Blogging Pioneer Dave Winer: Pleading for Richard Stallman

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux at 6:51 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Reprinted from the original

  • I feel so sad about what’s happening to Stallman.#
  • He’s 68. I know what that’s like, I’m 65. #
  • He has fixed his whole existence on a single idea that software should be free. Not free of charge, but free to use and to adapt. It’s not that far from the kind of openness I believe in, that I believe is an ethical responsiblity for developers. #
  • It’s useful to have a person like Stallman around, consistently marking an extreme view. It’s like knowing there’s a North Star, you may not be going to it, exactly, but knowing where it is makes it possible to go other places. And some people agree with Stallman in total, and to them he’s their leader.#
  • Now, if you step back and look at what’s being said about him, basically people don’t like things he says or the questions he asks. I read these things completely factoring out the non-factual stuff, where they tell you what his questions mean in some pure sense, when what they’re really saying is what these questions mean to them. To a reasonable person imho they’re just questions. Some people don’t argue with questions, they just ask them. For the people who attack him, it’s the opposite, their questions are accusations. #
  • I think Stallman is actually a naive innocent, almost child-like harmless person. That’s based on years of observing him, being connected through communities. Maybe he did terrible things I don’t know about. But maybe you have too. Is this how we’re going to coexist? All of us worrying about who’s going to make a credible case for destroying each others’ lives? This isn’t about Stallman, it’s about your sense of justice and how far it extends, and how unfair that is for the rest of us who fear being judged by you. #
  • PS: A quote from a 1994 blog post: “I try not to get offended on principle.” I was quoting someone else, but I’ve remembered that. Just because I should be offended, doesn’t mean, if I’m not actually offended, that I have to pretend I was. #
  • PPS: If you still think Stallman should be destroyed, go see Lives of Others, a wonderful film about intellectuals in East Germany during the Cold War. #

The EPO’s War on Justice and Assault on the Law — Part 12: Internal Members: Ingo Beckedorf

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Previously in this series:

Ingo Beckedorf
Ingo Beckdorf is reputed to have shown a credible degree of independence in the past. It remains to be seen what he will do this time around.

Summary: It remains to be seen what Ingo Beckedorf will say about António Campinos outsourcing the courts to another country and denying in-person hearings

In this part we turn our attention to one of the better known internal members of the Enlarged Board (EBA, elevated court) in case no. G 1/21, Ingo Beckedorf.

“Due to this lack of transparency which is typical for the EPO, it’s more or less impossible for outsiders to get a clear picture of what exactly went on behind the scenes in this case.”Beckedorf joined the EPO in 2007 and has been a legally qualified member of the Enlarged Board of Appeal since 2012. Before joining the EPO, he was a press attaché and deputy head of the Office of the European Parliament in Germany (2001-2003) and a judge at the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court of Hamburg (1997-2006).

Beckedorf previously demonstrated an ability to upset the apple-cart in August 2015 when he is reputed to have acted as the legal brain behind the “courtroom revolt” which led to the replacement of the Chairperson in case no. G2301/15.

That case was about the “removal from office” proceedings initiated against the suspended Board member who had been subjected to an unlawful “house ban” by Battistelli in December 2014.

The final decision in case G2301/15 contains the following terse summary of the relevant facts:

XI. On 28 July 2015 the respondent filed an objection against the then chairwoman under Article 24(3) EPC.

XII. On 5 August 2015 the Enlarged Board took an interlocutory decision under Article 24(4) EPC allowing this objection and appointing a new member of the Enlarged Board in her place.

“In June 2015, the Chairman of the Administrative Council Jesper Kongstad – acting in close cooperation with Battistelli – submitted a removal from office request to the Enlarged Board of Appeal.”The interlocutory decision of 5 August 2015 has never been made publicly available – presumably to spare embarrassment to the deposed Chairperson.

Due to this lack of transparency which is typical for the EPO, it’s more or less impossible for outsiders to get a clear picture of what exactly went on behind the scenes in this case.

However, with the assistance of information supplied by EPO insiders, the relevant train of events can be pieced together as follows.

In June 2015, the Chairman of the Administrative Council Jesper Kongstad – acting in close cooperation with Battistelli – submitted a removal from office request to the Enlarged Board of Appeal.

At the same time the Council announced that it would hold an extraordinary meeting in mid-September 2015.

Although the purpose of this extraordinary meeting was not expressly stated, it was clear to those involved that the intention of Kongstad and Battistelli was that the Council should convene to dismiss the suspended Board member.

All that was needed to finalise the arrangements for this little coup de théâtre was for the Enlarged Board to issue a proposal for removal from office in accordance with Article 23 (1) EPC.

“Van der Eijk was supposed to endorse the Council’s request and let the members of the Enlarged Board know what result they were expected to deliver.”After the Council Chairman had submitted his request to the Enlarged Board, Battistelli summoned the Vice-President of DG3 (Wim van der Eijk) and the Chairperson of the Legal Board (Ms Claude Vallet) to his office on the 10th floor of the Isar building in order to “instruct” them on to how to proceed.

Van der Eijk was supposed to endorse the Council’s request and let the members of the Enlarged Board know what result they were expected to deliver. Vallet was told that she would lead the proceedings in the role of Chair of the Enlarged Board.

However, it seems that the other members of the panel entrusted with the case – including Beckedorf – were uncomfortable with the way in which Vallet began to conduct the proceedings.

In particular, they took exception to her overly eager efforts to comply with the timetable set by Battistelli and Kongstad by cutting procedural corners and setting exceedingly tight deadlines for the respondent and – by extension – for the Board itself.

In fact the deadlines were so tight that the other Board members complained that they had insufficient time to conduct a thorough assessment of the written submissions in preparation for the oral hearing.

“They voted to exclude her from the case due to a well-founded suspicion of partiality.”In the end, the other members of the panel lost patience with Vallet and decided to make a stand for procedural fairness. They voted to exclude her from the case due to a well-founded suspicion of partiality.

The proceedings then continued under Beckedorf’s chairmanship and ended with a decision to reject the Council Chairman’s request as inadmissible.

Because of the over-enthusiastic deference and “anticipatory obedience” which she had shown towards her tyrannical compatriot Battistelli, Vallet’s reputation inside the Legal Board is reported to have suffered in the aftermath of the affair. According to the EPO rumour mill, she went into early retirement a few years later in 2018.

When the Council submitted a further “removal from office” request against the suspended Board member at the start of 2016, it seemed likely that the Enlarged Board would also reject this as inadmissible.

“Because of the over-enthusiastic deference and “anticipatory obedience” which she had shown towards her tyrannical compatriot Battistelli, Vallet’s reputation inside the Legal Board is reported to have suffered in the aftermath of the affair.”However, according to reliable inside sources, Kongstad let it be known that if the Enlarged Board declined to admit the request, then its members might encounter “problems” in connection with their re-appointment. This veiled threat was considered to be primarily directed at Beckedorf whose re-appointment was due to be voted on at the upcoming Council meeting in June 2016.

And so – to the great surprise of many external observers – it came to pass that the Enlarged Board declared in May 2016 that the Council’s attempt to re-run the “removal from office” procedure was admissible.

This decision was in clear breach of the principle of double jeopardy and it ignored the fact that the new request from the Council was more or less a carbon copy of the preceding request which had been previously rejected in September 2015.

However – notwithstanding the fact that it had effectively been coerced into admitting the Council’s request – the Enlarged Board signalled that it intended to probe into the details of the case. In particular it announced that it proposed to conduct a witness examination of members of the EPO Investigative Unit in connection with allegations of unauthorised covert surveillance.

“In particular it announced that it proposed to conduct a witness examination of members of the EPO Investigative Unit in connection with allegations of unauthorised covert surveillance.”This did not fit in with Battistelli’s tightly choreographed “roadmap” which foresaw the role of the Enlarged Board as that of a mere rubber-stamping instance whose sole function was to deliver the “results” expected by the Council.

As a result Bastistelli threw one of his notorious tantrums and – apparently without consulting the Council – he proceeded to use EPO funds to hire two top-dollar British QCs from 39 Essex Chambers – Alison Foster (now a High Court Judge) and Colin Thomann – in a desperate last-minute attempt to “cajole” the EBA into rethinking its proposed course of action.

The Enlarged Board’s – perfectly understandable – reaction to Battistelli’s “procedurally irregular intervention” was to declare that its independence was under attack.

When Kongstad refused to distance himself from Battistelli’s actions during the hearing on 14 June 2016 [PDF], the Enlarged Board terminated the proceedings and unceremoniously dismissed the Council’s request for a proposal to remove the suspended member from office.

Due to Battistelli’s clumsy and counter-productive efforts to “nobble” the Enlarged Board and the ensuing negative publicity which irritated many of the Administrative Council delegates, Beckedorf managed to emerge from that affair relatively unscathed. The Administrative Council voted to renew his appointment at its 144th Meeting which took place at the end of June 2016.

“The Administrative Council voted to renew his appointment at its 144th Meeting which took place at the end of June 2016.”Beckedorf’s role in the procedures G2301/15 and G2301/16 demonstrated that he was capable of showing a credible degree of independence and that he wasn’t always prepared to dance to the tune of his political masters when their wishes conflicted with his sense of professional ethics.

But a lot of water has flowed under the Ludwigsbrücke near the EPO headquarters in Munich since those days, and it remains to be seen whether or not Beckedorf proves himself able and willing to swim against the tide in the present procedure G 1/21.

The EPO Has Slipped Out of Control and Now It’s a Mass Litigation “Mafia” With Immunity

Posted in Europe, Patents at 6:31 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: While bullying bloggers, bribing publishers and besieging staff using an aggressive legion of lawyers the EPO’s management grants many thousands of unlawful patents and flaunts diplomatic immunity; is this the best Europe has to offer?

EARLIER on we published a post about António Campinos spending millions more on lawyers. Is this a patent office or a litigation office? What has the EPO become? Even Benoît Battistelli doesn’t seem to have spent that much money on lawyers, right? The video above discusses some of that ugly legacy of the Office, which including siccing lawyers at yours truly as well (yes, they’ve threatened bloggers, too).

“The “Mafia” of the EPO (the staff calls the managers “Mafia”) is now a litigation machine.”“Campinos lawyers up against EPO staff,” one reader alerted us today. Apparently some people are deeply perturbed by this because they have cases in progress (or cases planned) against the EPO. “In case you haven’t heard about this yet,” said the reader, “[i]t seems that António is planning on investing some of his Covid-19 gains in litigation against EPO staff. He wants to use the funds for hiring expensive Swiss and French corporate lawyers to fend off pending and future lawsuits before the ILOAT in Geneva. All he needs now is the rubber-stamped approval of the Administrative Council.”

Gargoyle in Barcelona CathedralThe “Mafia” of the EPO (the staff calls the managers “Mafia”) is now a litigation machine. Not only does it bribe the media; it also threatens the media using lawyers (the ‘disobedient’ publishers who dare insinuate that EPO is anything but spectacular) and moreover crushes staff that challenges real abuses.

The video above discusses the latest on the Education and Childcare reform, citing a Central Staff Committee (CSC) “counter-proposal and GCC [General Consultative Committee] opinion”. The following text was circulated to explain what had happened 2 weeks ago:

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) had submitted a last-chance counter-proposal to try to mitigate the effects of the reform on children in The Hague, Berlin and Vienna, as well as arguments in favour of this initiative. The President postponed the GCC meeting from the 29 April to the 4 May allegedly for his service “to take the time to study the arguments [we] now bring as well as the new counter-proposal/fallback position and its financial implication.

In the meeting, the President did not concretely address the substance of our latest proposals. Instead, we had the “privilege”, for the first time in the history of the General Consultative Committee (GCC), to be the spectators of a play in which the Chief of Staff, PD People, PD Corporate Policies and lower-ranking officials took turns to speak and read out their parts of a text prepared in advance. The performance lasted about three quarters of an hour.

After that we could make some of our points but, given the circumstances, we could not expect the administration to make any statement that deviated from their pre-written script.

The President closed the debate and invited us to submit our opinion in writing.

This is not a dialogue at all. Far from it! It’s worse than a joke and it’s insulting considering how much effort was put into the proposals.

Creature“You may also find a document,” the CSC said, “including both our counter-proposal and our opinion here [PDF].” [Those are detailed proposals]

Here is the GCC opinion (by the CSC members in the GCC) on education reform 2021. [PDF]

Campinos never bothered reading these (not himself anyway), so at least the public can see what’s at stake and judge the situation accordingly.

Links 18/5/2021: Istio 1.10 and KernelShark 2.0

Posted in News Roundup at 5:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • There are two kinds of desktops: Yours and someone else’s

        The exception is Linux. (I know there are other independent desktop operating systems; FreeBSD springs quickly to mind.)

        The reason Linux still matters on the desktop, and always will, is that it’s the only desktop where the end-user is in control.

        That’s the good news. That’s also, in a way, the bad news. There are many different ways to do things in Linux. That gives you a variety of choices, but it also means you — not Microsoft, Google or Apple — need to understand your choices and pick out the best one for you.

        Some of you are no doubt saying, “Yes! And that’s how it should be.” I’m with you. But, and this is why the Linux desktop is perpetually an also-ran in the desktop wars, most people just want to get their work done. They don’t know and they certainly don’t care about the differences between deb and rpm, the Debian and Red Hat fundamental package management formats.

        I and the Linux folks reading this know what I’m talking about when I say “package management.” But Joe and Jane User? They’ve already skipped that paragraph.

    • Server

      • Istio 1.10 Change Notes

        These notices describe functionality that will be removed in a future release according to Istio’s deprecation policy. Please consider upgrading your environment to remove the deprecated functionality.

      • Istio 1.10 Upgrade Notes

        When you upgrade from Istio 1.9 to Istio 1.10, you need to consider the changes on this page. These notes detail the changes which purposefully break backwards compatibility with Istio 1.9. The notes also mention changes which preserve backwards compatibility while introducing new behavior. Changes are only included if the new behavior would be unexpected to a user of Istio 1.9.

      • An Abridged Guide to the Enterprise Linux Landscape

        Whether you are welcoming CentOS Stream or looking for alternatives, the recent decision from the CentOS community to focus on CentOS Stream has forced a lot of technical leaders to rethink their Enterprise Linux strategy. Beneath that decision, the business landscape involving Linux has shifted and expanded since its enterprise debut in the late 90s, when IBM would invest $1 billion in its development.

        Today, Linux comes in every shape and size imaginable — with the kernel running on tiny low power computers and IoT devices, mobile phones, tablets, laptops all the way up to midrange and high-power mainframe servers.

        Cutting through that expansive selection to understand which Linux distributions truly align with the needs of a business can lead to more frictionless deployments and successful execution while minimizing waste in maintenance cycles and optimizing overall cost.

        This abridged guide to the Enterprise Linux landscape can give businesses an overview of which flavor (or flavors) of Linux will most adequately match their use cases.

        For those looking for a more comprehensive guide, be sure to check out the Decision Maker’s Guide to Enterprise Linux.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel Working On TTM Integration For Discrete vRAM Management – Phoronix

        More than a decade ago when the open-source graphics driver stack was being modernized with kernel mode-setting and better handling the stack for OpenGL, composited desktops and the like, TTM (Translation Table Maps) was born for managing GPU video RAM by the kernel Direct Rendering Manager drivers. While Intel initially expressed interest in TTM, they ultimately decided to create GEM as the Graphics Execution Manager for handling their video memory management needs. Now in 2021 with Intel aggressively pursuing discrete graphics, they are working on TTM support.

      • KernelShark 2.0 Released For Continuing To Visualize Linux Traces

        Two years after KernelShark 1.0 for visualizing the Linux kernel’s “trace-cmd” tracing, KernelShark 2.0 has now been realized.

        KernelShark continues to be tooled around visualizing the output from the trace-cmd command that interacts with the Linux kernel’s FTrace tracer. KernelShark 2.0 introduces the concept of data streams for loading and merging multiple trace files, a new design for its plug-in interface has been merged, and there are also modifications to its C API.

      • [ANNOUNCE] KernelShark 2.0
      • Graphics Stack

        • AMDVLK 2021.Q2.3 Released With CPU Optimization, Faster Shader Compile Times – Phoronix

          AMD has issued its newest AMDVLK open-source Vulkan driver code drop today and with this update comes some new optimizations and improvements.

          The optimizations new to AMDVLK 2021.Q2.3 include a CPU performance optimization for its Vulkan pipeline binning and faster shader compilation times. There are also game-specific performance optimizations for Dawn of War III and Civilization VI. This AMDVLK open-source driver update also now has extended its format support when running on Wayland.

        • AMD Publishes Latest Linux Patch To Toggle Predictive Store Forwarding (PSF) – Phoronix

          It’s been a month and a half since AMD published a security analysis of their new Zen 3 “Predictive Store Forwarding” feature that while helping performance could theoretically lead to a new side-channel attack. While they published a Linux patch to allow disabling PSF if desired for increased security, to this day they remain in the works and have yet to be mainlined.

          Days after that security white-paper was published AMD began posting the Linux patches to disable PSF optionally for users concerned around the possible security implications of Predictive Store Forwarding. As of Monday, there have now been six rounds of these patches for simply offering up the PSF user control.

        • NVIDIA 465.31 Linux Driver Released With RTX 3050 Series Laptop Support – Phoronix

          While last week the NVIDIA 460.80 Linux driver was released with adding support for the RTX 3050 / RTX 3050 Ti laptop GPUs, today the NVIDIA 465.31 Linux driver debuted for officially bringing these new Ampere GPUs to this newer driver branch.

          Today’s NVIDIA 465.31 Linux driver officially supports the GeForce RTX 3050 and RTX 3050 Ti laptop graphics processors. Additionally, there is a bug fix around AddressSanitizer reporting an issue with the NVIDIA OpenGL and Vulkan libraries.

