Links 20/2/2021: Mars Gets GNU/Linux and More Features Land in Linux 5.12

Posted in News Roundup at 11:56 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux has made it to Mars

      Yesterday, NASA landed a rover named Perseverance on Mars. I, along with 2 million other people, watched the landing happen live on YouTube. It was beautiful. I mean, here’s this little robot dude that’s traveled millions and millions of miles through the barrenness of space, and now it’s just hanging out on Mars taking pics and scientific samples! (Perseverance joins older sibling Curiosity on the surface of the Red Planet. Hope they have a nice time together!)

      In any case, Perseverance didn’t traverse the vastness of space alone. Ingenuity, a tiny helicopter, tagged along for the ride. As it’s primarily a technology demonstration, Ingenuity’s destiny is to attempt the first powered flight on any planet other than Earth and to hopefully be the blueprint for future Mars missions. It’s also running on Linux.

    • To infinity and beyond: Linux and open-source goes to Mars

      Perseverance hit Mars’ atmosphere at almost 12,000 miles per hour (19,312 kilometers per hour) and a mere seven minutes later NASA landed its latest Mars rover softly and safely. Onboard the one-ton mobile science lab is its tiny flying companion, the drone helicopter Ingenuity. If all goes well, the four-pound (1.8 kilograms) Ingenuity will be the first vehicle to ever fly on another world. At 11-light minutes from Earth, no one will fly the dual-propped Ingenuity with a drone controller. Instead, it will fly itself using a combination of Linux and a NASA-built program based on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) open-source F´ (pronounced F prime) framework.

    • Linux Is Now on Mars, Thanks to NASA’s Perseverance Rover

      When NASA’s Perseverance rover landed on Mars this week, it also brought the Linux operating system to the Red Planet.

      The tidbit was mentioned in an interview NASA software engineer Tim Canham gave to IEEE Spectrum. The helicopter-like drone on board the Perseverance rover uses a Linux-powered software framework the space agency open-sourced a few years ago. “This the first time we’ll be flying Linux on Mars. We’re actually running on a Linux operating system,” Canham said.

      It also might be the first time NASA has brought a Linux-based device to Mars. “There isn’t a previous use of Linux that I’m aware of, definitely on the previous rovers,” Canham told PCMag in an email.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Olive 0.1: Kdenlive Has Been Dethroned – YouTube

        I’ve been trying out video editors and everything has been lacking compared to kdenlive but I think I’ve finally found something I want to use and that something is the Olive editor, while it’s not perfect it’s an amazing piece of software

      • Linux in the Ham Shack [LHS] Episode #394: The Weekender LXVI

        It’s time once again for The Weekender. This is our bi-weekly departure into the world of amateur radio contests, open source conventions, special events, listener challenges, hedonism and just plain fun. Thanks for listening and, if you happen to get a chance, feel free to call us or e-mail and send us some feedback. Tell us how we’re doing. We’d love to hear from you.

      • Season Fourteen

        Nearly thirteen years ago, on 11th March 2008, a few members of the Ubuntu UK Local Community Team released S01E01 of the Ubuntu UK Podcast. Ciemon Dunville, Dave Walker, Tony Whitmore and I had recorded it on the previous Saturday in my cramped, messy home office.
        In the following seven years we recorded 187 episodes as “Ubuntu UK Podcast” – affectionately known as “uupc”. A re-brand in season eight to just “Ubuntu Podcast” led to another six years comprising another 251 episodes.

      • Bad Voltage 3×23: Multiple Otter Jacobs

        Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon, and Jeremy Garcia present Bad Voltage, in which Facebook aren’t watching our webinars and this is not nuanced…

    • Kernel Space

      • VRR For Intel Xe Graphics, Radeon RX 6000 Series Overclocking With Linux 5.12 – Phoronix

        The DRM kernel graphics/display driver updates were sent in today for the ongoing Linux 5.12 merge window. Two of the biggest features are VRR/Adaptive-Sync now being supported for Intel Gen12/Xe Graphics while on the AMD side there is initial “OverDrive” overclocking support for their newest RDNA 2 GPUs.

      • Linux 5.12 Will Avoid Prematurely Shutting Down Intel Mobile Systems When Running Hot – Phoronix

        Linux 5.12 with queued thermal changes will avoid prematurely shutting down mobile Intel workstations when a “critical” thermal threshold is reached that isn’t too critical.

        Sent in on Friday were the thermal patches for the Linux 5.12 merge window. Catching my attention within that assortment of patches were two patches by Canonical’s Kai-Heng Feng who is part of the Linux kernel team for Ubuntu.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mike Blumenkrantz: Notes

          I’ve been getting a lot of pings over the past week or two about ES 3.2 support.

          Here’s the deal.

          It’s not happening soon. Probably.

        • With OpenGL 4.6 Achieved, Zink Working CTS Fixes, Substantial Performance Gains – Phoronix

          Now that Mesa 21.1 has OpenGL 4.6 support for Zink, the attention is turning to fixes for the OpenGL Conformance Test Suite and juicing as much performance as possible out of this OpenGL on Vulkan driver layer within Mesa.

          Most active Zink developer Mike Blumenkrantz, working under contract for Valve, has been working on the CTS fixes and performance improvements now that mainline Mesa has the Zink GL 4.6 support. Besides OpenGL 4.6, OpenGL ES 3.1 is also now possible with Zink.

          Over the coming days and month or so, he is planning to land improved barrier support, removing explicit pre-fencing, descriptor caching, and various bug fixes. Even this morning a number of the Zink patches were merged.

        • Radeon “GFX90A” Added To LLVM As Next-Gen CDNA With Full-Rate FP64 – Phoronix

          It looks like the open-source driver support to the next-generation CDNA GPU / MI100 “Arcturus” successor is on the way. Hitting mainline AMDGPU LLVM is a new “GFX90A” target adding new interesting features for compute.

          The AMD GFX90A target is a big addition and was quickly and quietly merged this week… So much so that it generated some concerns and criticism in the review from other upstream LLVM developers that the merge request was just for a short time (a little more than one hour) before merging it, not allowing sufficient time for code review on such a large patch. To which one of the responses in return was over “we needed this upstreamed and no time was given to him to break it up into reasonably sized piece [across multiple patches that are easier for code review].” Code outside of the AMDGPU LLVM back-end isn’t touched but understandably some of the upstream developers are put off by the rushed process not allowing for any open-source code review prior to landing such a massive addition.

    • Benchmarks

      • LLVM Clang 12 Performance Benchmarks On AMD Ryzen 9 5950X

        With LLVM 12 due for release next month and GCC 11 not being far behind, it’s the season for fresh compiler benchmarks. In today’s article is a look at the AMD Ryzen 9 5950X (Zen 3) compiler performance between LLVM Clang 11.1 against the current LLVM Clang 12.0 Git development code in its feature-frozen state.

        LLVM/Clang 12 brings initial albeit basic support for AMD Zen 3 (Znver3) that adds in the newly-supported instructions but is not yet fully-tuned/optimized. Outside of the Zen 3 addition, LLVM Clang 12 brings more C++20 support, the machine function splitter was merged, -mtune for x86/x86_64 CPUs, and a lot of additions and improvements to the various LLVM sub-projects. There is also support for forthcoming Intel and ARM processors and other improvements there, which will be benchmarked in their own separate forthcoming articles on Phoronix.

    • Applications

      • Not Comfortable Using youtube-dl in Terminal? Use These GUI Apps

        Considering that it’s now restored and completely accessible, it is safe to say that it not an illegal tool out there.

        It is a very useful command-line tool that lets you download videos from YouTube and some other websites. Using youtube-dl is not that complicated but I understand that using commands for such tasks is not everyone’s favorite way.

        The good thing is that there are a few applications that provide GUI frontend for youtube-dl tool.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Kodi 19 in Ubuntu 20.04 / LinuxMint

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install KODI 19 in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 18.04, and LinuxMint 20.1.

        KODI formerly known as XBMC Media center is a free and open-source cross-platform software media player. It is managed by a non-profit XBMC foundation and developed by volunteers around the world.

      • How to Find and Fix Broken Symlinks in Linux

        Want to know more about deleting broken symlinks on your system? Maybe someone told you how dead symbolic links take up space on your storage device and now you want to get rid of them for good.

        Luckily, there are several utilities available that you can download on your Linux computer in order to manage symbolic links. These tools will also help you in finding broken soft links and fixing them permanently.

      • How to dual boot Kali Linux and Windows 10

        If you want to run Kali Linux on your system but you already have Windows 10 installed, you have a couple of options. One thing you could do is install Kali Linux in a virtual machine, as we’ve shown in our tutorials for installing Kali in VMware and installing Kali in VirtualBox.

      • How To Install Google Chrome on Manjaro 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Google Chrome on Manjaro 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Google Chrome is the official Google browser that is available for almost all platforms. The functionality of Google Chrome can easily be extended by installing different useful extensions and web applications. It is a secure and easy-to-use browser.

        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 Google Chrome web browser on a Manjaro 20 (Nibia).

      • How to Install GoAccess Web Log Analyzer on Ubuntu 20.04

        GoAccess is a free and open-source weblog analyzer tool used for the analysis of logs in real-time. You can analyze logs through a web browser or terminal. It is fast and light-weight that cannot consume a large amount of your CPU and Memory. It uses Common Log Format to parses and analyzes the web server logs. It supports HTTP/2 & IPv6 and has the ability to output JSON and CSV.

      • How to Install Kodi Media Center 19.0 in Ubuntu 20.04/18.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        The Kodi media center 19.0 now is available to install via its official Ubuntu PPA.

        Kodi 19.0 “Matrix” is a new major release for the open-source home theater software. Though it’s not officially announced at the moment of writing, the PPA packages has been updated, available for Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Linux Mint 20.x and derivatives.

      • How to Use GDB to Debug Programs in Ubuntu 20.04

        GNU Debugger (GDB) is an open-source debugger for GNU Systems. The debugger is portable and can be used for multiple languages as C/C++ and Fortran. It can be used for debugging programs by observing their states on specific breakpoints and even altering the flow or values for further execution. Usually, the GDB runs in command-line but several GUI has been developed for it as well.

        In this article, we explore how to debug C programs using GDB in Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa).

      • How to find details about user logins on Linux – TechRepublic

        Linux is an incredibly powerful platform that allows you to do just about anything you might want or need. As an admin, that’s a double-edged sword–especially given Linux is a multi-user environment. In other words, more than one user can be logged in at once.

        That means admins might find themselves having to track down more information about those logins than they’re accustomed to. For example, what users are logged in, what groups do they belong to, and what have they been doing? Where do you get such information? Have there been failed login attempts?

      • How to find string in a file on Linux | FOSS Linux

        Sometimes you might need to search a particular word or a string inside a file. To do this, almost every text editor has some GUI implementation to help you out. But for Linux users, it is much more productive and convenient to do these searches from the command-line.

        In fact, Linux has a powerful and convenient command-line utility – the grep command for this purpose. Using this, you can search for a particular string not just in one file but multiple files for a more comprehensive search.

        However, before you can use the grep command, you’ll first need to know how it works and its syntaxes. And so, to help you out, we have put together a detailed guide on using the grep command to help you find strings in a file on Linux. Not just that, but we will also show you how to search for strings in files through the command-line text editor and the GUI text editor.

      • How to install Mods in Friday Night Funkin on a Chromebook – CG5 Edition

        Today we are looking at how to install Mods in Friday Night Funkin on a Chromebook – CG5 Edition. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to send Linux command output to a file – TechRepublic

        If you’re new to the world of the Linux command line, then you know how eye-openingly powerful it can be. In fact, the sky’s the limit with what you can do from the Command Line interface. But, sometimes you’ll run a command and the output flies by so fast you couldn’t possibly catch everything necessary to get the task done.

        This is especially so when the command is of the informative nature. When you’re working remotely, or on hardware that doesn’t allow you the option to scroll back through the output, what do you do?

        You can always pipe the command through the likes of less, so you can page through the output. What if the output of the command is too long, or you need to save it for later or share it with someone to get a second set of eyes on an issue?

      • How to speed up apt downloads using apt-fast in ubuntu – Webleit.info

        Have you ever had to install a lot of updates? And does it take you a long time? Keeping our systems always up to date is important, but it’s also important to save time and optimize our work.
        Apt-fast is a script that allows each package to be pulled from multiple locations during its download. This in turn leads to faster download of all packages, and this leads to faster completion of our work on updating and installing packages.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Collabora share big progress on the Wine compatibility layer with Wayland

        Collabora have shared a great progress update on getting Wine working directly with Wayland, which is going to eventually replace X11 on most Linux distributions.

        Notes for newbies: Wine is a translation layer that can run Windows games and applications on Linux, Wine is a huge part of what makes Steam Play Proton do anything. Wayland is the next-generation replacement for the ancient and now mostly unmaintained X server on Linux.

      • Experimental Wayland Support For Wine Now Sees More Functionality Working

        Back in December there was an experimental driver for native Wayland support within Wine published by Collabora developer Alexandros Frantzis. A new version of the Wayland patches for Wine have now been published.

        With the new “request for comment” patches, there is now working support for copy/paste, drag-and-drop, and the ability to change the display mode. The patches remain out-of-tree for now and it’s not clear if/when it will be ready for mainline. There also is a lack of clarity from upstream Wine developers / CodeWeavers on whether this code should first go through Wine-Staging or what ultimately the acceptance requirements will be for introducing Wayland support into Wine.

      • VKD3D-Proton 2.2 Released With Tier 1 Variable Rate Shading, Preps For DXR Ray-Tracing

        In addition to having DXVK 1.8 released for Direct3D 9/10/11 over Vulkan, Valve’s VKD3D-Proton project also is enjoying a new release in time for weekend gamers wanting to run the latest Direct3D 12 titles via Vulkan on Linux with Steam Play.

        VKD3D-Proton 2.2 is the new release today and is mostly on bug/regression fixes but also “unblocks significant future feature development” moving forward.

      • Direct3D 12 to Vulkan translation lib VKD3D-Proton 2.2 is out, prepares DirectX Raytracing

        We just recently had the DXVK 1.8 release for Direct3D 9/10/11 to Vulkan and now we also have the VKD3D-Proton 2.2 release landing as well. As the name suggests, this is the project especially made for the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer to work with newer games that use Direct3D 12.

        According to the developer, the VKD3D-Proton 2.2 update is only a “maintenance release which fixes bugs and regressions” but as a big step it also “unblocks significant future feature development” so things shall continue to get exciting on it.

    • Games

      • How to play Farming Simulator 19 on Linux

        Farming Simulator 19 is a farming simulator video game developed by Giants Software and was published by Focus Home Interactive. In the game, players can realistically farm, breed livestock, plant and harvest crops, and sell assets created on the farm.

        Farming Simulator 19 has been released on dozens of platforms. However, it’s never made it to Linux. However, it is possible to play this game on Linux by using Steam’s Steam Play feature. Here’s how to set it up.

      • How to play Eternal Return: Black Survival on Linux

        Eternal Return: Black Survival is a MOBA/battle royal/survival game hybrid for PC developed and published by Nimble Neuron. The player chooses a character from the unique character roster and faces off with 17 other players in the game.

        Eternal Return: Black Survival never made its way to Linux as a native program. Instead, if you want to enjoy this game on Linux, you will need to use the Steam Play feature built into the Linux client. Here’s how to set the game up.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • LibFM + PCManFM 1.3.2 released!

        Two core parts of LXDE most of the time are releasing together, and that happened again. Not new major changes, just few more bugfixes. I would like to say something about translation updates but… unfortunately our Pootle server is still down and no other solution was introduced yet, so just few minor updates via Git. Fortunately, it is already in good shape so nothing too bad happened yet.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Emmanuele Bassi: Documentation changes

          Back in the late ‘90s, people working on GTK has the exact same problem we have today: how do we document the collection of function, types, macros, and assorted symbols that we call “an API”. It’s all well and good to strive for an API that can be immediately grasped by adhering to a set of well defined conventions and naming; but nothing is, or really can be, “self documenting”.

          When GTK 1.0 was released, the documentation was literally stored in handwritten Texinfo files; the API footprint of GTK was small enough to still make it possible, but not really maintainable in the longer term.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • Koozali SME Server 10 Beta 1 Release Notes “Justine”

          The Koozali SME Server development team is pleased to announce the release of SME Server 10 Beta 1 which will be the next major release of SME Server. Code named “Justine”

          This release is based on CentOS 7. CentOS 7.# has an EOL of 30 June 2024.

          Koozali SME Server users should not upgrade production servers to this release but those who can are encouraged to load the alpha to a dedicated test machine and take part in the testing phase.

        • Release | Endless OS 3.9.3

          Endless OS 3.9.3 was released for existing users today, Thursday 18th, 2021.

          Downloadable images for new users will be available in the next few days.

          Improved multi-user support for Kolibri

          We heard your feedback! Previously, using Kolibri on Endless OS would store all content within one user on your system. This meant that, when a device is shared between multiple users in a family or classroom, users could not access the same offline content.

          In this version of Endless OS, Kolibri now runs system-wide, and downloaded content is accessible to all users on the system, instead of a separate data directory for each user. This is more convenient, and saves valuable disk space if multiple users want to use the same content!

          If you have already been using Kolibri, you can switch to the new behaviour and preserve your data. We added a migration script that will migrate the existing content and make it accessible system wide. If you create a new user on your system then the content will be available to this new user. Please run the eos-kolibri-migrate command in the Terminal App.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Linking a TI-86 Calculator with openSUSE – CubicleNate’s Techpad

          Since there is a part of me still stuck in 1998, I do enjoy using my Texas Instruments TI-86 calculator for math things. When I have a complex equation that my middle-aged brain just can’t seem to work out, I reach for my trusty old TI-86. It has been a faithful companion that has been by my side, may math crunching crutch for over 22 years. I still have some of the same rechargeable nickel metal hydride batteries from Rayovac that still seem to work.


          The interface is dated and also of older GTK stock so there are some visual issues with the application but it is only a small annoyance. It would be nice to see this application updated with a newer Qt toolkit to make it from this decade.

          The documentation on Linux, as to what ports need to be opened for communication isn’t completely clear. I was only made aware of this because of my Arduino fun I have been having. Hopefully, in writing this, I am able to help someone out there find that answer.

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the weeks 2021/07

          Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

          This week might not have seen the highest count of snapshots being published (only 3, 0212, 0215, and 0217), but for sure we reached the highest count of packages to replace on your system and megabytes to transfer this year (so far). We have few reasons to trigger rebuilds of all packages, and most of the time I do that on a glibc update and when we switch the default compiler (in both cases to make use of new technologies). This week, glibc was the ‘guilty’ one.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • The Linux Foundation adds 7 projects to combat racial injustice [Ed: IBM desperate to distract the public from its dark and racist history]

          The Linux Foundation is adding seven open source projects aimed at pooling open source software expertise to promote racial justice to its Call for Code initiative.

