04.30.21

Links 30/4/2021: GhostBSD 21.04.2, Five U.S. Agencies Compromised by Microsoft

Posted in News Roundup at 6:18 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux for Starters: Your Guide to Linux – Introduction

      The term ‘Linux’ strictly refers to the operating system kernel, a computer program at the core of a computer’s operating system that has complete control over everything in the system. The kernel manages the system’s resources and communicates with the hardware. It’s responsible for memory, process, and file management.

      Think of the Linux kernel like a car engine.

      Linux is released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Anyone can run, study, modify, and redistribute the source code, or even sell copies of their modified code, as long as they do so under the same license.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 7 Reasons I LOVE Manjaro

        I started my Linux journey with Fedora and quickly found my way to Ubuntu… and aside from a bit of distro hopping, I found that Ubuntu was where I was most comfortable. But after a while, I found that it just wasn’t meeting my needs and I continued on for greener pastures.

      • Working On (Breaking Some) Stuff – DT LIVE

        Tonight’s one hour live event will be me showing some of the work I’ve done recently with some of my configs (XMonad, Xmobar, Emacs, etc) and some of my scripts, which are on my GitLab and/or the Arch User Repository.

    • Kernel Space

      • KVM With Linux 5.13 Has AMD SEV Improvements, Intel SGX For Guests

        Along with this week’s release of QEMU 6.0, exciting on the Linux virtualization front are the KVM changes that are ready to go with the 5.13 kernel.

        Linux 5.13 is bringing a number of KVM improvements especially as it pertains to Intel/AMD processor features.

        The AMD code in particular has seen some shiny new feature work. The changes for Linux 5.13 do include a new KVM API for supporting AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) live migration of guests. However, the guest API didn’t get completed in time for the Linux 5.13 cycle. Also on the AMD SEV front there is now support for AMD SEV virtual machines to share the same encryption context if desired, such as if having multiple VMs spawned by the same user. The AMD code path now supports virtual SPEC_CTRL handling so that the hypervisor doesn’t need to intervene for speculation control (SPEC_CTRL_MSR) handling. The AMD code also has improved SYSENTER emulation for the 5.13 kernel.

      • Clang CFI Support Upstreamed For Linux 5.13 – But Only On ARM64 For Now – Phoronix

        Clang’s Control-Flow Integrity provides run-time checks before every indirect function call to ensure the target is a valid function with a valid static type. Clang CFI is implemented as a sanitizer and requires link-time optimizations (LTO) be enabled and thus was blocked until that support first landed in the kernel. Clang CFI can be benficial at ensuring the intended control flow of the software doesn’t change and generally at a cost of ~1% or less to the run-time performance.

      • Apple Magic Mouse 2, Microsoft SAM Support Added For Linux 5.13

        When it comes to Apple hardware support in the Linux 5.13 kernel not only is support for the Apple M1 SoCs added but the Magic Mouse 2 is also finally being supported in full by the mainline kernel. Plus there are other various interesting HID subsystem updates too this kernel cycle.

        As previously reported, the Apple Magic Mouse 2 has worked on Linux with the generic HID input code while there has also been out-of-tree / DKMS module support for this Apple mouse. Now with Linux 5.13, the hid-magicmouse kernel driver is extended to cover the Magic Mouse 2.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Ricardo Garcia: Vulkan Ray Tracing Resources and Overview

          As you may know, I’ve been working on VK-GL-CTS for some time now. VK-GL-CTS the Conformance Test Suite for Vulkan and OpenGL, a large collection of tests used to verify implementations of the Vulkan and OpenGL APIs work as intended by the specification. My work has been mainly focused on the Vulkan side of things as part of Igalia’s ongoing collaboration with Valve.

          Last year, Khronos released the official specification of the Vulkan ray tracing extensions and I had the chance to participate in the final stages of the process by improving test coverage and fixing bugs in existing CTS tests, which is work that continues to this day mixed with other types of tasks in my backlog.

          As part of this effort I learned many bits of the new Vulkan Ray Tracing API and even provided some very minor feedback about the spec, which resulted in me being listed as contributor to the VK_KHR_acceleration_structure extension.

        • AMD GPU Driver Developers Pursuing New HDR Display Work For Linux – Phoronix

          One of the areas of Linux desktop display support that isn’t as well supported compared to Windows is high dynamic range (HDR) displays. There have been various vendors and developers over the years working towards Linux desktop HDR improvements but still it hasn’t been a fast-advancing area in the open-source ecosystem. At least now AMD Radeon graphics driver developers do appear to be working on HDR improvements.

          NVIDIA’s been working on HDR-related work in recent years, there has been some HDR infrastructure work in core DRM, and some Intel graphics work. But the Linux desktops and other higher-level components still need more adapting for HDR. It’s been a slow process in part seemingly by a lack of Linux desktop developers having HDR displays.

        • NVIDIA driver 465.27 is out now for Linux

          A small stable update is out for NVIDIA users with a new driver 465.27 that rolled out on April 29 adding support for new laptop cards and some bug fixes.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Harish Pillay 9v1hp: Tech tip: using mutt to access mailfence.com

        I needed to set up access to a paid-for email provider, mailfence.com via mutt. Yes, they do have a web-based access, but real email users use mutt (and I’ve been using it since about 1998).

        At least they are providing standard IMAP services which is the Right Thing and also support GPG signing and encryption built-in. I have not checked other providers, but for an email service to offer up standard GPG is a Big Win in my books.

      • How to Change Kernel Version in Manjaro – Linux Hint

        A kernel is a core component of any Operating system. It works as an interface between the machine hardware and the software applications that allocate hardware resources to system processes. Since each element of a Linux OS is built around it, the increasing software and hardware sophistication requires full kernel utilization. Hence, Linux Kernels are always under development with regular updates and version releases. Similarly, updating kernels is an ideal way to ensure that the devices and software are functioning at their best.

        Manjaro offers various ways to identify, upgrade, downgrade or add new/old kernels. Manjaro provides a great graphical user interface known as Manjaro System Manager for kernel management. Moreover, Manjaro package manager Pacman also provides kernel version management.

        However, the best feature that distinguishes Manjaro Linux is its hardware detection management tool mhwd-kernel command that allows easy management and installation of multiple kernels.

        In this article, we demonstrate the use of the Manjaro command-line terminal and GUI to update, add and remove the Manjaro kernel versions.

      • Test if a port on a remote system is reachable – Linux Hint

        Monitoring for an open port is a key security measure for securing a remote server. Hackers usually target compromised servers by analysing critical open ports. If a hacker manages to find such a port, he/she can use it to send illegitimate traffic or use it for gaining unauthorized access on remote servers.

        Many important applications like database servers, web servers, file transfer services, etc., use dedicated ports. To harden the security of system/servers, system administrators usually secure these ports by either denying access to them by unknown users/services or changing the default port number to some other value.

        In computer networks, knowledge of port management is a very vital task for administering server security. This guide will study various methods of analysing a port on a Linux Ubuntu 20.04 system.

      • What is a .pem file, and how to use it? – Linux Hint

        The .pem file format is mostly used to store cryptographic keys. This file can be used for different purposes. The .pem file defines the structure and encoding file type that is used to store the data. The pem file contains the standard dictated format to start and end a file.

        We will give you an overview in this article about the .pem file and how to use it.

      • How to Change MySQL Root Password in Ubuntu 20.04 – Linux Hint

        Passwords are hard to remember, so if you have forgotten the MySQL root password, luckily, there is a way to change it. This post has been written for you, and by the end of this post, you will have successfully changed the password of MySQL.

        Before getting straight to the solution, it is assumed that you are using the latest version of the MySQL database on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS system. This post will provide a step-by-step guide on how to change MySQL root password in Ubuntu 20.04. So, without wasting any time, let’s start.

      • How to Edit Hosts File on Linux? – Linux Hint

        A Hosts file is supported in Linux, Windows, and Mac; they are plain-text files that work to map hostnames to various IP addresses. It is great to edit the Hosts file when you run the test on the specific network. You can also use the mapping of an IP address to skip the process in which the web browser uses the DNS (Domain Name Server) lookup for translating a domain name to a particular IP address.

        When a user types a website’s domain name, the domain name needs to translate into a specific IP address. A Hosts file has a top priority over DNS since an operating system checks its Hosts file for a domain and in case there is no entry for that domain. It starts to query the configured DNS servers for resolving the particular domain name. It was the little information about the Hosts file, and we will consider every single aspect on how to edit Hosts files on Linux easily.

      • How can I see all Active IP Addresses on my Network? – Linux Hint

        Network administrators need to scan for connected devices on the network as a security measure. With the rise of the Internet of Things(IoT), more devices are being connected to the internet. This raises the concern of organizations to protect their network and online resources from any potential security breaches. Any negligence, in this case, can lead to the loss of potential assets and the reputation of the organization. This is true as even big players like Github, FireEye, Capitol One, etc., have become the victims of cyberattacks in recent times.

        Maintaining a stable and secure network by preventing unauthorized access and keeping an eye on the activity of legitimate users is very important. Organizations spend millions of dollars on securing themselves from any threat exposure.

        In case of any awful event, knowing who is connected to the network is the first and most fundamental step towards the threat analysis. This helps the administrators to narrow the investigation process, and it also makes trouble tracking easier.

      • How To Install Telnet on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install the Telnet on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Telnet is the application layer protocol that provides bidirectional interactive text-based communication. It works in Server / Client mode where the Telnet Server application is installed in the main computer and all other computers connect with it using the Telnet client application. By default, telnet won’t be installed in your System.

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

      • How Do I Record Audio on Ubuntu? – Linux Hint

        It is essential to have a voice or audio recording feature because it can help you do a voice-over on a video or any other tasks. However, there is always a question about recording audio on Ubuntu. There are some tools available to do it easily, but it is impossible to record audio by an inbuilt system. If you also find something to record voices in your Ubuntu machine easily, then read the article below. We have included all of the information and answers on how to record audio on Ubuntu.