    • Applications

      • Top free Cockpit linux alternative web-based server manager tools

        The cockpit, a web-based Linux server manager comes out of the box in some RHEL and its based distros such as CetnOS, Rocky Linux, and AlmaLinux. Whereas other distribution users such as Debian, Ubuntu, etc can also install it. Using Cockpit, the system admin can conveniently administer and controlled servers remotely using a browser. It is an open-source tool and source code is available on the GitHub page. Furthermore, you can also switch to the command line at any time, for example, to start the webserver, create new user accounts; apart from it, the admins can also take a look at the systemd journal, check the load or start and stop services using a terminal with root access. Thanks to the responsive design of Cockpit, the user interface automatically adapts to different screen sizes, which in turn enables convenient access via smartphones. It can also be used to manage several Linux systems by simply installing Cockpit in other servers, and connecting them to the main server running with Cockpit.

        However, Cockpit is not the only open-source application that is available to server management platforms there are few good Cockpit alternatives available. And here we will learn what are those.

      • 1Password releases full-featured Linux desktop application | ZDNet

        I used to pride myself on being able to remember dozens of complex passwords. But, now I need to remember hundreds of passwords and I just can’t do it. That’s why password managers, such as 1Password, Keeper, and LastPass, are so important. All of which is fine and good… unless you’re running Linux. Now, Agilebits’ 1Password has finally given their customers what they’ve been asking for: A Linux version. After a long beta, the company has released its first Linux edition.


        As Jeff Shiner, 1Password CEO said, “1Password for Linux is the latest step in our commitment to enterprise. While 1Password can be utilized by anyone, business or individual, we have seen a real need for robust Linux support – outside of just the browser – in DevOps and IT teams in larger organizations. 1Password for Linux means that the entire organization can be protected irrespective of their device choice.”

        At the same time, 1Password also supports open source. 1Password provides more than 250 open source projects with free 1Password accounts for their teams. 1Password developed the new platform with this community in mind, using a number of incredible open technologies such as Rust, Ring Crypto, and Electron, the cross-platform JavaScript application program. Many, but not all 1Password for Linux libraries have also been shared back with the community. These include an Electron hardener and secure defaults package that, together, create a secure frontend foundation for 1Password.

      • 10 Linux Mail Clients + 7 Terminal Mail Clients [& Install]

        In this article we are going to review 17 mail clients for Linux divided in two parts, the first part is going to be Mail Clients for the GUI and the second part is going to be Mail Clients for the terminal.

      • 1Password Desktop App for Linux Officially Released, Here’s How to Install It

        Because 1Password for Linux uses the same authentication mechanisms and APIs provided to all user applications, you can unlock 1Password with your Linux user account, fingerprint sensors, or any other authentication mechanism supported by PAM. The app uses the Linux kernel keyring to establish a fully encrypted connection between 1Password in your browser and 1Password for Linux. That means that if you unlock one, the other will also be unlocked when you switch to it.

        The app will work with most modern web browsers, such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, and other Chromium-based options.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Set Process Priorities with the Nice and Renice Commands in Linux
      • How to Use Ctrl+Alt+Del for Launching the Task Manager in Ubuntu Linux
      • Oracle Linux Hands-on Labs on Oracle Help Center Learn

        In this week’s Training Tuesday blog, we present a set of free, hands-on lab exercises for Oracle Linux on Oracle Help Center (OHC) Learn. The Learn platform contains tutorials and hands-on lab exercises for a variety of Oracle Cloud services and on-premises products.

      • How To Install Falkon Web Browser On Ubuntu Linux

        Falkon is a KDE web browser using QtWebEngine rendering engine, previously known as QupZilla. It aims to be a lightweight web browser available through all major platforms. This project has been originally started only for educational purposes. But from its start, Falkon has grown into a feature-rich browser.

        Falkon has all standard functions you expect from a web browser. It includes bookmarks, history (both also in sidebar) and tabs. Above that, it has by default enabled blocking ads with a built-in AdBlock plugin.

      • How to Convert a PDF File to an Image in Linux With pdftoppm

        Need to edit your PDF files as images? Whatever your reasons for converting PDFs to images, here’s how to do it with pdftoppm.

        Want to convert a PDF file to images on Linux? Sometimes, you might need to save a specific page of a document file as an image for later reference. Online tools don’t offer much choice when it comes to converting PDF files to images.

        With the pdftoppm utility, you can easily generate image files from a PDF document. And the best part, you can do so by typing a simple command on the terminal. In this article, we will discuss pdftoppm in detail, along with a guide on how to use this tool efficiently.

      • How to create custom keyboard shortcut in Ubuntu Linux

        I recently installed Ubuntu on my desktop computer. Everything was working fine, except that I was not able to capture screenshots using the ‘Insert/Print Screen’ key on my Dell keyboard. While googling the issue, I stumbled upon a workaround that solved my problem.

        The workaround was to create a custom keyboard shortcut. If you are also facing a similar screenshot-related problem, or want to know in general how to create custom keyboard shortcuts in Ubuntu, you’ll be glad to know that’s what we’ll be discussing here.

      • How To Check MySQL Version on Linux – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to check the MySQL version on Linux. For those of you who didn’t know, MySQL (and its drop-in replacement MariaDB) is the most popular open-source relational database management system. It is a fast and secure relational database management system. MySQL is a free open-source relational database management system that uses SQL (structured query language). It is a necessary part of almost every open-source PHP tool. A few of the examples of PHP & MySQL-based scripts are WordPress, Joomla, Magento, and Drupal.

        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 checking of the MySQL/MariaDB version on Linux.

      • How To Install NFS Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install NFS Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, NFS or Network File System is a distributed file system protocol. It can help you share files and entire directories with others over a network. It allows programs on remote systems to share and access information with each other as if it was available on a local machine. This technology gives you the flexibility of sharing a resource over multiple systems.

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

      • How To Use MySQL With Ruby On Rails Application – OSTechNix

        Ruby on Rails uses SQLite3 as its default database. While Sqlite works great with Rails, some times it may not be sufficient for your Rails application. If you want scalability, concurrency, centralization, and control, you may want to try more robust databases like MySQL or PostgreSQL. In this guide, we will see how to use MySQL with Ruby on Rails application in Ubuntu Linux.

      • How to Install Arch Linux on VirtualBox Using the Guided Installer

        Arch Linux is one of the most loved Linux distros famous for its complex installation process. In April 2021, Arch Linux introduced a guided installer to make Arch Linux installation easier for new users.

        Here we provide a detailed guide on how to install Arch Linux using the guided installer on a VirtualBox virtual machine.

      • How to deploy the open source Drupal CMS with Docker – TechRepublic

        Drupal is one of the most popular CMS tools on the market. With a robust set of content management tools, sophisticated APIs to make multichannel publishing easy and a proven track record of continuous innovation, you’ll find this platform more than capable of serving your digital needs.

        Although Drupal isn’t terribly challenging to install on bare metal, if your preference is the container route, you’re in luck. With the help of Docker4Drupal, you can get this powerful CMS system deployed in minutes.

      • How to install Clang on Ubuntu

        The Clang compiler is an alternative to GCC. It can be used to compile code into runnable binary programs. If you’re a developer on Ubuntu, you’ve likely dealt with a compiler like this before.

        While most Ubuntu developers stick with GCC, they also make it possible to get going with the Clang compiler. If you’re looking to get Clang working on Ubuntu, this guide is for you! Follow along as we show you how to get Clang 9, Clang 11, and Clang 12 working on Ubuntu.

      • How to install Ubuntu Server 21.04 via USB

        Are you looking to install Ubuntu Server 21.04 on your home server via a USB flash drive but don’t know where to start? We can help! In this guide, we’ll show you exactly how you can install Ubuntu Server 21.04 via USB.

      • How to switch between different Linux Kernels on Arch Linux | FOSS Linux

        Arch Linux is a popular Linux distribution that strives to stay on the bleeding edge rolling release, providing users with the latest software and packages. Even though the installation process is considered a little too hard, Arch Linux still maintains a large pool of users and a huge community fan base.

        If you want to get the latest software packages and the kernel before they are shipped to other distributions, you should try Arch Linux. Please check out our Complete Master Guide on How to install Arch Linux.

      • [Older] Using Bash to monitor battery life and optimize it – Linux Concept

        In this article, we will learn about the TLP Linux tool. TLP is a command-line tool; it is used for power management and will optimize the battery life.

      • Creating a simple NAT and DMZ firewall using bash script
      • Creating a lame utility HTTP server in Linux Operating System
      • Creating a config file and using it in tandem with your scripts
      • Calculating and reducing the runtime of a script
      • Blocking IP addresses from failed SSH attempts in Linux Operating System
    • Games

      • Maintenance release: Godot 3.3.1

        We released Godot 3.3 a few weeks ago, and feedback so far has been pretty good! But like with any major milestone, there are some bugs which are worth addressing with low-risk maintenance releases to further improve the experience for all Godot users.

        Godot 3.3.1, like all future 3.3.x releases, focuses purely on bug fixes, and aims to preserve compatibility. It is a recommended upgrade for all Godot 3.3 users.

        Download Godot 3.3.1 now or try the online version of the Godot editor.

      • Mike Blumenkrantz: Hhhhhhhhhhhhhh

        I meant to blog. I meant to make new zink-wip snapshots. I meant to shower.

        Look, none of us are perfect, and I’m just gonna get into some graphics so nobody remembers how this post started.

      • Zink OpenGL-On-Vulkan Now “100%-1000% Faster” For Many Scenarios

        Mike Blumenkrantz working under contract for Valve on the Zink OpenGL-on-Vulkan implementation continues making remarkable progress on this Mesa code.

        In addition to now having the aging Tomb Raider Linux port rendering correctly with Zink, there have been many performance optimizations figured out for Zink and currently staged via the “work-in-progress” branch.

      • Let’s give a warm welcome to the GSoC students!

        Yesterday, Google announced the list of students accepted for this new edition of the Google Summer of Code. We are very proud to welcome 6 students this year who will be working on various parts of the project during the upcoming months.

      • Farlanders: Prologue offers a fun taste of the upcoming Martian city-builder

        Build the city you’ve always wanted to on Mars in Farlanders, with a free Prologue out now to go along with the new Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. It’s already very impressive.

        A game I’ve been waiting on a long time, after personally trying it out during the early development when it was available on itch.io as “The Farlanders” before dropping “The” and being turned into a full commercial title. The turn-based nature of it offers up a nice change of pace to the usual real-time city-builders and being on another planet adds some fun complications.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Google Summer of Code GSoC 2021 Promises Interesting Improvements to these FOSS Projects

          Google announced the GSoC 2021 projects and the list includes some interesting improvements to the mainstream foss projects such as GNOME, Xfce, LibreOffice, etc. Take a look.

        • Juan Pablo Ugarte: Merengue: Cambalache’s workspace

          Cambalache is a new RAD tool that enables the creation of user interfaces for Gtk and the GNOME desktop environment, it’s main focus is on the newly released Gtk 4 library but it has been designed from the ground up to support other versions.

          It started as a proof of concept data model for Glade meant to try out all the crazy ideas I had during the years about how a clean model should be.

          A few months later I had a pretty good data model that matched GObject type system quite well and did not depend on GtkBuilder nor GObject.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM brings Python data science platform Anaconda to Linux

          IBM is bringing the Python data science platform Anaconda to the company’s LinuxONE and IBM Z customers.

          Anaconda is the world’s most popular Python distribution platform and boasts over 25 million users worldwide. Today’s announcement is the latest part of IBM’s effort to bring popular data science frameworks and libraries to its enterprise platforms.

        • IBM Brings Anaconda to Linux on IBM Z & LinuxONE

          IBM has announced it is bringing Python data science platform Anaconda to Linux on IBM Z & LinuxONE.

          Anaconda is the leading Python data science platform, with some 25 million users relying on the platform for machine learning, data science, predictive analytics and more.

          IBM is bringing Anaconda to IBM Z and LinuxONE, making it easy for programmers and data scientist to build and run their AI and analytics apps where their data already resides. According to research commissioned by IBM, 90% of respondents cited this as an important factor.

        • Announcing Anaconda for Linux on IBM Z & LinuxONE – Servers & Storage

          A clear trend is emerging in the era of hybrid cloud: winning enterprises will likely pull ahead by scaling the value of their data with AI.

          For many IBM Z® & IBM LinuxONE customers, the enterprise platform often serves as the system of record for their mission-critical data and applications. Data scientists often look for open-source solutions, and we are committed to embracing and bringing open-source AI capabilities to Z and LinuxONE that can support real-time AI decision-making at scale.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Need help? The Program Management Team is here!

          As you may have seen elsewhere already, the newly-formed Program Management (PgM) Team is here. The PgM team is here to provide organizational support to other teams within Fedora. If your team is interested in support from the PgM team, please file an issue in our repo.

      • Debian Family

        • Puppy moving to Xwayland

          Very early days though, so many things broken. Probably best restricted to people who can fix bugs, rather than just report them.


          …it looks like cage is an easy way to get an X app to run on Xwayland. So dimkr is running jwm, and from that rox, etc.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Releases New Linux Kernel Live Patch for Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and 18.04 LTS

          This new Linux kernel live patch security update comes hot on the heels of the latest Linux kernel security updates released by Canonical last week for all supported Ubuntu Linux releases.

          It’s available for users of the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa) and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) operating systems who use the Canonical Livepatch Service for rebootless kernel updates and fixes a single security vulnerability.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Ariadne Conill: AlpineConf 2021 recap

          Last weekend was AlpineConf, the first one ever. We held it as a virtual event, and over 700 participants came and went during the weekend. Although there were many things we learned up to and during the conference that could be improved, I think that the first AlpineConf was a great success! If you’re interested in rewatching the event, both days have mostly full recordings on the Alpine website.

          What worked

          We held the conference on a BigBlueButton instance I set up and used the Alpine Gitlab for organizing. BigBlueButton scaled well, even when we had nearly 100 active participants, the server performed quite well. Similarly, using issue tracking in Gitlab helped us to keep the CFP process simple. I think in general, we will keep this setup for future events, as it worked quite well.

        • Why Attend the 2021 Xen Project Design and Developer Summit? – Xen Project

          It’s almost that time of year, where we gather together as a Xen Project community and geek out on one of our most favorite topics – The Xen Project, of course! This year’s Xen Project Design and Developer Summit, happening May 25-28, 2021, is gearing up to be one of the best ones yet. If you haven’t registered yet, we’re here to explain, point by point, why this year’s event is one not to miss.

        • Pre GSoC : A Competitive Programmer’s experience

          Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a summer program by google that brings open-source organizations and students together to work on open-source projects.

          This blog is my experience about how I started open-source contribution (with the motivation provided by GSoC). This includes the bugs and features I have worked on so far in addition to the way competitive programming and open-source affect me. The blog might have some new terms. So stay steady with me till the end and… let’s get started.


          Open-source projects usually have starter bugs tagged with “junior jobs”, “good first issue” etc. This is when I have pushed my first contribution to the world of open-source. It was about improving the quality of icons of KdeConnect in Hi-Dpi devices. Moreover, it was only 2 lines of code (yes! that’s how it started). Usually it takes some time for the developer to check the patch. Luckily, the developer was active at that moment and they merged my patch instantly.

        • LAS 2021 and improvements in the applications infrastructure

          Last week I attended and even gave a small talk to the Linux App Submit (LAS). LAS is a cross-distro and cross-desktop event around Linux applications. It’s a good place to learn about all the new cool thing making it easier to build and distribute Linux applications. This motivated me to improve a bit more the presence of Plasma Mobile applications in Flathub, but also make various improvements to apps.kde.org.


          To improve a bit the situation, for at least the package released by the release service, I started a merge request for the release-tools that adds more information to the AppStream file. This includes bugs fixed in the last version, a link to the tarball and the link to the announcement. A solution for other types of artifacts still need to be figured out, but since not all applications in the release service provide AppImages or Windows/macOS package, it’s more complicated.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla publishes position paper on EU Digital Services Act

            In December 2020 the European Commission published the draft EU Digital Services Act. The law seeks to establish a new paradigm for tech sector regulation, and we see it as a crucial opportunity to address many of the challenges holding back the internet from what it should be. As EU lawmakers start to consider amendments and improvements to the draft law, today we’re publishing our substantive perspectives and recommendations to guide those deliberations.

            We are encouraged that the draft DSA includes many of the policy recommendations that Mozilla and our allies had advocated for in recent years. For that we commend the European Commission. However, many elements of the DSA are novel and complex, and so there is a need for elaboration and clarification in the legislative mark-up phase. We believe that with targeted amendments the DSA has the potential to serve as the effective, balanced, and future-proof legal framework.

          • Introducing Site Isolation in Firefox

            When two major vulnerabilities known as Meltdown and Spectre were disclosed by security researchers in early 2018, Firefox promptly added security mitigations to keep you safe. Going forward, however, it was clear that with the evolving techniques of malicious actors on the web, we needed to redesign Firefox to mitigate future variations of such vulnerabilities and to keep you safe when browsing the web!

            We are excited to announce that Firefox’ new Site Isolation architecture is coming together. This fundamental redesign of Firefox’ Security architecture extends current security mechanisms by creating operating system process-level boundaries for all sites loaded in Firefox for Desktop. Isolating each site into a separate operating system process makes it even harder for malicious sites to read another site’s secret or private data.

          • Introducing Site Isolation in Firefox (Mozilla security blog)

            The Mozilla Security Blog announces that there is a new site-isolation mechanism available for testing in the Firefox browser. It’s a defense against Meltdown and Spectre exploits.

          • Hacks.Mozilla.Org: Introducing Firefox’s new Site Isolation Security Architecture

            Like any web browser, Firefox loads code from untrusted and potentially hostile websites and runs it on your computer. To protect you against new types of attacks from malicious sites and to meet the security principles of Mozilla, we set out to redesign Firefox on desktop.

            Site Isolation builds upon a new security architecture that extends current protection mechanisms by separating (web) content and loading each site in its own operating system process.

            This new security architecture allows Firefox to completely separate code originating from different sites and, in turn, defend against malicious sites trying to access sensitive information from other sites you are visiting.

