Links 9/12/2020: WordPress 5.6, New Release of GNU Autoconf, CRUX 3.6, New Alternatives to CentOS Emerge

Posted in News Roundup at 4:43 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • How I use Stream Deck on Linux with open source tools

        Most of us have gotten a lot more familiar with working from home this year. In my role as a developer advocate, this has meant a lot less travel and a lot more video work, including streaming on Twitch.

        As I transitioned to working and streaming video from home in spring 2020, I decided to get a Stream Deck, but I wasn’t exactly sure what I’d use it for.

        The Stream Deck is a keypad that makes it easier to manage your video streaming. You can customize its buttons to do things like switching scenes, adjusting audio, inserting media, interacting with viewers, and much more. I got the 32-button version because that’s all that was in stock anywhere when I bought it.

      • HP is Launching Ubuntu Powered Computers for Data Scientists and Machine Learning Enthusiasts

        Linux and Data Science are two of the most in-demand and rapidly growing technologies these days. HP is combining them both. In a recent announcement, HP revealed its plan to offer Ubuntu powered laptop with data science software preloaded.


        Lenovo also partnered with Ubuntu and Fedora to provide certified systems. Certified systems mean that Ubuntu/Fedora team collaborated with the HP/Lenovo team to test the hardware with the Linux distributions. Thus, you can expect the best possible performance on these certified Linux systems.

        Dell has been providing Ubuntu preloaded on its systems for a long time and in fact, it was one of the first major manufacturer to do so.

        It is good to see that HP is also providing Linux preloaded systems even if it is focused on developers and engineers.

    • Server

      • 3 ways Kubernetes optimizes your IT budget

        Businesses all over the world are facing extraordinary challenges, and adapting to new ways of work is essential to their survival and progress. The importance of IT workers and systems can’t be overstated; with companies looking for innovative ways to adjust, often with reduced resources, automation is increasingly central to day-to-day operations.

        Many of these companies have turned to Kubernetes to ensure their products and services provide the best possible experience to users. Kubernetes is a container orchestration tool developed by Google. It’s been open source since 2014, and over the past few years, a lot of tech success stories (including Netflix and hugely popular online games) have been built on using its tools to coordinate applications.

      • Kubernetes 1.20: The Raddest Release

        We’re pleased to announce the release of Kubernetes 1.20, our third and final release of 2020! This release consists of 42 enhancements: 11 enhancements have graduated to stable, 15 enhancements are moving to beta, and 16 enhancements are entering alpha.

        The 1.20 release cycle returned to its normal cadence of 11 weeks following the previous extended release cycle. This is one of the most feature dense releases in a while: the Kubernetes innovation cycle is still trending upward. This release has more alpha than stable enhancements, showing that there is still much to explore in the cloud native ecosystem.

      • Istio / Announcing Istio 1.8.1

        This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.8.0 and Istio 1.8.1

      • Top 10 Unix Based Operating Systems

        If you are looking for the original calendar date that brought Unix to life, you won’t be able to pinpoint a specific year, month, day, hour, minute, and second. It is because not all great things that come to life can be put on a predictable scale. However, the history books that investigated the rise of Unix narrate its birth to be between the 1960s and the 1970s. AT&T’s Bell Labs are responsible for Unix’s development. Linux’s priceless design attributes continue to showcase their footprints in the currently modernized operating systems we use.

        The first popular trait of the Unix philosophy, evident in the day to day interactions we have with our modernized operating systems, is the efficient use of small modular utilities. Your Linux terminal is the best-case scenario for this trait. The Linux terminal’s simplicity syncs well with the complex tasks it performs through pipes and other features. This non-graphical user interface can also extend to manage and launch powerful graphical programs you might have installed. It is the perfect operating system feature for heavy lifting tasks. Moreover, the Linux terminal also implements powerful shell scripts, which can help you run powerful complex tasks in the background.

        Another feature we can mirror from Unix into an operating system like Linux is using a single file system. The single file system feature enables OS programs to have a common communication platform. It is a unique platform of communication for programs and hardware devices. Think of the single file system as a playground with different kids. This playground enables these kids to talk and understand each other and their different fun skill sets. Therefore, the playground manager will comprehend what is going on in the playground the same way you can understand what is happening on your OS each time you interact with different files and hardware devices. This concept is also applicable in the Windows OS use of drive letters to identify and interact with hard drive partitions. This use of drive letters is an inherited feature from DOS. The same inheritance concept is evident in other operating systems where a single file is part of a hierarchy file system tree that links with other files and directories.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel Opens Up “IMF LA” As A GPU Compute Speed Boost To Better Compete With Windows – Phoronix

          The open-source Intel Graphics Compiler (IGC) that is currently used by their oneAPI Level Zero and OpenCL implementations but likely to see Intel driver Mesa usage in 2021 has a new feature dubbed “IMF LA” that aims to help with the performance and close the gap with Windows.

          Released today was IGC 1.0.5761. This routine update to the Intel Graphics Compiler has a number of low-level compiler additions and other changes as usual. All quite low level but then there was the mention of “IMF LA open-sourcing.”

        • Radeon RX 6900 XT Launches As Flagship Card With Open-Source Drivers But Very Limited Availability – Phoronix

          After the Radeon RX 6800 series launched just under a month ago, the flagship AMD Radeon RX 6900 XT is launching today. This is currently the most powerful RDNA 2 graphics card and should work under Linux with the open-source driver stack but the card is likely to be scarcer than even the RX 6800 series.

          The Radeon RX 6900 XT features 80 compute units, a boost frequency up to 2.25GHz, 80 ray accelerators, 5120 stream processors, 16GB of GDDR6 video memory, 128MB of Infinity Cache, and has a 300 Watt GPU power rating.

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Count Harder

          I keep saying this, but I feel like I’m progressively getting further away from the original goal of this blog, which was to talk about actual code that I’m writing and not just create great graphics memes. So today it’s once again a return to the roots and the code that I had intended to talk about yesterday.

          Gallium is a state tracker, and as part of this, it provides various features to make writing drivers easier. One of these features is that it rolls atomic counters into SSBOs, both in terms of the actual buffer resource and the changing of shader instructions to access atomic counters as though they’re uint32_t values at an offset in a buffer. On the surface, and for most drivers, this is great: the driver just has to implement handling for SSBOs, and then they get counters as a bonus.

          As always, however, for zink this is A Very Bad Thing.

    • AMD

      • AMD Zen 3 Performance With The Initial “znver3″ GCC Compiler Support

        Last week AMD published their Zen 3 support for GCC code compiler. That initial support, which has already been merged into GCC 11, is the initial support flipping on newly supported instructions but not yet offering any tuned scheduler model or other optimizations compared to the existing Zen 2 path. In any case, here is a look at the performance changes with building the open-source benchmarks under test with “znver3″ compared to the prior Zen 2 and Zen 1 targets along with generic x86_64 and then also looking at the performance if catering the compiler targets for Intel’s Skylake and Haswell processors.

        From the GCC 11.0 development code on 3 December with the Znver3 patch applied and compiled as a release build, I ran benchmarks with the Ryzen 9 5950X while looking at various compiler flags (CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS) for a look at the resulting performance of the open-source C/C++ benchmarks under test. The “-O3″ optimization level was consistent across all the compiler targets tested while “-march=” values of znver3, znver2, znver1, x86-64, haswell, and skylake were all tested. The Zen 3/2/1 comparison is obvious and x86-64 offers a look at the generic x86-64 base level performance.

      • AMD Publishes RDNA 2 ISA Documentation – Phoronix

        AMD has carried out a timely release of their RDNA 2 ISA documentation for those interested in working on any compiler support around these very latest graphics processors or working on other shader optimization approaches, etc.

        The 291 page document outlining the RDNA 2 instruction set architecture is now public for all to enjoy. The ISA documentation has been the extent lately of AMD’s public open-source programming documentation – in the past they did publish more hardware documentation concerning the GPU registers and all of the nitty-gritty details to assemble your own GPU driver, but that has been phased out for years. They have favored their open-source Linux driver stack as the alternative as a sort of living GPU document for those wondering about the inner-workings of recent AMD GPUs. Publishing all of the GPU documentation is a quite time intensive effort by their engineers and also needs to undergo lengthy internal and legal review processes, etc. By foregoing that their open-source Linux driver team can spend more time just working on improving the driver itself.

      • Radeon SDMA Support Is Deemed Too Buggy That It’s Dropped From Open-Source Driver – Phoronix

        The SDMA support with Radeon GPUs appears to be in bad enough shape that at least for the open-source “RadeonSI” Gallium3D driver it’s better off disabling the support code than trying to deal with the workarounds. We have seen cases of disabling SDMA for GFX9/Vega due to APU issues, disabling SDMA on Polaris due to corruption bugs, and breaking problems on much older hardware too. But even with the new Radeon RX 6000 “RDNA 2″ hardware, problems apparently still persist.

      • The AMD Ryzen 5000 Series Continue To Impress On Linux – Phoronix

        It’s been just over one month since AMD launched the Ryzen 5000 series as the first processors part of the Zen 3 family. The Linux performance continues to be terrific with the Ryzen 5600X / 5800X / 5900X / 5950X parts in our continued benchmarking.

        Some of the benchmarks that are in the works for publishing in the coming days and weeks include looking at Zen 3 compiler tuning on GCC and LLVM Clang now that patches are beginning to materialize, Radeon RX 6800 series performance with Ryzen 9 on Windows vs. Linux, Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 20.04/20.10 performance on the Ryzen 9 5900X, Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 performance, an AMD Smart Memory Access comparison on Linux, and also checking out how well the BSDs like FreeBSD and DragonFlyBSD perform with the Ryzen 5000 series. Those are just the tests currently in the works but more will surely be coming as well – throughout all the ongoing tests, the performance continues to impress.

    • Applications

      • Best Radio Players for Linux

        This article will cover a list of open source music streaming applications that can live-stream free radio channels available on the Web. Many of these applications come with channel presets and also allow users to add their own custom channels.

      • Mind Mapping Software

        This free mind mapping software is a promising app designed to help you quickly record ideas and show the relationships between them.

        Over the years, the world of free software has offered no shortage of mind mapping apps. Unfortunately, almost all of them have been freemium – limited versions of commercial products. For a while, Calligra Suite included the promising Braindump, but it is no longer maintained, and always felt overly complicated. Because of these conditions, I was immediately drawn towards Minder, an app developed in the last few years that is released under version 3.0 of the GNU General Public License and that has yet to find a place in the repositories of most major distributions. From the screenshots, it looked like it might pass the major tests I look for in a mind mapping app – an interface that does not interfere with the rapid recording of ideas and enough formatting features to allow users to create more elaborate mind maps if desired. Immediately, I decided to find out if it lived up to appearances.

        As you probably know, mind maps are a visual representation of the relationship between ideas. They are the direct opposite of the conventional linear outlines that are often taught in high school. Their main purpose is to record ideas as quickly as possible, with a minimum of judgment (that comes later). Advocates of mind maps use them for brainstorming, notetaking, summaries, and planning and generating ideas, either as individuals or in groups.

        Producing a mind map is simple. Start with a topic in the middle of your page, whiteboard, or screen. As a related topic occurs to you, write it elsewhere on your working surface, with a connecting line to the topic. Ideas can also be branched off from related topics. All topics – or nodes, as mind mappers usually call them –should be a single word or phrase in order to conserve space, or possibly some simple logo. Dedicated mind mappers may also add their own visual code, writing important ideas in larger characters and color-coding related topics or the lines between them. When you are finished, if you are writing an outline, you might also cross out some branches or add numbers to put the branches in order.

      • Now and Then: What happened to DFileManager?

        Back in January 2015 we carried a blog post about DFileManager noting it was a real gem of a file manager sporting a unique Cover Flow display, together with an accessible bookmark system and customizable thumbnail preview for media files, but absent from the standard Ubuntu repositories.

        At the time of the article, we were mostly testing software using Ubuntu 15.04 systems. That distribution offered approximately 39,000 packages in its Universe repository, and around 8,500 packages in its main repository. Those numbers sound a lot. But there was a smorgasbord of open source applications, utilities, and libraries that didn’t have anyone generating an Ubuntu package. And more importantly, there were some real treasures missing from the repositories which could only be discovered by compiling source code. DFileManager was one such utility.

      • Make medit your next Linux terminal text editor

        There’s XEDIT, jEdit, NEdit, gedit, and, as it turns out, medit.

        I had not heard about medit until I started searching for editors I hadn’t yet tried, but I’m glad to have discovered it. If you’re looking for a classic gedit experience (circa Gnome 2), then medit is, probably unintentionally, an excellent and modern approximation. It’s also got many additional features, such as the ability to write plugins in Python, Lua, or C, and a means to integrate even shell scripts into its menu system. All the other usual features are here, too—a tabbed interface, an on-demand shell, indentation management, syntax highlighting, and so on.

      • QEMU 5.2 Released For Improving The Linux Open-Source Virtualization Stack

        QEMU 5.2 was released on Tuesday as the latest feature release for this open-source processor emulator that plays an important role in the open-source Linux virtualization stack.

        With QEMU 5.2 there are more than 3,200 changes but some of the release highlights include:

        - A number of RISC-V support improvements including OpenSBI 0.8, support for migrating machines, and a number of other low-level enhancements.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install PHP 8 on CentOS 7 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install PHP 8 on CentOS 7. For those of you who didn’t know, PHP is the most used scripting language for web development, both websites and web applications such as blogs, forums, e-commerce, etc. It was originally created by Rasmus Lerdorf in 1994.

        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 install of PHP 8 on CentOS 7.

      • How To Migrate To CentOS Stream 8 From CentOS Linux 8 – OSTechNix

        If you are planning to upgrade to CentOS 8 from CentOS 7, you may need to skip it for now, because CentOS 8 is going away! If you are already using it, you should consider to migrate to CentOS Stream 8 from CentOS Linux 8.

        CentOS (short for Community ENTerprise Operating System ) is the clone of Red Hat Enterprise Linux system (RHEL). CentOS is widely known for its stability and reliability and It is the popular choice for many web hosting providers. Also, it is the gateway for the people who wants to learn RHEL at free of cost. Well, the show is over. The CentOS developers have announced that they are shifting their focus to CentOS Stream.

        According to the official announcement, CentOS Linux 8, as a rebuild of RHEL 8, will end at the end of 2021. CentOS Stream continues after that date, serving as the upstream (development) branch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In other words, CentOS Stream is going to be a rolling pre-release (i.e. beta) model.

      • How to Boot into Rescue Mode Or Emergency Mode In Ubuntu 20.04 / 18.04

        It’s not uncommon for users to forget their login passwords or have their system suffer a corrupt filesystem. When that happens, the recommended solution is to boot into rescue or emergency mode and apply the required fixes.

        The rescue mode is also referred to as the single-user mode. As the name suggests, the rescue mode is used when you want to salvage your system from a system failure, for example, boot failure or reset a password. In rescue mode, all the local filesystems are mounted. However, only salient services are started. Normal services such as network services will not be started.

        Emergency mode provides a minimal bootable environment and enables you to repair your Linux system even when rescue mode is not available. In emergency mode, only the root file system is mounted, and in read-only mode. Just as with rescue mode, only the essential services are activated in emergency mode.

      • How To Install Rust on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Rust on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Rust commonly known as Rust-Lang is a system programming language that is developed by Mozilla and backed by LLVM. Rust is known for preventing program crashes, memory leaks, and data races before it is compiled into binary, thus creating a highly-productive and stable programming environment.

        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 Rust programming language on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How to Install and Configure Django on Linux System

        Django is one of the best high level free and open-source web framework. If you are a programmer, you probably already know that Python is considered the future of programming language due to the vast library function and stability. As Django is a Python framework, it can handle high-end applications, secure admin panel, and create dynamic websites. Installing Django and its environment on your Linux system might be the very first step to start working with Django. Though there are options to use Django with Pycharm and other Python interpreters, if you want to work with Django for a long time, I will suggest you install Django on your system.