          Call for Code was established in 2018 to bring together technical resources and expertise from partners like David Clark Cause, the Linux Foundation, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, IBM, and IBM subsidiary Red Hat to confront big social problems like climate change through a set of global challenges.

        • Linux Foundation backs 7 new open-source projects to promote racial justice

          The Linux Foundation said today that it has decided to house seven new open-source software projects aimed at promoting racial justice, in a move that’s designed to encourage more developers to participate in their development.

          The seven open-source projects are all entrants in the 2021 Call for Code, n annual contest held by IBM Corp. It invites developers to create and deploy applications based on open-source technology that can tackle some of the most pressing challenges in the world.

        • IBM, Linux Foundation Expand Call for Code for Racial Justice [Ed: This publication works for 'Linux' Foundation; IBM says it’s no longer racist because of a corporate PR campaign]

          The IBM Call for Code for Racial Justice team is expanding the program into new areas, and today said that the Linux Foundation will host seven projects in a bid to rally more coders to use open source technologies to address systemic racism.

          In addition to the five existing open source projects from Call for Code for Racial Justice, the Linux Foundation and IBM also unveiled two new project starters: Fair Change and TakeTwo.

        • DevConf2021.cz – Presentation and Demo

          There was a presentation entitled “Managing Standard Operating Envs with Ansible” given at DevConf2021.cz. Demo files and links to videos can be found at DevConf2021.cz

        • Fedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-07

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)! Fedora 34 Changes should be 100% code complete on Tuesday. The Beta freeze begins Tuesday.

          I have weekly office hours on Wednesdays in the morning and afternoon (US/Eastern time) in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. See the upcoming meetings for more information.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.04 Is Now Powered by Linux 5.10 LTS, Wayland Enabled by Default

          It’s official! Ubuntu 21.04 is now powered by Linux kernel 5.10 LTS as the packages landed earlier today in the main archives of the upcoming release. Until today, Ubuntu 21.04 was using the Linux 5.8 kernel used in Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) and more recently in Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS (Focal Fossa).

          After several weeks of testing, it would appear that the Ubuntu Kernel Team decided to give a green light to the Linux kernel 5.10 LTS packages, which were kept in the proposed repositories for proper testing. This is good news for Ubuntu fans, as it looks like Linux kernel 5.10 LTS will be supported until December 2022.

        • Canonical & Ubuntu at Embedded World Virtual 2021

          Embedded World 2021 is just around the corner and we’re excited to be sponsoring and connecting with our fellow EW-ers once again. This time, the embedded community will be bigger than ever, as the event is (naturally) going digital.

          In fact, we’d like to extend a complimentary invite for you to join us there too! Just hit the button below and use the code b when prompted.

        • Supporting “I don’t care about cookies”

          It all started one day when my boss turned to me and said, the legal team have said we need to ask a person before our websites can start using non-essential cookies. So we started the cookie-policy project which is written in vanilla JavaScript with accompanying styling and the back-end implemented via Google Tag Manager.

          The cookie-policy project displays a modal to each first-time visitor to manage which cookies they would like to accept. We have rolled out successfully across over 30 of our sites.

          Recently we received an issue that there was no way to scroll on our site if you were using a popular browser extension named I don’t care about cookies. The cookie policy script added a class to the body of the site to lock scrolling as it was expecting the cookie management modal to be present. The plugin has a range of selectors targeting known cookie notification elements and hides the cookie modal making it impossible for users to remove the scroll lock.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Cameron Kaiser: TenFourFox FPR30 SPR2 available

            TenFourFox Feature Parity Release “30.2″ (SPR 2) is now available for testing (downloads, hashes, release notes). The reason this is another security-only release is because of my work schedule and also I spent a lot of time spinning my wheels on issue 621, which is the highest priority JavaScript concern because it is an outright crash. The hope was that I could recreate one of the Apple discussion pages locally and mess with it and maybe understand what is unsettling the parser, but even though I thought I had all the components, it still won’t load or reproduce in a controlled environment. I’ve spent too much time on it and even if I could do more diagnostic analysis I still don’t know if I can do anything better than “not crash” (and in SPR2 is a better “don’t crash” fix, just one that doesn’t restore any functionality). Still, if you are desperate to see this fixed, see if you can create a completely local Apple discussions page or clump of files that reliably crashes the browser. If you do this, either attach the archive to the Github issue or open a Tenderapp ticket and let’s have a look. No promises, but if the community wants this fixed, the community will need to do some work on it.

          • Optional Comments

            I spend a lot of my time at Mozilla reviewing my peers’ work. It’s a joy, but it’s hard to do well. Review can be a great opportunity for mentorship and growth, but it’s also an opportunity to be overbearing. Striking the right tone is a struggle.

            Part of the problem is this implicit push for the author to incorporate every review comment into the document [1]. For example, comments must be marked as “resolved” which suggests the author took some action. I see this reflected in our culture too. Consider this HBR article that highlights the risk of jilting peers by ignoring their advice.

      • CMS

        • A quick guide to WordPress, the free-to-use website builder that powers some of the web’s most popular sites

          WordPress is a free-to-use open-source content management system (CMS) that allows you to build a website with minimal technical knowledge.

        • Reflecting on Gutenberg’s 100th Release

          The past four years have not always been an easy journey. Shipping something this impactful is not easy, and there was precedent for keeping the editor as it was: WordPress had already tried to replace TinyMCE a couple of times already. What would be different this time around? The worry was “not much” and initially, very few people actively joined the project.

          Six months later came WordCamp Europe 2017 and the first release of the plugin. The editor was nowhere close to being usable, but it “clicked” for some. The reactions to the presentation were hopeful, but afterward, there was a lot of pushback.

          Gutenberg was (and is) an audacious project. With a project this big it attracted a lot of attention, and it became difficult to discern constructive debate from mere opposition. We each come with our context, and some people had a fixed idea about what they wanted for the project. Some wanted to reuse an existing page builder, others wanted to revive the Fields API project, some wanted it to be front-end-first, others wanted it just to replace the classic editor’s content area, some wanted it to be in Vue.JS, others wanted no change at all. With a product used by 40% of the web, you hope to find consensus, and when compromises have to be made, it can be difficult for those involved to avoid feeling that their voice is being ignored.

          We have also made quite a few mistakes: stability wasn’t great in some releases, performance suffered in others, and accessibility as well. But we kept pushing forward, using feedback to improve the editor and the project in all aspects until its first inclusion in WordPress 5.0, and we’re still working to improve it today.


          Wednesday marked the 100th release of Gutenberg, and while that looks remarkable on the outside, the release itself holds what all the other releases did. It holds improvements to the existing features, it fixes bugs that users reported, adds new features, and it highlights experiments with new ideas.

          What is remarkable about the release is the people. The ones who were with us from the start, the ones who were with us but left, the ones who joined in our journey, everyone who helped along the way, everyone who provided feedback, everyone who got their hands dirty, and everyone who tried to use this editor, extend it and provide ideas.

      • Programming/Development

        • Why Flutter Has Become the Best Choice To Develop a Mobile Application

          Why Flutter Application Development is the right choice for startups? Flutter can make it more comfortable for startups to quickly ship features with a focus on native end-user experiences. Flutter is an open-source UI development kit created by Google. Flutter could be the ultimate solution for startups to build beautiful native applications for mobile, web, and desktop from a single codebase. Thus, flutter is an ideal choice for startups to develop mobile apps.
          Let’s go too deep in this post to understand everything related to Flutter and why Flutter has become the best choice to develop a mobile application.

        • Python

          • How to Setup PyDev for Eclipse IDE on Linux

            Eclipse is not a new term that programmers will hear. It is very popular in the developer community and has been in the market for a very long time. This article is all about showing how to set up Python in Eclipse using the PyDev package.

            Eclipse is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) used for Java development. Other than Java it also supports other languages like PHP, Rust, C, C++, etc. Though there are dedicated Linux IDE’s available in the market for python I have seen still people tweaking up their Eclipse environment to make it perfect for Python development.

        • Rust

          • March Sprint for rustc: Shrink Memory Usage

            I am very excited about the compiler team’s upcoming sprint, and I want to share that excitement with all of you.

            The Rust Compiler Team decided over a series of recent meetings (4 dec 2020, 15 jan 2021, 29 jan 2021) that our focus for 2021 will be improving the compiler’s performance from the perspective of the new contributor experience bootstrapping the compiler and developing code for the compiler.

            The team’s first sprint for 2021 will be during the first week of March, and its focus will be on reducing the memory footprint of the compiler during bootstrap.

  • Leftovers

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Policy Brief: Cut the Campaign Finance Program from HR 1

        The Campaign Finance section is one of three divisions in HR 1, the proposed For the People Act.

        Division A deals with Voting, including many good reforms concerning internet and same-day voter registration, eliminating unjust voter roll purges, voter-verified permanent paper ballots, early voting, and no excuse absentee ballots.

        Division C deals with Ethics, again with many good reforms such as requiring presidential candidates to release their tax returns.

        Division B deal with Campaign Finance. It creates a matching funds public campaign finance program for congressional and presidential candidates that simply adds public money on top of a campaign finance system that is dominated by private money. It also creates qualifying thresholds that are beyond the reach of third-party candidates. It has no restrictions on private campaign funding.

        In short, the HR 1 public campaign finance system is a scam to add public money to all the private money corporate major-party incumbents can raise, while making it hard for challengers, whether inside a major party or in a third party, to even qualify for public funding. The Republican politicians won’t vote for this, but if it passes, they will be happy to get in on the scam.

        The Campaign Finance section of HR 1 is a reform that doesn’t reform.

Links 19/2/2021: Linux on Mars and Tumbleweed Gets Newest KDE Frameworks

Posted in News Roundup at 3:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux Has Landed On Mars

      NASA has landed a new rover called Perseverance on Mars. It has it’s own miniature helicopter named Ingenuity that can take off, navigate, and land on Mars without human intervention. Ingenuity runs a custom Linux-based operating system, Linux has now reached Mars.

    • The Perseverance Mars rover just took Linux to another planet

      The landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars was not just a victory for science, but also for open source software, the team behind the project has revealed.

      In its bid to use software that was “safe and proven”, NASA turned to Linux and open source. “This the first time we’ll be flying Linux on Mars,” said Tim Canham, Mars Helicopter Operations Lead at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in a discussion with IEEE Spectrum.

      Without going into too much detail, Canham mentioned that the flight software framework NASA is using on the tiny helicopter dubbed Ingenuity, that’s tucked under the Perseverance Mars rover, was originally developed for miniature satellites called CubeSats.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Release Roundup #21.08: Linux Kernel 5.11, KDE Plasma 5.21, OpenMandriva Lx 4.2 and More New Releases – It’s FOSS News

        The much awaited Linux Kernel 5.11 was released to the public recently with many changes and new features, it is a non-LTS release and this year’s first major kernel release.

        For a more detailed outlook of the changes, have a look at our coverage of the same.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Roman Gilg: Window Kindergarten

          In the last post about KWinFT’s Windowing Revolution I promised follow-up articles with detailed explorations of two elements of that revolution, which due to their complexity deserve such.

          One of them was a new way how Wayland subsurfaces are managed inside KWinFT. Accompanying the 5.21 release of KWinFT this week, which was made available in sync with the KDE Plasma release, let me live up to my promise and start with an exploration of that.

          But since even this topic alone is overly complex with a lot of windowing history behind it, we will split it up further and in this first article only look at subsurfaces and related concepts from a high level but without yet looking at the new and improved implementation in KWinFT.

          On a high level the notions we are dealing with can always be interpreted as some form of parent-child relation between windows, on Wayland just as much as on X11. We will see that this is a very powerful mental model.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • What are the process states in Unix/Linux? – JAXenter

        In this article, learn about the following process states in Unix/Linux: RUNNING & RUNNABLE, INTERRRUPTABLE_SLEEP, UNINTERRRUPTABLE_SLEEP, STOPPED, and ZOMBIE. Find out how to find them, how to kill the SLEEPING process, the ZOMBIE process, and more.

      • Different OpenGPG DNS entries for the same email | Miroslav Suchý

        In previous blogpost, I wrote How to generate OpenPGP record for DNS (TYPE61). You may get puzzled what to do when you have different GPG keys with the same email.

      • Lukas “lzap” Zapletal: Helper script for easy cherry picks with git

        After many, many manual cherry picks, I’ve decided to put together a short script. It’s fully interactive and hopefully self-explanatory.

      • Steps to install PHP 8 on Debian Server – Linux Shout

        PHP is a widely used server-side programming language that means it can perform actions on servers such as establishing connections to a database, generate dynamic webpages on user requests, or delete files on the server.

        It is open-source and distributed as free software. Today, the abbreviation PHP stands for HyperText Process, however, originally it was known as Personal Home Page Tools. The programs coded with this scripting language stored as simple text files which later converted into machine code by the web server when they are called up. Thus, PHP programs are largely platform-independent and can be executed on different hardware systems.

        Embedded in HTML files, the PHP code supplemented static websites with dynamic information such as date and time or, for example, mixed in the input of users from order forms in order confirmation pages.

      • How to install Lubuntu 20.10 on Windows 10 Hyper-V – Webleit.info

        Lubuntu is a fast and lightweight operating system with a clean and easy-to-use user interface. It is a Linux system, that uses the minimal desktop LXDE/LXQT, and a selection of light applications. Because of this, Lubuntu has very low hardware requirements. Lubuntu was founded by Mario Behling and has been grown for many years by Julien Lavergne.

      • How to Disable USB ports, CD-ROM and Floppy drives in Ubuntu – Webleit.info

        In the company where I work, the employees often had to work from their homes during the pandemic. This necessitated the need to encrypt these laptops, and then to the question of how to stop all USB ports and CDs. In this article, we will look at some simple but effective methods to disable USB ports, CD drives and floppies.

        But in the end, why do we need all this?
        Well, often people, without even realizing it, can forget their laptop unlocked in a cafe and a conscientious person can quickly download a few key files or do a bunch of other nonsense. Therefore, in some cases, locking all communication ports on the laptop would increase your corporate security.

      • Linux Essentials – The Arch User Repository (AUR) – YouTube

        In my “Linux Essentials” series, I go over the basic details of one Linux command or service in each episode in order to teach you the basics. In this episode, we’ll explore the Arch User Repository (AUR).

      • Move your Linux from legacy BIOS to UEFI in place with minimal downtime | Enable Sysadmin

        This article describes a complete procedure for moving to UEFI.

      • APT Command in Linux [A to Z Guide]

        If you have used Debian or Debian-based distributions such as Ubuntu or Linux Mint, then the APT command-line tool needs no introduction. APT, short for Advanced Package Tool is a package management tool for Debian systems. The APT utility helps users to perform a variety of tasks including installing, updating, upgrading, and removing software packages. The APT utility is used interactively, often requiring the user to type ‘Y’ to proceed with the operation such as installing or removing a package.

      • Create NodeJS Virtual Environments Using Conda In Linux – OSTechNix

        Anaconda distribution ships with a package and environment management system called Conda. It is used to manage and deploy applications, environments and packages. Conda is written in Python and it was initially created for Python programs only, but it can be used for any languages, for example R, Nodejs etc. In this guide, we will see how to create Nodejs virtual environments using conda in Linux.

      • Linux 101: How to block users from setting up their own cron jobs – TechRepublic

        You’re a new Linux admin and you’re familiar with how cron works. You’ve been tasked with hardening your Linux servers and one thing you’d like to do is prevent users from setting up their own cron jobs. After all, shouldn’t that task fall into your hands?

        You certainly don’t want users creating regularly scheduled jobs that could compromise the integrity of your server. What do you do? You block users from creating cron jobs. Believe it or not, this is surprisingly easy to take care of.

        Let me show you how.

      • How to Install Express.js and Write a Hello World App on Ubuntu

        For this tutorial, you’ll only need access to an Ubuntu system. We wrote this tutorial for an Ubuntu 20.04 server, but the instructions will work on the desktop version too, or any other Ubuntu-based distro. You can get a cheap Ubuntu server at Vultr.

        You’ll need the root user for this tutorial, or run sudo where necessary.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Collabora Adds New Features to Their Wayland Driver for Wine

        First unveiled in mid-December 2020, the Wayland driver for Wine enables you to run Windows applications and games via the Wine compatibility layer on GNU/Linux distributions that use the Wayland display system, as a drop-in replacement for XWayland.

        During these past two months, Collabora’s engineers worked hard on improving the Wayland driver for Wine by adding a handful of new features like copy and paste support from both Wine and Wayland apps, the ability to drag and drop items from native Wayland apps to Wine apps, and support for changing the display mode.

      • Wayland on Wine: An exciting first update

        Two months ago we announced a first proposal for a Wayland driver for Wine, the compatibility layer for Windows applications.

        The goal of this driver is to allow Windows applications to run directly on Wayland compositors, eventually removing the need for XWayland for many use cases. XWayland, like X11 in general, is receiving less and less developer attention and is unlikely to support modern features like improved fence synchronization or HDR. In addition, since it’s yet another layer to go through it’s a source of complexity and potentially of inefficiency. Some more details and thoughts about XWayland vs direct Wayland in the context of Wine can be found here.

        We are now excited to announce a first update for this effort, proposed on the upstream mailing list as a new RFC (Request for Comment), which contains more details and instructions for building and running the Wayland driver.

        The focus of this update is to support a number of new features that are useful for applications and games, and which have also been considered potential integration pain points for the Wayland driver. These are copy/paste, drag-and-drop and support for changing the display mode.

        Copy/paste support works well in both directions (native Wayland apps <=> Wine apps) with many common formats already supported. Drag and drop works in the direction of native Wayland apps to Wine apps for many common formats.

    • Games

      • There’s no stopping the Viking invasion as Valheim hits 3 million sales | GamingOnLinux

        Valheim has truly become an absolute runaway hit. A survival game about Vikings running around in co-op chopping down trees and facing off against big bosses.

        Less than three weeks since the Early Access release, Iron Gate announced today that it’s now sold three million copies. This is just absurd but it’s genuinely well deserved. This isn’t some AAA or even AA team with a huge budget, Iron Gate is a tiny team backed up by Coffee Stain Publishing.

        The team shared some other records they’ve managed to hit recently too including over 60,000 user reviews with an Overwhelmingly Positive rating, they’re now doing so well they’re rising up the Steam Top 250 and it has been one of the most popular games on Twitch lately too. There’s just no stopping it.


        Seems to have caused a surge for LinuxGSM too, the really great tool for managing game servers. Going by their stats we can see Valheim is now the most popular game being hosted with their kit with over 750 servers live.