            In more detail, whenever you open a website and enter a password, a credit card number, or any other sensitive information, you want to be sure that this information is kept secure and inaccessible to malicious actors.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice Design Community Work in 2020

          Design has been one of the major focus points of LibreOffice in the last few years, and has produced new icon sets and a number of incremental updates to the user interface – menus, toolbars and the SideBar – and the creation of the brand new NotebookBar…

      • CMS

      • Programming/Development

        • OpenMV PureThermal STM32H7 board overlays thermal map on RGB image – CNX Software

          We’ve been writing about OpenMV open-source camera boards programmable with MicroPython at least since 2015, with the latest model OpenMV Cam H7 based on STM32H7 Cortex-M7 microcontroller introduced in 2018. But the company has now gone a step further with OpenMV PureThermal board equipped with a more powerful STM32H7 dual-core Arm Cortex-M7/M4microcontroller, and supporting FLIR Lepton 2 to 3.5 thermal imagers, allowing the system to overlay the thermal map on top of the image like an augmented reality app would do. It can do so on the integrated LCD display or on an HDMI display.

        • Spidermonkey Development Blog: Ergonomic Brand Checks will ship with Firefox 90

          When programming with Private Fields and methods, it can sometimes be desirable to check if an object has a given private field. While the semantics of private fields allow doing that check by using try…catch, the Ergonomic Brand checks proposal provides a simpler syntax, allowing one to simply write #field in o.

        • Jussi Pakkanen: Why all open source maintainers are jerks, the Drake equation hypothesis

          This blog post is meant to be humorous. It is not a serious piece of scientifically rigorous research. In particular it is not aiming to justify bad behaviour or toxicity in any way, shape or form. Neither does it claim that this mechanism is the only source of negativity. If you think it is doing any of these things, then you are probably taking the whole thing too seriously and are reading into it meanings and implications that are not there. If it helps, you can think of the whole thing as part of a stand-up comedy routine.


          It seems common knowledge that maintainers of major open source projects are rude. You have your linuses, lennarts, ulrichs, robs and so on. Why is that? What is it about project maintenance that brings out these supposed toxics? Why can’t projects be manned by nice people? Surely that would be better.

        • Enrique Ocaña González: GStreamer WebKit debugging by using external tools (1/2)

          In this new post series, I’ll show you how both existing and ad-hoc tools can be helpful to find the root cause of some problems.

        • Izhar Firdaus: Switching to use Ruby 2.7 (or older) in Fedora 34 using DNF Modules

          Fedora 34 now ships with Ruby 3.0 by default, which might be great news for Ruby developers. However, for those who might still be relying on older version of Ruby to run their stuff (eg: me), and don’t want to spend time updating things to make them work with Ruby 3.0 (like this Jekyll-based blog), the switch may be undesirable.

        • 4 essential characteristics of successful APIs

          If you are building an application that uses some variation of a client/server model, you need an application programming interface (API). An API is a clearly defined boundary between one process and another. A common boundary in web applications is a REST/JSON API.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • Gesture Technology Partners patent challenged

            On May 14, 2021, Unified filed a petition for inter partes review (IPR) against U.S. Patent 7,933,431, owned by Gesture Technology Partners, LLC. The ‘431 patent is generally related to using human motion as an input device for computers and mobile devices and has been asserted against Huawei, Samsung, Apple, Lenovo, and LG.

          • Bardehle Pagenberg counsel sets up solo patent practice [Ed: JUVE doing an ‘ad’ for a longtime software patents propagandist]

            Bastian Best (41) is leaving Bardehle Pagenberg to work as a sole practitioner specialising in patent prosecution. Most recently, he was counsel at Bardehle Pagenberg. Above all, Best was also one of the firm’s main faces on social media such as Linkedin, YouTube and podcasts.


            Despite the departure of Bastian Best in Munich, last summer Bardehle Pagenberg strengthened its Düsseldorf office by bringing on board Alexander Haertel. This hire added another experienced litigator, at an important court location, to the firm. Previously, Haertel was a founding partner of IP boutique Kather Augenstein, which in 2015 spun off from Preu Bohlig & Partner.

António Campinos is Already Worse Than Benoît Battistelli and Maybe More Aggressive as Well

Posted in Europe, Patents at 1:45 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The Hell in Cayman Islands
Don’t fall for the false narratives (some of them paid-for) in the media

Summary: The evil strategy of António Campinos, still surrounded by Team Battistelli (Bergot et al), is assured to destroy any future attempts to recruit top talent; the EPO has adopted a “scorched Earth” approach

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO has become more vocal, seeing that it has another Benoît Battistelli in its hands. António Campinos is hardly any better than Battistelli in any meaningful sense other than subtle and shallow attitudinal aspects. Judge a person by what he or she does to you behind the scenes or behind your back, not to your face. Putting aside the lobbying by Campinos for illegal European software patents (aided by his kangaroo courts), he’s actively attacking the staff while telling the public (or national delegates) some ridiculous stuff about dialogue. He speaks to neither the union nor the elected staff representatives; he just listens, sort of, and then ignores them. No wonder at the end of last year they prepared us for a year of conflict ahead (around the time the staff went on strike).

“Judge a person by what he or she does to you behind the scenes or behind your back, not to your face.”Yesterday (Monday, start of the week) the CSC circulated a document along with another (we published a video about it this morning) and this one warned colleagues that Campinos employs an “army of litigators instead of social dialogue,” just like Battistelli did. In fact, Campinos does that a lot faster in his term than Battistelli did. In that regard, Campinos might be even worse (or worst ever).

“Money runs like water at the EPO, as long as it helps crush justice and undermine the very staff doing all the work.”“Mr Campinos was initially mandated by the Administrative Council to restore social dialogue in the Office,” the CSC told staff. “However, early February 2021, Mr Campinos issued rejection decisions on appeals against two highly controversial reforms of his predecessor: the New Career System and the Abolition of the Invalidity Lump Sum. Now, Mr Campinos has decided to lawyer up against staff by tabling in the coming meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) a document (CA/F 11/21) awarding an unprecedented amount of €5.85m to two law firms Lenz & Staehelin and de Guillenchmidt to represent the Office for the coming complaints in front of the Tribunal.”

SecuriCamThe CSC continued: ““Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world.” said Nelson Mandela. Instead, Mr Campinos has decided to reduce the overall budget for Education and Childcare by -4.8% and to invest €5.85m in an army of litigators against EPO staff. Mr Campinos reveals again one facet of his mandate: to pursue the deterioration of the conditions of employment of staff, and this at any cost.”

Money runs like water at the EPO, as long as it helps crush justice and undermine the very staff doing all the work. Astounding, isn’t it? Where are the regulators? Better to ask, who are the regulators? Nobody can answer that question…

We’ve decided to reproduce the full document below, in the form of simplified HTML:

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich 17.05.2021
sc21059cp -0.2.1/1.3.2/5.1

An army of litigators instead of social dialogue

Mr Campinos was initially mandated by the Administrative Council to restore social dialogue in the Office. However, early February 2021, Mr Campinos issued rejection decisions on appeals against two highly controversial reforms of his predecessor: the New Career System and the Abolition of the Invalidity Lump Sum. Now, Mr Campinos has decided to lawyer up against staff by tabling in the coming meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee (BFC) a document (CA/F 11/21) awarding an unprecedented amount of €5.85m to two law firms Lenz & Staehelin and de Guillenchmidt to represent the Office for the coming complaints in front of the Tribunal.

CA/F 11/21 recalls that: “ILOAT cases follow internal Appeals Committee (ApC) proceedings, thus whilst the ApC actively reduces its backlog which utilises mainly internal resources, it also creates a number of challengeable final decisions, which in turn trigger a higher number of complaints as ILOAT filings.” (§9) The attentive reader will understand the implicit reference made to the mass complaints recently filed by EPO staff against the New Career System and the abolition of the Invalidity Lump Sum.

Like any party, the Office has to pay for its own legal representation. These costs are funded under budget Article 3521 – External experts and studies (105)1 and were until now budgeted for 2021 at €880.000. Legal representation of the Office may be either performed by in-house specialists of the Employment Law Department or outsourced to external law firms. In the latter case, an additional award of contract may be necessary.

Mr Campinos is now proposing an unprecedented increase of the budget for legal representation: “The proposed contracts have maximum values during the 36 month fixed term of €4.2m with Lenz & Staehelin and €1.65m with de Guillenchmidt.” (§14) On a yearly basis, this corresponds to a tripling of the initial budget for 2021.

Lenz & Staehelin and de Guillenchmidt

Back in 2015, the Geneva-based law firm Lenz & Staehelin was already awarded a one-year contract of €780.4302. Now, Mr Campinos proposes to double the yearly amount and to extend it over three years. According to its website, Lenz & Staehelin employs around 200 lawyers and covers a large range of practices and sectors, one of them being investigations, e.g. corporate crime, but emphasises above all its ability to adapt to Switzerland’s legal and regulatory environment to attract many of the world’s leading companies as well as private individuals. This choice of law firm might seems unfortunate for an organisation like the EPO which aims for the best standards in terms of transparency.

1 CA/D 1/20, page 68
2 CA/F 6/16, page 33/34

The Paris-based law firm de Guillenchmidt was created in 2009 by Michel de Guillenchmidt. Its range of expertise seems more limited, including criminal, public, and corporate law, especially regularly pleading for public companies that have become private or for international employer organisations.

Less money for staff, more money against staff
In 2020, Mr Campinos made a historical -€83.2m of savings3 on the backs of staff during the Covid-19 pandemic and after the disastrous salary adjustment. Such results will make it easier for him to convince the delegations in the BFC to invest now an additional €5.85m in law firms.

CA/F 11/21 recalls that: “[c]urrently, as a quality indicator of incumbent provider support, around 90% of cases are being rejected before the ILOAT.” (§8). Money plays no role when the Office wants to excel in litigation. Examiners and users can only dream of a similar quality indicator for the core products of the Office.

It also shows where Mr Campinos sets the priorities: “The EPO requires the best possible legal advice and representation before ILOAT in Geneva” (page 1) in stark contrast with the unjustified prudent approach adopted for the Education and Childcare reform: “The new [Education and Childcare] scheme is also designed to ensure greater financial predictability”4.

“Education is the most powerful weapon to change the world.” said Nelson Mandela. Instead, Mr Campinos has decided to reduce the overall budget for Education and Childcare by -4.8% 5 and to invest €5.85m in an army of litigators against EPO staff.

Mr Campinos reveals again one facet of his mandate: to pursue the deterioration of the
conditions of employment of staff, and this at any cost.

Your Central Staff Committee
3 CA/10/21, page 36/80
4 CA/7/21, page 11
5 CA/7/21, §59

Long story short, expect more litigation and attempts to beat staff by exhausting if not bankrupting them with legal fees. If that’s not an abuse of stakeholders’ money, what is? Is this what a patent office was intended to do? Is this what composers of the EPC had in mind?

Links 18/5/2021: Steam Console and OpenPrinting Developing Upstream CUPS

Posted in News Roundup at 1:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • System76 Launch is an open-source hardware, configurable keyboard – CNX Software

        System76 Launch keyboard ships with alternatives keycaps with different colors, a key puller, and USB cables to connect to the host device. The four USB ports allow you to connect devices like thumb drives or USB SSD’s to the computer/phone/board via the keyboard.

        The QMK firmware running on the USB keyboard is also compatible with some other keyboards, and you can also access the KiCAD hardware design files, and CAD files for the chassis on Launch’s Github repo, while the Keyboard Configurator is part of pop-os repo.

      • 10 Top Most Popular Linux Distributions of 2021

        We are almost half of the year 2021, we thought it right to share with Linux enthusiasts out there the most popular distributions of the year so far. In this post, we will review the top 10 most popular Linux distributions based on the usage statistics and market share.

        DistroWatch has been the most reliable source of information about open-source operating systems, with a particular focus on Linux distributions and flavors of BSD. It collects and presents a wealth of information about Linux distributions consistently to make them easier to access.

        Although it is not a good indicator of a distribution’s popularity or usage, DistroWatch remains the most accepted measure of popularity within the Linux community. It uses Page Hit Ranking (PHR) statistics to measure the popularity of Linux distributions among the visitors of the website.

      • 5 Lightweight Linux Desktop Environments For Older Computers

        Many of us own old computers, and old computers need low resources-constrained GUI’s to be used on them. In this article, we are going to talk about lightweight linux desktop environments to install on your old computer to revive it again.

        There are many other window managers.. however, you can install any window manager you want besides some useful desktop tools like Tint2 (a nice panel which shows the current opened windows and time), Screenlets ( the famous desktop gadgets program ), Conky ( a nice system monitor gadget for your desktop ) beside any other tools that you may like.

        Do you own an old computer? What software did you install on it? And what do you think about creating your own customizable desktop with 3rd party programs?

    • Benchmarks

      • GCC 11 vs. LLVM Clang 12 Performance On The Intel Core i9 11900K Is A Heated Race

        For those wondering how GCC and LLVM Clang are competing when running on Intel’s latest Rocket Lake processors, here are some GCC 11 vs. LLVM Clang 12 compiler benchmarks with the Core i9 11900K running from the newly-released Fedora Workstation 34 featuring these very latest compilers. The compiler benchmarks were carried out at multiple optimization levels on each compiler.

        As part of our ongoing benchmarks of GCC 11 vs. LLVM Clang 12 given these fresh open-source compiler releases, today’s comparison is looking at the Core i9 11900K “Rocket Lake” performance. With both GCC and LLVM Clang, the benchmarks were carried out three times with varying CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS. Those flags included…

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Exclude in Grep

        grep is a powerful command-line tool that is used to search one or more input files for lines that match a regular expression and writes each matching line to standard output.

        In this article, we’re going to show you how to exclude one or multiple words, patterns, or directories when searching with grep.

      • Compressing & Archiving files and directories – Unixcop

        Archiving is the process of combining multiple files and directories (same or different sizes) into one file. in the second place compression is the process of reducing the size of a file or directory.

        Hope you understand the difference between archiving and compression.So now let’s get into the topic.

      • How to Record Linux Terminal Sessions Using Asciinema

        Asciinema (pronounced as-kee-nuh-muh) is an open-source lightweight command-line program created exclusively for recording terminal sessions and sharing them with other Linux users through the web using an embedded code or the source file as required. It aims to be a “go-to” place for each terminal user who wants to share their expertise with others. Or putting it differently, it’s a place to show off your skills.

      • [Older] Backing up and erasing media, disks, and partitions with DD Command

        In this article, we are going to discuss the dd command. The dd command stands for data duplicator. It is mainly used for converting and copying files. In this section, we are going to learn about backing up and erasing a media file.

      • [Older] Creating graphics and presentations on the Linux CLI

        In this article, we are going to learn how to make presentations and how to create graphics on the CLI. For this, we are going to use a tool named dialog.dialog is a Linux command-line tool used for taking input from users and to create message boxes.

      • [Older] Write a bash script to checking for file integrity and tampering

        In this article, we are going to learn how to check the integrity of a file and how to check for tampering by writing a simple shell script. Why do we need to check integrity? The answer is simple: administrators check integrity when there are passwords and libraries present on a server, as well as when files contain highly sensitive data.

      • [Older] Capturing network traffic headlessly in Linux Operating System

        In this article, we are going to learn how to capture traffic. We are going to capture network traffic with a packet sniffer tool called tcpdump. This tool is used to filter or capture TCP/IP packets that are transferred or received over a network.

      • [Older] Finding binary dependencies in Linux Operating System

        In this article, we are going to check the executable. We will find out which string is present in it by using the string command.

      • [Older] Encrypting/decrypting files from a script in Linux

        In this article, we are going to learn about OpenSSL. In this section, we are going encrypt and decrypt messages and files using OpenSSL.

      • [Older] Mounting network file systems and retrieving files in Linux

        In this article, we are going to learn about the mount command. To mount a file system onto the file system tree, use the mount command. This command will instruct the kernel to mount the file system found on a particular device. There is a mount point in the tree for each partition that is mounted.

      • Do you allow the X protocol on your network?

        For most of my Linux-oriented career, the X protocol (TCP port 6000-60nn) that runs over the network has not been allowed. Most security policies ban the X protocol and have it silently blocked on network equipment. I guess I’m OK with that. I’ve mildly argued the point a few times but I generally accept the walls in which I must operate.

      • Linux lsof Command Tutorial for Beginners (15 Examples)

        The lsof command in Linux displays in its output information about files that are opened by processes. In this article, we will discuss the Linux lsof tool using 15 easy-to-understand examples. Please note that all examples mentioned in this tutorial have been tested on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, but they will work on other Linux distributions too like Debian, Fedora, and CentOS.

      • What does null mean in Linux and Computing

        In this article, I will give you a short explanation of what the value null or the null device means in the computing world. The value null basically means that a variable has no value. Null is used in most computer programming languages and there is also a so-called null device (/dev/null) in Linux.

      • 6 lesser-known but seriously useful Linux commands | Enable Sysadmin

        People are creatures of habit. That assertion has both good and bad connotations. The good is that we tend to do things the same way every time we do them. The bad part is that we don’t tend to venture out from our routines. That routine keeps changes consistent and surprises to a minimum. The last thing any sysadmin wants to hear another sysadmin say is, “Whoops.” But, that’s a whole other story. Today’s topic is unfamiliar commands. Six unfamiliar commands to be exact. I think you’ll like these because they’re useful and outside the peripheral vision of most sysadmins. They are presented in alphabetical order.

      • Getting started with ReactOS

        ReactOS is a relatively new open-source operating system that resembles the looks of Windows NT and aims to offer similar levels of functionality and application compatibility. Featuring a wine-based user mode, this system doesn’t use any of the Unix architecture, but is a rewrite of the NT architecture from scratch, with its very own FAT32 implementation, and completely free of legal implications. That said, this is not yet another Linux distro, but a unique Windows-like system that is a part of the free software world. This quick guide aims at users who want an easy-to-use, open-source replacement for their Windows system.