      • How to Install the Skype alternative Ring on Debian 10

        Ring is an open-source communication tool developed by Savoir-Faire Linux. It is an alternative to Skype application that implements cutting edge security techniques and prioritizes the privacy and freedom of users. Ring can be used for instant messaging, audio and video calls over the internet. It is available for installation in Linux, Windows, macOS, and Android. This article is about explaining how to install the Skype alternative Ring in your Debian system.

      • How to Manage Linux Servers with the Cockpit Web Interface

        If you have multiple Linux computers or servers to monitor, you have a challenge. This is especially true if some of them are running as headless systems with no monitor attached. For example, you might have rack-mounted or remote servers located in different buildings or a collection of Raspberry Pi’s scattered around your home.

        How can you monitor the health and performance of all of these?

        If you use Secure Shell (SSH) to connect to them, you can run top or another terminal-based monitoring tool. You’ll get some useful information, but each tool has its own specific area of interest. It’s awkward to have to move from tool to tool to view the different metrics of your remote Linux computer.

        Unfortunately, there’s no convenient way to hop between the different tools that give you some of that information. Plus, if you have to perform any remedial or administrative tasks, you have to make a fresh connection to the remote computer or close the monitoring application. Then, you have to use your existing SSH session to execute your administration commands.

      • Update CentOS 8 to CentOS Steam [in 3 Easy Steps]

        Red Hat and CentOS recently announced that CentOS will be converted to a rolling release distribution in the form of CentOS Stream.

        While CentOS 7 will be supported till 2024, CentOS 8 support ends by the end of 2021.

        With this development, the current CentOS 8 users are left with two choices, either move to server distributions like Debian, openSUSE, Ubuntu LTS, or update the current CentOS system to CentOS Stream.

        In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how you can update your current CentOS 8 install to CentOS Stream.

      • How to clone your Raspberry PI SD card in Linux – PragmaticLinux

        Wouldn’t it be great, if you can make a snapshot of the current state of your Raspberry PI operating system? At any point in time you can then grab the snapshot, write it back to your SD card and restore your Raspberry PI operating system to its previous state. This article teaches you how you can clone your Raspberry PI SD card on your Linux PC to build such as snapshot. Perfect for quickly switching between projects or restoring your Raspberry PI operating system in case you broke something.

      • How to use rsyslog to create a Linux log aggregation server | Enable Sysadmin

        Long ago, when I was a sysadmin for another company on another platform, we did not have a means of centralizing log files. Most mornings, when I arrived at work, I poured myself a cup of coffee and spent 20 to 30 minutes remoting to each server, reviewing the event logs, and then noting any issues detected. Let me assure you that this was not the most efficient way of handling logs. It was, however, the only option I had.

      • [FIX] No Sound Output From HDMI in External Monitor In Ubuntu

        Yesterday I connected my laptop to the TV to watch Resident Evil Extinction. When I played the movie, the Audio was coming from the Laptop instead of the T.V.

        After that, I have solved my issue with getting under the hood of setting and change the output source.

        So, I thought you also face this kind of problem, why not make an article on this and solve our folk issues.

      • How to Install Nginx with Google PageSpeed on Ubuntu 20.04

        Nginx is a free and open-source web server that powers many sites on the internet. It can be used as a reverse proxy and load balancer. It is known for its high-performance and stability.

        ngx_pagespeed is an open-source Nginx module that can be used to optimize your website performance. It is developed by Google and reduces the page load time and speed up the website response time.

      • Install and Configure ZFS on FreeBSD – Linux Hint

        This article will demonstrate how to set up FreeBSD 12.0, the latest version, on Zettabyte File System, or ZFS. The method we’ll employ is going to use BSDinstall and consequently allocate all of the disks to host the FreeBSD system.

      • How to Share Files Between Windows and Linux

        File sharing is the action of sending a file or more from one computer to another. In theory, it’s a simple thing. The process is quite simple and straightforward if both of the computers are running the same operating system. When it’s different, things get a bit complicated.

      • How To Install Firefox on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Firefox on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Firefox is the default web browser in a number of Linux distributions and CentOS is one of them. Firefox comes preinstalled in CentOS unless you are using CentOS minimal version. With the release of this version of the Firefox browser feels completely different, modern, quick, and efficient. You will notice that the new Firefox is blazing fast than previous versions.

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

      • How to install Chrome browser on Elementary OS – Linux Shout

        Although if your purpose is just browsing then no doubt, Epiphany is good to go because of privacy and default Duck Duck Go search engine. However, those who want to sync their data such as history and password available on Google Account must want to have Chrome on Elementary OS, and here we will let you know the steps to install the same.

      • FreeBSD change timezone – Linux Hint

        This is going to be a quick post about changing time zones on a FreeBSD server. To cut to the chase, FreeBSD allows users to change timezones by simply using a date command variation. And we’ll show you exactly how to use this command and update the system date and time by messing things up.

      • How to install Firefox on a Chromebook

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

        If you have any questions, please contact us via a YouTube comment and we would be happy to assist you!

      • Install KDE on FreeBSD – Linux Hint

        This tutorial is about setting up KDE on FreeBSD 10.2. KDE is short for K Desktop Environment, and it’s a Linux desktop manager with a simple, straightforward, and very intuitive interface. It comes with everything that a modern desktop manager does: toolbars, applications, a variety of different color themes, an all-encompassing start menu, internationalization features, and desktop configuration options that are dialog-driven.

      • Install docker on FreeBSD – Linux Hint

        This is going to be a quick tutorial that’ll show you how to set up docker on a FreeBSD system. Docker, as you’re probably familiar with, is a utility that alleviates making, deploy, and launching software programs by compiling it into lightweight, executable packages called containers. By condensing an application into a package, the developers create a standalone container that comes with all the libraries and dependencies included. This makes the distribution much easier for the devs, as the containers allow the applications to work on various Linux platforms.

        As of yet, docker isn’t supported for the FreeBSD operating system, so there’s no way you can use docker on FreeBSD, natively at least. Several attempts have been made to build the docker source up for FreeBSD, but none that I could find yielded any substantial results. This is likely because FreeBSD lacks some of Linux’s features, such as namespace and cgroups that aren’t yet a part of FreeBSD kernel.

        So that leaves us with one option only: using a virtual machine. So we’ll use virtualbox in this tutorial to fire up a Linux VM in FreeBSD and use docker within it.

      • Install Unbreakable Linux Kernel on Oracle Linux 8 – Linux Hint

        The UEK or Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is indeed a very efficient Linux kernel developed by Oracle and sponsored by Oracle Linux support. Its priority is consistency, reliability, and limited backports by monitoring the frontline source code as nearly as is practicable. The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, however, is published on an independent timeline and is often based on the latest mainline Linux kernel update. As a result, combined with tested consistency and reliability, it delivers the latest developments from mainline Linux. As Oracle Linux 8 is the latest released, so you might find it difficult to install Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel in it. Therefore, this article will help you install the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel in Oracle Linux 8. Login from your Oracle Linux 8 system and open the terminal to start the installation.

      • Install and Configure KVM on FreeBSD – Linux Hint

        KVM stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machine, and it is open-source virtualization software that lets you create virtual machines. It comes built into Linux and allows the user to create a hypervisor by which several virtual environments are completely isolated from one another can be hosted.

        This post will illustrate in a step by step detail the procedure for setting up and configuring the latest FreeBSD 12.0 on KVM. The tutorial assumes that you’re using one of the Linux distributions on your local machine.

      • Installing Nginx on FreeBSD – Linux Hint

        Nginx is a stylization for engine x. It is a free and open-source HTTP server written and developed by the Russian software engineer Igor system. Nginx is also frequently used as a reverse/mail proxy server and a load balancer. Although lightweight in its web server class, it is highly robust and produces impressive results nonetheless. As a result, it has been steadily on the rise and has gained a significant reputation as a reliable web server. It’s scalability and resource-optimization features have earned its place as one of the most popular webservers, with one estimate reporting over 38 percent of the top 1 million websites on the internet being hosted on Nginx servers around the world.

      • Create a New Table in MySQL – Linux Hint

        MySQL is a well-known and popular database management software that is available for free. The MySQL software is adaptable, reliable, and fast. After installing a DBMS, the first thing to do is to create a database and then start creating tables in it. This article shows you how to add a new table to your MySQL database.

        Before you begin learning about how to create a table in MySQL, it is assumed in this article that you have already installed MySQL on your system and that you have command over the creation and usage of databases in MySQL. If you have not yet installed MySQL, we have a dedicated article that shows you how to install MySQL in Ubuntu 20.04 (How to install and set up MySQL Database on Ubuntu 20.04 – Linux Hint).

      • Create a new User and Granting Privileges in MySQL – Linux Hint

        MySQL is a quick, reliable, and easy to use the database, which is backed by some of the famous organizations such as GitHub, NASA, Netflix, US NAVY, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and many more. We usually play with the database under the root user, which can modify anything. But if you are a database administrator in some big organization, you often need to manage users and care about a user’s privileges. In this article, we are going to create a new user in MySQL. We are going to learn about the creation of a user in MySQL and also see how we can grant or revoke privileges to some users of the databases or tables. So, let’s get started.

      • Delete/Drop a Table in MySQL – Linux Hint

        MySQL is a relational database management system that provides quick and reliable solutions. It is well-known for its ability to execute quickly and for its unique and straightforward user experience. Performing CRUD operations are the core operations and basic concepts when working with databases. In this article, you will learn how to delete a table in a database.

        Before learning more about the deletion of tables using MySQL, be sure that you have the latest version of MySQL installed on your computer. Also, ensure that you have a database and a table in it that you want to delete. In this article, we assume that you understand the basic concepts of MySQL statements and that you have a database and table in MySQL that you would like to delete.

      • Bash run command in the background – Linux Hint

        While using the command line in Linux, users usually have to wait for one command to run before proceeding to the next one. The commands usually seem to run smoothly and do not take a lot of time in their execution. The cd is the common example, for which users simply run the commands and quickly shift from one directory to another to perform relevant and required functions. The commands run and execute in a very short time, like in a few seconds and provide useful information needed to the user.

        At times, the processes might take a bit longer to run and complete its execution. This is when the one by one execution might become a bit challenging for the user. This can involve the pushing or monitoring of output to its logs. Such processes might take a longer duration unexpectedly as code compilation is not always smooth. This way, in the meantime, when the compilation is going on, users might not be able to access the system unless the compilation is finished. During compilation, the terminal cannot be used until it’s done. To continue the regular work while you are processing a command, users need to know how to run commands in the background in Linux. Let’s go through this tutorial to know more about it.

      • How to install OpenLDAP and phpLDAPadmin on Ubuntu Server 20.04 – TechRepublic

        For many larger businesses, having the ability to use centralized authentication is a boon. For those businesses, Microsoft’s Active Directory is the first choice. When you need an easy way to integrate into Active Directory, you might want to turn to OpenLDAP, which is a protocol that many different directory services and access management solutions can work with and understand.

      • How to Install PHP (7.4, 8.0) on Ubuntu – ThisHosting.Rocks

        Finally, the third part of our LAMP tutorial series: how to install PHP on Ubuntu. In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to install various versions of PHP, including PHP 7.4 and the latest PHP 8.0

        This tutorial should work for any Ubuntu release and other Ubuntu-based releases. Ubuntu 16.04, Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, and should even work for Xubuntu, Kubuntu and similar distros.

      • List Users in MySQL – Linux Hint

        MySQL is the most widely used, free open-source DBMS (Database Management System). It is used by some of the famous organizations like NASA, US NAVY, Tesla, Twitter, Spotify, and a lot more. If your work is related to database administration tasks for huge organizations and corporations, responsible for data integrity, and care for the privileges that users have over too many databases, then this article is for you. It will guide you in listing the users, look at the privileges they have, and list the users on behalf of a database. This is because we can list the users using MySQL’s own built mysql.user table.

        To list down the users in MySQL, we first need to login to the MySQL server.

      • Linux Parted Command Line Examples – Linux Hint

        There are many partitioning tools available, in which most of them have an interface in the form of a list. With hot keys and some tinkering, you can get a disk partitioned pretty quickly. However, fdisk is not meant to be used inside scripts; sfdisk is meant for scripting. Your opinion on which is best may vary. Here, you can hear about how to run parted.

        You can run parted, only from the command line but in two modes; command line and interactive. In interactive mode, you have a new shell with only parted commands, while in the command line, you enter a new command each time. There is also an -s option, so you can run many commands in one go.

      • MAAS CLI-only machine deployment | Ubuntu

        Continuing in our series on CLI-only MAAS operation, it’s time to deploy machines. In the previous post, we reached the point of creating and commissioning machines, using only the MAAS CLI. Moving forward, there are two key steps: acquiring machines, and then deploying them. Let’s take a look

      • Export Variables in Bash – Linux Hint

        Users can access the resources by setting the configurations and other settings that are integrated based on the input of the user. The environment is where users can keep track of all these settings, updates, and details to maintain the overall shell. In this guide, we will walk users through different ways to export the variables. To export a variable to an environment that has all child processes inside the shell, an “Export” command is used. By default, all of the variables that are defined by the users are local and are never exported to any new process on their creation. We use an export command to export all existing variables and defined functions within the child process. We will check out in detail how to export them using an example in the later section of this tutorial.

      • Alter Column in MySQL – Linux Hint

        While managing a database, a database administrator needs to alter the tables’ structure to stay up to date. In this article, we will learn some different types of tasks that we can do using MySQL’s provided ALTER command. So, let’s get started.

    • Games

      • Oxygen Not Included – Spaced Out! released into Early Access | GamingOnLinux

        Klei are back with their great space colony sim with the Oxygen Not Included – Spaced Out! expansion now available in Early Access with Linux support. Easily one of my favourite games from 2019, and now you’re telling me it’s even bigger? I didn’t need much of a push to get back into Oxygen Not Included as Klei had already crafted a fantastic game.


        As for how long to expect it to be in Early Access? That’s not clear. Klei said they don’t want to rush it, so they will develop this DLC just like they did with the base game – out in the open in Early Access, pulling in plenty of feedback. Once they get together the initial feedback they will be sorting out a more official roadmap of what’s to come. The price is likely to go up as more features go live too.

      • Program a simple game with Elixir | Opensource.com

        Another good tool for learning a new language is starting with a standard program. This allows you to focus on the language, not the program’s logic. We’re doing that in this article series using a “guess the number” program, in which the computer picks a number between one and 100 and asks you to guess it. The program loops until you guess the number correctly.

      • The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall game engine Daggerfall Unity now feature complete | GamingOnLinux

        Daggerfall Unity is the open source game engine built with Unity for running the 1996 classic The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall and it’s coming along very nicely.

        A new release just went up with Daggerfall Unity 0.10.28, which the developer mentions is now “feature complete” and so it will be moving from Alpha to Beta status soon. Going by their roadmap, that sure is a lot of completed items. It’s not finished though, as they will move onto bug fixing, minor adjustments, modding, translations and so on.

        What’s new with this release? Large HUD support, along with the ability to have the HUD docked or undocked meaning it can either stretch or have a more fixed size – good for bigger resolutions where it might get too stretched.

      • Standalone Steam Controller driver and UI ‘SC Controller’ gets a sweet small upgrade | GamingOnLinux

        SC Controller is a pretty essential standalone user-mode driver and configuration UI for working with the Steam Controller, and it just got the first stable update in some time. It enables you to use your Steam Controller fully outside of Steam, and it works really damn well.

        While the developer has been working on an experimental c port, others have submitted a few essential fixes so a new release went up. One major issue is with most modern Linux distributions moving to a major Python update, which broke SC Controller. Thankfully, as of the v0.4.8 release that’s not so much a problem with the AppImage now working on Ubuntu 20.04 and comparable distributions.

