03.11.21

Links 11/3/2021: MediaGoblin 0.11.0, OVHcloud Evaporated in Strasbourg

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • The Linux Setup – Jon Kukuk, Musician/SysAdmin

      Hello. My name is Jon Kukuk. I am a contract Linux System Administrator and musician. My wife and I live in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. For the last 20 years I have been a contract Linux System Administrator at many large companies around the country. In 2008 I released a music CD entitled Uncharted Currents, made in part on a Linux box. I am a multi-instrumentalist and play guitar, bass, drums and other instruments, and do everything myself, with no other musicians

      I can sum it up in one one word: freedom. I am for the underdog, the oppressed, the one no one cares about. I don’t like Wall Street, big business and corporate greed. I do not, and will not, use anything connected to Micro$oft, and while I do have several Macs, I use them because at least OS X is Unix-based. I’m still running Mojave and will probably leave them at that level. I can do things with Linux that I can’t with the other choices out there. I heard about Linux around 1997 and picked up a copy of Red Hat 6 when it came out in 1999.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Tuxedo Book XP15 Linux laptop now available with up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics

        Linux laptop company Tuxedo Computers is now offering a handful of notebooks with support for NVIDIA GeForce RTX 30 series graphics, including the new Tuxedo Book XP15 Gen 12 notebook which is a 4.4 pound computer with a 15.6 inch display, an Intel Core i7-10870H processor, and support for up to RTX 3080 Max-Q graphics.

        That kind of horsepower doesn’t come cheap though: Prices start at 1,599 Euros, or about $1,900.

      • Tuxedo announce their NVIDIA Ampere laptops with the Tuxedo Book XP15 and XP17

        Linux hardware vendor Tuxedo has refreshed some more of their lineup to bring on NVIDIA Ampere graphics to the Tuxedo Book XP15 and XP17 models. Offering up the latest generation with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 in a “Max-Q design”, these two new models pack quite the punch in performance if you’re after a laptop that can play almost anything you throw at it on Linux.

        Available to configure with exactly what you want, there’s quite a bit of wiggle room on the components. The XP15 can give you a 3060-3080 while the XP17 goes between either the 3070 or 3080. There’s a few different screens to choose from too between 60hz IPS 1080p, 144hz IPS 1080p, 300hz IPS 1080p and 60hz OLED 2160p (4K). All models come with the Intel Core i7-10870H (8x 2.20-5.00 GHz Eight-Core, 16 Threads, 16 MB Cache, 45 W TDP).

      • TUXEDO Computers Launches First Linux Gaming Laptops with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000

        If you’re in the market for a new Linux gaming notebook featuring NVIDIA’s recently released GeForce RTX 3000 series GPUs, codenamed Ampere, in Max-Q design with up to 16 GB GDDR6 VRAM, TUXEDO Computers has you covered with its brand-new TUXEDO Book XP15 and TUXEDO Book XP17 laptops.

        The NVIDIA RTX 3000 series graphics card is known to offer high-performance gaming on mobile computers, and combined with a 10th Generation Intel i7-10870H high-end processor with 8 cores and 16 threads, and up to 5 GHz clock rates, the two notebooks TUXEDO Computers introduces today are some of its most powerful.

      • System76 launches AMD Ryzen-powered ‘Thelio Mira’ Ubuntu Linux desktop

        System76 started its life as a Linux computer seller only. Essentially, the company would sell re-branded laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed. To provide a class-leading experience, however, System76 also provided top-notch customer service, helping Linux beginners get started with a little hand-holding when needed. This focus on service continues today, and it is largely responsible for the company’s success and longevity.

        Seeking to better control its own destiny, the company branched out from only being a computer-seller and transformed into a maker too. Its handcrafted Thelio desktops are powerful works of art, comprised of wood, metal, and good ol’ fashioned American elbow grease. Yes, these Thelio machines are made in the USA — Colorado, specifically.

      • System76 Releases New Thelio Desktop

        One of the most ardent supporters of open source hardware has released a new desktop machine for home or office.

        System76 is best known for their high quality Linux laptops and their boundary-pushing desktops. And with their Thelio line of desktops designed and built-in house, with open source firmware, bios, and OS, they hold a very high appeal to Linux users.

        The Thelio lineup is impressive and their newest entry to the lineup stands in between the base model, Thelio, and the next up, the Thelio Major. This new model, the Thelio Mira, has room for up to 2 GPUs, ships with either a 3rd or 4th gen AMD Ryzen, and can support up to 128 GB of RAM. So even with a small footprint (17.18′′ × 9.96′′ × 13.03′′), you’re getting massive power to do important (or not so important) work.

      • System76 Unveils Thelio Mira Linux PC with AMD Ryzen CPUs and NVIDIA Graphics

        If you’re in the market for a Linux PC capable of doing pretty much anything you throw at it, meet Thelio Mira, System76′s latest desktop PC powered by 3rd and 4th Gen AMD Ryzen CPUs, up to two NVIDIA GeForce RTX Quadro 8000 GPUs, up to 128 GB RAM, and up to 36 TB storage.

        With a fancy design that continues the tradition of System76′s Thelio line of Linux desktop PCs, the Thelio Mira has been engineered to provide you with the latest technologies in regards to cooling and performance, to prevent throttling and speed up your workflow, no matter if you’re a graphic designer, music producer, or video editor.

      • Linux hardware vendor System76 introduces the Thelio Mira desktop

        Out for a brand new desktop from a true Linux vendor? System76 have a little something special announced today with their new Thelio Mira desktop powered by AMD Ryzen and NVIDIA.

        Thelio Mira can be configured with up to 128GB RAM and up to two NVIDIA RTX Quadro 8000 GPUs (traditional RTX / GTX GPUs also available). On the CPU side you’re looking at either an AMD 3rd gen Ryzen 5 3600 or a 4th gen chip up to AMD Ryzen 9 5950X and you can configure the storage up to 36TB in total. System76 mention that with all the power and how much you can expand it the size is only “slightly” larger than the base Thelio model.

        “Thelio Mira rounds out the System76 desktop line with capacity for large, high performance GPUs and additional memory,” says CEO Carl Richell. “Thelio Mira fits nicely between the base Thelio and HEDT Thelio Major models providing a new option for customers to design the perfect desktop for their needs.”

      • Introducing the Thelio Mira Desktop from System76

        While there’s already quite a few different Thelio-branded desktops to choose from on System76’s website, as of today we have yet another one: the Thelio Mira.

        The Mira sits between the base Thelio desktop and the Thelio Major in terms of size, cost, and upgradability. It bears a slightly larger footprint than the base Thelio at a dimension of 17.18″ x 9.96″ x 13.03″ (or 436.35 x 253 x 331mm), yet has the benefit of holding up to two graphics cards, versus the one GPU the base desktop can have.

        [...]

        Like any other System76 device, the Thelio Mira can have Pop!_OS 20.10, 20.04, or Ubuntu 20.04 pre-installed as an operating system. The case comes in a walnut finish, but this can be replaced with birch (free), Dark Matter (adds $59), Martian Red (adds $59), or Neptune Blue (adds $59).

    • Server

      • CloudPanel is the Linux control panel PHP developers have been waiting for

        Working from the Linux command line is easy for some people; for instance, I’ve been using Linux since the late ’90s, and I feel perfectly at home in a terminal window. But for others, the idea of using the terminal window not only means a less-than-efficient day, it also means having to learn considerably more than they might have time for at the moment.

        [...]

        I’ll walk you through the installation of one such control panel called CloudPanel on Debian Server, which is a distribution that really benefits from having such a tool. This particular take on the control panel is geared toward PHP developers in order to make the development lifecycle from coding to app hosting much easier. With CloudPanel, you can run your PHP applications in any cloud or dedicated server in a matter of minutes.

      • Best Linux Hosting Options

        With Linux hosting — using the Linux operating system on your server — you have lots of options. Why? Almost every provider uses it. There are thousands of hosting companies and most of them offer Linux hosting.

        Linux web hosting is popular because it promises ultimate performance, stellar resource management, simplicity, security and open source. This article outlines the 6 best Linux hosting providers for your web design so that you can choose the best option for your website.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 620: TiddlyWiki – Jeremy Ruston

        Jeremy Ruston, creator and maintainer of TiddlyWiki, joins Doc Searls and Jonathan Bennett on FLOSS Weekly for a lively hour that goes by fast. It’s so interesting as Ruston shares how he invented TiddlyWiki almost by accident, and how quickly every new use (and there is no limit to those) expanded the community and the code base with contributors and users all over the world working together to acquire what Jeremy calls “superpowers” of utility and creation.

      • Noodlings 24 | Spring green like openSUSE

        I am doing my best to not fade out, but for more of my thought and opinions, subscribe to DLN Xtend, a podcast with the Destination Linux Network where I have a chat about Linuxy things with my co-hosts Matt and Wendy.

      • This Is Why I Push YouTube Alts & Alt Tech

        Recently I recieved a YouTube Community Strike warning for my video on YouTube DL and this video was since then removed, I don’t care about this specific video, YouTube can take down whatever they want I just want to know what exactly I did wrong because from my perspective it was a perfectly normal video. Luckily I’m already well established on a few alt tech platforms, like Odysee.

      • BSDNow: 393: ZFS dRAID

        Lessons learned from a 27 years old UNIX book, Finally dRAID, Setting up a Signal Proxy using FreeBSD, Annotate your PDF files on OpenBSD, Things You Should Do Now, Just: More unixy than Make, and more

      • Not Found | Coder Radio 404

        Mike reveals his secret project to Chris, who has several probing questions.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 897

        replacements for ansible, containers, home it docuemntation, cooking

      • Networking with ZeroTier: Creating software-defined networks with Ease

        I’ve been wanting to check out ZeroTier for a while, and now I finally had a chance. I recorded a video showing the process of setting up ZeroTier and creating a network, along with my thoughts. ZeroTier claims to offer you the ability to set up networks that can span the globe, with minimal setup required.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S14E01 – Navy Chefs Remit

        This week we’ve become an Ubuntu Member and got a new job. We discuss Flutter as the future for Ubuntu app development, the new Ubuntu installer, Ubuntu MATE adopting Yaru, a new GTK Spotify client and Proton (not that one) for Firefox. We also round up some events and our favourite picks from the tech news.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.11.6
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.11.6 kernel.
        
        All users of the 5.11 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 5.11.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.11.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 5.10.23
      • Linux 5.4.105
      • Linux 4.19.180
      • Linux 4.14.225
      • Linux 4.9.261
      • Linux 4.4.261
      • Graphics Stack

    • Applications

      • 7-Zip 21.0 alpha introduces native Linux support

        Each year, the free archiver 7-Zip gets updated to a new version. The developer of the application has released two alpha previews of this year’s 7-Zip 21 version. Reason enough to take a look at the new version of 7-Zip and the changes and improvements compared to the previous versions of the file archiver.

        The latest alpha release is available on the 7-Zip project site. Just download the 32-bit, 64-bit or 64-bit ARM64 version of the program from the site and run the installer after the download.

        One of the main changes, introduced in the second alpha release, 7-Zip 21.01, is that a command line version of 7-Zip for Linux has been released. The release is not included in the main packages for Windows; the download site lists two downloads for the command line version for Linux that are for 32-bit/64-bit and 64-bit ARM Linux devices.

      • Why you should have VPN on your Linux machine

        A Virtual Private Network or VPN provides a way of connecting to a network such as an internet without your network activities or objectives being visible or monitored. When on the internet, it facilitates a private connection. An active internet connection is defined by internet traffic. Without a VPN for Linux, these individual internet traffics are visible to a network administrator or anyone with the expertise of monitoring them.

        A VPN routes the internet traffic through another machine or computer that shields it from the public’s eye. With a VPN in place, your target online websites’ or services’ information is free from interception or manipulation during your privatized online session.

        In short, a VPN service takes an individual’s internet traffic, pipes it through a VPN-enabled machine or server, which grants this user internet anonymity.

      • The best Linux VPN in 2021 [Ed: A rather spammy 'article' pushing VPN providers with no real connection to "Linux"]
      • youtube-dl-gui – A Cross-Platform GUI for youtube-dl

        YouTube is one of the product names that will probably never require an introduction. The online video-sharing platform headquarter in California, United States. Created and ran by 3 friends in February 2005 until when it was purchased by Google in 2006, YouTube is among the world’s most visited websites; second only to Google Search.

        YouTube is the one-stop-shop for all types of media content including podcasts, music videos, documentaries, movies, series, interviews, news, and cat videos. Seeing how popular it is, one can understand how it inspired the creation of an efficient youtube downloader, youtube-dl. Thanks to this fact, we can happily introduce today’s app to you.

        youtube-dl-gui is a free, cross-platform Electron-based GUI for youtube-dl. Don’t know what youtube-dl is? It is an open-source command-line download manager program with which you can download audio and video from YouTube and at least 1000 other video hosting websites.

      • Finally, MEGAsync is live on Flathub!

