

THE “OPEN SOURCE” so-called ‘movement’ (see Perens using that term, “movement”) turned out to be a sham. It banned its own co-founder and Perens, the second co-founder, resigned in protest earlier this year. Ever since then he occasionally explains what went wrong. Richard Stallman speaks to him about it (he told me so).

“I frequently urge people to stop saying “Open Source”. We need to speak about Software Freedom (or Free/libre software) instead.”In 2020, for the first time in more than 15 years, I abandoned news about “Open Source” completely, seeing that the majority of them were just openwashing and promotion of proprietary prisons such as GitHub (Microsoft surveillance and censorship). To me, personally, “Open Source” is dead. It’ll never come back. The label or the term “Open Source” is also increasingly meaningless. Many software licences that are called “Open Source” are not Free software-compliant. They’re an openwashing slant to help sell proprietary software and/or mass surveillance in Clown Computing.

I frequently urge people to stop saying “Open Source”. We need to speak about Software Freedom (or Free/libre software) instead. Any time we (still) say “Open Source” we help those who hijacked the term to push a toxic agenda, in effect helping a new-age monopoly by mass deception.

It’s kind of sad in a way. It’s difficult. For many years I did in fact use the term “Open Source”; so seeing what happened to it is frustrating. But it’s too late to change that now. That’s why Perens quit the OSI. That’s why ESR went on the mailing list and fought back, only to be banned by the very organisation that he had helped found.

“Open Source” has always been a sham, but many assumed it to be well-meaning; Stallman was right about it. “I had an idea though about OSI and their push on their OSI-approved licenses,” one reader told us earlier this week. She has been around this scene since the 1990s and she knows what really happened. And “still,” she says, “when clearly they are long done… since Perens did say there were licenses that never should have been approved (and I never saw any effort to improve that situation after he said it…) and since he said there were loopholes – I will evaluate a few and write up an analysis.”

Perens approved 2020In the meantime she left us with a bunch of relevant screenshots we cannot see (without a Microsoft account or spying by Microsoft). Notice these openwashers and people who speak of “virus” (in relation to a software licence, see image on the right). Those people are active in a Microsoft site (proprietary and surveillance) while claiming to do “Open Source”.

Our reader thinks the whole thing is mostly a scam. Charlatans make money from the scam.

“Meeting people in real life was an eye opener! :) At SCaLE 15x in 2017,” she recalls, “I attended the law track, where I met a Lawyer claiming to be a Free and Open Source Lawyer… who didn’t know the difference. We did explain the difference to him during happy hour.

“Although IANAL, I knew more than the lawyers present who did not have the basic understanding of copyright – Example, they were arguing a moot point because they did not have basic knowledge of functional v speech.”

Here are some more comments regarding OSI on Linkedin:

Bruce Perens

Richard Stallman once said:

“When I do this, some people think that it’s because I want my ego to be fed, right? Of course, I’m not asking you to call it “Stallmanix”!”

We’d like to see Torvalds’ reaction to people saying that he’s releasing “GNU” each time he releases a new version of Linux (kernel). He’d be more pissed off than RMS ever was…

We’re still looking for additional loopholes regarding the OSI scam and the creation of parallel ‘movements’ (like calling GNU “Linux” and Free software “Open Source” — only to be taken over by the likes of Microsoft at the Linux Foundation and OSI). To be continued

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 3:45 am by Needs Sunlight

HTML5 logs

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Enter the IRC channels now

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Making JavaScript Suck Less

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Standard at 2:20 am by Guest Editorial Team

By figosdev

JavaScript source

Summary: “Other than that, the first rule of JavaScript is: Do not use JavaScript. But this article is for people who break the first rule.”

First, a disclaimer: this article is not aimed at people making HTML5 games. Milo (Drummyfish) just put out a CC0-licensed game called Anarch, he already likes the suckless philosophy, he made his game work on the browser. Everything he codes is done with care, talent and a serious philosophy. So if you’re making HTML5 games, you can be certain this article is not about you.

“This article is about those sorts of considerations, as well as times when JavaScript isn’t always bad.”Second, for amateurs who are just trying things out, I don’t have a problem with your code not being optimised. Keep it simple if you can, do consider people with older machines (try your code on much older machines, if possible) and don’t worry about the rest.

And if your JavaScript creates an animated splash screen for anything OTHER than a game? Stop, you’re making the Web fucking awful.

Other than that, the first rule of JavaScript is: Do not use JavaScript. But this article is for people who break the first rule.