      • Stadia gets direct to YouTube livestreaming, a new home page, new games and more | GamingOnLinux

        Firstly, Stadia now has a newer home page for when you’re signed in. Originally, it simply gave you a navigation bar and then one single massive play button image with the the last game you played on Stadia. Not very useful, wasting a huge amount of space and it seems they realised that now. Instead, you now get the last game you played along with some useful other links in a new sidebar.

      • No-combat space exploration arrives on GOG with Out There: Ω Edition | GamingOnLinux

        Out There: Ω Edition, a space exploration game with no combat that you can sit back and chill with is now available DRM-free on GOG.com.

        You play as a astronaut who has awoken from cryo-sleep to find they’re a long way from home, in an unknown part of the galaxy. The idea is that Out There is about the journey, surviving whatever horrors space will throw at you while you hop between planets and star systems to gather supplies.

      • Ultimate ADOM – Caverns of Chaos releases in February 2021 | GamingOnLinux

        Team ADOM and Assemble Entertainment have announced that Ultimate ADOM – Caverns of Chaos will be releasing into Early Access in early 2021. On February 11, 2021 it will be supported across Linux, macOS and Windows on Steam. What is it? The sequel to the classic ADOM that they say is a “traditionally-inspired reimaging of the beloved genre and features endless procedurally generated dungeons, monsters, and crafting options, allowing for ultimate replayability”.

      • Explore, hatch monsters and train in Monster Sanctuary out now | GamingOnLinux

        Monster Sanctuary from Moi Rai Games and Team17 has now left Early Access as a finished game, along with a bunch of extra content in the 1.0 update.

        Clearly and obviously inspired by the likes of Pokemon and other similar titles, Monster Sanctuary still manages to offer its own unique take on monster catching. It’s blends together a side-scrolling platformer metroidvania with turn-based tactical battles, with the result being very good. With various monsters having different active abilities in the main exploration, you will need the help of this critters to get passed different obstacles and it’s a lot of fun to try and hatch them all.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Souk – New Independent Flatpak App Store Coming to GNOME

          Tired of gnome-software eating up your RAM, slowing your system? Souk – a new Flatpak app store that comes to the rescue.

        • Is Souk the Flatpak App Store Experience We’ve Been Waiting For?

          It’s called Souk (a word meaning ‘Arab bazaar’ or ‘marketplace’) and it’s built using GTK4 (due for release this month) and Rust (very popular programming language).

          Souk is the work of Felix Häcker, the hands behind a slate of well-made, well-designed GTK apps available for Linux desktops including Shortwave and Fragments, and Christoper Davis, with design input from Tobias Bernard.

          GNOME Software (called ‘Ubuntu Software’ or ‘Snap Store’ in Ubuntu, depending on which About screen you look at) is the tool most of us turn to when we want to install Flatpak apps on systems.

    • Distributions

      • 5 Best Linux Distros for Beginners in 2021 to use on laptop or PC

        The days were gone when Linux was just a command line with a simple GUI meant to use by only geeks. Now, there are so many popular open-source distributions are available that are not only beautiful and easy to understand but also offer inbuilt software manager to install various software with just one click.

        Also, the installation of Linux OS is not complicated anymore, most of the available ones come with a GUI installer. However, if you are new to Linux and don’t know which one to choose out of dozens available out there then here are some hank picked ones to ponder upon.

      • New Releases

        • CRUX 3.6

          This page discusses the relevant changes introduced in CRUX 3.6. Everybody upgrading from the previous release is advised to carefully read the following notes.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora/Oracle

        • CentOS dumping tells us Red Hat has only dollar signs in its sights

          Open source company Red Hat’s decision to gut its CentOS distribution should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the company for some years and seen how it has gone from having some ethics and principles to just another American software firm: one that places the profit motive above everything.

        • Red Hat kills off CentOS; users frustrated, angry and annoyed

          Less than a year and a half after it was bought by IBM, the biggest open source company Red Hat has killed off CentOS, once an independent project but since January 2014 a part of Red Hat itself.

        • The CentOS Project Just Committed Suicide

          In shocking news the CentOS project announced today that are shifting their Linux distribution to be based on the beta (non-stable) branch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, rather than the stable branch. And that they are terminating CentOS 8 updates at the 31st of December, 2021.

          The CentOS project will now release something named “CentOS Stream”, which is a Linux distribution built on the beta branch of RHEL so that contributors and interested groups can solve issues and report bugs before the software are shipped in RHEL. In other words, CentOS will become a testing mice for RHEL before new RHEL versions get released.

          Historically, the CentOS Linux distribution was always built on the stable branch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, providing binary compatibility between the two while also providing the same quality and stability. Red Hat publishes the source RPMs (SPRMS) of all its packages publicly on the Internet, and what the CentOS project was doing is that it was taking these packages, building them, and then shipping them under the CentOS re-branding. It also provided a promise that it will support each CentOS release up to 10 years with updates. Today, all of these promises are canceled as the project takes a new direction.

        • CentOS Project Shifts Focus to CentOS Stream

          The future of the CentOS Project is CentOS Stream, and over the next year we’ll be shifting focus from CentOS Linux, the rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), to CentOS Stream, which tracks just ahead of a current RHEL release. CentOS Linux 8, as a rebuild of RHEL 8, will end at the end of 2021. CentOS Stream continues after that date, serving as the upstream (development) branch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux.


          CentOS Stream will also be the centerpiece of a major shift in collaboration among the CentOS Special Interest Groups (SIGs). This ensures SIGs are developing and testing against what becomes the next version of RHEL. This also provides SIGs a clear single goal, rather than having to build and test for two releases. It gives the CentOS contributor community a great deal of influence in the future of RHEL. And it removes confusion around what “CentOS” means in the Linux distribution ecosystem.

          When CentOS Linux 8 (the rebuild of RHEL8) ends, your best option will be to migrate to CentOS Stream 8, which is a small delta from CentOS Linux 8, and has regular updates like traditional CentOS Linux releases. If you are using CentOS Linux 8 in a production environment, and are concerned that CentOS Stream will not meet your needs, we encourage you to contact Red Hat about options.

        • CentOS announces reduced lifecycle on CentOS 8 and Stream Focus

          My following statements will pigeon-hole both Fedora and CentOS as being a-certain-thing when they are really nuanced and multi-faceted. Fedora is way ahead of RHEL… and RHEL was usually freezing on a version of Fedora and then building on it for a year to a year and a half before it became RHEL and by that time, Fedora had kept on moving with 3 more releases. So while Fedora is (again in a single aspect) the proving ground for new technologies… it led by alot.

        • Red Hat resets CentOS Linux and users are angry

          Red Hat, CentOS’s Linux parent company, announced it was “shifting focus from CentOS Linux, the rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), to CentOS Stream, which tracks just ahead of a current RHEL release.” In other words, CentOS will no longer be a stable point distribution but a rolling release Linux distribution. CentOS users are ticked off.

          Why? First, you need to understand what’s going on. A rolling-release Linux is one that’s constantly being updated. Examples of these include Arch, Manjaro, and openSUSE Tumbleweed. Here, CentOS Stream will be RHEL’s upstream (development) branch. This may sound like CentOS will be RHEL’s beta, but CentOS denies this.

          In the CentOS FAQ, the company states: “CentOS Stream will be getting fixes and features ahead of RHEL. Generally speaking, we expect CentOS Stream to have fewer bugs and more runtime features than RHEL until those packages make it into the RHEL release.”

        • Why the shift from CentOS to CentOS Stream is a big mistake

          If you follow open source enough, you might have heard the latest grumblings from the belly of the sleeping beast–Red Hat has announced it was killing CentOS as we currently know it and is replacing that beloved, highly stable server distribution with CentOS Stream. What is CentOS Stream? Put simply, it’s a rolling release version of CentOS. If you’re following along, you understand why this is a big mistake. If you’re not quite sure of that path from A to Z, let me explain.

          First, a bit of education.

        • IBM’s Red Hat Just Killed CentOS as we Know it

          CentOS is regarded as a stable, secure and free Linux distribution for servers. The stability part of it is being jeopardized thanks to the latest changes made to this project by IBM-owned Red Hat.

        • Meet Rocky Linux: New RHEL Fork by the Original CentOS Creator

          Rocky Linux is a community enterprise Operating System designed to be 100% bug-for-bug compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux now that CentOS has shifted direction.

        • The Level Up Hour (S1E18) Part 2: Nextcloud in Red Hat OpenShift – YouTube
        • Oracle Linux 8: Disk Management made easy with short training videos

          This week’s blog presents a set of short videos on how to manage disk storage for your Oracle Linux 8 systems. Partitioning disks, creating file systems, and mounting file systems is an essential skill needed to provide storage for users, applications, and data.

        • Spring Boot to Quarkus migrations and more in Red Hat’s migration toolkit for applications 5.1.0 – Red Hat Developer

          Migration toolkit for applications originally was designed to support JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBoss EAP) upgrades and migrations from proprietary application servers such as Oracle WebLogic. It has evolved to support a wider variety of migration paths, including containerization. Java developers use the toolkit to assist migrations from the Oracle Java Development Kit (JDK) to OpenJDK, from Apache Camel 2 to Apache Camel 3, from Spring Boot to Spring Boot on Red Hat Runtimes, and more.

          Migration toolkit for applications analyzes your code and reveals proprietary technologies and patterns that might not work for containers or Linux. It then proposes changes to make your applications portable. The latest version, migration toolkit for applications 5.1.0, includes features to ease the migration to rising technologies like Quarkus.

        • [Fedora] Community Blog monthly summary: November 2020

          In November, we published 19 posts. The site had 4,418 visits from 2,310 unique viewers. Readers wrote one comment. 165 visits came from Fedora Planet, while 620 came from search engines, and 97 came from Reddit.

        • Call for Code Daily: Recognizing Regional Innovation – IBM Developer

          The power of Call for Code® is in the global community that we have built around this major #TechforGood initiative. Whether it is the deployments that are underway across pivotal projects, developers leveraging the starter kits in the cloud, or ecosystem partners joining the fight, everyone has a story to tell. Call for Code Daily highlights all the amazing #TechforGood stories taking place around the world. Every day, you can count on us to share these stories with you.

        • Aggregating Ansible Tower logs to Splunk | Enable Sysadmin

          Most enterprise IT organizations deploy log aggregation facilities to support new ways of working through operational intelligence and various forms of automation. The Ansible Tower dashboard itself gives us a good view of the state of our inventory, hosts, scheduled tasks, and manual job runs. To supplement this, logging was introduced as a standalone feature to allow Tower to send detailed logs to several third party external log aggregation services that most IT organizations already have.

          As discussed here, this feature enables admins to gain insights and a better view of Tower utilization and trends. This information is then used to analyze infrastructure events and anomalies, and how they are related to one another, achieving operational intelligence. The feature currently works with Splunk, Loggly, Sumologic, and Elastic Stack (formerly ELK stack).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • An update on MDN Web Docs’ localization strategy – Mozilla Hacks – the Web developer blog

            In our previous post — MDN Web Docs evolves! Lowdown on the upcoming new platform — we talked about many aspects of the new MDN Web Docs platform that we’re launching on December 14th. In this post, we’ll look at one aspect in more detail — how we are handling localization going forward. We’ll talk about how our thinking has changed since our previous post, and detail our updated course of action.

          • Firefox Nightly: These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 84
          • Why getting voting right is hard, Part I: Introduction and Requirements – The Mozilla Blog

            Every two years around this time, the US has an election and the rest of the world marvels and asks itself one question: What the heck is going on with US elections? I’m not talking about US politics here but about the voting systems (machines, paper, etc.) that people use to vote, which are bafflingly complex. While it’s true that American voting is a chaotic patchwork of different systems scattered across jurisdictions, running efficient secure elections is a genuinely hard problem. This is often surprising to people who are used to other systems that demand precise accounting such as banking/ATMs or large scale databases, but the truth is that voting is fundamentally different and much harder.

            In this series I’ll be going through a variety of different voting systems so you can see how this works in practice. This post provides a brief overview of the basic requirements for voting systems. We’ll go into more detail about the practical impact of these requirements as we examine each system.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Life after proprietary wares: German support biz flees IBM Db2 databases for something more Postgres-shaped

          A German IT services outfit specialising in the insurance market has migrated 500 IBM Db2 databases to the EnterpriseDB (EDB) iteration of Postgres in a sign of life after proprietary wares.

          BG-Phoenics joins Indian credit reference agency TransUnion CIBIL, which shifted Oracle workloads to EDB, providing evidence for the viability of open-source database tech for demanding business workloads.

          Harald Stefan, head of platform databases for BG Phoenics, was in 2017 responsible for around 1,500 operational databases supporting 8,500 IT users in the social insurance market. His team took the decision to replace all of its IBM technology, including Db2, Tivoli and Websphere, which by the end of 2019 made up the core infrastructure supporting the content management system.

          Databases varied in size from smaller than 100GB to 2.5TB.

          The reason for the departure from Big Blue’s technology was the complexity of the architecture and subsequent effect on management and licensing. It also had an impact on deployment times.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.6 “Simone”

          Meet Simone, our latest and greatest WordPress release. Named for the legendary performer Nina Simone, who is known for tunes like “Feeling Good”, “Young, Gifted and Black”, and “Four Women”. Fire up a playlist with her best work and read on to discover what we have in store for you.

        • Goodbye WordPress, I’ve Switched To Jekyll

          There are a number of reasons as to why I’ve decided to make the switch from WordPress to Jekyll. This isn’t something I’ve taken lightly, dear reader.

          I realised that I was spending an inordinate amount of time pissing about with the design of my blog instead of actually writing. The design was fun and cool, but I couldn’t help but constantly tweak little things here and there.

          Add to this the fact that PHP8 is coming soon, which potentially brings a whole host of incompatibility problems with it, I just couldn’t be bothered with the upkeep anymore. I need to get back to writing.

      • FSFE

        • Dutch Public Money? Public Code! video released! — nico.rikken’s blog

          In my last blogpost I wrote about how we created a Dutch video translation of the Public Money? Public Code! campaign video. Well, you can now watch it yourself, as it has been released! On the 25th of November we held our Netherlands online get-together in which we showed it as a sneak preview, before release. At this meeting Matthias also joined to congratulate us with the result and to thank us for our efforts. This was a welcome surprise. Our next online get-together will be held on the 23rd of December, feel free to join and have a chat.

      • FSF

        • 35 years of freedom and memories from the FSF tech team

          This installment is focused on the history of what has come to be the FSF’s tech team. The FSF started in 1985, and this series of articles is by no means an attempt to create a comprehensive linear history. Instead, I spoke to some of the former and current FSF system administrators and asked them for memorable moments from their time working with the FSF. This article lays out those stories and moments in the history of the technical infrastructure of FSF in a very simplified order. The two following articles in this series will highlight key moments in free software licensing and campaigning.

        • GNU Projects

          • autoconf-2.70 released [stable]
            We are pleased to announce stable release 2.70 of GNU Autoconf.
            This release includes eight years of development work since the
            previous release, 2.69.  Noteworthy changes include support for the
            2011 revisions of the C and C++ standards, support for reproducible
            builds, improved support for cross-compilation, improved compatibility
            with current compilers and shell utilities, more efficient generated
            shell code, and many bug fixes.  See below for a detailed list of
            changes since the previous version, 2.69, as summarized by the NEWS
            Unfortunately, we were not able to maintain perfect backward
            compatibility with existing Autoconf scripts.  Caution is advised when
            upgrading.  The list of changes, below, includes detailed explanations
            and advice for all of the compatibility problems we know about.
          • GNU autoconf-2.70 released [LWN.net]

            GNU Autoconf 2.70 is out. “Noteworthy changes include support for the 2011 revisions of the C and C++ standards, support for reproducible builds, improved support for cross-compilation, improved compatibility with current compilers and shell utilities, more efficient generated shell code, and many bug fixes.” See this article for more information on what has been happening with Autoconf.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt 6.0 is coming to town, but add-ons might take a little longer

          Version 6.0 of cross-platform development framework for GUIs and apps Qt has seen its promised December release and is now ready for downloading. However, those who heavily rely on add-ons might have to wait until September 2021 to really get going.