      • Crusader Kings II gets a monthly subscription for all the DLC | GamingOnLinux

        Paradox Interactive are branching out with revenue models and they’re now doing a subscription for Crusader Kings II, which itself is free to play. Even though Crusader Kings III is out now, the classic Crusader Kings II is tried and tested with multiple thousands of people still playing it regularly. It being free also makes it a good entry point for Paradox strategy titles.

      • It’s officially game over for Rochard with studio Recoil Games shutting

        Recoil Games appear to have filed for bankruptcy a while ago and sadly a casualty of that is their game Rochard, which has now been removed for sale.

        Rochard was an award-winning side-scroller puzzle-platformer, originally released in 2011. It was also part of the early indie game push for Linux, thanks to it being part of the Humble Indie Bundle 6 back in 2012 it was ported to Linux especially for the bundle. Not only that, it was also one of the first commercial Unity games (possibly the actual first) to be built for Linux too, so it holds something of a special place in our history.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Tumbleweed Gets Newest KDE Frameworks, Plasma

          Updates of both KDE’s Plasma and Frameworks landed in openSUSE Tumbleweed as part of three snapshots released this week.

          The rolling Tumbleweed distribution began the week with Linux Kernel 5.10.12 and has ended it with version 5.10.16, which was the latest stable Kernel when the 20210215 snapshot was released.

          The newest Frameworks 5.79.0 version arrived in snapshot 20210217. As part of the release, Kholidays package updated holidays for Mauritius and Taiwan. The Kirigami user interface framework had fixes to the controls and enhanced some vertical alignments. Removal of the usage of non-UTF-8 string literals were made with Framework’s kcodecs package update. GNOME had some updates with gnome-builder updating to version 3.38.2, which provided support for an –add-policy for Flatpak, and gnome-software updating to version 3.38.1, which updated translations and ignores harmless warnings when using unusual fwupd versions. Three areas of focus were emphasized for the update of dhcp 4.4.2 with changes for dynamic DNS additions, dhclient improvements and support for dynamic shared libraries; the package is now licensed under the Mozilla Public License, MPL 2.0. Multiple PyPI packages were updated including python-greenlet 1.0.0, which requires setuptools to build from source, and python-numpy 1.20.1, which fixed a random.shuffle regression. A major update of perl-Mojolicious 9.01 added an experimental color attribute and an experimental color log environment variable. Other packages to update in the snapshot were Long-Term Support package subversion 1.14.1, filesystem mounter fuse3 3.10.2, pipewire 0.3.21 and git 2.30.1.

      • Arch Family

        • Moving to Zstandard images by default on mkinitcpio

          As linux-lts moved to the 5.10 version, all official kernels of Arch Linux now support zstd compressed initramfs images, so mkinitcpio is switching to zstd compressed images by default with version 30, which is currently on [testing].

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Two new Call for Code for Racial Justice projects just went open source [Ed: IBM has the audacity to claim to combat the very thing it has long contributed to]

          In response to the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and too many others, Call for Code for Racial Justice launched in October of 2020. The initiative provides developers with the opportunity to build open source solutions to address three focus areas: Police & Judicial Reform and Accountability, Diverse Representation, and Policy & Legislation Reform. The initiative builds upon Call for Code, which was created in 2018 and has grown to over 400,000 developers and problem-solvers across 179 countries, in partnership with Creator David Clark Cause, Founding Partner IBM, Charitable Partner United Nations Human Rights, and the Linux Foundation.

        • New Open Source Projects to Confront Racial Justice [Ed: Jason Perlow from IBM and Microsoft is trying to help IBM hide its highly racist practices, which it profited from]

          Today the Linux Foundation announced that it would be hosting seven projects that originated at Call for Code for Racial Justice, an initiative driven by IBM and Creator David Clark Cause to urge the global developer ecosystem and open source community to contribute to solutions that can help confront racial inequalities.

          Launched by IBM in October 2020, Call for Code for Racial Justice facilitates the adoption and innovation of open source projects by developers, ecosystem partners, and communities across the world to promote racial justice across three distinct focus areas: Police & Judicial Reform and Accountability; Diverse Representation; and Policy & Legislation Reform.

          The initiative builds upon Call for Code, created by IBM in 2018 and has grown to over 400,000 developers and problem solvers in 179 countries, in partnership with Creator David Clark Cause, Founding Partner IBM, Charitable Partner United Nations Human Rights, and the Linux Foundation.

        • The Linux Foundation and IBM Announce New Open Source Projects to Promote Racial Justice
        • The Linux Foundation and IBM Announce New Open Source Projects to Promote Racial Justice

          The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced it will host seven projects from Call for Code for Racial Justice, an initiative driven by IBM and Creator David Clark Cause to urge the global developer ecosystem and open source community to contribute to solutions that can help confront racial inequalities.

          Call for Code for Racial Justice launched in October 2020, and facilitates the adoption and innovation of open source projects by developers, ecosystem partners, and communities across the world to promote racial justice across three focus areas: Police & Judicial Reform and Accountability; Diverse Representation; and Policy & Legislation Reform. The initiative builds upon Call for Code, which was created in 2018 and has grown to over 400,000 developers and problem solvers across 179 countries, in partnership with Creator David Clark Cause, Founding Partner IBM, Charitable Partner United Nations Human Rights, and the Linux Foundation.

          “Open source technology has an important role to play in addressing the greatest challenges of our time, and that includes racial justice,” said Mike Dolan, senior vice president and GM of Projects at the Linux Foundation. “We are excited to host and support these projects at the Linux Foundation, and look forward to how they will develop and deploy through contributions from the open source community.”

        • Technically Speaking (S1E01): Edge computing covered and diced – YouTube

          What is edge computing, and what does it mean for data workloads, latency, and our precious, precious bandwidth? Red Hat CTO Chris Wright reboots Technically Speaking in this first episode where we explore edge computing.

        • Virtualization’s role in next-generation infrastructure

          Enterprises have always used multiple generations of technology simultaneously. Enterprise applications need to be deployed into both VMs and containers, and enterprises need a converged platform to support both. So the question IT people have to answer is, “How can we manage existing applications running on virtual machines and new applications running on containers together in an unified platform?”

          That is the mission of the open source project, KubeVirt. Downstream of that, Red Hat introduced OpenShift Virtualization (a.k.a. Container Native Virtualization) within the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, a Kubernetes based platform.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • The State of Robotics – January 2021

          A new start? 2020 came and went, and in the process, it left a mark in history and our lives that won’t be erased. Together, as a community, we all struggled, we all faced new challenges, we all united and did our best to help each other. We are grateful for the effort of our nurses, doctors, carers, scientific, essential workers, and innovators that have led this fight. We also take a moment to remember those that we have lost and those who have been affected the most.

          We have started a new year, and while some of us might be still in lockdown, working from home and unable to visit our loved ones, we see a light at the end of the tunnel.

          It will take some time. But it is definitely a new start.

          Thank you to all of you that have followed this monthly blog. We are committed to our robotics community and to our innovators. We will keep working for you.

          Thank you to all of you that have contributed to this blog. We want this to keep growing, so if you are working on (or know of) something that you think would be interesting to our audience, let us know. Send a summary of the work to robotics.community@canonical.com.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • NeoPixel fireflies jar with Raspberry Pi | HackSpace 39
      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

        • Best Free Android Apps: Skywave Schedules – listen to shortwave radio

          There’s a strict eligibility criteria for inclusion in this series. See the Eligibility Criteria section below.

          Are you interested in shortwave radio? Radio waves in the shortwave band can be reflected or refracted from a layer of electrically charged atoms in the atmosphere called the ionosphere over extremely long distances. Skywave Schedules is just the ticket for anyone wanting to listen and identify stations broadcasting on shortwave.

          It’s true that the days of shortwave radio have long sailed with many broadcasters deserting the airwaves and providing their schedule on the internet. But there’s still lots of broadcasters who maintain a presence. And listening to shortwave remains extremely valuable if you need to access news and information from a different perspective and your remote location doesn’t offer (unrestricted) internet access.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Let Them Melt Snow
    • “Pages 9-14,” an excerpt from The Ferguson Report: An Erasure
    • A Teenaged Tech CEO Tries To Sneak In After Curfew And Finds His Mom Waited Up For Him

      With Congress spending a lot of time these days demanding answers from big tech firms, you may have noticed a notable similarity in style regarding how they respond to these kinds of inquiries.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Why Politicians and Doctors Keep Ignoring the Medical Research on Vitamin D and Covid

        It is time to speak out forcefully now that a new, large-scale Spanish study demonstrates not a just a correlation but a causal relationship between high-dose Vitamin D treatment of hospitalised Covid patients and significantly improved outcomes for their health.

        The pre-print paper in the Lancet shows there was an 80 per cent reduction in admission to intensive care units among hospitalised patients who were treated with large doses of Vitamin D, and a 64 per cent reduction in death. The possibility of these being chance findings are infinitesimally small, note the researchers. And to boot, the study found no side-effects even when these mega-doses were given short term to the hospitalised patients.

      • Ten People Died After Chicago Refused To Stop Jailing People During COVID-19 Pandemic

        This article has been published in partnership with South Side Weekly and was supported by Shadowproof’s Marvel Cooke Reporting Fellowship.

        A few days before Easter, Karl Battiste called his daughter Karla with a headache. He wasn’t feeling well and was worried about the spread of COVID-19 in Chicago’s Cook County Jail, where he was incarcerated at the time. 

      • More Than Half of All Inmates in Wisconsin Prisons Have Tested Positive for Covid

        One year into the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, everyone in the United States should be familiar with the Centers for Disease Control’s coronavirus guidelines: Wear a mask, stay six feet apart, avoid crowds. There remains, however, one setting in which these guidelines are disregarded by the authorities themselves: prisons. In Wisconsin, for example, nearly 20,000 prisoners are held in facilities where, as the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) admits, they cannot socially distance. Unsurprising, then, that the Wisconsin DOC reports that more than half of all prisoners in its custody have tested positive for Covid.

      • ‘Wildly Uneven and Unfair’: As Richest Gobble Up Vaccine Supply, 130 Poorest Nations Have Yet to Receive Single Dose

        “Unless production is significantly increased, many people in developing countries won’t get vaccines until 2024. The pandemic cannot be stopped anywhere unless people are vaccinated everywhere.”

      • Appeals Court Says Handing Out A Free Sample Of Drugs Isn’t A ‘Conspiracy’

        Our nation’s preeminent drug warriors rolled the dice on turning less than a half-gram of drugs into a lengthy prison sentence. They lost. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals isn’t amused by the machinations of DEA agents (and federal prosecutors) who tried to turn a freebie sample into a drug trafficking conspiracy.

      • What Popular Culture Misunderstands About Addiction

        You might already know the story of Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance’s memoir that argues that a variety of social ills in Appalachia—low birth rates, declining religious affiliation, domestic violence—can be attributed to “hillbilly culture.” At the end of last year, Hollywood ran the book through a few spin cycles, bleaching its film adaptation of Vance’s virulent right-wing commentary, which places blame on government welfare programs for incentivizing perverse behaviors that tear families and society apart. Naturally, most critics scanned Elegy for its politics. However sanitized the movie is of Vance’s beliefs, it was still destined for the front lines of the culture war.

      • ‘Congress Must End This National Embarrassment,’ Says Sanders After CBO Reveals High Drug Prices for Medicare Part D

        “There is no rational reason why Medicare pays nearly three times more than Medicaid and about twice as much as the VA for the same exact medicine.”

      • How to Wear a Mask & When to Wear Two to Reduce COVID Transmission & Increase Vaccine Effectiveness

        While COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations appear to be waning, the United States has a long way to go before people can safely return to everyday life without masks. Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, says it’s vital to stay vigilant even as vaccinations ramp up. “If we can get our transmission down as low as possible, that is actually going to make the vaccines more effective.”

      • COVID Deaths in the US Lead to Biggest Drop in Life Expectancy Since WWII
    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • PTV Vissim traffic simulation software made available to Linux users

          Traffic and transportation solutions developer PTV has extended the capability and benefits offered by its traffic simulation software PTV Vissim Kernel by making the program available to Linux users within the automotive industry.

          PTV Group says the software is capable of reproducing realistic simulations of entire traffic environments, including the interactions and movement of different road users using a multitude of vehicles. Within the virtual environment an array of concepts can be reproduced including autonomous driving, shared mobility and Mobility as a Service.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (bind9, libbsd, openssl1.0, php-horde-text-filter, qemu, and unrar-free), Fedora (kiwix-desktop and libntlm), Mageia (coturn, mediawiki, privoxy, and veracrypt), openSUSE (buildah, libcontainers-common, podman), Oracle (kernel, nss, and perl), Red Hat (xterm), SUSE (java-1_7_1-ibm, php74, python-urllib3, and qemu), and Ubuntu (libjackson-json-java and shiro).

          • SecureCRT 9.0 and SecureFX 9.0 from VanDyke Software Adds Built-in Support for RDP and Platform Support for Ubuntu 20.04 [Ed: RDP is, by default, not secure, so this is proprietary software non-solution in search of a problem GNU/Linux users do not have and should not bother with]

            VanDyke Software®, a developer of multi-platform secure terminal emulation and secure­ file transfer software, today announced the official releases of SecureCRT® 9.0 and SecureFX® 9.0.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Defence/Aggression

      • ‘Leaving Aside’ International Law: Democrats are as Dangerous as Republicans to Peace in Palestine

        There are obvious differences in the Democrats’ approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, but only in semantics and political jingoism, not policy. This assertion can be justified if the Democratic administration’s official language on Palestine and Israel is examined, and such language considered within the context of practical policies on the ground.

      • Opinion | The American Century Ends Early

        How the USS Enterprise was transformed into the USS Roach.

      • If It Were a Narco Lab, It Would be Working

        Obstacles left by Trump still stand in their way. Agreements he made with Honduras and Guatemala led to police attacking and dispersing the refugees. Scattered groups are still heading towards the Mexican frontier at Chiapas – according to one Trump-era official, ‘now our southern border’ – where they will face Mexican troops. If they eventually reach the Rio Grande, they’ll join 25,000 asylum seekers in camps, waiting to be processed by US border officials. Roberta Jacobson, Biden’s official charged with forming his new ‘secure, managed and humane’ migration policy, has asked them to be patient and pleaded for no new arrivals.

        Why do people take these risks? The truth is that Honduras is a failed state and, unless US policy towards it changes radically, many thousands more will head north. Since the military coup in 2009 there have been three corrupt elections. The last, in 2017, which saw Juan Orlando Hernández (JOH) re-elected when he had clearly lost, led to even more repression. Persecution of human rights defenders is unceasing, even after international condemnation of the murder of Berta Cáceres five years ago. Seven were killed in 2020, and four young leaders from Garifuna communities, abducted in a single night seven months ago, are still missing.

      • Lawfare Threatens to Derail the Presidential Election in Ecuador

        This election will have enormous consequences for Ecuador as well as the entire region. After four years of President Lenin Moreno’s neoliberal turn, which reversed the economic and social gains of former President Rafael Correa’s Citizens’ Revolution, the majority of Ecuadorians have opted for a change of course. An Arauz victory would once again prioritize social investment over IMF imposed austerity and resume Ecuador’s leadership in the movement towards regional integration. If the ultra right in Ecuador and Colombia have their way, however, Arauz will not make it to the run-off election.

        Just a week prior to the first round, with Arauz ahead in most polls, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, who is a fierce opponent of the UNES candidate, met with the notoriously interventionist Secretary General of the OAS, Luis Almagro, in Washington. This meeting raised suspicions that efforts were underway to prevent a return of the Citizens’ Revolution in Ecuador.  On February 12th,  the Attorney General of Colombia, Francisco Barbosa arrived in Quito to meet with his Ecuadorian counterpart, Diana Salazar, armed with a dossier that allegedly shows the campaign of Arauz had received funding from the National Liberation Army (ELN) guerillas in Colombia. Although no independent corroboration of such charges have been presented to back these allegations, the echo chamber of right wing fake news is already urging election authorities in Ecuador to disqualify UNES in a bid to prevent Arauz from participating in the second round of the presidential election.

      • Politico’s Defense News, Brought to You by Northrop Grumman

        Since its inception 14 years ago, Politico has risen to become an internet news giant. Now employing over 700 people and reaching 50 million people per month, the website and newspaper has become one of the most trusted sources of information on political issues in the United States. Key to this is its range of influential newsletters, which reach millions every day.

      • Leader of Neo-Nazi Group Previously Worked for Department of Homeland Security
      • US State Department accusation of China ‘genocide’ relied on data abuse and baseless claims by far-right ideologue
      • ‘No to Dictatorship’: Why Haitians are protesting US-backed Moïse
    • Environment

    • Finance

      • Biden Has the Power to Cancel Student Loan Debt Now. What’s Stopping Him?
      • “Let Them Eat Ice Cream”

        I “know” things I’d rather not consciously acknowledge. We all do. To be a human being is to implicate oneself in some degree of hypocrisy; existence is acquiescence to imperfection. If we want to live with a minimum of contentment, we have no alternative. But there is a difference between unavoidable, low-grade inconsistency—an inescapable element of the human condition—and eminently escapable hypocrisy. Avoidable hypocrisy comes in two flavors: hypocrisy which is structural, forced upon individuals by systems largely beyond any given individual’s control, and the chosen, flagrant hypocrisy of powerful people, so lulled by complacency and ideology that they fail to see how their behavior appears to an outside observer. Powerful people who are nonchalant upon being confronted with evidence of hypocritical behavior aren’t hypocrites: they’ve foresworn the claim to any modicum of consistency, opting for the stolid impenetrability of power. With them, the logic of hypocrisy does not obtain.

        Trump, Mitch McConnell, and congressional Republicans fall into this latter category: they subscribe to the simple, age-old premise that might makes right. The strong do what they can; the weak suffer what they must. Republican pseudo-populist politicians make only token efforts to deny swift 180-degree shifts in rhetoric—and they largely get away with it. If pushed, they will shrug, give an aw-shucks grin, and drop the pretext altogether. This abrupt jettisoning of pretense allows them to provide the cynical, weary masses—rightly embittered, hopeless, angry, tired of pious platitudes—the illusion of “telling it how it is.”

      • Rising Inequality: the ‘Pre-Existing Condition’ That Doomed the U.S. COVID Response

        The panel’s 33 commissioners — medical professionals of all sorts, along with assorted notables in legal and economic circles — have just delivered their final report, and media outlets worldwide are taking notice. They’re headlining the commission’s most stunning stat: that some 200,000 fewer Americans would have diedfrom the coronavirus if the United States had treated Covid with the same level of public health competence that its peer developed nations have demonstrated.

        “President Trump’s time in office,” the Lancet commission charges, “brought misfortune to the USA and the planet.”

