Links 28/5/2021: TDF Annual Report, VzLinux 8.3, FSF’s Search for Executive Director

Posted in News Roundup at 9:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • A Few Of My Favorite Things (Gemini, Mastodon, Odysee)

        I love trying out alternatives to mainstream software, services and social networks. Three alternative platforms that I’ve been using for awhile are Gemini, Mastodon and Odysee. I often get questions about these alternatives, such as “Hey DT, do you still like Gemini?” or “Has your opinions on Mastodon changed?”

      • Google AMP Is Now Basically Dead: Thank You

        Google AMP is a web framework that from it’s first day of existence has been controversial and finally after all this time Google is now effectively killing, while it won’t be in the Google Graveyard it will no longer have any use case.

      • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S14E12 – Clinics Lifesaver Yanked

        This week we’ve been making a Linux powered Commodore 64 and coding with BlitzMax-NG. We discuss technology for kids, bring you a command live love and reply to all your wonderful feedback.

        It’s Season 14 Episode 12 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Bridging the OpenGL and Vulkan divide

          Thanks to a new, low overhead extension in Mesa, OpenGL and Vulkan applications can now talk to each other, bringing more flexibility to application developers while easing the transition path between the industry-standard Khronos® APIs.

          After several months of work, I’m excited to present a way for OpenGL and Vulkan applications to talk to each other when using Mesa.

          Quoting from Khronos’s own website, Vulkan promises to be a “new generation graphics and compute API that provides high-efficiency, cross-platform access to modern GPUs”. However, as with all new API’s, rewrites of any graphics applications leveraging Vulkan are going to be slow process. And not all applications might want to make the switch.

          Since Vulkan offers higher efficiency and features missing in OpenGL, an application developer could however choose to rewrite performance critical sections in Vulkan, while keeping other parts in OpenGL for the sake of convenience. This would need a way for OpenGL and Vulkan to talk to each other. As of late 2016, this was formalized in the EXT_external_objects spec that defines primitives for exchanging buffers and syncrhonization primitives between OpenGL and Vulkan.

        • Intel’s OpenGL Mesa Drivers Now In Good Shape For External Objects

          Over the past year developers from Igalia, Collabora, and others have been involved in bringing up support for the OpenGL EXT_external_objects extension within the Intel open-source drivers. That work is now squared away as one of the pieces for offering better interoperability between OpenGL and Vulkan.

          Last month the EXT_external_objects support for the Intel Iris Gallium3D driver was merged. Additionally, merged a few weeks back was EXT_external_objects support for the aging i965 Mesa driver that continues providing OpenGL support for pre-Broadwell hardware.

    • Benchmarks

      • Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 21.04 On The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X

        Earlier this month were benchmarks looking at Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 21.04 on an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X desktop to which Ubuntu came out roughly 8% faster than the Microsoft OS on average. But what about the difference for HEDT systems? Given the more radical performance difference we have seen in the past with Windows vs. Linux for Threadripper systems, here are some recently conducted benchmarks on that front with the 64-core Threadripper 3990X.

        Using the same System76 Thelio workstation (differences in the system table just amount to automated reporting differences) with AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X (64 cores / 128 threads), Gigabyte TRX40 motherboard, 4 x 32GB DDR4-3000 Corsair memory, Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics, and 500GB Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD, the latest Windows 10 and Ubuntu were freshly benchmarked for seeing how the performance stands.

    • Applications

      • The 10 Best Accounting Software for Linux

        If you run a business, a farm, or a firm, you have to manage your finances using accounting software. Most people take care of finances by hiring an accountant or manage their finances using accounting software. There are several excellent open-source accounting software out there.

        The article will explore free, reliable, and extendable open source accounting software that you can run in your Linux distribution.

        You can use accounting software to collect accounting information, analyze, generate reports, automate recurring tasks, and govern your accounts. Any accounting software should handle most functions such as the general ledger, accounts receivables, accounts payable, bank reconciliations, and fixed assets. We will identify software that can handle such tasks plus others like billing, budgeting, invoicing, inventory management, payroll management, and project accounting.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Transfer Files Wirelessly Between Linux and Android With Warpinator

        Want to quickly send files to other Linux or Android devices over your local network? Warpinator might be the solution for you. Today we’ll explore what the tool can do, how to install it, and how you can start putting it to use.

      • How to install Funkin VS Whitty on a Chromebook – Updated Tutorial

        Today we are looking at how to install Funkin VS Whitty 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!