        I started using MEGA as my main cloud-storage in 2018, after trying many useless Linux third-party google drive client apps, for one reason official prebuilt package for most distros that you can download from the company website. However, this is not the only advantage MEGA has over Google cloud storage as, in addition to End-to-End Encryption feature, the team behind it really takes care of the penguin & opensource community by providing useful Firefox, Thunderbird and file manager extensions that makes your life even easier on your favourite distro. Furthermore, you can enjoy the integrated secure communication service.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Leave Discord for Matrix Without Losing Friends

        Discord: the clear winner in easy text and voice chat in the gaming space. But Discord is not private (encrypted or self-hostable), and while they support open source projects, it is not itself open source. It works well and you can have your own (virtual) servers for just your friends, so what’s the problem?

        If you are like me, you might be concerned with who has access to your data and messages, as well as being reliant on a third party to not shut down your server, not sell your data, and support the product. And if you are trying (and succeeding!) to live on open source projects, that’s yet another reason to look into other options.

        Perhaps the best and most widely used protocol is the Matrix open standard (typically with Synapse, the reference server), paired with a popular client like Element (formerly Riot). As we all know though, herding cats is easier than getting a social group to change platforms. Matrix is an open protocol though and can be combined with APIs or client access to other protocols to bring them to Matrix.

      • How to Dual Boot Ubuntu and Windows on Two Disks (SSD & HDD)

        Dual booting Ubuntu and Windows is not that complicated and I have covered it in detailed tutorial in the past. Recently, I also wrote about dual booting on a Bitlocker encrypted Windows system.

        And yet here I am talking about it again. Why? Because the scenario is slightly different and several It’s FOSS readers have asked questions about this particular scenario.

        Here’s the scenario: you got a new computer. It comes with a SSD with limited disk space like 120 GB and an additional HDD with 500 GB or 1 TB disk space. This is usually the scene with gaming laptops where large disk space matters for storing game files but SSD is required for faster boot and computing experience. 1 TB SSD would increase the system price a lot and hence this particular combination of SSD and HDD.

      • How I used Ansible to automate updates at home | Enable Sysadmin

        Automation isn’t just for technology organizations anymore. You can use it anywhere, even at home.

      • How to Install and Configure Nexus Repository Manager on Ubuntu 20.04

        Nexus is a repository manages that provides a platform that protects your entire software development lifecycle. It allows you to collect, and manage your dependencies and makes it easier to distribute your software.

      • How to change MTU size in Linux – Linux Hint

        MTU (Stands for Maximum Transmission Unit) is the maximum size of the packet that can be transmitted from a network interface. All the devices including servers and switches/routers involved in communication should have the same MTU size. Large MTU size has less overhead associated with it while the smaller MTU has less delay.

        The default MTU size in most of the Ethernet networks is 1500 bytes. However, you can change it as per the requirements. In this tutorial, we will explain how to change MTU size in Linux.

      • How to enable EPEL repository on AlamLinux 8 – Linux Shout

        Why do we need an EPEL repository on our Linux OS such as AlmaLinux, RHEL, and CentOS?

        RHEL, CentOS, and AlmaLinux official repository doesn’t offer all packages we need to install various common software. Thus, to fulfill this hollow space as compared to other Linux such as Ubuntu, the EPEL repository helps a lot. It offers additional packages for Enterprise Linux, which is administered by the Fedora Special Interest Group and they also ensure the high quality of the additional packages for Enterprise Linux.

        It is s maintained by a community of people who generally volunteer their time and no commercial support is provided.

        The good thing is the method to enable it is very simple and common for all RedHat-based Linux distros including AlmaLinux. However, those who are new to this OS can follow the steps given here.

      • How to install XAMPP Server on Linux Mint 20 – Linux Hint

        XAMPP is a cross-platform web server that is designed for testing your web applications based on Apache, MySQL, Perl, and PHP. This webserver was developed by Apache Friends and it has been in use since 2002. Today, we will learn the method of installing XAMPP on Linux Mint 20. However, the same series of steps can be performed on Debian 10 for installing XAMPP on it.

      • How to send emails with Postfix & AWS SES on RHEL/CentOS 8 – nixCraft

        Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) is a hosted cloud-based email service to send and receive email using your email addresses and domains. Typically SES is used for sending bulk email or routing emails without hosting MTA. One can use the CLI or server-side programming languages such as PHP or Python to transfer an email via SES. This quick tutorial will show you how to route all outgoing emails with Postfix and Amazon AWS SES on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) or CentOS version 8.

      • How to take Screenshots on Debian Linux

        Taking screenshots in Debian is super easy. You will definitely know how to use the built-in screenshot utility or PrtScr key on your keyboard in order to take a screenshot of your system. There are other many open-source screenshots utilities that allow you to take screenshots of your system but they lack. But what about if you need to take a screenshot of your lock screen or the login screen of your Debian system. Regardless of the reason why you need the screenshot of the lock screen or the login screen, we will show you how to achieve that.

        This article is about discussing the ways using which you can take the screenshot of your Lock screen and login screen.

      • How to Create Symbolic or soft Link in Linux?

        A symbolic link (or symlink) is a special type of file in Linux that contains a path to another file or directory. Basically, it is similar to a shortcut and is also known as a soft link.

        In this post, we’ll see how to create, verify, and remove symbolic links in Linux. First, let’s start with a basic introduction to links

      • Basic scripting on Unix and Linux | Network World

        Creating a script on a Unix or Linux system can be dead easy or surprisingly complex; it all depends on how much you’re trying to get the script to do. In this post, we look at scripting basics—at how to get started if you have never built a script before.

      • Setup a Load Balanced WordPress Website on AWS EC2 – Part 1

        Setup a Load Balanced WordPress Website on AWS EC2. Learn how to setup your WordPress application to handle high traffic with auto-scaling capabilities on AWS with Elastic Load Balancing.

        In this full guide you will install WordPress, configure your website to use AWS S3 for media files, create Amazon Machine Image, setup template, create a launch configuration, configure auto-scaling group to manage live traffic and setup RDS for your database.

      • Setup a Load Balanced WordPress Website on AWS EC2 – Part 2

        Setup a Load Balanced WordPress Website on AWS EC2. Learn how to setup your WordPress application to handle high traffic with auto-scaling capabilities on AWS with Elastic Load Balancing.

        In this full guide you will install WordPress, configure your website to use AWS S3 for media files, create Amazon Machine Image, setup template, create a launch configuration, configure auto-scaling group to manage live traffic and setup RDS for your database.

      • How to wake up a sleeping bash script

        Suppose you want to have a bash script that sleeps in the background normally, and wakes up to perform some task only when you send a signal to the script. Once the script completes the task, it then goes back to sleep. This kind of “wake-on-demand” behavior might be useful if you do not want to terminate and re-start the script for whatever reason, for example, because the script needs to maintain some sort of internal state or history across task runs.

        In this tutorial, let’s find out how you can wake up a sleeping bash script. Before describing the technique, let me go over the concept of a named pipe, which is useful to implement the wake-on-demand feature.

      • How to Stop / Remove all Docker Containers and Images – LinuxBuz

        There are a lot of commands for running and managing a Docker container. If you are new to Docker then it is very difficult for you to deal with Docker commands. “Stop and remove all docker containers” is a day-to-day task of any Docker administrator. So it is essential for you to know how to remove and stop all docker containers. In this post, we will show you how to remove and stop all containers.

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

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache Guacamole on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Guacamole is a free, open-source HTML5 web-based remote desktop gateway developed by the Apache software foundation. It supports standard protocols like VNC, RDP, and SSH.

        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 Apache Guacamole on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • Working with the beaker command line | Adam Young’s Web Log

        A graphical User interface has the potential ability to guide users on their journey from n00b13 to power user. If a user has never used a system before, the graphical user interface can provide a visual orientation to the system that is intuitive and inviting.

        Once a user starts to depend on a system and use it regularly, they often want to automate tasks performed in that system.

        I am reminded of these principals as I start making use of my company’s beaker server. I need short term access to machines of various architectures develop and test our Yocto based coding efforts.

      • Set up network parental controls on a Raspberry Pi

        Parents are always looking for ways to protect their kids online—from malware, banner ads, pop-ups, activity-tracking scripts, and other concerns—and to prevent them from playing games and watching YouTube when they should be doing their schoolwork. Many businesses use tools that regulate their employees’ online safety and activities, but the question is how to make this happen at home?

        The short answer is a tiny, inexpensive Raspberry Pi computer that enables you to set parental controls for your kids and your work at home. This article walks you through how easy it is to build your own parental control-enabled home network with a Raspberry Pi.

      • How to test the network speed/throughput between two Linux servers

        I have setup total four servers in cloud based data center. They run either CentOS or Ubuntu Linux. I need to make sure clustered file system performance is reasonable as my servers shared with other users. How do I check the speed between the two Linux servers using command line options for private LAN/VLAN?

        You can test the network speed/throughput between Ubuntu/CentOS/Debian/Fedora Linux or Unix box using the iperf command. Iperf commands show info about bandwidth, delay, jitter, and datagram loss. It is a tool for performing network throughput measurements. It can test either TCP or UDP throughput. To perform an iperf test the user must establish both a server (to discard traffic) and a client (to generate traffic). This page explains how to test the network speed/throughput between two Linux servers.

    • Games

      • Linux Gaming Old School – Terminal Based Games on Linux – Putorius

        I am not much of a gamer, however, I am very nostalgic. When I first fell in love with computing, there was no Call of Duty. There was just ascii (text) based games. I remember spending hours playing D&D on my old Commodore 64. The text based games of the 80’s and early 90’s were intoxicating. They forced you to use your imagination and the people who made them used very clever techniques. If you are old like me, curious about text based games, or just want to play games on your Linux terminal let me introduce you to BSD-Games. The easiest way to start playing terminal based games on your Linux system.

      • Open-Source Radeon Driver Performance Against NVIDIA Linux Gaming For March 2021 – Phoronix

        Recently working on some fresh tests using the latest NVIDIA proprietary driver stack against the open-source AMD Radeon Linux graphics driver code in its newest form, here are some fresh benchmarks for this latest round of Linux OpenGL/Vulkan gaming tests.

        Here are the freshest Linux gaming benchmarks that were just wrapped up at Phoronix. On the NVIDIA side is still the 460.39 driver release while it’s looking like soon the NVIDIA 470 series will be out. On the AMD side the newest open-source code means using Linux 5.12-rc2 and Mesa 21.1-devel via the Oibaf PPA with LLVM 11.0.1.

      • Wasteland 3 gets a permadeath mode and skill respec in the 1.3.3 update | GamingOnLinux

        Wasteland 3 from inXile Entertainment continues expanding after the release in August 2020 and the Linux version landing in December 2020 with the latest free upgrade out now.

        “In Wasteland 3 you take command of a squad of Desert Rangers, lawmen and women in a post-nuclear world, trying to rebuild society from the ashes. More than a century after the bombs fell, you’re fighting a losing battle to keep your beloved Arizona alive. Then the self-proclaimed Patriarch of Colorado radios, promising aid if you’ll do a job he can only entrust to an outsider—rescue his land from the ambitions of his three bloodthirsty children.”

        The 1.3.3 update headline feature is a new Permadeath mode, which is entirely optional and can only be turned on for new games. This mixes things up so characters in your squad stay dead if their Downed timer expires during combat. A mode for those of you who love it tough. Another new mode was added with Difficult Skills Checks which again, can only be turned on for a new game. If enabled it makes all Skill, Attribute, and Perception checks have +2 so you need to really optimize your squad.

      • Spaceship building co-op sandbox Avorion teases a massive 2.0 update | GamingOnLinux

        Boxelware did exceptionally well with Avorion, a space exploration sim that lets you build ships together with blocks and they’ve teased a massive 2.0 update to come.

        You could easily say that Avorion is a bit like a space Minecraft but that wouldn’t do it enough justice, there’s vastly more to it than just building ships with blocks. There’s a fleet system, pirates to deal with, a storyline to follow, a trading system and much more. The universe is big too and it’s going to get bigger.

      • Nightfall Hacker is a turn-based strategy homage to The Nightfall Incident | GamingOnLinux

        Some of our older readers might know The Nightfall Incident, an early 2000s game available on the LEGO website. The overall idea was revived in the homage Nightfall Hacker that’s out now. Not to be confused with The Nightfall Incident that’s up on itch.io, which an unofficial remake.

        This is not some cheap imitation or remake though, far from it. This is a full and complete experience with additional programs, way more levels, and the inclusion of a level editor. Created by developer Teradile, in Nightfall Hacker you’re a freelancer who “lives and dies by code” and it turns it all into a turn-based strategy game with skirmish battles against malicious software and dangerous payloads.

      • Chilled-out first-person puzzler Faraway: Director’s Cut is out now

        Faraway: Director’s Cut from developer Pine Studio is a first-person puzzle game that acts as a modern tribute to Myst. Out now with Linux support, it’s actually a port of the very popular mobile version with several enhancements for the PC.

        This is a puzzle game for players who enjoy a slight challenge but don’t want to be taxed too much for the experience, as it’s not particularly difficult. The puzzles are well designed though but they don’t really take long to figure out. Like with Myst and other similar quiet puzzle experiences, it’s all about the mystery of where you are and what’s going on.