          According to chief maintainer Lars Knoll, the decision to take it slow on these modules was made intentionally, “to free up time to ensure that we could complete all the changes we needed to make for the Qt framework’s essential modules”.

          Version 6.1 will “focus mainly on bug fixing and stability” with a feature freeze planned for late January, and a final release scheduled for late April.

        • “A damn stupid thing to do”—the origins of C

          In one form or another, C has influenced the shape of almost every programming language developed since the 1980s. Some languages like C++, C#, and objective C are intended to be direct successors to the language, while other languages have merely adopted and adapted C’s syntax. A programmer conversant in Java, PHP, Ruby, Python or Perl will have little difficulty understanding simple C programs, and in that sense, C may be thought of almost as a lingua franca among programmers.

          But C did not emerge fully formed out of thin air as some programming monolith. The story of C begins in England, with a colleague of Alan Turing and a program that played checkers.

        • FirebirdWebAdmin status for Firebird Advent 2020
        • Opting your domain out of programmatic advertising

          A few years ago, the advertising industry introduced the ads.txt project in order to defend against widespread domain spoofing vulnerabilities in programmatic advertising.

        • Types of Software Testing – Linux Hint

          The strategy for testing each software product is different. We need to consider the business goals and/or purpose of the software before developing the software test strategy. For example, software that runs in an airplane, which controls the engine and flight safety, has a different business context than a viral video sharing platform on the internet for kids. For the airplane software, it’s very critical that absolutely everything is defined and verified. Rapid new feature development and change is not a priority. For the viral video platform, the business needs innovation, speed, and rapid improvement, which are much more important than guaranteed validation of the system. Each context is different, and there are many different practices for software testing. Building the test strategy will consist of a mixture of the appropriate types of testing from the list of possible testing types, which are categorized below. In this article, we will list different types of software testing.


          Simple apps on a phone, operating systems like Ubuntu, Windows, or Linux Mint, and software that runs nuclear submarines need frequent upgrades. The process of the upgrade itself could introduce bugs and defects that would not exist on a fresh install because the state of the environment was different and the process of introducing the new software on top of the old could have introduced bugs. Let’s take a simple example, we have a laptop running Ubuntu 18.04, and we want to upgrade to Ubuntu 20.04. This is a different process of installing the operating system than directly cleaning the hard drive and installing Ubuntu 20.04. Therefore, after the software is installed or any of its derivative functions, it might not be working 100% as expected or the same as when the software was freshly installed. So, we should first consider testing the upgrade itself under many different cases and scenarios to ensure that the upgrade works to completion. And then, we must also consider testing the actual system post upgrade to ensure that the software was laid down and functioning as expected. We would not repeat all test cases of a freshly installed system, which would be a waste of time, but we will think carefully with our knowledge of the system of what COULD break during an upgrade and strategically add test cases for those functions.

        • The V-Model | SUSE Communities

          Having suffered through my adoration of the venerable Waterfall Model (WM), it’s time to expand upon it and bring us out of the bronze age of system development and into the age of steam with the V-Model (VM).
          The VM is similar to the WM in that it promotes a flow from requirements through architecture and design to the implementation, thus increasing details over time. Where the VM diverges is that specification of testing comes early and often, right alongside development. The left side of the “V” represents the decomposition of requirements into an architecture and design that informs the system’s implementation, covering the first three quarters of the WM. The right side of the “V” represents stages of testing and integration of the implemented system. Arrows from the right to the left show what stage of tests will test what stage of development.

        • Git environment and environmental variables setup – Linux Hint

          Git is a freely available distributed version control software under the conditions of GNU (General Public Licence version 2). This system is used for source code management with a high emphasis on efficiency and speed. Linus Torvalds was initially designed and developed Git for Linux kernel development. It is an open-source tool that is easy to learn and has a lightning-fast performance. It supports various SCM tools, like CVS, Subversion, Perforce, and ClearCase, providing the features of multiple workflows, cheap local branching, and convenient staging areas.

          This article will explain the installation of the git environment and how to set up its variable on the Linux system. All steps we have performed on the Ubuntu 20.04 system in this article.

        • C++ Function Overloading – Linux Hint

          C++ is a flexible general-purpose programming language. This programming language was originally created by Bjarne Stroustrup, a Danish computer scientist, back in 1985. C++ supports polymorphism, inheritance, and more. This article covers function overloading to achieve compile-time polymorphism in the C++ programming language.

        • ROS – an Open Source Framework for Robotics Programming

          ROS (Robot Operating System) is an open source framework (not a real operating system) for writing robot software. It started in 2007 by Eric Berger and Keenan Wyrobek (they were PhD students at Stanford University) with the goal of simplifying the process of creating complex robot behavior across a wide variety of robotic platforms, which enables software developers with little robotics hardware knowledge to write software for robots. ROS is licensed under the permissive BSD license.

        • 5 Phoenix open source projects to study

          Phoenix is a mostly well-documented and easy-to-follow web framework. But if you never worked on an Elixir app before, you might need a little guidance in structuring your first application and see some Phoenix patterns in the wild.

        • How to encode a PHP script – Linux Hint

          Encoding can be used to change the format of data. For example, an audio or video file can be encoded to reduce its size. Many built-in functions in PHP can be used to encode to implement different types of encodings. In this tutorial, we will discuss some of the encoding methods most widely used in PHP.

        • What is Federated Learning in 5G C-V2X?

          Some of the open-source frameworks supported for Federated Learning are PyTorch, TensorFlow, Keras, etc…

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • How to Create a Hello World Application in Python Using Tkinter – Linux Hint

            Tkinter or “TK Interface” module provides various classes and functions to create cross-platform graphical applications in Python using the “Tk UI” framework. Tkinter is included in the default modules shipped with Python builds, even though it is maintained by ActiveState. It is one of the most popular GUI toolkits available for Python, useful for both creating quick prototypes and for development of full-fledged applications. This article covers a guide about installation of Tkinter in Linux, some code samples and their explanation to create a simple “Hello World” application.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Comparing strings more clearly

            In a recent data audit, field 19 of a TSV contained a scientific name, and field 20 contained another version of the name plus the scientific authority for that name.

          • How to print a range of columns using the `awk` command – Linux Hint

            The `awk` command is one of many commands that can be used to print a range of columns from tabular data in Linux. The `awk` command is can be used directly from the terminal by executing the `awk` script file. In this tutorial, we will show you how to print a range of columns from tabular data.

        • Rust

          • Advent of Rust 7: What Type is a sum()? | The Mad Scientist Review

            Welcome back to the stream-of-consciousness log of me solving the puzzles at Advent of Code 2020 in order to teach myself the Rust programming language.

            This is the end of the first week of learning. The posts are getting shorter, and while I found in the first days that writing about each compiler error helped me think about what might be causing it, now I have usually figured out what’s going on before I finish writing.

            So I think today’s might be the last installment in which I go into so much detail about compiler errors; starting this week I’ll post shorter entries, maybe bunched into a few days at a time, that write about the approach I took and what errors were still surprising to me, instead of writing about every time I have to add or delete a & operator. (But if hearing about those details would still be useful to you, now is a good time to let me know!)

  • Leftovers

    • Keeping the Horrible Alive

      The primary goal of the aggressor nation is to break the will of the people in their ability to defend their homeland. This insane strategy is the great truth that has great silence. It is as old as warfare itself.

      Geneva Convention Rules are for fools. This truth is obliterated from the minds of people who are propagandized by the ruling elite every single day of their lives. As George Orwell wrote in his book 1984: ” The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those who speak it.”

    • Science

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Vivaldi Browser 3.5 Released with Sharing via QR Code | UbuntuHandbook

          Vivaldi web browser 3.5 was released a day ago with improved tabs and media playback, and support for sharing URL via QR code.


          Vivaldi also has an official apt repository, with it you can install the browser and get future updates through Software Updater utility.

          Open terminal either via Ctrl+Alt+T keyboard shortcut or by searching for terminal from application menu.

        • Vivaldi releases new browser version for desktop users

          Norway-based Vivaldi Technologies has released a new version of its browser of the same name for the desktop user, with a number of new features.

        • Wormable, Zero-Click Vulnerability in Microsoft Teams

          Vegeris, a security engineer at Evolution Gaming, warned that a novel cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability at the ‘teams.microsoft.com’ domain could be abused to trigger a remote code execution flaw in the Microsoft Teams desktop application.

        • A firm that helps protect businesses and cities from cyberattacks just got hit by one – CNN
        • Major cybersecurity firm says it was hacked in sophisticated nation-state attack

          FireEye CEO Kevin Mandia wrote in a blog post that “based on my 25 years in cyber security and responding to incidents, I’ve concluded we are witnessing an attack by a nation with top-tier offensive capabilities.”

        • Crown jewels gone: FireEye Red Team tools stolen by unknown actor

          Cyber security vendor FireEye has a considerable amount of egg on its face after the tools used by its Red Team — an attack unit — have been stolen by a group that it claims is a “highly sophisticated state-sponsored adversary”.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Google opens its Fuchsia operating system to outside code contributors

              Members of the open-source community can now contribute code to Fuchsia, an experimental operating system that Google LLC has been developing over the past four years.

              Fuchsia first appeared with little fanfare in 2016 as a project on Google’s official GitHub page. The operating system is open-source and developers outside the search giant could freely access its code, but until today, they couldn’t contribute their own to the project. That is now changing.

            • Google’s Fuchsia OS is now open to public contributions, gets a “roadmap”

              We were first made aware of Fuchsia OS, an open-source operating system developed by Google, in 2016. At the time, nobody clearly knew what was the goal of the project, although some speculated it could be a Linux replacement. We first wrote about it in 2018, as Fuchsia OS added support for several Amlogic processors hinting that it may be used in TV boxes and media streamers. Google also launched a developer website in 2019 to provide more information and resources to people outside the company interested in trying it out.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Top 3 Motivations For Open Source Contributors Are Non-Monetary: Report

                There is a need to dedicate more effort to the security of FOSS, but the burden should not fall solely on contributors. According to the Report on the 2020 FOSS Contributor Survey, respondents spend, on average, just 2.27 percent of their total contribution time on security and express little desire to increase that time.

                The report, released by the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) and the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH), details the findings of a contributor survey administered by the organizations and focused on how contributors engage with open source software.

              • New Open Source Contributor Report from Linux Foundation and Harvard Identifies Motivations and Opportunities for Improving Software Security

                The Linux Foundation’s Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) and the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard (LISH) today announced the release of a new report, “Report on the 2020 FOSS Contributor Survey,” which details the findings of a contributor survey administered by the organizations and focused on how contributors engage with open source software. The research is part of an ongoing effort to study and identify ways to improve the security and sustainability of open source software.

              • Automotive Grade Linux Releases 10th Version Of Unified Code Base

                Recently, Automotive Grade Linux (AGL) released the 10th version of its unified code base (UCB) for automakers, codenamed “Jumping Jellyfish.” Developed through a joint effort by dozens of member companies, the AGL Unified Code Base (UCB) is an open source software platform for infotainment, telematics, and instrument cluster applications.

                “The AGL platform is Yocto-based, and for Jumping Jellyfish, we updated to Yocto’s first Long Term Support (LTS) release named Dunfell,” said Dan Cauchy, Executive Director of Automotive Grade Linux at the Linux Foundation. “This is significant as it means the Yocto Project will provide patches, fixes, and updates for an extended period of time, something that is essential for automotive systems, which have a longer life cycle than many other embedded Linux applications.”

                For people familiar with AGL and/or the Linux world, the quote above will make sense. For the rest of us, I’ll give some more background information.

              • Linux Foundation debuts new, secure, open source cloud native access management software platform

                Every time we use an online pay service, manage our finances online, or enter our credit-card information, we’re demonstrating our good faith. Now, one organization wants to help us feel even more secure.


                The Linux Foundation, a nonprofit organization enabling innovation through open source, also announced the Janssen Project Technical Steering Committee (TSC), which is comprised of engineers from IDEMIA, F5, BioID, Couchbase, and Gluu.

                It may not seem like a fresh concept—others have developed identity and access management platforms now in use—but the Janssen Project aspires to tackle, the Linux Foundation assured, “the most challenging security and performance requirements.”

                Janssen uses a set of signing and encryption functionality, applicable for high-assurance transactions. It’s based on new code that fuels the Gluu Server, which passed, said the Linux Foundation, the most OpenID self-certification tests among platforms.

              • Linux Foundation Announces Janssen Project

                The Linux Foundation has announced the Janssen Project, a cloud native identity and access management software platform that prioritizes security and performance for our digital society.

                Based on the latest code that powers the Gluu Server–which has passed more OpenID self-certification tests then any other platform, Janssen starts with a rich set of signing and encryption functionality that can be used for high assurance transactions.

        • Security

          • Publicly known support credentials expose GE Healthcare imaging devices to hacking

            Over 100 device models from GE Healthcare that are used primarily for radiological and imaging purposes in hospitals and other healthcare facilities can easily be compromised by hackers because of default support credentials that are publicly known but can’t be changed easily by users. This insecure implementation of remote management functionality allows hackers to access sensitive data stored on the impacted devices as well as infect them with malicious code that would be very hard to detect.

            Healthcare organizations have increasingly been targeted by cybercriminals groups this year, particularly those distributing ransomware. Three US agencies—the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—jointly issued an alert, warning that groups like TrickBot, Ryuk and Conti pose an imminent threat to US hospitals and healthcare providers. Vulnerabilities like the one found in GE Healthcare devices can enhance those attacks giving hackers access to critical devices that organizations can’t afford to be offline.

          • Critical, Unpatched Bug Opens GE Radiological Devices to Remote Code Execution | Threatpost

            A CISA alert is flagging a critical default credentials issue that affects 100+ types of devices found in hospitals, from MRI machines to surgical imaging.

            A pair of critical vulnerabilities have been discovered in dozens of GE Healthcare radiological devices popular in hospitals, which could allow an attacker to gain access to sensitive personal health information (PHI), alter data and even shut the machine’s availability down.

          • GE puts default password in radiology devices, leaving healthcare networks exposed

            Fixing the critical vulnerability isn’t straightforward and comes with its own risks.

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (golang-golang-x-net-dev, python-certbot, and xorg-server), Fedora (resteasy, scap-security-guide, and vips), openSUSE (chromium, python, and rpmlint), SUSE (kernel), and Ubuntu (aptdaemon, curl, gdk-pixbuf, lxml, and openssl, openssl1.0).

          • Aireplay-ng – Linux Hint

            Aireplay-ng is used to generate rogue Wireless traffic. It can be used along with aircrack-ng to crack WEP and WPA keys. The main purpose of aireplay-ng is to inject frames. There are several different types of powerful attacks that can be performed using aireplay-ng, such as the deauthentication attack, which helps in capturing WPA handshake data, or the fake authentication attack, in which packets are injected into the network access point by authenticating to it to create and capture new IVs.

          • Patch Tuesday, Good Riddance 2020 Edition

            Microsoft today issued its final batch of security updates for Windows PCs in 2020, ending the year with a relatively light patch load. Nine of the 58 security vulnerabilities addressed this month earned Microsoft’s most-dire “critical” label, meaning they can be abused by malware or miscreants to seize remote control over PCs without any help from users.


            So do yourself a favor and backup before installing any patches. Windows 10 even has some built-in tools to help you do that, either on a per-file/folder basis or by making a complete and bootable copy of your hard drive all at once.

