Censorship at the EPO is Counterproductive, Rendering the Censored Publications More Seductive and Censored People More Disgruntled

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents, Site News at 3:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Do Not BlockSummary: The efforts to gag Techrights or to intimidate us have all been unfruitful; in a sense, they encouraged us to focus on EPO scandals even more and arguably invoked the ‘Streisand Effect’ at the EPO (most workers read this site, no matter what their bosses say)

MORE than half a decade ago the autocrat Benoît Battistelli blocked Techrights and also blocked communications — to the degree he could — from the trade union of EPO staff. What was he thinking? First of all, nowadays many people carry mobile devices that don’t need Wi-Fi for connectivity, so they can bypass such restrictions even in the workplace. Secondly, people have E-mail addresses other than their employer’s and they have an Internet connection at home. So these gagging attempts are futile at best; it’s rather revealing that António Campinos has not undone these policies and within only months at the Office he already threatened staff representatives who attempted to communicate with people they represent.

“Censorship is rarely effective; SLAPP is another thing, but that too can be ineffective and even counterproductive because people typically wish to know what it is that they’re not “permitted” to know.”Censorship is a tricky thing; for a number of different reasons (beyond the scope of this post).

Censorship is rarely effective; SLAPP is another thing, but that too can be ineffective and even counterproductive because people typically wish to know what it is that they’re not “permitted” to know. It’s human nature. People are curious.

“At the EPO, Battistelli had long attempted to frame his critics as “Nazis”; it’s the perfect weapon, isn’t it? Oh, and then he claimed some of his critics also had weapons, so they needed to be treated like dangerous criminals.”Over the next 4 days we intend to publish here 4 publications that the EPO’s management actively attempted to suppress. A few months ago we posted here a more recent example of it — one where Madame Battistelli was made to look like a fool (incidentally, staff representatives redact her name from some publications, but based on the context every reader knows who’s alluded to anyway, so the redaction is rather pointless).

I’ve lost track of the number of SLAPP letters I’ve received, but I still have some of them somewhere in the house. I was never taken to court; they know they have no case. The idea is simple; they just try to intimidate people or discourage future publications regarding the same topic. Now, regarding site-blocking measures, that’s the reason we recently added IPFS for everything newly-published (articles, IRC logs and more) as we continue to improve that. Those peer-to-peer-type networks are almost impossible to censor and they’re robust to take-down requests.

A long time ago Richard Stallman said:

“Bill Gates cites copyright enforcement to justify Chinese censorship.”

A couple of weeks ago he (Gates) used “anti-Semitism” to demonise sites where he’s criticised; never mind if he’s neither Jewish nor does that have anything to do with criticism of his crimes. At the EPO, Battistelli had long attempted to frame his critics as “Nazis”; it’s the perfect weapon, isn’t it? Oh, and then he claimed some of his critics also had weapons, so they needed to be treated like dangerous criminals.

EPO Management Has No Plans Other Than Granting Loads of Invalid Patents (e.g. Software Patents) to Pocket Fees and Then Grift/Gamble With the Money

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 3:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

So cool he put his sneakers on; How about a goddamn mask?

Summary: The EPO does not know what the hell it’s doing; it’s more of that magical festival-like thinking, as if running a patent office is Eurovision

SOME hours ago António Campinos published his latest nonsense (complete with photo ops; warning: epo.org link), reminiscent to the extreme of Benoît Battistelli with his self-promotional puff pieces. Except the appearance, which should take age gaps into account, those two buddies are the same (even the same nationality, French) and they use greenwashing tactics to advocate software patents in Europe — an illegal agenda. The greenwashing is faking “ethics”. They try to associate software with “HEY HI” (AI) and then with “climate”. Their text contains “HEY HI” about a dozen times, including right there in the headline/title, e.g. “The role of patents in an AI driven world” (whatever that even means; something to do with “smart” and apparently “climate” too, so “HEY HI” will save the world or whatever). They don’t know what they talk about!

“It’s quite interesting that even the staff mocks the “strategic plan” of Mr. Campinos, who seems to think that sitting next to people for photo ops (even at a time of this pandemic) is a good idea and a priority.”We’ve long argued that the Office needs to be governed by scientists, not these mindless politicians who name-drop buzzwords and hype.

It’s no surprise and not news that the Office routinely violates the law by granting illegal software patents (examiners have no say on the subject; they’re forced to follow illegal guidelines). Notice that the Office even calls it “CodeChallenge” (yes, code) and speaks of “coding” when it says:

Last week, the Office announced the winners of the first EPO CodeChallenge during a virtual award ceremony. The finalists took part in a six-week coding competition in which they were asked to use artificial intelligence (AI) to enable the automatic categorisation of climate-related technologies. The event was open to all staff across the EPO and run entirely online.

The coding competition was implemented to enable automation in a particularly important area of patent information: the Y02 and Y04S tagging schemes. The schemes provide a unique source of public information on technologies dedicated to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Two entrants tied in first place: the AITeam (comprising Rodolphe D’Inca, Idir Bakdi, Janis Dingel and Olivier Billet) and Arnaud Wéry. The second place finisher was Leander Hohmann, with the team SNourestani (comprising Sébastien Nourestani, Gonzalo Moro Pérez and Lori Malatesta) completing the podium.

Something something. Hey hi.A “coding competition was implemented”; sounds like code disguised as “computer-implemented”. The part about “climate change mitigation” is just classic greenwashing to discourage or gaslight critics. Battistelli used to fancy himself a warrior against terrorism and “Nazis” (which is what he called anything who stood in his way).

Thankfully, staff of the EPO isn’t gullible enough; earlier today the staff representation published a rebuttal to a report posted in the EPO’s Intranet, basically lying to staff. And last year (2019) the staff’s representatives disputed claims made in the EPO’s public “news” section regarding a “strategic plan” [PDF].

EPO strategic plan 1

EPO strategic plan 2

EPO strategic plan 3

“Staff survey and contributions of staff representation not reflected,” bemoaned the staff’s representatives at the time, noting: “The current draft strategic plan promises “motherhood & apple-pie”, i.e. obviously desirable objectives, but without indicating the technical means by which these objectives may be obtained. Moreover, many of these promises are not credible in view of past staff experiences. And most of the plan isn’t strategic at all: the “fundamental questions” identified by the President on the first page are in fact mostly operational and rather basic. The main strategic considerations that we could find are on pages 38 and 39 and concern the cooperation with the national patent offices (NPOs) and the EUIPO. The Administrative Council gave to Mr Campinos the mandate to restore social dialogue. The staff representation has provided input for the strategic plan at an early stage. Yet nothing of importance for staff has been taken on board nor does the plan reflect pertinent messages from the staff survey. The present publication explains how we read Mr Campinos’ draft strategic plan…”

A really good patent office strives to improve patent quality; what today’s Office does is the equivalent of an academic publication eager to publish every single thing submitted, without bothering with fact-checking or a peer-review process.

A decade ago CIO David Wennergren, of the US Department of Defense, said:

“The continuous and broad peer-review enabled by publicly available source code supports software reliability and security efforts through the identification and elimination of defects that might otherwise go unrecognized by a more limited core development team.”

The EPO needs more eyes; examiners need more time.

A publication we released earlier today said that the number of examiners was clearly decreasing while workload and targets increase. This necessarily, by definition, means decrease in quality. It’s quite interesting that even the staff mocks the “strategic plan” of Mr. Campinos, who seems to think that sitting next to people for photo ops (even at a time of this pandemic) is a good idea and a priority.

EPO hypocrites

Links 1/12/2020: KDE Plasma 5.20.4, GNU Octave 6.1, OpenZFS 2.0, and PinePhone KDE Community Edition

Posted in News Roundup at 1:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Best Linux distros for beginners in 2020

      The best Linux distros for beginners make it simple and easy for Windows and Mac users to start using Linux.

      Choice is perhaps the biggest strength as well as the biggest weakness of the Linux and the open source ecosystem.

      For instance, the sheer number of Linux distros means that there’s one for every use case. However, the same number can be daunting for new users who wouldn’t know where to begin.

    • Linux Magazine

    • Server

      • The Redemption Of AMD In HPC

        Many of the technologists at AMD who are driving the Epyc CPU and Instinct GPU roadmaps as well as the $35 billion acquisition of FPGA maker Xilinx have long and deep experience in the high performance computing market that is characterized by the old school definition of simulation and modeling workloads running on federated or clustered systems. And so, it is no surprise that when AMD plotted its course back into the datacenter, it had traditional HPC customers, who flocked to its Opteron processors in droves in the middle 2000s, in mind.

        AMD president and chief executive officer, Lisa Su, hails from IBM Microelectronics and notably headed up the “Cell” hybrid CPU-GPU processor that was used in Sony game consoles as well as the $100 million “Roadrunner” petaflops-busting supercomputer, which set the stage for hybrid supercomputing in 2008 when it was installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory. (Significantly, it paired dual-core Opteron processors with the Cell accelerators, themselves with Power4 cores and eight vector processing units that could do math or process graphics.) Papermaster led the design of several generations of Power processors at IBM, including many that were employed in federated RISC/Unix systems that predated Roadrunner. Interestingly, Brad McCredie, who took over processor design at Big Blue after Papermaster left and founded the OpenPower consortium, joined AMD in June 2019 to take over development of its GPU platforms.

      • Robin.io Announces Storage and Data Management Solution for Google Cloud’s Anthos on Bare Metal

        Anthos on bare metal provides built-in networking, lifecycle management, diagnostics, health checks, logging and monitoring. It supports CentOS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Ubuntu. With Anthos on bare metal, enterprises can use their own standard hardware and operating system images, taking advantage of existing investments.

      • Google Anthos now available on bare-metal servers – SiliconANGLE

        Abdelrazik and Seroter said Anthos on bare metal enables customers to leverage their existing hardware investments, as it has minimum system requirements of just 4 cores, 32 gigabytes of RAM and 128GB of disk space. Customers can choose their own operating system too, with support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.1/8.2, CentOS 8.1/8.2 and Ubuntu 18.04/20.04 LTS.

      • Proxmox vs VMware Comparison

        Proxmox virtual machines (VM) are highly popular with home server aficionados, whereas VMware sits squarely at the front of the enterprise VM market. Both of these tools offer free and paid versions, but with vastly different features and support at that level. This article compares the use cases, license options, performance, and extra features for Proxmox vs. VMware.

      • Ansible vs. Chef vs. Puppet vs. SaltStack: A comparison

        For teams that oversee ecosystems and software packages, configuration management tools have the power to boost operational consistency. But which products deserve attention?

      • Review the top configuration management tools in DevOps

        Change is an essential part of IT, but it’s often disruptive. An adjustment to one asset can throw other resources out of alignment — sometimes in ways no one anticipated. Those misconfigurations can result in poor performance, application inconsistencies or noncompliance.

        To avoid those outcomes, configuration management delivers documentation, consistent maintenance and change controls. These capabilities help an organization not only identify its IT assets but also understand the relationships between those assets.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds wants an M1 Mac… but running Linux, obviously

        Linux creator Linus Torvalds wants one of Apple’s first machines using in-house silicon—but running his open-source OS.


        Apple’s new M1 Macs have been receiving glowing reviews for performance and battery life. The praise has been hard to ignore, even for those who’ve historically avoided Macs.

        While it’d be a surprise to see Apple change course on its attitude towards Linux anytime soon—Microsoft, on the other hand, has been increasingly supportive.

      • A popular developer wants to port Linux to Apple M1 MacBook

        A known developer called “Marcan” , wants to port Linux to the recently released Apple M1 MacBook. According to Linux creator this may not be possible.

      • Notable Developer Starts Patreon to Fund Apple Silicon Linux Port – MacRumors

        Developer Hector Martin, who describes himself as someone who “likes putting Linux on things,” has launched a plan create a Linux port for Apple Silicon Macs.

      • New Patreon project seeks to bring Linux to M1 Macs
      • Developer Hector Martin announces Patreon funding for bringing native Linux to M1 Macs
      • Developer seeks to crowdfund Linux for Apple Silicon project
      • Linux might come to M1 Macs with your help
      • Linux Support for Apple Silicon? This Dev is Working on it

        The developer who brought Linux to the PS4 has a new target in his sights: Linux on Apple Silicon.

        Apple recently switched to using its own ARM-based processors gives Mac computers, giving them an unassailable lead over current Intel-based chips. But the switch also thrusts a stick in the spokes of other operating systems that have, traditionally, been able to run Apple hardware.

        And that includes Linux.

        On the software side there are (already) fruitful efforts to port Windows 10, Docker, and other virtualisation software to run on Apple M1 chips (and some x86 code is said to run faster via emulation on Apple’s M1 processor than it does natively on Intel chips).

      • Linux is Coming to Apple M1 macs Devices

        Eventually, this was supposed to happen anyway. An experienced reverse engineering professional launched a Patreon project to bring Linux to the Apple M1 macs ARM devices.

      • Intel IWD 1.10 With DHCP v6 Support – Phoronix

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        Intel’s open-source wireless daemon for Linux systems continues adding in more features and improvements. While it started out with a focus on minimalism and embedded use-cases, IWD is being evaluated for possible use on Ubuntu among other Linux distributions.

      • OpenZFS 2.0 Released with ZStandard Compression, Persistent L2ARC, and More

        The biggest change is the rename of the project from ZFS on Linux to OpenZFS, which actually sounds really good and makes the project easily discovered by anyone who wants to an advanced file system and volume manager on their GNU/Linux or FreeBSD operating systems.

        The second biggest change of the OpenZFS 2.0 release is the fact that Linux and FreeBSD platforms are now supported from the same repository, which means that both camps are now getting the same features at the same time. On GNU Linux, OpenZFS supports kernels from Linux 3.10 to Linux 5.9, while FreeBSD is supported from version 12 onwards.

      • OpenZFS 2.0.0 Released Based On Unified Code For Linux And FreeBSD

        OpenZFS project has officially announced the release of a new version 2.0.0 for its open source ZFS file system with unified Linux and FreeBSD codebase and other new features.

        For those who don’t know, OpenZFS is an open source storage platform that combines the traditional file system with a volume manager.

      • OpenZFS 2.0 Released With Unified FreeBSD/Linux Support, Many New Features – Phoronix

        OpenZFS 2.0 has been officially released! OpenZFS 2.0 marks a major step forward for open-source ZFS file-system support for what started out as ZFSOnLinux but is now OpenZFS with unified FreeBSD and Linux support (macOS support is still being pursued as well) and this release also bringing many new features.

      • F2FS Proposal Adds Support For LZ4HC Compression

        The Flash-Friendly File-System (F2FS) already supports LZO, LZ4, and Zstd compression while a proposal would also add support for LZ4HC.

        A Huawei engineer sent out the patch adding LZ4HC support to F2FS. LZ4HC is the “high compression” version of LZ4 that improves the compression ratio at slightly lower compression speed. But the higher compression ratio allows for greater storage and maintaining the same decompression speeds as LZ4.