      • [Fixed] Browser Keeps Detecting Network Change in Linux

        For the past several days, I faced a strange issue in my system running Ubuntu Linux. I use Firefox and Brave browsers. Everything was normal in Firefox but Brave keeps on detecting a network change on almost every refresh.

        This went on to the extent that it became impossible to use the browser. I could not use Feedly to browse feeds from my favorite websites, every search result ends in multiple refresh, websites needed to be refreshed multiple times as well.

        As an alternative, I tried installing Chrome on Ubuntu. The problem remained the same. I installed Microsoft Edge on Linux and yet, the problem persisted there as well. Basically, any Chromium-based browser keep encountering the ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED error.

        Luckily, I found a way to fix the issue. I am going to share the steps with you so that it helps you if you are also facing the same problem.

      • How to Find the Unused IP Addresses on my Network in Linux? – Linux Hint

        We all know that multiple devices can be connected with each other over a network. These devices have dedicated IP addresses. However, you want to assign an IP address to a device at times, and you want to look for a valid and unused IP address on the network. In today’s article, we will discuss some methods of finding the unused IP addresses on the network in Linux Mint 20.

      • How to Fix Broken Ubuntu 20.04 without Reinstalling It – Linux Hint

        We often came across some faulty errors and faced some serious system issues like a broken Operating system. We are only left with a black screen, and it seems like the ultimate fix will be to reinstall the Operating system. That is not the only solution; we can fix a broken Operating system without reinstalling it using some different techniques that we are going to perform in this article. Reinstalling a whole Operating system is not a good option because it may lead to data loss of all important files and folders.

      • Use freenode with [matrix] with registration and verification

        Matrix (also written [matrix]) is an open source project and a communication protocol. The protocol standard is open and it is free to use or implement. Matrix is being recognized as a modern successor to the older Internet Relay Chat (IRC) protocol. Mozilla, KDE, FOSDEM and GNOME are among several large projects that have started using chat clients and servers that operate over the Matrix protocol. Members of the Fedora project have discussed whether or not the community should switch to using the Matrix protocol.

      • How to Install Fedora 34 Server with Screenshots

        Fedora 34 is released for desktop, server & cloud environments, and the Internet of Things, and in this tutorial, we shall go through the various steps on how to install the Fedora 34 server with screenshots.

        There are some crucial improvements in the server edition, before we proceed to the installation steps, we shall look at some of the new features and improvements.

      • How to Install Virt Viewer on Linux? – Linux Hint

        Virt Viewer is used in order to access KVM virtual machines using the SPICE remote desktop protocol. It is an alternative to VMware Remote Console (VMRC) for KVM virtualization solutions like Proxmox. Virt Viewer has many advanced features like VMware Remote Console (VMRC).

      • How to Measure and Show Progress of the “dd” command in Linux? – Linux Hint

        The “dd” command in Linux is used to convert and copy files from one place to another. However, by default, this command is not programmed to show the progress of the ongoing operation. If you are copying large files from one place to another, this can be quite troublesome for you because you want to monitor progress continuously. For that, you need to tweak the “dd” command a little so that it is capable of measuring and showing the progress. Today, we will learn how we can achieve this goal using a Linux Mint 20 system.

      • How to Open Firewall for NFS Share in Linux – Linux Hint

        NFS is a distributed file system protocol that lets users mount remote files and directories on their systems. It works in a client-server environment where the server shares part of its file system and clients access the shared files and directories. It lets the client view and store their files on a remote system as if they were on their system.

        This guide will describe how to open a firewall for NFS share in Linux OS. Remember, you will need sudo privilege to allow/block any connection in the Linux firewall.

      • How to Open bz2 File? – Linux Hint

        As a little introduction, the bz2 File is the compressed version of a normal file that helps a user decrease its size. So, commands like “Tar”, which is used to create or extract the tar archives, also support a huge range of comparison programs like lzop, xz gzip, bzip2, lzip, lzma, etc. Bzip2 is one of the best algorithms to compress tar files, and by convention, a tar archive’s name compressed with the bzip2 ends with .tar.bz2 or .tbz2. We will cover brief information on ways to open bz2 file Linux easily.

      • How to Secure WordPress Installation with Bedrock – Google Cloud

        How to Secure WordPress Installation with Bedrock on Google Cloud Platform. Bedrock is a WordPress boilerplate with a different improved directory structure and easier configuration.

        It is more secure by isolating the web root and limit access to non-web files and more secure passwords using wp-password-becrypt which replaces the MD5 hashing with modern bcrypt method.

        In this guide you are going to learn how to install and configure WordPress using Bedrock. This setup is tested on Google Cloud Platform.

      • How to Transfer Books and Other Files to Kindle E-Reader Using Linux – Linux Hint

        This article will explain how to transfer various files to your Kindle ebook reader connected to a Linux system through a USB connection. The first few sections of the article will cover the file transfer process without using any third party software. The last section will cover ebook transfer and conversion using the “Calibre” ebook management software suite. Note that all the instructions explained below will work on all major desktop operating systems including Linux, Windows and macOS. These instructions will work on Android devices as well, except for the instructions in “Calibre” sections.

      • How to disable automatic Snap update – PragmaticLinux

        Snap packages make it possible to conveniently install software applications on your Linux system. Perfect when your Linux distribution’s package manager does not offer a specific application or the right version. Application developers now only need to package their software once and publish it on the Snapcraft website. Snaps also have a disadvantage: they automatically update to a newer version in the background. This article explains how to disable this automatic Snap update feature.

      • LFCA: Learn Serverless Computing, Benefits and Pitfalls – Part 15

        Serverless technology has generated a lot of hype in the tech community evoking a lot of curiosity and receiving some backlash to a little extent. It’s a technology that began with the launch of AWS Lamba in 2014, which was soon followed by Azure Functions later in 2016.

        Google later followed suit with the release of Google Cloud functions in July 2018. So, what is serverless technology? To best answer this question, let’s take our minds back to traditional server-based computing.

        In the traditional IT model, you were in charge of basically everything. As a business owner, you would have to budget for servers and other networking equipment such as routers and switches, and racks for mourning the servers.

      • Building containers by hand: The PID namespace | Enable Sysadmin

        Continuing with the namespaces series, this article covers the PID namespace. If you want a general overview of all the namespaces, check out the first article. Previously, you created a new mnt namespace. Interestingly, as you discovered, even after creating a new mnt namespace, you still had access to the original host’s process IDs (PIDs).

      • To Copy List of Files Using Bash Script – Linux Hint

        Bash (Bourne Again Shell) is the kind of shell that is for executing commands and scripts. Bash was a developed version of the sh shell. Bash Script is a file where multiple shell commands are scripted to perform a particular task. In this article, we will see how we can copy multiple files using a bash script. For this article, I am using Ubuntu 20.04 to demonstrate the example.

        Note: – $USER will print current login users’ usernames.

        If you are curious what version of bash shell is installed in the system, we can check it using the following command.

      • kex_exchange_identification Connection Closed by Remote Host – Linux Hint

        While constructing a network of different devices, you may come across multiple challenges. Getting the right piece of hardware is not the only issue but configuring it the right way and making it work well with the rest of the devices is the real art. Having said that, many of the people with the networking background might have come across this issue that their network was working absolutely as intended previously. However, as soon as they introduced a new device to the network, it started malfunctioning and generating different errors.

        In today’s article, we are going to talk about the probable causes of one such error, i.e., kex_exchange_identification connection closed by remote host.

      • Access an alternate internet with OpenNIC | Opensource.com

        In the words of Dan Kaminsky, the legendary DNS hacker, “the Internet’s proven to be a pretty big deal for global society.” For the Internet to work, computers must be able to find one another on the most complex network of all: the World Wide Web. This was the problem posed to government workers and academic IT staff a few decades ago, and it’s their solutions that we use today. They weren’t, however, actually seeking to build _the Internet_, they were defining specifications for _internets_ (actually for _catenets_, or “concatenated networks”, but the term that eventually fell out of vogue), a generic term for _interconnected networks_.

        According to these specifications, a network uses a combination of numbers that serve as a sort of home address for each online computer and assigns a human-friendly but highly structured “hostname” (such as example.com) to each website. Because users primarily interact with the internet through website names, it can be said that the internet works only because we’ve all agreed to a standardized naming scheme. The Internet could work differently, should enough people decide to use a different naming scheme. A group of users could form a parallel internet, one that exists using the same physical infrastructure (the cables and satellites and other modes of transport that get data from one place to another) but uses a different means of correlating hostnames with numbered addresses.

        In fact, this already exists, and this article shows how you can access it.

      • Are RJ45 and Cat6 The Same?

        Ethernet cables are essential components of Ethernet networks. They’re not only made up of cables alone; at both ends of the cable are the RJ45 connectors. They work hand-in-hand, and it’s impossible to use one without the other. Once fused, the cables that they form become the nerves of the network, allowing data transmission between the devices. The cables are commonly named after the cable category, but they’re also referred to as RJ45 cable. Nowadays, Cat6 cables are the most common Ethernet cable due to the rise of Gigabit Ethernet. Although Cat6 and RJ45 do not refer to the same thing, there are still times that they are used interchangeably, raising confusion and sometimes even arguments as to what these two things really are. It’s simple to differentiate between the two if you’re in the networking space, but for those who are still novices or for those who are simply curious, this article will delve into these things to shed some light on your confused minds.