      • If On A Winter’s Night, Four Travelers – probably the best free game you will find today

        Love point and click mysteries? If On A Winter’s Night, Four Travelers from developers Laura Hunt and Thomas Möhring is a narrative-driven pixel-art experience taking place on a train in the late 1920s.

        You explore the stories of four different characters through multiple locations, and the level of quality here is just ridiculously good. How is this free? Madness. Something clearly weird is going on as you find out right from the first scene which I won’t spoil but do check out the trailer below…

      • Get Stellaris and a bunch of DLC in the latest Humble Bundle | GamingOnLinux

        The Humble Stellaris Discovery Game Bundle just launched and will be live through Wednesday, March 24 and it’s a really good chance to build up your collection. Here’s what you will get.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Christian Hergert: GtkSourceView Interactive Tooltips

          During the past years (and especially last cycle) I’ve worked to push a number of features upstream from Builder into GtkSourceView. Not only does this improve the ecosystem for all applications, but it reduces the number of things we need to maintain downstream in Builder as we move to GTK 4.

          That included a new completion engine, a new snippet engine with tooltips based on expansion points, updated gutter and gutter renderer designs, the editor overview map, background patterns, sysprof tracing integration, and most recently interactive tooltips.

    • Distributions

      • Reviews

        • Linux distribution Netrunner has a rocky past but a promising future

          Netrunner has a rather interesting past. Every time the Linux distribution seemed to gain some semblance of traction, it would falter and have to be relaunched. It was once a rolling release–then it was not. It was once based on Kubuntu–then it was not. It was nearly an Hawaii-themed distribution–then it was not.

          Netrunner has morphed into so many different iterations that it’s hard to remember if I tried them all.

          In the end, this is technology, so it’s where you are and where you’re going…not where you’ve been. And right now, Netrunner seems to have found its stride.

          Netrunner’s present

          At the moment, Netrunner is based on Debian “Buster” and sports a customized KDE interface. The biggest customization is the desktop menu, which is actually called the Application Dashboard. This take on the KDE menu is more an amalgamation of KDE’s Kickoff and the GNOME Application Overview, and it works really well.

      • BSD

        • License to thrill: Ahead of v13.0, the FreeBSD team talks about Linux and the completed toolchain project that changes everything

          It’s not as well known as Linux, but FreeBSD has plenty of hardcore fans. In a wide-ranging chat covering licensing, architectures including RISC-V, and a development model that’s free of a “dictator”, The Reg spoke to members of the project about new release features and more.

          FreeBSD 13.0 has just reached release candidate 1 and is scheduled to come out at the end of March – with key new features including a complete LLVM toolchain, faster networking, and improved ZFS file system.

          Major new releases come every two years or so: 12.0 was pushed out in December 2018, and 12.2 in October 2020. We spoke to kernel developer John Baldwin and Ed Maste, who is a FreeBSD committer and director of Project Development for the FreeBSD Foundation.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Firefox browser updated to 86.0.1 » PCLinuxOS

          Mozilla Firefox browser has been updated to 86.0.1 which is a minor bug fix update. This package will appear as an update through the Synaptic Packager Manager if you have Firefox installed.

        • Brave Browser updated to 1.21.74 » PCLinuxOS

          The new Chrome based Brave browser automatically blocks ads and trackers, making it faster and safer than your current browser. One of the best looking Chromium based browser for Linux.

        • Calibre updated to 5.13.0 » PCLinuxOS

          Calibre is meant to be a complete e-library solution. It includes library management, format conversion, news feeds to ebook conversion as well as e-book reader sync features.

        • QMPlay2 updated to 21.03.09 » PCLinuxOS

          QMPlay2 is a video player, it can play all formats and stream supported by ffmpeg and libmodplug (including J2B). It has integrated Youtube and Wrzuta browser.

      • Debian Family

        • New SparkyLinux Release Includes a KDE Plasma Edition

          Sparky Linux developers have released SparkyLinux 2021.03, which is built on Debian “Bullseye” and is a rolling release distribution.

          This latest release of the lightweight SparkyLinux features many updates and new desktop environments, including a new KDE Plasma edition.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • FSFE at FOSDEM 2021

          FOSDEM, the biggest annual Free Software event in Europe, took place again this year on the first weekend in February. As every year, we organised a community event before FOSDEM and this year we also co-organised the Legal and Policy Devroom for the first time.

          While FOSDEM normally occurs every year in the Free University of Brussels, this year it happened online for the first time – and completely with Free Software. FOSDEM had more than 25 simultaneous talks at times, with accompanying interactive text-based chat rooms, live Q&A with the speakers on video, and “hallway track” breakout rooms after each talk where speakers and attendees could join video chat together and discuss the talk. According to the main FOSDEM organisers, they had a peak of 33,600 attendees. This year, FSFE is also honoured to have co-organised the Legal and Policy Devroom at FOSDEM for the first time. And like every year, we hosted a great community event before FOSDEM, this time with a keynote from Cory Doctorow.

        • Virtual LibrePlanet is full of space to explore!

          LibrePlanet 2021 is about to deliver a program bursting with something for everyone in the free software movement, from inquisitive newcomers to hardcore developers. There are tons of activities happening at and around LibrePlanet in the Free Software Foundation (FSF)’s online spaces this year, and we want to tell you all about them. Register now, and don’t miss out!

        • Cornelius Schumacher: 11 takeaways from a year of online conferences

          I love going to conferences. It’s how I learn, meet people, get inspiration, share my work, and have fun. The last conference I went to physically was FOSS Backstage in March 2020. It was great. I talked about Inner Source, met great people, had great discussions.

          That was one year ago. Conferences got cancelled or went virtual. I have been to a lot of virtual conferences since then. It’s great, attending doesn’t require travel, fees went down, with a few clicks you could join any conference on the planet. Sometimes it was attending one session and realizing that it wasn’t for me, sometimes it meant spending days in a different time zone.

          Of course it’s not the same, it’s different. So what have I taken away from a year of online conferences?

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox’s Multiple Picture-in-Picture feature is the gametime assist you need for this month’s big games | The Firefox Frontier

            This Firefox browser feature allows you to seamlessly pop any video out from the webpage into a floating, size-adjustable window in just one click. With the latest update you can pop out unlimited videos to the top of your screen while still working in other tabs and windows, as long as your computer and internet provider can handle it! You want to finish up the presentation for your boss while keeping track of the tournament live? Now you can. We can’t help if Gonzaga ruins their undefeated streak and sinks your bracket, but we can make sure that you see it all happen in real-time.

          • Mozilla GFX: WebGPU progress

            WebGPU is a new standard for graphics and computing on the Web. Our team is actively involved in the design and specification process, while developing an implementation in Gecko. We’ve made a lot of progress since the last public update in Mozilla Hacks blog, and we’d like to share!

          • Firefox 86.0.1 Released to Fix Frequent Linux Crash on Browser Launch, Other Bugs

            Firefox 86.0.1 is here as a bugfix update that fixes a frequent crash on Linux systems that occurred during browser launch, an issue causing windows to unexpectedly gain or lose focus, as well as an issue causing unexpected behavior with extensions managing tab groups.

            In addition, Firefox 86.0.1 addresses a bug with the truncation of date and time widgets due to incorrect width calculation and fixes an issue that caused the web browser to be unresponsive after system sleep on Apple Silicon machines.

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.7 “Esperanza” Released

          WordPress 5.7 codenamed “Esperanza” released this week with a few new features and many important improvements. Codename Esperanza has been given in honor of the wonderful musician Esperanza Spalding.

          The release brings in some new features, important fixes, and improvements. If you have not updated WordPress 5.7, it’s recommended to update to 5.7 ASAP.

          [...]

          Social media icons’ size is now customizable. Add social icons and select the ‘Size’ to choose between small, normal, large, and huge.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • MediaGoblin 0.11.0: Punky Magmalian

            This release of MediaGoblin marks the end of our support for Python 2 and of five years of concurrent support for both Python 2 and Python 3. That’s a major achievement, so congratulations to everyone who contributed.

            On reflection, the Python 3 transition has been bitter-sweet. Without doubt, Python 3 is both technically and ergonomically superior to Python 2, but I don’t think anyone in the Python community realised quite how long or how much work the transition would be. It’s been an especially challenging time for small projects like MediaGoblin and for anyone supporting a significant Python codebase on limited resources.

            Looking to the future, ending support for Python 2 significantly simplifies the maintenance of the project, making it easier to add new features and prevent bugs. We’re really excited about this! Although we’re not bug-free yet, as of this release our test suite is passing 100% and we’ll be continuing with further quality improvements.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Test cases and open source license enforcement

            A test case is a lawsuit brought primarily to achieve a policy outcome by securing a judicial ruling that reverses settled law or clarifies some disputed legal question. Bringing a test case typically involves carefully planning out where, when, and whom to sue and which legal arguments to advance in order to maximize the chances of winning the desired result. In the United States, we often see test case strategies used by public interest organizations to effect legal change that cannot practically be attained through other governmental means.

            But a test case strategy can be used by either side of a policy dispute. Even if a test case is successful, the real policy goal may continue to be elusive, given the limitations of case-specific court judgments, which may be met with administrative obstruction or legislative nullification. Test case litigation can also fail, sometimes disastrously—in the worst case, from the test litigant’s perspective, the court might issue a ruling that is the direct opposite of what was sought, as happened in Plessy v. Ferguson.

      • Programming/Development

        • Google Summer of Code 2021: On

          We are thrilled to announce that the ScummVM project was once again accepted for Google Summer of Code. This is always an exciting part of the year for us and this year is no different. For 2021 the GSoC program has been revamped by Google to be focused on smaller tasks and eligibility criteria for the students were relaxed.

        • Monitor SpaceX Rocket Launches With Software-Defined Radio | Hackaday

          Reddit users [derekcz] and [Xerbot] used a HackRF module to listen in to the Falcon 9’s data transmissions during its latest launch. While the HackRF is a much more expensive piece of equipment compared to the RTL-SDR dongles used to listen in on aircraft, it is much more capable as well, with a range from 1 MHz to 6 GHz. Using this SDR peripheral as well as a 1.2 m repurposed satellite dish, the duo were able to intercept the radio transmissions from the in-flight rocket. From there, they were recorded with GNU Radio, converted into binary data, and then translated into text.

        • Decoding The PS/2 Keyboard Protocol Using Good Old Fashioned Hardware | Hackaday

          1987 was a glorious year. It brought us the PS/2 keyboard standard that’s still present on many a motherboard back panel to this day. (It also marked the North America/Europe release of The Legend of Zelda but that’s another article.) Up until this point, peripherals were using DIN-5 and DE-9 (often mistakenly called DB9 and common for mice at the time) connectors or — gasp — non-standard proprietary connectors. So what was this new hotness all about? [Ben Eater] walks us through the PS/2 hall of fame by reverse-engineering the protocol.

        • GitLab Will Now Default To “Main” For New Git Repositories

          GitLab is following the same approach of GitHub and others in now using “main” as the default branch name for new Git repositories.

          [...]

          In a blog post yesterday, GitLab outlined the work they’ve been engaged in for now having main be the default branch name for GitLab.com and self-managed users with new repositories and the default branch name for the GitLab project itself is also changing from master to main. Existing projects will not be impacted unless the code owners go ahead and change the branch name on their own.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn ClojureScript – LinuxLinks

          ClojureScript is a compiler for Clojure that targets JavaScript. It emits JavaScript code which is compatible with the advanced compilation mode of the Google Closure optimizing compiler.

          Clojure is a dialect of the Lisp programming language. It’s a well-rounded language. It offers broad library support and runs on multiple operating systems. Clojure is a dynamic functional general purpose programming language that runs on the Java platform, combining the approachability and interactive development of a scripting language with an efficient and robust infrastructure for multi-threaded programming. Clojure features a rich set of immutable, persistent data structures, first-class functions and dynamic typing. Clojure programs are composed of expressions and written in terms of abstractions.

          Here’s our recommended tutorials to learn ClojureScript. If you’re looking for free ClojureScript programming books, check here.

        • Python

          • The Python Handbook

            The Python Handbook follows the 80/20 rule: learn 80% of the topic in 20% of the time.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Resilient Networks Can Save Lives

      The injustice and barriers getting in the way of people trying to stay connected are nearly identical to the injustices woven into our electrical grids.

    • Deepfake Of Tom Cruise Has Everyone Freaking Out Prematurely

      You may have heard that in recent days a series of deepfake videos appeared on TikTok of a fake Tom Cruise looking very Tom-Cruise-ish all while doing mostly non-Tom-Cruise-ish things. After that series of short videos came out, the parties responsible for producing them, Chris Ume and Cruise impersonator Miles Fisher, put out a compilation video sort of showing how this was all done.

    • Let’s Pretend

      My point here is not to take a position on whether the stereotypes in question are, or are not, offensive. My point concerns the dangers of “cancel culture” more generally. Statues have been pulled down and buildings renamed because of a growing awareness of just how equivocal as heroes some of our “heroes” actually are. Monuments to Confederate officers are obviously problematic. Few figures from the past bear close scrutiny, however. Lots of prominent individuals, including, the Reverend Robert Armistead Burwell, for whom an administration building at Queens University in North Carolina was named, turned out to have “direct ties to slavery.” Clyde Hoey, onetime North Carolina governor, after whom Western Carolina University’s auditorium was name, opposed racial integration. Needless to say, the names of these buildings were changed after these facts were discovered. These aren’t the only buildings to undergo name changes as the individuals after whom they were named were discovered to have feet of clay, so to speak. There’s been a spate of such renaming going on recently.