        It’s quite straight-forward and reuses the existing LZ4HC implementation within the kernel that is already used by the likes of zRAM and Pstore compression. The patch is just a few dozen lines of new code to the F2FS driver.

      • Another Linux FBDEV Driver Poised For Removal In Favor Of Superior DRM Alternative

        For years there have been calls to deprecate Linux’s FBDEV and work around replacing FBDEV drivers with modern Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) drivers. While hardware vendors are now trending in the direction of DRM drivers (and the FBDEV emulation support if needed) after the embedded space was somewhat of a holdout, FBDEV drivers and the subsystem still exist as we roll into 2021. But at least one more FBDEV driver is now looking likely for removal in favor of its modern and maintained DRM counterpart.

        Thomas Zimmermann of SUSE’s graphics team is proposing that the UDLFB driver be removed from the mainline kernel as it’s been superseded by the DRM UDL driver. These are the display drivers for supporting the DisplayLink-based USB 2.0 display adapters.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Linux Performance Exceeds The RTX 2080 SUPER – Costs Just $399 USD

          NVIDIA tomorrow is launching the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti with their Founder’s Edition card and AIB variants are also expected. For about $400 USD, the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti offers performance comparable or slightly faster than the GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER and especially much stronger performance for compute and RTX workloads. With the review embargo now lifted a day ahead of the launch, here are the initial Linux benchmarks of the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti under Ubuntu Linux.

        • GeForce RTX 3060 Ti arrives December 2, hits RTX 2080 SUPER level performance

          NVIDIA have revealed the GeForce RTX 3060 Ti officially today, along with a release date of December 2 and it sounds like quite an awesome card.

          Hitting performance levels (and above!) comparable to the RTX 2080 SUPER, which for the price is absolutely amazing at $399 / £369 which is far less than the 2080 SUPER. When it becomes available on December 2 this will be as custom boards including stock-clocked and factory overclocked models from various vendors as well as a Founders Edition direct from NVIDIA.

        • [Mesa-dev] [ANNOUNCE] mesa 20.3.0-rc3
          Hi list,
          Mesa 20.3-rc3 is now available for general consumption. This is a few
          days late thanks to the US Thanksgiving holiday. I think we're
          pretty close to having .0 this week, just one issue left on the tracker.
        • Mesa 20.3 Is Near With Lavapipe Vulkan, Raspberry Pi V3DV, Better AMD RDNA2 Support – Phoronix

          The weekly release candidates of Mesa 20.3 fell off the wagon last week due to the US Thanksgiving holiday but now is updated today for Mesa 20.3-RC3.

          Mesa 20.3-RC3 is out and things are looking good for the stable release potentially in a week or two. There remains just one blocker bug left before Mesa 20.3.0 could be cleared for release.

    • Benchmarks

      • Western Digital WD_BLACK SN850 NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD Linux Performance

        This month Western Digital introduced the WD_BLACK SN850 as the latest PCI Express 4.0 solid-state drive hitting the market. The WD_BLACK SN850 is a surprisingly strong performer if looking to upgrade to PCIe 4.0 solid-state storage, competing with the fastest of the consumer drives currently available.

        The WD_BLACK SN850 makes use of Western Digital’s G2 controller and 96L TLC NAND flash memory. The 1TB drive being tested today is rated for 7,000 MB/s sequential reads and 5,300 MB/s sequential writes and 1 million IOPS for random reads and 720k IOPS for random writes.

    • Applications

      • Font Manager Now Supports Downloading & Installing Google Web Fonts

        Want to install Google Fonts in Ubuntu? The GTK+ Font Manager now adds support for Google Fonts integration.

        Font Manager is a simple font management tool for GTK+ desktop environment. By releasing version 0.8.0, it adds support for downloading and managing Google Web Fonts, so that you can use Google Fonts for off-line use on your desktop.

      • Try Jed as your Linux terminal text editor | Opensource.com

        You may have heard about Emacs and Vim and Nano, the quintessential Linux text editors, but Linux has an abundance of open source text editors, and it’s my goal to spend December giving 31 of them a fair go.

        In this article, I look at Jed, a terminal-based editor featuring a handy drop-down menu, which makes it especially easy for users who are new to terminal editors, as well as those who just don’t like remembering keyboard combinations for every function.

      • PAPPL 1.0 RC1 Released With A Goal To Replace CUPS Printer Drivers – Phoronix [Ed: They would be wiser not to use GitHub]

        CUPS printing system founder Michael Sweet who left Apple last year and that left CUPS in a stagnate position (as of writing, still no commits to their Git repository since April) while Sweet continues pushing ahead with his new and modern “PAPPL” effort.

        PAPPL is the printer application framework being worked on by Michael Sweet over the past year for developing CUPS Printer Applications as a replacement to the conventional CUPS printer drivers. PAPPL supports JPEG / PNG / PWG Raster / Apple Raster / raw printing to printers via USB or network connections and supports an embedded IPP Everywhere service.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Fetching Linux system details with screenfetch and neofetch

        Two very useful tools for extracting essential details on your Linux system OS and hardware are screenfetch and geofetch.

        Each of these tools is actually a lengthy bash script that fetches the information from your system for you and presents it in an attractive manner with the distribution logo on the left and details on the right–essentially “screen shots” of your system. Neither is likely to be installed on your system by default, but each can be installed with a single command.

      • How to deploy a private social networking platform – TechRepublic

        In the never-ending quest to empower your employees, you’ve gone to great lengths to give them the means to communicate. The vast majority of those tools are for business-only communication. During a time when morale is at its lowest, and your business needs to do everything it can to give its staff a boost, why not launch a private social networking platform? This way your employees have the means to be social in such a way that’ll keep them connected, which will help improve the remote work environment.


        There are plenty of tools to make this a reality, one of which is called HumHub. This open source social network platform offers many of the usual features, without the ads, privacy invasion, and the other issues that go along with so many other platforms.

      • How To Install Apache Hadoop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache Hadoop on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Apache Hadoop is an open-source framework used for distributed storage as well as distributed processing of big data on clusters of computers that run on commodity hardware. Rather than rely on hardware to deliver high-availability, the library itself is designed to detect and handle failures at the application layer, so delivering a highly-available service on top of a cluster of computers, each of which may be prone to failures.

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

      • Using IntelliJ Community Edition in Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces 2.5 – Red Hat Developer

        Red Hat CodeReady Workspaces (CRW) provides a default browser-based IDE to be used with developer workspaces. However, the architecture is flexible for using other IDEs such as Jupyter Notebooks and Eclipse Dirigible. In this article, you will learn how to create a custom workspace using the community edition of IntelliJ IDEA.

      • How to take and restore a snapshot on AWS RDS MySQL Instance

        Creating a snapshot of the RDS instance makes a complete copy of the entire DB instance and not just the individual database. It creates a storage volume snapshot of the DB instance. The time required to take a snapshot of the RDS instance varies with the size of the databases.

        The snapshot that is created can be used to restore the data to a DB instance. The data can not be restored to an existing database instance from the snapshot, rather a new database instance is created when the snapshot is restored. If the DB snapshot is both shared and encrypted, it can not be used to restore to a database instance.

      • How To Manage Root Account on Ubuntu 20.04 – devconnected

        On Linux, the root account is probably one of the most powerful accounts that there is.

        Considered the most privileged account on a Unix system, root can perform any tasks needed for system administration.

        Navigating a specific folder, killing any process or deleting a directory, root is so powerful that it has to be managed properly.

        In this tutorial, you will learn about the different facets of the root account on Ubuntu 20.04.

        You will learn to lock and unlock it, to change its password as well as disabling it when trying to remotely access your machine.

        Finally, you will know the difference between the root account and the sudo command that is used quite often.

      • A sysadmin’s guide to basic Kubernetes components | Enable Sysadmin

        Kubernetes control plane nodes and worker nodes, their features, and how they interact.

      • Create universal blockchain smart contracts | Opensource.com

        If you’re a smart contract developer looking to increase your smart contracts’ utility with external data, try out this Chainlink example walkthrough to deploy a universal smart contract that interacts with off-chain data.

        Chainlink is open source under the MIT License, so if you’re developing a product that could benefit from Chainlink decentralized oracles or would like to assist in developing the Chainlink Network, visit the developer documentation or join the technical discussion on Discord.

      • Stop Taking Regular Notes; Use a Zettelkasten Instead

        Because the notes stay as separate notes. Ideas and knowledge remains scattered as individual pieces. In regular note-taking, connections between ideas are not made by default. When reviewing a note, other relevant notes (i.e., ideas) don’t present themselves. If your notes are digital, you might do a free-text search. If not, you might flip through your notebooks, or worse, not bother.

        I didn’t realise this was an issue until I stumbled upon the Zettelkasten, which emphasizes building connections between notes.

      • [Old] 2020-07-20 Does a Gemini certificate need a Common Name matching the domain?

        It’s a rhetoric question. I think it does not because the Gemini world uses “trust on first use” (TOFU). That is, a Gemini client visits a Gemini server for the first time, and if it doesn’t know the certificate, it silently stores a fingerprint of said certificate. The next time the Gemini client visits the same Gemini server, the client verifies that the fingerprint still matches. If it does, then nobody has been meddling with the encryption. If it has changed, a warning is usually shown to the user.

        Trust on first use

        The benefit is that we can use self-signed certificates. No promises are made, and you might run into a trap on your first use, but once you begin to trust a site, you can be sure that nobody is meddling with your encryption as long as the fingerprints stay the same.

      • [Old] Recursive Regular Expression

        PCRE 4.0 and later introduced regular expression recursion, this allow to re-execute all or a part of the regular expression on the unmatched text. To use recursive regex, you use (?R) or (?0).

        When the regex engine reaches (?R). This tells the engine to attempt the whole regex again at the present position in the string. If you want only to reapply a specific part of the regex then you use the grouping index: (?1), (?2)

        Using this, we can solve more complex problems with regex. Let’s start by a more simple one and try to detect palindromes:

      • Recursive Regular Expressions

        This allows us to construct something really interesting – we can define a regular expression that has itself in the “code” part. The result is a recursive regular expression!

        One of the classical problems that a regular expression can’t match is the language 0n1n, i.e., a string with a number of zeroes followed by an equal number of ones. Surprisingly, using the lazy regular subexpressions this problem becomes tractable!

        Here is a Perl regular expression that matches 0n1n: [...]

      • Basename Command in Linux | Linuxize

        basename is a command-line utility that strips directory and trailing suffix from given file names.

      • Getting started with Stratis – up and running – Fedora Magazine

        When adding storage to a Linux server, system administrators often use commands like pvcreate, vgcreate, lvcreate, and mkfs to integrate the new storage into the system. Stratis is a command-line tool designed to make managing storage much simpler. It creates, modifies, and destroys pools of storage. It also allocates and deallocates filesystems from the storage pools.

        Instead of an entirely in-kernel approach like ZFS or Btrfs, Stratis uses a hybrid approach with components in both user space and kernel land. It builds on existing block device managers like device mapper and existing filesystems like XFS. Monitoring and control is performed by a user space daemon.

        Stratis tries to avoid some ZFS characteristics like restrictions on adding new hard drives or replacing existing drives with bigger ones. One of its main design goals is to achieve a positive command-line experience.

      • Install PHP 8.0 on CentOS, RHEL or Fedora – Remi’s RPM repository – Blog

        Here is a quick howto upgrade default PHP version provided on Fedora, RHEL or CentOS with latest version 8.0.

      • LXer: Laptop Dual Boot Project

        Its cool, it is a 15” ASUS VivoBook, with an Intel core i3 10th gen running Windows 10 on it. It has a 120gig HD with 80 of them still free to use. All I have done to it is install Chrome and LibreOffice 7.0. That’s it. So far everything I do on my laptop I do on the internet so I only use Chrome while being connected to the internet. I’ve had my new laptop for a couple of months now and being the lover of Linux and all things FOSS I really want to use Linux instead of Windows but I need to keep Windows around in case I need it for something I just absolutely can’t do without it. I also need to keep Windows so that in case I need to I can take advantage of the 2 year warranty that came with the laptop.

        So, the answer? I want to install Linux onto a USB drive and boot into Linux from there. That way the laptop stays in “stock” condition. I have two jump-drives, a 16gig and an 8gig that I can use to install different versions of Linux onto and see if they work with my laptop’s hardware. I have loved Linux and all things FOSS for the last 15 years or so and I have learned a lot but I make no claims on being an expert. That distinction is for others who know far more than I. One of those people is my good friend Donald Carter. We have known each other for..what is it? 10, 15 years now, I’ve lost count. He is an expert. I’m not.

        I’m just dangerous enough to want to mess with the hardware I own and software I use. He has been supporting computer hardware and software in one form or another for a long time. I asked Don for his help and he said yes. Thank the Gods! So here we go..

      • How to Install Budgie Desktop on Ubuntu

        The Budgie desktop is a fast, simple, and elegant desktop environment. It’s a lightweight desktop environment that combines stability and a traditional-looking Ubuntu look-and-feel. Written in C and Gnome based, Budgie desktop is developed by Solus project and is now integrated with Ubuntu Budgie.

        In this guide, we will show you how to install Budgie desktop 20.10 on Ubuntu 18.04/20.04.

      • How To Install PHP 8 on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PHP 8 on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, PHP (recursive acronym for PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor) is a popular server scripting language known for creating dynamic and interactive Web pages. PHP is a widely-used programming language on the Web.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step by step installation of PHP 8 on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How to Install Python 3.9 on CentOS/RHEL 8 – TecAdmin

        Recently, Python development team released latest stable version of Python 3.9. You can download it from its official pages. New version comes with multiple new features and security updates. Python 3.9 uses a new more flexible parser, based on PEG, which replaces LL parser. In the next Python versions the old parser will be deleted.

        This tutorial describe you to how to install Python 3.9 on CentOS 8 and RHEL 8 systems. In this tutorial, we will install Python from the source code.

      • How to Install Jitsi Meet on CentOS 8 – RoseHosting

        Quick guide on how to install Jitsi Meet on CentOS 8. We’ve made the steps easy to follow so you can have Jitsi Meet running in no time.

      • How to create and use a CodeCommit GIT Repository on AWS

        CodeCommit hosts Git-based repositories and is a fully managed service by AWS. Teams can use it to collaborate on code in a secure and highly scalable way. It helps us to eliminate the need of having our own self-hosted Source Code Management (SCM) system and manage it on our own.

      • How to use bash if -z and if -n for testing strings in Linux

        There are different string operators available in bash scripting language which can be used to test strings. The -z and -n operators are used to verify whether the string is Null or not. In this guide, we will test these string operators using the if statement in Centos 8.