    • Games

      • Wolfire Games filed a lawsuit against Valve over abuse of their market position

        Here we go again, yet another lawsuit has been filed against Steam developer Valve Software over an alleged abuse of their market position with their 30% cut. This time around it’s a noted developer, Wolfire Games (Overgrowth, Receiver), along with two individuals William Herbert and Daniel Escobar “on behalf of all others similarly situated”.

        [...]

        It goes even further to mention the likes of Microsoft, EA and more companies that tried and “failed to develop a robust commercial strategy away from the Steam Gaming Platform” arguing that it shows how vital Steam is and so the behaviour is anticompetitive. On top of that it even pulls in the Steam Workshop and the Steam Market, to claim this keeps developers even more tied to Valve and Steam and that Valve takes a big cut.

      • World Turtles is a chilled-out city builder on top of a huge space turtle

        World Turtles is a wholesome city-builder that has you build on top of a massive turtle, to save it and perhaps meet more space turtles. Something like that anyway.

        Sounds like a wonderful idea actually, although a bit weird. The developers say that “Space can be a harsh and unforgiving place, especially to an enormous Turtle. Like the Meeps, their World Turtle also needs your guidance to stay safe and nurtured. And while you’re at it, maybe you can save some others as well…”

        It’s quite a bit Settlers-like, more than a traditional city-builder. You have dedicated people walking around doing jobs, building and exploring while you’re setting up tasks for them all. There’s a demo available, which while rough gives quite a nice idea of what could turn into a great game.

      • MakerKing, the creative platformer like Mario Maker is coming to Steam

        MakerKing (previously called Jumpaï) is now planned to be releasing on Steam, opening the flood gates to bring in many more players to a surprisingly fun platformer.

        Mixing level creation with a full multiplayer environment and competitive action, MakerKing could actually be quite a hit but that depends on pulling in enough people. It’s been in development for at least four years now with it being in Alpha on itch.io already, with the upcoming Steam release a big update is planned with a wires and electrical system to give players even more creative freedom.

      • Sandbox god sim ‘WorldBox’ now has a Linux build available and it’s seriously fun

        Do you like watching a world evolve over time? Or perhaps you like watching pure chaos unfold. WorldBox is an in development sandbox god sim and now it has a Linux build too.

      • Total War: Rome Remastered Released For Linux

        The previously announced Total War: Rome Remastered that was announced by Feral Interactive is now released.

        Feral Interactive didn’t just port the game to Linux/macOS as they have been traditionally known for but with this go they worked on remastering Total War: Rome with improved visuals, new content, cross-platform multi-player, and other features. This Total War: Rome Remastered is out today for Linux, macOS, and Windows systems.

        Total War: Rome Remastered also brings 4K optimizations and other display improvements and catering to today’s hardware.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • GhostBSD 21.04.27 ISO’s are now available

          I am happy to announce the availability of the new ISO 21.04.27. First, I would like to thank Joe Maloney, Vic Thacker, and Neville Goddard for the time and effort they put into improving and testing GhostBSD to make it better than before. Also, I have special thanks to Kyle Evans and Allan Jude for the help on Twitter about devmatch and our BE problems.

          When we started to port all the GhostBSD code from 12.2-STABLE to 13.0-STABLE, several problems arose with OpenRC, devd, and drivers not loaded at boot. We discovered that OpenRC devd and devmatch services implementations were not working properly. We had to create rc.devmatch to replace the OpenRC service implementation of devmatch.conf for devd. With devmatch now starting properly, all drivers get loaded at boot and when a new device is inserted. In addition, we were able to remove all changes we made in the GENERIC kernel, making the default kernel a bit smaller. I fixed ntpd and wireguard services. Autoconfiguration for network cards has been removed from NetworkMgr and added to the script started by devd.

        • GhostBSD Shifts Base To FreeBSD 13.0, Improvements For OpenZFS 2.0 – Phoronix

          It was just earlier this month that FreeBSD 13.0 released while already GhostBSD has issued a new release of this desktop-oriented operating system re-based against the new FreeBSD 13.0 base.

          GhostBSD 21.04.27 is the new release of this desktop BSD distribution that is based on FreeBSD 13.0-STABLE. In moving from FreeBSD 12.2 to 13.0, several issues were uncovered with GhostBSD and addressed for this release. GhostBSD 21.04.27 also adds touchscreen support, devd-based network configuration, OpenZFS 2.0, and OpenRC service improvements.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 30 April 2021

        So long, April –the Apache community has had a productive last week of the month.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

        • Mozilla

          • Personal Digital Habitats: Get Started!

            Some developers are already doing something like this today as they build applications that are designed to be local-first or peer-to-peer dWeb/Web 3 based or that support collaboration/multi-user sync. Much of the technology applicable to those initiatives is also useful for building self-contained PDH applications.

            If you are an application developer who finds the PDH concept intriguing, here is my recommendation. Don’t wait! Start designing your apps in a habitat-first manner and thinking of your users as app inhabitants. For your next application don’t just build another single device application that will be ported or reimplemented on various phone, tablet, desktop, and web platforms. Instead, start from the assumption that your application’s inhabitant will be simultaneously running it on multiple devices and that they deserve a habitat-like experience as they rapidly switch their attention among devices. Design that application experience, explore what technologies are available that you can leverage to provide it, and then implement it for the various types of platforms. Make the habitat-first approach your competitive advantage.

            If you have comments or question tweet them mentioning @awbjs. I first starting talking about personal digital habitats in a twitter thread on March 22, 2021. That and subsequent twitter threads in March/April 2021 include interesting discussions of technical approaches to PDHs.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Open Badges for French Math Guide translators!

          Thanks to localisation volunteers around the world, LibreOffice’s documentation is available in many languages. Today, we want to say thanks to the French community of translators, who localised the guide for LibreOffice Math 7.0 – great work, everyone!

          Each translator gets an Open Badge from The Document Foundation, the non-profit behind LibreOffice. These are special, custom images with embedded metadata, confirming the contributions.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Building an open infrastructure for civic participation

          Open source is living through a curious moment: just like sharing movements in academia and communities once helped develop open source, open source is now inspiring the development of communities. Notions of open source cities have moved from quaint circles into the mainstream, and open source is now commonly seen on government sites and even in the general media.

          Despite these advances, open source cities are still in their infancy. One of the most ambitious initiatives for open sourcing a city is the implementation of the civic platform Decide Madrid (Spanish for “you decide, Madrid”) which was later turned into a more general project called Consul that any city could deploy. The challenge for Decide Madrid has been less about getting participation and more about getting the right kind of participation. This article aims to give some nuance to the issue of participatory culture, a common problem with open projects.

      • Programming/Development

        • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.3.28 ,7.4.18 and 8.0.5

          RPMs of PHP version 8.0.5 are available in remi-php80 repository for Fedora 32-34 and Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.4.18 are available in remi repository for Fedora 32-34 and remi-php74 repository Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.3.28 are available in remi-php73 repository for Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

        • Multi-thread and Data Race Basics in C++ – Linux Hint

          A process is a program that is running on the computer. In modern computers, many processes run at the same time. A program can be broken down into sub-processes for the sub-processes to run at the same time. These sub-processes are called threads. Threads must run as parts of one program.

          Some programs require more than one input simultaneously. Such a program needs threads. If threads run in parallel, then the overall speed of the program is increased. Threads also share data among themselves. This data sharing leads to conflicts on which result is valid and when the result is valid. This conflict is a data race and can be resolved.

        • How to iterate over the map in C++ – Linux Hint

          In this quick tutorial, we will see how to iterate over in map in C++.
          There are multiple ways to iterate over the map in C++. With newer versions of C++, there are more advanced ways to iterate over the map in C++.

        • How to Use Open System Call in C – Linux Hint

          The system calls are used in the Linux distributions to provide a doorway within the Linux OS and the programs. The Linux operating system uses the Glibc library to support system calls in it while using the C language. There are a lot more ways to use system calls as well. In this article guide, we will be discussing the open system call in the Linux system. The “Open” system call has been used to open the file specified in the path quickly. It let us know about the file descriptor of a user-created file. We have been using Ubuntu 20.04 to get some hands-on “Open” system call.

        • Detecting memory management bugs with GCC 11, Part 1: Understanding dynamic allocation

          Memory management bugs are among the hardest to find in C and C++ programs, and are a favorite target of exploits. These errors are difficult to debug because they involve three distinct sites in a program that are often far apart and obscured by the use of pointers: memory allocation, the use of the allocated memory, and the release of memory back to the system by deallocation. In this two-part article, we’ll look at GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) 11 enhancements that help detect the subset of these bugs that affect dynamically allocated memory. The enhancements discussed here have been made to the GCC core. Related improvements to the GCC static analyzer are covered by David Malcolm in his article Static analysis updates in GCC 11.

          Throughout this article, I include links to the code examples on Compiler Explorer for those who would like to experiment. You will find the links above the source code of each example.

        • The GDB developer’s GNU Debugger tutorial, Part 1: Getting started with the debugger

          This article is the first in a series demonstrating how to use the GNU Debugger (GDB) effectively to debug applications in C and C++. If you have limited or no experience using GDB, this series will teach you how to debug your code more efficiently. If you are already a seasoned professional using GDB, perhaps you will discover something you haven’t seen before.

          In addition to providing developer tips and tricks for many GDB commands, future articles will also cover topics such as debugging optimized code, offline debugging (core files), and server-based sessions (aka gdbserver, used in container debugging).

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Nested Loop in Bash Script Examples – Linux Hint

            In programming or scripting, the loop is one of the most basic and powerful concepts. A loop is performing certain tasks until the specified conditions are met. Each programming or scripting language has different ways of implementing the concept.

            In this guide, check out the nested loop in bash scripting.

        • Rust

          • How Rust makes Rayon’s data parallelism magical – Red Hat Developer

            Rayon is a data parallelism library for the Rust programming language. Common reactions from programmers who start to use Rayon express how it seems magical: “I changed one line and my code now runs in parallel!” As one of Rayon’s authors, I am of course glad to see happy users, but I want to dispel some of the magic and give credit where it’s due—to Rust itself.