      There’s a legitimate question of where such “cancelling” should stop. Again, few heroes from the past hold up well under contemporary scrutiny. Even Abraham Lincoln, a hero of racial justice, looks bad if we shift our gaze from his role in eliminating slavery to his role relative to Native Americans. The Lincoln administration, according to an article in Washington Monthly, “oversaw the removal of the Navajos and the Mescalero Apaches from the New Mexico Territory, forcing the Navajo to march 450 miles to Bosque Redondo—a brutal journey. Eventually, more than 2,000 died before a treaty was signed” (“Lincoln: No Hero to Native Americans,” Washington Monthly, January/February, 2013). And that wasn’t it’s only crime.

    • Fire at Our Strasbourg Site

      At 00:47 on Wednesday 10 March 2021, a fire broke out in a room at one of our four OVHcloud datacentres in Strasbourg (SBG2).

      The fire was contained by the early hours of the morning.

      There are no injuries.

      The fire mostly destroyed the SBG2 datacentre and partially damaged the SBG1 datacentre (4 of the 12 rooms destroyed). The two other OVHcloud datacentres in Strasbourg were not affected by the fire; the SBG3 and SBG4 servers are currently switched off but undamaged.

      The site is not classified as a Seveso site.

      The cause of the fire has yet to be established and an investigation has been launched as mandated by the authorities.

    • OVHcloud data centre in Strasbourg destroyed in fire

      The building that was destroyed was known as SBG2. Three other data centres, SBG1, SBG3 and SBG4, have not been affected but are now inaccessible.

    • Blaze destroys servers at Europe’s largest cloud services firm

      A fire destroyed some servers and temporarily shutdown others at OVHcloud on Wednesday, just two days after the French cloud computing firm kicked off plans for an initial public offering.

      Europe’s largest cloud services provider told clients including the French government, the Centre Pompidou and cryptocurrency exchange Deribit to activate their disaster recovery plans following the blaze in Strasbourg, east France.

      The fire, which broke out shortly after midnight, destroyed one of four data centres and damaged another, the company said. The remaining two were shut down to contain the damage.

    • Fire destroys OVHCloud’s SBG2 data center in Strasbourg

      The data center, at the Rue du Bassin de l’Industrie at the Port du Rhin, caught fire at 12:40 am, according to a report by Antoine Bonin of local news site DNA, who reports: “When help arrived, the structure was completely set on fire, with flames bursting out several tens of meters in height.”

      The fire spread to two other buildings, damaging one other data center on the site. “A part of SBG1 is destroyed,” said a tweet from OVHcloud founder and chairman Octave Klaba, who recommended that customers activate disaster plans, as “the whole site has been isolated, which impacts all services in SBG1-4.”

    • Science

      • Microsoft Retracts Paper Claiming Quantum Computing Breakthrough

        “I don’t know for sure what was in their heads,” University of Pittsburgh professor Sergey Frolov who was not involved in the research, told Wired, “but they skipped some data that contradicts directly what was in the paper. From the fuller data, there’s no doubt that there’s no Majorana.”

      • Microsoft-led team retracts quantum ‘breakthrough

        And now, the researchers have accepted they were wrong. Their errors included:

        having “unnecessarily corrected” some of the data and not having made this clear

        mislabelling a graph, making it misleading

      • Retraction Note: Quantized Majorana conductance

        We can therefore no longer claim the observation of a quantized Majorana conductance, and wish to retract this Letter. After informing Nature of this decision, Nature issued an Editorial Expression of Concern and initiated the retraction process.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Doses Hoarded by US, UK, and EU Could Vaccinate Adults in 20 Countries Facing Worst Humanitarian Crises

        “Vaccinating people living in conflict is not just the right thing to do; it is the smart thing to do.”

      • Cuomo’s Nursing Home Scandal Raises Questions for One of His Senior Aides

        Last July, when the New York State Department of Health issued a report absolving the Cuomo administration of responsibility for the soaring number of COVID-19 deaths in the state’s nursing homes, Jim Malatras was tasked with handling what quickly became a storm of criticism.

        Health care experts and lawmakers had derided the report as deeply flawed and designed to provide political cover for Gov. Andrew Cuomo. But Malatras, a former administration official who had been brought back from a job in higher education to assist Cuomo in responding to the pandemic, did not shrink from his assignment.

      • Poor, poor, pitiful Prof. Gøtzsche: Antivaxxers and COVID-19 cranks are quoting him in support of their pseudoscience

        Remember those halcyon days over a year ago, back before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and became the number one medical topic in the world for months on end? Back in those days, antivaxxers, although still a threat to public health, weren’t the existential threat that they are today, given their ability to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the vaccines that are one of the major weapons that will eventually bring about the end of the pandemic. Back then, they spread fear mainly about the measles vaccine and HPV vaccines, while falsely claiming that vaccines have rendered our children the “sickest generation” and have been responsible for the obesity epidemic. (Well, that and trying to frighten people out of vaccinating in the middle of a deadly measles epidemic.) Back in those days, I once took the very eminent former director of the Nordic Cochrane Collaborative, Prof. Peter Gøtzsche, to task for having agreed to speak at a conference organized by Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC), a virulently antivaccine physicians group. True, he did ultimately back out, but only after a social media firestorm that took him to task for having agreed to appear on the same bill with antivax leaders Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (RFK Jr.) and Mary Holland, along with a veritable rogues’ gallery of mid-level antivax activists.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Peter Dutton launches Cyber Security Industry Advisory Committee Ransomware Paper [iophk: Windows TCO]

          To build awareness about the ransomware threat, the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, and Chair of the Cyber Security Industry Advisory Committee, Telstra CEO Andrew Penn, have released the Committee’s first paper: “Locked out: Tackling the ransomware threat.”

          We’re told this paper, a detailed, 14-page PDF, “helps educate businesses to protect themselves by making a number of recommendations relating to email security, multi-factor authentication, software updates, training, back-ups, data lifecycle management and built in security features.

        • Verkada Security Firm Cameras Hacked, Includes Tesla [Ed: Do not connect proprietary software to an Internet network]

          While security hacks are always disconcerting, the recent Verkada security firm camera hack did have a benefit – at least for one of the hackers. He revealed the reason the cameras were hacked was it was “too much fun not to do it.”

        • Verkada surveillance cameras at Tesla, hundreds more businesses breached: [crackers]

          The [cracking] group, if it had chosen, could have used its control of the camera gear to access other parts of company networks at Tesla and software makers Cloudflare Inc and Okta Inc, according to Kottmann.

        • [Crackers] Target Tesla, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Sweeping Security Camera Breach

          Kottman said the collective then gained access to live feeds of 150,000 surveillance cameras, as well as the video archives of all of Verkada’s customers and Verkada’s balance sheet. Most company balance sheets contain a listing of its financial assets, liabilities and equity for any owners.

        • Is Congress finally ready to pass meaningful ransomware legislation? [iophk: Windows TCO]

          With the epidemic of digital extortion showing no signs of abating, though, and as ransomware attacks claim ever more victims across all parts of the U.S., evidence is mounting that the next two years could bring a more concerted push for legitlation.

          “I think it will be a focus because essentially every congressional district has had some kind of ransomware incident, whether public or not,” said Michael Garcia, a senior policy adviser in the national security program at Third Way, a center-left think tank. “Just look at the number of hospitals getting hit, of schools being hit.”

        • Spanish labor agency suffers ransomware attack, union says

          The cyberattack on Spain’s State Public Employment Service (SEPE) affected the agency’s offices around the country, forcing employees to use pen and paper to take appointments, according to the Central Independent Trade Union and Civil Servants. The union alleged that the SEPE had aging IT systems that the agency had not upgraded.

          SEPE plays an integral part in distributing unemployment benefits in a country where the coronavirus pandemic has hammered the economy. The number of jobless people in Spain is now 4 million, its highest rate in five years, according to official data. But SEPE Director Gerardo Gutiérrez said an interview with Spanish broadcaster RNE that the incident had not affected unemployment benefits, and that it has not led to the theft of personal data.

        • Federal agencies warn Microsoft vulnerabilities pose ‘serious risk’ to government, private sector

          The FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned Wednesday that recently uncovered vulnerabilities in a Microsoft email application pose a “serious risk” to federal agencies and the private sector, noting that thousands of groups were at risk of being targeted by hackers.

          The two agencies additionally assessed that both nation-state actors and cyber criminals were exploiting the previously unknown vulnerabilities on Microsoft Exchange Server, which were reported publicly by Microsoft last week.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • New open source project helps musicians jam together even when they’re not together [Ed: The so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation has just outsourced another project to Microsoft’s proprietary software trap. Amazing self-harm.]

                Today, the Linux Foundation announced that it would be adding Rend-o-matic to the list of Call for Code open source projects that it hosts. The Rend-o-matic technology was originally developed as part of the Choirless project during a Call for Code challenge as a way to enable musicians to jam together regardless of where they are. Initially developed to help musicians socially distance because of COVID 19, the application has many other benefits, including bringing together musicians from different parts of the world and allowing for multiple versions of a piece of music featuring various artist collaborations. The artificial intelligence powering Choirless ensures that the consolidated recording stays accurately synchronized even through long compositions, and this is just one of the pieces of software being released under the new Rend-o-matic project.

              • How open source communities are driving 5G’s future, even within a large government like the US

                agreement with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), enabling US Government suppliers to collaborate on a common open source platform that will enable the adoption of 5G wireless and edge technologies by the government. Governments face similar issues to enterprise end-users — if all their suppliers deliver incompatible solutions, the integration burden escalates exponentially.

                The first collaboration, Open Programmable Secure 5G (OPS-5G), currently in the formative stages, will be used to create open source software and systems enabling end-to-end 5G and follow-on mobile networks.

        • Security

          • Linux Foundation unveils Sigstore — a Let’s Encrypt for code signing [Ed: Microsoft boosters support centralisation and monopolisation of Linux trust]

            The Linux Foundation, Red Hat, Google, and Purdue have unveiled the free ‘sigstore’ service that lets developers code-sign and verify open source software to prevent supply-chain attacks.

          • A new Linux Foundation open source signing tool could make secure software supply chains universal [Ed: Linux Foundation PR/media partner TechRepublic the latest to promote fake security]

            Called sigstore, the new cryptographic signing platform uses public logging similar to (but not the same as) cryptocurrencies and other blockchain technologies, the end result of which eliminates many of the security risks associated with traditional digital signing technologies. As opposed to using actual blockchains, sigstore uses transparency logs, which it said are more resilient to majority attacks, avoid canonicalization and are more mature.

          • Linux community project aims to tackle dependency confusion attacks with easy code signing, verification [Ed: Linux Foundation pushing fake security (monopoly disguised as "security") with help from paid-for media partners]

            Google has teamed up with the Linux community on a new project that aims to make open source software more secure through easy code signing and verification.

          • Sigstore Project Aims to Secure Software Supply Chain

            The new sigstore project, recently announced by the Linux Foundation, aims to improve the security of the software supply chain by allowing developers to securely sign software components.

          • Microsoft Windows Containers Privilege Escalation ≈ Packet Storm
          • Microsoft Proposes Unprivileged Chroot On Linux

            Microsoft engineer Mickaël Salaün has re-proposed a Linux kernel patch from 2012 that allows processes without the CAP_SYS_CHROOT capability to use the chroot system call. Other kernel developers are not amused.

            [...]

            Long-time kernel developer Eric W. Biederman from Arista Networks, who literally wrote the book on Virtual servers and checkpoint/restart in mainstream Linux, was not amused.

            [...]

            Intel engineer Casey Schaufler, who has worked on Unix and Unix-like kernels since the 1970s, was also skeptical to the proposed change to the Linux chroot system. He noted that no_new_privs isn’t something code should rely too much on because it is “imperfect”.

            [...]

            The re-proposed chroot patch by Andy Lutomirski from 2012 would fundamentally change how chroot works on Linux even though the patch itself is rather small. The patch did not pass the smell test in 2012 and it would appear that the more seasoned kernel developers are as unhappy with the proposal today as they were nine years ago. It seems unlikely that this (re-)proposal will get approved by Linus Torvalds or even reach him (kernel patches are screened several times before they reach Torvalds so he can make a final decision).

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Activists and Rights Groups Sue Clearview AI, Warning ‘We Won’t Be Safe’ Until Facial Recognition Firm Is Gone

              “There can be no meaningful privacy in a society with Clearview AI,” said lead attorney Sejal Zota.

            • SEC Sues AT&T For Leaking Info To Analysts To Cover Up Drooping Smartphone Sales

              AT&T had a damn good ride during the Trump administration. Not only did it convince Trump regulators to effectively lobotomize the nation’s top telecom regulator (right before a pandemic, no less), the company got billions in tax breaks for doing effectively nothing. And while the government did sue AT&T over the Time Warner merger, that had more to do with making Rupert Murdoch happy than making life hard on AT&T (AT&T won the lawsuit anyway). All told, AT&T nabbed billions upon billions in regulatory favors, merger approvals, and tax breaks. In exchange the US public saw…58,000 layoffs.