      • How to Open and Edit Files and Folders on Debian GNOME Desktop as an Administrator

        In Linux, there always seems to be an ingenious way of getting things done. For any task, there’s always more than one command-line utility to execute it in a better way. The Linux stat command is a command-line tool used to display detailed information about a file. In this guide, we highlight 8 stat command usages in Linux. This works across all Linux distributions.

      • How to Open and Edit Files and Folders on Debian GNOME Desktop as an Administrator

        While working with files and folders as a Linux Administrator, we frequently need to access and edit files and folders that require root/super-user permissions. We usually perform this task through the Debian Terminal(the command line utility) using the sudo function. However, when we need to edit files that require root privileges through the Graphical Interface, we need to have a solid workaround for that.

        The latest versions of Debian, like Debian 10, comes with a default file manager by the name of Nautilus. This open source file manager created for our GNOME desktops gives us a way to manage our files and applications. It also lets us open and edit our files and folders as a Debian administrator.

      • How to Deploy a Clojure Web Application with Nginx on Ubuntu 20.04

        Clojure is a modern, dynamic and powerful programming language on the Java platform. It is based on the LISP programming language and has compilers that make it possible to be run on both Java and .Net runtime environment. Clojure helps you to build systems from the ground up without touching Java code directly. Currently, it is used by many large companies including, Walmart and Puppet Lab.

        In this tutorial, we will explain how to deploy a Clojure Web Application on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to get Linux to see the FEITIAN fingerprint reader for FIDO2 security – TechRepublic

        There are quite a lot of security devices available for users and admins to work with. Many of these devices offer the ability to save credentials such that only with that device present, can you log in to an account. That’s fundamentally how FIDO2 works, and there are plenty of companies that make such devices.

      • How to reset your Linux password with the Ubuntu live disk

        Did you forget your password on your Linux PC? Can’t get back in? Don’t worry! You can use the Ubuntu live disk to reset your password! In this guide, we’ll show you how to do it!

      • How to install WPS Office 2019 on Ubuntu 20.10 – YouTube

        In this video, we are looking at how to install WPS Office 2019 on Ubuntu 20.10.

      • How to install FireAlpaca on a Chromebook with Crossover 20

        Today we are looking at how to install FireAlpaca on a Chromebook with Crossover 20. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

        This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

      • How To Launch Fish Shell In Private Mode In Linux – OSTechNix

        Fish shell ships with many cool features by default. One such feature is Private Mode. In this brief guide, we will see how to launch Fish shell in private mode in Linux to avoid storing commands in history file. In other words, we will see how to enable incognito mode in Fish shell. As you know already, nothing gets logged in incognito mode.

      • Linux inodes Explained – YouTube

        What are inodes in Linux? How do they work? What really happens when you type ‘ls -l’ into the Linux command line?

      • How To Install Firefox on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Firefox on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Firefox is the default web browser in a number of Linux distributions and Ubuntu is one of them. Firefox comes preinstalled in Ubuntu unless you are using Ubuntu minimal version. Some of the outstanding features in this release are the new Firefox Privacy Protection Report and a secure password generation with Lockwise.

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

      • How to Enable Third-Party Repositories in Fedora Linux

        After you install Fedora, you may discover that some of the software that you want to install and use is not available in the software store. These packages may not be in the Fedora repos for several reasons.

        Don’t worry, I’ll tell you how to make them available by adding third party repos for Fedora.

      • Finding rogue devices in your network using Nmap | Enable Sysadmin

        What is Nmap, and why do I want to use it? Finding rogue devices on your network is a good start.

      • Oracle Linux 8: Remote Management made easy with short training videos

        This week’s blog presents a set of short videos on how to establish secure connections to remote Oracle Linux 8 systems. With secure connections, all traffic transmitted over the wire is encrypted and protected from password sniffing attacks and other outside monitoring.

      • Oracle Linux 8: Networking made easy with free videos

        This week’s blog presents a set of free, short videos on performing network configuration functions on Oracle Linux 8. Being able to configure networks is an essential skill to access programs, storage and data on remote systems. This video series also covers firewall configuration required to keep your networks safe and secure from intruders.

      • Oracle Linux 8: Administration made easy with free videos

        Now that you’ve had a chance to learn about Oracle Linux 8 installation – you did check out the prior blog – right? You’ll want to continue learning Oracle Linux 8 by delving into the next set of free, short videos on some common administration tasks that you can perform on Oracle Linux 8. These videos are applicable for deployment via on-premises systems or Oracle Cloud Infrastructure instances.

    • Games

      • Picture logic puzzle game Pixross from Kenney is out now and it’s total joy | GamingOnLinux

        Kenney, creator of masses of free and paid assets for game developers has released a second game with Pixross. It’s a picture logic puzzle game with tons of levels and it’s great. Note: key provided by itch.io press access.

        Seems like Kenney is on a bit of a roll now, after releasing their first commercial title with Frick, Inc. back in October. Across 150+ unique puzzles Pixross has you attempt to find the picture hidden inside, using logic to count the squares that need colouring in on the board.

      • Domains of Dusk is an upcoming urban-mystical grand-strategy RPG | GamingOnLinux

        An urban-mystical grand-strategy RPG? Domains of Dusk certainly has an interesting description from Critique Gaming and it looks very interesting. This is the third game from Critique Gaming following on from the very good Interrogation: You will be deceived in 2019 and Brain Please Don’t earlier this year. Seems like they’re being a lot more ambitious this time too.

      • Factory Magnate is a new upcoming factory-building tycoon sim | GamingOnLinux

        Game developer Rising Tail have confirmed they’re working on Factory Magnate, their own take on the factory building and mining strategy sim with a tycoon style to it.

        Factory Magnate will take elements from the likes of Factorio and Mindustry for the building and mining side but with different goals. With a “small loan of a million credits” your goal is to build up an empire of factories spread across a procedurally generated solar system. You will be in charge of extracting materials, setting up productions lines and making various products to get them transported off-world to sell.

      • The charming action-RPG Skellboy Refractured will release on January 13, 2021 | GamingOnLinux

        Skellboy Refractured from UmaikiGames is one you need to keep on your radar for early next year, as they’ve announced it’s going to release on January 13. This is the PC version of a game that originally released for the Nintendo Switch along with several enhancements the developers have put in like local co-op, a new randomized dungeon, a New Game+ mode and plenty of new items to use and more technical improvements.

        “Sometimes, when there is nobody up to the task, old heroes have to rise from the grave to save the day! Crush your enemies and make good use of their guts – literally, as you can augment Skippy with your foe’s body parts and weapons!

      • 5 ways to play SNES games on Linux

        On Linux, there are many different ways to play Super Nintendo video games. However, if you’re new to the platform, you might not know about the many ways to enjoy SNES video games on Linux. That’s why we’ve made this list of 5 ways to play SNES games on Linux.

      • Cossacks 3 – A new-old, under-the-radar gem

        A few week ago I realized something rather extraordinary. As a great fan and proponent of Real Time Strategy (RTS) games, for some odd reason, I seem to have completely missed Cossacks. I don’t know why, but in between Age of Empires, Total War and SimCity 4, two decades went by. Rhyme. And in that time, I never played Cossacks, a game focused on musket-and-dragon-heavy 17th and 18th century European wars.

      • Narrative-driven adventure Impostor Factory from Freebird Games due out Spring 2021 | GamingOnLinux

        I know a few people eagerly awaiting this after playing through To the Moon and Finding Paradise, sadly though you have to wait a bit longer for Impostor Factory.

        What is it? Impostor Factory is part of a series of games. They’re not being entirely clear how it fits in joking about it maybe being a sequel or a prequel and maybe neither, they also refer to it as To The Moon 3 often. You don’t need to play their previous games though but it usually helps to understand their story-telling and they’re just great anyway.

        Developed Kan Gao released a new video that joked about their previous Raccoon break in and the results where…a little gross. That caused a bit of a delay and Gao spoke about other issues, with the game being delayed again. It’s looking like Spring 2021 for the release, with some “pretty exciting stuff” coming soon after that they’re working on in secret. An animated film of To The Moon is still happening too. Since in November 2021 it will also mark 10 years since the release of To The Moon, Gao also mentioned that have some fun things planned to mark the occasion.

      • ScourgeBringer Review: Dashes and Deaths – Boiling Steam

        ScourgeBringer. There’s a (not great) joke here, about how I’m not very good at this game. I like it, though in limited amounts. A better player than me would persevere, would thrive, and one that knows their limits better would have given up. I’m not sure where that puts me exactly. Dashing, slashing, shooting, and dying, always dying. The game is better than me, in more ways than one.

        ScourgeBringer is a 2D action game, where you move through the map by clearing a room of enemies, rather than platforming (think Binding of Isaac rather than Super Meat Boy or Dead Cells). Movement is important in combat though, and most of the time you’ll stay in the air with dashes and slashes that keep you hovering in place. Position to take out enemies, dodge their attacks, and make it all one seamless motion is the name of the game here.

      • Luna’s Fishing Garden is an upcoming chilled-out cozy fishing and building game | GamingOnLinux

        Coldwild Games have announced their latest game following on from the wonderful Merchant of the Skies, this time they’re going with a very chilled-out game with Luna’s Fishing Garden.

        In the game you play as Cassie, who wakes up on a strange island that belongs to a mysterious fox spirit named Luna. You’re tasked with creating the biggest garden ever. Catch fish, trade with the fox spirit, and create the garden of your dreams by planting new trees, placing water objects, and bringing animals to the archipelago.

        Designed much like their last game, it offers a relaxed approach to gaming. You can play it like an open sandbox experience, or follow the plot. You can’t lose the game in Luna’s Fishing Garden so you can just go at your own pace.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Cinnamon 4.8 Desktop Environment Released, This Is What’s New

        More than six months in development, Cinnamon 4.8 is finally here and it already made its appearance on the software repositories of the Arch Linux distribution. But, it is designed with Linux Mint users in mind, as they are the main target of this GNOME-based desktop environment for GNU/Linux distributions.

        The biggest new features in Cinnamon 4.8 include a new suspend-then-hibernate function that instructs the desktop environment to first suspend the system and then hibernate it after a certain period of time of inactivity.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.20.4 Is Out with More Than 40 Bug Fixes and Improvements

          In this update, which comes about three weeks after KDE Plasma 5.20.3, the KDE developers re-implemented support for installing distro specific packages like DEB or RPM that have been downloaded locally with the Plasma Discover package manager. Plasma Discover now also displays the title in the application page.

          They also fixed the Audio Volume applet’s pop-up to no longer displays an unknown and non-functional device with the text “Device name not found,” updated the Emoji Selector to show the Smilies & Emotion category, and improved the switching to Picture of the Day on the Screen Locking appearance page in System Settings to always work.

        • PinePhone KDE Community Edition is up for pre-order for $150 and up

          As promised, the PinePhone KDE Plasma Mobile Community Edition is now available for pre-order from the Pine64 store.

          Expected to ship in January 2021, the phone will be the first smartphone to ship with the KDE Plasma Mobile user interface out of the box. But like all PinePhones, users will be free to run different operating systems either by booting from a microSD card or by replacing the software that comes pre-installed.

          The basic PinePhone KDE Community Edition smartphone is priced at $150, but customers can also pre-order a Convergence Package version that has extra RAM and storage and comes bundled with a USB-C dock that lets you connect an external display, keyboard, mouse, and other accessories.

        • PinePhone: KDE community edition

          PinePhone KDE Community edition pre-orders start from today, and we are continuously working on polishing the software that will be shipped with it.

          Plasma Mobile is a user interface for phones and tablets, just like Plasma Desktop is for notebooks and desktop PCs.

          There are various distributions that package Plasma Mobile…

        • PinePhone KDE Community Edition Available for Pre-Order – Starting at $149

          The PinePhone is a very popular smartphone with the Linux community. One of the main reasons is that it is open source hardware and already you can run several different flavours of Linux on it. Linux phones by “definition” do not have Google or Apple tracking baked into the Operating System. Do not expect to be unknowlingly tracked and traced by this thing.

        • PinePhone KDE Community Edition Is Now Available

          We are pleased to announce that the KDE Community Edition (CE) PinePhone is now available for pre-order. This edition of the PinePhone ships with a tailored build of Plasma Mobile built upon Manjaro Linux, and it is the culmination of ongoing efforts to bring the popular Plasma desktop environment to the smartphone.

          To learn more about Plasma Mobile please visit the project’s website. To better understand your options for running Plasma Mobile on the PinePhone and the current state of development (at the time of writing) I encourage you to read the development team’s blog post on this subject matter.

          This community edition will ship in a custom presentation box designed by the Plasma Mobile team, and the PinePhone itself will feature a KDE logo on the back-cover (see renders for reference).

        • PinePhone KDE Community Edition Is Now Available for Pre-Order from $149.99

          Announced two weeks ago, PinePhone KDE Community Edition is the latest limited edition of the PinePhone Linux phone powered by the KDE Project and featuring the gorgeous Plasma Mobile user interface by default.

          Under the hood, PinePhone KDE Community Edition is powered an Allwinner A64 Quad-Core CPU with Mali 400 MP2 GPU. It features up to 3GB LPDDR3 RAM, up to 32GB eMMC internal storage, and a 5.95-inch LCD with 1440×720 resolution, 18:9 aspect ratio, and hardened glass.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Nitrux 1.3.5 Released with Latest KDE Plasma and Applications

          The KDE Plasma and Ubuntu-based distribution Nitrux 1.3.5 released with its latest version. Here we take a look at what’s new, download links, features and more.

        • Making a web application AppImage in Nitrux

          Web applications can be pretty useful at times when a native application is not available. In today’s tutorial, we will make an AppImage file of a web application using a tool called nativefier-appimage. nativefier-appimage makes it very easy to create AppImages of your favorite web applications and share them. It leverages the web application creation process by using nativefier. It packages the resulting web application in an AppImage for portability using appimagetool (which is included by default in Nitrux).

      • BSD

        • GhostBSD 20.11.28 Released: FreeBSD-Based User-Friendly Desktop OS

          Over the last two months, we reported the major release of four operating systems: OpenBSD 6.8, NetBSD 9.1, MidnightBSD 2.0, and FreeBSD 12.2 from the BSD family.


          The most notable change that the latest version has added is the OS fixes for Linux binary compatibility, also known as “Linuxulator.” Linuxulator allows you to run unmodified Linux binaries on BSD distribution. With the new fixes, GhostBSD now offers better performance for running the Linux build of Steam.

          In simple terms, you can run more Linux games on GhostBSD 20.11.28. Furthermore, v20.11.28 also has a new live system that uses ZFS, compression, and replication capabilities.

          Among the userland updates, it includes an upgraded MATE desktop, improved Software Station performance, and other updated applications.

        • FreeBSD Merges WireGuard Support

          The momentum of WireGuard continues with FreeBSD now having mainlined their port of this open-source secure VPN tunnel.