        This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

      • Librem 14, Librem Keys, and Qubes OS

        The new Librem Key needs to have its PIN set, and since my Qubes OS configuration uses a USB qube it will be necessary to give my running disposable VM access to the key itself:

        In dom0, where my target vm is disp4632 and my BACKEND:DEVID is sys-usb:2-1:

      • Important Terraform Commands that we should know (a CheatSheet)

        Terraform is one of the most widely used applications to use the Infrastructure as Code. It is available for almost all the cloud service providers out there & also can be used for in-house solutions.

        Terraform can be used to create a single instance or a complete data center. Not only instances, but we can also perform networking, DNS, or firewall management using the terraform scripts. In this tutorial, we will discuss some of the important Terraform commands that we should know.

      • How to play Borderlands 2 on Linux

        Borderlands 2 is the second game in the Borderlands franchise. In the game, the player is a vault hunter, hunting for a hidden vault of treasures. In this guide, we’ll show you how to get Borderlands 2 running on Linux.

      • How To Install Squid Server on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Squid Server on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Squid is a web proxy caching server that offers proxy and caching services for HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, and some other protocols. A proxy caching server works by acting as a gateway between server and client machines and stores frequently used content locally. By storing content locally, it reduces bandwidth while speeds up content delivery and response time.

        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 the step-by-step installation of the Squid cache on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • How to install Inkscape on Deepin 20.2

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Inkscape on Deepin 20.2.

      • How to use Kali Linux

        Kali is a security distro of Linux derived from Debian. The main objective of Kali is to carry out computer forensics and innovative penetration testing. The OS was developed due to backtrack rewriting by the two developers (Mati Aharoni for backtrack and Devon Kearns of offensive security).

        Security administrators mainly use it to identify security breaches. Kali has several pre-configured tools that enhance its security protection in the operating system. Subsequently, Network Administrators can use the OS to maintain an efficient and secure web framework. This is because the OS supports network auditing.

        Network architects also use Kali to design network environments since the OS assures proper configuration, making their work easier. Other people who can also use this system include chief information security officers, forensic engineers, computer enthusiasts, and hackers.

      • How to format an SD Card to ExFat in Ubuntu

        The exFat file system is one of the best formats to use on an SD Card, especially if your SD Card is used on Android, as it has a ton of useful features. In this guide, we’ll show you how to format your SD Card to ExFat on Ubuntu.

        Please note that though these instructions focus on Ubuntu, these instructions will work on all Linux-based operating systems. If you need to format in ExFat and don’t use Ubuntu, please feel free to follow along.

      • How to play BioShock Remastered on Linux

        BioShock Remastered is a re-release of the hit 2007 game BioShock, which focuses on an underwater city in the 1960s. The game runs excellent on Linux, thanks to some tweaks. Here’s how to get it working on your PC.

      • How to install Firefox on a Chromebook

        If you already have Linux enabled on your Chromebook then you can skip ahead to the next step. If you don’t, the first step is to get it turned on.

        Open up the ‘Settings’ app on your Chromebook and find the ‘Linux’ option in the sidebar. Click ‘Turn on’ and follow the on-screen instructions. You’ll have to give your Linux container a name and decide how much storage you want to hand over to it.

        When you’re happy, hit ‘Install’ and wait for your Chromebook to finish the installation of the Linux container. Once it’s complete the terminal will open.

      • How to install ONLYOFFICE Docs 6.3 on Ubuntu from snap package

        ONLYOFFICE Docs is an open-source office suite distributed under GNU AGPL v3.0. It comprises web-based viewers and collaborative editors for text documents, spreadsheets, and presentations highly compatible with OOXML formats.

        ONLYOFFICE Docs can be integrated with various cloud services such as Nextcloud, ownCloud, Seafile, Alfresco, Plone, etc., as well as embedded into your own solution. The editors can also be used together with ONLYOFFICE Groups, a free open-source collaboration platform distributed under Apache 2.0 (the complete solution is available as ONLYOFFICE Workspace).

        In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to install ONLYOFFICE Docs on your Ubuntu machine using snap.

      • How to View System Log Files on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        A Linux Administrator should be able to read and understand the various types of messages generated by all Linux systems to troubleshoot an issue. These messages, named logs, are initiated by Linux and the applications running on it. Linux continuously creates, stores, and recycles these logs through various configuration files, programs, commands, and daemons. If you know how to read these files and make optimal use of the various commands we will mention in this tutorial, you can troubleshoot your issues like a pro!

        It is important to note that Linux keeps its log files in the /var/log directory in text format.