            And if you wish to ensure Windows has been set to pause updating so you can back up your files and/or system before the operating system decides to reboot and install patches on its own schedule, see this guide.

            As always, if you experience glitches or problems installing any of these patches this month, please consider leaving a comment about it below; there’s a better-than-even chance other readers have experienced the same and may chime in here with some helpful tips.

          • How Kali Linux creators plan to handle the future of penetration testing – Help Net Security

            Offensive Security might best known as the company behind Kali Linux, the popular (and free) open-source pen testing platform, but its contribution to the information security industry is definitely not limited to it.

            “Over 60% of Fortune 100 companies employ Offensive Security-trained professionals – that is definitely something for us to be proud of,” says its CEO, Ning Wang.

            The company’s main goal, according to her, is to train millions of professionals to embrace the hacker mindset and the essential ethical hacking skills needed to break into and to succeed within the cybersecurity industry.

            “Traditionally, we have focused on those with a fair amount of IT hands-on experience to gain the try harder mindset to become a professional penetration tester. Going forward, we will develop training for more people with more diverse backgrounds,” she told Help Net Security.

          • Center for Internet Security (CIS) compliance in Red Hat Enterprise Linux using OpenSCAP

            The CIS (Center for Internet Security) produces various cyber security related services. In particular, it produces benchmarks, which are “configuration guidelines for various technology groups to safeguard systems against today evolving cyber threat” in the words of the CIS.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • A Threat to ‘Both Society and Consumers’: New Campaign Urges Reviewers to Stop Recommending Amazon Doorbell Cameras

              “Ignoring the broader societal impact of a product does not make your review ‘neutral,’ it makes it reckless and incomplete.”

            • Patriot Act Used By The FBI To Collect Internet Browsing Data, Contradicting Claims Made To Oversight

              The NSA shut down its bulk phone records collection — authorized under Section 215 — after it became apparent it wasn’t worth the effort. Reforms put in place by the USA Freedom Act prevented the agency from collecting it all and sorting it out later. Instead, it had to approach telcos with actual targeted requests and only haul away responsive records. The NSA somehow still managed to overcollect records, putting it in violation of the law. The NSA hinted the program had outlived its usefulness anyway, suggesting it had far better collections available under other authorities that it would rather not subject to greater scrutiny.

            • Does Palantir See Too Much?

              Palantir is pricey — customers pay $10 million to $100 million annually — and not everyone is enamored of the product. Home Depot, Hershey, Coca-Cola and American Express all dropped Palantir after using it. Even within the intelligence community, there seem to be mixed opinions. Three years ago, BuzzFeed obtained a leaked video in which Karp told Palantir employees that the company’s relationship with the National Security Agency had ended. Several former C.I.A. analysts told me that they and their colleagues were underwhelmed by Palantir. But the C.I.A. is a big place, and others who worked there extolled it.

            • Facebook Gaming Launches Black Creator Program

              Facebook launched its gaming tab in early 2019 as a dedicated platform for users to play and watch games, as well as engage with the gaming and esports community. Later in the year the tech giant debuted a dedicated app for video games, allowing users to live-stream directly from their phones directly to Facebook.

            • Pornhub bans unverified uploads, ability to download content from site

              Pornhub will ban unverified content from being posted on its website and prohibit users from downloading content effective immediately, the company announced Tuesday.

              The update came after mounting pressure following a New York Times column published last week stating that the website contained rape scenes, revenge pornography and underaged sex. Days after the piece was published, credit card companies Mastercard and Visa said they were reviewing their businesses relationships with Pornhub.

            • Pornhub limits uploads and disables downloads after New York Times exposé

              In a statement today, Pornhub announced a new set of policies aimed at keeping nonconsensual videos off the site. Most significantly, the platform will no longer accept uploads from unidentified users, a significant shift for a company that built its platform on non-professional uploads. In the short term, that will restrict uploads to content partners and members of the platform’s Model Program, although Pornhub plans to roll out a broader verification process for regular users in 2021.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Spilling Ink and Spilling Blood: Fighting and Writing Against America’s Forever Wars

        Pen pals of war.

      • ‘A God-fearing youth’ Chechnya’s ‘Grozny TV’ airs sympathetic segment on Chechen teenager who murdered teacher in France

        On Monday, December 7, the Chechen state television channel “Grozny” aired a segment about the funeral of 18-year-old Abdullakh Anzorov, who was shot dead by French police when they attempted to arrest him for the beheading of history teacher Samuel Paty back in October. During the segment, the channel’s correspondent called Anzorov a “God-fearing youth” and maintained that an “Islamophobic provocation” drove him to commit murder. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to comment on whether or not the statements made during the segment could be considered a justification of terrorism.

      • Why Biden was Also a Target in the Assassination of Iran’s Top Nuclear Scientist

        But if that is the case, how is it that Washington’s biggest has‑been has turned the tables on his opponents and is now setting the standards for Middle East policy for years to come?

        That is the head-scratcher posed by the November 27 assassination of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. With all the signs pointing to Israel as the culprit, several things seem clear. One is that US secretary of state Mike Pompeo green‑lit the operation – either at his meeting five days earlier with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in the futuristic Red Sea city of Neom, or he did so shortly thereafter. Another is that, politically, Trump has benefited from the killing as much as Netanyahu, if not more.

      • America’s Dark Side

        Dwight David Eisenhower, or Ike, was president then, a Republican and a former general who led the war against Hitler. He played golf, had a heart attack that scared everybody, built the Interstate and warned us of the military-industrial complex. No scams, no cons; he played by the rules.

        More than half a century later blew in a tornado named Donald Trump, wrecking the country and its institutions. And with him came the scams, the confidence games – the Dark Side.

      • Trump Exits Somalia

        In November, acting defence secretary Christopher Miller announced that the number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq would fall from 4,500 to 2,500 and 3,500 to 2,500 respectively. Somalia has been added to the list of countries which will see US withdrawals in some number. The current troop presence stands at 700, tasked with assisting an African Union-backed peacekeeping force combat the al-Shabaab insurgency. A good number are also there to train and support Danab, the Somali special forces with eyes on capturing and killing leaders of the insurgent movement. The ultimate objective of US Africa Command in East Africa, then, “is one in which terrorist organizations are not able to threaten the US homeland, US persons, international allies or destabilize the region.”

        This is a conflict that has a relentless air of eternity to it. Al-Shabaab counts itself as yet another, albeit more formidable militant group, that has thrived in Somalia’s unruly environment. Its claim to radicalised fame came with Ethiopia’s December 2006 invasion of the country. It was encouraged by the Somalian transitional government, with the intention of ousting al-Shabaab and the Islamic Courts Union from Mogadishu, captured by the fundamentalist alliance that June.

      • Doomsday psychology Meet the small firm behind the psychotechnology used by Russia’s military and intelligence agencies

        After a Russian Secret Service officer died by suicide inside the Kremlin last month, Meduza special correspondent Maxim Solopov started looking into the psychological resilience of security officials. In the process, he uncovered a company supplying Russia’s intelligence services, police, and military with “Multipsychometers” — “psychodiagnostic hardware and software systems” developed at a research institute run by the Soviet Union’s Strategic Missile Forces in the 1980s. As it turns out, an entrepreneur who now lives in Moscow’s ritzy Rublevka suburb managed to build a successful business off this piece of psychotechnology — thanks to some good connections in the Russian Defense Ministry and security agencies.

      • The Collapse of Michèle Flournoy’s Hopes Shows What Can Happen When Progressives Put Up a Fight

        Flournoy has a long record of arguing for military intervention and escalation, from Syria and Libya to Afghanistan and beyond. That she didn’t get the top job at the Pentagon is a good thing.

      • Biden Picks Raytheon Board Member Lloyd Austin as Pentagon Chief
      • ‘Bad News’: Biden Picks Retired General and Raytheon Board Member Lloyd Austin as Pentagon Chief

        Raytheon, one journalist pointed out, is “a key supplier of bombs to the U.S.-Saudi war in Yemen that has lobbied aggressively in opposition to curbs on arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition.”

      • Gangsterism as Foreign Policy: Assassinations are Becoming the New Norm
      • Top Democrat Condemns Trump Plan to Sell ‘Most Highly Sophisticated Killing Machine’ to UAE

        “Does it make the Middle East safer,” asked Sen. Chris Murphy, “or does it just make defense companies richer?”

      • Why Jeh Johnson Would Be a Better Defense Secretary Than Michèle Flournoy

        All three are flawed candidates to anyone who wants to see an end to the endless wars and to stop the revolving door between the Pentagon and military contractors. They all sit on boards of companies that profit from militarism—Johnson at Lockheed Martin, Austin at Raytheon and Flournoy at Booz, Allen, Hamilton. All have supported most or all post-9/11 U.S. military interventions. None would be our preference.

        But Biden is not going to appoint someone truly committed to peace and disarmament, like Congresswoman Barbara Lee or retired Colonel Ann Wright, a senior diplomat who resigned from the State Department to protest the Iraq War.

      • Lebanon, Hezbollah, and a US-Israeli Plan for Civil War?
      • Republicans want to steal this election for Trump — they just don’t know how

        It’s evident that what’s holding Republicans back is not honor or decency, but a lack of options. There simply aren’t legal processes to pull off what Trump wants, no matter what Newsmax or OANN might say, and state leaders know it. They are saying no to Trump not because they want to, but because, legally, they have to. Witness, for instance, what the Pennsylvania House speaker’s spokesperson told the New York Times about the discussion with Trump: “Cutler made it very clear what power the legislature has and does not have.”

        Missing, of course, is any mention of the importance of democracy or a robust defense of the right of Pennsylvanians to vote. Cutler sympathizes with Trump’s desire to overturn a free and fair election, which is why he signed a letter to the state’s congressional delegation asking them to object to the state’s electoral votes. He just doesn’t have the power to vacate the election results.

      • Trump Has Sought Local GOP Support for Overturning Election Results in Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Michigan

        The New York Times reported that, in the past week, Trump has made two calls to Pennsylvania Republican House Speaker Bryan Cutler to speak with him about how the GOP can reverse the state’s results. This makes Pennsylvania reportedly the third state to receive a direct call from President Trump as he continues his push to overturn election results in his favor.

      • Tanzania’s police are torturing refugees from Burundi

        About 300,000 Burundians have fled their country since 2015 after violence broke out when the then president, Pierre Nkurunziza, said he would stand for an unconstitutional third term. Hundreds were killed. Activists, journalists and anyone who might have been spotted at a protest rushed to neighbouring countries. Around half of them went to Tanzania.

      • Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman denies sending hit squad to Canada

        In a lawsuit filed in a US court, Saad al-Jabri has claimed that the assassination attempt took place in Canada, where he fled three years ago.

        He says Mohammed bin Salman wanted him dead because he knew too much.

        The crown prince – regarded as Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler – said Mr Jabri was trying to conceal his own crimes.

      • Saudi Arabia: Three campaigns MBS cannot win

        At home he remains popular, but internationally he has been unable to shake off the veil of suspicion for his alleged role in the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

        And now a new US administration is preparing to move into the White House and President-elect Joe Biden has made it clear he will be taking a much tougher stance than his predecessor on certain Saudi positions.

        So what are the issues at stake and why do they matter to those in power in Washington and Riyadh?

      • Ahmadreza Djalali: The Swedish-Iranian doctor on Iran’s death row

        He was later sentenced to death for, Iran says, passing on classified information to Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency to help them assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists.

        His lawyer said his confession was obtained by torture.

      • The New Humanitarian | Rethinking Humanitarianism podcast: Money talks

        So many of the day-to-day realities of the humanitarian sector are driven by money: who gets it, how it’s distributed, and what it’s intended for. So you can’t rethink humanitarianism without also rethinking the money.
        In this fifth episode of the Rethinking Humanitarianism podcast, join hosts Heba Aly, director of The New Humanitarian, and Jeremy Konyndyk, senior policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, as they unpack how money flows through the humanitarian aid sector – with guests Tara Nathan, executive vice president on digital solutions for development at Mastercard; and Sema Genel Karaosmanoğlu, executive director of Support to Life and board chair of the NEAR Network.
        Who benefits from the current models of financing aid? Can alternatives – from local pooled funds to private sector infrastructure – provide better value for money and better outcomes for people affected by crises? What gets in the way of change?

      • The New Humanitarian | Beirut blast survivors struggle to rebuild

        Four months after a deadly blast tore through Beirut’s port, some residents of the Lebanese capital say the help they have received has been sporadic, late, and insufficient – despite hundreds of millions of dollars of pledged international aid and the fanfare surrounding it.

        Shortly after the 4 August explosion – caused by a stockpile of unsafely stored ammonium nitrate – both aid and promises of aid began to flow: donations of goods; $155 million towards a UN-led appeal; and pledges of 253 million euros at a conference spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron, who also promised a “rescue plan” for Lebanon.

        Since then, myriad local and international actors have set to work dealing with the aftermath of the blast, which killed more than 200 people and damaged more than 62,000 homes. This includes the Lebanese government, which has been giving payments to people who lost family members or need help rebuilding.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • ICE Sends Subpoena To BuzzFeed, Hoping To Force It To Turn Over Its Sources

        Four years of Trump was more than enough time to weaponize federal agencies against journalists. The administration has routinely condemned critical press outlets as “fake news” and Trump’s fervent embrace of border patrolling made it easier for the DHS and its agencies to abuse their power.

    • Environment

      • China and Australia face a climate tipping point

        Once again, scientists warn that at least part of the world could be facing a climate tipping point. Two parts, in fact.

      • The New Humanitarian | Bangladesh’s hidden climate costs

        Cyclone Amphan tore across Bangladesh’s southwestern coast in May, and severe floods inundated a quarter of the country weeks later.

        Photographer Zakir Hossain Chowdhury’s images show how the damage endures. Battered communities in parts of Khulna district, a strip of coastal wetlands, are still living in temporary homes on embankments, or in emergency storm shelters meant to house people for days – not weeks or months.

        Amphan smashed open kilometres of embankments protecting sub-districts like Koyra and Assasuni. The barriers, which keep tidal waters at bay, haven’t been repaired, leaving communities exposed to daily floods that rush in with each high tide.

        The fallout goes beyond the physical damage. A chain of disasters – including a pair of storms last year – have drained income and shattered livelihoods. Child marriage is on the rise as families struggle to cope, and as schools remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tired of rebuilding, some families are deciding to leave. This is a migration pattern that has been repeated across the country, each time disasters chip away at income or destroy homes and fields.

        Climate change is supercharging extreme weather, adding to the already ample risks people on the coast have lived with for generations. Researchers say global heating makes high-intensity storms like Amphan more common and more damaging, adding to heavier rains, sea-level rise, accelerated coastal erosion, and other climate change impacts.

      • Over 550 Environmental Groups Rally Around Call for Biden to Act on Plastics Pollution in 2021

        “More than 99 percent of plastic is created from chemicals sourced from fossil fuels, including an oversupply of fracked gas, which is spurring a global boom in new plastic production,” the groups wrote in their Presidential Plastics Action Plan. “That plastic is causing serious environmental problems at every step of its lifecycle.”

      • Over 550 Groups Urge Biden to Become #PlasticFreePresident With Eight Executive Actions to Address Pollution Crisis

        “Implementing this historic plan would protect vulnerable frontline communities and marine life while addressing a key driver of climate change.”

      • Energy

        • Federal Regulators Rewrite Rules Again to Pave Way for Massive Pipeline
        • ‘Methane Misinformation’: Report Details Broken Climate Pledges of Oil and Gas Giants

          “No amount of spin changes the fact that the oil and gas extraction is wreaking havoc on our communities and our climate.”