Fomenteu la lecturaThat’s why there is a second rule: Avoid using JavaScript (JS).

I’m sure there are people who think that as long as JS is under a free license, there’s no problem with it at all. If JS is under a free license, why even complain? You can change it and share the different version, right?

Not that I go around downloading every program with a free license and running it on my computer, because malware with a free license is still malware. Regardless of the license, I want to control what runs on my computer. Remember when that was the real idea of Free Software?

So JavaScript is off by default. If your website doesn’t already work with JS turned off, the clock is ticking before I give up. I might decide it’s worth turning it on. I DO like the idea of only running free JS, incidentally; that should remain a goal. But I don’t want it to run by default, just because it’s free. A lot of the free-as-in-freedom JS out there is crap I don’t want running, don’t want creating problems, don’t want wasting CPU and other resources.

Too many websites use it without a good enough reason, and wherever you draw the line, more consideration needs to go into when people use JS for their websites. This article is about those sorts of considerations, as well as times when JavaScript isn’t always bad.

“I especially hate it when everything loads except the buttons that go to the next and previous page. Many websites don’t do that, and many do.”One question to ask yourself is: did you have enough reason to use JS at all? In other words, did your design really benefit much from the things only JS can do in your particular situation? Techrights is a great example; there is absolutely nothing that Techrights does with JS that I consider useful.

All the functionality (save what WordPress may need, and they used to be more reasonable) that Techrights really needs can be accomplished without JavaScript. The carousel at the front is annoying and unneeded — I avoid the front page for that and other reasons. Is it easy enough to avoid? Absolutely. Is it a worthwhile use of JS? It’s not like we are all going to agree on everything, I get that; but I think this is a perfect example of a superfluous application that can simply be removed.

I really did write this article to talk about JavaScript, not to pick on Techrights, but while we are on the subject Techrights also delivers jQuery to my web browser. Unless it’s WordPress that needs that now (a terrible thought, but it wouldn’t surprise me at these days) I think Techrights could do just fine without installing any extra JS libraries, particularly ones from GitHub.

I don’t expect them to overhaul their entire CMS — when Techrights chose WordPress about 15 years ago, it was not nearly as much of a mess as it is now. Every version that comes out, WordPress has gotten worse in this regard. But this article is not about overhauling both sides of a website; it is about making simpler changes and simpler choices to begin with.

I get that there are applications that are dynamic and communicate with a server without refreshing. These are my least favourite designs, but there is a place for them. This sort of thing is overdone, but some people are going to make flashy bloated bullshit no matter what. Nobody who insists on that is going to care about the points made here; people who like suckless software might avoid JS altogether, but I think we would benefit substantially from more minimalism — with or without JS.

“If you can make your website work without JavaScript, you should strongly consider doing so.”So if I were in charge, I would remove jQuery (if possible) and just leave WordPress, ditch the carousel even if I have to change a template to get it to work without it. Short of WordPress, I would be trying to remove jQuery along with any JS libraries that could be removed.

If you can make your website work without JavaScript, you should strongly consider doing so. I especially hate it when everything loads except the buttons that go to the next and previous page. Many websites don’t do that, and many do.

Using a bloated, complex framework that loads blank pages is another extreme annoyance. I already boycott as many websites that do this as possible. Yes, I still load some of them. What would be better, is if people stopped doing this.

I’ve even made designs that don’t layout properly until JS is enabled — but the page still loads, it isn’t blank. You don’t need to turn JS on just to read what it says, and you really shouldn’t have to. Sure, perhaps you can come up with a good exception. But the problem is that there are too many exceptions, the problem is that people creating websites just don’t care about this.

Just to recap before this article changes its angle altogether:

1. Avoid JS.

2. If you don’t manage that, at least keep it minimal.

3. Avoid extra libraries.

4. Make it so that when JS is off, visitors still get something worthwhile — other than a message to turn JS on.

5. Avoid GitHub — yes, it has most of the JS libraries; all the more reason.

Additionally, if you can make it so that it’s easy (read: “trivial”) to download your JS and run it without an Internet connection, do that. Obviously this doesn’t apply to designs that sync periodically with the web server.

“The key is to keep it simple and minimalist, while still being dynamic.”Here’s an example — you might hate this, but at least it illustrates some of the ideas presented here:

If you have very limited bandwidth, and want to conserve bandwidth for yourself, for visitors or both — you can make a simple “wiki” in JavaScript so that instead of writing full HTML, you can write text like this:

Here is text.
Here is *bold* text, followed by a blank line:

Here is a link: [url]http://techrights.org[/url]

For three lines of text, you’re not saving any bandwidth (or trouble) by not doing something like this instead:

Here is text.<br>
Here is *bold* text, followed by a blank line:<br>
Here is a link: <a href="http://techrights.org">http://techrights.org</a>

But for an entire website, doing this with a small, single (vanilla) JavaScript file will save you a lot of bandwidth and make your source much easier to edit, read as source, and — this is why I did it — easier to parse from the command line without a browser.