            • App Stores Have Kicked Out Some Location Data Brokers. Good, Now Kick Them All Out.

              We’ve written about the problems with app-store monopolies: companies shouldn’t have control over what software users can choose to run on their devices. But that doesn’t mean app stores shouldn’t moderate. On the contrary, Apple and Google have a responsibility to make sure the apps they sell, and profit from, do not put their users at risk of harms like unwarranted surveillance. Kicking out two data brokers helps to protect users, but it’s just a first step. 

              X-Mode and Predicio have each been the subject of reports over the past year that reveal how U.S. government agencies—including the Department of Defense and ICE—try to work around the 4th Amendment by buying location data on the private market. In 2018, the Supreme Court handed down U.S. v. Carpenter, a landmark decision which ruled that location data collected from cell phone towers is protected by the 4th Amendment. This means law enforcement can’t get your location from your cell carrier without a warrant. 

              But dozens of companies are still collecting the same location from a different source—mobile apps—and making it available to law enforcement, defense, intelligence, immigration, and other government agencies. Data brokers entice app developers to install pieces of third-party code, called SDKs, which collect raw GPS data and feed it directly to the brokers. These data brokers then resell the location feeds to advertisers, hedge funds, other data brokers, and governments all around the world.

            • EFF to Supreme Court: Users Must Be Able to Hold Tech Companies Accountable in Lawsuits When Their Data is Mishandled
            • Internet Advocates Call on ISPs to Commit to Basic User Privacy Protections

              As people have learned more about how companies like Google and Facebook track them online they are increasingly taking steps to protect themselves, but there is one relatively unknown way that companies and bad actors can collect troves of data.Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T are your gateway to the Internet. These companies have complete, unfettered, and unregulated access to a constant stream of your browsing history that can build a profile that they can sell or otherwise use without your consent.Last year, Comcast committed to a broad range of DNS privacy standards. Companies like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile – which have a major market share of mobile broadband customers in the U.S. – haven’t even committed to these basic protections like not tracking website traffic, deleting DNS logs, or refusing to sell users’ information. What’s more, these companies have a history of abusing customer data: AT&T (along with Sprint and T-Mobile) sold customer location data to bounty hunters and Verizon injected trackers bypassing user control. Every single ISP should have a responsibility to protect the privacy of its users – and as mobile internet access continues to grow, that responsibility rests even more squarely on the shoulders of mobile ISPs. As our partner, Consumer Reports, notes: even opting in to secondary uses of data can be convoluted for consumers. Companies shouldn’t be able just bury consent within their terms of service or use a dark pattern to get people to click “OK” and still claim they are acting with users’ explicit consent.

              Nearly every single website you visit transmits your data to dozens or even hundreds of companies. This pervasive and intrusive personal surveillance has become the norm, and it won’t cease without action from us.

              In that vein, Mozilla, the Internet Society, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation are individually and collectively taking steps to protect consumers’ right to data privacy. A key element of that is an effective baseline federal privacy law that curbs data abuses by ISPs and other third parties and gives consumers meaningful control over how their personal data is used.

            • The Future of Gerrymandering in Virginia

              In any event, the Democracy Index is fraught with anomalies. In the 2020 Index, the US is ranked 25thout of 167 countries, and placed in the “flawed democracy” category, while the UK is ranked 17th and placed in the “full democracy” category— notwithstanding the fact that evidence emerges daily relating to the Tory government’s massive corruption in awarding no-bid Covid procurement contracts worth tens of billions to its cronies.

              In the UK, the budget revealed last week showed, in its fine print, that funding in 2021/22 for the disastrously inefficient test and trace system alone (this excludes contracts for PPE, etc.) commits “a further £15 billion next year”, on top of £22bn this financial year to March 31, taking total expenses for the broken-backed service to a massive £37bn/$52bn over two years.

            • Facebook’s Encryption Plans Back Under Attack by U.K. Lawmaker

              The U.K.’s digital minister warned he had “very grave concerns” about Facebook Inc.’s plans to expand end-to-end encryption across all user communications, continuing a longstanding battle by the government against the U.S. company’s messaging tools.

              Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden said both he and Home Secretary Priti Patel are speaking with Facebook “at all levels” about encryption, in a press conference on Wednesday.

            • Not the Encryption Apocalypse…Yet

              Even if the claim in Schnorr’s paper gets scaled back after academic peer review – the essence of the scientific process is that one publishes one’s ideas early and tries to get them proven or disproven, which is what is happening here – this serves as a wake-up call. RSA will, at some point, crumble, as will all cryptographic methods in time. For example, we know that functional quantum computers will be able to crack RSA keys easily as well as a few other commonly used cryptographic schemes. But the development of quantum computers at the scale needed to do this is an engineering quest that will likely take decades. That means we still have time to gradually phase out RSA for updated crypto algorithms that are safe from known attacks, such as those that can be orchestrated with quantum computing.

            • Slow down, Twitter Roskomnadzor throttles Twitter over failure to remove ‘illegal content’

              On the morning of Wednesday, March 10, Russia’s information watchdog, Roskomnadzor, announced that going forward Twitter will be slowed down for users in Russia. The new restrictions will affect photo and video content in particular, though the department warned that it has “every reason” to ban Twitter all together. Soon after the announcement, a number of official websites suddenly went down — including the sites for the Kremlin and Roskomnadzor itself. However, the government insisted that the disruptions had nothing to do with the move to limit the speed of Twitter.

            • Russia Puts The Brakes On Twitter, Slows Its Speed For ‘Failure’ To Remove Banned Content

              According to Roskomnadzor, as of March 10 Twitter had 3,168 posts with banned content on its site, including more than 2,500 posts encouraging suicide among minors. The Roskomnadzor statement also referred to content on illegal drugs and pornography.

            • Russia restricts Twitter for failing to remove banned content

              Russia’s state communications watchdog said on Wednesday it was restricting the use of Twitter by slowing down its speed, accusing the social media platform of repeatedly failing to remove banned content from its site.

            • Russia restricts Twitter services over ‘illegal’ content

              An official from the communications watchdog told Russian news agency Ifax that the slowdown of Twitter’s services would only affect images and video, not text. They also confirmed that the measures would stay in place until the platform has removed all the content under complaint.

            • Twitter partially throttled in Russia as regulator imposes protective measures

              The service restrictions come as Russian internet regulatory body Roskomnadzor announces protective measures to protect the public from harmful content, citing an alleged failure by Twitter to remove harmful content over extended periods of time.

            • Russia Clamps Down on Twitter

              Russia’s Internet regulatory body, Roskomnadzor, announced it had slowed down Twitter’s ability to function in Russia effective Wednesday — part of what authorities said was an initial penalty for the American social media platform’s failure to delete illegal content inside the country.

              According to a statement posted on Roskomnadzor’s website, 100 percent of mobile devices and 50 percent of stationary devices using Twitter would face a disruption in service in an effort to “protect Russian citizens.”

            • Russia Says It Is Slowing Access to Twitter

              The Russian government said on Wednesday that it was slowing access to Twitter, accusing the social network of failing to remove illegal content and signaling that the Kremlin is escalating its offensive against American internet companies that have long provided a haven for freedom of expression.

              It was a landmark step in a country where the internet has essentially remained free despite President Vladimir V. Putin’s authoritarian rule. But it did not go off without a hitch: As media regulators tried to slow access to Twitter, dozens of Russian government websites went offline for about an hour, a crash that some experts said most likely stemmed from a technical glitch in the state’s move against the social network.

            • Jellyfin and metadata privacy

              I recently migrated my home media server to Jellyfin. One of the advantages of using it is that it can supplement your (mainstream) media collection with poster graphics and rich metadata pulled in from sources like The Movie Database (TMDb) and TheTVDB. As with everything that talks to someone else’s servers, this feature comes at a cost to privacy.

              To gather more information about your media collection, Jellyfin needs to share what it already knows about it with the metadata provider. Typical data includes the title and release year (extracted from the file or its path) for movies, and the same plus parent and grandparent directory names for TV shows. In some situations, more data may be transmitted.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • The Environment Versus How Many Jobs?
      • Youth Climate Activists Seek Court Ruling That US Fossil Fuel-Based System Is Unconstitutional

        A win in the case would “hold current and future lawmakers accountable for protecting the rights of youth,” said attorney Julia Olson.

      • Will Covid-19 Be a Tipping Point for Climate Action?

        Then Covid hit. The tiny SARS-CoV-2 virus, so small that 10 trillion of them weigh less than a raindrop, stopped everything. For a year, people have huddled in their homes, taking care of loved ones, grieving those they lost. Most of us didn’t fly, didn’t go out to dinner, didn’t go to clubs. Some of us lost jobs, homes, savings, hope. The toll the virus took on our hearts and minds and souls is beyond calculation.

        What’s not beyond calculation, however, is the toll the shut-down took on the fossil-fuel economy. Natural gas wells were forced to shut down in Texas, pushing small producers into bankruptcy. With air travel stalled and driving curtailed, oil prices collapsed. At the beginning of 2020, the global price of oil hovered at about $60 a barrel. By April, it had dropped below zero. By August, the decline had been so rapid and so unsettling that ExxonMobil, once the defining American corporation of the 20th century, was delisted from the S&P 500.

      • Stranded Assets a Long-Term Risk for Major Fossil Fuel Exporters

        Fossil exporters face a loss of GDP, government revenue and export receipts from the transition to a lower-carbon economy over the coming decades. For the most-exposed sovereigns and those that do not adequately prepare for it, climate change stranded-asset risk is likely to lead to rating downgrades as the effects become clearer, closer and more material, Fitch Ratings says in a new report.

      • Why Two Polar Wonder Women Are Braving the Arctic Winter Alone—Again

        “Up here in the Arctic, everything changes twice as fast as in the rest of the world. Climate change is happening all over the world, but here it’s accelerating and it’s a lot more visible up in the Arctic,” says Strøm, adding, “That’s why it’s a mirror to the rest of the world. The temperature is rising four times as fast than in the rest of the world.”

      • Do You Really Need to Fly?

        Then there’s climate change, an inescapable cost of flying. Aviation accounts for just about 2.5 percent of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions, but for complex reasons airplane emissions actually contribute more to warming the planet than their carbon output would suggest. Another problem is the per-use cost of flying; just one long round-trip flight can produce more carbon, per passenger, than the average person in many countries produces in a year. One round-trip trans-Atlantic flight is almost enough to wipe out the gains you might get from living car-free for a year, according to one estimate.

        Suzanne Neufang, the C.E.O. of the Global Business Travel Association, said airlines are working on ways to make their flights carbon neutral. Her group predicts business travel will return to 2019 levels by 2025, but when it does, she says, it may have much less environmental impact. “It doesn’t have to necessarily come back in the same way,” she told me.

        But I’m skeptical. It will likely be decades before the aviation industry becomes carbon neutral, if it ever does. In the meantime, we’ve found a perfectly reasonable alternative to meeting up in person. Log in, and fly less.

      • “A Big Deal”: Bill McKibben on Rutgers Fossil Fuel Divestment & the Future of Climate Justice

        Rutgers University has voted to begin divesting from fossil fuels, following a campaign by the student-organized Endowment Justice Collective that grew out of the Global Climate Strike in 2019. The organizing efforts led to a referendum vote in 2020 in which 90% of students supported divestment. About 5% of Rutgers’s $1.6 billion endowment is invested in fossil fuels, and under the terms of the agreement, it will now cease new fossil fuel investment and divest from passive index funds with fossil fuel investments. It said it also plans to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency and that the school’s investment office will annually report on divestment progress. Author, environmentalist and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben says the Rutgers divestment decision is “a big deal,” especially as it happened at one of the oldest universities in the United States. “It’s one more sign of just how much the zeitgeist has shifted,” he says.

      • Energy

        • Opinion | Deregulated, Privatized Utilities in Texas Are Designed for Private Gain at Public Expense

          My family spent the Texas freeze cold and dirty and parched while utilities bilked us and politicians fled to resorts.

        • Nornickel pays record fine for May 2020 oil spill in the Russian Arctic

          The Russian industrial giant Nornickel has paid in full a 146.2-billion-ruble ($1.96-billion) fine for the damages caused by a massive fuel spill at a thermal power plant belonging to its subsidiary, the Norilsk-Taimyr Energy Company, in the Arctic city of Norilsk in May 2020.

        • ‘Don’t Patronize Me’: Katie Porter Tears Into Oil Exec for Claiming His Industry Doesn’t Get Special Tax Breaks

          “The wonderful Rep. Katie Porter provides a signal moment in congressional history. And it’s a sign of the weakening position of the oil industry—no deference to these liars any longer.”

        • Rep. Katie Porter Refutes Claim That Oil Industry Doesn’t Get Special Tax Breaks
        • Bill McKibben Says Rutgers Divesting From Fossil Fuels Is a “Big Deal”
        • Japanese nuclear power station leaves toxic legacy

          Ten years ago, the Japanese nuclear power station at Fukushima was devastated by a tsunami. Its baleful ruins remain today.