        • Federal Regulators Are Rewriting Environmental Rules So a Massive Pipeline Can Be Built

          Last month, a federal appeals court blocked one of the key permits for construction of a massive natural gas pipeline that cuts through West Virginia and that industry officials and their political allies in the state are desperate to see completed.

          The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that environmental groups are likely to prevail in a case arguing federal and state regulators wrongly approved the Mountain Valley Pipeline through a streamlined review process for which the project isn’t eligible.

        • Is the time now ripe for planes to run on hydrogen?

          Now, though, circumstances have changed. Aviation is under pressure to curb carbon-dioxide emissions by burning less kerosene. And talk of building hydrogen-manufacturing-and-delivery infrastructure for other purposes, such as heating and ground transport, is now becoming serious, meaning that hydrogen might become available as a commodity, rather than having to be made specially. The balance of advantage may thus be shifting. So a few brave souls are looking once again at the idea of hydrogen-powered flight.

          This time it’s different…

          Project Suntan used the stuff in the way that kerosene is used—to create the heat needed to power a jet engine. That is one way forward. But many planes are driven by propellers, and this permits a second approach, for propellers can be turned by electric motors. Using fuel cells, a 19th-century technology that is now coming into its own, it is possible to generate the electricity needed to do so with hydrogen.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Sea Shepherd Research Mission Discovers Possible New Species of Whale in Mexico

          Researchers working with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society believe that they have discovered a previously unknown species of whale off the western coast of Mexico.

          On the morning of November 17, scientists on board Sea Shepherd vessel Martin Sheen observed three beaked whales surfacing in nearby waters. The sightings occurred 100 miles north of Mexico’s San Benito Islands, a group of three remote islands located approximately 300 miles from the US border.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Russian lawmakers grant former presidents the right to become senators for life anytime after leaving office

        The Russian State Duma has adopted an amendment granting former presidents the right to decide to become senators for life at any point after leaving office, Interfax reported on Tuesday, December 8.

      • Progressive Analysts with a President’s Ear: Nice, But Not Nearly Enough

        We even have labor economists, specialists who study what’s going on with people who do the actual work that keeps societies running.

        President-elect Joe Biden’s new line-up of economic officials and advisers turns out to be packed with labor economists, a bit of encouraging news for those of us who consider America’s egregious economic inequality a clear and present danger. Labor economists tend to worry about inequality, too.

      • At Midnight Tonight, the Election Will Finally Be Over — Maybe
      • Make the Bad Man Stop: An End to the Bullying Trump Years Can’t Come Soon Enough

        Two movie scenes sum up four years of ignorance and devastation.

      • Biden Needs to Go Big to Rebuild America

        The Biden administration should take a page from FDR’s playbook and immediately create a new and improved Civilian Conservation Corps.

      • Texas AG Sues 4 States, Asking Supreme Court to Toss Out Election Results
      • Trump Asked Pennsylvania State Legislative Leader to Overturn Election Results
      • Sanders Leads Senate Demand for $1,200 Stimulus Checks Over ‘Get-Out-of-Jail Free Card’ for Corporations

        “The American people need help and they need help now.”

      • As Private Cities Advance in Honduras, Hondurans Renew Their Opposition

        ZEDEs provide investors with the opportunity to establish their own independent laws and governing structures, judicial systems based in common law and arbitration, regulatory frameworks, and security forces. An international governing body called the Committee for the Adoption of Best Practices, comprised of former members of Ronald Reagan’s Outreach Working Group on Central America and other ideologues from leading neoliberal think tanks, controls the approval process and parts of the internal governance of the ZEDEs nationally.

        But for years the future of ZEDEs has been a question mark. National opposition to the project on the grounds that it violated national sovereignty and threatened mass displacement peaked after the passage of constitutional reforms for Special Development Regions (or RED, by their Spanish initials) in 2011. Resistance from community-based organizations like the Black Fraternal Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH) and the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras (COPINH), as well as the work done by Honduran lawyers and journalists helped lead to a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that the RED reforms were unconstitutional.

      • ‘No Dissents’: US Supreme Court Unanimously Rejects Trump Allies’ Bid to Overturn Loss in Pennsylvania

        Lawyers for the commonwealth argued that the petitioners asked the justices to “undertake one of the most dramatic, disruptive invocations of judicial power in the history of the republic.”

      • ‘What Can We Do to Fix It?’ Trump Reportedly Offered to Help Pennsylvania GOP Attempt to Overturn Biden Win

        “It may not be working, but this is still dictator stuff, and let’s not ever let ourselves get used to it.”

      • Detective Trump Is on the Case

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

      • ACTION ALERT: At NYT, Now You See Corporate Influence, Now You Don’t

        As President-elect Joe Biden begins to assemble his team of cabinet members and close advisers, progressives and others who care about corporate influence in politics are sounding alarms. But the way top establishment media outlets like the New York Times cover the revolving door between government and corporate positions means that those alarms get siloed into “corporate influence” stories that rarely inform broader political coverage.

      • A Salacious Press, an Unchecked Government: Heinrich Böll’s Prescient Fiction

        On May 11, 1972, the Red Army Faction bombed an officers’ club on a US Army base in Frankfurt, Germany, and the next day police buildings in Augsburg and Munich. Like the artists and advertisers who would later monetize the RAF’s seditious zeal, the newspapers preferred a catchier appellation: the Baader-Meinhof Gang. It was, no doubt, easier to bank on the exhilarating cadence and star magnetism of a Bonnie and Clyde–like name, but the RAF also knew a thing or two about branding. They were, after all, an urban guerrilla group with roots in a student movement mobilized by mass-mediated atrocity, and the group’s cofounder and principal scribe, Ulrike Meinhof, was an accomplished journalist. The RAF knew, too, that an explosion could say more than it could do. A bomb, like a headline, wants an audience. More than that: Both want to position their audience. On May 13, a day after the second RAF bombing, the Frankfurter Rundschau paired photographs of the wreckage with a telling headline: “Such attacks only in Vietnam until now.”

      • Biden Needs To Find His Version of the Fireside Chat

        “I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking.”

      • Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth discuss the New Project Censored Book – The Project Censored Show

        Project Censored’s new annual volume, “State of the Free Press 2021,” includes the well-known ‘Top 25’ censored stories, as well as many additional chapters of media analysis.

      • Trump’s Dilemma: Who Will Give Him Asylum Now?

        “Maybe I’ll have to leave the country.”

      • Freedom Sings
      • Trump Is Leaving Us With a New Cold War

        In the military realm, Donald Trump will most likely be remembered for his insistence on ending America’s involvement in its twenty-first-century “forever wars” — the fruitless, relentless, mind-crushing military campaigns undertaken by Presidents Bush and Obama in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Somalia. After all, as a candidate, Trump pledged to bring U.S. troops home from those dreaded war zones and, in his last days in office, he’s been promising to get at least most of the way to that objective. The president’s fixation on this issue (and the opposition of his own generals and other officials on the subject) has generated a fair amount of media coverage and endeared him to his isolationist supporters. Yet, however newsworthy it may be, this focus on Trump’s belated troop withdrawals obscures a far more significant aspect of his military legacy: the conversion of the U.S. military from a global counterterror force into one designed to fight an all-out, cataclysmic, potentially nuclear war with China and/or Russia.

      • Barack Obama and the Death of Idealism

        A dozen years ago, Americans were enthralled by the newly elected president from Illinois. After the deceit and demagoguery of the George W. Bush era, Obama’s first presidential campaign with its “Yes, We Can” motto swayed Americans that he could  personally restore the moral grandeur of government. Its idealism was epitomized by the famous “Hope” campaign poster that practically deified the candidate.

        Shortly before his first inauguration, Obama announced, “What is required is the same perseverance and idealism that our founders displayed.” After Obama’s inaugural address, the media rejoiced as if a new age of political idealism had arrived.

      • Forget Greenland, There’s a New Strategic Gateway to the Arctic

        But more than anything, the invitation was a sign of the growing strategic importance the Faroe Islands, as an Arctic nation, are beginning to have. Four months later, on Nov. 28, the tiny island group—which sells a quarter of its fish to Russia and was about to commit to a 5G agreement with the controversial Chinese telecom firm Huawei—signed a partnership declaration with the United States.

        The Faroes consist of 18 small islands, inhabited by 52,000 people. The archipelago lies in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean, at the center of the so-called GIUK-gap—a North Atlantic transit route between Greenland, Iceland, and the northern United Kingdom—which has regained the strategic importance it enjoyed during the Cold War.

      • Why Democrats Lose on Social Media While Republicans Lie and Win Big

        The stunning fact is that most Democrats and progressive groups mismanage or ignore the world’s largest media platform, Facebook. Meanwhile, Republicans and right-wing media have been massively investing in compelling storytelling and viral memes for years. They’ve been saturating the system with simple, well-tested messages like “drain the swamp,” repeated endlessly, even in non-election years. This viral content is “clicky and sticky”—something that makes people want to click on it and that sticks in the brain thanks to the tricks of modern marketing.

        This is especially true for climate disinformation on social media. On Twitter, more than a quarter of the tweets about climate change come from bots (with the vast majority of these bots spreading lies). Investigative reporting by The New York Times recently revealed a well-funded effort to create “astroturf” grassroots campaigns supporting oil companies (when the campaigns were in fact funded by energy companies).

      • Civil Rights Groups Sound Alarm Over Planned Closure of More Than Half of Early Runoff Voting Sites in Key Georgia County

        The coronavirus pandemic “has had extremely harsh effects in Black and Latinx communities and makes in-person voting on Election Day an untenable option for many voters,” the groups’ letter states. 

      • After Democrats flip state, Georgia moves to shut down early voting locations ahead of Senate runoff

        The early voting period in Georgia was marred by hours-long lines. Some voters had to endure waits of up to 10 hours to vote. Eveler told the Post that the county would add more check-in stations to speed up the lines but the civil rights groups argued the delays showed that the areas need more polling places, not fewer.

        Cobb County, which voted for President-elect Joe Biden by a 56-42 margin, is expected to be key in deciding the runoff races between Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., and Democrat Jon Ossoff and Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., and Rev. Raphael Warnock. Ossoff carried Cobb County in the general election by 11 points while Warnock got 38% of the vote in the county to Loeffler’s 25% in a field of 21 candidates.

      • Georgia counties cut back early voting sites ahead of Senate runoffs, alarming voting rights advocates

        Four of the 10 most populous counties in Georgia are reducing the number of locations where people can vote early in the state’s Senate runoff races, prompting outcry from civil rights and voting rights organizations.

        In Cobb County, the state’s third most populous county with more than 760,000 residents, election officials have announced five early voting locations, fewer than half of the 11 used for early voting ahead of last month’s general election.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Google, Facebook Win Key Concession in Law to Pay for News in Australia

        The legislation, introduced to Australia’s parliament on Wednesday, requires Google and Facebook to compensate publishers for the value their stories generate for the platforms.

        But in a modification to an earlier draft, the legislation now also recognizes the monetary value the platforms provide to news businesses by directing readers to their websites.

      • Government pumps up its own tyres over dud news media code

        The Federal Government has blown a chance it had to implement a world-leading deal with digital giants Google and Facebook, backing down even before the bill for its so-called News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code was introduced into Parliament. The digital platforms will be breaking out the Dom Pérignon in Silicon Valley over the way they have clinically neutered Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

      • Frydenberg set to introduce news media code into Parliament on Wednesday

        The Coalition Government will introduce the news media code, known as News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, into Parliament on Wednesday.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Black Mom Swarmed & Beaten by Philly Riot Police with Toddler in Car Demands Officers Be Fired

        A Black mother who was attacked by a horde of Philadelphia police officers is speaking out about the harrowing experience. Rickia Young was driving an SUV with her 2-year-old son and teenage nephew on October 27 as the city was engulfed in protest over the police killing of Walter Wallace Jr. earlier that day. Officers descended on the vehicle, broke its windows, assaulted and arrested her and separated her from her child. Young’s arrest went viral due to a shocking video of the police swarming her vehicle, and after the National Fraternal Order of Police — the country’s largest police union — posted a photo of her 2-year-old on social media, falsely claiming he “was lost during the violent riots in Philadelphia, wandering around barefoot in an area that was experiencing complete lawlessness.” More than a month after the police attack, Rickia Young is demanding the officers involved be fired. “The police have not offered an explanation as to why they acted the way they did that night. They responded instead with a police investigation into Rickia,” says Kevin Mincey, Rickia Young’s attorney.

      • Biden Should Revive the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

        An active commission could help spearhead the investigations and reforms vital to addressing civil and human rights in this country.

      • Indigenous Cultures Take Root in New York

        The ongoing struggle for racial justice. The future for immigrant families. The health and well-being of all Americans. The very fate of our fragile planet. The United States faces a crossroads in 2020. Seeking out the stories flying under the national radar, The Nation and Magnum Foundation are partnering on What’s At Stake, a series of photo essays from across the country through the lenses of independent imagemakers. Follow the whole series here. This installment was produced with support from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

      • Federal Court Says Sanctions Are On The Way For Portland PD Over Violations Of Protest Restraining Orders

        Police forces — both local and federal — greeted Portland protests with violence. To be sure, there were some violent protests. But officers of both varieties felt they should be able to target journalists and legal observers with the same force they were deploying against rioters.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Facing Massive Subscriber Defections AT&T Chooses: Rate Hikes & New, Bogus Fees

        AT&T’s had a bit of a tough stretch lately. Saddled by massive debt from its $200 billion Time Warner and DirecTV mergers in recent years, the company keeps deciding to recoup that debt from its subscribers in the form of relentless price hikes. That, in turn, has resulted in millions of subscribers heading for the exits. In fact, AT&T has lost roughly eight million pay TV subscribers since 2017 — not exactly the sector domination AT&T executives dreamed of when they first began their massive acquisition spree back in 2015.

      • ‘The Chairmanship of Ajit Pai Has Been a Disaster’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Free Press’s Gaurav Laroia about Ajit Pai’s FCC for the December 4, 2020, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Trump Makes It Official: He’s Going To Pull Military Funding, Because Congress Won’t Kill The Open Internet

        There were some questions as to whether or not Trump would actually go through with his threat to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, which has been passed and signed into law every year for the past six decades, but it appears that is the case. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has officially notified Congress that Trump is vetoing the NDAA… because they refuse to kill off the open internet.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Podcast Episode: You Bought It, But Do You Own It?

        Chris Lewis joins EFF hosts Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien as they discuss how our access to knowledge is increasingly governed by click-wrap agreements that prevent users from ever owning things like books and music, and how this undermines the legal doctrine of “first sale” – which states that once you buy a copyrighted work, it’s yours to resell or give it away as you choose. They talk through the ramifications of this shift on society, and also start to paint a brighter future for how the digital world would thrive if we safeguard digital first sale.

      • AMC Networks to Rebrand UMC Streaming Service (Exclusive)

        UMC launched in 2014 under BET founder Robert L. Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment as a home for programming focused on African American audiences. It was moved under the AMC Networks corporate umbrella after the entertainment company’s acquisition of RLJ in 2018. “UMC began as a distribution model for Black creatives to directly reach the then largely underserved African American audience without the restrictions of legacy content development and traditional broadcast models,” Johnson said in a statement. “As technology advances and programming demands from our community evolve, the rebranded ALLBLK will be well positioned to breakout as the preeminent streaming destination for viewers seeking Black entertainment.”

    • Monopolies

      • [Guest Post] Study on Trends and Developments in Artificial Intelligence: Challenges to the IPR Framework [Ed: Look at those so-called 'IP' zealots getting all excites about buzzwords and nonsense like "HEY HI" as if it's something innovative that lets them change the law]

        The impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on intellectual property (IP) law undoubtedly ranks as one of the most-discussed topics of 2020 among legal academics and practitioners. Following initiatives at WIPO, the EPO and several national IPOs (including the UKIPO and the USPTO), EU institutions have now also become active in this area.