      • “Not Doing This Is a Choice”: Biden Drags His Feet on Canceling Student Debt Despite Campaign Pledge

        Students, campaigners and top Democrats have been pushing President Joe Biden to use executive authority to cancel at least $50,000 in student loan debt per person. Student loan debt in the U.S. stands at $1.7 trillion, with some 45 million people owing money. Filmmaker and organizer Astra Taylor, an author, documentary director and organizer with the Debt Collective, says Biden has clear legal authority to cancel student debt. “Not doing this is a choice,” she says. We also speak with Braxton Brewington, a digital strategist with the Debt Collective, who says student debt cancellation is also politically smart. “President Biden has a unique opportunity to bring together a broad coalition of individuals who otherwise would be unlikely to come together around a policy,” he says.

      • New Economic Study ‘Demolishes’ Myth About Student Debt Parroted by Joe Biden

        “The vast majority of borrowers that benefit from forgiveness hail from low- and lower-income communities,” the study’s authors affirmed.

      • Over 200 Small Business Restaurant Owners and Employers Pen Letter Endorsing Raise the Wage Act

        The new letter coincides with a report debunking the claim that boosting tipped workers’ wages will cause business closures.

      • Ayanna Pressley Unveils Jobs Guarantee Resolution
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Failure of the Media in Responding to the Lying Right

        I saw this Thomas Edsall piece in the NYT that includes a variety of genuflections about social media and democracy. What the piece never addresses is the responsibility of the mainstream media (thread)

        It is one thing for random individuals to spew nonsense on social media sites. That is a real problem with no comprehensive solution.

      • As Macron Courts the Far-Right, France Launches Crackdown on “Islamo-Leftism”

        PARIS — France’s Minister for Higher Education, Frederique Vidal, has sparked a nationwide controversy with her announcement that the government is attempting to stop the spread of what she called “Islamo-leftism” in universities. Part of the process, she said, would be for the state to decide “what is academic research and what is activism and opinion,” implying that academics would need government permission to research and write on topics deemed too politically sensitive.

      • Sexual Assault in Canberra

        Parliaments present a paradox. Encrusted with surveillance, crawling with security, safety would surely be guaranteed for all who work within their walls. But the environment of power, ambition and conspiracy lends itself to hierarchies, asymmetries, and inequalities. Politicians find themselves with access to budgets, forums and staffers. There are receptions and meetings to attend, liquor to consume in abundance, deceptions to cultivate. The risk of wandering hands is ever present.

        The staffers, in turn, are mindful of their careers, insecure about their futures to the point of neuroses. They are expected to be unconditionally loyal to politician and party. Nikki Savva, herself a former staffer turned scribe, remembers the time: “The hours were long, the demands never-ending, the stress phenomenal and the fear of stuffing up overwhelming.” The staffer is permanently vulnerable and precariously positioned. Reasons for terminating employment are broad and susceptible to abuse. The parliamentarian can, for instance, do so for having “lost trust or confidence in the employee”. When politicians become arbiters of trust, the condition of the absurd has been affirmed.

      • Limbaugh: the Crash of the Dirigible

        I worked as a truck driver for years for Roadway (RPS), UPS and FedEx (a job I really enjoyed btw-people of all stripes are genuinely very respectful to package delivery folk, and I loved the uniform, particularly the shorts), but I digress. My truck always had Wisconsin Public Radio on but most trucks, and at most loading docks, Rush Limbaugh was the noise of choice.

        I was a full-on leftoid by the early 90’s and his brand of shock jockery and “conservatism” were viscerally repulsive to my core. But I thought about him a lot because in the white male working class of south-central Wisconsin, he was king.

      • Cuomo and Newsom Symbolize the Rot of Corporate Democrats and the Dire Need for Progressive Populism

        After 10 years as New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo is facing an uproar over revelations that his administration intentionally and drastically undercounted the deaths from COVID in nursing homes. Meanwhile, in California, the once-bright political glow of Gavin Newsom has dimmed, in large part because of personally hypocritical elitism and a zig-zag “middle ground” approach to public-health safeguards during the pandemic, unduly deferring to business interests.

        The political circumstances differ: Cuomo has been in conflict with New York progressives for many years over key policy matters, whereas Newsom was somewhat of a golden boy for Golden State progressives — if they didn’t look too closely at his corporate-friendly policies. But some underlying patterns are similar.

      • Absurd Journalism: The Washington Post on California Wildfires

        The Feb. 9 Washington Post article, “California’s rainy season now starts nearly a month later, increasing wildfire risk,” by Diane Leonard, “a science writer covering natural hazards,” quotes a Serbian climatologist in the third graph:

        The other expert in the article was Daniel Swain, a climate scientist from UCLA. He offered this modestly accurate insight: “When you get to Thanksgiving, it’s pretty wet in Northern California – at least it used to be.”

      • As Biden Returns “Civilization” to Washington, It’s More Obvious Than Ever That Capitalism Cannot Be Reformed

        The day was conceived by the ruling class as a declaration that U.S. capitalism would not be bullied or besieged by the likes of the Jan. 6 Trump-inspired mob of several hundred white supremacist, fascist wannabes, small groups of self-described paramilitary neo-Nazis, including the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters, some off duty police, off duty or retired military personnel, a sprinkling of fanatic Republican elected officials, and some 100 Proud Boy Hitlerites.

        These political hucksters had combined two weeks earlier to violently push aside a handful of Capitol Police to occupy the Capitol building, unimpeded for several hours. More than a few noted that the violent invaders, partially armed and explicitly organized to nullify the Nov. 3 elections results, were allowed to peacefully exit the Capitol – no names taken or ID requested. A few heads rolled instantly at the top echelons of the federally-funded D.C. Capitol Police and House and Senate officials, who had made near zero security preparations. Embarrassed officials, vulnerable to having handled this internationally-viewed “insurrection” spectacle with kid gloves to say the least, subsequently organized a Justice Department and FBI-led national “manhunt” to round up some 250 Trumpers to date to face a variety of initially lesser charges – “unlawful entry and obstructing official proceedings.” These have now been expanded to include more serious felony charges of conspiracy to violently storm the Capitol building to disrupt the proceedings of Congress.

      • Kremlin denies reports connecting Putin aide to persecution of historian Yuri Dmitriev

        Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has dismissed as a false report from the investigative outlet Proekt connecting Putin’s aide Anatoly Seryshev to the persecution of 64-year-old historian and activist Yuri Dmitriev, who previously led the Karelian chapter of the human rights group Memorial.

      • The Putin riviera ‘Open Media’ publishes guide to the area surrounding the Russian president’s ‘palace’ on the Black Sea

        “Navalny’s film said nothing about the fact that around ‘Putin’s palace’ no less luxurious and guarded estates have already sprung up like mushrooms,” writes the news outlet Open Media in its newly published investigation into the area surrounding the luxury residence on the Black Sea supposedly built for the Russian President. According to this “travel guide,” these ritzy properties belong to people from the president’s inner circle. Meduza sums up Open Media’s guide to “the Putin riviera,” in brief.

      • Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza seeks investigation into FSB involvement in poisoning attacks

        Oppositionist Vladimir Kara-Murza has appealed to Russia’s Investigative Committee seeking an investigation into reports implicating FSB agents in two apparent attempts on his life.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Is Section 230 Just For Start-ups? History Says Nope

        One of the arguments for changing Section 230 is that even if we needed it a long time ago when the Internet was new, now that the Internet has been around for a while and some of the companies providing Internet services are quite big, we don’t need it anymore. This view is simply untrue: Internet service providers of every size still need it, including and perhaps even especially the big ones because they are the ones handling the greatest volume of user expression.

      • Opinion | On the Sacking of Nathan J. Robinson: An Open Letter to Guardian US Editor John Mulholland

        Regardless of one’s opinions on the Middle East, everyone should be distressed by The Guardian’s act of blatant censorship.

      • Open Letter to John Mulholland, US editor of The Guardian
      • ‘Immediately Reverse This Decision’: Amnesty Rebukes Facebook for Blocking Australian News Outlets

        “When Big Tech’s gatekeeper power is unchecked or a handful of dominant publishers can influence legislation, we get caught in a battle where users always lose.”

      • The Bizarre Reaction To Facebook’s Decision To Get Out Of The News Business In Australia

        None of this should have been a surprise. Back in September we wrote about Facebook publicly saying that if Australia went forward with its ridiculous attack on the open internet, and instituted a “news link tax” on Facebook and Google, that it would block news links on Facebook in Australia… and basically everyone ignored it. So, yesterday, when Facebook announced that it was no longer allowing news to be shared in Australia (and relatedly, no longer allowing the sharing of Australian news services on Facebook), it should not have been a surprise.

      • What is Digital Fascism?

        Compared to the classical type, digital fascism may well be furnished with the greatest propaganda machine the world has ever seen – the Internet. Unlike, classical fascism which used printed newspapers and radio, digital fascism transmits its hate messages through the Internet. These so-called social media are in fact anti-social media. They aren’t socially organised. Instead, a few monopoly corporations run Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and all the rest.

        What allows digital fascism to thrive is the space these electronic platforms grant to right-wing extremism. Online platform corporations like Facebook, for example, hold on to the delusional idée fixe that their platform is not – and, in fact, should not – be an independent empire judging what is to be posted. So too the other gigantic monopolies. Their platforms, according to their self-serving ideology, are simply technical instruments that allow people to connect.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • What black law students want from IP firms [Ed: Monopoly advocates who use those monopolies to impoverish and enslave blacks resort to misleading, cheeky identity politics with propaganda terms such as "IP"]

        Intellectual property firms have steadily come around to the idea that they need to hire more attorneys from diverse backgrounds, including black and African-American attorneys – partly because of ethical considerations and partly because clients are increasingly demanding more diverse legal teams.

      • Patents

        • New Study Shows That IPR Delivers An Economic Benefit, Even If The District Court Doesn’t Stay Litigation [Ed: Disappointing to see CCIA using propaganda terms like "IPR" even if the intention in this case if to confront patent extremists]

          New research from the Perryman Group shows that inter partes review (IPR) is economically beneficial, even if co-pending district court litigation isn’t stayed. The Perryman study, commissioned by Unified Patents, examines IPR’s economic impact, including the difference between staying or continuing on with a co-pending district court case. There are two important findings in this study.

          First, when IPR is conducted in parallel with district court litigation, it still has a positive impact on the overall efficiency of the patent system and the economy. This means that in any analysis focused on the overall efficiency of the patent system or the overall impact on the economy, institution of IPR is favored even when there is co-pending district court litigation. And since those are the precise factors that the Director of the USPTO is required to consider in prescribing regulations, this study is a signal that regulations that would deny IPR on the basis of co-pending litigation may well contravene the statutory factors which Congress directed the USPTO to use in rulemaking.

          And second, the grant of a stay is associated with significantly greater savings and more positive impact. Over the 2014-2019 period of the Perryman study, around two thirds of requests for stay were granted. But while there were twice as many stayed cases as non-stayed, the Perryman study finds that stayed cases represented nearly fourteen times as much positive economic impact. That means that, for a given case, the positive economic impact of an IPR is multiplied approximately sevenfold if a stay is granted. That is a strong signal that there should, as many courts believe, be “‘a liberal policy in favor of granting motions to stay’ pending IPR.”

      • Trademarks

        • Random Jackass Attempts To Trademark ‘Mayor Of Mar-A-Lago’ In The Most Hilarious Way

          For years now, I have railed on the USPTO for its overly permissive posture when it comes to granting trademarks. The whole thing is far too easy, with far too little concern shown by examiners as to how distinct or useful proposed marks actually are. All of that being said, there are still some hoops you have to jump through to get a trademark. And there are some rules governing how to get through those hoops.

        • Peloton Seeks To Invalidate ‘Spinning’ Trademark Held By Trademark Bully

          Back in 2010, we discussed that the at-the-time “spin class” craze in the fitness world was encountering the fact that one company, Mad Dogg Athletics, held a trademark on the term “spinning” for use in the fitness industry. Mad Dogg had taken to going around the world and threatening anyone else using the term with trademark infringement as a result. And, to be clear, they had a lot of targets for these threats, which factored into the argument that term was now generic and hadn’t been properly enforced as a trademark for years.

Leaky Patent Office

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 12:58 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: It seems increasingly and abundantly apparent that the EPO is panicking every time the staff has access to facts, refuting the false narrative spread by management, never mind the distracting puff pieces and barrage of mindless/contentless press releases

IN Part I and Part II of this series we’ve taken note of the fact that Bergot tells António Campinos what to do, reaffirming the widespread (inside the EPO) perception that Benoît Battistelli and his cohorts are still in charge. For one thing, Battistelli’s act of Chinese-style censorship (Battistelli blocked Techrights for publishing truthful information) remains in tact after more than 2.5 years of Campinos. Moreover, media manipulation operations remain fully intact.

“For one thing, Battistelli’s act of Chinese-style censorship (Battistelli blocked Techrights for publishing truthful information) remains in tact after more than 2.5 years of Campinos.”Well, earlier today SUEPO published French and German translations of Kluwer’s coverage regarding the staff survey. Will the EPO start threatening and sanctioning Kluwer Patent Blog the way it did IP Kat? To the point where the people who go by the pen name “Merpel” decided to leave the blog (in the hands of patent maximalists and CIPA proponents)?

Whatever the case is, Techrights is a lot more difficult to censor these days. In the video above I discuss some of the findings from Part II of this series. We’ll publish the rest of it over the weekend and we have half a dozen exhibits to share, accompanying the series in the form of hard evidence. The leaky EPO was a cause for concern to Willy (Guillaume) Minnoye, who didn’t know how to prevent information being spread to Techrights. He’s retired now, but his spirit still haunts the hallways of the (now-empty) Office.

EPO Crisis Under António Campinos – Part 2: Madame Bergot Reportedly Goes Ballistic

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:45 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Previously in this series: Part I

Salary adjustment page zoomed in

Summary: Le Guern was a key player in the controversial revision of the EPO salary adjustment procedure which led to a loss of purchasing power for active staff and pensioners

In this instalment we continue our coverage of the controversy triggered by the mysterious “disappearance” of the EPO’s “Compensations and Benefits” expert Gurvan Le Guern.

We start off by recalling that on 4 February this year the EPO staff union SUEPO issued a communiqué to its members in which it reported on Le Guern's sudden and unexplained absence from official duties since 6 November 2020.

“He also achieved prominence as a leading advocate of the alleged “technical fairness” behind cash injections into the Salary Savings Plans which were perceived to disproportionately benefit top managers.”SUEPO noted that after António Campinos took up his position at the EPO in July 2018 he had relied on Le Guern as his leading financial expert.

Le Guern was present as an advisor to EPO management in all meetings on the controversial “Bundle of Financial Measures” proposed by Campinos to deal with the “black hole” which he claimed to have discovered in the EPO’s finances with the assistance of Mercer and Oliver Wyman.

Salary adjustment page

In particular Le Guern was heavily involved in the hotly disputed revision of the EPO’s annual salary adjustment procedure.

He also achieved prominence as a leading advocate of the alleged “technical fairness” behind cash injections into the Salary Savings Plans which were perceived to disproportionately benefit top managers.

According to SUEPO, Le Guern was last seen by the EPO staff representation on 5 November 2020 at a meeting of the internal Advisory Group on Remuneration. The purpose of that meeting was to discuss the results of the first application of the new salary adjustment procedure which had led to a palpable and significant loss of purchasing power for all EPO active staff and pensioners.

SUEPO noted that since then Le Guern has been registered as “Out of Office” in the EPO’s internal calendar system. At the same time several vacancy notices published on the EPO intranet indicated that his department is currently undergoing significant “reorganisation”.

SUEPO’s conclusion was that “Mr Le Guern now joins the long list of directors in the Principal Directorate 4.3 of Ms Bergot who either leave the Office or move to another department.”

According to insiders close to the action the EPO’s head of HR, Madame Bergot, was livid about the contents of the communiqué and was particularly incensed by the fact that it was reported on by Techrights.

Elodie BergotMadame Bergot (on the right) reportedly went ballistic over the SUEPO communiqué.

After Bergot reportedly went ballistic and threw a “hissy fit” the EPO President Campinos decided to row in behind her.

In correspondence which has been published on the EPO Intranet Campinos has openly accused SUEPO of crossing “red lines” and has demanded an unconditional retraction and apology. SUEPO has so far refused to comply with this “respectful request”.

An update concerning the most recent developments in this saga follows in the next part.

Links 19/2/2021: DXVK 1.8 Release, KDDockWidgets 1.3.0 is Out, SolarWinds Crack Leaves Microsoft in State of Disarray

Posted in News Roundup at 10:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Chromebooks

      • Unlock your Chromebook’s hidden potential with Linux

        Google Chromebooks run on Linux, but normally the Linux they run isn’t particularly accessible to the user. Linux is used as a backend technology for an environment based on the open source Chromium OS, which Google then transforms into Chrome OS. The interface most users experience is a desktop that can run Chrome browser apps and the Chrome browser itself. And yet underneath all that, there’s Linux to be found. If you know how, you can enable Linux on your Chromebook and turn a computer that was probably relatively cheap and basic into a serious laptop with access to hundreds of applications and all the power you need to make it an all-purpose computer.


        Now that you’re running in Developer Mode, you can activate the Linux Beta feature in Chrome OS. To do that, open Settings and click on Linux Beta in the left column.

        Activate Linux Beta and allot some hard drive space for your Linux system and applications. Linux is pretty lightweight at the worst of times, so you don’t really need much space, but it obviously depends on how much you intend to do with Linux. 4 GB is enough for Linux plus a few hundred terminal commands and two dozen graphical applications. Because my Chromebook has a 64 GB memory chip, I gave 30 GB over to Linux because most of what I do on my Chromebook is in Linux.

        Once your Linux Beta environment is ready, you can launch a terminal by pressing the Search button on your keyboard and typing terminal. If you’re new to Linux, you may not know what to install now that you have access. This, of course, depends on what you want to do with Linux. If you’re interested in Linux for programming, then you might start with Bash (that’s already installed and running in the terminal) and Python. If you’re interested in Linux for all of its amazing open source applications, you might try applications like GIMP, MyPaint, LibreOffice, or Inkscape.

        The Linux Beta mode of Chrome OS lacks a graphical installer for software, but applications can be installed from the terminal. Install applications with the sudo apt install command.

      • Windows is losing to Linux… but not how you might think.

        Microsoft’s days of dominating the desktop operating systems space is starting to wane. Today we take a look at a new report showing huge grows of ChromeOS in the OEM space and how we, as the Linux community, can learn from its success!

    • Applications

      • An early look at VLC 4.0 – Hello darkness, my old friend

        I first tried VLC around 2003 or so. It wasn’t a good experience. The player’s interface showed me a garbled view of the video file I was trying to play. Then, in 2006 or so, I tried it again. Since, it’s become my staple media player on every single platform and operating system, including the mobile. The reasons are many: the king of codecs, tons of features, a simple no-frills interface.