        • Fukushima: Ten Years On the Disaster Continues

          Ten years ago today the Fukushima nuclear disaster began. It is far from over. It won’t be over for decades to come at best.

          On March 11, 2011, an earthquake caused the reactors at the Fukushima nuclear complex in Japan to shut down. A tsunami soon followed that flooded the emergency generators, cutting power to the pumps that circulate cooling water into the reactor cores and catastrophe struck: three nuclear meltdowns, three hydrogen explosions, and the release of more radiation into the atmosphere than any nuclear accident in history except the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. 8% of the Japanese landmass was contaminated by radioactive fallout. 154,000 people had to be evacuated.

          The disaster has never stopped. Radioactive water has been leaking into the Pacific Ocean for ten years. Pumped-in water has been required to cool the melted down reactor cores as well as the spent fuel in and around three other previously shut-down Fukushima reactors whose building structures were also damaged by the earthquake. For ten years now, water has been pumped into the containments vessels for the reactor cores and into the spent fuel pools to prevent further meltdown. This coolant water becomes radioactive. Much of it is stored in huge tanks on site, but they are running out of storage space. The Japanese government and the nuclear complex operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), now want to dump this radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. But radioactive water has been seeping into the ocean at unknown rates for ten years because the containment vessels are breached at their bottom due to the core meltdowns, resulting in some coolant water, as well as clean groundwater that seeps uncontrollably into the containment vessels and gets contaminated, migrating into the ocean.

          [...]

          Uranium mining is about the dirtiest industry on Earth. Navajo uranium miners had a lung cancer rate 29 times higher than other Navajos before the Navajos banned uranium mining on their land. The niner’s children grew up drinking from contaminated wells and are now suffering from radiation-related diseases, while their grandchildren still play around the abandoned uranium pits and slag piles. The breaching of the Church Rock uranium tailings pond in 1979 released more radiation than any nuclear accident in U.S. history, including the Three Mile Island meltdown, and rendered groundwater and the Rio Puerco unusable by Navajos living in this area north of Gallup, New Mexico.

          Nuclear power is dangerous. Catastrophic accidents like Fukushima, Chernobyl, and others do happen. The older the nukes get, the more prone they are to serious accidents as metals become brittle from radiation. Embrittlement means reactor containment vessels and other metal structures become weaker and especially vulnerable when emergency cooling with cold water creates a pressure cooker environment that could result in cracking, containment failure, and the release of massive amounts of radiation. The NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Agency, or as anti-nuclear activists call it, Nuclear Rubberstamp Agency) has extended the operating lifetimes of many nukes designed to operate for 40 years to 60 years, and some to 80 years, and is now considering applications for 100 years.

          Nuclear power is uneconomical. It has never been able to operate profitably without massive subsidies like the Price-Anderson Act, which provides (partial) government insurance coverage against nuclear accidents because the private insurance industry won’t insure them.

          Lazard – the world’s leading financial advisory and asset management firm – produces annual reports on the costs of different forms of energy. Lazard reports that the cost of new nuclear power is $119 to $192 per megawatt-hour, compared to $32 to $42 for utility-scale solar and between $20 and $54 for onshore wind per megawatt-hour. In other words, nuclear costs at least two to three times more than wind and solar. That’s why markets are not investing in nuclear. They are putting all of their energy investments into renewables. Nuclear power can only continue with government subsidies.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Will the Race for Electric Vehicles Endanger the Earth’s Most Sensitive Ecosystem?
        • Opinion | The Rights of Nature: We Need Nature More Than It Needs Us

          This concept of nature existing in its own right as a living entity—not merely as inert property to be extracted and exploited for profit—is the essence of a rapidly spreading Rights of Nature movement. 

        • Peter Byrne and Will Carruthers: National Park Service is betraying its mission at Northern California’s Point Reyes National Seashore – The Project Censored Show

          Notes: Peter Byrne is an award-winning investigative journalist who has written on a wide array of topics, from science and medicine to public finance. His article “Apocalypse Cow” can be read here. All of Byrne’s work can be found here.

        • Wolves Will be Wolves, So Let’s Manage the Humans

          These facts provide some important context for a situation happening right now near Reserve, N.M. on the Gila National Forest. One rancher – who shall remain nameless – is experiencing significant levels of wolf predation grazing their livestock on public lands. This rancher is requesting that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service remove the culpable wolf or wolves and raising a stink online about their losses, generating a whole lot of sympathy for their heavily-subsidized livestock operation, and gaining some support from regional elected officials.

          But here’s the thing. For reasons that aren’t quite clear, this particular rancher repeatedly places bred cattle onto the same public lands pastures, year after year, in full knowledge that calves dropping in December, January, and February are disproportionately likely to die of natural causes, and are irresistible to wolves. The ranch has been losing cows and calves every winter, yet nothing has changed with the livestock management regime to avoid this conflict. The ranch, in turn, demands that wolves be removed each year.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Ohio Congressman Tells GOP: “Stop Talking About Dr. Seuss” and “Start Working”
      • March 10, 1991 Snapshots of Moscow during one of biggest protest rallies in Russia’s history

        On March 10, 1991, a major opposition demonstration took place in the center of Moscow. Though estimates of the crowd size vary, the rally remains one of the largest protests in Russia’s modern history. As many as half a million people filled Moscow’s Manezhnaya Square near the Kremlin, demanding the resignation of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and expressing their support for Boris Yeltsin, who would go on to become the first president of the independent Russian Federation. The demonstration was also a protest against the preservation of the USSR — a question at the center of a referendum that would take place a week later. In that vote, most Soviet citizens endorsed the Union’s continued existence, but the country and its empire nevertheless collapsed later that year.

      • Opinion | Biden Must Wield the Power of the Presidency and Get Manchin and Sinema to Fall in Line

        There is no excuse for two Democratic senators to allow Republicans to stomp on our democracy and entrench their minority rule for generations.

      • Calls Grow for Biden to Remove Trump Holdovers Who Want to Gut Social Security
      • Resurrected Politically, Lula Goes After Bolsonaro’s ‘Moronic’ Handling of Covid-19 Pandemic

        “This country is disorganized and falling apart because it has no government,” said the former Brazilian president.

      • ‘RT’ announces plans to sue German tabloid over allegations of ‘spying on Navalny’

        Russia’s state-controlled television network RT intends to take legal action against the German tabloid Bild over allegations that journalists working for RT Deutsch (RT German) were instructed to spy on Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny while he was recovering from chemical nerve agent poisoning in Germany.  

      • Too Radical for Harvard? Cornel West on Failed Fight for Tenure, Biden’s First 50 Days & More

        The prominent scholar and activist Cornel West has announced he is leaving Harvard Divinity School after he was denied consideration for tenure, and will rejoin the faculty of Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where he started his teaching career more than 40 years ago. West had left Harvard once before in 2002 and returned to a nontenured position at Harvard in 2017. The news about the denial of West’s request for tenure has led to an outpouring of support and incited conversation about diversity in academia. “There’s too much Harvard dishonesty, too much Harvard hypocrisy, in terms of mistreating too many Black folk at high levels,” says West, who suggests his political activism and vocal support of Palestinian rights likely played a part in Harvard’s decision. “The most taboo issue on U.S. campuses these days, in many instances, has to do with the vicious Israeli occupation of precious Palestinians.” West also discusses Joe Biden’s first 50 days as president and says that while there is some good news on domestic policy, he’s “not too encouraged” on Biden’s foreign policy.

      • Russian lawmakers adopt in first reading bill exempting officials from punishment for ‘accidental corruption’

        The Russian State Duma has adopted in the first reading two draft laws exempting government officials, judges, lawmakers, and employees of state-owned companies from punishment in the event that they violate anti-corruption laws “accidentally.” 

      • House Passage of Historic Union Rights Bill Intensifies Pressure on Dem Senators to ‘Stop Hiding Behind’ Filibuster

        “Once again, the key obstacle in the way of passing this legislation is the Jim Crow filibuster.”

      • Opinion | Stop Stacey: We Don’t Think So
      • Trump Is Battling the GOP for Use of His Image to Attract Small Donors
      • Catalonia: The EU’s Secret Shame

        My very real enthusiasm for the European Union had survived decades of sometimes bruising encounters with reality before being fatally holed by the strong political support given by European Council, Commission and Parliament to the brutal and violent suppression of Catalonia’s independence referendum. Subsequently, while I still view membership of the single market as beyond argument beneficial, I have been an enthusiast for membership of the customs union and EEA/EFTA, but agnostic on full EU membership and the political union.

      • When Imagination Failed: Revisiting Intelligence Failures

        The culprits in virtually every previous intelligence failure were wrong assumptions and the absence of applying imagination to the evidence at hand.  In addition to Pearl Harbor and the insurrection of January 6, we can cite the October War of 1973; the Khomeini Revolution of 1979; the Polish crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement in 1981; the Chinese crackdown in Tiananmen Square in 1989; the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991; and the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

        The key to flawed assumptions was often cultural superiority and outright racism.  The indicators of the Japanese attack in 1941 were based on deciphering Japanese diplomatic codes, but they were downplayed because U.S. intelligence officers strongly believed that Japan lacked the grit and the technological ability to attack U.S. forces.  Similarly, U.S. and Israeli intelligence dismissed ample evidence of a joint Egyptian-Syrian attack in 1973 despite a highly placed Egyptian source because U.S. and Israeli intelligence officers dismissed Arab ability to forge a coalition, mount a successful attack, and even consider taking on a “superior” Israeli force.

      • Far-right news sources on Facebook more engaging

        Facebook has become a major way people find news and information in an increasingly politically polarized nation. We analyzed how users interacted with different types of posts promoted as news in the lead-up to and aftermath of the U.S. 2020 elections. We found that politically extreme sources tend to generate more interactions from users. In particular, content from sources rated as far-right by independent news rating services consistently received the highest engagement per follower of any partisan group. Additionally, frequent purveyors of far-right misinformation had on average 65% more engagement per follower than other far-right pages. We found: [...]

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Kentucky Senators Pass Bill That Would Make It A Crime To Say Mean Things To Cops

        A bill [PDF] that’s likely headed to a dead end at the governor’s desk or a state court targets protected speech that might make some cops angry. The bill may end up dead, but the Kentucky Senate still needs to explain how it let the bill pass, considering it contains this very, very stupid addition, presumably courtesy of the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Danny Carroll — a former police officer.

      • Content Moderation Case Studies: The Challenges In Moderating Information Regarding Eating Disorders (2012)

        Summary: In 2012, the Huffington Post did an exposé on eating disorder blogs, mainly on the site Tumblr. It discussed the world of “thinspo” and “thinspiration” blogs, that focused on building a community around losing unhealthy amounts of weight. In response, Tumblr announced that it was banning “self harm” blogs, and classified eating disorder blogs among those no longer allowed.

      • Judge Rejects Application of Israeli Law in Landmark Defamation Case Against Palestinian Activist

        A Palestinian-American activist has vowed to continue fighting Apartheid after winning a court case brought against her in the U.S. by a former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldier. Suhair Nafal was facing a defamation suit over a 2018 Facebook post condemning the murder that summer of Palestinian nurse Razan al-Najjar during the Great March of Return. The case was brought by Israeli-American Rebecca Rumshiskaya, who was seeking $6 million in damages after Nafal described her as “evil” for joining the Israeli military.

      • What’s up, Josh? No Facebook deals for Nine, News and ABC

        A shade over two weeks since Treasurer Josh Frydenberg crowed that Australia had put in place “world-leading legislation” to bring Facebook and Google into line, no big news organisation has signed a deal with Facebook to share news content.

        Only Seven News and three small companies have signed deals for unknown amounts.

      • More Governments Disrupt Internet for Political Control

        In 2020, there were 155 internet shutdowns in 29 countries, according to Access Now, a digital rights group.

        While that is fewer than shutdowns in the prior two years, blockages are used more for political control, said Raman Jit Singh Chima, Asia policy director and senior international counsel at Access Now.

        India, with 109 shutdowns mostly in Indian-administered Kashmir,

        had the highest number. In Belarus, the internet went down for 61 hours in August after the presidential election.

        In addition to shutdowns, some governments are installing new censorship and surveillance capabilities on their networks. Cambodia is setting up an internet gateway to give the government the ability to surveil and censor internet users.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Turkish journalist Levent Gültekin beaten by a mob

        The journalist recounted the incident on Halk TV after the attack, saying that after he exited a taxi a group of 15 to 20 people followed him, surrounded him, and began to hit him. In security camera footage posted in online news reports, Gültekin is seen being kicked while he lies on the street. Gültekin tweeted today that his fingers were broken in the attack.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Get Rid of Helms Amendment—’A Racist, Colonial Relic’

        One analysis estimates the repeal would result in 19 million fewer unsafe abortions each year.

      • Opinion | Violence Towards Asian Americans Has Skyrocketed

        The scapegoating of Asian Americans is taking an ugly, violent turn.

      • Opinion | Like the Diana Story, Meghan’s Fight With the Royals Will Ensure Nothing Really Changes

        The Royal Family, the perpetuation of privilege and the erosion of democracy will march on as before, in the same long and glorious British tradition.