          For FreeBSD 13 there is now the import of the WireGuard kernel module. This follows OpenBSD adding WireGuard earlier in the year, various Linux kernel back-ports have been adding WireGuard too now like the Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, and Android 12 looks to support WireGuard. The WireGuard port for Windows was also recently updated.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Basilisk brower updated to 2020.11.25 » PCLinuxOS

          Basilisk is a free and Open Source XUL-based web browser, featuring the well-known Firefox-style interface and operation. It is based on the Goanna layout and rendering engine (a fork of Gecko) and builds on the Unified XUL Platform (UXP), which in turn is a fork of the Mozilla code base without Servo or Rust.

        • Dropbox updated to 110.4.458 » PCLinuxOS

          Dropbox is software that syncs your files online and across your computers
          and also allows one to share files with other dropbox users.

        • Interlink Mail client updated to 52.9.7634 » PCLinuxOS

          Interlink Mail & News is a free e-mail client based on open source community code built on the Unified XUL Platform. The client focuses on efficiency with carefully selected features and optimizations to improve stability and user experience, while offering full customization and a growing collection of extensions and themes to make the client truly your own.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Release Team to Share Results from arm Survey in Online Meetup

          Members of the openSUSE release team members will share results of openSUSE on arm during two separate online sessions on openSUSE’s Jisti instance Dec. 2.

          The first session will be at 10:00 UTC and the second session at 16:00 UTC. Both sessions are expected to cover the same content and reach different time zones globally for those interested in attending.

          Overall, there were almost 300 responses submitted. The core team to develop the survey wants to use the results as a baseline for future surveys about arm to help gauge trends about development efforts with openSUSE on arm architecture.

          The results did offer some telling answers about the majority of openSuse use on arm. More than 4 out of 5 responses indicated they used AArch64, Raspberry Pi 3, Raspberry Pi 4, PinePhone and/or Pine64.

        • Candidate slate for the openSUSE Board Election 2020

          The openSUSE Board Election is scheduled for the 15th till 30th of December 2021. The candidate slate has been finalised and posted on the project’s mailing list this morning.

      • Arch Family

        • BlackArch Linux Is Now Powered by Linux 5.9, Latest ISO Adds over 100 New Hacking Tools

          It’s been six months since the last BlackArch Linux ISO release, and BlackArch Linux 2020.12.01 ISO is out now packed with more than 100 new tools for all your penetration testing and ethical hacking needs. BlackArch Linux now features over 2,600 tools in its repositories.

          The biggest change is the fact that the BlackArch Linux ISO is now powered by the latest and greatest Linux 5.9 kernel series. This means that you’ll now get better hardware support to install the ethical hacking distro on more systems than before.

      • Oracle/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Announcing Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment Release 1.2

          Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment Release 1.2. This release includes several enhancements focused on improving the security and compliance of customer environments. Release 1.2 also includes new versions of core components, including Kubernetes, CRI-O, Kata Containers, and Istio.

          Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment is an integrated suite of software components for the development and management of cloud-native applications. Based on the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and Open Container Initiative standards, Oracle Linux Cloud Native Environment delivers a simplified framework for installations, updates, upgrades, and configuration of key features for orchestrating microservices.

        • EOL of EL6 and EL7 and removal Customer portal support – ABRT

          For a long time, we talked about EOLing EL6 and EL7. What does it actually mean?

          RHEL 6 is going to be EOL at the end of this month (30th November 2020). We will no longer build ABRT packages for EL6 and we will stop supporting EL6 as content.

          RHEL 7 is still active but quite old. ABRT team will stop testing, building, and developing on top of RHEL7. We are going to focus on RHEL 8 and upcoming RHEL and Fedora. We still support RHEL 7 as content (e.g., in ABRT Analytics).

        • Fedora Looks To Provide Standalone XWayland Package Tracking X.Org Server Git – Phoronix

          With the X.Org Server being “abandonware” but at the same time the upstream XWayland portion of the codebase continuing to be worked on, Fedora developers at Red Hat are looking at splitting XWayland into its own standalone package to make it easier to ship it without having to use the rest of the xorg-server code-base.

          While Red Hat developers previously worked to manage X.Org Server releases, there isn’t much upside to that these days and they would rather ship a standalone XWayland package for Fedora users rather than go through the process of new xorg-server releases.

        • Preparing for RHEL Extended Life Cycle Support with Red Hat Satellite and the Ansible Automation Platform

          Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6 was introduced more than 10 years ago, on November 9, 2010. Originally branched from Fedora 12, RHEL 6 has spent the last 10 years faithfully running Linux workloads. After more than a decade of faithful service, RHEL 6’s lifespan is nearly up: on November 30th, RHEL 6 will move out of Maintenance Support 2 and into Extended Life Cycle Support (ELS).

          Today, we’ll walk through how to prepare our Red Hat Satellite server for the switch of RHEL 6 to ELS, as well as adjusting our currently registered systems. We’ll be doing both of these things via Ansible and the newly introduced redhat.satellite Ansible Collection.

      • Debian Family

        • Install Debian Testing ( the most recent bullseye weekly build ) with KDE Plasma on bare metal

          It appears that straight forward install Debian Testing via official ISO image at least in meantime hangs . Looks like “sddm” hangs attempting to pop up logging screen prompt

        • Ben Hutchings: Debian LTS work, November 2020

          I was assigned 16 hours of work by Freexian’s Debian LTS initiative and carried over 4.5 hours from earlier months. I worked 11.5 hours this month, so I will carry over 9 hours to December.

        • Jonathan Carter: Free Software Activities for 2020-11

          This month just went past way too fast, didn’t get to all the stuff I wanted to, but managed to cover many essentials (not even listed here) that I’ll cover in follow-up posts. In particular, highlights that I’m thankful for are that we’ve selected the final artwork for Bullseye. We’ve also successfully hosted another two MiniDebConfs. One that was gaming themed, and a Brazilian event all in Portuguese! Videos are up on Debian’s PeerTube instance (Gaming Edition | Brazil) and on the DebConf video archive for direct download.

        • Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities November 2020

          This month I didn’t have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Monthly News – November 2020 – The Linux Mint Blog

          Christmas is coming fast. We’re hoping to release Linux Mint 20.1 during the holiday season but we’re on a very tight schedule.

          I’d like to thank you all for your donations and for your support. Before rushing back to work on 20.1, I’d like to share some of the progress we made on Hypnotix, our new IPTV player.

        • Linux Mint Continues Developing Hypnotix As New Open-Source IPTV Player – Phoronix

          Linux Mint recently began developing a new open-source Linux IPTV player. That project “Hypnotix” is moving ahead and will be integrated with Linux Mint 20.1 while is also available as a standalone Debian package.

          Over the course of November the developers working on Hypnotix added support for being able to configure among multiple IPTV providers, support for configuring via M3U playlists, various settings can now be controlled, and video-on-demand (VOD) libraries can also be handled for movies and TV series. Hypnotix has also added support for querying IMDB information for movies or TV series while watching it.

        • CLI-only MAAS operation | Ubuntu

          MAAS provides a state-of-the-art User Interface (UI), which simplifies usage. But you may not know that MAAS also has a robust Command-line Interface (CLI), which actually provides more functionality than the UI. Everything you can do from the UI, you can do from the CLI, but not the other way round. Let’s walk through MAAS operations using only the CLI, and look at a few jq tricks to produce human-readable CLI output.

        • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 659

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 659 for the week of November 22 – 28, 2020.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Camus Video Chat: The Open-source Privacy-aware Video Cat Meeting tool that you have been waiting for

        Camus is a lightweight cross-platform real-time peer-to-peer video chat application. It’s built with Python3 and ready to be deployed on server with simple few steps.

        We have reviewed and listed several open-source video applications on Medevel.com, but most of them require time and skills to install and use. It’s not the case with Camu which is created by a solo developer using several technologies to make it a good alternative for Google Meet, meet.jit.si and of course zoom.

        In glance, Camus offers similar functionalities to the competing apps like text messaging, customizable video quality, high audio quality and desktop sharing.

        It’s also can be installed easily on any Linux distribution that support Snap or on a web server with Docker.

        The main reason why do like Camus is its easy install as it takes far more time to install and configure than most of the alternative apps we tested and used before.

      • Empathy first: Driving growth through people leadership

        As a consultancy, Collabora provides expert open source solutions to ensure the best possible result for our clients. Our business aims at fulfilling niche markets, and at its core we have our people. Talent, skill and expertise are unique and valuable traits for any company – at Collabora however, our mission is to not only see how we can ensure our people are equipped to complete projects successfully, but also that we foster a work environment where all Collaborans feel heard, empowered and supported.

      • Best Free and Open Source Software – November 2020 Updates

        The table above shows articles updated in November 2020.

        For our entire collection, check out the categories below. This is the largest compilation of recommended software. The collection includes hundreds of articles, with comprehensive sections on internet, graphics, games, programming, science, office, utilities, and more. Almost all of the software is free and open source.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome to remove HTTP/2 Push

            Chromium developers have announced that they plan to remove support for HTTP/2 server push from the market-leading browser engine. Server push lets web servers preemptively send clients resources it expects them to request later. The technique can reduce the number of network round-trips required before the client has all the resources it needs to display a page. The announcement cited high implementation complexity, low adoption among websites, and questionable performance gains as the reason for the removal.

            Server push is an optional feature introduced in the HTTP/2 standard. Chrome can remove it and remain compatible with the HTTP/2 standard. When used correctly, server push can greatly improve page-load times. It also enables use-cases like instant redirects.

        • Mozilla

          • celery-batches 0.4 released!

            Earlier today I released a version 0.4 of celery-batches with support for Celery 5.0. As part of this release support for Python < 3.6 was dropped and support for Celery < 4.4 was dropped.

          • This Week in Glean: Glean is Frictionless Data Collection

            So you want to collect data in your project? Okay, it’s pretty straightforward.

          • Design of the CRLite Infrastructure

            Firefox is the only major browser that still evaluates every website it connects to whether the certificate used has been reported as revoked. Firefox users are notified of all connections involving untrustworthy certificates, regardless the popularity of the site. Inconveniently, checking certificate status sometimes slows down the connection to websites. Worse, the check reveals cleartext information about the website you’re visiting to network observers.

            We’re now testing a technology named CRLite which provides Firefox users with the confidence that the revocations in the Web PKI are enforced by the browser without this privacy compromise. This is a part of our goal to use encryption everywhere. (See also: Encrypted SNI and DNS-over-HTTPS)

      • CMS

        • Half of Websites Will Be WordPress-Driven by 2025 / Digital Information World

          Based on CMS usage trends, now available for 2019 and most of the current year, several outlets have projected that WordPress will be the driving force behind half of all websites by 2025. According to the newest numbers by W3Techs, its usage is growing by 2.47% per year on average. If it continues at this rate, WordPress will surpass 50% market share, potentially within the next five years.


          The pandemic has hastened the shift from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce by roughly five years. Today’s ‘online first’ strategy is commonplace for many new and established businesses. However, as of 2019, less than two-thirds of small businesses had a website. For many business thought-leaders, the idea that a brand is too small or unsuitable for online trade ceases to exist. In the post-millennial marketplace, stores without an online presence give the impression that you’re no longer in business.

          The trajectory of WordPress has historically depended on the demands of its users. It’s continuously unfolded to cater to millions of bloggers and webmasters around the globe. Improvements such as REST API and the Gutenberg editor means WordPress is now better placed to contend with closed-source competitors Shopify, Wix, and Squarespace. Furthermore, you can anticipate developers will see WordPress as a simple solution to power the expansion of all varieties of mobile and web apps.

        • 15 Best Self Hosted Wiki Software for Linux

          Wiki is a collection of web pages that is collaboratively edited by its users. Its content and structure of wikis are designed to be easily modified using a simple markup language. A wiki is powered by an engine, i.e. software that facilitates the creation and modification of its web pages typically implemented as a web app running on at least one server.

          The most popular wiki we have today is Wikipedia, which is popular for being the usual landing page of every researcher whether they admit it or not, as well as hobbyist readers.

          Today’s article brings you a list of the most resourceful software with which you can host your very own wiki. Listed in order of their user ratings, here are the 15 best self-hosted wiki software for your Linux computer.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Octave 6.1 Released with Improvements / New Functions

            GNU Octave 6.1 was released a few days ago with numerous improvements, bug-fixes, and a list of new functions.

            Changes in Octave 6.1 include…

            There’s no PPA repository contains the new release package at the moment of writing.

            Before the official Snap package and the community maintained Flatpak package publish the new package, you can download & build GNU Octave from the source tarball…

          • GNU Octave 6.1 fine tunes precision and smoothes out some edges

            Friends of open source Matlab-alternative GNU Octave can now get their hands on version 6.1 of the numerical computation tool.

            The first release of the 6.x series has landed with a couple of rewrites and new implementations of already known components that are designed to improve performance and precision. The new rand function, for example, uses a uniform interval between floating point values in the range (0,1) instead of going for uniform density, and makes sure that values generated for single precision outputs are strictly within that spectrum.

          • GNU Behistun – News: Development of Behistun – The Gungadin Software Tools [Savannah]

            Development has now proceed at a good pace. The initial focus has been the development of configuration tools for setting up a Gnu System, in the form of the Gungadin Software Tools.

          • An Introduction to GNU Radio

            A beginners’ introduction to using GNU radio to create simple amateur radio projects. Starting from the beginning Heather will introduce the GNURadio programming environment, develop a little of the theory needed to understand SDRs and then go on to use some simple GNURadio blocks to build a receiver based on one of the super cheap SDRs. Finally, she will show how to build more complex radio systems and where to go to take things to the next level.

          • Denemo – News: Version 2.5 is imminent. Please test! [Savannah]
          • November GNU Spotlight with Mike Gerwitz: Nineteen new GNU releases

            19 new GNU releases in the last month (as of November 25, 2020):

          • What the Heck Is That? [Ed: The Times just simply deletes GNU from history]

            UNIX was the first operating system designed to work on multiple platforms. It has appeared in the New York Times Crossword 31 times, most recently in the Nov. 26 puzzle by Neville Fogarty.

            UNIX was first released in September 1969 by engineers at Bell Labs, and it is the basis for hundreds of operating systems, according to the IEEE.


            Linux was developed as a free and open alternative to a UNIX descendant, and it has since become the backbone of as many as two-thirds of all internet servers and all of the top 500 supercomputers. Android phones and Chromebooks also use derivatives of Linux.

            Linux is also known for its penguin logo/mascot, Tux.

      • Programming/Development

        • PHP 8.0.0 released

          Version 8.0.0 of the PHP language has been released. New features include union types, named arguments, match expressions, a just-in-time compiler, and more; see this article for more information.

        • The future of COBOL is now | InfoWorld

          Early in the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, the New Jersey state government had a very specific IT staffing need—and it got a lot more publicity than hiring moves usually get. The recently passed CARES Act had added $600 to weekly unemployment payments nationwide, but New Jersey’s archaic unemployment software, written in COBOL, couldn’t incorporate the extra money without reprogramming, and there was nobody on staff capable of doing the job.