        Recently, the VLC team has started working on a visual revamp of the UI, which should come live in version 4.0. This marks a significant departure from the established look & feel of the player, which really hasn’t seen any big visual updates throughout its history. So I thought, let’s have a look at the early work and see what the future has in store for us. Early impressions, don’t get too excited, things may rapidly evolve and change and whatnot. Follow me.

      • Starship: Open-Source Customizable Prompt for Any Shell

        A cross-shell prompt that makes it easy to customize and configure the Linux terminal prompt, if you care too much about the looks of your terminal.


        Starship is an open-source project that’s written in Rust to help you set up a minimal, fast, and customizable shell prompt.

        No matter whether you’re using bash, fish, PowerShell on Windows or any other shell, you can utilize Starship to customize the appearance.

        Do note that you do have to go through its official documentation to be able to perform advanced configuration for everything you like but here I will include a simple sample configuration to get a head start along with some key information about Startship.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to find your IP address in Linux? – Linux Hint

        An IP address is a network address of your device when it connects to the internet or local area network. On the internet, IP addresses are allocated to each user which is used to distinctly identify them. . Internet uses this address to get your emails, messages, files, and images from another device of a different identification number (IP).
        The IPV4 address is a 32-bit unique number that has two types: public and private. Public IP is used to access the internet while private IP is reserved for local usage.

        Knowing your IP address is important especially when you want to create a local area network for gaming or data transferring. It is also important when it comes to troubleshooting your network issues and configuring the firewall. This guide will elaborate on the different methods to check your IP address whether public or private in Linux.

      • How to Use the “find” command in Linux to Search Files? – Linux Hint

        If you are a Linux user, then you can’t just rely on GUI to perform various tasks, therefore, a solid grasp of terminal commands is really essential. All distributions based on Linux run the commands to perform different administrative tasks.
        Although the Linux terminal is a text interface that seems complex, it is actually very flexible, easy to use, and quite a useful tool. Commands can easily be copied from online sources and pasted into the terminal to perform various operations. There are tons of commands but this post will focus on the “find” command.

        The “find” command is used to find, filter, or search files and folders in your system according to user-specified conditions and perform several operations on them.

        Let’s discuss how to use the “find” command, its syntax, and various operations performed by this command in detail.

      • How do I Increment a Variable in Bash? – Linux Hint

        Incrementing or decrementing the value of a counter or an iterator is one of the most crucial tasks while using loops in any programming language. In doing so, it helps us reach the termination condition of our loop without which our loop will run infinitely. Today, our focus will be on the different methods of incrementing a variable in Bash in Linux Mint 20.

      • How to delete lines in Vi/Vim? – Linux Hint

        Vim previously known as Vi, stands for “Vi IMproved”, is a multi-purpose text editor that is compatible with all UNIX based operating systems like Linux and macOS. Vim can be used for various purposes such as creating, editing text, and/or computer program files.

        You often need to delete one or more lines while editing text files in Vim editor, and unlike any other text editor, it allows you to edit your files quite efficiently. This guide will focus on how to edit and delete lines from your files in the Vim editor.

      • Bash Variable Name Rules: Legal and Illegal – Linux Hint

        A variable is a storage space having a particular name that holds a certain value in it. You might have been working with a lot of programming languages and have a good perspective of variables. However, in the bash programming, it is slightly different. In this guide, we will learn about the rules invariable naming and execute some examples to declare a variable in a bash shell and observe its effect whether, it is valid or invalid, e.g., legal or illegal.

      • Install Rhythmbox: Audio Player on Linux – Linux Hint

        If you are searching for an open-source audio music player for Linux, then you are in the right place. There are tons of free music players available but Rhythmbox stands out because of its stability, reliability, and ability to handle tens of thousands of songs and support of plugins.

      • How To Install GIMP on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install GIMP on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, GIMP is a free and open-source image editor used for retouching and editing images. From retouching to restoring to creative composites, the only limit is your imagination. GIMP is used for producing icons, graphical design elements, and art for user interface components and mockups. GIMP provides top-notch color management features to ensure high-fidelity color reproduction across digital and printed media.

        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 GIMP images editor on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • Using Snap Packages in Linux – A Beginners Guide to Snapd – Putorius

        Snaps are software packages developed by Canonical initially for Ubuntu. Now they are available for all major Linux distributions and exhibit significant benefits over typical packaging systems like APT, RPM, and Pacman. The package manager used to manage snaps is known as snappy and the service behind it is known as snapd.


        In this article, we will explain how to install snapd on Linux OS. We will be covering the use of snap (and the snap store) to manage and run snap packages. You can use either the GUI or the command line to manage snaps. We will focus more on managing the snaps via the command line as it offers advanced functionalities.

      • Learn Difference Between Sourcing and Forking in Bash

        The main focus of this article is to clearly understand what happens when you run the script vs source the script in bash. First, we will clearly understand how the program is submitted when you call the script in different ways.


        Basically, every script starts with a line called a shebang(#!). The Hash symbol in bash will be interpreted as comments but shebang has a special meaning. It tells bash to submit the program in whatever interpreter you mentioned in shebang.

      • Completely Uninstall MySQL Server in Ubuntu

        While package management in Ubuntu, as in most Linux operating systems nowadays, makes it extremely easy to install, upgrade and delete a piece of software, some software is a bit more complex in nature and contains multiple configuration folders, etc.

        One such complex software is MySQL Server. Uninstalling MySQL Server does not simply amount to running ‘apt purge‘ as is done usually. There are few small steps you can follow to completely uninstall MySQL Server from your Ubuntu machines.

      • systemd-tmpfiles – Managing Temporary Files & Directories – Putorius

        Temporary files and directories are a basic function of almost all operating systems. They store data generated by the operating system and different applications running on it. If not regularly cleaned, these files can take up a large amount of storage space. To avoid disk space issues and possible data leaks, the best practice is to clean up these files regularly. That is where systemd-tmpfiles comes in.

        The systemd-tmpfiles services is a configurable tool for managing temporary files and directories. It creates, removes, and cleans up volatile and temporary data that is stored on the system. This article will help you to understand how systemd-tmpfiles functions as it automatically creates, removes, or cleans the temporary files in our system.

      • How to Enable Legacy Kickoff Menu in KDE Plasma 5.21

        This quick guide explains the steps to enable Legacy Kickoff Menu in KDE Plasma 5.21.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • DXVK 1.8 Released with Improvements for Nioh 2, Hitman 3, and F1 2020

        First, let’s take a look at the game improvements implemented in DXVK 1.8, which adds workarounds for black screen issues in the Nioh 2 game, AMD AGS (AMD GPU Services) issues on AMD GPUs for the Hitman 3 game, broken compute shaders causing artifacts with AMD drivers in the F1 2018-2020 games, and video playback issues in the Atelier Ryza 2 game.

        Some older Windows games also received improvements in this release, including Tomb Raider Legend and Everquest, which should now perform much better, as well as Battle Engine Aquila and Dark Messiah of Might and Magic to fix broken textures in the former and out-of-memory issues on startup in the latter.

      • DXVK 1.8 Released With Support For More Direct3D Games

        DXVK 1.8 is out as the newest feature release of this translation layer for Direct3D over Vulkan.

        DXVK 1.8 now ensures CPU-based Vulkan implementations are enumerated last, optimized image layout transitions, DXGI multi-monitor support, improved D3D9 texture upload performance, and other Direct3D support improvements.

      • D3D9, D3D10 and D3D11 to Vulkan translation layer DXVK 1.8 is out now

        Usually used for Wine and Steam Play Proton, the translation DXVK layer that moves Direct3D 9, Direct3D 10 and Direct3D 11 to Vulkan has a new release available with DXVK 1.8. The first release since December 2020, while a lot of work is currently ongoing with VKD3D-Proton to do the same for Direct3D 12 to Vulkan.

        Nice to see it quite alive and well though, and you’re likely to see smaller updates for years to come due to thousands of games being released ever year and some end up needing tweaks.

      • Portal 2 Sees A Vulkan Renderer Added Via DXVK

        Portal 2, Valve’s puzzle platform game that has been around for a decade already, is now seeing Vulkan rendering support added by leveraging DXVK.

        Portal 2 to date has supported OpenGL on Linux while Direct3D 9 has been available on Windows for this Source Engine game. Now though Valve is introducing Vulkan support not by moving to a newer version of the Source Engine but in integrating DXVK natively to allow optionally translating the Direct3D 9 path atop Vulkan.

      • Portal 2 from Valve gets a big update with Vulkan support from DXVK

        Portal 2, the classic first-person puzzle game from Valve available on Steam, just had a huge upgrade come out of nowhere along with Vulkan API support powered by the DXVK project.

        To stop any rumours: no, this is not Source 2 or anything of the sort. Portal 2 by default uses Direct3D 9 on Windows and OpenGL on Linux. For the Linux version, original Source engine games like this used a translation layer called ToGL to translate D3D9 to OpenGL.

        With this update it now includes a special native build of DXVK along with some extra dedicated Source tweaks, which allows you to run Portal 2 with “-vulkan” as a launch option to switch it over to Vulkan. It might give you better performance depending on your setup, although the OpenGL build already performed quite well overall.

    • Games

      • How to play The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Special Edition on Linux

        The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Special Edition is a remastered release of the original Skyrim released in 2012. It includes all DLC expansions as well as graphical and technical improvements. Here’s how to play the game on your Linux system.

      • Paradox makes Crusader Kings 2 complete edition accessible through subscription

        Paradox Interactive seems to have come with a new — or maybe, very old — way to keep its already long-lived game Crusader Kings 2 afloat, even with Crusader Kings 3 already out: a subscription service including the game and all its many DLCs. The spokesperson said “This is an affordable way for players to experience the entire Crusader Kings 2 catalogue”.

      • Nintendo 64 Support Mailed In For The Linux 5.12 Kernel – Phoronix

        As expected, the new port of the Linux kernel to the Nintendo 64 game console from the 90′s is now being mainlined in 2021 with the Linux 5.12 kernel…

        The MIPS feature pull request was sent in today and it includes the port to the Nintendo 64. This is the Linux port to the N64 announced back on Christmas. The Nintendo 64 is powered by a MIPS64 NEC VR4300 at 93.75MHz with SGI Reality Coprocessor graphics clocked at 62.5MHz while having just 4MB of RAM (or expandable to 8MB).

    • DEs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDDockWidgets 1.3.0 released!

          We’ve released KDDockWidgets 1.3.0! KDDockWidgets is a framework for custom-tailored docking systems in Qt.

          The main highlights for this release are PySide6 and experimental QtQuick support.

          The QtQuick backend isn’t production ready, but you can already build with -DKDDockWidgets_QTQUICK=ON, run the examples under examples/qtquick/dockwidgets/ and start reporting issues.

        • First Milestone

          In this blog post, I’d like to give an overview of what I’ve been doing for the past month since I’ve joined SoK this year. It has been an amazing journey so far and I’m really looking forward to completing the project and seeing how the whole thing looks in the end.

          In January, I had been accepted as a SoK student, in which I’m going to work to extend Peruse functionality to support visualising Jump objects on the screen. Peruse is an awesome comic book reader/creator that make reading/creating a comic book really easy and it supports the ACBF format. Some of those comic books might have something called Jump object, a Jump object is a clickable area on a comic book page which links to another page in the book, clicking on that area should navigate the reader to the target page. This can be used to create/read Interactive Fiction Books, such as Create Your Own Adventure type comic books. By the end of SoK, Peruse will be able to visualise Jump objects on pages in a nice, and attractive way, while also providing the functionality to create and preview how they’d look like on the screen.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GTK 4.2 Releasing Next Month With Likely Introducing A New OpenGL Renderer

          While the GTK 4.0 toolkit just released in December, GTK 4.2 is already gearing up for release next month with GNOME 40.

          While not merged quite yet, most notable to GTK 4.2 as the first GTK4 update is a new OpenGL renderer. This OpenGL renderer overhaul was driven in improving the macOS support where its OpenGL requirements are more strict than Linux. With GTK 4.0 is also the Vulkan renderer that is available to Linux users. The new renderer code hasn’t been merged yet but its noted that it’s nearly at feature parity and in turn is likely to still land for GTK 4.2. The old OpenGL renderer will likely co-exist for comparison/testing until the new renderer has proven itself.

    • Distributions

      • PCLinuxOS

      • Gentoo Family

        • Gentoo vs. Ubuntu Linux Comparison

          Habit is the enemy of change. If you have been using Linux for a while, you may have gotten used to the distribution it offers. If your situation and computing needs changing, then you should think it over. If not, you might want to consider learning a new system for the benefit of apprehension. Knowledge is a very light burden to bear.

          For many users, choosing Gentoo is a giant leap. A leap that they never take but can be a serious mistake if you have important reasons to use your computer or system of computers.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.4.16RC1 and 8.0.3RC1

          Release Candidate versions are available in testing repository for Fedora and Enterprise Linux (RHEL / CentOS) to allow more people to test them. They are available as Software Collections, for a parallel installation, perfect solution for such tests, and also as base packages.

          RPM of PHP version 8.0.3RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-php80-test repository for Fedora 32-34 and Enterprise Linux.

          RPM of PHP version 7.4.16RC1 are available as SCL in remi-test repository and as base packages in the remi-test repository for Fedora 32-34 or remi-php74-test repository for Enterprise Linux.

        • Why every job in the tech industry is technical

          Several years ago, I applied for a marketing job at a tech company. I got called back for the phone screening and had a delightful conversation with the recruiter. The next day, I got an email from the recruiter saying that I was not “technical” enough to move forward to the next round of interviews. I was shocked.

          I had always been the one my colleagues would call on for technical help and feedback. Understanding and using technology came naturally to me. By that point in my career, I had become even more proficient and technical within my specialty. So how could the recruiter think that I am not “technical”?

          I wrote a letter to the recruiter explaining why the hiring manager should not dismiss me just yet. Sure, I did not have experience in the tech industry (I had always worked for companies in consumer goods and retail), but isn’t every company a software company these days? I also wanted to alleviate any concerns about my lack of coding abilities. Between managing website migrations, blog redesigns, product merchandising, and fixing that annoying indent on a particularly finicky landing page, I felt that I had that “in the weeds” troubleshooting practice similar to that of a programmer.

        • Máirín Duffy: User Experience (UX) + Free Software = ❤

          Let’s talk about a topic that is increasingly critical as time goes on, that is really important for those of us who work on free software and care really deeply about making a positive impact in the world. Let’s talk about user experience (UX) and free software, using the ChRIS Project as a case study.

        • Kinoite: Immutable Fedora variant with KDE Plasma desktop on the way

          Red Hat’s Fedora project is to add a new variant called Kinoite, an immutable desktop operating system alongside the existing Silverblue, which runs GNOME desktop.

          The idea behind an immutable operating system is that it is mounted read-only; also, conceptually, it is not patched but rather is replaced when it needs to be updated, in the same way as a container. This has obvious security advantages, as well as making features like rollback easier to implement.

          Silverblue was introduced in early 2018 based in part on an earlier project called Atomic Host. The first full release of Silverblue was as part of Fedora 29 in October 2018. Fedora CoreOS, designed for hosting containers, is also designed as an immutable operating system. Both CoreOS and Silverblue are presented as “emerging Fedora editions” rather than mainstream, and Fedora itself is the leading-edge Linux distribution from Red Hat, unlike Red Hat Enterprise Linux, which emphasises stability for production.

        • Why The Founder Of CentOS Is Building The Next Platform

          Greg Kurtzer, one of the co-founders of the CentOS Linux distribution, the creator of the Singularity container environment for HPC workloads, the founder of the new Rocky Linux distribution that seeks to replace the now defunct CentOS, and an HPC guru in his own right, is on a mission. And it is a mission that we admire and see all the time: To build an integrated application platform that radically removes the complexity of modern distributed computing without dumbing it down.

          This is a very hard thing to do, and Kurtzer knows this full well, even though he comes at it from a slightly oblique angle.

          Kurtzer is a funny guy, even if the work he has done is deadly serious. By his own admission, he wandered a bit in college, studying mechanical engineering, music, and pre-med before getting a bachelor’s of science in biochemistry in 1997 from what he refers to as the “Northern California Chicken Grooming School,” adding that “you might think I am indecisive, but I am not so sure.” (That is presumably the University of California at Berkeley, one of the major hotbeds of computer hardware and software architecture in the world.) Kurtzer did work at a biotech firm doing genomics work after graduation, and then landed a job as a software engineer at Linuxcare, one of a zillion Linux distros, just before the dot-com boom went bust in late 2000.

        • Influential women

          When people ask me about success engaging women in some of the mentoring programs for free, open source software, I never feel comfortable taking credit for that. I feel that it comes down to one simple thing: collaborating with a number of successful and influential women in a variety of different places. Today is the tenth anniversary of the passing of Sally Shaw. Sally had made monumental contributions to the success of the Yarra Yarra Rowing Club (YYRC), even while fighting cancer, raising a family and managing projects for IBM.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • My open source internship during a pandemic

        In May 2020, in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, I started a summer internship with Red Hat. COVID-19 had cut short my third year studying computer engineering at Georgia Tech, and I learned I would have to work remotely all summer. I wasn’t sure what to expect from a virtual internship.

        This was my second internship but my first time working completely remotely. I adjusted quickly to the new virtual environment—I think having so little experience in a physical workspace helped me. The hardest part of working remotely was knowing when to stop working and call it a day. It was easy to get wrapped up in my work, write another line of code, and just finish one more task. However, I will say that I didn’t miss the commute.

        I spent my internship working on the Pulp team. Pulp is a platform for managing repositories of software packages and making them available to many consumers. Pulp can mirror all or part of a repository locally, host software packages in repositories, and manage many types of content from multiple sources in one place. To manage a certain type of content with Pulp, you just add a content plugin to it.

      • Kodi 19 “Matrix” Open-Source Home Theater Released, This Is What’s New

        Dubbed “Matrix” after the well-known Hollywood movie franchise with the same name, Kodi 19 has been in development for the past two years and comes with support for the AV1 video coding format, Python 3 support for add-ons, a new Matrix-inspired music visualization, along with new setting to automatically open the full-screen music visualization window when playback is started.

        Kodi 19 also improves the handling of multi-disc CD sets and box sets and handling of album release dates, adds support for changing the subtitle opacity and a new dark grey color for subtitles, adds support for file tags over HTTPS, improve the viewing quality of Pixel Art games, adds support for more OpenGL bicubic scalers, as well as various improvements to user information.

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 19 February 2021
      • [Old] The alternative to wpa_supplicant

        As of December 2020, there is an alternative to wpa_supplicant. It works. It’s called iwd, iNet Wireless Daemon, and you can use it on Debian systems today.