      • How to Install Latest LXQt Desktop in Ubuntu and Fedora [Ed: Old article, but they say it is updated]

        LXQt developed from popular components of LXDE and Razor Qt project, LXQt is a free, open-source, lightweight, and fast desktop environment for Linux and BSD distributions. It comes with several great and well-known features, borrowed from the LXDE desktop such as low system resource utilization and elegant and clean user interfaces.

      • How to Delete A MySQL User Account – TecAdmin

        MySQL is an relational database management system provide authentication mechanism to prevent unauthorized access. It keeps all the user details in a database named “mysql”. You must have super user access (eg: root) to access this database.

        In this article you will learn to find accounts in a MySQL server and remote unnecessary user accounts.

      • How to Create a Database in MySQL Using the Command Line

        In this article we will going to show you how just easy it is to create a database in MySQL by executing a simple SQL query.

        In order to create a database, you’ll have to open the mysql command line interface and enter your database commands while the server is running.

        Here is a generic CREATE DATABASE statement syntax.

      • Linux Essentials – systemd: Using the systemctl command

        In this episode of Linux Essentials, we take our first look at systemd – the init system in quite a few distributions of Linux nowadays. Specifically, we’ll go over the systemctl command and use it to start, stop, restart and enable units on our system.

      • How to achieve persistent SSH connections with the open source MOSH – TechRepublic

        If you work with multiple wireless (or wired) connections within your company, and you find yourself having to move around the campus to take care of your admin duties, there might be times when you have an SSH connection going and you shift from one network to another. When that happens, your secure shell connection will drop. Or, maybe your single network connection isn’t always the most reliable? That’s all fine if whatever admin task you’re doing isn’t critical. What happens when you’re working on something important and that connection is broken?

        You don’t want that, which is why you should employ a tool like MOSH. MOSH stands for Mobile Shell and makes it possible for you to keep a persistent SSH connection—even if you change networks or your connection momentarily drops. Even better, MOSH usage is almost identical to SSH, at least from the user’s point of view. Under the hood, MOSH logs the user in via SSH and then starts a connection on a UDP port between 60000 and 61000, to keep the connection persistent.

      • How to Disable Error Logging for a Website In ISPConfig 3
      • How to Connect a PS4/PS5 Controller to Your Android Phone
    • Games

      • Get Company of Heroes 2 and Ardennes Assault free to keep on Steam | GamingOnLinux

        Here’s your quick Thursday tip: right now on Steam you can claim both Company of Heroes 2 and Company of Heroes 2 – Ardennes Assault free and keep it forever. That’s right, this is not a Free Weekend like you usually see. Instead, you can claim the both of them and get a permanent copy added to your Steam account.

        Both were ported to Linux by Feral Interactive too, so you even get a Linux build with each of them. Check out the special page on Steam with them both to claim it easily. The giveaway ends Monday – May 31st at 10am PST / 5pm UTC.

      • The Steam Open World Sale is now live so go run free with your monies

        Over on the Steam store Valve are running an Open World Sale full of games that let you run around and go exploring. Although, as usual, there’s plenty included in the sale that you wouldn’t expect.

        Looking for something to get your through the weekend, next week or the next month? Maybe they have what you want. Your wishlists are probably nice and full right?


        For those that don’t, here’s some picks to take a look at which support Linux both new, old and still in development…

      • Quake II RTX Performance For AMD Radeon 6000 Series vs. NVIDIA On Linux

        Last month with the Radeon Software for Linux 21.10 driver there was finally Vulkan ray-tracing support added to that proprietary Vulkan driver component, the first time that Vulkan ray-tracing has been available on Linux for any AMD Radeon 6000 series graphics card across the multiple driver options. Last month I posted some initial Vulkan ray-tracing AMD vs. NVIDIA Linux benchmarks while questions were raised how well the driver performs with NVIDIA’s Quake II RTX port. Here are some initial benchmarks for those wondering.

      • Outbreak: Endless Nightmares arrives on Linux in the latest update

        Outbreak: Endless Nightmares from solo developer Dead Drop Studios has arrived on Linux as of the latest update. The newest game in the Outbreak series, one that takes inspiration from classic Resident Evil games and other similar horror adventures. Dead Drop Studios try to put their own spin on it, while remaining thoroughly inspired by older games.

        “Outbreak: Endless Nightmares twists the series’ survival horror gameplay by adding elements of roguelike gameplay. You’ll need to explore, hunt for supplies, uncover clues, and fight your way through each anomaly – each consisting of semi-procedurally generated instances where both the environment, and the undead, are out to kill you!”