      • How to Install and Configure Tripwire IDS on Debian 10

        Tripwire is a free and open-source Linux Intrusion Detection System. It is used to detect and report any unauthorized change in files and directories on Linux. It will also send you an alert on email on file/directory changes. Tripwire works by comparing the current filesystem state against a known baseline state and reports if detect any changes.

        In this post, we will show you how to install and configure Tripwire on Debian 10.

      • How to taint a node in kubernetes cluster to avoid pods scheduling on that node – Unixcop

        Tainting a node means you don’t want any pods to be scheduled on that node by kube-scheduler.

      • Difference Between a Hostname and a Domain Name – Linux Hint

        Many people are confused about the concept of Hostname and Domain Name. A good understanding of the basics of DNS or Domain Name System is needed to properly distinguish the two. This will help network administrators to design and secure the network of their organization in the best manner.

        In the following sections, we will explore the concept of Domain Name and Hostname.

      • Linux Du Command Examples – Linux Hint

        The du Linux command is very popular for UNIX and Linux systems. This command is used to view the information about disk usage of all directory tree and files on a machine. This command has various parameter flags or options that helps to view the information of disk usage in many different formats. Using the du command, you can also display the files and directory size details in a repeated manner.

        We will give a brief demo in this article on the different uses of Linux du command with examples.

      • How to Modify a Host File in Linux – Linux Hint

        The host file is a plain text file used by the operating systems to map Domain names to their corresponding IP addresses.

        Although this tutorial focus on the host file in Linux, the host file is available in all operating systems, including Windows and Mac OS.

      • How to Debug SSH Connections – Linux Hint

        This tutorial will go over some quick methods and techniques you can use to diagnose various SSH connections, including when you cannot connect to SSH, Authentication errors, and such.

      • How to Enable Screen Sharing on Debian 10 – Linux Hint

        VNC or Virtual Network Computing is a protocol used to access the graphical desktop environment of your computer and control it from a remote computer.
        The Screen Sharing feature of the GNOME 3 desktop environment uses the VNC protocol to allow remote access to the GNOME 3 desktop environment of your computer.

        This article will show you how to enable screen sharing on the GNOME 3 desktop environment of Debian 10 and access it from a remote computer. So, let’s get started.

      • The Difference Between a Real User ID and an Effective User ID in the Linux OS – Linux Hint

        Users, as well as groups, are usually classified by numbers rather than titles within the kernel level of the Linux OS. The kernel must be fast and reliable. In addition, the data structures must be minimal, otherwise passing strings around would be ineffective. As a result, each user, as well as group title, is translated to a specific unsigned integer value which is referred to as UserID and group ID, or “UID” and “GID” for easy reference.

      • Linux Cat Command Examples – Linux Hint

        Linux command cat short for ‘concatenate’, is a very useful command. Using the cat command, you can create a file, view file content, concatenate files, and file output redirection. We will discuss the different uses of the cat command with some examples in this article.

      • Linux cp Command Examples – Linux Hint

        While working on a Linux system, copying files and directories is an important task that is performed daily. All users need simple and easy utility through which they can copy all their files and directories. For this purpose, the most common cp command-line utility is used on UNIX and Linux systems.

      • Linux “ls” Command Examples – Linux Hint

        “ls” is one of the most frequently used commands in Linux. It is used to list down the files and sub-directories within your current directory. This command is equally useful for normal users as well as for system administrators. Therefore, today we will share the five most practical use cases of the “ls” command in Linux Mint 20.

      • Linux rmdir Command Examples – Linux Hint

        The rm and rmdir commands in Linux are used to remove files and directories. Both are powerful commands and have very few command-line options. The difference between these commands is that rmdir only removes “empty directories,” and it does not remove files. If you use rmdir to remove a directory that contains files, it will fail with the message “Directory not empty”. If you need to remove a non-empty directory, use the rm command.

        Another point is that when you remove a file or directory using rm and rmdir, it is instantly removed instead of moving towards Trash. Therefore, you will need to be careful while using these commands as you will not recover the removed files and directories unless you have a backup.

        This post will describe how to use the rmdir command to remove directories in Linux and some examples.

      • LVM: How to Create Logical Volumes and Filesystems – Linux Hint

        Logical Volume Management, or LVM, is a system used to manage logical volumes and filesystems. LVM has much more advanced features than the other volume management tools (like gparted) used to divide a disk into one or more partitions. In order to play around with LVM, we need to have concepts about the following terms.

      • How to install the Vivaldi Browser on Deepin 20.2

        In this video, we are looking at how to install the Vivaldi Browser on Deepin 20.2.

      • How To Install Caddy on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Caddy on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, The Caddy web server is an open-source web server written in Go. It is designed around simplicity and security that comes with a number of features that are useful for hosting websites. Caddy is both a flexible, efficient static file server and a powerful, scalable reverse proxy.

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

      • How to Make Ubuntu Lighter on a Low Spec Computer? – Fosslicious

        I often read the question above on forums and groups on Facebook that discuss Linux. This is an interesting discussion because there are so many lightweight Linux distributions that can be used smoothly. I’ve covered some lightweight Linux Distribution for older computers on this blog.

        And this time our discussion will focus on Ubuntu and maybe it can be applied to other Linux distributions!.

        To make Ubuntu or a Linux distribution run smoothly and lightly on a computer that has potato specifications, you can do a few things below!.

      • Digital audio fidelity | Fitzcarraldo’s Blog

        Even with my poor hearing I can hear how bad a 128 kb/s mp3 music track sounds, but when you get up to 320 kb/s it’s a different matter. In most cases I can’t hear the difference between 320 kb/s and a 16-bit 44.1 kHz Audio CD, and, as the tests in the above links demonstrate, most people struggle to tell the difference too (watch the video ‘Audiophile or Audio-Fooled? How Good Are Your Ears?‘).
        Regarding sampling theory, the video ‘Digital Audio: The Line Between Audiophiles and Audiofools‘ is quite good if someone does not understand why 16-bit 44.1 kHz was chosen for Audio CDs. As to finer quantisation and higher frequencies, ‘The Difference Between 24-bit & 16-bit Audio is Inaudible Noise‘.

      • How to install RE:RUN by Dani on a Chromebook

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

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

      • How To Configure GRUB2 BootLoader Settings In Ubuntu – Unixcop

        GRUB2 is the latest version of GNU GRUB, the GRand Unified Bootloader. A bootloader is the first software program that runs when a computer starts. It is responsible for loading and transferring control to the operating system kernel. In Fedora, the kernel is Linux.in addition to The kernel then initializes the rest of the operating system.

        GRUB2 is the follower of the previous version GRUB (version 0.9x). The original version is available under the name GRUB Legacy.

        Since Fedora 16, GRUB2 has been the default bootloader on x86 BIOS systems. For upgrades of BIOS systems, the default is also to install GRUB2, but you can opt to skip bootloader configuration entirely.

    • MySQL

      • Using MySQL Dense_Rank() Function – Linux Hint

        The MySQL DENSE_RANK () function is a function that displays the rank of a row in its partition without gaps in the ranking values. This function is a window function, which means it has similarities to functions such as ROW_NUMBER() and RANK() functions.

      • MySQL Replace Function – Linux Hint

        This guide looks at the MySQL replace function that allows us to replace a string in a table column with a new string.

        The replace function is simple and this guide will be a short one. Nonetheless, the replace function can come in handy when you need to update or change values in a table such as broken URL.

      • MySQL Distinct Values Query – Linux Hint

        In most databases, you will often encounter duplicate values—except for unique primary keys. For example, a database can contain a film table with similar ratings, year of release, and other similar values.
        Hence, to get a list of unique values, such as the various types of movie ratings, we need to get only the unique values using the MySQL distinct keyword.

        This tutorial will go over how to use the distinct keyword in MySQL queries to get unique results.

        Before we begin, we assume you have MySQL installed on your system and can perform operations on the databases.

      • MySQL IN Query – Linux Hint

        In the world of databases, queries are one of the constant things we all implement. Although SQL has ways and conventions for performing specific queries, sometimes it requires us to set custom conditions.

        One of the popular and useful conditional operators in SQL is the IN operator. Using the IN operator, we can get a Boolean value if a specific value is in a list.

        This tutorial will walk you through the IN operator and how to use it to create customized conditions for SQL queries.
        Before we begin, we assume that you have a MySQL server installed and configured on your system, and you have a sample database with which to work on.

      • How MySQL Deletes With the Delete Join Statements – Linux Hint

        This tutorial will discuss how to use the MySQL DELETE clause in a JOIN statement to delete data from multiple tables that meet the specified condition.

        The purpose of this tutorial is to help you understand how to use the DELETE clause along with the JOIN clause to remove data at once. If you are new to MySQL, consider our other tutorials, such as JOINS and DROP tables tutorials.

      • How MySQL Delete Duplicate Rows – Linux Hint

        MySQL is a relational dataset that stores data in tables that have rows and columns. However, the data stored in the database may contain duplicate values caused by errors in the applications or users.

        In this tutorial, we shall learn how to remove duplicate rows in a MySQL database to reduce database size and help to increase the server’s performance.

      • MySQL Show Users in Database – Linux Hint

        If you have ever tried to get a list of users available in your MySQL server, you will notice there is no native command to do this. For example, to get a list of databases, you can simply query SHOW DATABASES. However, this is not the case for users.

        This guide will show you how you can view the users available in your MySQL using simple and quick commands.

      • How to Create a View in MySQL – Linux Hint

        In MySQL, a view is a virtual table that does not store data but shows data stored in other tables. Views are nothing but SQL queries because they store SQL queries that return a result set. They are also known as virtual tables.

        This tutorial goes over how to create and use MySQL views in your database to perform various actions. For instance, you can use views to hide specific data from users, thus allowing them to view the data stored in a table using a view. Views can also enable developers to create simple and abstract connections to a database.

      • How and When to Use MySQL UUID Type – Linux Hint

        According to space and time, Universal Unique Identifier, known as UUID, is a 128-bit long value that is unique across the globe. The UUID is specified by the RFC 4122.
        UUID values are incredibly fascinating because even if the values are generated from the same device, they can never be the same. However, I will not get into details about the technologies used to implement UUIDs.

        In this tutorial, we shall focus on the advantages of using UUIDs instead of INT for primary keys, the disadvantages of UUIDs in a database, and how to implement UUIDs in MySQL.

    • Games

      • Is Gabe talking about a new Steam Console?
      • A fresh Steam client goes out with Linux improvements, Steam Input tweaks and more | GamingOnLinux

        Valve has bundled together a bunch of upgrades from recent Beta versions of the Steam client and push out a new stable release of Steam for everyone.

        On the Linux side it now offers “better diagnostics when Steam Play tools cannot be removed due to dependencies and improved the “overall robustness”. Along with that, Valve also updated fossilize layer to be compatible with recent Proton Experimental releases.

        For Remote Play, things get better for AMD GPU users as of this release too. It now uses VA-API 0.2 on Linux for optional hardware decode, as long as you have up to date 32-bit libva packages installed and ready. Valve also solved a potential streaming client crash when starting the stream.

      • Aquarium builder Megaquarium gets a huge performance lift in the latest Beta plus big sale | GamingOnLinux

        It seems like Twice Circled are preparing to continue expanding their aquarium building tycoon sim Megaquarium, as a new Beta is out now with some mighty changes.

        Megaquarium was already an absolute gem, especially when you add in the excellent Freshwater Frenzy expansion. Now though? Prepare for it to be better than ever as a new Beta is up to serve as “a foundation upon which Megaquarium can continue to grow” as the developer saw after the expansion and Steam Workshop popularity that “it became clear to me that some parts of the game needed a significant overhaul if the game was going to be able to continue to grow”.

      • An interview with the developer of Rocket Shipment

        As far as platforms go, a small portion of sales were to Linux users, but they were by far the most helpful. I love to chat with players in the Rocket Shipment Discord, and have found that most Linux players there are amazing in feedback and support.”

      • Augustus, the open source enhanced reimplementation for Caesar 3 gets a huge upgrade | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for more classic city-building? Caesar 3 is a wonderful game from the late 90s and thanks to Augustus (a fork of another project, Julius), you can get a more modern experience with it.

        It’s a game engine reimplementation, meaning it provides a new game engine for Caesar 3 that works across modern systems including Linux. Not only that, Augustus provides zoom controls, road blocks, a global labour pool, increased game limits and much more – whereas the Julius reimplementation aims to be accurate to the original.

        Augustus 3.0.0 and 3.0.1 quickly after bring in some huge new features and changes to the project, making it possibly the best time to get into the classic Caesar 3.

      • Cute looking farming-life sim A New Leaf: Memories will be supporting Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Even more developers are giving farming-life sim a chance with A New Leaf: Memories from developer IronHeart Studios and publisher Crytivo. Like many others, they’re inspired by the likes of Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, Story of Seasons, and Animal Crossing but they want to put their own sweet spin on it.

        Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, they’ve got 23 days to go and against their S$43,460 (Singapore Dollars) they’ve managed to hit over 100% in funding so clearly it’s been quite a hit with potential players.

        “You wake up on the beach of a foreign island, unable to recall anything. Alone and equipped with only basic farming tools provided by the town residents, you aim to recover your memories. Complete quests and explore Omoide Island as you unfold your story.”

      • SPRAWL is an upcoming hardcore cyberpunk FPS set in a huge megalopolis

        SPRAWL has me excited. A brand new upcoming hardcore first-person shooter, set in a huge cyberpunk megalopolis and it will be coming to Linux.

        “SPRAWL is a hardcore retro FPS set in an endless cyberpunk megapolis. Escape the walled city and take on the militarized government of the sprawl. Fueled by the blood of your enemies and a mysterious voice in your head, make your way towards the spire to topple whatever lays within.”

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Plasma 5.22 Beta testing day

          Plasma 5.22 is now in beta, which gives us one month of intense testing, bugfixing and polishing.

          During this time we need as many hands on deck as possible to help with finding regressions, triaging incoming reports and generally being on top of as much as possible.

          To invite everyone to the process we are hosting a “beta review day”. Come join us online and do QA with us together as a group.

        • Kdenlive 21.04.1 Released! How to Install it in Ubuntu 21.04, 20.04

          Kdenlive 21.04.1, the first update for the 21.04 release is out. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 21.04, Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 20.04 via PPA.

        • Krita’s Google Summer of Code Students

          This year, like every year since its inception, Krita participates in the abbreviated version of the Google Summer of Code program. It’s shorter than it used to be, but let’s see what our students are going to do!

        • Krita Dev Fund Campaign: Second Update!

          Here’s our second update on the state of Krita 5. We’re bringing you these updates to show what’s going on in Krita and why it’s a good idea to join the Krita development fund! There are already more than 100 members of the dev fund! But let’s have some excitement first. The new smudge brush engine landed in Krita’s master branch last week, the culmination of months of work by Dmitry Kazakov and Peter Schatz…

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Felipe Borges: Let’s welcome our new interns!

          It is that time of the year again when we get to meet our new interns participating in both Outreachy and Google Summer of Code. This year the GNOME Project is proud to sponsor two Outreachy internships for the May-August season and to mentor 12 students in GSoC 2021!

          Our Outreachy projects are listed here, and you can find our GSoC projects here.

    • Distributions

      • [Old] OT: Open letter to the Linux World

        systemd is a coup. It is a subversive interloper designed to destroy Linux as we know it, foisted upon us by the snarky we-know-better-than-you CamelCase crowd. They just don’t get it down deep where it matters. systemd is not pointing in a direction that we should be going. It does not encourage freedom. It does not encourage choice. It does not display transparency. It does not embrace simplicity. It seizes control and forces you to cede it. It makes applications and major system components depend on it, and they cannot function without it. It’s gaining speed by luring naive or lazy or just plain clueless developers into the fold with the promise of making their lives easier. Buying into this way of thinking ignores the greater dangers that systemd represents.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • IBM makes Python distribution platform Anaconda generally available for Linux

          In an effort to help enterprises scale their data science and AI efforts, IBM today announced that the Python distribution platform Anaconda is now available for IBM Z and IBM LinuxONE customers.

          IBM VP Barry Baker wrote in a blog post that the company believes the move will promote more open source AI capabilities by helping data scientists improve their record systems. Anaconda should also help create a more consistent experience for enterprises using a hybrid cloud strategy, he said.

          By pairing Anaconda with IBM Z and LinuxONE platforms, Baker said data scientists can improve security while still having a choice in AI frameworks.

        • Hybrid work model: 4 ways leaders can build trust

          The hybrid work model, in which employees spend some time in the office and the rest working remotely, is emerging as a leading post-pandemic strategy. Employees want to keep the flexibility they’ve had over the past year or so while getting back those elements of the office that they have missed. Employers don’t want to lose their best employees to competitors – a very real risk if they’re inflexible.

          Some roles, especially in technology, financial, and professional services, are well-suited to combine office and remote work. Many employers are trying to align their talent proposition to reflect this while also striving to boost agility and productivity and reduce real estate costs.

        • Hybrid cloud your way: Automating the RHEL registration process

          In a world where workload automation is easier than ever to develop and manual intervention is lessening by the day, are you getting tired of managing your Red Hat subscriptions day in and day out? Spending hours (if not days) managing contract renewals year in and year out? Are you scratching your head wondering why these menial tasks are even still a thing?

          So why are they? Well, let’s look at these ever-advancing technologies first. You’re building a complex enterprise environment, deploying a number of products across your hybrid cloud, tying together a physical environment, mixed with a virtual environment combining some on-prem, and some hosted in <name your favorite public cloud vendor>.

          With this comes the added complexity of elementary SKU logic that’s become increasingly complex with every new SKU variation created over the years. So now you have to be the logical one and say “this system wants this product, and this SKU provides said product.” From there you map them together and (crossing fingers and toes and eyes) these systems can now consume the content they are hopefully entitled to. Hold on… why is this a you problem?