      • Education

        • In the French city of Fontaine the schools protect children’s data using Open Source

          More than 200 school computers in the city of Fontaine, in the South-East of France, run on elementary OS. It is a GNU/Linux based operative system. User-friendly with a nice layout and a high level of data security. Elementary OS provides pupils (and any other user) with the possibility of gaining knowledge about digital technologies without giving lasting digital footprints to proprietary tech companies.

      • FSFE

        • Call to apply for FSFE support for your local project – FSFE

          It is no secret that the FSFE’s activities are only possible with the priceless help of our contributors and supporters around Europe. In return we support local engagement financially, with our expertise, information material and networks. To help formalize this process, we run our next call for FSFE community projects.


          To participate in the call you simply fill in your contact data and your project facts (who is doing what, when and how much it potentially will cost) and you will soon receive feedback, approval or a call back on your proposal.

      • Programming/Development

        • td 0.0.2 on CRAN: Updated and Expanded

          The still very recent td package for accessing the twelvedata API for financial data has been updated and is now at version 0.0.2.

          The time_series access point is now vectorised: supply a vector of symbols, and you receive list of data.frame (or xts) objects. See this tweet teasing out the earliest support for this new featire, and showing a quick four-securities plot. We also added simpler accessors get_quote() and get_price() rounding out the basic API support.

        • Experiencing Smalltalk

          Smalltalk2 is one of the outputs of this strand of thinking and has had a big impact on general purpose programming languages3. However the focus on object orientation and test-driven development have robbed the world of what I think are its most important aspects: [...]

        • Python

          • How to Create Pandas DataFrame in Python? – Linux Hint

            Pandas DataFrame is a 2D (two dimensional) annotated data structure in which data is aligned in the tabular form with different rows and columns. For easier understanding, the DataFrame behaves like a spreadsheet that contains three different components: index, columns, and data. Pandas DataFrames are the most common way to utilize the panda’s objects.

            Pandas DataFrames can be created using different methods. This article will explain all possible methods through which you can create Pandas DataFrame in python. We have run all examples on the pycharm tool. Let’s start the implementation of each method one by one.

          • How to Join DataFrames in Pandas Python? – Linux Hint

            Pandas DataFrame is a two-dimensional (2D) data structure thatis aligned in a tabular format. These DataFrames can be combined using different methods such as concat (), merge (), and joins. Pandas have high performance, and full-featured join operations that are resembled with SQL relational database. Using the merge function, join operations can be implemented between DataFrames objects.

            We will explore the uses of merge function, concat function, and different types of joins operations in Pandas python in this article. All examples will be executed through the pycharm editor. Let’s start with the details!

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘That’s Classic Andrew Cuomo,’ Says de Blasio After NY Gov Accused of Bullying Fellow Democrat Over Nursing Home Disaster

        Cuomo reportedly threatened to “destroy” a New York assemblyman who has vocally criticized the governor’s handling of the state’s nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

      • Opinion | America’s Response to Covid-19 Should Long Perforate Our Pomposity About Being the Greatest Nation on Earth

        500,000 US Covid-19 deaths and counting: a shameful public health failure.

      • Dying on the Waitlist

        In early December, Miguel Fernandez lay unconscious in the intensive care unit at a Los Angeles area hospital. A mechanical ventilator pumped oxygen into his lungs, which had been ravaged by COVID-19. The 53-year-old was dying.

        The best, and likely only, chance of Miguel surviving was a therapy called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, better known as ECMO. It would allow his lungs to rest while a machine infused his blood with the oxygen he needed. But PIH Health Whittier Hospital, where he had been admitted, didn’t have any ECMO machines or the highly trained staff needed to run them. Only a handful of hospitals in southern California did, and they were overrun with COVID-19 cases.

      • COVID-19 Shaves 1 Year off US Life Expectancy

        The new CDC data put the United States in line with estimates from England, Wales and Spain, which also calculated about a one-year drop in life expectancy.

        France projected a half-year decline for men and four-tenths for women. Swedish men also lost an estimated half a year, and women, three-tenths.

        U.S. life expectancy already “lags substantially behind virtually all of the high-income countries,” Goldman noted. “Now, we’ll just be even further behind.”

      • American Life Expectancy Dropped By A Full Year In 1st Half Of 2020

        Life expectancy at birth for the total U.S. population was 77.8 years – a decline of 1 year from 78.8 in 2019. For males, the life expectancy at birth was 75.1 – a decline of 1.2 years from 2019. For females, life expectancy declined to 80.5 years, a 0.9 year decrease from 2019.

      • ‘New Car Smell’ Is The Scent of Carcinogens, And Even Short Trips May Overexpose Us

        Estimating commuter times from census data and using measurements of chemicals detected in previous studies, the new study found commutes of more than 20 minutes put people at risk of unacceptably high levels of two carcinogens used in car manufacturing.

        At first glance, it might seem like worrying news for people who spend a lot of time behind the wheel on daily commutes. But there are a lot of factors at play, so let’s unpack it a little.

      • Coronavirus Mutants Are Spreading Fast

        And ever since the virus mutants began spreading around the globe, even the last motivation for bravery is fading: the hope that the nightmare will soon end thanks to vaccination. Because as incredibly fast as it was possible to find and produce vaccines, the mutants were faster. And they are still faster.

        For physicist and mathematician Michael Meyer-Hermann of the Helmholtz Center for Infection Research in Braunschweig, one thing is clear: “Vaccination isn’t going to help us slow down the momentum of infections until the younger population has been immunized.” And what about higher temperatures in the spring and summer? It might help a bit, Meyer-Hermann thinks, when people start spending more time outside. “But that alone will in no way suffice.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Apple reportedly negotiating to build iPads in India

          Apple is said to be lobbying the Indian government in a move that could see the company manufacture iPads in the country for the first time. Reuters reports that the government is planning to launch an incentive scheme designed to boost India’s computer exports, and Apple wants in — but is angling for a better deal.

          The initiative will have a budget of up to Rs. 70 billion ($964 million) over five years, according to Reuters, but Apple is reportedly asking for that to be almost tripled to Rs. 200 billion. The reason is said to be partly that India’s supply chain doesn’t yet have the scale to meet Apple’s demands.

        • Apple lobbies for India incentives as it plans iPad assembly: sources

          Apple Inc is angling to participate in a new scheme to boost India’s exports of computer products, part of what government and industry sources say are plans to bring iPad tablet manufacturing to the South Asian country.

        • New MultiMac NIC driver package (20210125) released

          Arca Noae is pleased to announce the immediate availability of a new release of our MultiMac NIC driver package.

          This is a maintenance release of the MultiMac drivers. It contains some minor updates to the system libraries that affects system stability and reliability and applies to all drivers. Specifically, this update fixes a defect that cause a trap on multi-CPU systems with an extremely busy network. This update also adds the ability to pass on the correct link speed for drivers that have the ability to report this. Currently the only drivers that provide link speed notification are E1000B, MMIGB, and MMLEM. This update is recommended for all users.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • US taps Linux Foundation to boost open 5G

                The US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) teamed with the Linux Foundation to boost development of open 5G, edge, AI and IoT technologies, a move the consortium’s CRO and COO Mike Woster told Mobile World Live (MWL) reflected increased interest from governments worldwide.

                Their deal covers creation of a new US Government Open Programmable Secure (US GOV OPS) initiative to function as a standard open source programme governed by the Linux Foundation.

                The first project in the programme will focus on using open source software and systems to create a secure end-to-end 5G reference architecture to deliver the ability to rapidly rollout new features, mitigate large-scale botnet and other threats, and deploy secure network slices which can operate on untrusted infrastructure.

        • Security

          • Investigators suggest [attackers] exploited weak password security to breach Florida water facility

            “The unidentified actors accessed the water treatment plant’s SCADA controls via remote access software, TeamViewer, which was installed on one of several computers the water treatment plant personnel used to conduct system status checks and to respond to alarms or any other issues that arose during the water treatment process,” the department wrote. “All computers used by water plant personnel were connected to the SCADA system and used the 32-bit version of the Windows 7 operating system,” which Microsoft ended support for in January of last year.

            “Further, all computers shared the same password for remote access and appeared to be connected directly to the Internet without any type of firewall protection installed,” the alert reads. A spokesperson for the Massachusetts department said the department received the details from the EPA.

          • I’m Controlling Your Cursor

            In the years to come, there will most assuredly be books and oral histories written about what happened in Florida, the sheer folly of leaving remote access open with so little focus on security. But it should not be a knock on remote access, which was a super-novel concept back in the mid-’80s and is still pretty awesome today as it has improved along with GUIs and network access.

          • SolarWinds hackers studied Microsoft source code for authentication and email

            The hackers behind the worst intrusion of U.S. government agencies in years won access to Microsoft’s secret source code for authenticating customers, potentially aiding one of their main attack methods.


            Some of the code was downloaded, the company said, which would have allowed the hackers even more freedom to hunt for security vulnerabilities, create copies with new flaws, or examine the logic for ways to exploit customer installations.

            Microsoft had said before that the hackers had accessed some source code, but had not said which parts, or that any had been copied.

            U.S. authorities said Wednesday the breaches revealed in December extended to nine federal agencies and 100 private companies, including major technology providers and security firms. They said the Russian government is likely behind the spree, which Moscow has denied.

            Initially discovered by security provider FireEye Inc, the hackers used advanced skills to insert software back doors for spying into widely used network-management programs distributed by Texas-based SolarWinds Corp.

          • Daniel Stenberg: “I will slaughter you”

            You might know that I’ve posted funny emails I’ve received on my blog several times in the past. The kind of emails people send me when they experience problems with some device they own (like a car) and they contact me because my email address happens to be visible somewhere.

            People sometimes say I should get a different email address or use another one in the curl license file, but I’ve truly never had a problem with these emails, as they mostly remind me about the tough challenges the modern technical life bring to people and it gives me insights about what things that run curl.

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 167 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 167. This version includes the following changes:

            * Temporary directory handling:

            - Ensure we cleanup our temporary directory by avoiding confusion between

            the TemporaryDirectory instance and the underlying directory.

            (Closes: #981123)

            - Use a potentially-useful suffix to our temporary directory based on the

            command-line passed to diffoscope.

            - Fix some tempfile/weakref interaction in Python 3.7 (ie. Debian buster).

            (Closes: reproducible-builds/diffoscope#239)

            - If our temporary directory does not exist anymore (eg. it has been

            cleaned up in tests, signal handling or reference counting), make sure

            we recreate it.

            * Bug fixes:

            - Don’t rely on magic.Magic(…) to have an identical API between file’s

            magic.py and PyPI’s “python-magic” library.

            (Closes: reproducible-builds/diffoscope#238)

            - Don’t rely on dumpimage returning an appropriate exit code; check that

            the file actually exists after we call it.

            * Codebase changes:

            - Set a default Config.extended_filesystem_attributes.

            - Drop unused Config.acl and Config.xattr attributes.

            - Tidy imports in diffoscope/comparators/fit.py.

            * Tests:

            - Add u-boot-tools to test dependencies so that salsa.debian.org pipelines

            actually test the new FIT comparator.

            - Strip newlines when determining Black version to avoid “requires black

            >= 20.8b1 (18.9b0\n detected)” in test output (NB. embedded newline).

            - Gnumeric is back in testing so re-add to test dependencies.

            - Use assert_diff (over get_data, etc.) in the FIT and APK comparators.

            - Mark test_apk.py::test_android_manifest as being allowed to fail for now.

            - Fix the FIT tests in buster and unstable.

          • X.509 user certificate authentication with Red Hat’s single sign-on technology

            This article illustrates how to configure a browser authentication flow using X.509 user-signed certificates. Once you have set up authentication using X.509 user-signed certificates, your users will not be required to enter a username and password when authenticating against Red Hat’s single sign-on technology (SSO). Instead, they will present an X.509 certificate to the SSO instance.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • The future of Data Privacy Officers in India

              Corporates have realised the need for hiring a data privacy officer to protect data and stay compliant with GDPR and other regulations. Recently Vodafone Idea appointed Mathan Babu Kasilingam as the new CISO & Data Privacy Officer.

              There was only a few thousand official privacy officers worldwide before GDPR came into effect in 2018. By 2019, it was estimated that globally already half a million organizations were relying on the expertise of a privacy officer.

            • Koo crosses 3 million users, popularity surges amid Twitter row

              Koo has in the last few weeks seen a massive surge in user base as Union ministers and government departments have endorsed the homegrown microblogging platform amid a spat with Twitter.

              From information technology ministry using Koo to broadcast its stand on Twitter not fully complying with its order to take down inflammatory content to ministers, including Piyush Goyal, urging people to switch platform, these developments have led to a surge in the userbase of the Indian rival.

              Koo, which has startling similarities with Twitter, now has over three million users. Downloads of Koo app surged 10-fold this week. Koo has a yellow bird as its logo in contrast to the blue bird of Twitter.

            • [Old] Return on Data: When governments fail to make surveillance useful

              There is this common refrain about how companies have data about you and could do bad things. Yet governments often pass surveillance laws that are much worse, and by definition, you can’t “vote with your wallet” for them. So in a world where I’m already giving data to third parties, it is useful to ask what I get in return.

            • [Old] IMF Calls for Credit Score to be Tied to Internet Search Histor

              In a blog post courtesy of the International Monetary Fund, IMF researchers Arnoud Boot, Peter Hoffmann, Luc Laeven, and Lev Ratnovski called for internet search history to be tied to credit score.

              Presenting their findings from a paper they wrote, the researchers argue that by using non-financial data, specifically “the history of online searches and purchases,” we can solve the problem of “certain kinds of people not having enough hard data (income, employment time, assets and debts) available.”

              The authors of the piece claim that this move is a necessary innovation in order to compete with the rise of corporate cryptocurrencies such as the one in development by Facebook, who hope to launch next year. While Facebook is a monopoly that has engaged in political censorship, their power pales in comparison to that of the IMF . The International Monetary Fund is a veritable superpower with ties to the World Bank, and they oversee the entire global economy.

            • [Old] What is Really New in Fintech

              Fintech resolves the dilemma by tapping various nonfinancial data: the type of browser and hardware used to access the internet, the history of online searches and purchases. Recent research documents that, once powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, these alternative data sources are often superior than traditional credit assessment methods, and can advance financial inclusion, by, for example, enabling more credit to informal workers and households and firms in rural areas.

            • The End of the Privacy of Digital Correspondence

              The EU wants to have all private chats, messages, and emails automatically searched for suspicious content, generally and indiscriminately. The stated aim: To prosecute child pornography. The result: Mass surveillance through fully automated real-time messaging and chat control and the end of secrecy of digital correspondence.

              In 2020 the European Commission proposed “temporary” legislation aimed at allowing the search of all private chats, messages, and emails for illegal depictions of minors and attempted initiation of contacts with minors. This is to allow the providers of Facebook Messenger, Gmail, et al, to scan every message for suspicious text and images. This takes place in a fully automated process and using error-prone “artificial intelligence”. If an algorithm considers a message suspicious, its content and meta-data are disclosed automatically and without human verification to a private US-based organization and from there to national police authorities worldwide. The reported users are not notified.

              Some U.S. providers of services such as Gmail and Outlook.com are already performing such automated messaging and chat controls. Through a second piece of legislation, the EU Commission intends to oblige all providers of chat, messaging and e-mail services to deploy this mass surveillance technology.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • “No Hate! No Fear!” Democracy Now! Co-Host Nermeen Shaikh Celebrates 10 Years Covering War & Peace

        As Democracy Now! prepares to mark 25 years on air, we celebrate Nermeen Shaikh’s 10th anniversary as a Democracy Now! co-host and feature a report she filed from protests at New York’s JFK Airport against the Trump administration’s Muslim ban, one of the many highlights from her time on the program.

      • In Okinawa, the US Military Seeks a Base Built on the Bones of the War Dead

        One Sunday in October, Takamatsu Gushiken dug up a femur. It was one of several exciting finds that fall. By the month’s end, he had uncovered the phalange of a foot, two fibulas, and a lower jaw, too. He rushed to tell the rest of his volunteer group, Gamafuya, which means “cave diggers” in the Okinawan Indigenous language of Uchinaaguchi. The bones confirmed what Gushiken had known all along: There, in a tract of forest in the southern city of Itoman, Okinawa, lay the remains of the victims of World War II.

      • George Shultz’s Character Study of Robert Gates

        Shultz was almost singularly responsible for convincing President Ronald Reagan that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev wanted detente and arms control with the United States. Shultz had to maneuver against William Casey and Robert Gates at the CIA as well as Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger and Deputy Secretary Richard Perle, who opposed detente and arms control.  Weinberger and Perle resigned because of the successful negotiation of the Intermediate-forces Nuclear Treaty in 1987.

        At the Moscow summit in 1988, it was Shultz who convinced Reagan to take a photo opportunity in Red Square, which all of Reagan’s other advisors opposed.  The Red Square images are an iconic reminder of the success of Soviet-American summitry.  Shultz threatened to resign when Reagan threatened to polygraph senior government officials because of leaks to the press.  Reagan immediately retreated.  If Shultz had threatened to resign in 1986, Reagan might have been spared the policy and political failure of Iran-Contra.

      • Finland approved by State Department for $91.2M rocket launcher purchase

        The sale of multiple launch rocket systems to Finland was approved by the State Department, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced on Wednesday.

        The potential $91.2 million deal, with Lockheed Martin Missile and Fire Control as its sole contractor, still requires approval by the U.S. Senate, DSCA said in a press release.

        The sale would include M30A2 and M31A2 Extended Range Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, quality assurance testing services, and technical and logistical support.

      • Taliban tweet threatens Malala; Twitter removes account

        A Pakistani Taliban militant who nine years ago is alleged to have shot and badly wounded Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai has threatened a second attempt on her life, tweeting that next time, “there would be no mistake.” Twitter on Wednesday permanently suspend the account with the menacing post.

      • French assembly passes bill ensuring ‘French values,’ banning polygamy, forced marriage

        The bill introduces mechanisms to guarantee that mosques and associations that run them are not under the sway of foreign interests or homegrown Salafists with a rigourous interpretation of Islam.

      • French academics blast minister’s warning on ‘Islamo-leftism’

        The comments came amid a divisive debate in France about what President Emmanuel Macron has termed “Islamist separatism,” in which Islamists are said to be flouting French laws in closed-off Muslim communities and fuelling terror attacks on French soil.

      • Son of detained veteran Islamist politician threatens to “turn Sudan into hell” should father be handed over to ICC

        Nafeh is a long-time ally of Omar al Bashir who was ousted by the country’s military following nation-wide protest triggered by bread prices in April 2019. Following the arrest of al Bashir, Nafeh was also arrested on several charges including corruption and the 1989 military coup.