          The incident was a very public glimpse at a dirty little secret within IT: There are billions of lines of code written in COBOL still running mission critical applications, but the great wave of COBOL-trained programmers who wrote all that code are aging out of the workforce. That story isn’t new—we wrote about it eight years ago, and eleven years before that.

        • Choosing Elixir version manager

          Exenv, Kiex or ASDF? What’s the difference?

        • PHP 7.2 is dead – Remi’s RPM repository – Blog

          After PHP 7.1, and as announced, PHP version 7.2.34 was the last official release of PHP 7.2

          To keep a secure installation, the upgrade to a maintained version is strongly recommended:

          PHP 7.4 is in active support mode, and will be maintained until November 2021 (2022 for security).
          PHP 8.0 is in active support mode, and will be maintained until November 2022 (2023 for security).

        • inline 0.3.17: Refactored and New Tests

          A new release of the inline package arrived on CRAN this evening and has already been shipped to Debian as well. inline facilitates writing code in-line in simple string expressions or short files. The package was used quite extensively by Rcpp in the days before Rcpp Attributes arrived on the scene proving an even better alternative for its use cases. inline is still use by rstan and a number of other packages.

        • Committed to the integrity of your root filesystem « Colin Walters

          Quite a while ago I came across the SQLite testing page and was impressed (and since then it’s gotten even better). They’ve clearly invested a lot in it, and I think SQLite’s ubiquity is well deserved.

          When I started the ostree project I had this in mind but…testing is hard. We have decent “unit test style” coverage since the start but that’s not very “real world”. We’ve gone through a few test frameworks over the years. But to the point of this blog post: I finally had a chance to write some new testing code and I’m happy with how it turned out!

        • Developer Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Waterfall Model – SUSE Communities

          Everyone loves to hate the Waterfall Model (WM) and extoll the virtues of modern development methodologies. But while people are rolling their eyes at the mere mention of the WM, they forget that it was one of the first attempts at a systematic approach to complex system development. Few first attempts turn out to be the best, but all first attempts teach us something. As such, the WM contains pearls of wisdom that should not be ignored.

        • What are default and bundled gems in Ruby anyway?

          9 years ago started gemification of the Ruby standard library. What exactly are default and bundled gems in Ruby releases?

        • Perl/Raku

          • vrurg: The Report On New Coercions Part 2

            I didn’t expect my previous report to have a continuation, but here it goes. When the initial implementation of new coercions was merged, I started checking if there’re any tickets in the issue tracker which can now be closed. One of them, #2446, is related to coercions but still needed a fix. As long as I was looking into the ticket, it was becoming clear to me that the time has come for an itch I had had for quite some time already.

          • Day 1: Why Raku is the ideal language for Advent of Code – Raku Advent Calendar

            Now that it’s December, it’s time for two of my favorite traditions from the tech world: the Raku Advent Calendar and Advent of Code. These two holiday traditions have a fair amount in common – they both run from December 1 through Christmas, and both involve releasing something new every day during the event. Specifically, the Raku Advent Calendar releases a new blog post about the Raku programming language, while Advent of Code releases a new programming challenge – which can be solved in any language.

            (In this post, I’ll be referring to Advent of Code as “AoC” – not to be confused with the American politician AOC who, to the best of my knowledge, does not program in Raku.)

            For me, Raku and AoC are the chocolate and peanut butter of tech Advent season: each is great on its own, but they’re even better in combination. If your only goal is to solve AoC challenges, Raku is a great language to use; on the other hand, if your only goal is to learn Raku, then solving AoC challenges is a great way to do so. This post will explain how Raku and AoC are such a good fit and then provide some resources to help us all get started solving AoC challenges.

          • nomen est omen | Playing Perl 6␛b6xA Raku

            Even with the help of his time machine, delivering all presents in a single night keeps Santa extremely busy. With little time to spare he does all his coding in Raku. One of the advantages of time travel, is the option to use the last version of the last programming language.

          • Rakudo Weekly News: 2020.48 DevRoom on FOSDEM

            Next year’s FOSDEM will be an online event only, on 6/7 February 2021. It will also have a Raku Programming Language DevRoom track, shared with Perl. Please contact JJ Merelo (on Twitter or on the #raku IRC channel) if you are interested in giving a presentation about your experiences with Raku!

          • Mohammad S Anwar’s Monthly Report – November

            With so much going on in my personal life, it is hard to focus on anything. One thing that I really miss these days are personal time. I am constantly working on it with the help of experts in the field. I try to look at the positive side of the life but I can’t ignore the fact I am not giving 100% to my pet project The Weekly Challenge. Having said that I must thank the entire team for the support and encouragement in this difficult time. As of today, we entered into the 89th week. I can’t wait to see when we get to the 100th week.

            Ever since I shared about my treatment, I have had many encouraging and supporting messages from friends. I read them again and again. I feel blessed to have such caring friends around me. I have let myself down by not taking part in Hacktoberfest 2020 in the same spirit as before. Atleast I completed the challenge by submitting the required number of Pull Requests.

            Let me share some happy news as well, I have now become co-editor of Perl Weekly Newsletter with the most editions, going past greats like Yanick Champoux and Neil Bowers.

        • Python

          • pip 20.3 release

            On behalf of the Python Packaging Authority, I am pleased to announce that we have just released pip 20.3, a new version of pip. You can install it by running `python -m pip install –upgrade pip`.

            This is an important and disruptive release — we explained why in a blog post last year

  • Leftovers

    • The Politics of Maradona’s Iconic ‘Hand of God’ Goal

      The death of soccer god and social rebel Diego Maradona has provoked an outpouring of remembrances. Last week, I wrote about his various political stances, and how he always stood in solidarity with the Global South and against Yanqui imperialism. Yet there is another part of Maradona’s political history that demands examination. That is the way his politics were reflected in his play. This is not uncommon in international soccer, where the political language of nationalism runs through the game, but in the annals of the history of the sport there are few rivals to the 1986 World Cup, when a 25-year-old Maradona put the country of Argentina on his back to defeat England in the quarterfinals.

    • Navy will scrap assault ship damaged by massive fire

      The Navy has decided to scrap the USS Bonhomme Richard, the amphibious assault ship that caught fire over the summer in San Diego, officials announced Monday.

      Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite said the decision was made after officials determined the damage was too extensive and the cost of repair too high to justify salvaging the vessel.

    • Education

      • Relearning How to Read in the Age of Social Media

        However amusing the meme or moving the pictures, reading—not gazing—remains the cornerstone of our civilisation. People who don’t actively seek out books or articles inevitably lead more restricted lives because extended prose remains the most effective means of communicating complex ideas. If your reading never strays beyond the demands of a colleague’s email or the brevity of a friend’s social media message, you live like a foreigner in your mother tongue, moving through the world partly sighted, a second-class citizen lacking a passport to ideas.

        That is why millions of pounds of international aid are spent on global initiatives to improve literacy. But the ubiquity of the computer chip has meant the whole business of reading, the physical experience of engaging with extended prose, has brought about dramatic changes that we are struggling to acknowledge, never mind understand. Meanwhile, our educational system behaves as though Fleet Street still existed and professional authors still used Tippex. The ubiquity of costly computers and infrastructure has not in itself done anything to change academic attitudes to reading or to texts even though the way they are produced has been completely transformed.

    • Hardware

      • Store Closing

        As many have noticed, our product line has been getting smaller and our tech support has been slowing down to a crawl. Unfortunately, the pandemic has been the final KO blow. It has hit our little town hard and we have not been able to recover from it. As of Tuesday, 11/24/20 17:00 EST ZaReason is no longer in business. If you have a computer from us, we hope that it gives you a long and solid lifespan. If it does not and you would like warranty work done, we regret there are no employees who can answer those questions or do service repair. Employees usually want to be paid and without sales there is no income to pay them.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Casedemic: The latest COVID-19 conspiracy theory to downplay the severity of the pandemic

        Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic reared its ugly head in China and then made its way to Europe and the rest of the world, conspiracy theorists have had a field day. Whether it was the idea that the 5G rollout in Wuhan, China somehow sparked or accelerated the COVID-19 outbreaks that evolved into the pandemic, that the influenza vaccine makes you more susceptible to COVID-19, or that COVID-19 was bioengineered in a laboratory and thus the pandemic is really a “plandemic” designed to yes, aliens!—could exploit the population and its resources), conspiracy theories have been flowing fast and furious since early this year. Meanwhile, antivaxxers rapidly formed an unholy alliance with antimaskers, COVID-19 pandemic minimizers and deniers, and others opposing public health mandates to control the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 (including QAnon believers!) while infusing that movement with antivaccine pseudoscience and conspiracy theories and launching a pre-emptive disinformation war against COVID-19 vaccines. Antivax leader and propagandist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr has gone all-in on COVID-19 minimization/denial, and Del Bigtree, who made the antivaccine propaganda film VAXXED with Andrew Wakefield, has urged his listeners to “catch this cold” in order to build up herd immunity among the “healthy,” because, to him, COVID-19 is not dangerous except to those who deserve to be endangered, specifically those with chronic conditions due to overeating, lack of exercise, excess drink, and the like. It was blaming the victim at its most blatant, very typical of antivaccine activists.

      • Marju Himma: Why listen to anti-mask protesters?

        Ideas of participants of a recent anti-mask protest are worth listening to as they hide clues in terms of why a part of people believe misinformation “from the internet” or why some only join because they are tired of restrictions, Marju Himma finds in Vikerraadio’s daily comment.

      • How Will Biden Address the Surging Opioid Epidemic?

        When President-elect Joe Biden enters office, he will inherit two public health crises: the coronavirus, which continues to spread and fill hospitals throughout the country, and the resurgent opioid drug epidemic, which continues to plague American families.

        The American Medical Association warned in October that “the nation’s opioid epidemic has grown into a much more complicated and deadly drug overdose epidemic,” largely due to the availability of “illicitly manufactured” fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. And according to the AP, the United States could reach a record-high number of drug overdoses in the country this year. Experts point to the pandemic as making the opioid problem worse because many people are isolated, unemployed, and under increased amounts of stress.

      • Written Description: What administrative actions might we expect on COVID-19 in President-elect Biden’s administration?

        When President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated in January, his administration will face the ongoing public health and economic challenges created by COVID-19. Even if Biden takes office without control of Congress, we can expect his administration to take important actions regarding COVID-19 innovation in response to the pandemic. In this post, we consider three main pillars of his administration’s likely response (as articulated by the Biden-Harris transition website) and explain the legal foundations behind them.


        In addition to more foundational innovation policy issues, communication is central to ongoing efforts to combat the pandemic. The pandemic has been greatly exacerbated by communications failures by the federal government, which has sent profoundly mixed messages on masks, the severity of the pandemic, and social distancing. The Biden administration aims to communicate better with the public in three related ways.

        First, the administration plans to put doctors and scientists front and center in the pandemic response. Biden’s already-announced COVID task force shows this commitment. It is replete with scientists and physicians, particularly those with governmental expertise (like former FDA Commissioner David Kessler and Surgeon General Vivek Murthy)—though some have noted a lack of other experts, including social scientists. Biden also plans to return the CDC to the front line, including resuming regular daily briefings led by respected public health experts and scientists—and hopefully restoring some of the CDC’s lost luster and public authority.

        Second, the Biden administration plans to provide evidence-based guidance for dealing with the pandemic dynamically. The transition guide suggests a more nuanced version of the policy prescriptions that have become familiar over the last several months. Social distancing, for instance, “is not a light switch. It is a dial. President-elect Biden will direct the CDC to provide specific evidence-based guidance for how to turn the dial up or down…” (Those of you who follow public-health-law-focused Professor Lindsay Wiley on Twitter will be familiar with this theme.)

        Third and finally, the administration plans to be substantially more transparent than the Trump administration has been and to promote that transparency throughout the various agencies involved. For instance, the Biden administration plans to “publicly release clinical data for any vaccine the FDA approves, and authorize career staff to write a written report for public review and permit them to appear before Congress.” The FDA is now planning to do this—but the GAO is concerned that the FDA has been insufficiently transparent in its COVID-19 decisions to date, especially emergency use authorizations for therapeutics. Presumably, greater transparency about CDC guidance on public health matters is also likely to follow in a Biden administration. Particularly as scientists discover more about COVID-19 and recommendations change over time, transparency about those recommendations is especially important to maintain public trust. For therapeutics, non-pharmaceutical interventions, and vaccine distribution alike, public trust is key, and effective and transparent communication are essential to restoring and maintaining that trust.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Apple Fined for Advertising iPhone as Water Resistant

          We ask a lot of our smartphones. Making and taking calls just simply isn’t enough. They need to be quick, have a great camera, be large enough but not too big, etc. Because we don’t all take care of our things – we want them to be water resistant as well. Apple has been advertising the iPhone as water resistant, but Italy fined the company €10 million for misleading its customers with that claim.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • How this open source security tool halted significant DDoS attacks

            In 2020, our ways of living and working were turned completely upside down in a matter of days. As COVID-19 began to spread across the globe, we brought our companies home, and staying connected to our colleagues, friends, and family online became a critical necessity. This opened the door for hackers to cause disruption; for example, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks around the world were up 151% in the first half of the year, according to Neustar.

            CrowdSec is an open source security engine that analyzes visitor behavior and provides an adapted response to all kinds of attacks. It parses logs from any source and applies heuristic scenarios to identify aggressive behavior and protect against most attack classes. It then shares that intelligence with other CrowdSec installations; every time an internet protocol (IP) address is blocked, it informs the entire user community. This creates a real-time, collaborative IP reputation database that leverages the crowd’s power to make the internet safer.

          • Security updates for Monday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (c-ares, libass, raptor, rclone, and swtpm), Debian (libproxy, qemu, tcpflow, and x11vnc), Fedora (asterisk, c-ares, microcode_ctl, moodle, pam, tcpdump, and webkit2gtk3), Mageia (jruby and webkit2), openSUSE (buildah, c-ares, ceph, fontforge, java-1_8_0-openjdk, kernel, LibVNCServer, mariadb, thunderbird, ucode-intel, and wireshark), Red Hat (firefox, rh-mariadb103-mariadb and rh-mariadb103-galera, and thunderbird), SUSE (binutils, libssh2_org, LibVNCServer, libX11, and nodejs12), and Ubuntu (mysql-8.0 and qemu).

          • Free software activities in November 2020 – Chris Lamb

            One of the original promises of open source software is that distributed peer review and transparency of process results in enhanced end-user security. However, whilst anyone may inspect the source code of free and open source software for malicious flaws, almost all software today is distributed as pre-compiled binaries. This allows nefarious third-parties to compromise systems by injecting malicious code into ostensibly secure software during the various compilation and distribution processes.