      • Opinion | Racism Among the Royals? Really?

        While Queen Elizabeth the person may be off the hook for asking about Archie’s complexion, the monarchy’s not off the hook for colonialism or white supremacy. 

      • Rights Groups Say Biden’s Denial of Visas to Victims of Muslim Ban Has ‘Cemented Trump’s Legacy of Harm’

        “To those families whose dreams were crushed by the Muslim Ban over the past four years, the Biden administration has sent a clear message: sorry, start over and pay us again.”

      • Sahir at 100: Raising Socio-Political Awareness Through Poetry

        His great and undying love for his mother created in him even more depth of emotion that would perhaps have not been realized otherwise. His tragic family situation further invoked intense compassion for his mother due to her tragic circumstances.

        His connection to his mother was of such strength that he left the world soon after his mother’s death, at only 59 years.

      • “Pro-Life” Texas Lawmaker Introduces Bill Imposing Death Penalty for Abortion
      • The House Just Passed the Most Sweeping Labor Legislation of This Generation
      • A Russian Woman Russia’s 2021 pick for Eurovision Song Contest provokes a stream of xenophobic comments online

        On International Women’s Day (March 8), singer Manizha won the Russian ticket to the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest. She’s now set to perform her song “Russian Woman” in Rotterdam in May. While many celebrated the selection, Manizha becoming Russia’s pick led to a torrent of hateful comments online over her Tajik roots and outspoken support for LGBTQ+ people. Here’s what you need to know about Manizha, her music, and the backlash she has faced.

      • Can’t Spit, Can’t Sleep, Can’t Get Warm: the Everyday Cruelty of Police Harassment in Albuquerque

        There is no law against spitting on the sidewalk. Albuquerque Police Department (APD) officer Nathan Bjork gave Nimbus a criminal summons for “conduct offensive to public [sic]” anyway, citing a 1978 state statute in his criminal complaint that had been repealed in 2018 by the New Mexico State Legislature. Bjork’s decision to criminalize Nimbus’s behavior was callous and petty, and it was also illegal; there is no law for Bjork to enforce.

        The court record on Nimbus’s case reflects as much. No statute is named, and under “charge” it reads: “Misdemeanor Offense Not Identified.” These facts did not stop this case from dragging Nimbus through six weeks of court filings and warrants, and finally being jailed for two days before prosecutors dismissed the charges on March 10.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Television’ By Lula Wiles

        Lula Wiles is an Americana trio that skillfully employs traditional music forms to provide poignant commentary on current issues. On May 21, they are releasing “Shame and Sedition,” the follow-up to their exceptional 2019 album “What Will We Do.”

        The album was recorded on native Wabanaki land in New England, which carries additional weight considering trio member Mali Obomsawin is part of the Abenaki Nation. The evil of colonialism is a subject that they previously addressed on “Good Old American Values,” a scathing satirical critique of America’s long history of subjugation of Native Americans off “What Will We Do.” Such themes are further explored on their upcoming album. The motivation behind the project is highlighted in the following press statement from the trio: “Each song grew from personal revelations or yearning for collective reckoning, materializing into proclamations against powerful oligarchs, toxic relationships, media narratives, and the callousness capitalism demands.”

      • Denmark bans religious marriages involving minors

        The law will ban religious marriages involving minors and stiffen up punishments for those who keep people locked in marriage by force.

      • Freed British-Australian Academic Says Iran Subjected Her To ‘Psychological Torture’

        She also confirmed that members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) had attempted to recruit her as a spy “many times.”

      • Freedom House: Tibet ties Syria as world’s least free

        This year’s report marks a change from the last several years, when Tibet was second in the rankings behind Syria. Last year, Syria’s score was 0/100, but it has improved to 1/100 in this survey period, thus tying with Tibet as the least-free state or territory.

      • Freedom in the World 2021: Tibet
      • Saudi court confirms Loujain al-Hathloul sentence

        Hathloul was arrested in May 2018, along with about a dozen other female activists, while driving a car in defiance of a decades-long ban on women drivers in Saudi Arabia. Three weeks after she was detained, the country lifted the ban.

        In December 2020, a judge sentenced the activist to five years and eight months in prison after finding her guilty of violating Saudi counter-terrorism law.

      • Botched no-knock raids prompt calls to limit police tactic

        No-knocks are supposed to be the exception, according to Canadian common law and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but The Fifth Estate’s analysis of court cases and freedom of information data shows they’ve become normal practice for some police forces, especially in Ontario.

      • Holyoke Police Officer Rafael Roca suspended after posting viral video alleging corruption at the department

        Roca, a former U.S. Marine hired as a police officer in 2016, posted the 43-minute video railing against his employer, calling outgoing Police Chief Manny Febo “corrupt,” arguing minorities are continually passed over for the most plumb assignments and discipline is meted out selectively.

        “Yeah they didn’t waste any time. They took my gun and my badge and kicked me out of the email system,” Roca said during an interview Monday. “I’ll probably lose my job, but I’m good. I stand behind the video and what I said in it.”

      • In France, if you smoke cannabis you can kill a Jew – Sarah Halimi case goes to high court

        On April 2017, Traoré, a 27-year-old Muslim man, beat Halimi, his 65-year-old Jewish neighbor, while screaming “Allah Akbar” (God is great) and antisemitic slogans before throwing her out of the window of her third-floor apartment to her death. The court said that he was not responsible for his actions, however, since he smoked an extensive dose of cannabis that “affected” his senses, a decision that sparked outrage among the French and International Jewish community.

        According to Algemeiner, if Traoré’s criminal irresponsibility is confirmed by the highest court, he will be held in mental health institutions until doctors deem him fit to be released back into society, and the only penalty he would receive would be to be banned from visiting the site of the killing and having contact with Halimi’s family for 20 years.

      • France: Yes, He Murdered a Jewish Woman While Screaming ‘Allahu Akbar,’ But You See, He Was Stoned

        Traoré made it abundantly clear that he was acting on Islamic beliefs. On April 4, 2017, he entered Halimi’s apartment, which was next to his own, and while screaming “Allahu akbar” and calling Halimi “Satan” and “Dirty Jew,” he began to torture her, and ultimately threw her out of her apartment window to her death. The cry of “Allahu akbar,” so beloved of jihadis, and his calling this elderly woman “Satan” indicate the Traoré is aware of teachings such as the Qur’an’s statement that the Jews are the Muslims’ worst enemies (5:82), cursed by Allah (9:30), and to be warred against (9:29).

      • [Old] French High Court Debates Trial for Accused Antisemitic Killer of Sarah Halimi Deemed Criminally Irresponsible Over Cannabis Use

        Traore subjected Halimi to a brutal beating before throwing her out of the window of her third-floor apartment to her death, screaming Islamist and antisemitic slogans as he did so. Nonetheless, the court held that Traore had consumed a “delusional puff” that eliminated any criminal responsibility for his subsequent actions, resulting in a furious and dismayed reaction from French Jews.

      • Entrepreneur on using honey to give vulnerable lives a boost | The New Times | Rwanda

        For many people, honey is just a sweetener they use as a substitute for sugar—but for Jeanne Sheila Uwibona, there’s so much more to the sweet, viscous food substance.

        Honey is a social empowerment product she is using to make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable women and children in her society.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Digital Health Pass: IBM and Moderna Hook Up to Capitalize on COVID Reset

        IBM is partnering with Covid-19 mRNA vaccine maker Moderna to track vaccine administration in real time through its various blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and hybrid cloud services. According to a company press release, the collaboration will “focus on exploring the utility of IBM capabilities in the U.S.,” such as a recently unveiled pilot program for a Covid-19 Digital Health Pass in the State of New York, which effectively deputizes private businesses to enforce government-imposed Covid-19 regulations.

      • Facebook Asks Court to Toss “Nonsensical” FTC Antitrust Suit

        Facebook is asking a D.C. federal judge to dismiss two government suits that allege its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp gave it a monopoly on the personal social networking market in violation of antitrust laws — arguing that such a claim “utterly ignores the reality of the dynamic, intensely competitive high-tech industry in which Facebook operates.”

        In December, the Federal Trade Commission and a group of state attorneys general each sued the social media giant, claiming the company is engaging in anticompetitive conduct in order to snuff out potential rivals and maintain monopoly power.

      • Coffee brands show how IP strategies can grind to a halt [Ed: More monopolies on coffee (which grows in nature) so you can grossly overcharge people for it while barely paying a dime to farmers]

        Asia-based counsel, including from Starbucks, discuss why trademark strategies must account for cultural and geographical sensitivities – and why coffee is particularly problematic

      • Why confidentiality clubs may allow full FRAND disclosure [Ed: Cartels or conspiracies against public interest facilitated by patent and secrecy laws]

        Licensors and implementers weigh in on the pros and cons of divulging confidential licensing agreements to an exclusive group of lawyers

      • Australian antitrust regulator examines Apple, Google web browser dominance [Ed: They seem to have forgotten and overlooked Microsoft's vastly worse monopoly abuses. Microsoft lobbying in action (via proxies, as it did in EU)?]

        The ACCC on Thursday published a Digital Platform Services Inquiry (PDF link) seeking input on platform default search engines and web browsers, reports ZDNet.

        At issue are browsers and search tools that are presented as preinstalled options, a strategy that potentially suppresses consumer choice. As noted in the document, offering a default option on a platform like iOS substantially increases the likelihood that a user will select that product — and likewise disregard others.

        According to Statcounter estimates from cited by the ACCC, Safari is the most used browser on smartphones and tablets in Australia with a 51% share. Google’s Chrome follows with 39%, Samsung Internet at 7%, and Mozilla Firefox at less than 1%. Those figures are somewhat flipped on desktop, with Chrome seeing an estimated 62% usage rate, followed by Safari at 18%, Edge with 9%, and Firefox at 6%.

        [...]

        The ACCC is also investigating the effectiveness of Google’s Android choice screen interface, which presents European users the option of downloading alternative search engines and browsers. Choice screens were implemented after the European Commission in 2018 found Google breached European Union antitrust rules.

      • Patents

        • Arbitrability of IP Disputes [Ed: This part about the UPC is a distortion and a lie (because no, UPC is dead)]

          The EU is in the process of revamping its patent system with the unitary patent (UP) and the Unified Patent Court (UPC)

        • German Withholding Taxes on Extraterritorial Royalty Payments—Recent Developments

          The German tax authorities (GTA) in 2020 expressed their intention to employ for the first time a law which has been in effect since 1925, to levy withholding taxes on royalties paid between two nonresident parties in consideration of the right to use trademarks and patents registered with the Deutsche Patent- und Markenamt (DPMA), the European Patent Office (EPO), or the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), among others.

          After some confusion caused by arbitrary measures taken by the German Federal Ministry of Finance (MOF) in November 2020, the MOF has recently published a new circular requesting the declaration and remittance of withholding taxes, while providing administrative relief in treaty cases in return for full transparency.

          [...]

          According to Section 50a(1) no. 3, (5) 1 of the GITA the licensee is liable to withhold income taxes on royalty payments which are deemed domestic income. The payer of deemed domestic income must file tax returns and remit withholding taxes to the Federal Central Tax Office (FY 2014 onward) or the competent local tax office (until FY 2013) quarterly, irrespective of treaty protection. The licensor may then as a second step request a withholding tax refund within four years after the year of payment.

          If the licensee fails to declare and pay withholding taxes within the statutory deadline, its duty to comply remains in place until the income taxes have been paid. The licensee may be held liable by the GTA to declare and pay taxes for subsequent years.

          No similar rules apply where German-registered intellectual property (IP) is transferred permanently (i.e., sale). Here the transferor will be held liable to file an income tax return and pay domestic income taxes directly.

          According to German Federal Tax Court rulings and a circular by the MOF (Federal Tax Court dated May 17, 2005, I B 108/04; dated August 22, 2007, I R 46/02; circular dated November 25, 2010, Federal Tax Gazette I 2010, 1350, para. 101), a nonresident person may be held liable to pay withholding taxes even if it does not have a permanent establishment in, or another affiliation with, Germany. In its circular of November 6, 2020, the MOF refers to these duties and requests the affected nonresident licensees to declare withholding taxes on the licensor’s behalf for all open years (normally going back to FY 2013).

        • Samsung Extends Leadership in 5G Patents

          Samsung Electronics today announced that it has ranked first in 5G Standard Essential Patent (SEP)1 shares according to a patent essentiality study conducted by IPlytics,2 a Berlin-based market intelligence firm comprised of economists, scientists and engineers. The findings were published in IPlytics’ recent report: “Who is leading the 5G patent race? A patent landscape analysis on declared SEPs and standards contributions.”

          Samsung also ranked second in two other categories: share of 5G granted3 and active patent4 families,5 and share of 5G granted and active patent families with at least one of them granted by the EPO (European Patent Office) or USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office).

          Last year, Samsung also led in 5G patents as a result of its research and development of 5G standards and technologies.