  • Leftovers

    • Basecamp Bans Politics, An Act That Itself Is Political

      On Monday, Basecamp CEO Jason Fried came out with a blog post announcing not only a cutback in employee benefits, but that it would be banning social and political conversations on the company’s platforms as well:

    • Bob Fass and Revolutionary Radio: the Man and the Medium

      Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Paul Krassner emphasized the importance of images that carried messages without recourse to words. Throwing money on the N.Y. Stock Exchange, levitating the Pentagon, wearing a shirt made from an American flag to a hearing of HUAC and running a pig for president are examples of using images and guerrilla theater to reach and involve mass audiences. Abbie insisted that organizers shouldn’t go to factories to organize workers, but to Hollywood to make movies that he sometimes called “agit-pop.” Ed Sanders once called Abbie “the Tom Paine of electronic media.”

      I never listened to a radio show with Abbie or Jerry, but I watched the TV news with them and listened to them dissect the images on the screen. They emphasized visual rather than acoustic storytelling, and of course they also wrote books, though they created books that broke away from linear communication. Abbie turned to Marshall McLuhan to buttress his arguments. For McLuhan, TV was the medium that most of all had to be understood and appreciated. In his view TV, unlike radio, invited audience participation and involvement.

    • Remote work: How I learned to love – and deal with – distractions | The Enterprisers Project

      At some point I realized that the very thing – proximity – that made these neglected priorities so hard to ignore could be used to my advantage. So I simply reorganized my day to accommodate them.

      Pre-pandemic, the workday for many of us encompassed all the time between waking up and getting home in the evening. Now, as long as we get our work done and show up for meetings and other time-specific commitments, it doesn’t really matter what time we do things.

      That means I can schedule in my formerly neglected priorities as equal constituents of my day. I don’t have to come in late or knock off early just to run an errand, keep a personal appointment, or spend a few extra minutes with the kiddos. Work-life balance has become work-life integration.

      And the truth is, I probably spend more hours doing my job now than I did before. I don’t feel like I’m wasting time “on the clock” when I break up the day, nor do I feel like I’m working late when I plan a workshop at 10:30 or 11:00 pm. The best part? I enjoy all of it more! I remember that I like my work and that it doesn’t have to subjugate my other priorities. It all matters, and it all gets done.

    • Science

      • [Old] Human speech may have a universal transmission rate: 39 bits per second

        Italians are some of the fastest speakers on the planet, chattering at up to nine syllables per second. Many Germans, on the other hand, are slow enunciators, delivering five to six syllables in the same amount of time. Yet in any given minute, Italians and Germans convey roughly the same amount of information, according to a new study. Indeed, no matter how fast or slowly languages are spoken, they tend to transmit information at about the same rate: 39 bits per second, about twice the speed of Morse code.

    • Education

      • SCOTUS Should Clarify Tinker in Favor of Free Speech, Not School Control

        But what about speech that occurs outside the schoolhouse gate, and outside school hours? The Court is about to take on that issue in Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L.

        In 2017, 14-year-old high school freshman Brandi Levy found herself suspended from her school’s cheerleading squad for a year over an intemperate Snapchat post published from off campus and over the weekend.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • If Healthcare Is a Right, ‘Support Medicare for All,’ Omar Tells Biden

        President Joe Biden said “healthcare should be a right, not a privilege in America.” Rep. Ilhan Omar says there’s an easy way to prove it.

      • Sanders Vows to Fight for Medicare Expansion Left Out of Biden’s American Families Plan

        “We must take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry, lower drug prices, and use the savings to expand Medicare.”

      • ‘A Crime Against Humanity’: Anguish and Anger as India Covid Crisis Surges

        “The system hasn’t collapsed,” wrote novelist and activist Arundhati Roy this week. “The government has failed.”

      • Campaigners Welcome Imminent Closure of New York Nuclear Plant

        The Indian Point facility, notes one of its critics, was built “where a severe accident would jeopardize the health of millions of people and where no large-scale evacuation plan would be remotely feasible.”

      • 80 Groups Blast US Interference in Mexico’s Phaseout of Glyphosate and GM Corn

        “We call on Secretary Vilsack and Trade Representative Tai, as key leaders in the new administration, to respect Mexico’s decision to protect both public health and the integrity of Mexican farming.”

      • No, there’s no good evidence that spike protein from COVID-19 vaccines causes pulmonary hypertension

        It’s rather uncommon that I encounter an antivaccine talking point early enough in its course that it hasn’t shown up in a post by one of the big antivaccine websites, such as the ones run by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr, Sherri Tenpenny, or Del Bigtree. This time around, this particular new antivaccine talking point seems to be mainly on Twitter. Have you heard the one about the spike protein and pulmonary hypertension? No? I’ll introduce you to it and then discuss why it’s really a stretch.

      • The Hard Problems of Vegetarianism

        Almost all of this meat, leather, and fur is being produced in factory farms that deprive animals of most of what would make their lives worth living. Driven by the relentless logic of profit-maximization, we curb the space available to them to the bare minimum, feed them food that is neither particularly healthy nor tasty, but helps them to put on weight quickly, and is replete with antibiotics, with all the disastrous long-term consequences that such a practice entails. It’s a system in which I don’t wish to be complicit. Even so, I will argue that the moral high ground often claimed by animal advocates (for whom the issues at hand are so obvious that they struggle to understand how anyone in their right mind could possibly disagree) is shakier than the movement would like to admit. Honestly addressing these shortcomings, I believe, would lend more credibility to the cause among sympathetic-but-not-quite-convinced onlookers, and make it harder to reject its central message outright because of some supposedly unaddressed internal contradiction.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Five U.S. Agencies May Have Been Hacked Through Ivanti Flaws [iophk: Windows TCO]

          “CISA is aware of at least five federal civilian agencies who have run the Pulse Connect Secure Integrity Tool and identified indications of potential unauthorized access,” Matt Hartman, a deputy executive assistant director at CISA, said Thursday in a statement. “We are working with each agency to validate whether an intrusion has occurred and will offer incident response support accordingly.”

          Hartman didn’t identify the agencies. Reuters previously reported the suspected breaches in federal agencies.

        • Biden Order Will Require New Cybersecuriety Standards In Response To SolarWinds Attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The order, which is still being drafted, lays out a series of new requirements for companies that do business with the government. The initiative includes plans for more systematic investigations of cyber events and standards for software development. The idea is to use the federal contracting process to force changes that will eventually trickle down to the rest of the private sector.

        • Biden prepping cybersecurity executive order in response to SolarWinds attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The SolarWinds attack, believed to be perpetrated by Russian [crackers], was discovered last year. The [attackers] exploited software from the IT group SolarWinds, which helped them gain access to as many as 18,000 customers. A smaller number of the customers’ systems, however, were compromised by follow-on activity.

          As a result, nine federal agencies and 100 private-sector groups were compromised during the months-long operation.

        • The ransomware surge ruining lives [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Microsoft, Amazon, the FBI and the UK’s National Crime Agency have joined the Ransomware Task Force (RTF) in giving governments nearly 50 recommendations.

          Ransomware gangs are now routinely targeting schools and hospitals.

        • Ransomware explained: No silver bullet, out-of-reach crooks [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Stricken in the United States alone last year were more than 100 federal, state and municipal agencies, upwards of 500 health care centers, 1,680 educational institutions and untold thousands of businesses, according to the cybersecurity firm Emsisoft. Dollar losses are in the tens of billions. Accurate numbers are elusive. Many victims shun reporting, fearing the reputational blight.

        • More than 70 firms received CIA malware samples in 2019: Kaspersky sec chief [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The head of security firm Kaspersky’s Global Research and Analysis Team, Costin Raiu, says in 2019 more than 70 security companies were given samples of malware that was created by the CIA.

        • AG Raoul’s office hit by ransomware attack
        • TBONE: for public release on 2021-04-28

          “Looking at the fact TBONE required no user interaction, and ease of delivery of the payload to parked cars, we felt this attack was ‘wormable’ and could have been weaponized”, says Kunnamon CEO Ralf-Philipp Weinmann. “Adding a privilege escalation exploit such as CVE-2021-3347 to TBONE would allow us to load new Wi-Fi firmware in the Tesla car, turning it into an access point which could be used to exploit other Tesla cars that come into the victim car’s proximity. We did not want to weaponize this exploit into a worm, however.”

        • Court Could Consider Whether Trump Interfered in Cloud Computing Contract

          A federal court said on Wednesday that it did not dismiss the possibility that former President Donald J. Trump interfered in the awarding of a military cloud-computing contract worth $10 billion, a decision that could result in the overhaul of a long-running effort to modernize technology at the Defense Department.

        • Security

          • Task Force Seeks to Disrupt Ransomware Payments
          • Daniel Stenberg: fixed vulnerabilities were once created

            In the curl project we make great efforts to store a lot of meta data about each and every vulnerability that we have fixed over the years – and curl is over 23 years old. This data set includes CVE id, first vulnerable version, last vulnerable version, name, announce date, report to the project date, CWE, reward amount, code area and “C mistake kind”.

            We also keep detailed data about releases, making it easy to look up for example release dates for specific versions.

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 173 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 173.

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

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • US Postal Service Is Surveilling Social Media Services Because It Apparently Has Plenty Of Time And Money To Waste

              The United States Postal Service is still in the spying business. The USPS has been scanning pretty much every piece of mail that runs through its system, creating a massive database of metadata that serves whatever purpose the USPS imagines it does. “National security” or whatever the fuck.