        On 20 October 2020, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on IP rights for the development of AI technologies. In parallel, on 25 November 2020, the European Commission published a commissioned study on challenges posed by AI to the European IP rights framework.


        In sum, the study concludes that the current state of the art in AI does not require or justify immediate substantive changes in copyright and patent law in Europe. The existing concepts of copyright and patent law are sufficiently abstract and flexible to meet the current challenges from AI. Producers of AI-assisted outputs also have access to less demanding regimes, such as related (neighbouring) rights and sui generis database protection.

        The main conclusions of the IViR/JIIP study were adopted by the European Commission in the IP Action Plan that was submitted to the European Parliament and the Council on the same day the study was published, 25 November 2020.

      • Patents

        • Broad Institute Loses Appeal in European Patent Office, Patents Remain Revoked

          Earlier this year, and almost one year to the day (January 17, 2019) that the Opposition Division (OD) of the European Patent Office revoked in its entirety European Patent No. EP 2771468, the Technical Board of Appeal affirmed the revocation (after suggesting it would refer some of the Broad’s questions and challenges to the OD’s decision to the Enlarged Board of Appeal). A little more than ten months later, the written decision of the Board was published by the European Patent Office, offering cold comfort but at least some detailed explanation for the Proprietors The Broad Institute, MIT, and Harvard College.


          The opinion then turned to the relevance of successors in title, which the Proprietor argued is inconsistently applied but the Board stated is “merely a supporting argument for the appellants’ view that a substantive legal assessment of the right to a priority claim should not be carried out.” And the Board noted that “the issue of successorship in title is not an issue in this case and therefore the appellants’ arguments on this point are irrelevant for deciding this case.” Nor was the Board persuaded by the Proprietor’s arguments regarding Article 54(3) EPC because “[t]he EPO does not perform a substantial assessment of the legal entitlement to claim priority, but only a formal assessment of who has performed the act of filing the patent application.”

          Regarding Question 1, the Board thus held that “the Board concludes that the instances of the EPO are empowered and obliged to assess the validity of a priority right claim as required by Article 87(1) EPC.”

          Turning to Question 2 regarding how the term “any person” in Article 87(1) should be interpreted, the opinion rejected the Proprietor’s view that this term should be interpreted to mean that any of a number of applicants having a valid priority claim can file on behalf all of them and that the EPO’s contrary requirement that all applicants be properly named on filing is in contravention of the Paris convention. The Proprietor made semantic/textual arguments (that the use of “any person” does not mean “all,” as well as others), and argument that the Paris Convention governs how ambiguous terms must be interpreted “in light of their object and purpose” which is to “assist the applicant in obtaining international protection for his invention” (something that interpretation of Article 87(1) does not achieve, inter alia, by imposing additional priority requirements). The Proprietor further argued that national court decisions support their position that how the EPO is applying Article 87(1) was in error, and that there has never been a clear examination of this application on the merits (summarizing this aspect of the Proprietor’s argument as contending “[i]t was irrelevant whether a practice was well-established. If it was wrong, it was always possible to change such a practice . . .”). Finally, the Proprietor contended that the EPO’s interpretation and application of Article 87(1) was intended to prevent multiple proceedings by individual applicants, that could lead to multiple patents.

        • Software Patents

          • Uniloc patent held unpatentable

            On December 8, 2020, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued a final written decision in Unified Patents, LLC v. Uniloc 2017 LLC holding all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 6,519,005 unpatentable. The ‘005 patent, owned and asserted by Uniloc 2017 LLC, a Uniloc affiliate and well-known NPE, relates to a method for motion estimation for a digital video encoder. The ‘005 patent has been asserted against numerous streaming and multimedia companies, including Amazon, American Broadcasting Company (ABC), Bitmovin, Google, Hulu, Netflix, Roku, Sling TV, and Vudu. The cases against Google, Sling, Verizon, AT&T, and Netflix are still open.

      • Trademarks

        • “What, there was a mark on goods in the container?”: Loosening the trademark liability of a freight forwarder [Ed: Worse than holding ISPs accountable for copyright infringements that they have nothing to do with]

          Burberry Ltd (“BL”) and Louis Vuitton Malletier (“LVM”) are the respective proprietors of registered trade marks, “Burberry” and “Louis Vuitton”. Megastar Shipping Pte Ltd (“Megastar”) is a freight forwarder company that provides transshipment services. Several Chinese companies shipped, in two sealed containers from China to Singapore, counterfeit goods that infringed these trade marks (“Goods”). Megastar was tasked with arranging for transshipment of the containers from Singapore to Indonesia.

          When the containers arrived in Singapore, their contents were inspected by Singapore Customs and seized for being counterfeit. The trade mark proprietors, including BL and LVM, whose marks were affixed on the Goods, commenced court proceedings against Megastar, alleging that their import and/or export constituted infringement of their respective registered trade mark(s).

          The Singapore High Court dismissed the trade mark proprietors’ claims on the ground that Megastar was not the importer of the Goods. In this regard, the Judge explained that Megastar played no part in making the shipping arrangements, packing, or loading the containers on board the inbound vessels. The Judge further opined that if anyone was the importer, it was either the shipper in China or the ultimate consignee in Indonesia. Additionally, Megastar was held not to be the exporter of the Goods because its role was limited to arranging the transhipment of the containers. BL and LVM appealed against the Judge’s decision.


          Rejecting the Defences raised by the accused, the District Court found the accused guilty of an offence under section 49(c). Among other things, the District Court considered that the accused had failed to exercise prudence in selecting the supplier of these goods, as well as the low pricing and dubious packaging of the goods in question.

          Ultimately, the Court of Appeal’s effort at balancing effective enforcement of intellectual property rights with protecting the interests of honest commercial persons is welcomed. Nevertheless, it remains to be seen to what extent this decision will serve as precedent for limiting liability in other situations in favour of persons who do not know, nor had reason to believe, that a sign infringed any registered trade mark.

      • Copyrights

        • Chappelle’s Show on Netflix – the unforgiving tension between an artist and the creations he does not own

          “Boycott me!” is not a typical refrain for an artist, or indeed anyone. Yet, that is the request that Comedian Dave Chappelle made to his fans. In a stand-up performance entitled Unforgiven, which the comedian uploaded to Instagram on November 24, Chappelle asked his fans not to stream episodes of his sketch comedy show, Chappelle’s Show.
          Additionally, he told his fans that Netflix had pulled the show off of their streaming library after he told them that the fact that they were streaming it made Chappelle “feel bad.” This is not the typical vocabulary used by a copyright holder concerning the unwanted use of their works – which reflects Chappelle’s lack of ownership in the work that made him famous.

          Chappelle may not have any available legal remedies to control the distribution and display of his earlier work, but that earlier work brought him fame and fans. Now, he is leveraging that fame and those fans to regain some control of the work that bears his name. Let’s explore the IP implications of Dave Chappelle’s Unforgiven.


          While his lack of copyright only concerns the works that Chappelle produced for Comedy Central, his lack of trademark ownership restricts prospective creation. Chappelle notes in Unforgiven that he has considered starting a new sketch comedy show. He points out, however, that he would not be able to call this new show “Chappelle’s Show” as Comedy Central retains the right to his name and likeness.

          Unlike copyright, there is no mechanism for Chappelle to reclaim his trademark through statutory termination. However, non-use of a mark can constitute abandonment, leading to cancellation of the mark. Further, the value of the mark is greatly reduced if the boycott that Chappelle calls for is sufficiently widespread.

        • Universal’s Bob Dylan Catalog Buy Is About Survival

          Universal’s Dylan acquisition, then, is a landmark statement from the world’s biggest music rights company: We’re not going to sit back and just let the greatest music in history be auctioned off to Wall Street under our nose.

          Which raises the question: Who’s this statement for? To a degree, it’s for the current investors of Universal’s publicly-traded French parent Vivendi. But here’s the thing: Vivendi has confirmed Universal Music Group will be spun out for an IPO in 2022. In doing so, it’s deliberately seeded excitement amongst new would-be investors, who have seen music rights become one of the most reliable growth assets of the pandemic era.

        • Cyberpunk 2077′s Use of Denuvo To Prevent Leaks Makes Total Sense

          With the grand launch of Cyberpunk 2077 just two days away, some gamers have become irritated by the news that developer CD Projekt Red has implemented Denuvo anti-tamper technology into review copies of the game. Considering the developer’s anti-DRM stance, some suggest that using Denuvo is somewhat hypocritical. Absolute nonsense.

        • EU Research Unveils “Most Pirated” Movies, TV-Shows and Music

          New research published by the EU Intellectual Property Office unveils local piracy preferences, including the most pirated TV-shows, movies, and musicians. While the findings are somewhat dated, the follow-up analysis leads to some surprising conclusions.

        • Publisher or Platform? It Doesn’t Matter.

          “You have to choose: are you a platform or a publisher?”

          It’s the question that makes us pull out our hair and roll our eyes. It’s the question that makes us want to shout from the rooftops “IT DOESN’T MATTER. YOU DON’T HAVE TO CHOOSE”

        • The Broadcasting Act Blunder, Day 13: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Targeting Individual Services

          (prior posts in the Broadcasting Act Blunder series include Day 1: Why there is no Canadian Content Crisis, Day 2: What the Government Doesn’t Say About Creating a “Level Playing Field”, Day 3: Minister Guilbeault Says Bill C-10 Contains Economic Thresholds That Limit Internet Regulation. It Doesn’t, Day 4: Why Many News Sites are Captured by Bill C-10), Day 5: Narrow Exclusion of User Generated Content Services, Day 6: The Beginning of the End of Canadian Broadcast Ownership and Control Requirements, Day 7: Beware Bill C-10’s Unintended Consequences, Day 8: The Unnecessary Discoverability Requirements, Day 9: Why Use Cross-Subsidies When the Government is Rolling out Tech Tax Policies?, Day 10: Downgrading the Role of Canadians in their Own Programming, Day 11: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – Licence or Registration Required, Broadcast Reform Bill Could Spell the End of Canadian Ownership Requirements, Day 12: The “Regulate Everything” Approach – The CRTC Conditions)

        • [Older] Copyright vs data protection: CJEU grappling with the right to information about infringers

          On 9 July 2020, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) delivered its judgment in Case C-264/19 Constantin Film Verleih v YouTube and Google Inc. Providing clarification on the scope of the copyright holder’s right to information, the CJEU decided that the notion of “address”, as set in Directive 2004/48/EC (Enforcement Directive), does not encompass IP addresses, email addresses and phone numbers of online users, unless otherwise specified by national law.

        • [Older] Article 17: What is it really good for? Rewriting the history of the DSM Directive – Part 1

          EU Member States are currently grappling with the task of implementing the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (DSM Directive) into national law. The European Commission is preparing its guidance to help national legislators make sense of its most controversial part, Article 17. These legislative developments have prompted a series of remarkably similar statements from rightsholders’ interest groups, attorneys and academic commentators about the nature and purpose of Article 17. Part 1 of this blog post puts rightsholders’ claims that Article 17 is a “clarification” of the existing right of communication to the public into historical context. Part 2 will show that this claim has no basis in the legislative text of Article 17.

        • ACLU Tells Congress: Do Not Add Copyright Trolling Bill To Government Funding Bill

          Last week we wrote about an effort in Congress, which appeared to be succeeding, to try to sneak through a controversial (and likely unconstitutional) copyright reform bill by adding it to a must-pass government funding bill. The ACLU has now stepped into explain why this a bad idea and should not move forward:

It Looks Like the EPO is Spreading a Bunch of Spammy ‘News’ (More of the Usual) to Distract From Major Strike Being Organised (Updated)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) released a letter today, enumerating the reasons to join the strike


Summary: It certainly looks like the corrupt EPO management is issuing lots of fluff and ‘webchat’ spam to distract from the fact that its popularity is collapsing, with a general strike (first-ever work-from-home strike) planned for next week across all sites

THE Staff Union of the European Patent Office (SUEPO) has just shared the following “[a]nnouncement of a strike,” as one might expect. As we shall show in a moment, the EPO issued two — not just one — spammy so-called ‘news’ items some hours ago; two of them on Wednesday afternoon/evening, 6 days or less before the strike. We typically see this volume of noise from EPO management when they try to hide or distract from something, e.g. the 'Haar question' (there was non-stop noise — not news — that week).

“The strike will take place on December 15th,” SUEPO says. “We expect you to participate in large numbers.”

The more people participate, the less capable management will be of ‘revenge’ or disciplinary action (or telling the Council that the strikes were just a “loud minority” or something along those lines).

Here’s the full letter:

8 November 2019

To Mr Campinos, President of the EPO

Call for strike

Dear Mr Campinos,

SUEPO Central calls for a strike in all EPO sites in accordance with Circular 347.

Reasons for strike

Sixteen months after your arrival as President of the EPO, we note with regret that none of the root causes of the many issues that trouble our organisation have been addressed satisfactorily. Genuine social dialogue is simply non-existing. The Battistelli administration and its anti-staff policies are still in place. The situation in the Office is more toxic than ever, as also shown by the recent disastrous staff survey results and the worsening of staff health. There are many reasons for discontent. Therefore we claim:

1. Fair settlement for all SUEPO Officials/Staff representatives abusively sanctioned by the Battistelli administration;
2. Review by independent experts of the financial situation of the Office; no unnecessary measures based on the heavily biased Financial Study (also criticised by the EPO Pensioners Association), its ensuing phase II (CA/83/19) and management’s comments (CA/84/19);
3. Using the “seventeen measures for staff and the EPO” published by SUEPO on 2 October 2019 (su19040cp) as guidance to solve the issues listed above and below;
4. Fair career progression for everyone, no managerial arbitrariness;
5. Respect for staff; decrease of work pressure and production demands;
6. Fair reporting, no artificial underrating of colleagues and threats of incompetence procedures;
7. People-oriented management, instead of management by fear.

These issues must be solved to avoid irreparable damage to our organisation and its staff, and to restore respect and trust. This requires a change not only of certain regulations, but also in the attitude of the administration towards staff.

Yours sincerely,
SUEPO Central

Now, regarding the EPO noise, which is only hours old…

It looks like classic smoke and mirrors or smokescreens that won’t really distract Europe or EPO staff from the corruption; the level of noise isn’t as much of a problem as the media blackmail and bribery which keep citizens in the dark. Nobody in the media talks about those strikes (it’s not so hard to find out about these; Kluwer Patent Blog mentioned it at least once last year).

The first of the two junk pieces (warning: epo.org link) is basically non-news; António Campinos had a webchat with some representative from a country that has almost no European Patents (possibly none at all) and there’s a photo-op, along the lines of the Battistelli modus operandi. The supposed ‘news’? “Stepping up co-operation” which basically means “co-operation” merely continues; nothing gets signed. Campinos is shown and it says “Campinos paid tribute”; wow! Some news!

Co-operation between the EPO and the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle (OAPI) was on the agenda yesterday at the 60th session of OAPI’s Administrative Council, held in Lomé, Togo and also virtually.

In a video message to the meeting, EPO President António Campinos paid tribute to the close co-operation between the EPO and OAPI going back many years, and underlined that during the pandemic co-operation is proving more important than ever to support innovators, and ensure the patent system is a tool for economic growth, employment and trade for our regions.

Can anyone explain why/how this belongs in the “news” section? So the ‘king’ of EPOnia had a webchat! Big deal!

The next one (warning: epo.org link) is a non-meeting (another webchat), which the EPO nonetheless called “meeting” (3 times in the opening paragraph:

“The heads of the European Patent Office (EPO), Japan Patent Office (JPO) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), known as the Trilateral offices, held their 38th annual meeting on 8 December 2020, hosted by the EPO. At the meeting, held for the first time via video conference, EPO President António Campinos, JPO Commissioner Toshihide Kasutani, and USPTO Director Andrei Iancu, discussed the outcome of their recent meeting with the Trilateral industry associations, consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and possible joint responses by their offices, as well as future directions of the Trilateral co-operation. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) also participated in the meeting in an observer capacity, with Ken Natsume, Senior Director, PCT Legal and International Affairs Department, in attendance.”