        • Milestone Scientific Receives Notice of Allowance for European Patent Related to Combination…
        • Annovis Bio Receives Japanese Patent for the Treatment of Acute Brain or Nerve Injury
        • PTAB Sets Preliminary Motions in Broad v. ToolGen Interference[Ed: Well, patents were never meant to be granted on life and on nature, but this is what happens when corruption, lobbying and all sorts of bribery change the law]

          On March 1st, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) issued its Order on the Preliminary Motions Lists submitted by Junior Party The Broad Institute, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the President and Fellows of Harvard College (collectively, “Broad”) and Senior Party ToolGen Inc., in Interference No. 106,127. (Somewhat curiously, the Board did not issue an Order in Interference No. 106,126 between The Broad Institute, Harvard University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (collectively, “Broad”) and Senior Party Toolgen on similar interfering subject matter.)

        • News from Abroad: Eurasian Patent Office Launches Its Pharmaceutical Register [Ed: Maybe focus on trying to save lives instead of trying to 'save' (enrich) patent monopolies that deny access to medicines]

          On March 1, 2021, the Eurasian Patent Office (EAPO) launched the EAPO Pharmaceutical Register (the ‘Register’). The Register lists Eurasian patents that relate to the active pharmaceutical ingredients of the drugs according to their International Non-proprietary Names (INN). The Register resides on the EAPO web site. It is currently available in Russian and the English version is expected soon.

          The Register does not implement a patent linkage system that would prevent a generic drug from getting Marketing Authorization before expiry of the originator’s patents. The Register was launched to facilitate locating Eurasian pharmaceutical patents that have issued, their status in each of the EAPO Contracting States, patent term extensions if granted and registered licenses. The Register covers compound patents including small and large molecules, as well as formulation patents including pharmaceutical composition and combination patents, second medical use patents in the Swiss or German type formats (but not method of treatment claims), and manufacturing process patents.

        • Continued growth in the number of inventors per patent. [Ed: Probably just increasingly faking who's involved with a patent just to game the numbers and make claims to more contributions in the patent sense (same in academia)]

          I created the chart above using files from recently published US patent applications. The chart shows the average number of inventors per published application. I have been awaiting the 3.0 inventors-per-patent threshold for a while, and that has now been crossed. The average (and median) patent application publication now lists three or more inventors. In general, there are fewer patent applications then ever that list only one inventor. The number of 2-inventor applications has also fallen, but not as dramatically.

        • A Look to the Future of International IP Arbitration [Ed: IAM is spreading UPC lies. It's paid by the corrupt EPO to spread such lies. This one is actually not the worst of it.]

          Unified Patent Court in the European Union

          One of the most notable projects in European IP law is the establishment of the Unified Patent Court. This is part of a package of regulations on patent law, the core of which is the introduction of a European ‘community patent’ with unitary effect at the level of the European Union.

          Unfortunately, the project has met a few challenges; the UK has made final preparations to withdraw from the Unified Patent Court project and, in March 2020, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany declared that parliamentary approval of the Agreement on the Unified Patent Court is void on grounds of not achieving the necessary parliamentary majority

        • EPO – European Inventor Award 2021: save the date

          The European Inventor Award will take place on 17 June 2021 and for the first time in the history of the event, the ceremony will be entirely digital. The Office is preparing an immersive virtual experience that viewers worldwide will be able to join. Additional details, including information on the event, registration process and finalists, will be published in the weeks ahead.

        • A French Collective Tribune of Experts for Covid-19 Compulsory License – Kluwer Patent Blog

          Regular readers of the Blog may be aware of my particular interest in pharma patents and, more especially since the Covid-19 pandemic, for compulsory licensing (see for instance here). I was therefore very happy (and pride) to participate in a Collective Tribune bringing together renowned specialists in property and patent laws (academics and practitioners), who invite the French public authorities to reform the compulsory licensing procedure and to engage it to facilitate the manufacturing of Covid-19 vaccines in France.

          This Tribune has been published on March 10, 2021, in French in the weekly newspaper dedicated to economy (Les Echos), and will also be published in a more detailed version in a general legal journal (Semaine juridique – Édition Générale – LexisNexis).

          [...]

          Jean-Michel Bruguière, Professor at the University of Grenoble-Alpes, Anne-Catherine Chiariny, Associate Professor at the University of Montpellier, Jean-Pierre Clavier, Professor of private law at the University of Nantes, Director of the Master in Intellectual Property Law, Matthieu Dhenne, Attorney-at-Law at the Paris Bar, President of de Boufflers Institute, Charles de Haas, Attorney-at-Law at the Paris Bar, Jean-Christophe Galloux, Professor at the University Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), President of the Intellectual Property Research Institute (“IRPI”), Member of the National Academy of Pharmacy, Christophe Geiger, Professor at the University of Strasbourg (CEIPI), Thibault Gisclard, Associate Professor at the University of Lille, Director of the University Diploma of Industrial Property, Alexandra Mendoza-Caminade, Professor at the University of Toulouse 1 Capitole, Didier Patry, CEO France Brevets, Emmanuel Py, Associate Professor at the University of Burgundy, Jacques Raynard, Professor at the University of Montpellier and at the CEIPI, Thierry Revet, Professor at the University of Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Laurent Teyssèdre, European Patent Attorney, Michel Vivant, Professor Emeritus at the Law School of Science-Po, Doctor honoris causa of the University of Heidelberg, Bertrand Warusfel, Professor at the University of Paris 8, Attorney-at-Law at the Paris Bar.

        • COVID-19 Vaccines, Access and the Intellectual Property Wars

          The COVAX (COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access Facility) scheme, supposedly a levelling measure in ensuring global equitable and cheap access to vaccines, risks looking like a rhetorical bauble. Co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO), these collaborators seek to “accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.”  The aim of the group is to supply 2 billion doses by the end of 2021.  Last month, the WTO reported that 130 countries, comprising 2.5 billion people, had yet to receive a single dose.

          The project has hit a rather large snag.  Many countries are not willing to play along.  If they do, they are doing so in two-timing fashion.  WHO senior adviser, Bryce Aylward, is worried that “some countries are still pursuing deals that will compromise the COVAX supply.”  This lack of fidelity to the cause is also of concern to the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.  “We can’t beat COVID without vaccine equity. Our world will not recover fast enough without vaccine equity, this is clear.”

        • International Patent Law at the Supreme Court

          U.S. cases rarely delve into international patent law issues. Rather, US courts have largely refused to allow parallel proceedings or filings in foreign jurisdictions to impact their decision-making at home.

          IBSA Institut Biochimique, v. Teva Pharmaceuticals offers an interesting perspective on this. The patent at issue was ISBA’s U.S. Patent No. 7,723,390 that claimed priority back to an Italian patent application (MI2001A1401). The patent here is directed to a “soft gel capsule formulation containing the active ingredient levothyroxine sodium.”

        • A (hitchhiker’s) guide to willingness in FRAND

          Sources from the telecoms and automotive industries compare how judges determine appropriate FRAND-ly behaviour in the UK, Germany and the US

        • FOSS Patents: Brainstorming: how do we get out of this quagmire of extraterritorial patent rulings and multi-antisuit injunctions?

          International comity–the notion that sometimes there should be deference to another country’s courts–practically died in the context of standard-essential patent (SEP) litigation last year when the UK Supreme Court ruled that British courts could force an implementer at injunctive gunpoint to take a global portfolio license on FRAND terms determined in London, regardless of whether it generates 99% of its sales in the rest of the world. Arguably, German courts previously contributed to this development by allowing SEP holders to insist on a global portfolio license–and by justifying an anti-antisuit injunction with the sanctity of intellectual property rights as well as the concept of self-defense.

          In retrospect, the chronology of the global antisuit escalation reaffirms how wisely Judge James L. Robart and the Ninth Circuit acted in 2012 in Microsoft v. Motorola, where the circumstances clearly weighed in favor an antisuit injunction as two U.S. companies were negotiating a license in the U.S. and where a FRAND case had been pending already for about a year before Motorola started suing Microsoft in Germany in order to gain leverage. Microsoft v. Motorola was not the last U.S. SEP antisuit injunction of its kind, but it clearly didn’t open the floodgates–unlike Unwired Planet v. Huawei.

          We’ve now reached the point where the world’s #1 SEP injunction revenue, the Munich I Regional Court, invites SEP holders to seek anti-antisuit and even anti-anti-anti-antisuit injunctions (A2SIs and A4SIs, as I prefer a more mathematical notation in this case) even as a pre-emptive strike before any A1SI and A3SI has come down. All that’s missing from the list of potential circumstances under which to issue an A2SI and A4SI is that an implementer’s mimics or horoscope indicated an intent to pursue an A1SI/A3SI…

          This situation is unsustainable. I’m not finished with my related thought process, but I wanted to discuss the obvious pro’s and con’s of possible solutions. Please feel free to share your ideas with me via this blog’s contact form. Note that the order in which I outline these hypothetical approaches does not indicate any preference or feasibility assessment.

        • Patent budget rises provide opportunity for outside counsel [Ed: Justice? Science? Innovation? No. It’s all about money to these people, money derived from monopolies and robber barons.

          Counsel from Thermo Fisher, Visteon and three other companies reveal what their patent budgets are focused on and what they’ll need from outside counsel

        • Software Patents

          • The do’s and don’ts of patenting AI [Ed: Pushing software patents again using the guise of "HEY HI"]

            AI is a key driver in the fourth industrial revolution, but right now the patentability of many AI systems and projects remains nebulous.

            Typically, AI processes are treated as a computer program or mathematical method and, at the European Patent Office (EPO), fall outside the realms of patentability. But when you use AI to solve a technical or real-world problem, things change.

            This nuance was one of many tips shared at a WIPR Patents Live session held yesterday, March 9, which explored how AI innovators can ensure that their technology is patentable.

          • Enlarged Board of Appeal releases G 1/19 decision on patenting computer simulations [Ed: Corrupt EPO has bullied its own judges into allowing illegal software patents]

            The EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal has released a decision in the much-anticipated G 1/19 case concerning the patentability of computer simulations. After much deliberation, the EBA concluded that existing case law regarding computer-implemented inventions also applies to computer-implemented simulations, and that it will retain its established approach in assessing inventive step, known as the COMVIK approach.

            The EBA is responding to three questions referred by Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.07. The questions explore whether computer simulations are patentable; if so, which sorts of simulations are patentable and if the simulation can be based on technical principles; and how the answers would differ if the simulation related to the design process. The full questions in the referral are available here.

            During its deliberation, the EBA considered what is patentable in the realm of computer simulation technology. It also looked at to what extent the Boards of Appeal can consider the technical aspects of the invention. Some patent attorneys suggest that, through applying the COMVIK approach, the EBA has maintained the status quo. However, it could also help make the EPO patenting system more predictable for future inventions.

      • Copyrights

        • Jeff Koons loses (again) in France: his Fait d’Hiver found to infringe copyright in Franck Davidovici’s own Fait d’Hiver

          A little over a year ago, The IPKat reported on the then fresh decision of the Paris Court of Appeal, which had upheld the decision at first instance in a copyright infringement case originally brought by the estate of photographer Jean-François Bauret against the well-known (also to copyright litigators) US artist Jeff Koons and the Centre Pompidou.

          The news has reached this blog that another copyright decision has recently been rendered against Koons.

          [...]

          Koons had argued that US law, not French law, would be applicable to the dispute at hand by means of Article 8(1) of the Rome II Regulation. This would be so because: (1) his own work had been realized in the US; (2) it had been on display for the first time at the Whitney Museum in Manhattan; and (3) his internet website jeffkoons.com, it being in English, is primarily intended for the American public.

          The court (correctly in my view) rejected this argument, reasoning that the action concerned: (a) the Parisian exhibition of the sculpture; (b) the reproduction thereof in a book jointly published by Flammarion and the Centre Pompidou and sold in France; and (c) the accessibility of Koons’s website from France.

        • Mobdro Pirate Streaming: Police Arrest Suspect, Three Others Questioned

          The European Union Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation reports that police have arrested an individual, following an investigation into Mobdro, one of the most popular pirate streaming apps with an estimated 43 million users. Three other people have been taken in for questioning in Spain and Andorra.

        • EU High Court: Embedding Protected Images Can Breach Copyright Law

          The EU Court of Justice has ruled that if rightsholders have taken or ordered protective steps to prevent their images from being embedded within frames on third-party sites, such embedding represents a violation of copyright law. The decision goes against a non-binding opinion handed down last year.

        • Oh The Culture You’ll Cancel, Thanks To The Ninth Circuit And Copyright

          If everyone’s going to be talking about Dr. Seuss, then we need to talk about this terrible decision from the Ninth Circuit a few months ago. Not to validate the idea of “cancel culture” in the particular way it’s often bandied about as a sort of whining over people not wanting to be associated with certain ideas, but because when law takes away the ability to express them in the first place, that’s censorship, it’s an affront to the First Amendment, and it’s something we all should be outraged about. And, as this case illustrates, the law in question is copyright.

        • The Key Takeaway From Steven Guilbeault’s Facebook Use: Linking Should Not Require a Licence

          That is what Guilbeault and Facebook are doing when they point to articles in the Journal de Montreal, La Presse, Global News, and the Toronto Star. Simply put, those links are not publication of the articles. Based on his own use of Facebook, Guilbeault should understand that and recognize that his sharing of articles on the platform is neither immoral nor should it necessitate payment or a licence.

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