If your website is about coding, this can make it much easier to display snippets of code and handle those properly. It is easier to download a single file with code in it, trim the file, and have a usable copy of the code (code other than JavaScript) already.

“JavaScript is still overrated, still overused.”If someone loads the page in a browser with JS turned off they will still get the text, but it may all run together. If you don’t like HTML, a script like this can make HTML optional, or even let you create your own friendlier alternative (like markdown or bbcode). If you have the ability to use PHP or Python or something else on the server, and this isn’t too intensive for the server load you can afford, you can do this in PHP or Python. But if you can’t afford to run your code on the server side, small amounts of free JavaScript code can do this.

It can also replace HTML with something that can be parsed and then displayed as formatted text without a browser altogether. For example if the wiki script is very simple, or fairly simple and very popular, you can also have a version of it Python, SML, Raku, or Lua. Then people who download your webpage can pipe it directly through their copy of the offline script, which then makes it do the same things from the command line that it would do from JS — without some bloated solution like Node.js from GitHub.

The key is to keep it simple and minimalist, while still being dynamic.

Here is another application that I think sucks less: Suppose you want to either teach coding, or create a simple e-book. You might not even have a smartphone because they’re evil, but you know your friend has a tablet or an e-reader, maybe they even made their own tablet with a Raspberry Pi. At any rate, they either may not have or don’t know how to install an EPUB reader, or they can only do PDF on a fairly small screen — I have worked on all sorts of ways to do e-books (plain text, HTML, EPUB, PDF) but you want them to be able to download a single file they can read even when they don’t have a data connection.

You can do plaintext or everything in a single HTML file, but most people don’t want to scroll through a page that long on their phone or tablet. EPUB is a very nice option because you can zoom large without horizontally scrolling/panning on every single line, but maybe they don’t like their EPUB reader, or find it complicated, or it only reads files from a directory that is difficult for them to get the file to.

“I would love a more minimalist alternative to the Web, maybe with a more minimalist JavaScript alternative as well.”Some PDF readers can wrap text lines, most don’t and fewer (if any) free-as-in-freedom PDF readers do — that’s only useful if they can actually install it on their platform –

In my opinion the most reliable way to do an e-book (not the best for every purpose, I know) is to make a VERY simple HTML file with JavaScript included in the same (HTML) file, as opposed to having it download separately.

Then your simple (and free) JS can keep pages small, make it so they can go to the next page, previous page, skip to the next chapter or go to a specific page number; all of this can be done with very little code (even relative to a single chapter, up to a full-length book) and it will run on anything with a browser — whether downloaded for offline use or simply viewed online.

For smaller, simple applications, this approach also works.

Obviously, it is better for most things to write actual software. JavaScript is still overrated, still overused.

But it is also extremely easy (even without a library) to create an HTML file with a few buttons, add some code to the same file, and have a working program. For a simple application that works online or offline, or for what is absolutely the most beginner-friendly way to create a “gui” application without a lot of skill, familiarity or tedious hacking with library code, vanilla JS makes creating a simple “app” (it will even run on a phone) trivial.

“For the moment, the easiest way to have a subset of Javascript is to simply use less of it.”For programs that save or load data, access the system or do a lot of serious work, you’re still better off writing something with better tools than what’s described here. One of the things I promote is everyone learning how to code — and I do prefer Python or other things based on Python to JavaScript, but for some purposes JavaScript can be useful.

I believe in subsets as well as minimalism. I would love a more minimalist alternative to the Web, maybe with a more minimalist JavaScript alternative as well.

For the moment, the easiest way to have a subset of Javascript is to simply use less of it. This article focused on examples and recommendations around more modest uses, times in which it is better to avoid JS altogether, and perhaps will inspire someone to create a subset of JavaScript that we can use instead.

“I don’t claim that this defines “Suckless” JavaScript; only that it is possible to make JavaScript suck less.”I know that “pulling back” like this on technology doesn’t always work, but we still often end up with rewards when we try.

I don’t claim that this defines “Suckless” JavaScript; only that it is possible to make JavaScript suck less.

Long live rms, and Happy Hacking.

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