        He is also wanted by the ICC on Darfur war crimes just like al Bashir himself.

    • Environment

      • Philippe Sands on why “ecocide” should be a crime

        Sands is now part of a push to make the systematic destruction of nature a recognised international crime known as “ecocide”. Since November, Sands has been co-chairing an expert panel charged with giving the term legal definition. If an amendment to the ICC’S founding treaty is then adopted, ecocide will sit alongside war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity as a legally binding offence – one through which chief executives and heads of state can be brought to justice.

        There are multiple reasons for making ecocide a criminal offence, from giving legal teeth to international treaties such as the Paris Agreement, to facing up to the scale of the threat posed by the climate crisis. There is also a practical need for environmental criminal prosecutions to be truly international in scope, so that its perpetrators have nowhere to hide – as Jojo Mehta, who co-founded the Stop Ecocide campaign alongside the late legal pioneer Polly Higgins, has highlighted.

      • Overpopulation

        • Degrowing for peace? Tackling structural violence and climate resilience

          In a recent article published in Sustainability Science, I explore how climate action and peace can be advanced simultaneously. Finding an answer, I suggest, lies in making space to imagine alternatives to our current sustainability approach: transitioning to a different economic system that focuses on people rather than profit, foregrounding broad understandings of peace, and pursuing societal change. Seeds of such change, lie with degrowth, activities and policies that recenter the economy on ecological and human well-being. Examples of degrowth provide a starting point for considering concrete steps toward tackling structural violence, fostering climate resilience, and advancing peace.

        • Overpopulation is what’s driving climate change

          Hellish forest fires, super storms, parching droughts, desertification, mass extinction, filthy water, new deadly diseases, civil unrest and violence are in our faces daily. Is 2021 cursed or is Mother Nature giving us a final warning?

          All these extreme events are called “climate change” which is just a vague and cowardly euphemism. Call it as it is: Overpopulation! There are too many humans, devouring our diminishing resources. The fact is we are changing our climate and pushing all life to extinction.

          Because of our runaway population, we are now using the principal of Earth’s bounty. We’re no longer living on just the interest of Earth’s resources. Any accountant can tell you how fast the principal disappears!

        • Opinion | Bending the Moral Arc of the Universe—Toward Peace, Sanity, and Survival—No Matter the Obstacles

          Uncertainty in a vulnerable world.

    • Finance

      • Demanding ‘Dignified Work and a Living Wage’ as Legal Rights, Ayanna Pressley Unveils Jobs Guarantee Resolution

        “It’s time to establish a legal right to a job for all people in America.”

      • Ro Khanna Introduces Bill to End ‘Runaway Tax Evasion’ by US Millionaires and Billionaires

        “The wealthiest 1% are responsible for roughly 70% of the ‘tax gap,’” said the California Democrat. “It’s time every American pay their fair share.”

      • Freedom From Poverty Should Be a Human Right

        In June 1990, future South African president Nelson Mandela addressed a joint session of Congress only months after being released from 27 years in a South African apartheid prison. He reminded the political leadership of the United States that “to deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity. To impose on them a wretched life of hunger and deprivation is to dehumanise them.”

      • Sorry, Robinhood: legacy brokers won from the GameStop frenzy

        Robinhood has thus failed to topple the broking establishment. Though the upstart firm has 13m users, traditional brokers still serve the majority of traders. Indeed, the firm’s success, in a reversal of the intentions of the mythical hero and his band of merry men, may be benefiting the rich at the expense of the poor. Research suggests that people playing with their own money nearly always end up poorer than when they started. The winners in such circumstances are often stockbroking firms, which gain new customers, and professional investors, who are happy to take the other side of foolish trades.

      • Hill Report: who wants to talk to Reddit?

        For a hearing investigating what happens when a bunch of Redditors disrupt the US financial markets, social media’s role in the GameStop squeeze wasn’t really a major part of Thursday’s hearing. But for the lawmakers focused on the internet’s influence in January’s events, they appeared deeply concerned about how social media discourse can cause real-world problems.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | What About Eliminating the Senate Altogether?

        The U.S. Senate is a global and national problem.

      • To Pave Way for DeJoy’s Ouster, 80 House Democrats Urge Biden to Quickly Fill Postal Board Vacancies

        “USPS will never recover so long as DeJoy is given free rein by a partisan, ineffective, and incomplete board of governors.”

      • What Was Rush Limbaugh So Afraid Of?

        “Being attacked by Rush Limbaugh is like being gummed by a newt.”

      • Lame Limbaugh obits: Mainstream media fawns over a toxic bigot who poisoned our politics

        But calling out the hatred and bigotry that Trump established as the central tenets of the modern Republican Party remains a step too far. Our newsroom leaders still cannot bring themselves to declare that the hysteria and conspiracy theories that once only inhabited the lunatic fringes of our political discourse — until Rush Limbaugh, and then Donald Trump, came along — don’t merit respect, but should be banished, rejected and denied.

        And that is why, even with a year to pre-write and edit them, major media outlets on Wednesday published obituaries celebrating Limbaugh’s extraordinary success as a “conservative provocateur.” They whitewashed his once-unimaginably vile and divisive demagoguery as “comic bombast.” They hailed him as “the voice of American conservatism,” when what really matters about Rush Limbaugh is that he spread hatred more effectively and lucratively than any American before him. He didn’t hide his bigotry and, eventually, neither did the Republican Party.

      • MEA’s response to celebrity activism shows that India is new to Twitter diplomacy

        While hashtag activism was welcomed by the protesting farmers’ associations and many activists, some Indian film and sports stars have urged conscientious restraint on policy matters internal to the nation. Drowned in the chorus of support and dissent, is the sober voice of former Secretary, MEA, Vivek Katju: “This marks a new page for our external publicity efforts to counter criticism. The question is if it will be effective to reach the followers of those who have tweeted.”

      • Four men own Britain’s news media. Is that a problem for democracy?

        But it is worth noting that these are the same media groups that put Boris Johnson in power – via the Sun, Daily Mail and Telegraph – by helping to persuade 52 per cent of those who voted in the EU membership referendum to favour Leave.

      • Turkish-born candidate for local elections in Germany claims: Our party list is open to Muslims and infidels

        The statement of the top candidate of the Aktive Demokraten (Active Democrats) in Rüsselsheim, Erdal Koca, that the party list is open to Muslims as well as ” infidels”, has caused a lot of fuss and anger in the past week.

      • The Trumpers Among Us

        Perhaps I am naive, but I try to remember that there are more of us than there are of them. True, thanks to the Constitution, and gerrymandering, and Citizens United, and the six conservatives on the Supreme Court, Republicans have powerful advantages. But if we can lessen sheer desperation—and Biden’s $1.9 trillion aid package is a good start—maybe we can peel off the Trumpers who really are motivated by economic insecurity. Maybe, if we can get enough power, the Trumpers’ numbers will dwindle as they see it’s not so terrible to have health insurance, or to legalize the status of immigrants who’ve been living here forever, or even to wear a mask to prevent a deadly virus from spreading. Or maybe they won’t, and we’ll just have to make sure they lose—like they did in Georgia.

      • The Newest Diplomatic Currency: Covid-19 Vaccines

        India, the unmatched vaccine manufacturing power, is giving away millions of doses to neighbors friendly and estranged. It is trying to counter China, which has made doling out shots a central plank of its foreign relations. And the United Arab Emirates, drawing on its oil riches, is buying jabs on behalf of its allies.

        The coronavirus vaccine — one of the world’s most in-demand commodities — has become a new currency for international diplomacy.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • The contradictions of “cancel culture”: Where elite liberalism goes to die

        The ruling elites and the courtiers who trumpet their moral superiority by damning and silencing those who do not linguistically conform to politically correct speech are the new Jacobins. They wallow in a sanctimonious arrogance, one made possible by their privilege, which masks their subservience to corporate power and their amorality. They do not battle social and economic injustice. They silence, with the enthusiastic assistance of the digital platforms in Silicon Valley, those who are crushed and deformed by systems of oppression and those who lack their finely developed politesse and deference to linguistic fashion. They are the useful idiots of corporate power and the emerging police state. Cancel culture is not the road to reform. It is the road to tyranny.

      • Sharia-Enforcing Amazon Brownshirts Delete Book That Criticized Islam

        And so we see it yet again: criticize Christianity, and you’ll be celebrated as a heroic, courageous intellectual, standing up against the forces of reaction. You’ll be feted and laden with honors, a la Dawkins today. Criticize Islam, on the other hand, and you’ll be excoriated as a “racist” (one more time, kids: Islam is not a race, and indeed, any belief system that you can ascribe to or discard is not and cannot be a race), “bigoted” “Islamophobe,” and the Southern Poverty Law Center will call you a “hate group leader” and make sure that all good, right-thinking people don’t come near you with a ten-foot pole.

      • Hidden from View: Egypt’s Blasphemy Cases

        Egypt has restricted free speech across every sector of society. These restrictions are enforced by officials whose job involves monitoring social media. The situation begs the question: What is driving Egypt’s recent increase in blasphemy cases? As Egypt becomes more proficient at monitoring social media, many Christians worry that the widespread enforcement of blasphemy laws has only just begun.

      • What has the New York Times got against Ayaan Hirsi Ali?

        Occasionally there is talk of needing to at some point address these questions in a ‘responsible’ fashion. But the long-awaited day never comes, and in the meantime whenever anybody attempts to address these questions ‘responsibly’ the same routine applies. A small coterie of left-wing and Islamist activist boundary-beaters pop-up to ensure that the discussion is suppressed once more.

        In recent days, this formula has again been employed against Ayaan Hirsi Ali. As soon as her book came out, The New York Times published a characteristically inaccurate hit-piece to try to kill it at birth. Speaking engagements – even virtual ones – involving Hirsi Ali came under sustained pressure to cancel. The Council on American-Islamic Relations and other Muslim groups started to campaign against the book. And figures like an obscure communist activist called Maryam Namazie, who claims to campaign against Islamism, found common cause with the Islamists in trying to take-out Hirsi Ali. In the latter case, Hirsi Ali was berated for having views that are ‘regressive’, as though one must have ‘progressive’ communist views or have no views at all.

      • Facebook vs. Australia: What Happens When Big Tech Comes for the News?

        Supporters of the new code say it’s a necessary step toward addressing the growing imbalances in the market for digital ads: Roughly 70 percent of the $6.8 billion per year Australian online ad market is currently cornered by Google and Facebook. Google threatened to leave Australia over the law before reneging, but Facebook has held firm. In the social media giant’s view, news is only a small part of what appears on users’ feeds, and publishers largely reap the benefits by gaining access to Facebook’s audience. About 70 percent of Australians use the platform.

        Foreign Policy spoke with Lisa Davies, the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s most widely read newspaper. It’s also a part of Nine Entertainment, a media group that has been influential in pushing for the new laws. She spoke about the surprise move and the wider impact of the government’s new media code.

      • Australia to Hold Talks With Facebook’s Zuckerberg After BlockAustralia to Hold Talks With Facebook’s Zuckerberg After Block

        Still, Frydenberg said the government will proceed with its controversial legislation that will force Facebook and Google to pay Australian publishers for news content — the law is expected to pass parliament next week.

      • Australia’s Leader Vows to Press Ahead With Content Law Despite Facebook Block on News

        Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison vowed to move forward with the country’s proposed content laws that will see tech giants pay for journalism, despite Facebook’s unprecedented move to block news content in Australia.

        Facebook’s new rules for Australian users mean that they cannot share Australian or international news and international users outside Australia also cannot share Australian news. The move has been widely condemned by healthcare and emergency services in Australia.

      • Facebook Dubbed ‘Bully’ as Backlash Grows over Dispute with Australia

        An international backlash was growing Thursday to Facebook blocking users of its platform in Australia from viewing or sharing links to domestic and international news stories, with the social media giant accused of behaving like a “bully.”

        Facebook’s move to block the content ahead of Australian lawmakers approving a new measure forcing the company to pay media organizations is prompting widespread condemnation from politicians in Europe and North America.

      • Facebook walks as Google caves in Australia

        The dust-up, which is far from over, pits the new media barons of Silicon Valley against the old ones of television and the press. What so far looks like a one-all draw in Australia is likely to be played out around the world in the months ahead.

        Australia’s “news media bargaining code” has been in development for three years, but the argument is older. A decade ago offline media controlled more than 80% of the advertising market in Australia. Yet there, as in the rest of the world, advertisers have found that digital media are better at reaching their audiences. In the past ten years offline media’s share of the market has fallen by half. The lion’s share has gone to Facebook, which dominates display ads, and Google, which has cornered the search market.

      • Facebook: high time for Australians to wake up and smell the roses

        Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has made his reaction known to the blocking of news content in the country by Facebook – in a post on Facebook.

        Morrison is a bit thick, so the irony of doing this may have been lost on him. But it serves to underline the kind of idiocy that has been on display ever since Facebook announced, early on Thursday morning AEDT, that it would restrict publishers and people in Australia from sharing or viewing Australian and international news content on its platform.

      • Facebook Blocks News in Australia, Diverging With Google on Proposed Law

        At the heart of the fight is whether the tech giants should pay news organizations for the news articles that are shared on their networks. Under a proposed law from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, both Google and Facebook would be required to negotiate with media publishers and compensate them for the content that appears on their sites.

        Facebook and Google have fought hard to prevent the Australian law — which is expected to pass this week or next — from forcing their hands. But on Wednesday, the two companies sharply diverged on how to head off that regulatory future.

      • Facebook ‘unfriends’ Australia: news pages go dark in test for global publishing

        Facebook faced an angry backlash on Thursday after blocking news feeds in Australia in a surprise escalation of a dispute with the government which could be a test for the future of online publishing worldwide.

      • Here’s why Facebook blocked news content for Australian Users | Details

        Facebook has announced to block both Australian users and media companies from sharing or viewing local and international news content, in response to Australias proposed new Media Bargaining law.

        Facebook said that the proposed law fundamentally misunderstands the relationship between “our platform and publishers who use it to share news content”.

      • Facebook blocks news sharing in Australia over media law

        Facebook blocked the sharing of news in Australia on Wednesday over government plans to make it pay media groups for content, but the move disrupted the pages of emergency services while triggering accusations of censorship.

        From early Thursday, Australians were unable to post links to news articles or view the Facebook pages of news outlets from anywhere in the world.

        The move came as retaliation for laws proposed in Canberra that would force social media giants to pay for news content shared on their sites.

      • Facebook blocks Australians from viewing news, public information amid govt spat

        Australians woke to empty news feeds on their Facebook Inc pages on Thursday (Feb 18) after the social media giant blocked all media content in a surprise and dramatic escalation of a dispute with the government over paying for content.

        The move was swiftly criticised by news producers, politicians and human rights advocates, many of whom pointed out that official health and meteorology information had also been scrubbed during the coronavirus pandemic and at the height of Australia’s summer bushfire season.

      • Bangladesh orders Al Jazeera documentary be scrubbed from web

        A documentary by Al Jazeera that aired explosive claims about Bangladesh’s army chief must be taken down from the Internet in the South Asian country, a court ordered on Wednesday (Feb 17).

        The Doha-based broadcaster released the hour-long programme entitled All The Prime Minister’s Men in early February detailing allegations that the country’s security forces and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had links to a criminal gang.

        The High Court instructed Bangladesh’s telco regulator to “remove or take down Al Jazeera’s documentary… from Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and other digital platforms where it has been shared”, the regulator’s lawyer, Khandaker Reza-e-Raquib, told AFP.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Illegal social media ride-shares competing with taxi services

        According to legislation, the surveillance authority cannot make an order to a driver on social media to verify their legality. For this reason, it is difficult to even check taxi apps, since vehicles offering services there also do not stick out in regular traffic.

      • Couple with new-born baby among five Christians arrested in Somaliland

        Islam is the official religion of Somaliland, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991. Its constitution states that individuals have the right to freedom of belief. However, the constitution also prohibits Muslims from converting to another religion, bars the propagation of any religion other than Islam and stipulates all laws must comply with the general principles of sharia (Islamic law).

      • Fatwa forbids baseless blasphemy allegations in Pakistan

        “We are witnessing a record increase in blasphemy cases against all members of society irrespective of their faiths. This has become a norm here but we are glad that a lot of our Muslim siblings have spoken out against the treatment to our community,” he stated in a recent meeting of Church of Pakistan clergy at the head office of Raiwind Diocese.

        Last month Pakistan’s Ministry of Human Rights launched the country’s first human rights information resource portal.

        The portal, developed in partnership with the European Union, is envisioned to serve as a “central repository of up-to-date and cutting-edge human rights knowledge” for students, academics, practitioners and citizens at large.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • I Pay $9.99 a Month for Spotify Premium. So Why Am I Listening to Podcast Ads?

        Last year, Spotify signed one of the hottest podcasters in the world to an exclusive deal. This year, The Joe Rogan Experience can only be enjoyed on Spotify — that is, after listening to about 10 minutes of ads from multiple sponsors before the start of every episode. Even worse, Spotify is now inserting ads within the podcast at regular intervals, and making those ads difficult to skip if you’re driving, working out, walking the dog, or doing anything else while listening to the show in the background.

        But it’s not just Joe Rogan getting peppered with ads. Other Spotify podcasts are full of lengthy spots. And because Spotify hasn’t filled a lot of its inventory, many of the ads repeat over and over again on smaller shows. All of which sounds reasonable for non-paying listeners, but absolutely absurd for those forking over $9.99 a month for a Premium tier expressly marketed as ad-free.

        The issue isn’t going unnoticed by Spotify paying customers. Complaints are pouring into Spotify’s support channels, and users are also complaining on Twitter, Reddit, and other places. “I pay for my subscription. Every month for years now,” one subscriber named Montesi complained in a Spotify forum. “The main reason I am a paid-for subscriber with Spotify is so I don’t have to hear ads.”

      • Spotty Connection – Alan Pope’s blog

        I had a few days off work this week. It was very enjoyable to spend a bit more time with the family, doing some jobs around the house, going for walks, and generally nothing else, thanks to The Event.
        However, in the quiet moments I still find myself browsing around, stumbling on new software I know will be enjoyed by my friends on Linux, and feel compelled to package it up, as a snap. This time around I found a post on /r/gnome about “Spot” a Gtk/Rust Spotify client.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • U.S. Federal Circuit Continues To Pressure BioPharma For More When It Comes To Functional Claims

          Biologic drugs, many of which are antibodies, represent an increasing share of the pharmaceutical market. In recent years, numerous broad functional patent claims directed at therapeutic antibodies have come under attack for failing to satisfy the written description and enablement requirements. The proper scope of these requirements has divided the biopharmaceutical industry. In its latest decision on this topic, Amgen Inc. et al. v. Sanofi, Aventisub LLC et al., ___ F.3d ___, No. 2020-1074 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 11, 2021), the Federal Circuit affirmed the invalidity of claims directed to therapeutic antibodies, noting that “functional claim limitations … pose high hurdles in fulfilling the enablement requirement.”