            • Grand jury subpoena for Signal user data, Central District of California

              Because everything in Signal is end-to-end encrypted by default, the broad set of personal information that is typically easy to retrieve in other apps simply doesn’t exist on Signal’s servers. The subpoena requested a wide variety of information that fell into this nonexistent category, including the addresses of the users, their correspondence, and the name associated with each account.

              Just like last time, we couldn’t provide any of that. It’s impossible to turn over data that we never had access to in the first place. Signal doesn’t have access to your messages; your chat list; your groups; your contacts; your stickers; your profile name or avatar; or even the GIFs you search for. As a result, our response to the subpoena will look familiar. It’s the same set of “Account and Subscriber Information” that we provided in 2016: Unix timestamps for when each account was created and the date that each account last connected to the Signal service.

              That’s it.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Opinion | American-Style War ‘Til the End of Time?

        War is peace, peace is war.

      • Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam Revisited

        In his spot-on review, Vietnam: A War on Civilians, Chase Madar sums up the war, as portrayed in KATM, thus: “The relentless violence against civilians was more than the activity of a few sociopaths: it was policy.” The same could be said of over 400 years of US history, both domestically and internationally, from 1607 to the present, especially for non-whites.

        KATM, published eight years ago, is without a doubt the most emotionally wrenching book I have ever read. This might also have to do with the fact that the subject matter is intensely personal for me. I still have vivid recollections of many of the scenes author Nick Turse describes in excruciating detail. I am haunted by them.

      • Admitting Defeat in Afghanistan: American “State-Building” Fails Again

        Eschewing historical and scholarly knowledge, the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was their first mistake. However impelled you feel to invade the fulcrum state, you should always count to ten. Some units entering the country will have passed Gandamak, where a British army was massacred in 1842. Few American soldiers will have noted the landmark.

        U.S. withdrawals tend to be attended by even worse conditions than those they found on invading. In Afghanistan, almost 40 million people survive, and manage to navigate through the carnage. They live today as they did in 2001 and 1981, in a state shorn of security, pulverized and cratered.

      • Biden, Recognition and the Armenian Genocide

        With the Armenian Genocide, terms acutely matter. The treatment of the Armenians by the Turks as the Ottoman Empire was running out of oxygen led to deportations from eastern Anatolia in May 1915 that eventually caused some 1.5 million deaths.  (The Turkish estimate is closer to 300,000.)  Suspicions abounded that the Christian Armenians were plotting with Imperial Russia and seeking the establishment of an Armenian state under Russian protection. But importantly, the ailing Ottoman state, pushed along by the Committee of Unity and Progress (CUP), was moving into a phase of murderous homogenisation.

        Henry Morgenthau, the US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire between 1913 and 1916, took strong exception to the conduct of Ottoman forces in what he described as a “campaign of race extermination”.  Towards the deportations of Armenians, he insisted that Turkish authorities knew in implementing them that they constituted “giving the death warrant to a whole race”.  His protest had the blessing of then US Secretary of State Robert Lansing.

      • North Korea is Back on the US Agenda

        My analysis is that the missile tests reflect North Korea’s impatience with the US to produce a negotiating position that isn’t a repeat of the usual US approach: you eliminate your nukes, then we’ll talk about rewards. The Biden administration reportedly has tried to contact Pyongyang about talks, but Kim Jong-un’s powerful sister, Kim Yo-jong, dismissed the idea, saying that if the Biden administration “wants to sleep in peace for the coming four years, it had better refrain from causing a stink.” The comment was widely interpreted here as a warning, but I contend her message was, “If you want to start talks, offer something different from sanctions, nuclear threats, and military exercises with South Korea.”

        Whether or not the Biden team will respond with a new approach is uncertain. A North Korea policy review is reportedly underway, following consultations with South Korea and Japan. Meantime, here are eight points that guide my many years of study of North Korea’s international perspective:

      • Human Rights Watch Confirms Israel is an Apartheid State

        The forthright branding of Israel as an apartheid state by Human Rights Watch could be a watershed moment in mainstream acceptance of what Israel has become. Human Rights Watch is not an outlier or left wing organisation. It is very much a part of the establishment in the United States and is not generally associated with hard hitting criticism that conflicts with the promoted interests of the American state. Kenneth Roth, the Human Rights Watch CEO who has been in power longer than Putin, is a darling of the New York liberal and Democratic Party Establishment. That is an important financial source for HRW and includes many members of New York’s highly altruistic liberal Jewish community (who I should declare have frequently hosted me).

      • West Africa is the Latest Testing Ground for US Military Artificial Intelligence

        One striking feature of US military involvement in West Africa is the absence of an observable strategic vision for a desired end state. Nominally, US presence in the region’s multilayered conflicts revolves around building “security cooperation” with state partners to improve counterterrorism capabilities, ostensibly providing protection to communities that states cannot. Concurrently, the US military is typically the prime diplomatic entity for high-level bilateral engagements. The result is that the US military is propping up the public authority of weak states, albeit in an ad hoc fashion that lurches from crisis to crisis.Regardless of the reasons for US presence, there is hardly any deep public support for these operations; about 60% of US citizens do not view these kinds of conflicts as a security threat, and more than 90% oppose US invasions, even if weapons of mass destruction were in use. “For the first time in recent memory,” US international relations scholars John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt write, “large numbers of Americans are openly questioning their country’s grand strategy.” Even within the Department of Defense, these doubts continue to periodically arise. As former Defense Secretary Mark Esper testified in February 2020 to the House Armed Services Committee, conventional forces in Niger, Chad, and Mali “[need] to go back to home so they can prepare for great power competition.”Due to war fatigue, the US has resorted to “externalizing the strategic and operational burden of war to human and technological surrogates,” creating what some scholars call a form of “surrogate warfare.” One example of “externalizing the burden of war to the machine” is a tool created by the Defense Innovation Unit and deployed at the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar in 2017. Throughout its deployment, this tool monitored and rapidly combined social media feeds in Syria before relaying that information to pilots and ground troops, who then used it to identify, track, and strike targets in that area of operations. General Joseph Votel, then-commander of US Central Command, boasted of the model’s success and indicated that it would be replicated “in future operations.”

      • Ukrainian ultranationalist lobby flaunts influence over Biden, blocks top Russia expert’s appointment
      • Lawmakers introduce legislation to create civilian reserve program to fight [crackers] [iophk: WIndows TCO]

        A group of bipartisan lawmakers in the House and Senate on Wednesday rolled out legislation that would create a National Guard-style program to help defend critical systems against increasing cyberattacks from nation states and criminals.

        The Civilian Cyber Security Reserve Act would establish a civilian reserve program to provide cybersecurity training for individuals who have previously worked for either the U.S. federal government or armed services. They would then be available as resources for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to boost federal cybersecurity protections.

    • Environment

      • The math isn’t adding up on forests and CO2 reductions

        California might have oversold the success of carbon offsets used in its cap-and-trade system, which is often billed as one of the world’s most successful market-based mechanisms to tackle climate change. The system appears to be failing because California is actually overcounting how much carbon dioxide forests keep out of the atmosphere, according to a new study by nonprofit CarbonPlan, that’s still under peer review, and reporting by ProPublica and MIT Technology Review. (One of the authors, James Temple, was previously a senior director at The Verge.)

      • Biden’s Climate Plan – It’s Too Late for Gradualism

        President Biden’s Earth Day pledge to cut carbon emissions by 50% to 52% by 2030 is a promise he cannot keep. The White House Fact Sheet released with Biden’s pledge added nothing to the climate actions in his American Jobs Plan announced on March 31. The 12,000-word White House Fact Sheet on the American Jobs Plan hardly mentions the climate. The plan is presented as a jobs through infrastructure program with only a fraction of it impacting carbon emissions.

        The climate emergency demands a radical and rapid decarbonization of the U.S. economy with numerical goals and timetables to transform all productive sectors, not only power production (27% of carbon emissions), but also transportation (28%), manufacturing (22%), buildings (12%), and agriculture (10%). It also requires that the U.S. pay its “climate debt” as the world’s largest historical carbon emitter and destroyer of carbon-storing forests, wetlands, and soils. Paying that climate debt would not only be reparations to the Global South for deforestation and fossil fuel emissions by the rich capitalist countries, but also an investment in the habitability of the planet for everyone. This emergency transformation can only be met by an ecosocialist approach emphasizing democratic public enterprise and planning.

        [...]

        It’s too late for gradualism. We must at least aim for the “initial target” of 350 ppm (350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere) that was proposed 13 years ago by climate scientists James Hansen and colleagues in a 2008 study. Even in that research report Hansen et al. concluded that 300-325 ppm “may be needed to restore sea ice to its area of 25 years ago.” Other prominent climate scientists at the time, such as John Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, were saying that only a return to pre-industrial level of CO2 of 280 ppm would guarantee a safe climate. The Earth sailed past that 350 ppm at the end of 1988. At the Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii, carbon dioxide averaged 414 ppm in 2020, averaged 418 ppm in March of this year, and set a record of 421 ppm on April 3.

        The last time atmospheric carbon was this high was in the Mid-Pliocene Warm Period 3.6 million years ago when the temperature was 4ºC (7ºF) hotter and sea levels were 24 meters (78 feet) higher than today. At last year’s 2.6 ppm annual rate of carbon dioxide rise, the planet will hit 500 ppm around 2050. The last time carbon dioxide levels were at 500 ppm was in the Middle Miocene 16 million years ago when temperatures were as much as 8ºC (14ºF) higher and sea levels were 40 meters (130 feet) higher. These climate changes are locked into the climate system by the contemporary carbon levels unless the world not only stops emissions, but soon gets to negative emissions by drawing carbon out of the atmosphere and into the biosphere by reforestation and by rebuilding carbon-rich living soils with regenerative agriculture.