        • Transformational leader vs. transactional leader: Which do you want to be?
      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Touch OTA 17 Released

          Ubuntu Touch, the community developed mobile version of Ubuntu, has just released a brand-new version of their OS. This time, they have been quite light on new features amid their transition to the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS base.

          Here we will be looking at what it is, what new features are present, and what future releases may look like.

        • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #210

          Interface for smartwatches added to postmarketOS:


          New Releases of GNUstep Components:


          Armbian Distribution Release 21.05:


          SSH client PuTTY 0.75 released:


          Ubuntu RescuePack 21.05 Antivirus Boot Disk Available:


          DragonFly BSD 6.0 released:


          VLC 3.0.14 media player update with vulnerability fixes:


          Coreboot 4.14 Released:


          Hubzilla 5.6 Released:


          IBM opens CodeNet for machine learning systems that translate and validate code:


          Full Circle Magazine
          Host: @bardictriad, @zaivala@hostux.social
          Bumper: Canonical
          Theme Music: From The Dust – Stardust

        • The Fridge: Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 683

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 683 for the week of May 9 – 15, 2021.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • OpenPrinting Now Developing Upstream CUPS, Apple Bows Out

        Back in 2007 Apple effectively acquired the open-source CUPS project and in 2017 then decided to no longer develop CUPS under the GPL but instead the Apache 2.0 license for this widely-used Unix/macOS/Linux print server. But then at the end of 2019 the CUPS lead developer left Apple and following that public development of CUPS seemingly halted. Fortunately, now there is a happy next chapter to the CUPS printing story.

        Apple has decided not to pursue feature development further on CUPS and upstream feature development has been effectively transferred to the OpenPrinting project. CUPS founder and former Apple employee Michael Sweet presented on this change at this month’s Open Printing Summit. Sweet acknowledged that Apple stopped actively developing CUPS when he left the company. But now he’s been contracted by Apple to apply important bug fixes from the OpenPrinting fork of CUPS back to the Apple CUPS code-base for macOS. Apple CUPS will continue seeing these bug fixes pulled in from OpenPrinting CUPS but Apple is no longer interested in feature development on this print server.

      • Zabbix 5.4 Release Comes with Scheduled PDF Report Generation

        Zabbix Team announced the availability of Zabbix 5.4.0. The new version comes with several significant improvements.

        Zabbix is an open source, real-time application, and network monitoring tool. It offers monitoring of thousands of metrics collected from physical machines or virtual machines. Zabbix has a web-based management interface which is centralized through a database. With Zabbix, visualization of your data is available in the form of graphs, screens, maps and overviews.

      • How to save up to 500€/year switching from Mailchimp to Open Source Mailtrain and AWS SES

        Mailchimp is more and more expensive following the growth of your newsletter subscribers and you need to leave it. You can use Mailtrain, a web app running on your own server and use the AWS SES service to send emails in an efficient way, avoiding to be flagged as a spammer by the other SMTP servers (very very common, you can try but… you have been warned against 😉

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • A URL shortener with an interesting storage backend

          What if I could tell you that there was a data store you could be using that was redundant and distributed by design, allowed granular caching per record in your dataset, and is incredibly simple to set up and maintain. Snake oil this is not, this is DNS.

          Now, storing data in DNS is not a new fad, in fact I spoke about this back in 2018. More recently there have been countless memes on social media about using Amazon’s Route53 DNS service as a data store, so I felt it was time to upgrade my URL shortener from using YAML to DNS as its storage medium.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Data

          • Interoperable and robust forestry data management

            The initiative was started under the Forestry Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2018 and has been integrated by dozens of countries in their efforts to make forestry data collection and analysis more efficient and flexible. Data obtained and processed with these tools is crucial for decision making related to climate change. Governments, research institutions and NGOs can use this toolset for a wide range of applications, including forest inventories, climate change reporting, socio-economic surveys, biodiversity assessment, land use, deforestation and desertification monitoring and others.

      • Programming/Development

        • Top 10 Open Source snippets manager alternatives to GitHub Gist

          The snippet is a saved template. It is a software system used to save us from needing to type out repetitive, and we can share them across our team company from day to day. You can think of it as the software responsible for managing the programmer code activities.

          It is very useful to allow various units and sectors in companies and organizations to do their routinely teamwork; from managing teamwork to generating codes and tracking programmers… Everything is included in a snippet manager.

          Open-source software has conquered many sectors in the IT industry, from the open-source healthcare domain and open-source appointment scheduler to open source Open-source data backup and open-source project management solutions… They are everywhere.


          We have seen in this list many good open-source snippets managers that you may use in your daily life and organization. You can choose one of them depends on what type of features or scenarios your work needs.

        • Is Programming Difficult for Students?

          Computers require unique languages to perform tasks, and these are the programming languages you learn when you study programming. We can thus define programming as the study of computer languages used by computers to perform tasks. They are JavaScript, Python, and C++. Programming has become even more lucrative as a career these days because it is used in various areas of life. This includes smart fridges and other household appliances that respond to command at the touch of a button or when operated from the phone.

        • Integrating systems with Apache Camel and Quarkus on Red Hat OpenShift

          Apache Camel has been a massively successful tool for integrating heterogeneous systems for more than a decade. You have probably dealt with a situation where you have two systems that were not designed to communicate with each other but still need to exchange data. That’s exactly the kind of situation where Camel and its integration pipelines can help. This article shows how Quarkus uses Camel.

          Figure 1 shows Camel’s basic operation: Data from one system passes through a transport designed for that system to a transport designed for the recipient system.

        • Selenium Automating Web Browsers

          Selenium is used to automate boring tasks; it automates browsers. From navigating the web to automatically logging into accounts to creating bots for various tasks can be achieved using Selenium.

        • How to Make WebSockets Examples

          WebSocket is a powerful technology that has found its way into many applications. Because of that, there are many libraries implemented in various languages to help programmers work with WebSocket protocol.
          In this tutorial, we will quickly discuss some of these libraries and what they offer. This makes it easier to choose a specific library for the language you wish to use.

          If you need an introduction to WebSockets and how they work, consider one of our tutorials on the same.

        • Python

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • How to Use Multiple Delimiters in AWK – Linux Hint

            AWK is a powerful, pattern-matching programming language that works in the command line to find various patterns in command outputs and files.

            We can consider AWK an improvement over Sed since it offers more features, including arrays, variables, loops, and good old, regular expressions.

            In this tutorial, we will quickly discuss how you can use multiple delimiters in an AWK command. Before we proceed, please note that this tutorial is not a beginner’s guide to AWK, nor did I intend it as such.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Over the Bodies of Children: God Willing We’ll Have Fun Tomorrow
    • Crucible City

      Certain cities in the United States have developed a claim to fame for representing some vital aspect of America. New York City has often been hailed as its financial and cultural capital. Chicago, the “big shoulders” of the nation, has been depicted as its boisterous center of industry. Berkeley, Calif., and Cambridge, Mass., serve as symbols of American liberalism, and Atlanta as the political and economic capital of Black America.

    • South Korean Real-Time Video ‘Social Discovery’ App Might Be The New ChatRoulette — If It Can Keep Out The Lettuce Fornicators

      Remember ChatRoulette? Eleven years ago, the Web site that pairs random people together for webcam interactions was as hot as today’s Clubhouse. A 2010 piece in New York Magazine has a perfect distillation of the ChatRoulette experience at the time:

    • Education

      • How Teachers Fought for Their Safety in the Pandemic—and Won

        At 7 am on Monday, February 8, Kaitlin McCann, a seventh- and eighth-grade history teacher at the General George A. McCall School in Philadelphia, arrived at work. The temperature was in the teens and snow covered the ground, but McCann didn’t go inside the building where she’s taught for a decade. Instead, decked out in snow pants, boots, and gloves with hand warmers nestled inside, she set up a portable power generator and a circle of socially distanced tables and chairs in the schoolyard.1

    • Hardware

      • The Federal Trade Commission enters the fray over the ‘right to repair’

        The report also found that tech companies failed to provide any evidence that the right to repair diminished a company’s ability to innovate, threatened user security, or inhibited the companies’ ability to make competitive products.

        The FTC concluded, “There is scant evidence to support manufacturers’ justifications for repair restrictions.” It then encouraged state and federal legislators to consider right-to-repair bills and hopefully pass relevant legislation soon.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | Redistribution of Health Through the American Families Plan

        The American Families Plan will make the Affordable Care Act subsidies permanent—ensuring that millions of Americans can keep their care. And the top 1% of taxpayers will pay for it.

      • As Unused Vaccines Pile Up in the US, Biden Pledges to Export 80 Million Doses
      • CDC’s Confusing Announcement on Masks Creates a Dangerous Honor System
      • National Nurses United Condemns CDC for Endangering Frontline Workers With Latest Covid-19 Guidance

        “Nurses follow the precautionary principle, which means that until we know for sure something is safe, we use the highest level of protections, not the lowest.”

      • Pandemic ‘Long Way From Over,’ Says WHO Amid Stark Global Vaccine Access Divide

        WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on “high-income countries that have contracted much of the immediate global supply of vaccines to share them now.”

      • How Profiteers Hijacked the CDC’s Covid Response

        This story involves mass death, religious zealots, and the worst case of government malpractice to facilitate what was deemed a business opportunity in the history of the United States, so I’ll choose the biblical opening:1Adapted from Chapter 1 of Nina Burleigh’s Virus, now available from Seven Stories Press.

      • The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 88: Ellen ‘T Hoen on Waiving Patents to Support Global Access to COVID Vaccines

        CNBC, Biden Administration Supports Waiver of Patent Protections for Covid Vaccines

      • Sharing the Vaccine Is Just the First Step

        On May 5 the Biden administration did the truly unexpected. Bucking the gigantic pharmaceutical lobby in Washington, it sided with low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) by supporting a waiver provision to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) that would set aside some intellectual property rights in order to expand the production of Covid-19 vaccines, which are now manufactured primarily by only a handful of companies in the world’s richest nations.

      • In Search of a Place to Cry: The Gray Panthers COVID Memorial

        At some point in the pandemic, I don’t remember when, exactly, I noticed that the daily bar graph showing the steadily rising deaths had changed. Wherever it was—the New York Times?—it had started as a simple tally of Covid-19 fatalities, but now, the tally was split between the deaths of those in long-term care facilities and the deaths of “regular” civilians. The bar marking the former category was gray, as if meant to represent the people themselves who had perished: they were primarily old, and, if they were in a skilled nursing facility, they likely had physical and/or mental disabilities.

        “These are among the most ‘other’ peoples,” Jack Kupferman, the director of the New York City chapter of the activist group the Gray Panthers, told me. “They’re literally behind walls. This is what we never want to be. To be in a long-term care facility, particularly a skilled nursing facility, is not on anyone’s bucket list.” It’s easy, in other words, to look away—actually, it might even feel imperative, because the sight is uncomfortable, painful, shocking, guilt-inducing. To actually regard the agonizing deaths-by-covid of the elderly would be a disruption of business as usual—this country has never treated the old, the differently-abled, the “other” of any kind with dignity, let alone attention.

      • Why Strongmen are Losing the Fight Against Covid

        Since Covid-19 exploded in India, the prime minister, Narendra Modi, seems more intent on controlling the news than the outbreak. On Wednesday, India recorded nearly 363,000 Covid cases and 4,120 deaths, about 30 percent of worldwide Covid deaths that day. But experts say India is vastly understating the true number. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, estimates that at least 25,000 Indians are dying from Covid each day.

      • How Bill Gates Set the Stage for Modi’s Disastrous Response to COVID-19 in India

        The rights to produce the public sector vaccine, Covaxin, which has been developed by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV), in collaboration with Bharat Biotech, have been given to the private company partner on an exclusive basis. The Indian government also believed that Serum Institute of India, another private sector company and the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, which has tied up with AstraZeneca for producing Covishield, would make vaccines according to the country’s requirements without any prior orders or capital support. The government did not even see the necessity to intervene and prevent India’s new Quad ally, the U.S., from stopping sending India supplies of the required raw materials needed by India for manufacturing vaccines.

        The sheer negligence by the government is further highlighted by the fact that even though India has about 20 licensed manufacturing facilities for vaccines and 30 biologic manufacturers, all of which could have been harnessed for vaccine manufacturing, only two companies are presently producing vaccines. That too is at a pace completely inadequate for India’s needs.

      • The latest antivax lie from Peter McCullough, Mike Adams, and RFK Jr.: “COVID-19 vaccines are killing people!!!!”

        Months before emergency use authorizations (EUAs) were granted by the FDA for vaccines against COVID-19, starting with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and then continuing with the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines, those of us who’ve been following and trying to counter the antivaccine movement predicted that antivaxxers would publicize and weaponize reports of death and adverse events after COVID-19 vaccines to give the impression that the vaccines are dangerous. By the end of January, our predictions had come true even more blatantly than I had expected, as I discussed this technique three months ago and why it is deceptive. The first time I had noted this technique of antivaccine messaging was actually as far back as December, when antivaxxers were publicizing reports of Bell’s palsy and syncope within days after the Pfizer vaccine had been released under an EUA. It’s a technique that continued with claims based on VAERS that COVID-19 vaccines cause heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths, with these sorts of claims being central to messaging by antivaccine activist Del Bigtree. None of these reports demonstrated causation, but that didn’t stop antivaxxers from publicizing them. Then, when the FDA issued a pause for the J&J vaccine based on (at the time) one-in-a-million reports to VAERS of a rare type of blood clot, reports that the FDA and CDC took very seriously, antivaxxers predictably went wild over it, even though the risk-benefit ratio of the vaccine was still deemed to be favorable.

      • Fighting Weight: How Military Recruiters Take On Obesity, Case By Case

        All those issues feed bigger worries about the sustainability of the country’s military, Frost notes. “In a generation or two, this is going to be a potential existential threat to our nation,” he says.

        Powerful forces like food insecurity and the ways cheap, high-calorie junk food is heavily marketed add to the challenge, says Jeffrey Snow, another retired major general who headed recruitment for the Army and Army Reserves until three years ago. In his military days, Snow says, he routinely talked about the significance of obesity prevention and mitigation, both inside and outside the Army.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Our cybersecurity ‘industry best practices’ keep allowing breaches [iophk: Windows TCO]

          So with all of these impressively credentialed experts, we should be getting better at this “information security” business, right? So, what is wrong?

          The core problem is that “industry best practices” are not.

          Not only are “industry best practices” not “best” practices, but they are also dangerous practices.

        • EU’s Apple Probes Press Ahead as Epic Trial Plays Out in U.S.

          The European Union is pressing ahead with its Apple Inc. probes undistracted by allegations of anti-competitive behavior by the tech giant playing out in a Californian courtroom, according to the bloc’s antitrust chief.

          The investigation into Apple Pay is “quite advanced” and European regulators need to “do our own thing” regardless of what happens in the U.S. suit against Epic Games Inc., Margrethe Vestager said in an interview with Bloomberg News.

        • Apple’s Phil Schiller gives Epic iPhone testimony

          We’ve gotten through the expert witnesses of Epic v. Apple, and as a reward, Phil Schiller — currently an “Apple Fellow,” whatever that is, and previously the senior vice president of worldwide marketing — took the stand like a twinkly App Store St. Nick. To hear him tell it, Apple is a wonderful partner to developers, selflessly improving dev tools and responding to their needs. At times the testimony feels like a prolonged ad for iOS.

        • Microsoft sheds some light on perplexing Outlook blank email incident: Word was to blame

          Microsoft has published a Preliminary Post Incident Report on last week’s events which broke Outlook on Windows for millions of users, making emails impossible to view or create.

          It was on the evening of May 11th, UK time, and in the middle of the working day in North America (18:24 UTC, 19:24 BST, 11:24 Pacific), that many Office 365 customers using Outlook on Windows observed a frustrating problem: blank emails (or maybe showing just one line), even though a few lines of the email could be previewed in the list of messages. Attempts to create or reply to an email allowed a line of text to be typed, but when the user pressed enter, the text disappeared.

        • Security

          • How to Find Rootkits with RKhunter

            We use the internet to communicate, learn, teach, shop, sell and do many other activities. We are constantly connecting our devices to the internet to share and gather information. However, doing so comes with its benefits and dangers.
            One of the most prominent and ever-present dangers of connecting to the internet is a comprised system where attackers can use your devices to steal personal information and other sensitive information.

            Although there are various methods someone can use to attack a system, rootkits are a popular choice among malicious hackers. The essence of this tutorial is to help you enhance the security of your Linux device by using the RKhunter or Rootkit hunter.

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (chromium, curl, prosody, and ruby-rack-cors), Fedora (dotnet3.1 and dotnet5.0), openSUSE (ibsim and prosody), SUSE (kernel and python3), and Ubuntu (caribou and djvulibre).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Smart TV Makers Will Soon Make More Money Off Your Viewing Habits Than The TV Itself

              “Smart” televisions have long been the poster child for the abysmal privacy and security standards inherent in the “internet of things” space. Such televisions have been routinely found to have the security and privacy standards of damp cardboard, making the data they collect delicious targets for hackers and intelligence agencies alike.

            • EU Council and Commission: New roadmap for access to encryption

              The Portuguese Presidency is calling for an EU-wide regulation on access to encrypted content by police and judiciary. This should also affect device manufacturers. Failure to comply could result in companies being banned from doing business in the EU.

            • ACLU: “Digital IDs Could Be a Nightmare”

              As the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is soliciting proposals from vendors for how to put digital versions of drivers licenses and other ID credentials on smartphones, the ACLU has released a timely and insightful white paper, Identity Crisis: What Digital Driver’s Licenses Could Mean for Privacy, Equity, and Freedom, by Jay Stanley of the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, along with an executive summary in the form of a blog post, Digital IDs Might Sound Like a Good Idea, But They Could Be a Privacy Nightmare.

              The ACLU white paper links to some of our research and reporting, and highlights many of our concerns with compelled identification, the REAL-ID Act, invisible virtual checkpoints, ID-based blacklists and controls on what we are and aren’t allowed to do, and the role of AAMVA and other “private” entities as outsourced, opaque, unaccountable, creators of ID “standards” that function as de facto laws and regulations that govern our movements and activities, but that are adopted in secret, exempt from the Freedom Of Information Act or other transparency laws, and lack basic privacy protections. or respect for rights recognized by the U.S. Constitution and international human rights treaties.