            The motivation behind the Reproducible Builds effort is to ensure no flaws have been introduced during this compilation process by promising identical results are always generated from a given source, thus allowing multiple third-parties to come to a consensus on whether a build was compromised.

          • Ransomware Attack Closes Baltimore County Public Schools [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Schools were closed Wednesday, one day earlier than scheduled for Thanksgiving. On Saturday, the district announced on Twitter that classes would be closed for two additional days on Monday and Tuesday due “to the recent ransomware attack.”

          • Ransomware attack prompts Baltimore County Public Schools to close [iophk: Windows TCO]

            Baltimore County is not the only school district in the country that has faced a ransomware attack recently. Since the academic year began, 77 school systems across the country have fallen victim to ransomware attacks. Fourteen of those cyber breaches took place in September alone.

          • Reminder: support for root certificates with kernel mode signing capabilities ends next year

            Microsoft will remove support for root certificates with kernel mode signing capabilities in the Microsoft Trusted Root Program in the first half of 2021.

            The change affects devices running Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system only, and drivers that have expired as part of the change won’t load, run or install anymore on Windows 10 devices.

          • Top IIoT chip maker Advantech hit by Windows Conti ransomware

            Industrial automation and industrial IoT chip manufacturer Advantech has suffered an attack by cyber criminals using the Windows Conti ransomware.

          • Attackers use Windows ransomware to hit Big Brother production firm

            Attackers claim to have used the Windows DoppelPaymer ransomware to hit leading British television production company Endemol Shine and have published a few files from the company that they claim to have exfiltrated from its systems.

          • Baltimore students told to avoid Windows after ransomware attack

            The authorities at Baltimore County Public Schools, which was hit by ransomware last week, appear to have realised that Windows was a factor in the infection, and have advised students to avoid using Windows-based devices until further notice.

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Senator Wyden to introduce legislation to stop the IRS from spying on Americans

              This data is gathered by Venntel through agreements with mobile applications which siphon your personal information for advertising purposes. The thing is, the government is also utilizing this data – which they obviously aren’t allowed by the Constitution to collect by themselves. Besides the IRS, US Customs Border Protection (CBP) has also been revealed to have a Venntel contract. It seems that many three letter agencies, certainly not just limited to the IRS, have been using this tactic to spy on Americans and it’s high time that legislation was introduced to stop this widespread privacy violating practice.

            • Germany, Japan and South Korea defy US over Huawei ban: report

              Germany has rejected the US push to ban Chinese telecommunications equipment vendor Huawei technologies from its 5G rollout, with the Asia Times reporting on Monday that the company would be allowed to build part of the network.

            • COVIDSafe app: government throwing good money after bad

              Exactly why the Federal Government has decided to upgrade the COVIDSafe app after its abysmal showing as far as contact tracing is concerned is a mystery.

            • ACCC seeks input on Google undertaking over Fitbit purchase

              The Australian consumer watchdog has called for submissions on a proposed court-enforceable undertaking offered by Google with regard to its bid to buy American digital health and fitness company Fitbit.

            • EFF Urges Federal Appeals Court to Rehear Case Involving Unconstitutional Baltimore Aerial Surveillance Program

              Last week, EFF urged the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to reconsider a split three-judge panel’s ruling that the Baltimore Police Department’s aerial surveillance of the city’s more than half a million residents is constitutional. In a friend-of-the-court brief—which was joined by the Brennan Center for Justice, Electronic Privacy Information Center, FreedomWorks, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Rutherford Institute—we argue that the panel decision is both wrong on the law and failed to appreciate the disparate burden of government surveillance borne by communities of color.

              In May, the Baltimore Police Department launched its Aerial Investigation Research (AIR) Pilot Program. For six months, three surveillance aircrafts operated by a private company called Persistent Surveillance Systems flew over Baltimore—covering about 90 percent of the city—for 12 hours every day. The planes produced images that even at a resolution of “one pixel per person” allowed the police to track individual’s movements over multi-day periods, especially when combined with the police’s networks of more than 800 ground-based surveillance cameras and automated license plate readers.

            • EFF Condemns Egypt’s Latest Crackdown

              We are quickly approaching the tenth anniversary of the Egyptian revolution, a powerfully hopeful time in history when—despite all odds—Egyptians rose up against an entrenched dictatorship and shook it from power, with the assistance of new technologies. Though the role of social media has been hotly debated and often overplayed, technology most certainly played a role in organizing and Egyptian activists demonstrated the potential of social media for organizing and disseminating key information globally. 

              2011 was a hopeful time, but hope quickly gave way to repression—repression that has increased significantly this year, especially in recent months as the Egyptian government, under President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, has systematically persecuted human rights defenders and other members of civil society. In the hands of the state, technology was and still is used to censor and surveil citizens.

            • Facebook Buys Customer-Service Software Maker Kustomer

              The deal was valued at more than $1 billion, said a person familiar with the deal who asked not to be identified because the terms were private.

              The social media giant made the deal to bolster efforts to monetize its messaging business, which is expanding to include customer-service products that help companies interact with people via chat apps, like WhatsApp and Messenger.

            • Zoom once again quadrupled its revenue year over year

              Zoom doesn’t state how many users it has in total, but its metrics around paying customers continue to grow. The company now has 433,700 subscribers with more than 10 employees, up from 370,200 last quarter, and it grew the number of customers delivering more than $100,000 in revenue over the prior year to nearly 1,300, from around 1,000.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Pandemic of Pentagon Spending

        Will the Biden administration dare cut military spending?

      • Will the World Community Condemn the Murder of Iran’s Nuclear Scientist?

        On Friday November 27, Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was assassinated in the Iranian city of Absard outside of Tehran. First, a truck with explosives blew up near the car carrying Fakhrizadeh. Then, gunmen started firing on Fakhrizadeh’s car. The immediate speculation was that Israel had carried out the attack, perhaps with the support of the Iranian terrorist group the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (MEK). Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif tweeted that there were “serious indications of [an] Israeli role” in the assassination.

        All indications indeed point to Israel. In 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu identified this scientist, Fakhrizadeh, as a target of his administration during a presentation in which he claimed that Israel had obtained secret Iranian files that alleged the country was not actually abiding by the Iran Nuclear Deal. “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh. So here’s his directive, right here,” Netanyahu said.

      • Will a Biden Administration Mean a Smaller Military Budget?

        Now that Joe Biden is slated to take office as the 46th president of the United States, advice on how he should address a wide range of daunting problems is flooding in. Nowhere is there more at stake than when it comes to how he handles this country’s highly militarized foreign policy in general and Pentagon spending in particular.

      • St. Petersburg court orders Interior Ministry to pay damages to teenager tortured in police custody

        St. Petersburg’s Kolpinsky District Court has ordered the Russian Interior Ministry to pay 50,000 rubles (approximately $657) in compensation for moral damages in connection with the case of a teenager who was tortured at a local police station, the rights group Zona Prava told Meduza. 

      • Russian Secret Service officer dies by suicide inside the Kremlin

        An officer in Russia’s Secret Service, the Federal Protective Service (FSO), died by suicide while on duty inside the Kremlin, the Telegram-based news channel Baza reported on Monday November 30. This was also reported by the Russian state news agency TASS, citing an unnamed source in law enforcement. 

      • Biden Wants More “Special Ops” in Afghanistan, Threatening to Prolong the War
      • ‘A Kind of Terrorism’: Israeli Human Rights Groups Offer Harrowing Look at IDF Night Raids on Palestinian Homes

        “You feel your privacy is being invaded,” said one Palestinian victim. “The aim is to control and humiliate.”

      • Will Biden Condemn the Assassination of an Iranian Scientist?

        On Friday, top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was shot and killed while travelling in northern Iran. No one has claimed responsibility for the killing, but both the Iranian government and many outside observers point to the likelihood of Israeli involvement, possibly with American assistance. As The New York Times reports, “One American official—along with two other intelligence officials—said that Israel was behind the attack on the scientist. It was unclear how much the United States may have known about the operation in advance, but the two nations are the closest of allies and have long shared intelligence regarding Iran.”

      • Iran says Israel used remote-controlled machine gun to kill top nuclear scientist

        The alleged mastermind of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was buried with full military honors on Monday. He was ambushed with a remote-controlled machine gun mounted on a car that later blew up, according to Iranian media reports. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani blamed Israel for the killing on Saturday and vowed retribution “in due time.”

      • Scores Killed In Massacre Of Farmers In Nigeria

        Reuters reports that 30 of the victims were beheaded in the attack. At least ten women were reportedly still missing as of Sunday.

        Though no one has claimed responsibility, Reuters and the BBC note that at least two militant groups are active in the area: Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province.

        Both groups have carried out massacres in the region before. More than 37,000 people have died in incidents involving Boko Haram, the Council on Foreign Relations estimates.

      • Assassinated Iranian nuclear scientist shot with remote-controlled machine gun, news agency says

        The Fars News report said Fakhrizadeh was traveling with his wife in a bulletproof car, alongside three security personnel vehicles, when he heard what sounded like bullets hitting a vehicle, and he exited the car to determine what had happened.

        When he got out, a remote-controlled machine gun opened fire from a Nissan stopped about 150 meters (164 yards) from Fakhrizadeh’s car, the agency said.

        Fakhrizadeh was hit at least three times, according to Fars News. His bodyguard was also shot. Following the gunfire, the Nissan exploded, the news agency reported, adding the attack lasted three minutes.

        CNN cannot independently confirm Fars News’ version of events.

      • Borno massacre: Death toll hits 110 as 43 buried

        Humanitarian agencies said more bodies of the Zabarmari villagers killed by the insurgents in rice fields were being recovered from far-flung areas.

        Edward Kallon, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, said in a statement on Sunday that over 110 farmers were killed by the Boko Haram assailants on Saturday.

      • Borno massacre: Military can only defeat Boko Haram with proper funding – HURIWA on killing of farmers

        A statement by the rights group National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko reads partly: “HURIWA is shocked at the attacks that took place in the past 24 hours in the North East of Nigeria and especially the day light genocide of rural farmers by persons suspected to be members of the Boko haram terrorists. It is a sad day to wake up with the heartrending story of the gruesome decapitation of some Nigerians only because they went in search of foods for their families.”

      • The New Humanitarian | Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia cut off from aid, threatened by continuing conflict

        Ethiopian federal forces captured the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle at the weekend, but a vow by the rebel regional government to fight on means there’s no end in sight to the unfolding humanitarian crisis.
        Among those most at risk are 96,000 Eritrean refugees sheltering in four camps in Tigray, cut off from desperately needed relief supplies.
        “We are surrounded by war, and we can’t move,” one Eritrean refugee told The New Humanitarian from Mai-Aini camp.
        Unlike most places in the region – where communications have been blacked out by the Ethiopian government – Mai-Aini, located in southern Tigray, has at least some mobile phone coverage.
        The refugee told TNH there was little food or fuel to run the camp’s water pumps, and added that fleeing further away from the conflict zone had become even harder due to vehicles being banned on the roads and the banks being shut.
        “Even if our families send us money, we cannot get it as the banks are closed,” said a second Eritrean refugee, again speaking from Mai-Aini by phone.

      • The New Humanitarian | Red Cross braces for global cuts

        As the Syrian war worsened and hospitals were overwhelmed with botched amputations, injuries, and infections, the International Committee of the Red Cross opened a special centre in Lebanon in 2014, mainly treating the war-wounded from Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.
        Seven-year-old Maria Ismail Sheikho was brought to the centre in 2015, after a rocket hit her home in the Syrian city of Aleppo. Shrapnel nearly severed her right limb, but after nine surgeries and years of rehabilitation she regained movement in her arm and fingers.
        “I don’t know where else we would have gone,” Maria’s mother, Samira Muhammad, told The New Humanitarian over the phone. “My daughter would have lost her future completely.”

      • The New Humanitarian | In Central African Republic, tense elections and rising violence

        Tensions are building ahead of presidential and legislative elections this month in Central African Republic, amid friction between rival candidates and increasing violence by armed groups that still control much of the country despite a peace agreement signed almost two years ago.
        Among the candidates who have applied to stand for president on 27 December is former leader François Bozizé, who returned to CAR in late 2019 after six years in exile following his ouster by rebels.
        Supporters of the incumbent president, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, claim Bozizé, who is under UN sanctions, cannot stand because he didn’t spend 12 consecutive months in the country prior to submitting his application to run, as is required by law. Bozizé’s team claim he entered CAR via neighbouring Cameroon before the deadline.
        CAR’s constitutional court is expected to announce a list of approved candidates on either 2 or 3 December. Many expect protests should it rule against 74-year-old Bozizé, who remains popular among some Central Africans and is considered a threat to Touadéra’s chance of a second term.
        This month’s ballot will be the second since widespread conflict broke out in 2013 when the mostly Muslim Séléka rebel alliance that overthrew Bozizé fought the mostly Christian and animist anti-Balaka milita, which the ex-president is accused of helping create.

    • Environment

      • The New Humanitarian | Vanuatu weighs climate change lawsuit for disaster loss and damage

        Mounds of heavy stones are all that protects Jeffrey Daniels’ home from the waves that wash onto tiny Emao, an island dotting the Pacific nation of Vanuatu.

        But the makeshift dams can’t stop his village from flooding during fierce tropical cyclones, tidal surges, or simply a heavy downpour.

        “When the rain comes, we feel trapped as if we were standing on a ship,” Daniels said.

        His home is located on an island strip less than 70 metres wide. When Daniels was a child, this land was twice as wide. Now his home and his village of Marow are vanishing, losing ground to the sea year by year. Where he used to play football, today there are only floating boats.

        “If the sea levels continue to rise, this village will disappear,” he said. “Our community will disappear.”

      • Energy

    • Finance

      • ‘Looking at You, Senate Majority Leader’: 87 Million Could Lose Paid Leave Without Urgent Action From Congress

        “It’s very America for us to finally require paid sick leave and family leave during the pandemic only to let it lapse before the pandemic is over.”

      • Inequality Gone Viral: The Obscene Numbers

        Something has to be done to heal the rupture in the sickened body of our nation.

      • Citing Past Calls for Social Security Cuts, Progressives Not Pleased With Biden Pick of Neera Tanden for OMB

        “Everything toxic about the corporate Democratic Party is embodied in Neera Tanden.”

      • The Economy Isn’t Working. That’s Exactly the Plan.

        Inequality is reaching feudal proportions, where very few own almost everything, and everyone else is crushed under the wheel of engineered destitution.

      • How Soros And Gates Invests In EU &Amp; UN – Panopticum

        GP: It is true that the problem is not only for the Council of Europe, but also for the International Criminal Court, which received $115,000 from the Open Society in 2017, and even more for the WHO and even the UN. The Gates Foundation is the second largest funder of the WHO after the United States, with a contribution of $530 million in 2019.

        80% of WHO’s budget is based on voluntary contributions, i.e. donations from foundations and governments. This mode of financing obviously calls into question the political independence of these organizations.