        Today’s rapid climate change entails more than the heat waves, extreme weather, and flooded cities in the headlines. Between now and 2050, we face mass extinctions, collapsing land and ocean ecosystems, agricultural crises and food shortages, economic contraction and increasing poverty, hundreds of millions of climate refugees, and escalating social conflicts and resource wars.

      • Hawaii Poised to Become First State to Declare Climate Emergency
      • ‘This Is Huge’: Top Court Rules Germany’s Climate Law Inadequate to Protect Future Generations

        “This can change so much, not just for us here in Germany but for activists worldwide.”

      • Opinion | As the World Moves Forward on Climate, Powerful Institutions Lag Behind

        Roughly a decade after students across college campuses first sounded the alarm about investing in fossil fuels, divestment remains the single most powerful litmus test for climate action.

      • Progressives Introduce Huge Climate Bill That Rivals Biden Infrastructure Plan
      • Energy

        • Aerial View of South Louisiana Oil Fields Offers Glimpse of Nationwide Orphaned Well Issue

          In his spare time, David Levy, owner of Petrotechnologies, a company that makes specialty parts for the oil and gas industry, monitors the fossil fuel industry across southwest Louisiana from the sky. He transformed his flying hobby into an act of stewardship by surveying oil and gas industry sites to check for environmental hazards, like oil spills and toppled storage tanks.

          Following back-to-back hurricanes last year, Levy took me up with him so I could photograph the storms’ aftermath. We found oil slicks from oil and gas wells scattered throughout the wetlands.

        • 175 Groups Urge Banks Not to Fund Massive ‘Cancer Alley’ Chemical Plant in Louisiana

          By Brett Wilkins at Common Dreams.

          Calling a planned petrochemical manufacturing complex in Louisiana’s “Cancer Alley” a “textbook case of environmental racism,” 175 organizations from around the world sent a letter to financial institutions Tuesday urging them not to fund, underwrite, or invest in the project, which could cost up to $12 billion. 

        • Cryptocurrency is an abject disaster

          That’s what cryptocurrency is all about: not novel technology, not empowerment, but making money. It has failed as an actual currency outside of some isolated examples of failed national economies. No, cryptocurrency is not a currency at all: it’s an investment vehicle. A tool for making the rich richer. And that’s putting it nicely; in reality it has a lot more in common with a Ponzi scheme than a genuine investment. What “value” does solving fake math problems actually provide to anyone? It’s all bullshit.

          And those few failed economies whose people are desperately using cryptocurrency to keep the wheel of their fates spinning? Those make for a good headline, but how about the rural communities whose tax dollars subsidized the power plants which the miners have flocked to? People who are suffering blackouts as their power is siphoned into computing SHA-256 as fast as possible while dumping an entire country worth of CO₂ into the atmosphere?2 No, cryptocurrency does not help failed states. It exploits them.

    • Finance

      • Why Biden Should Go Bigger, Bolder and Faster in Spending and Tax Plans
      • Could DeJoy Lose His Job? 3 Biden USPS Board Nominees to Get Full Senate Vote
      • Myspace Tom got it right

        Industry analysts have long regarded the downfall of Myspace to be one of the greatest missed opportunities of the last decade, but frankly, I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that Anderson got off easy. It is true that Twitter and Facebook are more influential, and possess wealthier executives, than anything in Myspace Tom’s estate. If you are an entrepreneur in the psycho Silicon Valley tradition — that is to say, you are capable of perceiving a functional, quality-of-life difference between net worths of $100 million and $100 billion — then perhaps you too envy the lives of Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg. But just consider how those two weathered the events of January 6th: panicked, agitated, staring down at the chaos that they helped wrought, considering some truly arcane, dystopian-fiction solutions like perma-banning the president from their websites. What was Anderson doing while the great networks crashed and burned? Jumping back online for a quick dig, completely at peace that these questions are firmly Not His Problem Anymore.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • GOP Demands “Unity” But Ignores That a Majority of Voters Back Biden’s Proposals
      • As Biden Tells Congress to Pass Pro-Democracy Bills ‘Right Away,’ Progressives Say: The Filibuster Must Go

        “Biden called on Congress to pass a lot of great stuff tonight… But there’s no way almost any of it gets to his desk unless we end the filibuster.”

      • ‘We Need to Think Bigger’: Jamaal Bowman Delivers Progressive Response to Biden

        “We need to rebuild our nation with a new foundation. A foundation rooted in love, and care, and equality.”

      • Jamaal Bowman Explains How Progressives Will Make Biden’s Presidency Even Bolder

        The most compelling response to President Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress was not the ably enough delivered yet largely predictable recitation of Republican talking points by South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.

      • Twitter shuts down “Uncle Tim” from trending after Republican senator offers GOP response to Biden

        “100 years ago, kids in classrooms were taught the color of their skin was their most important characteristic, and if they looked a certain way, they were inferior,” Scott said, pointing to himself on camera. “Today, kids are being taught that the color of their skin defines them again and if they look a certain way, they’re an oppressor.”

        The admission, coupled with Scott’s declaration that “America is not a racist country,” drew heavy criticism from many Black commentators on Twitter, who were quick to point out that the statements appeared contradictory.

        The “Uncle Tim” trend was eventually blocked by Twitter. A spokesperson for the company told Salon that the play on “Uncle Tom” had been prevented from trending any longer: “I can confirm that we are blocking the phrase you referenced from appearing in Trends.”

      • Tom Morello Joins Forces With Pussy Riot for ‘Weather Strike’

        “Pussy Riot is one of the most radical and important activist musical groups of all time,” Morello said in a statement. “Their fearless blending of art and confrontation is a constant inspiration and it’s an honor to combine forces on this powerful, revolutionary track ‘Weather Strike.’”

      • Florida passes voting law that includes restrictions on vote-by-mail and drop boxes

        The legislation is one of many measures being introduced in Republican-led legislatures across the country in the wake of Trump’s lies about widespread voter fraud. Democrats in the state repeatedly compared the measure to legislation that passed into law this year in Georgia, which prompted significant pushback from outside groups that ultimately led a handful of prominent corporations to condemn the legislation or pull business from the state.

        But unlike those in Georgia, top Florida businesses have largely remained quiet despite urging from voting rights activists.

        Voting rights groups panned the bill’s passage in a raft of statements shortly after the House vote.

      • ‘Cock.li’ Admin Says He’s Not Surprised Russian Intelligence Uses His Site

        On Monday the FBI, DHS, and CISA—the U.S. government agency focused on defensive cybersecurity—published a report laying out the tools, techniques, and capabilities of the SVR, the Russian foreign intelligence service that the U.S. has blamed for the wide-spanning SolarWinds supply chain [attack]. That report said that the SVR makes use of a specific anonymous email service called cock.li.

        The administrator of cock.li has now told Motherboard that this is the first time he has heard of the SVR using his service, but that “it’s hard to surprise me nowadays.”

      • Pakistan’s extremist dilemma

        Pakistan is at a crossroads, with a choice either to become hostage to religious groups or to take independent foreign policy decisions. After making an apparent shift away from its policy of tolerating extremist religious organisations, Pakistan’s government last week surrendered to the demands of a religious party – Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), a recently banned right-wing political and religious organisation.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Breaking: Fake sites of 50 Indian News portals luring gullible readers

        In perhaps one of the biggest phishing incidents targeting some of the world’s largest news organizations, [attackers] have created fake replica websites of news portals of 900 global news portals, including at least 57 from India including websites of The Hindu, NDTV, Hindustan Times, and News18 among many others and are using them to distribute malware and scam advertisements.

      • Russia-Linked ‘Ghostwriter’ Disinformation Campaign Tied to Cyberspy Group

        Initially detailed in July 2020 but ongoing for years, the campaign aligns with Russian interests and was initially observed targeting audiences in Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland with NATO-related themes.

        Since FireEye’s initial report on Ghostwriter, the activity has expanded with new narratives, and the attackers started leveraging compromised Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts of Polish officials to disseminate content aimed at creating domestic political disruption in the country.

      • Ghostwriter Update: Cyber Espionage Group UNC1151 Likely Conducts Ghostwriter Influence Activity

        Recently obtained technical evidence now allows us to assess with high confidence that UNC1151, a suspected state-sponsored cyber espionage actor that engages in credential harvesting and malware campaigns, conducts at least some components of Ghostwriter influence activity; current intelligence gaps, including gaps pertaining to website compromises and the operation of false personas, do not allow us to conclusively attribute all aspects of the Ghostwriter campaign to UNC1151 at this time. We do not associate UNC1151 with any other previously tracked threat groups. Since the start of 2021, UNC1151 has expanded its credential theft activity to target German politicians. This targeting has been publicly reported in the German Tagesschau.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Joe Biden Yells A Dumb Anti-Free Speech Trope In An Uncrowded Congress

        Joe Biden has never been a particularly big free speech supporter. For years, as a Senator, he consistently sided with the entertainment industry in their never-ending quest to have the government help attack free speech on the internet via aggressive and oppressive copyright laws. Throughout his campaign he railed against protected speech online that he disliked. And last night, during his first full address to Congress, he trotted out the very dangerous “fire in a crowded theater” trope:

      • Publix Gets Social Media Accounts Advertising Its Sandwiches Taken Down For Some Reason

        For sure, the most frustrating examples of dumb trademark disputes are when one party bullies into silence another party for doing something that actually helps the bully. If you need an example of this, you can look to the time Olive Garden tried to take down AllOfGarden.com, a site with a satirical take on the Olive Garden menu. That example is particularly instructive for two reasons. First, AllOfGarden was essentially a tongue-in-cheek love letter to the restaurant chain run by someone who was very much a fan of said chain. Second, Olive Garden eventually apologized and rescinded its threat, due in part to the public backlash and the fact that it must certainly have realized that the site, if anything, helped drive some measure of interest in the restaurant itself.