              We encourage readers interested in these issues to read the ACLU white paper in full. But here’s an excerpt form the introduction to the white paper, framing the issue:

            • Everything you wanted to know about media metadata, but were afraid to ask

              Metadata is data about data. Every single digital artifact has it. It describes the who, what, when, where, how, and sometimes even, why, for any document, video, photo, or sound clip. This information comes in handy sometimes, like when you’re flipping through old pictures by date, or by location. But in the wrong hands, this same information could be damaging.

            • Here’s how PayPal re-imagined its cloud journey amid the pandemic

              The pandemic accelerated the adoption of digital by what would have otherwise taken 5 years. Digital payments are no longer an option, and digital payments business has never been more relevant than it is today. There have been substantial macro changes which Paypal believes to have a lasting and profoundly positive impact on its business. This is a robust cloud strategy that enables speed which matters for both operational efficiency and scale.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The media has incited more hatred than necessary

        It’s difficult to see how this plays out in the coming days, as no doubt “international diplomacy” will step in. But the misinformation we are hearing on the news that the latest flair-up occurred because “Israelis stormed the Mosque”, may convince the majority, but it’s not the main reason this violence broke out. Those behind it have carefully constructed a well-orchestrated move to turn public opinion against Israel and the Jewish communities supporting Israel, and so far, it is working.

    • Environment

      • Asia’s cities are worst hit in warming world

        Climate change, water shortage and pollution are worst for Asia’s cities, researchers say. The rest of us have a lucky escape.

      • ‘Time for Us to Have Her Back’: Sunrise Movement Endorses Nina Turner for Congress

        The youth-led climate campaign called the former Ohio state senator a “champion for people everywhere on a myriad of issues impacting our communities.” 

      • Exhuming California’s St. Francis Dam Disaster

        Seven miles up San Francisquito Canyon in far northern Los Angeles County, at an unmarked spot on an abandoned county road, there’s a pile of rubble. Obscured by the cottonwoods and willows that cluster along trickling San Francisquito Creek, the site is indistinguishable from the surrounding shale and sandstone until you’re standing nearly on top of it. Further west, ragged concrete blocks the size of shipping containers lie scattered across the canyon floor. These are the remnants of greater Los Angeles’s deadliest day, obscured from public view by time, neglect, and painstaking effort.

      • Another environmental disaster Russia’s Komi Republic declares emergency after 90-ton oil spill

        Authorities in Russia’s far-northern Komi Republic have declared an emergency over a 90-ton oil spill affecting local soil and waterways. The leak originated from a Lukoil pipeline located in the neighboring Nenets Autonomous Okrug. Reportedly, most of the oil products have pooled on the shore of the Kolva River, however the pollution is continuing to spread into larger waterways and is moving towards the Barents sea. Local environmental activists say the spill already constitutes an environmental disaster and has likely caused hundreds of millions of rubles in damage.

      • Energy

        • Dozens of Christian Organisations Announce Fossil Fuel Divestment Ahead of G7 and COP26

          Three dozen Christian organisations and institutions from across the world — including dioceses from the Church of England — announced their divestment from fossil fuels today and urged leaders to take greater action on climate change ahead of major global summits this year.

          Scheduled for June, leaders of the G7 nations will meet in the UK and environmentalists hope climate will be a priority. Meanwhile, Glasgow will host the annual UN climate conference, COP26, in November. 

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Four Years of ‘The Rev’
        • Forest Service Halts Huge Clearcutting Plan Next to Yellowstone National Park that Threatened Grizzlies, Lynx

          WEST YELLOWSTONE, MONTANA— Following a challenge by multiple conservation groups, the U.S. Forest Service announced Thursdaythat it was halting a plan to clearcut more than 4,600 acres of native forests, log across an additional 9,000 acres and bulldoze up to 56 miles of road on lands just outside Yellowstone National Park in the Custer Gallatin National Forest.

          In April, the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council challenged the South Plateau project, saying it would destroy habitat for grizzly bears, lynx, pine martens and wolverines. The logging project would have destroyed the scenery and solitude for hikers using the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, which crosses the proposed timber-sale area.

    • Finance

      • Working Women Need the PRO Act

        Jeanne D’Angelo, currently a freelance illustrator, had a job interview at the Comcast headquarters in Philadelphia 13 years ago. The manager who interviewed her, who was employed by Comcast, told her she got the job. Then she was sent to a temp agency to fill out her new-hire paperwork. Like so many other workers, D’Angelo had been a temp before, and many of those jobs had been “temp to hire,” in her experience. “I just figured they’d eventually hire me,” she said.

      • Opinion | Wall Street Banks Reject Racial Equity Audits, While Professing BLM Support

        JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is urging shareholders to vote against a proposed review of the impact of bank policies and practices on racial inequality.

      • Wealthy Progressives Issue Tax Day Message: ‘Cut the Bullsh*t’ and Tax Rich People Like Us

        “Tax the Rich. Save America. Yes, it’s really that simple.”

      • The Secret Tax Loophole Making the Rich Even Richer

        Close this stepped-up basis loophole, and we help finance the programs the vast majority of Americans desperately need and deserve. We also end the explosion of dynastic wealth. It should be a no-brainer.

      • Opinion | The Real Purpose of Austerity

        Even if everyone agreed that printing another trillion dollars to finance a basic income for the poor would boost neither inflation nor interest rates, the rich and powerful would still oppose it. After all, their most important interest is not to conserve economic potential, but to preserve the power of the few to compel the many.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Russian court drops embezzlement charges against ex-governor Mikhail Men

        On May 17, Moscow’s Tverskoy Court terminated the criminal case against Russia’s Accounts Chamber auditor, Mikhail Men, due to the expiration of the statute of limitations, reports the state news agency TASS. 

      • Trump Plans to Resume His Infamous Rallies in June
      • Biden White House Says Monthly Child Tax Credit Payments Will Begin July 15
      • Marjorie Taylor Greene Is Gunning for AOC—and There’s Only 1 Reason

        Video emerged late last week of bigoted Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene trying to intimidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez at her congressional office in Washington, D.C. The video, filmed in 2019, was taken as Greene went to Ocasio-Cortez’s office, uninvited, to laugh at and mock her while purposely mispronouncing her name and talking through the mail slot in her door. Greene was flanked by a small gang of thuggy guys, including one who some think participated in the Capitol insurrection. The video, which was initially streamed by Greene on Facebook Live but later deleted, resurfaced just days after Greene accosted Ocasio-Cortez on the House floor. There, Greene accused Ocasio-Cortez of backing “terrorists and antifa,” which is rich considering that Greene exists only to give aid and comfort to white domestic terrorists.

      • ‘Allende Is Smiling’: Chilean Voters Elect Progressive Alliance to Rewrite Pinochet-Era Constitution

        “Chile will be the grave of neoliberalism!” 

      • Psy-ops in high places Putin’s new science adviser to Russia’s National Security Council is a military intelligence agent accused of spreading disinformation about the coronavirus

        In recent years, Russia’s National Security Council (or Sovbez) has come increasingly to resemble the USSR’s Politburo (the Soviet Communist Party’s powerful executive committee). On May 11, Vladimir Putin made significant changes to the Sovbez’s Science Council, which provides “scientific-methodological and expert-analytical support,” assists with the development of Russia’s national security strategy and strategic planning documents, and helps define priorities, criteria, and metrics. One newcomer to the Science Council is a man named A. G. Starunsky, a deputy commander of Russia’s Military Unit 55111. Meduza has learned that intelligence agencies in Estonia and the United States suspect this person of involvement in online disinformation campaigns run by Russia’s Military Intelligence Directorate (GRU). 

      • Why Biden Should Reappoint Powell as Fed Chair, Now

        In making the case for Powell, it is important to understand how much he has moved the Fed from where it has been in prior decades. I have long been in battles with the Fed over its willingness to raise interest rates, slowing growth and killing jobs, in order to head off the risk of higher inflation. It viewed its legal mandate for high employment as an afterthought, at best.

        Powell has turned this around. He has quite explicitly said that he wants to have the economy run hot, pushing it as far he can without kicking off inflation. He has embraced the idea that many of us on the left had long maintained: low levels of unemployment disproportionately benefit those most disadvantaged in the labor market.

      • This is Not a Crisis, This is a Rebellion: a Report from the Front Lines of Haiti

        All of Haitian society is in revolt.

        A mambo and hougan—the traditional voudou priestess and priest—lead ancestral ceremonies before rallies take the streets and block the central arteries of Port-au-Prince, Cap Haïtien, and other Haitian cities and towns. After one of their members was kidnapped, leaders of the Protestant Church directed its congregation to halt all activities at noon on Wednesday and bat tenèb. Bat tenèb, literally “beat the darkness,” is a call for all sectors of Haitian society to beat pots, pans, street lights and anything else as a general alert of an emergency. A Catholic church in Petionville held a mass with political undertones against the dictatorship. When marchers from outside took refuge from the police inside the church, the Haitian National Police tear gassed the entire congregation.

      • The California Prosecutors Who Want to Keep People Out of Jail

        “Politics is often defined or understood as the art of making a deal. But I think, at its best, it’s the art of making possible tomorrow that which we can’t even imagine today,” says Chesa Boudin, the district attorney of San Francisco County. The son of two members of the Weather Underground sentenced to long spells in prison, Boudin was narrowly elected in 2019 under San Francisco’s ranked-choice voting system. He talks of the pain of growing up with imprisoned parents; of the collect calls he still receives every Saturday from his incarcerated father; and of his belief, inculcated in him from childhood, that simply locking people up is a failure of the political imagination. “My personal experience shapes me—my worldview, my fears and hopes, my dreams and aspirations,” he acknowledges.1

        Boudin and three other district attorneys—Republican Tori Verber Salazar of San Joaquin County, in the Central Valley (whose office didn’t respond to requests for comment for this article), and Democrats George Gascón of Los Angeles and Diana Becton of Contra Costa County—joined the Prosecutors Alliance of California in September 2020. Although their offices serve only four of the 58 counties in California, they represent more than 30 percent of the state’s population. The organization was established as a progressive alternative to the more conservative California District Attorneys Association (CDAA), which, for decades, has helped shape criminal justice priorities in the Golden State. In 2022, when 56 of those counties hold elections for their DAs, the number of Californians served by self-identifying progressive prosecutors could well reach the 50 percent mark.2

      • NPR at 50: Straying From Its Civic Mission?

        A few observations, drawn from listening to NPR largely over the WAMC station in Albany, New York during a Covid-19 year, are in order.

        1. I find the features and the collaboration with other investigative groups, such as Pro Publica, very enlightening. One piece about Amazon’s warehouses was especially memorable. Moreover, Scott Simon and David Brancaccio are so capable as to be considered under-challenged.

      • Can Democracy Exist in the Digital Era Part II – The Project Censored Show

        Notes: Veena Dubal is Professor of Law at the University of California’s Hastings College of Law. Meredith Whittaker is Research Professor at New York University, and co-founder of the AI Now Institute. Robin Andersen is Professor of Communication and Media Studies at Fordham University. Maximillian Alvarez is Editor-in-Chief at the Real News Network.

      • What went wrong with the Labour Party?

        All this demonstrates that the Labour Party has consistently failed to offer any real solutions to the problems we face in modern-day Britain, focusing more on petty point scoring. For too long it has enjoyed the blind trust of its supporters. Not anymore. The party seems to have forgotten that it was hope, humility, compassion and progressiveness that attracted people from all backgrounds for years.

        If Labour is to win back the trust of people, it will need a serious overhaul. The party must adhere to liberal principles, promote democratic values such as free speech, and engage people and political opponents in constructive discussions.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Russia’s censorship agency decides not to block Twitter

        Russia’s censorship agency, Roskomnadzor (RKN), has decided against completely blocking Twitter, it announced in a statement on May 17. 

      • Facebook facing four more fines for failing to remove content banned in Russia

        Moscow’s Tagansky Court has registered four more proceedings against Facebook over alleged administrative offenses, reports Interfax. If found guilty, the social network will face an additional 16 million rubles (about $216,000) in fines. The magistrate’s court has yet to schedule a date for the consideration of these latest protocols.

      • Belarusian national broadcaster will not air Eurovision 2021

        Belarus’s national broadcaster, Belteleradio (BT), will not air the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest because the country was refused admission to the competition, BT told RIA Novosti,

      • DOJ Sent A Grand Jury Subpoena To Twitter Demanding The Unmasking Of A Twitter User Being Sued By Devin Nunes

        For the past couple of years, Devin Nunes has been suing Twitter users over obviously satirical accounts that use his name, the most famous of which is “Devin Nunes’ Cow.” He has yet to succeed, but he has managed to clutter the courts with a bunch of vexatious litigation that, so far, has only proved Devin’s skin is mighty thin and that he should definitely make better choices when it comes to choosing legal representation.

      • Biden Revokes Trump-Era Executive Order Designed To Crack Down On Big Tech

        Executive orders represent a somewhat ambiguous region in executive authority, and there remain unresolved legal issues regarding the scope of executive policies. All of that considered, it is not unprecedented for an incoming president to revoke in-force executive orders in the early days of his term.

      • Party officials: Hate speech fears deterred local election candidates

        The government study further found that hate speech and ill-natured online debate are having a knock on effect on democracy. Forty-two percent of municipal decision-makers who responded to the survey said their willingness to participate in public debate had diminished.

        Many participants in the study also said that hate speech and harassment have led them to consider giving up politics.

        Saresma said this is a “serious threat” to democracy, as it reduces people’s willingness to participate in social debate. However, she added that studies show that only a relatively small number of people engage in hate speech, and this small group produces the largest part of it.

        “If, for example, there is reprehensible hate speech on social media, accounts should be closed. There should be zero tolerance for committing crimes,” Saresma said.

      • Online hate speech deters candidates from participating in municipal elections

        A survey commissioned by the government in 2019 found that 66 per cent or two-thirds of municipal councillors believe that hate speech in public debate has increased significantly and reported being at the receiving end of abusive behavior themselves.

        The study also revealed that the toxic online culture represents a direct threat to democracy, as 42 per cent of respondents admitted that their willingness to participate in public debate had decreased.

      • Ukrainian Models Deported After Posing On Birthday Suits In Turkey During Ramadan

        According to reports, six Ukrainian models tried to recreate that scene when they posed in the birthday suits in Turkey, creating great indignation when they posed nude while on a yacht. The models were with two men as they tried to recreate the high-rise balcony debacle in Dubai.

      • Naser Khader faces Supreme Court lawsuit in connection with calling female imam an Islamist

        Naser Khader, who stepped down from his duties as a Konservative MP to take stress leave in April, will today begin his defence in the Supreme Court against charges that he libelled the female imam Sherin Khankan.

        Like she did with an unsuccessful lawsuit in the High Court last year, Khankan will contend that Khader defamed her with a character assassination and abuse of power when he sent an email on 13 September 2017 to a group of MPs (from Radikale, SF and Alternativet) airing concerns about Exit Circle, an organisation that helps victims of psychological violence, which she chairs.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Gaza Journalist: Israel Is Deliberately Targeting the Media by Bombing AP & Al Jazeera Offices

        We speak with Palestinian reporter Youmna al-Sayed, who was among the journalists who had to flee for their lives when Israel bombed and leveled a 12-story Gaza building that housed the offices of media organizations including the Associated Press and Al Jazeera. Israel has claimed, without evidence, that the building was being used by Hamas operatives, but al-Sayed says it’s part of a pattern of Israeli attacks on media. “This is no coincidence,” she says.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Opinion | Demilitarizing the Border: A World of Bikes, Not Walls?

        When it comes to the border and its many “crises,” the absurdity runs deep.

      • Ocasio-Cortez Leads House Dems’ Demand That Biden ‘End the Carceral Approach to Immigration’

        “Instead, we urge the Biden administration to pursue humane and just immigration policies that aim to end mass incarceration, criminalization, and deportation of immigrants.”

      • ‘Alarm Bells Are Ringing Loudly’: Supreme Court Takes Up Case That Could Reverse Roe v. Wade

        “Let’s be explicit: Anti-abortion extremists made it clear that this was the goal all along. It’s why they couldn’t wait to rush Amy Coney Barrett onto the Supreme Court before the November election.”

      • Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case That Could Upend Roe v. Wade
      • ‘Extremism’ case against Navalny’s movement reportedly classified due to security officials’ personal data

        The materials in the case on designating Alexey Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation (the FBK) and political movement as “extremist organizations” were classified because they contain the personal data of security officials, the newspaper Kommersant reported, citing a source in law enforcement. Allegedly, the security officials in question filed lawsuits over damages inflicted by protesters during opposition rallies. 

      • Addressing Rape in Four Minutes or Less: Dating App Reps Left Unprepared to Respond to Assault Victims

        On a sunny afternoon in the summer of 2019, Natalie Dong stood outside the glass headquarters of the popular online dating platform Tinder, in downtown Los Angeles, with a poster board draped from her neck. It read: “MY RAPIST IS STILL ON TINDER.”

        More than a year earlier, Dong, then a 21-year-old engineering student, said she had been raped in her home by a man she had met on a different dating website, Coffee Meets Bagel. He told Dong he was on other dating platforms, including Tinder. She reported the events to the police, which didn’t lead to criminal charges.

      • The Police Dog Who Cried Drugs at Every Traffic Stop

        As a drug detection dog, Karma kept his nose down and treated every suspect the same. Public records show that from the time he arrived in Republic in January 2018 until his handler took a leave of absence to campaign for public office in 2020, Karma gave an “alert” indicating the presence of drugs 100 percent of the time during roadside sniffs outside vehicles.

        Whether drivers actually possessed illegal narcotics made no difference. The government gained access to every vehicle that Karma ever sniffed. He essentially created automatic probable cause for searches and seizures, undercutting constitutional guarantees of due process.