        These large international organizations are prime targets for those who want to exert global political influence, as they have considerable power but fewer financial resources than their ambitions. These organizations are therefore vulnerable to “philanthropic billionaires” who seek to exert global political influence. This political influence can be exercised, as you will have noted, without any recourse to democratic mechanisms or controls. In order to preserve or restore the independence of these large international organizations, it is therefore imperative to examine and clarify their funding methods.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Trump’s Trying to Take the Internet Down With Him

        Trump’s presidency can be understood as a four-year assault on journalism, in which he has attacked individual reporters, newspapers, and television news networks with a fury that was evident on Thanksgiving Day, when he held a deranged press conference—while seated at a “kid’s table” desk—and started ranting in response to Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason’s question about when Trump might finally concede his loss. “Don’t talk to me that way,” raged Trump. “You’re just a lightweight. Don’t talk to me [like] that—I’m the president of the United States. Don’t ever talk to the president that way.”

        Trump’s tantrum produced a mocking Twitter hashtag—#DiaperDon—that trended to the top of social media and embarrassed the egomaniacal president to such an extent that he snapped and raged—falsely: “Twitter is sending out totally false ‘Trends;’ that have absolutely nothing to do with what is really trending in the world. They make it up, and only negative ‘stuff.’” Then he tweeted something that should unsettle everyone who understands the role of social media in modern political communications: “For purposes of National Security, Section 230 must be immediately terminated!!!”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Greenwald Splits With Intercept Over Visions of Editing

        Less than a week before voters across the US headed to the polls in the 2020 presidential election, famed journalist Glenn Greenwald made a stunning announcement: He was leaving the Intercept, the outlet he helped found in 2013, and striking off on his own at the newsletter website Substack.

      • Verso Books Wins Voluntary Recognition, Joins the Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild

        On Wednesday, November 25, the workers of Verso Books won voluntary recognition from management to join The Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild (WBNG), a unit of the NewsGuild and the Communications Workers of America. A petition for election was filed simultaneously with the initial request for recognition on November 16. In the coming weeks, they will begin contract negotiations.

        Julia Judge, Senior Publicist at Verso, said: “The decision to unionize felt especially urgent now, as our staff both grows significantly in size and grows more remote. We’re excited to join our colleagues who have already begun organizing across the industry and hope that fellow book workers continue pushing for more dignified labor conditions in their own workplaces.”

      • Torture of Julian Assange by Australian governments sends powerful message to whistleblowers

        Australia has used a range of torture techniques against Julian Assange, writes Dr Lissa Johnson. Governments have isolated and demonised him; flatly rejected evidence of ill-treatment; refused to respond to specific allegations; and divested themselves of any responsibility. Leaders can’t, or won’t, accept the difference between psychological torture and ‘a legal matter’.

      • Opinion: France’s new security bill an attack on press freedom

        One policeman was filmed as he hit a reporter over and over again. The images of the brutality have rocked the country. These are images that will soon be illegal to spread.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Pushed by Pandemic, Amazon Goes on a Hiring Spree Without Equal

        The scale of hiring is even larger than it may seem because the numbers do not account for employee churn, nor do they include the 100,000 temporary workers who have been recruited for the holiday shopping season. They also do not include what internal documents show as roughly 500,000 delivery drivers, who are contractors and not direct Amazon employees.

      • When an Enemy’s Cultural Heritage Becomes One’s Own

        Until now, international efforts to protect monuments have overwhelmingly focused on acts of war and terrorist violence. Following the widespread destruction of museums, libraries and artworks during World War II, diplomats drafted the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which was eventually ratified by more than 130 countries. But the treaty had a significant loophole for “military necessity.”

        Since the Cold War, deliberate attacks on an adversary’s major monuments — the Croatians’ shelling of the Old Bridge of Mostar, Bosnia, in 1993; the Taliban’s dynamiting of the giant sandstone Buddhas of Bamiyan, Afghanistan, in 2001; the Islamic State’s razing of Yazidi shrines in Iraq in 2014-15 — have pushed world leaders and international organizations to give more teeth to the existing legal framework.

        In 2002, the International Criminal Court was established to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes — including, in the case of war crimes, for the intentional destruction of cultural heritage. In 2008, following widespread outrage over the looting and damage to sites in Iraq during the American invasion and occupation, the United States Senate ratified the 1954 Hague Convention.

      • BRAUN: Civil rights heroine Rosa Parks made history 65 years ago

        It was Dec. 1, 1955, at the end of a working day, and Parks was on her way home when the confrontation occurred over “coloured” seating on that Montgomery bus. Parks would not move back a row to accommodate a white passenger.

        She was arrested.

        What followed four days later was a boycott of the bus system in Montgomery by African Americans, an action considered to be the first big organized strike against Jim Crow laws and segregation. Abandoning the city’s buses was an economic move, as blacks made up the majority of riders. The strike lasted a little over a year; it ended after the Supreme Court ruled that segregation on public buses was unconstitutional.

      • Computer Fraud and Abuse Act: Van Buren v. US

        18 U.S.C. 1030(a). The broad and potentially uncertain scope of “exceeds authorization” is the Focus of the Supreme Court’s November 30, 2020 oral arguments in Van Buren v. United States.

        As a police officer, Mr. Van Buren was authorized to search the Georgia Crime Information Center database, but only for police business. As part of a broader FBI sting, Van Buren agreed to and did-actually search the database at the request of private citizen (Albo). In particular, Albo paid Van Buren $6,000 to search the license-plate records of a prostitute that Albo was considering hiring.


        18 U.S.C.A. § 1030(e)(6). Martin’s simple statutory argument: As a police officer, he was authorized to access and obtain the license-plate information, even if he did so here for an inappropriate reason. The 11th Circuit disagreed and followed its prior precedent in U.S. v. Rodriguez (11th Cir. 2010). Rodriguez is a closely parallel case of an SSA employee who conducted personal searches on the SSA databases. In that case, the 11th Circuit affirmed the CFAA conviction.

        One underlying issue here is that the 11th Circuit’s approach seemingly makes it a federal crime for an individual to obtain information after violation of a terms-of-use. The government argues that prosecutorial discretion is sufficient to avoid these concerns and that the statute should be “specifically and authorized” individuals, not the general public.


        The government repeatedly worked to draw an analogy between the information at issue here and property rights. The case may turn on the extent that the Supreme Court finds that analogy appropriate. In particular, the government will likely win if we think of exceeding access as a form of “stealing information” as parallel to that of a brick-and-mortar store employee taking money from the till. The employee has access to the money, but exceeds access by taking it out.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will step down on Jan 20

        Pai’s decision to step down could have significant implications on net neutrality, an issue that helped define his term as chairman. In 2017, Pai voted with his fellow Republican commissioners to remove rules that prohibited [Internet] providers from blocking or slowing traffic to particular sites and offering higher speed “lanes” at higher prices. Many major internet providers have not yet taken advantage of that rule change, however.

      • Trump FCC Nominee Could Threaten the Agency’s Independence
      • FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will step down on January 20th

        Pai was appointed chairman in 2017 and served for the duration of the Trump administration, overseeing an unusually active period in federal telecom policy. He began his term with the controversial decision to roll back Title II classification, undoing the net neutrality rules put in place under President Obama.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Briefing begins in US v. Arthrex

          Earlier this year the Supreme Court granted writ of certiorari on the PTAB appointments clause issues stemming from the Federal Circuit’s determination that (1) PTAB judges were Officers of the United States who should have been appointed by the President (rather than by the Secretary of Commerce), but (2) the appointments problem was curable by eliminating any statutory job security held by the judges (this reduced them to “inferior officers” who are properly appointed by a head of department, such as the Secretary of Commerce). The court agreed to hear the first two questions, but not the third (regarding waiver/forfeiture).

        • Still no Trillion Dollar Judgment

          Parker first sued in Missouri state court asking for $2 trillion and $900 USD as well as return of his priceless phone. The Missouri court dismissed on the pleadings for failure to state a claim. Later, Parker refiled in Federal Court and that case was also dismissed.

          You may have heard of district court’s certifying questions for appeal under 28 U.S.C. 1292(b). In this case, the district court issued a reverse-certification — certifying that any appeal by Mr. Parker should not be taken in good faith. Still, Parker appealed.

        • Turkey: A Battle to Benefit from EPC 138/3

          The IP Law of Turkey prohibits any kind of amendment/limitation of claims or patent documents after the patent has been granted. The only exceptions to this rule are the amendment/limitations made by the patentee during the national post-grant opposition phase, which was introduced to Turkish law in 2017.

          As per the introduction of a national post-grant opposition procedure, the Law also prohibits any ruling to be made in a revocation action against a national patent, while the post-grant opposition phase is ongoing before the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office (“TPTO”). However, the IP Law allows revocation actions to be heard and ruled against national validation of European patents, while post-grant oppositions or appeal phases are ongoing before the European Patent Office (“EPO”). Likewise, the local court is not obliged to deem the EPO proceedings as a prejudicial matter and this is entirely at the discretion of the judge.

          In practice, some IP Courts consider the ongoing opposition or appeal process before the EPO as a prejudicial matter in view of the principle of procedural economy. This principle is one of the principles that dominates civil proceedings and is regulated under Article 30 of the Code of Civil Procedures (“CCP”). Based on this principle national proceedings are delayed in order not to undertake unnecessary investigations, as the patent may be revoked by the EPO.

          On the other hand, some IP Courts consider that EPO proceedings may take too much time, and they may decide not to delay revocation proceedings in order to avoid a serious loss of rights of the plaintiff.


          Although, both the EPC and national IP Law allow limitation of claims for revocation action purposes, the patentee practically battled to win this result. The approach of the TPTO and the decision of the court is important for any European patent owner who may fight against a revocation action in Turkey, and who may need to benefit from the EPC 138/3.

        • Software Patents

          • First Japanese oppositions filed against GE Video Compression

            As part of Unified’s ongoing efforts in its SEP Video Codec Zone, Unified filed two Japanese oppositions, challenging JP6700341 and JP6700342, on November 27, 2020. Both patents are owned by GE Video Compression LLC (GEVC). The ‘341 and ‘342 patents are in the same patent family and they are related to U.S. patents that have been designated as essential in the HEVC Advance patent pool.

      • Copyrights

        • Pirate Bay Founder Warns US Govt. Against Mafia-Esque Copyright Lobby

          As one of the original founders of The Pirate Bay, Peter Sunde has made a name for himself over the past two decades. While he is no longer associated with the site, copyright holders still see him as a threat. Sunde, for his part, is warning against the power American corporations have on the Internet. In a letter to the US Trade Representative, he sounds the alarm bell.

        • Music Leaking Site ‘Kingdom Leaks’ Announces Imminent Closure

          Kingdom Leaks, a music piracy site that has been leaking new music to the Internet for the past seven years, has announced its imminent demise. Due to personal reasons, from January 1, 2021, the site will permanently close down, taking all user data and content with it. While a disappointment to its followers, the site’s self-deletion won’t be discouraged by recording labels.

        • Wondering how to draft an order for a website blocking injunction? Read the Matchroom Boxing Limited Case

          The Matchroom case follows a number of website blocking injunctions, pursuant to the reasoning in the FAPL decision (see IPKat posts, here, hereand here). The current case is of particular interest because it provides an opportunity to actually see how such an order in structured and what issues are covered by it.

          In an attempt to keep these orders balanced (between the rights and interests of the right holders and the rights of third parties to continue with their business activities) and to avoid abuse, the possibility to apply for an exception is an important aspect to be considered. Notably, such permission is not limited to the Respondents, but it also enables third parties directly or indirectly affected by the order to request an exception. With technological means evolving, and pirates finding new ways of circumventing a blocking order, one can expect website blocking injunctions to evolve as well.

[Meme] Public Servants Who Only Serve Themselves and Their Predecessors (Who Gave Them the Job)

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Patents at 10:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

How much longer can the lid be kept shut?

Hold it right there, Mr. António Campinos

Summary: The Benoît Battistelli-appointed António Campinos (an old friend of his) isn’t just covering up the EPO‘s financial scams but contributes to these; when will this house of cards (arse-covering) fall and will that take a special (independent) investigator?

Censored EPO Publication: Battistelli Can Have His Multi-Billion Euro EPO Scam, So Why Can’t Campinos Too?

Posted in Deception, Europe, Finance, Fraud, Patents at 10:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Earlier today: European Commission’s Thierry Breton Covers Up EPO Corruption For His Friend Benoît Battistelli

Summary: Mr. Campinos, seeing what Mr. Battistelli has managed to get away with (the Commission approves, having been infiltrated by friends of the ringleaders), piggybacks or follows the steps of his appointer by blasting almost a billion euros on a worthless project with no real purpose and the Central Staff Committee (CSC) warns it has “very high risk of mismanagement and fraud”

AS EXPECED, THE EPO does not want its staff to be informed. It’s not helpful (to oneself) when people receive information about one’s crimes. This is a lot bigger (in terms of financial scale) than FIFA/UEFA scandals. Techrights will be publishing censored EPO publications this week; we have some securities in place, e.g. in case of censorship attempts. We accomplish this by decentralisation, notably mass dissemination to and from many nodes that can serve the suppressed pages.

Taking a breakToday we start by publishing a document about buildings the EPO planned to build at a massive cost (prior to the pandemic). António Campinos likes to pretend that the Office has a financial crisis while Benoît Battistelli loses hundreds of millions of euros of EPO money by gambling that money away. Why was a criminal put in charge of a law school? You know a “scheme” when you see one and it’s not hard to see who will benefit from it…

“You know a “scheme” when you see one and it’s not hard to see who will benefit from it…”“Burning money to create a burning deck,” the Committee of EPO staff (CSC) called the building projects. “Management is currently censoring a CSC paper about Mr Campinos’ building investment program,” it noted. We’ve already given examples of Campinos and his colleagues censoring the CSC as early as 2018. “We ask ourselves whether the Building Investment Program (CA/43/19) is in line with sound housekeeping,” the CSC said. “Moreover, the focus should be on staff needs for accommodation. We request the Administrative Council to consider putting a caveat on the programme in its present form: we need to first explore scenarios and work on the programme of requirements in a truly inclusive manner, involving the Staff Committees as user representatives. After adoption, the programme should be monitored by an independent body to limit the risks of mismanagement and fraud.”

Well, those “risks of mismanagement and fraud” are more than just risks but a reality; mismanagement and fraud had gone on for years prior to this project. Here’s the summary of the full publication:

Summary: Burning money to create a burning deck

The Central Staff Committee appreciates the commitment to preserving the EPO’s patrimony in a state that it provides a healthy and motivating working environment and aims at improving sustainability. The proposed programme requires unprecedented expenditure. We ask ourselves whether this is in line with sound housekeeping. The planned investment over more than EUR 1 billion also appears to have future sales of property in mind. It presupposes that future owners would find the EPO’s definition of modern and state-of-the-art attractive and suitable for their respective needs. It may also be the case that inflated, unachievable, values of buildings will be used for future planning decisions. With planning concepts for workspaces changing over time it is impossible to predict what a future owner might require at an undetermined point of sale. We feel that this perspective should not feature at all in any building or refurbishment plans of the EPO. The focus should be on staff needs for accommodation. A possible sale of PschorrHöfe 7 without considering abandoning the lease of Haar does not appear to be thought through.