      • EFF at 30: Protecting Free Speech, with Senator Ron Wyden

        To celebrate 30 years of defending online freedom, EFF was proud to welcome Senator Ron Wyden as our second special guest in EFF’s yearlong Fireside Chat series. Senator Wyden is a longtime supporter of digital rights, and as co-author of Section 230, one of the key pieces of legislation protecting speech online, he’s a well-recognized champion of free speech. EFF’s Legal Director, Dr. Corynne McSherry, spoke with the senator about the fight to protect free expression and how Section 230, despite recent attacks, is still the “single best law for small businesses and single best law for free speech.” He also answered questions from the audience about some of the hot topics that have swirled around the legislation for the last few years. 

        You can watch the full conversation here or read the transcript.

        On May 5, we’ll be holding our third EFF30 Fireside Chat, on surveillance, with special guest Edward Snowden. He will be joined by EFF Executive Director Cindy Cohn, EFF Director of Engineering for Certbot Alexis Hancock, and EFF Policy Analyst Matthew Guariglia as they weigh in on surveillance in modern culture, activism, and the future of privacy. 

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Former ‘Team Navalny’ coordinator sentenced to 2.5 years in prison over ‘Rammstein’ video

        On Thursday, April 29, an Arkhangelsk court sentenced former Team Navalny coordinator Andrey Borovikov to 2.5 years in prison for sharing a clip of a music video by the German band Rammstein on social media.

      • Opinion | The Supreme Court Just Made It Easier to Sentence Children to Life in Prison

        Progressives must challenge this cruel ruling, but relying on rehabilitative discourse to challenge juvenile life-without-parole sentencing could be a risky strategy.

      • ‘Rebranding will not help’ Navalny and his top aides face new criminal charges as his political movement officially disbands ahead of extremism ruling

        On Thursday, April 29, Team Navalny announced the official dissolution of the jailed opposition politician’s network of regional offices. Almost simultaneously, Navalny’s website published documents revealing a previously unannounced criminal case against him and his top aides. The case was launched back in February on felony charges the likes of which have previously handed down to the leaders of religious cults. And this is on top of the fact that Moscow prosecutors are awaiting a ruling on labeling Navalny’s anti-corruption groups and political network “extremist organizations.”

      • Extremism lawsuit against Navalny’s network reveals previously unannounced criminal case against him and his top aides

        Jailed opposition politician Alexey Navalny, as well as his top aides Ivan Zhdanov and Leonid Volkov, are suspects in a criminal case on the creation of a non-profit organization that infringes on the liberties and rights of Russian citizens. This was revealed in the case materials from the lawsuit on recognizing Navalny’s anti-corruption network and political movement as extremist organizations.

      • Thanks To Crappy Cable Channel Bundles, Non-Watchers Hugely Subsidize Tucker Carlson And Fox News

        We’ve talked about the problem with bloated, expensive cable TV channel bundles for a long time. You might recall the push for “a la carte” TV channels (being able to buy cable TV channels individually) was even a pet project of the late John McCain, though his legislative efforts on that front never really went anywhere. And while the rise of streaming competition helped mitigate the problem somewhat, the tactic of forcing US cable TV consumers to buy massive bundles filled with channels they don’t watch remains a very real annoyance.

      • NYU Emailed the Parents of Striking Grad Students to Say Striking Is Bad

        Word of the letter began spreading on social media on Tuesday, with NYU Associate Professor of History Rebecca Anne Goetz confirming on Twitter that the school sent it to the parents of union members. In an emailed statement, an NYU spokesperson clarified that the mailing list it was sent out on is “almost wholly made up of” the parents of undergraduate students and that any parents of grad students who received it either signed up on their own or remained on the list from the time when their child was an undergraduate student.

        GSOC’s demands include a livable wage for all graduate workers, beginning at $32 an hour alongside a 3.5 percent annual pay increase. The university limits work weeks to 20 hours, meaning that $20 an hour comes out to $1600 a month, or $19,200 a year, if a student works every week of the year. NYU responded previously with an offer of $21 an hour and 3 percent annual raises.

      • Generation Wars Between Boomers, Millennials, and Gen Z Are a Distraction

        A “dimension of harm comes from the erasure of race and class that happens when the fight is framed as a fight between generations,” she adds. Using climate change as the example, Dalal-Whelan explains there are a lot of privileged young people, herself included, who have been shielded from the effects of climate change, whereas there are working-class BIPOC who have already died because of its impact. And the media’s efforts to center “youth voices” can lead to young white organizers speaking over young BIPOC organizers, Dalal-Whelan points out. “A part of respecting youth is also recognizing that we have the same capacity to cause harm as adults, and a part of adults’ roles in mentoring and supporting us should be to mitigate that,” she adds.

      • Boomer to Zoomer: Grim Generational Relations Aren’t An Accident

        For boomers, many of whom went to college or bought homes several decades ago, it’s easy to ignore these worsening conditions or even blame young people for being unable to make ends meet. Younger generations might blame older folks for their apathy. But in order to combat economic injustice, it’s crucial for people of all generations to fight for higher wages, affordable housing, free education, and other rights so that we can all have our basic needs met—and every generation has something to offer in this fight. Boomers and Generation X have more experience surviving under capitalism, so they can offer invaluable institutional knowledge about a social movement. Meanwhile, millennials and Gen Z have more contemporary knowledge on how to use newer technology, such as the internet and social media, to organize and politically educate larger groups of people. While age plays a role in every person’s economic and social standing, the reality is that fewer and fewer people have health insurance, stable housing, and gainful employment across generational lines. Capitalism is an indiscriminate killer, and in order to overthrow the racist, capitalist, heteropatriarchal systems that govern the American people, we need both the vision and energy of young people and the wisdom of our elders; generational warfare is simply a distraction from that.

      • Sight-impaired people hit as BoM blocks some textmode browsers

        Many sight-impaired readers use lynx and other text-based browsers and a speech-to-text engine like festival to read these pages.

        Russell Coker, a senior developer with the Debian/GNU Linux distribution and a member of the Linux Users of Victoria mailing list, told iTWire that if lynx was blocked, then it would be difficult for about half the people using braille readers.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Amazon Says “Over 175 Million” Prime Members Streamed Movies and Shows in Past Year

        Amazon is finally shedding some light on how many of the company’s users watch Amazon Prime Video programming.

      • The EPIC Effect: Microsoft Changes Revenue Split To Match EPIC Store, Steam Holds Firm

        Way back when Epic released its Epic Store PC game storefront, the release of this new competitor to Steam focused on two major selling points. The first was timed exclusives that it shelled out tons of money for, allowing it to sell games the public couldn’t get anywhere else for a certain period of time. This pissed off lots of people, as the public generally doesn’t like exclusives. That said, Epic did mention that it would end its exclusivity practices if the rest of the gaming storefront world, especially Steam, mirrored the Epic Store’s second key selling point, which was a far more favorable split offered to game developers than the “industry standard” 70/30 split that sees places like Steam getting nearly a third of game revenue just for hosting the game on its platform. Instead, Epic’s store has a 88/12 split, meaning the platform is willing to take less than half of the revenue Steam extracts from gamemakers.

    • Monopolies

      • The time is ripe for the CJEU to explicitly apply its renewed doctrine on the meaning of “product” also to art. 3(c) of the SPC Regulation [Ed: Monopolies writing of buying the laws]

        The long and winding road, as The Beatles would put it, that led to the judgments of the CJEU in Teva et altri v. Gilead Sciences (Case C-121/17) and Royalty Pharma v. Deutsches Patent und Markenamt (Case C-650/17), which renewed the Court’s case law on the meaning of “product“, started in the Medeva judgment (Case C-322/10), a relatively old decision from which the CJEU itself has struggled to distance itself during the last decade. Even the national Court (Justice Arnold) that had sent the preliminary questions to the CJEU in that case, complained that the answers of the CJEU (the infamous “It follows” of par. 25), in reality, did not “follow” from the legal grounds of the decision.

        Although the answers of the CJEU in Medeva dealt with articles 3(a) and 3 (b) of the SPC Regulation only, down the road, that decision caused collateral damage to cases dealing with article 3(c) also. A good example may be found in Actavis v. Sanofi (Case C-443/12) and Actavis v. Boehringer Ingelheim (Case C-577/13). In both cases, the national Courts had referred cases dealing with both article 3(a) and 3(c) although, in the end, in the first case the CJEU answered the question dealing with article 3(c) only. The answer of the CJEU in Actavis v. Sanofi was predetermined by the so-called “core inventive advance” test (see par. 30 of the judgment), which has since been explicitly abandoned by the CJEU in cases dealing with article 3(a).

      • Patents

        • ’Much more innovation is needed to meet CO2 targets by 2050’ [Ed: Obscene greenwashing by Europe's most corrupt institution]

          Patents for low-carbon energy technology grew by 3.3% per year between 2017 and 2019, but this is only a quarter of the average annual growth rate of a decade ago. According to a report published today by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), this means that there is an urgent need to invest in clean technology in order to meet the climate targets. The EPO is the world’s leading authority on patent information and patent research.

          The Netherlands is making a significant contribution to innovation where clean energy technologies are concerned. Based on the number of patent applications in the period from 2000 to 2019 related to low-carbon energy technologies, the Netherlands ranks 5th in Europe and 11th in the world. “But to reach net zero by 2050, almost half of the emission reductions will have to come from technologies that are not yet on the market,” warns Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency. “This means huge leaps need to be made in innovation.”

        • EPO-IEA report: Accelerate Clean Energy Innovation for Carbon Neutrality [Ed: EPO bought itself some greenwashing puff pieces to help distract from its corruption and abuse of staff]

          While the world’s carbon emissions continue to rise, technological innovation in the clean energy sector is failing to counter them with a good momentum, as per a joint report released by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) yesterday.