      • Joe Biden wants to Europeanise the American welfare state

        Start with the most important bits. At present, one in six American children live in poverty by the government’s own measure. International comparisons, using a measure called relative poverty, suggest that the American rate is among the highest in the rich world. It is caused by flimsy supports for the youngest (as opposed to those for the elderly, who receive Social Security and Medicare). A generous child allowance is the main anti-poverty tool in most rich countries—and also one that America lacks. One such scheme was created this year as part of the covid-19 relief bill that the president signed in March. It will pay most families $3,000 per year per child ($3,600 for young children) and is expected to halve the poverty rate soon after its payments begin in July. A simultaneous boost to the earned-income tax credit, which tops up the wages of low-paid workers, would also reduce poverty among childless adults (while reducing disincentives to work).

      • Sharia France: Mother of 3 Shot and Burned to Death in Public by Muslim Migrant Husband (Video)

        Western feminists’ supposedly cherished principles are not compatible with Islam, yet they remain silent.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Apple to bring Lossless Audio to entire Apple Music catalog, alongside Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos

        Apple notes: “Due to the large file sizes and bandwidth needed for Lossless and Hi-Res Lossless Audio, subscribers will need to opt in to the experience. Hi-Res Lossless also requires external equipment, such as a USB digital-to-analog converter (DAC).”

      • Introduction to Digital Rights Management (DRM)
      • What is DRM? Understanding the tool publishers use to control software and file downloading or sharing

        You’re probably used to feeling like you own the software stored on your computer, phone, and other devices, but that’s not always the case.

        First and foremost, you typically don’t own the software you’ve purchased. You’ve simply bought the right to use the software in accordance with a licensing agreement. That’s rarely important when using Microsoft Office programs, but many kinds of software are controlled by Digital Rights Management (DRM). That can limit your ability to use the software in important ways.

        In a nutshell, DRM is a way for publishers and distributors to control your access to software. If you think you might be dealing with a DRM situation, here’s what you need to know before you get yourself in a bind.

      • [Old] Everything about how we access and listen to music has changed in the past 25 years

        DRM stands for digital rights management and anyone who’s downloaded music before 2009 knows what a pain it can be. At its most basic level, DRM puts restrictions on how you can use a digital file that you own. In the heyday of Apple’s iTunes Store, the company sold AAC audio files protected with its FairPlay DRM, which restricted playback to its iPod music players and iTunes. Along with limiting what you used to play them, the files couldn’t easily be shared on P2P networks. In 2007, Apple started selling premium AAC music files without DRM, and by 2009 it had gone DRM-free. The only rub there was Apple tacked on a charge of 30 cents per song if you wanted to have the FairPlay DRM removed from tracks you’d already bought.

        Of course, Apple wasn’t alone here, with Sony BMG’s rootkit fiasco likely the most notorious DRM overreach of the era. If you played certain CDs from the music label on your computer, it would secretly install copy-protection software stopping you from copying the music. The software was also difficult to remove, and even the uninstaller created security issues for users.

        By 2008, Apple would be the largest music seller in the US, but streaming was still wide open. Streaming services and stations continued to multiply during this time, starting with the likes of Pandora (now owned by satellite radio and streaming service SiriusXM) and Last.fm, which is owned by CNET’s parent company ViacomCBS and no longer streams music. 2008 also was the year Spotify launched in Europe and grew quickly, thanks to a free-music model for anyone willing to put up with some ads between songs. The service wouldn’t be available in the US until 2011, but in no time it became the leader, while competitors like MOG and Rdio were gobbled up by other services. Spotify currently has more than 130 million subscribers.

      • FTC calls out Apple in report on ‘anti-competitive repair restrictions’

        The report on anti-competitive repair restrictions also criticizes Apple for tying components to the logic board, which can make repairs uneconomic.

        “Software locks, digital rights management (‘DRM”) tools or technological protection measures (TPMs”) are access control technologies implemented by OEMs. While manufacturers argue that these measures are necessary to protect proprietary hardware and copyrighted technologies, repair advocates argue such tactics lock ISOs and consumers out of basic repairs. Embedded software may force consumers to have the maintenance and repair of their products performed by the manufacturers’ authorized service networks. Furthermore, according to iFixit, “if you replace the screen on your iPhone even if it’s with a brand new OEM screen off of another identical iPhone certain features like TrueTone won’t work correctly.”

        “McDonough explained that Apple synchronizes some iPhone parts to the device’s logic board, making the part repairable only by Apple.”

      • Digital Rights Management (DRM)

        When you buy an e-book with DRM you don’t really own it but have purchased the permission to use it in a manner dictated to you by the seller. DRM limits what you can do with e-books you have “bought”. Often people who buy books with DRM are unaware of the extent of these restrictions. These restrictions prevent you from reformatting the e-book to your liking, including making stylistic changes like adjusting the font sizes, although there is software that empowers you to do such things for non DRM books. People are often surprised that an e-book they have bought in a particular format cannot be converted to another format if the e-book has DRM. So if you have an Amazon Kindle and buy a book sold by Barnes and Nobles, you should know that if that e-book has DRM you will not be able to read it on your Kindle. Notice that I am talking about a book you buy, not steal or pirate but BUY.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Considerations for formulation and combination patents in Europe [Ed: Happy to cite the EPC without bothering to mention that the EPO constantly violates the EPC in order to fake 'production' and grant loads of invalid patents]

          In this article, we consider patent applications to new drug formulations and combinations. Where a substance or composition is already known for a medical use, it may still be patentable for treating the same condition, provided the specific formulation or combination of active products is novel and inventive (Art. 54(5) EPC).

          We set out details of how such claims are assessed by the European Patent Office (EPO) and some practical tips on how to maximise the chances of success. In particular, the complex relationship between the concepts of plausibility and inventive step are discussed, focussing on how data in the application are often important to support the patentability arguments at the EPO and how the prior art can be relied upon for plausibility if little or no data are available.

        • T 1952/18 – prior use and inventive step

          T1952/18 relates to an appeal against the decision to maintain European patent EP2512840 in its granted form. The appellant (opponent) requested that the patent be revoked while the respondent (patentee) requested that the patent be allowed in an amended form.

          The invention in question relates to the bumper on a car. A bumper typically is made up from a bumper bar with a number of “crash boxes” that are designed to deform in the event of a crash. It is important that the crash boxes deform in a similar manner or their effectiveness can be inhibited. The invention is concerned with the inclusion of a towing eyelet. This can be achieved by the connection of a threaded sleeve into which the towing eyelet can be screwed. However, as a consequence of pulling the towing eyelet at an angle, the crash box can, if used, deform irregularly. The invention seeks to solve this problem by a particular arrangement of the sleeve in respect of the crash box.


          The European Patent Office (EPO) noted that this evidence did not lie within the power and knowledge of the opponent because the patentee could have had similar access to the alleged prior art. The standard of proof required was therefore a “balance of probabilities” (as opposed to “up to the hilt”) and this threshold was met.

          In this case, the abundance of evidence was clearly persuasive and the Board of Appeal decided that the prior use was legitimate prior art. However, the Board of Appeal’s view was that two features (s) and (t) were not known from this prior use:

        • LED iBond International A/S : European LED iBond patents now also set to include data communication features

          With this confirmation from EPO, LED iBond has now decided to take the next steps to follow up on this opportunity to secure additional patent protection of its products.

        • CPA Global hit with new class action claim

          Intellectual property services company CPA Global has been accused of substantial overcharging in a class action complaint brought by a medical device company on behalf of itself and around 100 other CPA clients.

          In the complaint, filed at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, New York-based Brainchild Surgical Devices claimed CPA overcharged for renewals and issued “opaque invoices” to conceal this.

          The complaint further alleges that CPA uses similar contracts and pricing structures for all, or nearly all, of its clients in a “deliberate and systematic scheme”.

          A spokesperson for Clarivate, which acquired CPA Global in 2020, said it “categorically and emphatically denies any wrongdoing”.

        • MGC Pharmaceuticals submits patent application for CimetrA to European IP Office [Ed: There's no such thing as "European IP Office"; the author here meant something else, but once you examine the text you realise it's marketing spam disguised as 'journalism' (probably just 'copypasta')]
        • MGC Pharma submits patent application for virus symptoms treatment [Ed: Patent offices scattering patent monopolies over COVID-19 instead of working to actually solve the crisis]

          CimetrA is designed to treat multiple ailments including viral infections with acute and chronic inflammation, COVID-19 and variants of influenza, autoimmune diseases, adverse events resulting from the various forms of cancer therapy, and the promotion of an immune response to bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections.

        • English Court of Appeal tightened requirement for Crown use defence to apply, so when will it?

          Back in February, the Court of Appeal in IPCom v Vodafone [2021] EWCA Civ 205 overturned the first instance decision of Mr Recorder Douglas Campbell QC who held that Vodafone could benefit from what seems to be the somewhat mythical defence of Crown use. Although the decision is relatively dusty in the fast-paced age, the decision warrants further review. Brussels-based trainee patent attorney, Henry Yang, provides a summary for readers below.

        • Pharma Patent Litigation in Portugal: A skewed perspective

          When it comes to the judicial enforcement of pharmaceutical patents in Portugal, over the past few decades the general public has been driven to the misconception that the system protects pharmaceutical industry originators’ tactics to delay the market entry of generics.

          The European Generic Medicines Association (EGA)’s “Patent-related Barriers to Market Entry for Generic Medicines in the European Union” report, published in May 2008, denounced allegedly originators abusive tactics, including that originators, in Portugal, tried “to force patent linkage upon regulatory authorities”, i.e. promoted a system where the approval of market authorizations (MAs) for generics depended on the status of patents protecting the originators’ medicines. The European Commission’s DG Comp was quick to fall in step behind EGA, peddling a similar narrative in the famous Preliminary Report of the Pharmaceutical Sector Inquiry published a few months later, in November 2008.

          Although the Preliminary Report acknowledged (page 7) Portugal as a Member State with one of the highest generic market shares (second only to Poland) and that the Portuguese courts had not granted a single interim injunction requested by originators between 2000-2007 (page 194, Figure 77 and paragraph 522), it still depicted Portugal as a case study of originators’ tactics directed at delaying generics market entry.

        • Software Patents

          • Crypto patent boss: bitcoin lawsuit filed to help industry ‘grow’ [Ed: Patrick Wingrove entertaining illegal software patents and parasites that sue with these in order to destroy the whole industry. Patrick Wingrove always likes giving a voice to trolls and patent zealots.]

            Max Sills, general manager at the Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance and counsel for Square, sets out his ambitions for IP and cryptocurrencies

      • Copyrights

        • Guy Rub: Copyright or Contract?

          Using software often means you have to sign a contract as a condition for using the software. This “end user license agreement,” called a EULA, will lay out the terms under which the software can be used. For example, the EULA you sign to play a video game might say: “The player of this video game cannot cheat while playing the game.” What if you breach the EULA by playing the game using a commercially available cheating “bot”? Is this copyright infringement? Or is this just a breach of contract? This may seem obscure, but the question matters a lot. For one thing, in this example, if the video game publisher has a copyright claim against the cheater, not just a contract claim, this could mean very large statutory damages versus no damages at all.

          This is just one of many scenarios in which copyright owners use contracts to control the conditions of use, and whose breach may, or may not, give rise to copyright infringement. In his new article, Against Copyright Customization, Guy Rub addresses this thorny question—copyright or contract?—along with many closely related questions. For example: when is a software user a mere licensee versus an owner? (Spoiler alert: almost always!) The article is forthcoming in Iowa Law Review and a draft can be downloaded on SSRN.


          CAH: Ok, so the video game user is a very different situation, because all they are doing is playing using the bot. They are not making intentional copies. That is why we have essential step. But surely there are situations where it is not so easy. The CC license example is interesting to me. You can make copies but with attribution only. You make copies without attribution…

          GUY RUB: I am fine with that being copyright infringement although it depends how exactly the license is drafted. Those copyleft contracts typically say this is a condition for the license. And in that case that is infringement, so long as it is not a fair use, and of course you need to be making additional copies. It can’t just be “use.”

        • Scammers Use Fake Copyright Warnings to Steal Logins and Spread Trojans

          It’s no secret that scammers are constantly trying to trick people into downloading malicious content from pirate sites. However, scammers are also targeting people who want to avoid copyright troubles. By sending fake infringement notices, bad actors hope to steal social media credentials and spread trojans.

        • Police: Pirate IPTV Raids Shut Down “80 Percent” of Illegal Transmissions in Italy

          Police in Italy say they have shut down a major IPTV network responsible for around 80 percent of illegal IPTV supply in the country. Operation Black Out was carried out by 200 specialists in 11 regions following an investigation into sellers on Telegram and other social networks. The network is believed to have generated around 15 million euros in revenue every month.

        • They Hacked McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines—and Started a Cold War

          The secret menu reveals a business model that goes beyond a right-to-repair issue, O’Sullivan argues. It represents, as he describes it, nothing short of a milkshake shakedown: Sell franchisees a complicated and fragile machine. Prevent them from figuring out why it constantly breaks. Take a cut of the distributors’ profit from the repairs. “It’s a huge money maker to have a customer that’s purposefully, intentionally blind and unable to make very fundamental changes to their own equipment,” O’Sullivan says. And McDonald’s presides over all of it, he says, insisting on loyalty to its longtime supplier. (Resist the McDonald’s monarchy on decisions like equipment, and the corporation can end a restaurant’s lease on the literal ground beneath it, which McDonald’s owns under its franchise agreement.)

          So two years ago, after their own strange and painful travails with Taylor’s devices, 34-year-old O’Sullivan and his partner, 33-year-old Melissa Nelson, began selling a gadget about the size of a small paperback book, which they call Kytch. Install it inside your Taylor ice cream machine and connect it to your Wi-Fi, and it essentially hacks your hostile dairy extrusion appliance and offers access to its forbidden secrets. Kytch acts as a surveillance bug inside the machine, intercepting and eavesdropping on communications between its components and sending them to a far friendlier user interface than the one Taylor intended. The device not only displays all of the machine’s hidden internal data but logs it over time and even suggests troubleshooting solutions, all via the web or an app.

          The result, once McDonald’s and Taylor became aware of Kytch’s early success, has been a two-year-long cold war—one that is only now turning hot. At one point, Kytch’s creators believe Taylor hired private detectives to obtain their devices. Taylor recently unveiled its own competing internet-connected monitoring product. And McDonald’s has gone so far as to send emails to McDonald’s franchisees, warning them that Kytch devices breach a Taylor machine’s “confidential information” and can even cause “serious human injury.”

          After watching the efforts of McDonald’s and Taylor to decimate their business over the five months since those emails, O’Sullivan and his cofounder are now on the counterattack. The Kytch couple tells WIRED they’re planning to file a lawsuit against some McDonald’s franchisees who they believe are colluding with Taylor by handing over their Kytch devices to the ice cream machine giant and allowing them to be reverse-engineered—a violation of the franchisees’ agreement with Kytch. (Taylor denies obtaining Kytch devices but doesn’t deny trying to gain possession of one or that a Taylor distributor did ultimately access it.) The lawsuit will likely be only the first salvo from Kytch in a mounting, messy legal battle against both Taylor and McDonald’s.

Video and Transcript of Julia Reda’s LibrePlanet Keynote Talk

Posted in Free/Libre Software, FSF at 12:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link (original CC BY-SA)

Summary: “A European Open Technology Fund: Building sustainable public funding for free software” — a talk by Julia Reda; transcribed by Techrights associate and ripped by Linux Reviews


Julia Reda: Hi, it’s a great pleasure to be one of the keynote speakers today. My name is Julia Reda and I’m going to talk to you about why I think it’s the government’s responsibility to invest in the maintenance and improvement of Free Software and how we can actually make this happen all over the world. Personally, I’m from Europe. I was a member of the European Parliament for five years, elected for Germany. And nowadays I’m active in the


NGO sector in Germany and among other things I’m a board member at the Open Knowledge Foundation, Germany, which is also active in this field. However today, I’m talking as an individual Free Software activist and advocate and not representing any organization.

So, I would like to start to talk a little bit on the theoretical level about about what the purpose of government is supposed to be in our society.


At a very basic level, the government is all of us together. So the government’s purpose is to represent every single individual in a society and to be accountable to every single individual in a society. So sort of the idea of government of the people, by the people, for the people and one very important function that government fulfills is to look after common


goods, to look after infrastructure. So this can be anything that benefits society as a whole but for which there may not necessarily be a business case, that the free market cannot take care of. Traditionally we have been thinking about public service and infrastructure as things such as building roads, or making sure that there is a fire department, things like that but I think increasingly it’s


important to recognize that our digital infrastructure not just the hardware, telecomms communications networks, but also the software that we are using to interact on a day to day basis is is increasingly becoming this sort of infrastructure.

So what I am advocating for is that every government should have a Free Software philosophy. So it should use Free Software for government services, it should take responsibility for the


Free Software that it uses, so this means for example contributing to Free Software and feeding that into the project that the public sector benefits from.