Chatting ducksSo the ‘news’ boils down to, son of a famous politician who died 27 years ago had a webchat with a bunch of people to “confirm their commitment to co-operation” and nothing got signed or anything; just pure fluff! Chatting ducks… exchanging buzzwords like “HEY HI” (AI)…

This is how distractions from something can be artificially manufactured on the cheap. In the upcoming meeting Campinos will ‘charm’ the delegates; “my staff HATES MY GUTS! But hey, look over there, I have some nice press releases in our Web site with that photo of me smiling coyly as it makes me look very gentle and popular, worldwide…”

We certainly hope Mr. Campinos put on his mask on the way to the Office, for a change. He never shows up with any face covering and he does not socially-distance himself from other vulnerable people. Maybe he thinks he’s invincible; he certainly doesn’t understand the science.

Update: And… only minutes after we had published this post Kluwer followed with:

The Central Staff Committee of the European Patent Office and the trade union SUEPO have called for a strike on Tuesday 15 December 2020 during the meeting of the Administrative Council. SUEPO has announced the strike will be the start of a year of social conflict to defend the future of the Staff and their families.

In a letter to EPO personnel today, the CSC called upon colleagues to join the strike: “Regrettably, we can only report a continued erosion of our work package, an erosion that has even accelerated during these times of pandemic.

All the while, our President maintains that the staff he meets are happy, that social dialogue is working at full speed and that all is going well in EPO-land (our production has not suffered, even today). This is in stark contrast to the emails, phone calls and messages we keep receiving by many colleagues who are increasingly suffering from the unabated production pressure and management by spreadsheet, topped up by the social isolation due to the pandemic.”

Is the rest of the media paying attention?

IBM Keeps Weakening Its Commitment to Developers and Software Communities

Posted in GNU/Linux, IBM, Red Hat at 6:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

IBM did a lot more for us over a decade ago (e.g. OpenDocument Format advocacy)

Six months ago: IBM (Red Hat) Lectured FSF That It Needed More Diversity, But Was It Looking at the Mirror? IBM and Red Hat Are Even Less Diverse.

Summary: After many years of brain-draining and head-hunting/poaching the real development community (Free software and GNU/Linux, sometimes outsourced to Microsoft servers) Red Hat bought the most widely-used community-centric clone of its primary product (RHEL) and now IBM demotes it, decades down the line…

IBM appointed Red Hat’s (former) CEO to serve as President and a pro-GNU/Linux person as CEO. A reasonably technical guy was left in charge of Red Hat and these changes were effective earlier this year (in springtime, just after COVID-19 lock-downs across Europe).

This site is no foe of Red Hat. We’re just realists. IBM was never too serious about Red Hat. We hear stories about lack of commitment, we read about layoffs, systemd causes some concerns and various products are being abolished, e.g. Container Linux (CoreOS), KDE support in Red Hat, even certain parts of Fedora.

“What remains to be said (which we did not see being expressed elsewhere) is that the demotion of CentOS isn’t and wasn’t unforeseen; when Red Hat took over the project it had already struggled for a number of reasons…”IBM, which has a racist past, insists that it is no longer racist; it has a CEO who was born in India, it keeps stressing that it loves women, and it even works to abolish words it deems “rude” (we still think censorship of words where such lingual cull tackles no real or perceived problem is equally rude).

We’re not against IBM. We’re not against Red Hat, either (some probably considered us pro-Red Hat back when we called for a boycott of Novell). We’re against software patents. We’re also against dishonesty.

This morning we thought about preparing an article about CentOS (which still runs some of our systems), but it seems like some sites beat us to it with reasonably OK analysis (here’s a pair/couple from Sam Varghese, dated today [1, 2]; more will be in Daily Links), so we’d rather focus on suppressed issues nobody else covers, such as EPO scandals, especially at times like these (there’s a strike planned in all four sites next week).

What remains to be said (which we did not see being expressed elsewhere) is that the demotion of CentOS isn’t and wasn’t unforeseen; when Red Hat took over the project it had already struggled for a number of reasons (references in our IRC logs) and Red Hat never treated it like a first-class citizen. We weren’t sure a CentOS 8.x would be released at all (it took some time). Several clones like CentOS perished last year and around that time. IBM is really eager to just milk as much money as possible out of RHEL. Oracle has its own clone, but it’s anything but “community”-like. As for the Fedora “community”, it has been mostly decimated by now. Watching Planet Fedora, it’s mostly IBM staff and it’s not very active. Ryan told us last night about a number of Fedora issues he noticed (as a user) and observed for quite some time, noting: “It’s down to less than a skeleton crew.”

Black tears“I wasn’t happy with what happened to their KDE SIG,” he said. “One person who has been there from the KDE on Red Hat beginning (Rex Dieter)” got Kevin Kofler banned, “and [what remains is] a few part timers who mostly use Edge on Windows 10.”

“It’s completely falling apart. Fedora’s KDE spin has totally gone off the rails.”

IBM seems to be consolidating around cheap and outsourced hosting; there are also layoffs. Things were different when Samuel J. Palmisano and Irving Wladawsky-Berger were still at IBM.

[Memes] The Other Mercer

Posted in Deception, Europe, Humour, Patents at 5:21 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Matt Mercer

Nice patent office you got there; Would be a shame if something happened to it; Like a fake 'study'

Your 'study' is a hoax; Oh, crap. You fact-checked it?

You made it up! I get paid to make stuff up

Summary: Some humour about the so-called 'study' of the EPO

EPO’s Staff Explains How António Campinos and the Mercers Lie About the Office in Order to Crush and Rob the Staff

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Mercer outline

Robert Mercer outsourcer

Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media

Summary: The notorious Mercer ‘study’ that EPO management uses to crush the largest patent office in Europe was dissected last year by EPO staff representatives; today we share all the findings

A YEAR and a half ago we took note of the “hoax” EPO so-called ‘study’ commissioned by Team Campinos only months after Benoît Battistelli had robbed the Office (his friend at the Commission covers up for him, not just the person he left in charge of the EPO). What on Earth is going on here?! How can they get away with it? Politics and career politicians have devoured an institution that was supposed to be scientific (and originally was).

“How can they get away with it?”We’ve already published part 4's text, but parts 1-3 have not been reproduced here, until today (seeing that talks broke down regardless; Campinos really sucks at negotiations). The staff representatives called part 4 a “[r]ecap and what about an effort by the Office?”

The series was composed by multiple authors. “As already stated in our first publications [...] on this matter,” they said, “in the EPO financial studies tend to be a prelude to cuts in staff benefits. The latest financial study is no exception. Our previous publications showed that the study grossly underestimates expected fee income as well as expected income from cash reserves as well as overestimates staff costs.”

It was in the middle of June last year that they published it. “The present paper provides a recap,” they noted, “and asks: What about an effort by the Office?”

It’s probably worthwhile to not only share this recap but also publish the gory details predating this recap. Back in May they said something similar to the above: “In the EPO, financial studies tend to be a prelude to cuts in staff benefits. The latest study is no exception. The present publication explains one of the tricks used to make the Office look poor. More publications will follow. The recently published financial study by Mercer and Oliver Wyman seems to indicate that more bad news is to come.”

Some key parts:

The studies’ conclusions…

The key message of the financial study (p 34) is:
“The EPO faces a structural operational gap, with costs increasing faster than revenues, leading in the future to significantly decreasing cash flows.

The EPO has greater control of cost levers than revenue levers which presents an opportunity to better meet its future obligations through careful cost management.“
In other words: the Office must be reducing costs – staff costs.

… and how they came about

The EPO’s main income is from fees. The Financial Study includes a 4% fee increase for 2020 but assumes that there will be no further fee increases from then on till 2038. On the other hand Staff salaries and pensions follow the normal increase. For any organisation – as rich as it may be – such an approach will lead in the end to budgetary gaps. According to our first calculations the alleged gaps could be offset by merely continuing the biennial 5% fee adjustments in place.

Here are the publication’s two pages (sans metadata):

EPO hoax study part 1 page 1

EPO hoax study part 1 page 2

A couple of days later the Central Staff Committee published the following:

Part 2: The income from cash reserves is deliberately underestimated

Dear colleagues,

As already stated in our first publication on this matter, in the EPO financial studies tend to be a prelude to cuts in staff benefits. The latest financial study is no exception. Our previous publication explained how the study’s unrealistic assumptions artificially create a gap between fee income and salaries.

The present paper shows how the income from cash reserves is deliberately underestimated.

Here are the publication’s two pages:

EPO hoax study part 2 page 1

EPO hoax study part 2 page 2


Part 3: The study overestimates expenditure – more specifically, staff costs

Dear colleagues,

As already stated in our first publications part 1 and part 2 on this matter, in the EPO financial studies tend to be a prelude to cuts in staff benefits. The latest financial study is no exception. Our previous publications showed that the study grossly underestimates expected fee income as well as expected income from cash reserves.

The present paper shows how it overestimates staff costs.

This was a year and a half ago; nothing has changed since because Campinos defends the lies, not the staff. That’s why they're going on strike next week (this among many other reasons).

Part 3 is longer than the rest. It’s 3 pages long, as follows:

EPO hoax study part 3 page 1

EPO hoax study part 3 page 2

EPO hoax study part 3 page 3

The EPO strike is 6 days from now. We’ll publish something every day until then.

EPO Workers Go on Strike Next Week

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

By extension, those thousands of patent examiners work to protect workers’ rights across Europe (and worldwide)

SUEPO´s “Call for Strike”
“Open letter to the President dated December 07, 2020″

Summary: There’s an EPO strike next week; staff says “Enough is Enough”

“SUEPO´s “Call for Strike” of 8 November 2019,” it said yesterday, “resulted in a strike ballot organised by the Office on 28 November 2019. The ballot was organised without any Strike Conciliation meeting ahead to discuss and try to overcome the underlying grounds for strike. The outcome is a clear message passed by staff to management: 83% of the participants support the call for strike.”

The date is in the letter. December 15th (next Tuesday).

We have been noting several times lately that talks broke down. There’s nobody to talk to at the Office. António Campinos is no better than Benoît Battistelli, except the perception of attitude (although Campinos has temper tantrums as well).

Here’s the letter dated Monday:

7 December 2020
su20039cl – 0.3.1


Mr António Campinos
President of the EPO
ISAR– Room 1081

Notification of a strike “Enough is Enough”

Dear Mr Campinos,

SUEPO ́s “Call for Strike” of 8 November 2019 (su19043cl) resulted in a strike ballot organised by the Office on 28 November 2019. The ballot was organised without any Strike Conciliation meeting ahead to discuss and try to overcome the underlying grounds for strike. The outcome is a clear message passed by staff to management: 83% of the participants support the call for strike.

Grounds for having to resort to the strike

The call for strike of 8 November 2019 pinpointed that none of the root causes of the many issues that trouble our organisation have been addressed satisfactorily and that genuine social dialogue is simply non-existing. There are many reasons for discontent. Therefore, the following claims were put forward:

1. Fair settlement for all SUEPO Officials/Staff representatives abusively sanctioned by the Battistelli administration;
2. Review by independent experts of the financial situation of the Office; no unnecessary measures based on the heavily biased Financial Study (also criticised by the EPO Pensioners Association), its ensuing phase II (CA/83/19) and management’s comments (CA/84/19);
3. Using the “seventeen measures for staff and the EPO” published by SUEPO on
2 October 2019 (su19040cp) as guidance to solve the issues listed above and below;
4. Fair career progression for everyone, no managerial arbitrariness;
5. Respect for staff; decrease of work pressure and production demands;
6. Fair reporting, no artificial underrating of colleagues and threats of incompetence procedures;
7. People-oriented management, instead of management by fear.

As the Financial Measures and the underlying Financial Study were then still under discussion SUEPO refrained from calling immediate actions. However, SUEPO closely monitored and monitors the developments and will decide on any next steps with respect to industrial actions.

Towards March this year little to no progress for the above claims could be noted. In contrary in the discussions on the Financial Measures and the linked Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) it became more and more clear that the Office wants to cut Salaries and Pensions no matter of whatever economic development underlying the Financial Study would materialise. SUEPO prepared than an “Action Plan” (su20009cp), however, decided to postpone the plan due to the special circumstances with respect to the then upcoming corona pandemic.

On the positive side we noted in April this year the settlement of a former SUEPO official and Staff Representative, Mr Laurent Prunier, who had been abusively dismissed by the former Battistelli administration (su20021cp). However, this leaves still to settle the two disciplinary cases of former Staff ́s Appointees to the Appeals Committee of Aurélien Pétiaud and Michael Lund.

A next meeting President/SUEPO on 26 June 2020 (su20040cp), scheduled as late as 1 working day ahead of the June Council created a strong perception of an Alibi meeting to be able to inform the Council the social dialogue is working. On the main issue of the Financial Bundle and the linked Erosion of Salaries and Pensions the E&Y Analysis of the Financial Study was not considered and the claims of thousands of staff members for a fair review of the financial situation with the Call for Strike in November and the petition of early June on “to enter into genuine social dialogue on the salary adjustment procedure” (su20029) were bluntly disregarded.

The implementation of the new SAP provoked an industrial accident which materializes immediately. Indeed, the results for 2020 are such that instead of adjustment of about 3.8% in July 2020, EPO staff and pensioners get 0.5% in January 2021 (in NL and DE) and 0.36% instead of 2.7% (in AT). This is equivalent to a pay cut of about one step. The savings are well beyond all expectations and the EPO scores again far below all standards in International Organizations (the adjustment will be +4.2% in the Coordinates Organisations).

In the last meeting President/SUEPO of 18 November 2020 (su20037cp) again no progress could be observed. The SAP is kept as is and further proposals to alleviate this salary and pension erosion by the Staff Representation are not considered. The results demonstrate that all the promises made in the presidential Communiqué of 09-04-2020 are now broken: a reform “with the lowest intensity” and that there was “no desire to cut staff purchasing power or impose unnecessary savings”. This will deepen further the lack of trust in EPO management and destroy the engagement of staff in his Strategic Plan SP2023.

Also on all other claims little to no tangible progress can be reported. EPO staff remains treated second class compared with other International or EU organisations in particular with the career and the salary adjustment. Even in litigation: appeals with a unanimous opinion in favour of SUEPO or staff are not straight forward implemented or applied to all staff which one would consider being a fair implementation.

Therefore, SUEPO decided to return to actions to underline the unrest amongst EPO staff. As a first action a warning strike of 1 day is called.

Calendar and EPO sites concerned

The Strike “Enough is Enough” – in particular dedicated to the claim of the need to reinstate a proper SAP – shall take place on 15 December 2020 at all sites of employment: Munich, The Hague, Berlin, Vienna.

Please be assured that SUEPO has always been prepared to enter a fair social dialogue and continues to be so. If social dialogue in the time before the strike day leads to a substantial progress on the grounds for strike, we are willing to recommend to Staff to terminate the strike action.

Genuine social dialogue should be our shared goal: working together we can arrive at agreements that foster social peace and prevent further litigation.

Yours sincerely,

Joachim Michels
Chairman of SUEPO Central

Copy: Mr Josef Kratochvíl; Chairman of the Administrative Council
Heads of Delegation of the Administrative Council

Later today we’ll publish some more material with more reasons for the strikes; readers ought to understand the why, not just the what (strike, protest, mass-mailing). EPO workers are collectively working not only for themselves but for labour rights everywhere; those rights are being eroded/crushed even in Europe’s second-largest institution, setting a really bad precedent.

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:08 am by Needs Sunlight

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