        • FOSS Patents: Fortress Investment and subsidiaries seek dismissal of Apple and Intel’s second amended antitrust complaint over patent aggregation

          Not every long story is neverending: this summer we’re finally going to know whether Apple and Intel’s antitrust complaint against Fortress Investment in the Norther District of California over abusive patent aggregation will be taken to trial–or whether the plaintiffs have to appeal a dismissal with prejudice. Last night, Fortress and various non-practicing entities (NPEs) it funded brought their motion to dismiss and strike the Second Amended Complaint (a 161-page “book” that is technically already the fourth complaint, as Intel originally brought one, which it withdrew in order to refile with Apple).

          Just last week, Intel defended itself against Fortress-funded VLSI Technology’s second patent infringement complaint in the Western District of Texas, as a jury held neither of the patents-in-suit to be infringed. VLSI had won a $2.175 billion verdict in the first case in early March. More recently, I found out about a bunch of VoiceAge v. Apple cases pending in Munich, though the trial dates in those have been vacated due to the pandemic. VoiceAge EVS is another Fortress-funded NPE.

          [...]

          The next step is to establish market power in a given market. Here, Fortress criticizes that the complaint “does not identify a single price—much less a ‘supracompetitive’ one—that anyone has ever paid to license any of Defendants’ patents” (just damages demands). Fortress furthermore says the complaint doesn’t plead aggregation in the sense of having acquired “all or even most of the ‘substitutes’ in the alleged markets, or that Defendants have aggregated the most important substitutes—i.e., the ‘crown jewels’—in any of the markets.” And Fortress argues that makret power alone wouldn’t suffice: reduced output is allegedly an indispensable additional requirement in the Ninth Circuit.

          With respect to antitrust injury, Fortress notes that Apple and Intel “still do not allege that they ever paid for a single license” to the patents at issue.

          A conspiracy across those entities (Sherman Act Section 1) is denied because “every allegedly improper transaction is only between Fortress or Fortress Credit and a single other Defendant” but not among the group of companies as a whole.

          In the headline of my report on the Second Amended Complaint, I mentioned the alleged Generating Alerts Based on Blood Oxygen Level Market. The motion to dismiss argues that some of the patents Apple and Intel listed in that context “have nothing to do with measuring blood oxygen.” At first sight, a couple of examples Fortress provides may indeed be unrelated, such as U.S. Patent No. 7,690,556 on a “step counter accounting for incline”: in the patent document, I couldn’t find the word “oxygen” once, and the sole occurrence of “blood” relates to other eHealth functionality than the one covered by the patent. While I did get the impression that the Second Amended Complaint defined reasonably narrow markets, it may very well be that a few patents have been miscategorized.

        • “The UK IP judiciary has solved its capacity issue. Now it must tackle diversity”

          Two years ago, the UK judiciary faced a crisis. Across 2019 and 2020, promotions, resignations and the untimely death of Henry Carr depleted the numbers of IP and patent-specialist judges at the UK High Court. Just two judges in Colin Birss and Richard Arnold remained to steer the ship. Now, in terms of IP judges, the UK High Court is once again at full capacity. But still the judicial bench does not reflect the diversity of practitioners in IP law.

        • Context Directions ’791 reexamination request granted

          On April 29, 2021, the USPTO granted Unified’s request for ex parte reexamination, finding substantial new questions of patentability on all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 10,142,791, owned by Context Directions, LLC, which is affiliated with Jeffrey Gross. The patent relates to the use of hierarchical sensor groups in mobile devices. The ‘791 patent and its family have been asserted against Samsung and LG in district court. The grant for reexamination comes exactly one month from filing.

        • New EPO guidelines: Bringing descriptions in line with amended claims [Ed: The EPO's guidelines are actually a gross violation of the law, designed to enrich the people who loot the Office by granting fake patents aplenty]

          To date, new Guidelines for Examination have been published by the European Patent Office (EPO) almost every November like premier wines. But, with 2020-2021 not a year like any other, the new guidelines were instead published in February, entering into force on 1 March. Sylvain Chaffraix sets out the changes.

          One of the major amendments in the EPO’s latest Guidelines for Examination lies in the strengthened requirements to align the allowed claims and the description before the grant, based on Article 84 of the European Patent Convention (EPC) relating to clarity.

          A new section H-V-2.7 appears to underline that the alignment of the description with the amended claims is a ‘must-do’ requirement:

        • Understanding the Differences Between the Trilateral Patent Offices In Determining Inventive Step [Ed: Patent standards have been rapidly lowered to benefit monopolies, enable tax evasion etc. Patent offices knowingly grant patents they know to be bogus.]

          In the U.S., U.S. Patent Law 103 “stipulates the non-easiness of the invention” as the “Unobviousness”.

        • J0009/18: four substantial procedural violations and a legal inaccuracy [Ed: The simple matter of fact is, those Boards of Appeal have long been besieged by the Office, rendering them incapable of properly applying the rule of the law or the EPC; this doesn't seem to bother patent maximalists, who basically profit from chaos]

          Appeals against the Receiving Section at the EPO tend to be few and far between. Nevertheless such appeals tend to relate to procedural matters and can deal with complex matters of law. In this case, the Board of Appeal identified a total of four substantial procedural violations that had occurred making this the ideal case for a refresher on matters relating to further processing, and re-establishment.

        • Navigating Key Differences in Therapeutic Antibody Patent Protection Strategies Between the United States and Europe [Ed: Patents being granted on everything in existence, including life and nature. And right now patents moreover kill people, as we see in COVID-19 with vaccine monopolies]

          Many of today’s top-selling drugs worldwide are therapeutic antibodies thus antibody-related inventions can be extremely valuable. Developing antibody therapeutics requires significant resources and time, so it is paramount to develop a robust patent strategy to protect that investment, prevent reverse-engineering, and minimize design-arounds.

          The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) created The Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP) in 1998 to focus on substantive patent law harmonization.1 In November 2000, the SCP began focusing their efforts on a Substantive Patent Law Treaty (SPLT). The ultimate goal of the SPLT is global harmonization of issues relating to the grant of patents in order to improve global patent quality. Although the SPLT negotiations were put on hold in 2006,2 the SCP continues their work on patent law harmonization, holding the SCP’s 32nd session in December 2020 in Geneva, Switzerland.3

          Applicants typically file antibody-related patent applications in many jurisdictions including the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the European Patent Office (EPO). The USPTO and EPO examine antibody claims for patent-eligibility, clarity, support and enablement, novelty and inventive step. However, despite the efforts of WIPO’s SCP, the USPTO and EPO significantly differ during examination of antibody patent applications in their determination whether or not an antibody claim meets these requirements. For companies developing antibody products for both the United States (U.S.) and European markets, it is important to avoid Office-specific pitfalls when drafting and prosecuting antibody claims.

        • Software Patents

          • New guidance: European Patent Office updates Guidelines on the patentability of databases [Ed: The corrupt EPO management will continue to shamelessly break the law and grant illegal software patents as long as oversight is lacking and accountability does not exist]

            Businesses developing software which includes database management systems and information retrieval should review whether it is capable of being protected by a patent in the EU, following publication of an amended version of the European Patent Office (EPO) Guidelines for Examination.

            [...]

            Interestingly, the Guidelines apparently now indicate that merely ‘optimising the execution of … structured queries with respect to the computer resources needed (such as CPU, main memory or hard disk)’ can amount to a technical effect for these purposes. Previously, this was not enough on its own – although the Guidelines also clarify that ‘information retrieval’ which classifies results by subjective criteria such as linguistic rules or cognitive content, do not make a technical contribution.

            Note that the UK Intellectual Property Office and the EPO do not approach patents for software in the same way. On occasion software that is not patentable under one system may be patentable under the other.

      • Copyrights

        • Disney’s writer wage-theft is far worse than reported

          Both Foster’s agent and the Science Fiction Writers of America tried to negotiate with Disney quietly on this, but they were stonewalled and insulted (Disney insisted that they wouldn’t even discuss a deal without first getting nondisclosure agreements from Foster, another unheard-of tactic).

          After failing to make progress with private negotiations, they went loudly public, launching the #DisneyMustPay campaign. The good news is, the campaign was successful, and Foster has been paid.

          The bad news is that the campaign flushed out many writers who are also having their wages stolen by Disney. The company is stalling them, too – refusing to search its records or volunteer info unless the authors can name the specific instances in which they’ve been robbed.

        • Pirate Football Streaming Sites Are Scam & Malware Havens – But What Are The Threats?

          The results of a study published by cybersecurity firm Webroot suggest that 90% of pirate streaming sites offering live football and shared on social media contain scams, malware or extreme content. While the headline figures are probably accurate, the key threats highlighted by the firm can also be mitigated to an extent. However, that has an interesting effect that contributes to existing anti-piracy measures.

        • Oscar Winner Nomadland Sees Massive Surge in Online Piracy

          Nomadland was the big winner at the Oscars last weekend, securing the best picture, actress, and director awards. This major achievement puts the movie in the spotlight and increases interest through legal and illegal channels. Fresh data collected by TorrentFreak shows that pirate downloads surged right after the awards ceremony.

        • It Took Four Months And Thousands Of Dollars To Overturn One Manifestly Stupid Upload Block: Imagine How Bad It Will Soon Be With EU Copyright Directive’s Blanket Use Of Filters

          The upload filters required by the EU’s Copyright Directive are not yet in operation — even though France seems keen to bring them in as soon as possible. So we have been spared for the moment the inevitable harm to freedom of speech and loss of online users’ rights that this ill-conceived and dishonest legislation will cause. But a minor case in the Czech Republic provides a foretaste of what is to come. It concerns the Czech file-sharing and hosting site Ulož.to. TorrentFreak has the details:

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