Initiatives to preserve the value of our patrimony enjoy the support of staff, whilst increasing its value for increasing’s sake does not, and especially not at a time where a flawed financial study paves the way to heavy cuts in salaries, allowances and pensions. The building of an “engaged, knowledgeable and collaborative organisation” does not require many of the initiatives at the base of the current program. The Building Investment Program is burning money to help create the burning deck painted in the Financial Study for preparing for instance an affordability-issue for tax-compensation on pensions. Faced with such prospects it is no wonder that staff are very suspicious of building projects that are not only excessive but also detrimentally affect the day-to-day work and, ultimately, staff health. It is undisputed that some renovation of old buildings and maintenance is necessary. But investments here should be driven by needs, not by aspirations not serving the staff’s – and therefore the Office’s – interests.

We request the Administrative Council to consider putting a caveat on the presented Building Investment Program and to instead encourage the President to first explore scenarios and work on the programme of requirements in a truly inclusive manner, involving the Staff Committees as user representatives. A revised Building Investment Program should then be presented to the AC.

Cost transparency, cost control, the lack of adequate planning, the Office’s capacity and even its ability to manage such projects were an issue for New Main as well as for the Isar-refurbishment (see CA/7/12, C. Report on the project costs). A program-value of in excess of EUR 1bn combined with the intended types of contract entails a very high risk of mismanagement and fraud occurring in the various phases of the program. The Administrative Council should not be put in a position again where it grudgingly has to approve further expenditure. The program should be monitored by an independent body over the whole life-cycle of the program, with uninhibited access to all information sources and reporting directly to the Administrative Council. An Audit Committee analogous to the one defined in CA/D 9/09 comes to mind.

Now, with the buildings on the back-burner (at least not burned), the Office suddenly claims to have a huge deficit though it’s merely an excuse for robbing EPO staff and blow billions of euros on other scams like Battistelli’s. This is like classic organised crime and it has become so pervasive that friends of the perpetrators now occupy positions of power in the EU/EC. Where’s the media? Where are the journalists? Oh, we can see where

Staff Representation of the EPO Explains to EPO Management That It’s Breaking the Law, Robbing the Staff, and Lying to Staff

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 9:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Breaking the law is not OK. Or is it now?

Breaking glass

Summary: Human rights, basic dignity and labour protections of EPO staff are routinely violated and the staff is also being robbed based on false pretenses; the staff representatives write to refute “[t]he Office’s report [which] has been made available on the Intranet”

AS MANY of our readers must know or be aware of by now, last week EPO staff started mass-mailing EPO management, including António Campinos. Collective action is intensifying and this morning an insider passed to us the latest report from staff representation regarding a meeting that predated by one week this collective action (and is partly published in response to white-washing lies from Office management).

“They also mention the EPO’s violation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) somewhere along the lines. The EPO gets away with violating just about any law it wishes to.”We’d like to share it here because the EPO’s staff representation is routinely gagged by the management (later this month we’ll publish suppressed documents that the EPO’s managers prevented representatives from disseminating to the very people they represent).

The Central Staff Committee wrote to staff:

Report on the CSC meeting with the President of 18 November 2020: “Living in a bubble and the reality check”

The President invited the Central Staff Committee (CSC) and the chairpersons of the Local Staff Committees (LSCs) to another exchange meeting within the frame of the social dialogue.

The Office’s report has been made available on the Intranet, our report of the same meeting might address the same topics, but definitely from a different perspective.

Here’s the full content of the publication:

Munich 30.11.2020
sc20177cp – 0.2.1/4.2.2/4.3

Report on the CSC meeting with the President1 on 18 November 2020

Living in a bubble and the reality check

The meeting (by video-conference) addressed issues of particular interest for staff. It lasted one hour more than scheduled. The present report does not intend to repeat the feedback already given by the Office in its report in the Intranet. It merely addresses a few points from a possibly different perspective, i.e. that of staff representatives.

Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) and its implementation

The Administration explained that the adjustment had been correctly calculated to yield 0.50% for NL and DE and 0.36% for AT respectively.

We stressed that staff was being furious about such a low adjustment, which violated the principles of parallelism with the evolution of salaries for civil servants and parity of purchasing power. It is below inflation in NL (–1.20%), AT (–0.74%) and DE (–0.30%), even when housing costs were not taken into account. As to the alleged predictability, it seems that management itself is surprised by the savings already achieved in the first year of the new SAP. As a last attempt to limit litigation, we asked the President to consider our last-minute three proposals, which would prevent punitive savings at the detriment of staff (and pensioners).

The President did not agree and explained that he met much more staff members than we did and that he did not feel that staff would be furious. He recalled that we still have no nominal decrease, which is already a reason for satisfaction in the present times. Therefore the new method was there for six years and that was it. He suggested to “go to Geneva”, i.e. to litigate, if we so wished.

1 The chairs of the four Local Staff Committees were also invited.

Career reform

The President announced that a new Circular 364 would be proposed next year but that the career system would remain essentially untouched. As a one-off measure for the current exercise, an additional budget would be spent for automatically granting a step to staff left behind. He had made a similar exercise in January 20202. We expressed that we were not enthusiastic with the low frequency of 1 step every 5 years which is far below the EU regulations for instance. On the PhD recognition, the Office is proposing a new flat-rate approach of 3 years to recognising PhD experience in cases where it does not fulfil the current criteria. It is our common concern that staff is treated with equity. We hope that such provisions will also be applied retroactively to all colleagues under the same circumstances.

Education Allowance

The President sketched again the main lines of the reform and stressed his will to obtain a better childcare and educational system for all staff which is also easier to administrate. However, we stressed again that there are “site specific” differences which must be taken into account to maintain the attractiveness of all sites. There are still no credible alternatives proposed for The Hague, Berlin and Vienna, and staff in these places of employment are thus not ready to embark in the reform as it stands. The President acknowledged that he is aware of these site specific constraints, structure of costs, and expressed his wish to address the matter in the coming months.

Production target setting 2021

The President pointed to the fact that staff should be satisfied to receive a monthly salary for fulfilling an official mission (providing services to the users, generating Gross Domestic Product and employment in Europe…). This was the reality. For DG1, he pointed at a reduction of the global target to 400.000 products and efficiency gains. We argued that the pandemic put a lot of pressure on staff and that the global reduction did not reflect on an individual basis3. VP1 suggested that examiners could discuss their targets on an individual basis with their team managers.

Data protection

We raised the issue of data protection: some tasks and services would be outsourced to companies or workers outside Europe, thus outside the realm of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the EPO-internal Data Protection Guidelines4. The President replied that the Office was being cautious but that the cloud services the Office intended to use increasingly in the future were mostly controlled by Chinese or US American

2 See his announcement: “One-off measure – Pensionable reward for eligible colleagues”
3 Inter alia because of the reduction in the number of examiners.
4 German Data Protection Offices have published an Orientation guide on video-conferencing systems
“Orientierungshilfe Videokonferenzsysteme”

companies. However, in his view, there was presently no alternative and he asked us once again to be more realistic.

Reaching staff by email

The President expressed willingness to allow the distribution of mass-emails by staff committees for other purposes than General Assemblies. However, the President insisted on the possibility for staff members to opt-out. We have no objection against providing such an option. We are now looking forward to seeing the promises of the President materialize.

Verification of sick leave / “house arrest”

As a reaction to our open letter requesting an urgent remedy, PD43 announced that Circular 367 would be reviewed. We stressed again that the Appeals Committee has unanimously declared “house arrest” incompatible with the fundamental right to privacy.


We explained in the past why the new SAP was based on unrealistic assumptions. The adjustment figure of 0.50% and 0.36% respectively is now clearly also disconnected from the real life of staff members, the real evolution of purchasing power in the host states and the real adjustment of salaries of civil servants5. In view of this, we wonder why the President accuses us of living in a bubble outside any reality.

Already now, staff has contributed about €1bn to its €2bn alleged additional liabilities until 2038. It remains to be seen which share the member states are ready to shoulder. They discussed document CA/F 27/20 in the latest meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee in October 2020. This document deals with changes in the fee structure but contains no concrete recommendation about fee adjustment following real inflation.

The President is technically right in saying that the adjustment in January 2021 has nothing to do with the performance in 20206 since it relies on data from 2019. Actually, the SAP has always been disconnected from the performance of staff, which is supposed to be rewarded in the career system. However, the President still refuses to rework the career system, which creates frustration every year.

When is enough enough?

The Central Staff Committee

5 1,51% in DE, 2,75% in NL and 1,45% in AT
6 The Chief of Staff mentioned that the performance in 2020 would be below target.

They also mention the EPO’s violation of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) somewhere along the lines. The EPO gets away with violating just about any law it wishes to. Consequences are none. This is wrong. This needs to stop. They also note that “Appeals Committee has unanimously declared “house arrest” incompatible with the fundamental right to privacy.”

Later this month we’re planning to publish more documents that explain why the grievances of EPO staff are very much justified and deserve the interest/sympathy of Europeans across every sector (except perhaps patent litigation/trolling). People’s families, living abroad, are besieged by a corrupt regime that lies to them and represses them. We’re supposed to think it’s done in the name of science, yet almost nobody in the EPO’s management is an actual scientist and they rarely ever meet scientists. They don’t care about innovation, all they care about is printing as many patents as possible and as fast as possible to collect fees and then illegally gamble this money away. The European Commission is informally fine with that.

European Commission’s Thierry Breton Covers Up EPO Corruption For His Friend Benoît Battistelli

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Breton-Battistelli relationship

Summary: Thierry Breton is the sort of official who causes people to vote for Brexit (or similar exits from the EU); he’s enthusiastically defending EPO corruption and he also calls for constitutional violations in many member states — all in the name of patent maximalism (Team UPC’s coup attempt)

THIS morning SUEPO published links to these two replies from Mr. Breton, who not only promotes the constitutional violations of the UPC for his friend Benoît Battistelli (we’ll come to that later). He’s also giving non-answering ‘answers’ to formal queries from Clare Daly (GUE/NGL).

“The lack of real answers to these questions means that the EU too is indirectly implicated and responsible for EPO abuses, at least by turning a blind eye to them.”As expected, he has nothing of substance to say because just like António Campinos his role is to cover up EPO corruption, not to look into it. The lack of real answers to these questions means that the EU too is indirectly implicated and responsible for EPO abuses, at least by turning a blind eye to them.

For the record (not that those answers really say anything of substance), here’s what he wrote back:

Parliamentary questions

15 September 2020

Answer given by Mr Breton
on behalf of the European Commission

Question reference: E-003298/2020

The European Patent Organisation (‘EPOrg’) is an independent intergovernmental organisation. While Commission representatives attend the meetings of the EPOrg Administrative Council as observers, the Commission does not participate in any decision-making regarding the management of the EPO, or of any EPO/EPOrg committee, body or other organ.

This applies in particular to financial matters, which are mostly debated and decided in a confidential manner, as ‘C’ points in the meetings of the Administrative Council, which observers are not allowed to attend.

As a consequence, while the Commission was aware of the setting-up of the EPOTIF fund and of certain concerns that have been expressed in its respect, it is not in a position to comment on, and even less so to influence, the way in which this fund is regulated and managed, let alone its very existence. In this regard it may be noted that there are no financial rights, obligations or other links between the Commission and the EPO(rg).

The Commission is fully confident that the EU Member States, in their capacity as members of the EPOrg’s Administrative Council, are paying proper attention to the financial issues related to the management of the EPO, including the EPOTIF.

Parliamentary questions

15 September 2020

Answer given by Mr Breton
on behalf of the European Commission

Question reference: E-003299/2020

The European Patent Organisation (‘EPOrg’) is an independent intergovernmental organisation. Its Administrative Council is responsible for overseeing the operations of the European Patent Office (‘EPO’).

While Commission representatives attend the meetings of the EPOrg Administrative Council as observers, the Commission does not participate in any decision-making regarding the management of the EPO, or of any EPO/EPOrg committee, body or other organ. In addition, observers are not allowed to attend the discussion on a number of sensitive issues, such as financial matters.

That being said, the Commission is supportive of the efforts of the EPO to improve its governance mechanisms, as described in the ‘Strategic Plan 2023’(1) adopted in June 2019. Particularly appreciated is the EPO’s intention to establish ‘a comprehensive framework for cooperation with the EU Commission’. As regards auditing, it may be noted that a Board of Auditors is still operating in accordance with Article 49 of the European Patent Convention(2); therefore, the disbandment of the EPO Audit Committee in June 2011 does not, as such, jeopardise the auditing requirements defined by the European Patent Convention.

While the Commission is aware of the new intentions of the EPO regarding governance and auditing, which indeed entail certain changes compared to the past mechanisms, the Commission is not in a position to comment on, and even less so to influence, the related decisions and arrangements.

That being said, the Commission is fully confident that the EU Member States, in their capacity as members of the EPOrg’s Administrative Council, are paying proper attention to the governance and auditing issues related to the management of the EPO.

(1) http://documents.epo.org/projects/babylon/eponet.nsf/0/2217f5b7cc07d47cc125841c00610386/USD FILE/EPO_Strategic_Plan_2023_en.pdf
(2) https://www.epo.org/about-us/governance/administrative-council/auditors.html

Both references just parrot the EPO itself.

And from SUEPO’s site:

We would like to inform you about the questions and answers raised in the European Parliament about the EPO.

You can find the links here:



Those answers show that the EPO completely lacks oversight, not just from the Administrative Council but also the European Commission (and by extension the Union). This is a recipe for disaster. They’re eager to even violate constitutions of European member states.

As somebody noted the other in a comment at IP Kat (regarding “European Commission unveils new IP Action Plan”): “So looks like the EU Commission is now basically telling the member states to go ahead with implementing the UP: “The unitary patent system will become effective with the entry into force of the UPCA. With the ratification process now on track following the resolution of the constitutional complaint before the German Constitutional Court, it is now expected that that the new system could start operating in 2022, following the ‘provisional application period’ that should start in 2021. Thus the Commission is calling upon Member States for a rapid roll-out of the Unitary Patent System.” Cynics who were of the view that the UP was being delayed simply to get the UK out of the door before its implementation will not find much in this to disprove their pre-existing views.”

That sort of misses the point that Breton and now the European Commission basically act like agents of the EPO cabal — the people who rob the whole institution and carry out a coup for litigation firms and patent trolls.

IRC Proceedings: Monday, November 30, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:56 am by Needs Sunlight

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