          This is the second decision of the Federal Circuit in a long-running dispute between the parties. At its center are Amgen’s Repatha® and Sanofi’s Praluent® antibody products for the treatment of high cholesterol. Amgen first sued Sanofi and others for patent infringement in the District of Delaware in late 2014. The defendants stipulated to infringement and a jury returned a verdict in favor of Amgen, failing to find invalidity. During the first appeal, the Federal Circuit struck a significant blow to the biopharmaceutical industry by overturning the “newly characterized antigen” test, which had permitted patentees to obtain broad claims to a genus of antibodies by describing the structure of the corresponding antigen, as opposed to the antibodies themselves. The Federal Circuit also remanded the case for re-trial. Back in the district court, the jury once again found the claims valid, but the district court disagreed, issuing judgment as a matter of law that the patents lacked enablement. This second appeal followed with Bristol Myers Squibb Co., Pfizer Inc., and Eli Lilly and Company, among others, filing dueling amicus briefs.


          The Federal Circuit decision focused on the enablement requirement, which stems from 35 U.S.C. § 112 and its purpose is to ensure an adequate quid pro quo between the patentee and the public. In exchange for a limited monopoly on the invention, the patentee must enable the public to “carry out the invention” without “undue experimentation.” On appeal, however, the Federal Circuit held that the amount of experimentation needed to make and use Amgen’s patent claims was too high.

        • In-house: Xiaomi stalling for time with ETSI suit [Ed: Watch what patent maximalists are happily enabling (they profit from this mess)]

          Counsel from automotive and telecoms companies told Managing IP this week that they believed Xiaomi was stalling for time with its bid at the Paris Court of First Instance to force standards-setting organisation ETSI to throw out Philips’ 3G and 4G patents.

          They said that the case was a long-shot, at best, and that it was in all likelihood doomed.

          “The case is very interesting, but there is no hope here for Xiaomi to get Philips excluded from ETSI,” says the head of IP and standards for an international telecoms company. “It’s a very long-winded process and Xiaomi is just playing games here from what I can tell.”

          The Chinese handset manufacturer filed a suit at the Paris court earlier this month, in which it demanded that ETSI help conclude the Chinese company’s licensing row with Philips.

          According to an email from ETSI to its members that was leaked to Managing IP, Xiaomi asked the organisation to exclude Philips’ patents from being essential to the LTE (4G) and UMTS (3G) standards if no licensing agreement could be made.


          On Friday, February 12, the European Commission released its international trade rules and included amendments that placed a greater emphasis on IP rights.

          The revised EU Trade Enforcement Regulation pertains to the union’s right to enforce international trade agreements.

          Under the new regulation, the scope of Articles 1, 5, 6 and 9 were expanded to include counter-measure protection for IP rights. Before this change, the regulation only included protection for the trade of goods.


          The EPO’s Boards of Appeal has considered the legal basis for extensions to deadlines granted by the office at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, it emerged this week.

          In March 2020, the EPO announced an extension of all deadlines. The extension lasted until June 2.

          The basis for these extensions was discussed in a case concerning a European patent application directed to processing soybean oil. The applicant involved missed three deadlines dating back to 2018. The final missed deadline fell within the period during which extensions were granted.

          The BoA was strict on the deadlines pre-dating the pandemic, but accepted the COVID-19 extension period as a reason for missing the third deadline.

          However, after assessing the circumstances, the BoA noted a discrepancy between the wording of the EPO’s announcement on extensions and the relevant portion of the European Patent Convention (EPC).

          The EPO’s notice, announced in the Official Journal of the EPO, cited ‘general dislocation’ as mitigating circumstances. But Rule 134(2) of the EPC provides for the extension of deadlines as a result of “a general dislocation in the delivery or transmission of mail” in a contracting state.

          The BoA concluded that, regardless of how the extensions were legally justified, a user of the EPO should not be penalised without good reason for relying on notices published by the EPO itself.

        • Secondary Factors vs Objective Indicia of Nonobviousness

          I wrote earlier about the Supreme Court petition in Amarin Pharma, Inc. v. Hikma Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. (Supreme Court 2021) that focuses on secondary considerations of non-obviousness such as commercial success and long-felt un-met need. There has been a small movement over the years to refer to these as “objective indicia of nonobviousness” as opposed to secondary considerations. That movement did not arise with the Supreme Court. Rather, the Supreme Court has repeatedly referred to these as “secondary factors” or “secondary considerations” of non-obviousness. It did so in both Graham (1966) and again in KSR (2007). In KSR, the court particularly suggested that they have a role in negating obviousness — effectively as rebuttal evidence. “Teleflex has shown no secondary factors to dislodge the determination that claim 4 is obvious.” In Amarin, the patentee is arguing that commercial success and the other factors should not be relegated to rebuttal evidence but rather be used on-par with the other Graham factors.

        • IPO & Harrity Analytics Release List of Top 300 Patent Holders for 2020 [Ed: IBM front group and lobbyist for software patents wants us to rank people and firms not based on what they do but the amount of monopolies they got by paperwork]

          As with the 2019 report, the 2020 report was compiled in collaboration with Harrity Analytics, based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The IPO and Harrity Analytics noted that patents reported on the 2020 list are utility patents granted during the 2020 calendar year that listed the organization or a subsidiary as the owner on the printed patent document. Harrity Analytics then used organization and subsidiary data provided to two independent third-party data providers and reviewed over 200,000 assignments to attribute ownership to the correct organizations, where applicable. The report notes that patents that were granted to two or more organizations jointly are attributed to each organization separately, and that companies for which patents were granted to subsidiaries are combined with patents granted to the parent.

        • Who is leading the 5G patent race? A patent landscape analysis on declared SEPs and standards contributions

          The next industrial revolution will see increasing technological convergence as connectivity technologies are gradually integrated into mechanical products. For example, while the importance of connectivity modules in cars may currently be small, experts believe that the connected vehicles of the future will shift consumer focus from the automobile itself to the broader issue of transportation. We will also see the increasing importance of 5G technology in other industries where smart factories, smart homes, smart meters and even smart medical devices will rely on 5G connectivity.


          Table 1 illustrates the top patent owners of 5G declared patent families. The first column counts 5G portfolio shares, considering granted patents as well as pending applications at all worldwide patent offices. Here, Huawei leads with a share of more than 15.39%, followed by Qualcomm with 11.24%, ZTE with 9.81%, Samsung with 9.67% and Nokia with 9.01%. The second column counts patent families where at least one patent has been granted, while Column 3 shows 5G patent families where at least one patent has been granted at the USPTO or EPO. Finally, the fourth column presents EPO/USPTO-granted patent families that have never been declared to any previous standard generation (i.e., 2G, 3G or 4G). The shares and counts change depending on the filtering reported in the different columns. Nokia with 15.29%, for example, has the largest EPO/USPTO-granted 5G family portfolio, followed by Samsung with 15.10%. Qualcomm and Huawei have the highest shares when only considering patent families that have not been declared to previous generations.

        • EPO

          • OSE Immunotherapeutics Announces Granting of First European Patent Protecting Anti-IL-7 Receptor Antagonist OSE-127/S95011

            OSE Immunotherapeutics (ISIN: FR0012127173; Mnemo: OSE) (Paris:OSE) today announced that it has strengthened intellectual property rights for its anti-interleukin-7 receptor (IL-7R) antagonist OSE-127/S95011 through the granting of a first patent by the European Patent Office (EPO). The patent covers the product and its therapeutic applications in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases through 2037.

          • Is Late Entry Into The European Regional Phase Possible?

            If you are considering taking your PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) application forward into Europe, you must do so within 31 months from the earliest claimed priority date of the application (or from the PCT filing date, if no priority is claimed). Entry into the European phase requires the filing of a form and paying official fees to the European Patent Office (EPO). An applicant that does not have a residence or place of business with a member state of the European Patent Convention will need to appoint a professional representative before the EPO.

            But what happens if you have missed the 31-month deadline? There are options available which may permit late entry into the European regional phase.
            Further Processing

            There is a window in which you can enter the European regional phase late ‘as of right’ by paying additional official fees. Shortly after the 31-month deadline, the EPO will issue a notification stating that the European patent application is deemed withdrawn. The applicant will be given a period to enter the European regional phase late if the applicant requests “further processing” under Article 121 EPC. Within that period all the overdue official fees must be paid with a 50% surcharge, which makes this a relatively costly option.

            Please be aware that the deadline for using further processing is 2 months from the date of notification of the missed deadline by the EPO. If you miss this further processing deadline, your only option for entering the European regional phase is by re-establishment of rights.
            Requesting for Re-Establishment of Rights

            In a few rare cases, there is still the possibility to apply to restore the application by requesting a re-establishment of rights under Article 122 EPC. However, this option should be used only as a last resort, i.e. after the further processing deadline has passed, because requests of this type are only allowed at the discretion of the EPO based on evidence submitted by the applicant.

            A successful re-establishment request requires that the application was not filed on time despite ‘all due care’ having been taken to meet the missed deadline and by all relevant parties. This requires that:

          • What Factors Affect Costs Upon Entry Into The European Regional Phase?

            If you are considering taking your PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty) application forward in Europe before the EPO (European Patent Office), it’s important to be aware of the fees associated with the process. Not only are there set fees, but there are also factors which can affect the cost of your application throughout the process. Take a look at the information below to find out which factors and fees you should consider, and gain an expectation of how much the process should cost you.
            What are the basic fees for entry into Europe?

          • Pros And Cons Of Using The European Patent Application System Rather Than Separate National Patent Applications? [Ed: The part about "The European Unitary Patent is intended to address some issues" neglects to say that UPC is dead]

            Since its establishment in the 1970s, the European Patent Office (EPO) has become the standard choice for obtaining patent protection across Europe. The European system provides for patent protection in 38 countries, including all current 27 member states within the European Union. However, protection in all those countries comes at a cost, due to the need to validate the European patent in individual countries once granted and the high official fees at the EPO.

            The European Unitary Patent is intended to address some issues concerning patent validation and renewal costs for the member states of the European Union but it will be subject to the same prosecution costs as the current European patent application system.
            So, is a European patent application worth the cost?

            This very much depends on the number of countries in Europe where patent protection is needed and, to some extent, which countries they are. The European application system is beneficial in that the single European patent application can be prosecuted in only one language (i.e. English, German or French) and by only one representative for the whole of Europe. In contrast, the official fees are lower at national patent offices in Europe but many countries will require a local representative to be appointed for that country, as well as a translation into the national language.

          • How Quickly Can A European Patent Be Granted? [Ed: Lawyers don't seem to care about legality, validity, quality, just speed and cost (how much they can charge)]

            Whilst your patent application is pending, you have patent-pending status. You don’t have to wait until you obtain a patent to start creating, marking, selling or licencing your invention. You can begin this process straight away, as long as the patent application adequately covers all of the important aspects of your invention that you intend to exploit commercially.

            In some circumstances, this may mean that you won’t be looking to speed up the patent process and let the timescale run naturally. A slower patent application process may allow you more options for reacting to competitor activity whilst the application is pending, e.g. providing more options for claim amendment than after grant of a patent.

            Another quirk of the European patent system is that renewal fees are paid to the EPO whilst the patent application is pending but are later paid to the national patent offices in individual European countries once the patent is granted. If you intend the patent to remain in force in a large number of European countries, the renewal fees to the EPO whilst the application is pending may be considerably lower than the national patent renewal fees after grant.

          • Brexit – what you need to do now.

            For any of your EU unitary rights registered before 01 January 2021, you now also have a new comparable UK right that enjoys the same legal status as if you had applied for and registered the right under UK law. Your new comparable UK right inherits the same filing, priority, and seniority date, as applicable.


            European Patents are granted by the EPO under the European Patent Convention, which is an autonomous legal system to the EU and so the grant procedure for European Patents remains unchanged. The grant of UK Patents remains the responsibility of the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office, meaning the grant of UK Patents also remains unchanged. Any granted UK Patents or any European Patents validated in the UK continue to take effect in the UK as before.

            However, you should consider that patent rights on patented goods placed on the market in the UK will not be exhausted in the EU, so a patent proprietor in the EU can prevent parallel import of the patented goods from the UK into the EU. You should therefore consider that you might not be able to export patented goods sourced in the UK to the EU, and you should check with the supplier of your goods whether those goods are the subject of a patent in the EU country to which you intend to export and if you have consent to export from the UK to the EU.

      • Copyrights

        • Sci-Hub: Elsevier and Springer Nature Obtain UK ISP Blocking Order

          Major UK ISP TalkTalk is reporting that in response to an order from a court in the UK, it is now required to block subscriber access to Sci-Hub. The injunction is reportedly the result of an application by academic publishers Elsevier and Springer Nature, who have teamed up in other regions to block access to ‘The Pirate Bay of Science’.

        • Copyright Troll Lawyer Must Pay Victims $1.5 Million Restitution, Appeals Court Affirms

          The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed that Paul Hansmeier, a convicted copyright troll lawyer, must pay more than $1.5 million in restitution to victims of a piracy honeypot scheme. Hansmeier protested a district court order, arguing that the amount also included legitimate settlements, but the appeals court disagrees.

Introduction to Web Proxies or Gateways Into Gemini Space and Gemini Search (Gemini Protocol Over HTTP/HTML)

Posted in Free/Libre Software, Search, Servers, Standard at 7:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Today we explore how to surf Gemini space, how to search Gemini space, and basically do everything through any Web browser, albeit indirectly; we demonstrate this using the Falkon Web browser

THE GEMINI space (or capsules accessible over Gemini, the protocol) is expanding fast. Over the past 6 months it saw astronomical growth and there are good reasons for it. Many sites do not require advanced features such as login, JavaScript, and multimedia. Those can be supported indirectly, even in Gemini, albeit they’re rarely needed. Where they become necessary, however, it’s possible to have canonical URLs for WWW/HTML/HTTP, wherein those more advanced uses can be facilitated.

“One can maintain both a Web site and Gemini presence, wherein one is accessible through the other (but not necessarily so).”Gemini isn’t “small Web” or “dark Web”. It’s not even the Web. It’s separate from it. But it’s possible to access everything in Gemini right from the Web browser, no matter where you are or what browser you use (even an old and primitive one would do). At the moment there are 3 prominent Web proxies [1, 2, 3], as demonstrated above, and there’s also Free software one can install on one’s own Web site/server to facilitate access to one’s Gemini capsule, as demonstrated here. So in a sense, the duality between the Web and Gemini is another selling point. One can maintain both a Web site and Gemini presence, wherein one is accessible through the other (but not necessarily so).

A sceptic might ask, why have both then? Why not just a Web site?

“Those aren’t just proxies or technically gateways but also a ‘gateway drug’ towards Gemini itself (the real thing, direct access over the Gemini protocol).”For those who are complacent and perfectly happy with what Web browsers have become (extending Web standards to include DRM and lots of bloat) it would be harder to make the case for Gemini compelling enough. However, some of the more technical people know enough about the Web (and about Web browsers; some even developed their own) to realise the threat they pose, either through disinformation, privacy violations (not just for marketing), and planned obsolescence. Technical people aren’t Luddites; they’re just harder for marketing people to fool and they’re always the one who warn most loudly about “voting machines” or electronic votes. In the case of the Web (and Web browsers’ oligopolies that dictate the ‘standard’ and its devolution), geeks can see where we’re going and they resist oppressive software/networks. Gemini is a response — perhaps one among several — that’s potent and enjoys big momentum. IPFS tackles another kind of issue, notably scale and free speech. It makes it possible to store large files or large numbers of files in a distributed fashion. In the process, owing to redundancy, it also enhances free speech and stifles censorship.

The video above shows how to try out Gemini without SSH (as shown yesterday) and only with any Web browser. Those aren’t just proxies or technically gateways but also a ‘gateway drug’ towards Gemini itself (the real thing, direct access over the Gemini protocol).

The EPO’s “Mafia” is Back to Blackmailing Staff Representatives

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

Video download link

Summary: The EPO’s latest meltdown is caused by oversensitive high-level management which simply cannot cope with the facts (because the facts are really damning and can eventually lead to criminal proceedings/prosecution, however belatedly)

THE latest crisis at the EPO helps reaffirm staff’s longstanding view/perception that Bergot controls António Campinos and thus, at least indirectly, she and her husband are fronting for Benoît Battistelli in absentia.

“No wonder many EPO insiders, people with high-level credentials and an ample body of knowledge/education, refer to their managers as “Mafia” (or worse).”In the video above I discuss the very ‘naughty’ one-page publication from the EPO’s staff union, SUEPO, which seems to be perfectly factual and backed by authoritative references, including the EPO’s own words.

Is this an early sunset for the Campinos presidency? He certainly failed to accomplish what he was installed to achieve and based on the latest staff survey he managed to become even less popular than Battistelli — a lot faster! Almost nobody at the Office trusts him anymore. Almost no-one (the survey says that only one workers in 33 workers would still trust him). As someone put it in recent comments about that survey: “It is certainly worth looking at the full results of the study. There are just so many red flags indicating increased psychological stress amongst EPO staff. The EPO management can say what they like about working conditions, but it is how the staff experience those conditions that really matters. On literally every measure, the long term trend is negative, sometimes profoundly so. Yet the AC fiddles whilst Rome burns.”

BlackmailThe Administrative Council (of the Organisation) said it had chosen Campinos to improve the atmosphere at the Office. In the eyes of insiders, however, it wasn’t the Administrative Council that chose Campinos. It was Battistelli’s choice. He rigged the process. Moreover, the goal wasn’t to improve the atmosphere at the Office but to cover up and persist with Battistelli’s plunder, along with other corrupt practices. No wonder many EPO insiders, people with high-level credentials and an ample body of knowledge/education, refer to their managers as “Mafia” (or worse). Same tactics.

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 18, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:02 am by Needs Sunlight

HTML5 logs

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#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

HTML5 logs

HTML5 logs

#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

text logs

text logs

#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

text logs

text logs

#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

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 QmQvySeXLVs87hNuZYJNmEiitQEUU51dcvEW5kmbKzjpxR IRC log for #boycottnovell
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 QmYxmZPTuJU4qahhMXQ5cHfZiPeheYXbdTW14qXxryotY5 IRC log for #boycottnovell
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 QmeN1DAJemXHDAnvgLqhHKUJY8YGyx5kSwWKigudA9jzGS IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
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 QmPfS1vN1nv2cpYtj7E2cudRj5M6SCotUKSXscKguASw1x IRC log for #techbytes
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 QmazbcDQrHMv18FWSJJo4mfFMRUuap5S9TiFEiad2S1eL1 IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
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(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)
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