I think it’s perhaps a sort of a no longer very provocative statement to say that algorithms rule the world. Sometimes when politicians say something like this, they sound a little bit ridiculous and it almost sounds like they are basically


saying that technology and algorithms are somehow magic and something we should be afraid of. That is not what I am trying to say. But rather what I want to say with this is that nowadays computation is no longer limited to a particular part of our daily lives. So ten, twenty years ago maybe people would say something like “the real world” when they were referring to being offline. I think nowadays nobody does this any more because


software is really present on all kinds of devices that we are interacting with on a daily level. For example, cars but also increasingly things like fridges and this doesn’t always lead to particularly, let’s say, useful applications. Sometimes this can be quite dangerous which is why there are parody accounts on Twitter looking at particularly bad Internet


Of Things applications and speculating about things like a fridge Blue Screen of Death ™. But I think on a more serious note we have seen in the global pandemic and particularly during the last twelve months that the use of software and technology really is an integral part of every aspect of our lives, our work life, our health care system, our


educational system, and so on. And when the first lock down happened a year ago. There were a lot of improvised solutions in order to react to a situation where all of a sudden a lot of institutions that were not very well prepared for working in a technologically mediated way had to just come up with some kind of hot fix very quickly. I’m quite concerned that


over the last twelve months proprietary technology has gained a lot of ground, simply because a lot of schools, a lot of companies were overwhelmed with the sudden need to become digitally mediated and they didn’t necessarily have a plan to do so and so were quite vulnerable for all kinds of proprietary offers that were made to them. And so I think now, one year into this quite significant


crisis we should no longer accept the argument well that this is an exceptional situation but we should start once again making demands towards our governments that the digital solutions that they invest in have to be in the long term interests of the public and not just taking whatever proprietary solution that may be working out of the box right now. I think one area where this discussion has been


most prominent as a consequence of COVID-19 has been with video conferencing software and Zoom where we have situations such as with the European Commission which at the beginning of the pandemic was advising its own services against using Zoom because of a lot of security and privacy concerns but at the same time Zoom was being used inside this government institution on a daily basis simply


because there was a lack of awareness and accessibility of Free Software alternatives that the institution knew how to deal with. So quite often we have this conflicting situation where actually Free Software would be in the public interest and would be in the interest of government institutions but that’s not necessarily what we are dealing with because quite often institutions are just stuck with the improvised solutions that perhaps made sense


to them a year ago when we got into this crisis.

So going forward I think now that we’ve established that software controls a lot of our public lives but we don’t necessarily control the software, what are we going to do about it? And I think it’s important that if we want to move forward out of this situation we have to ask our government to take responsibility and they might not do this on the basis of


the philosophical argument at the start of this talk where I was saying that it’s government’s job to provide public infrastructure but we have to find different ways of bringing this message to governments who may be stuck in their own narratives and maybe listening to different arguments. So in some cases depending on what country you’re from, since this is a global


event, it could be that a pragmatic argument works best where you can say, well, actually you as a government your public institutions are already relying on a lot of Free Software. Perhaps they don’t actually know that, the may not know the server infrastructure the ministry is running its services on, they may not be aware of all the Free Software libraries they’re building on so raising awareness on that and if you’re using all this Free Software don’t


you want to contribute to its security and take responsibility to make sure that it’s going to continue in the future? This strategy very much depends the national context, so I can speak especially about my home country of Germany.

So in Germany at the moment we have quite a strange discussion happening about digitization where you can really feel that a lot of German politicians feel quite uneasy


about the development of digital technology because they feel somewhat left behind. There is a lot of hand-wringing about the power of big American tech companies and increasingly also Chinese tech companies somehow becomming more powerful that Germany. The popular response from German politicians to this feeling of loss of control is to ask for something they call Digital Sovereignty, and to many people this


means something like well we wouldn’t have a problem with Microsoft or Amazon or Google if only they were German companies. And I don’t think that’s a particularly productive way of approaching the problem with the centralization of power with some of these tech companies. I think there is also a problem with this concept of Digital Sovereignty that it’s basically promoting a sort of ideology of us versus them that


if only we can make sure that our proprietary tech companies from our country are the ones that win in the market place then there wouldn’t be a problem. And I think however that we can use this framework of digital sovereignty to do a sort of agenda hijacking where we take this idea and run with it and turn it into something more productive. So I’ve started to talk about Digital Sovereignty


as an argument why European governments and the German government in particular should invest into Free and Open Source Software.

Now why is this? First of all if software is developed and released as Free Software, it doesn’t really matter whether it was developed in Germany or developed somewhere else because everybody can benefit from it and can build upon it. So we can actually


stop looking at geopolitical relations as a zero-sum game where basically I can only win something if another country loses out but instead we can recognize that Free Software inoculates us against becoming too dependent on any one individual country or company by ensuring that Free alternatives to them are available.

So what does this mean, this concept of Digital


Sovereignty for public policy? It means for example that a government should make Free Software a requirement for its public procurement procedures. So if the public is spending money and commissioning for example a new IT system for some government task, it should be a requirement that the company that ends up building the system has to release the result as Free Software because only in this way can we prevent our government from becoming


dependent on future contract with this one particular company. So this actually does make that government more sovereign in the best sense of the word because it makes it less dependent on a particular vendor. And it also means I think that government should not just tolerate Free and Open Source Software but actually to promote and to fund it. So it means actually actively contributing to Free and Open Source Software projects


and also investing in their improvement. So this concept of Digital Sovereignty that I’ve been pushing with German politics is to say we are going to be sovereign if we invest in decentralization and connectedness and permissionless innovation so quite a lot of the values that also underly Free Software Communities.

What it does not mean, and I think this is important, that somehow Free Software should


become organized by the government. I think the permissionless part is very, very important that we have to recognize that Free Software is build by communities and those communities should be able to set their own priorities and to come up with new things that a government might never have though of.

So what can this look like in practice? I think in the US you already have quite a positive example of how the government can


support Free and Open Source Software without actually steering it too much and this is the Open Technology Fund. The Open Technology Fund in the US is a private, non-governmental organization that is receiving public funding from Congress in order to fund Open Source Software projects primarily in the field of anti-censorship and privacy but the government does not


decide who receives the money and I think this is very important in order for such a funding infrastructure for Free Software to function. So basically this way you have the possiblity that an organization that is close to the Free Software community and that enjoys the community’s trust can actually run the funding programme without government interference. So this is the theory.



last year we also saw some of the limitations of having just one such programme. Because we saw the Open Technology Fund being attacked by the Trump administration who appointed a new chair of the government agency in charge of overseeing the Open Technology Fund and then try to defund the Open Technology Fund and actually ban it from receiving government funding in the future.


Lackedly this attack by the US government on the Open Technology Fund failed because the Open Technology Fund had a lot of support from both political parties in Congress and so Congress actually managed to use emergency COVID legislation to ensure that the Open Technology Fund could not be barred from receiving funding in the future. So now after the election with


the Biden administration the Open Technology Fund is more or less back to normal and funding Free Software projects again. So you could say well okay everything fine then and we don’t need to worry about this any more but I think what this has shown is that from an EU perspective we are really far from Digital Sovereignty because we have been benefiting from the Open Technology Fund all along. I mean this fund has been


supporting a lot of very important Free Software projects such as Signal which is by the way a lot of European public administrations also use a lot of ministries, a lot of parliaments actually use Signal to communicate with each other. It has funded Tor, it has funded WireGuard, so lots and lots of different projects that contribute to secure communication which now during COVID is really


more important than ever for governments.

So like I said earlier the European Commission which governs the European Union in a way has had this sort of contradictory policy when it comes to these issues. Where on the one hand it’s been trying to promote Free Software, it’s been trying to promote IT security, but


yeah in this situation where everything had to suddenly go online it didn’t still have to rely on solutions such as Zoom because it didn’t have anything else available and I think this is also somewhat showing the failure of European governments to really invest in Free and Open Source Software in the past. Because if you look at how much money the Open Technology Fund actually receives, it’s somewhere between 15 and 20 million dollars, I think,


which is not very much for the budget of an average European country. So there’s actually no excuse for why the EU doesn’t have an Open Technology Fund or in fact five Open Technology Funds so this is something that I would like to change. I started working on this issue back in 2014 when I was elected to the European Parliament. Back then we just had the Heartbleed and Shellshock


vulnerabilities discovered and this was quite a watershed moment where a lot of politicians for the first time were realizing how central Free Software components are to all kinds of different parts of our digital environment and Heartbleed also showed that it’s not enough for something to be Free Software in order to ensure that it’s actually secure. I think laying open


the source code is a very, very important component to building secure IT systems but even when something is open source you still have to make that there is enough funding, enough resources available that this code can actually be maintained and improved over time. So this was the starting point of a project that I founded when I was in the European Parliament called EU-FOSSA. The Free and


Open Source Software auditing pilot project. So with the support of the European Commission we started this pilot project with a relatively small budget around a million euros a year to basically pay for audits of Free and Open Source Software. So basically we were arguing to the European Commission, look, you are using all kinds of Free Software in your own institutions, why don’t you


do the security audits that you should be doing on the software you are using anyway but then actually release the results of those audits back into those Free Software projects so they can benefit from that as well. And in the process of running this pilot project we actually learned a lot through an iterative process because we found it was actually quite difficult to spend this public funding


in a way that really gets to the developers that should be receiving it that then can benefit the most from this funding. So we found, for example, at the beginning that we were basically putting the money in a public tender where companies could apply to run those security audits that this was perhaps not the most efficient way to distribute the money because the individual developers or often quite


small companies that are actually best at finding and fixing bugs in Free Software are not necessarily the companies that are best placed to apply to European Commission calls for public tender because those public tender procedures are quite complicated and there are consultancies that are very much specialized in applying to these tenders but may not be specialized in Free Software. So


on the basis of that experience we actually modified EU-FOSSA and in its second integration we did the bug bounty approach instead where we could basically run a call for tender for a bug bounty platform instead but then once we had found the platform to run the bug bounties with the actual prize money that was coming from this public funding could go directly to individual develoers who were finding bugs in popular


Free Software. So in this way we found, for example, quite critical bugs in PuTTY, for example. But there was also some criticism of this bug bounty approach because of course finding bugs in Free Software and creating incentives for that does not automatically mean that those bugs will be fixed. So there still will be quite a lot of thankless work happening from the community that may not be remunerated.


So, I’m actually quite happy that after I left the European Parliament, the European Commission kept thinking about this idea and has now partnered up with Intigriti to actually pay a bonus for certain bug bounties if the person who submits the bug bounty also provides a fix for it. So I think this is quite a good incentive and I think it’s good that the European Commission is offering this money particularly in the context of bug bounties


for matrix.org but now here you also have a European public sector investing in security technology and encryption technology which I think is something that governments all over the place should really be supporting.

I also want to look at Germany as an example. I think there are other public funding programmes for Free Software in other countries around the world and I would


be very happy to hear about them from you but the German context is, of course, what I know best and since I’m board member at the Open Knowledge Foundation, Germany, I’m most familiar with the prototype fund which is a programme which we run at Open Knowledge Foundation which is where we receive money from the German ministry of education and research and invest in prototypes


so this is one sort of very low level very easy to apply to to receive funding to new innovative Free Software ideas and the prototype fund basically receives this money from the government and gives relatively small grants to new projects without a lot of bureaucratic overhead. And I think this is a really good start but the problem is that it has this focus


on new projects. So we are only allowed to fund something that is innovative, that is a prototype but I think there is a missing link there something that Germany, the EU, and governments all over the world should also be supporting more and that is the maintenance of infrastructure. The best way, or the best illustration of this problem that I have ever seen is from this


XKCD comic, where you have this stack of building bricks and at the top it says this is all modern digital infrastructure and at the very bottom you have this one tiny brick that everything balances on which is a project some random person in Nebraska has been thanklessly maintaining since 2003. And I think this comic is not much of an exaggeration. So I think the difficult problem that governments that want to support Free Software infrastructure need


to figure out is how to actually get money to that person in Nebraska to make sure the maintenance can continue and that they have the support that they need.

So for this purpose I’ve gotten together with a few activist friends from other organizations, including somebody working at the Open Technology Fund, somebody working at the Prototype Fund, and we’ve started basically creating a concept for what a digital


infrastructure fund could look like that could be run by the German Government but also by different governments around the world. And so we have learned different lessons from the FOSSA project that I ran at the European level, from the Prototype Fund, and also from the OTF, to come up with a number of principals that we think need to be fulfilled for such a funding program to really have a positive impact. So first of all we think it must be really


easy to apply for funding because quite often in the Free Software community you can have individual developers, maybe the project that they are working on, it’s just their hobby, sometimes they have a day job inside of a software company that allows them to spend some time on this but sometimes they don’t actually have stable funding and so it should be possible for an individual to just apply for this funding without having a company to run the money through,


for example. Secondly, we think there should be very low overheads. So you should not have involve consultancies that will end up spending a lot of the funding on writing reports but not actually spending a lot of the funding on actually writing code. We think it’s also important that the funding should not be limited to innovative projects. This is quite often the case with government funding.


Sometimes you have research departments of governments that provide funding opportunities for innovation for new research which is all great and important but the problem is that this way you never have enough funding for infrastructure that just needs to be maintained and improved and so I’m actually convinced a lot of innovation will come out of having a stable and secure infrastructure and this is


just a little bit of a blind spot of a lot of programmes that exist. So upkeep and usability improvements of Free Software projects should be eligible for funding. Finally, we think such a funding programme should be part of a broader Free and Open Source Software strategy of a government. This includes, for example, making Free Software a requirement for public tender or also having rules that if


software is built in-house for example inside the government that the results of that software are also resubmitted to the projects under Free Software licenses. Learning from the OTF, we also very much benefit from the fact that the OTF actually wants to be copied, they were quite open to talking to us about our ideas and we found that pretty much all the elements of the


Open Technology Fund are Open Source themselves, including their methodology, the software that they themselves use for the implementation of their funding programme and so on. So from the Open Technology Fund we’ve learned that it’s very important that such a funding programme must not be run by the government directly. There are quite a lot of reasons for that. I think that one reason is trust. I think it’s important to recognize that the Free


Software community is you know also a community of culture that runs on people knowing each other, people creating exciting projects with each other, and those projects may also be in conflict with the government policies of the day. For example, the surveillance policies of the US government are certainly not supported by lot of the recipients of OTF funding, for example. So it must also be very clear that this is not a publicity


opportunity for a government that basically they cannot expect the Free Software projects that receive public funding to be nice to the government or anything like that.

So another very important aspect that we found as a basic principle is that the nationality or the tax residence of the individual developer should not matter and this is actually surprisingly difficult


to convince governments of, that it’s actually beneficial to, let’s say the German economy, to give money to a Free Software developer in Brazil because she is going to improve Free Software infrastructure that German companies can then actually build on. To me this sounds totally sensible and logical but quite often the expectation from government funders is that whoever they fund needs to be a national of their country


or at least have a tax residence there and this is limiting really the possibility to direct Free Software funding to those developers and communities that are most relevant for the public interest.

I think it’s also very important to recognize that whatever new funding infrastructure we want to build in Europe should not be in any way in competition to the Open Technology Fund. But rather we actually need a lot


of redundancy. Like I mentioned earlier the Open Technology Fund has a focus on anti-censorship and privacy technologies and this is certainly also because the US government has a foreign policy interest in this area. But this doesn’t mean that only let’s say democracy activists in Hong Kong or in Iran or Belarus can benefit from this technology but actually you


know investigative journalists inside the US or within Europe or even government activists will be just as much benefiting from the development and improvement of the privacy and anti-censorship technologies that are funded through the OTF. So redundancy is actually a good thing and diversification is also a good thing. So with the Open Technology Fund having this


focus in the area of anti-censorship and privacy there is a lot of room for additional funds that perhaps have a slightly different focus and that could be focused, for example, on government technology or on core infrastructure which is what we are especially interested in or in open hardware even.

So what comes next from here? I think first of all, it’s


important that within the Free Software community there is a lot of room for different people with different strengths to work on different elements of the vision that we have for a world that relies less on prorpietary technology. So, for example, obviously all the Free Software devlopers who are building Free Software are contributing greatly to this vision. Personally I’m not a Free Software developer.


I’m a public policy person and I see my contribution to the community not in building software but in trying to build a bridge between the community and policy makers who quite often are not particularly knowledgeable about technology but who can be convinced of investing in Free Software as well and who sometimes have a sort of a gut instinct that they don’t particularly like the walled gardens that are being


built by some of the proprietary technology companies but may need a little bit of help in seeing what sorts of policies might actually counteract this trend. So it’s totally fine if you focus on the coding and others, like myself, focus on telling the story behind why Free Software is important.

So like I said, together with like-minded activists in Germany we are working on


this idea of a digital infrastructure fund that is broadly modeled on the Open Technology Fund and we started talking to different people in the European Commission, in the German government, and we will try to make this idea a reality to have more different Free Software funding infrastructures in different countries in place. But what is going to be most important to us in this process is to really insist on the design principles that I’ve mentioned like


making sure that individual developers can be funded, making sure that nationality doesn’t matter, and so on. We are recognizing that it’s quite important to eventually have European or even global funding infrastructures in place but we also don’t want to wait for let’s say the twenty seven member states of the European Union to all get together and agree on a common


funding programme. So instead we decided we will start tackling this project in Germany, try to convince political parties and governments here that this is a good idea to build something like that but we are very much hoping that initiatives in other countries go in a similar direction and I’m aware that some countries already have something like this. I think in The Netherlands there is some public funding for Free Software but I would be very interested


and hopeful that perhaps groups in other countries pick up this idea and push for similar initiatives in your countries. And if you are doing something like this please also don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.

So what can you do to help at this point? First of all, this fund does not exist yet. There are of course the Open Technology Fund in the US, there is the Prototype Fund in Germany, so if you are working on something


that fits those descriptions, so for example for the Prototype Fund if you’re just starting out with a new project, if you’re based in Germany, absolutely check out those programmes, but at this point we don’t have this digital infrastructure fund yet so now is not the time to pitch us your software or things like that but rather to promote this idea. Talk about it, write op-eds in newspapers, try to contact your national


politicians about whether such funding infrastructures exist in your country and try to start similar initiatives all over the place. And hopefully a year from now or so we’ll be able to give you some good news about the progress of this project in Germany.

So that’s it from me. I hope that this idea and that this plan that we’re working on will serve as some inspiration. If you’re working on something similar


or have ideas about how to convince governments to pick up this important mission, this is how you can contact me. This is it. So thanks a lot for your attention and I look forward to the discussion.

[Q&A omitted]

Video: “Unjust Computing Clamps Down” by Richard Stallman

Posted in Site News at 8:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Last week: Audio: “Unjust Computing Clamps Down” by Richard Stallman

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Summary: 12 days ago the FSF uploaded the video above, in which current threats to software freedom are explained by the FSF’s founder

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