      • Utopixel blog about porting their title Outer Wonders to Linux | GamingOnLinux

        While off-the-shelf game engines like Unity, Godot and Unreal often make it easy to bring games to Linux – what about developers who roll their own? Utopixel have blogged about bringing their new game Outer Wonders to Linux.

        Outer Wonders is an in-development pixel-art adventure with plenty of puzzles to solve. You play as Bibi, a sweet little round monkey. Exploration is going to be a key part in solving puzzles, as you may need to have a good look around for how to overcome each one as they’re hoping it will be “more elaborate than traditional maze games”.

      • Northgard expands again with the new Squirrel clan, get ready to cook

        Dipped in Norse mythology, the real-time strategy game Northgard has expanded once again as Ratatoskr, Clan of the Squirrel has now joined the lands.

        Adept cooks and forward-looking gatherers, the Squirrel Clan excel at preparation and striking at opportune moments. Led by the War Chief Cook Andhrímnir and guided by the totem Ratatosk, Northgard’s newcomers always keep foes on their toes. Squirrel civilians can gather specific ingredients, which can be used with the Stove, a clan-specific resource replacing the Brewery, to create extraordinary meals.

      • Creative Assembly in pre-production for the next Total War: THREE KINGDOMS

        It seems like the current Total War: THREE KINGDOMS is now officially done, with Creative Assembly today putting out a video to explain what they’re doing.

        Notably, Lulu Zhang the Associate Art Director, confirmed that Creative Assembly is now into pre-production on the next entry for Three Kingdoms. So it seems we’re going to see something along the lines of Total War: THREE KINGDOMS 2 perhaps. Something like that anyway, based around a similar setting and theme at least. With a bigger company like CA, they have multiple teams working on multiple games with David Torres, the Designer, confirming they’re going to be a standalone unit in the Total War historical section of CA now too.


        Given that game porter / developer Feral Interactive continue to have a great relationship with Creative Assembly, and were responsible for the great Linux port of Total War: THREE KINGDOMS – we can probably expect a Linux port of the next one.

    • Distributions

      • Top 8 User Friendly Linux Distributions for Beginners

        Totally new to Linux, and want to give a try? Here are some of the Linux Distributions friendly to beginners.

        Linux is a family of open-source operating systems based on Linux Kernel. As there are so many distributions available, I’ll list the top 8 that are easy to use for beginners.

        Ranking and opinions expressed here are solely my own! As an Ubuntu user for more than 10 years, I’m not new to Linux but new to those in the list. So this could be a Linux review via a beginner!

      • AppCenter Dashboard Sprint Spring 2021

        Last year we ran a crowdfunding campaign for an ambitious project called “AppCenter for Everyone.” The goal of this project was to move our pay-what-you-want app store from being Debian package based and largely locked in to elementary OS to being based on Flatpak and available for use on any modern Linux-based desktop. Though we successfully met and exceeded our funding goal, we had to postpone the in-person sprint due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over a year later—and with the availability of the vaccine—we decided to split this work up into multiple sprints, starting with one focused on the publishing workflow. This month, I flew out to Denver, Colorado to work with Blake Kostner and Cassidy James, and I’m excited to share with you what we achieved.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Mesa, Nodejs, Zstd Update in Tumbleweed

          The snapshots updated Mozilla Thunderbird, Mesa, Node.js, PipeWire and compression package Zstd along with several other packages.

          Snapshot 20210524 updated the audio and video package pipewire 0.3.28, which added a new powerful filter-chain module that can be used to created all kinds of filter-chains from Linux Audio Developer’s Simple Plugin API; many more PulseAudio modules were implemented. Node.js 16.2.0 added module support for URL to import.meta.resolve. The text and layout rendering package pango updated to version 1.48.5 and can speed up Emoji classification. The pango update also fixed some hangs and a memory leak. The 21.1.1 Mesa update in the snapshot provided mostly AMD and Intel changes, but had a decent amount of arm fixes. Other packages to update in the snapshot were libstorage-ng 4.4.9 and webkit2gtk3 2.32.1.

          Just two packages were updated in snapshot 20210522. The card gaming package black-hole-solver updated to version 1.10.1 and added a flag for the maximum amount of cards. Packet processing package dpdk 19.11.8 fixed a few Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures and added multiple virtual host patches in its update from version 19.11.4.

        • Five Days to Value with SUSE Manager | SUSE Communities

          Today’s businesses are far more capable than they were just five years ago. Thanks to advances in technology, companies can scale up and out like never before, virtualize just about everything, automate deployments, manage compliance, and deploy highly available apps and services in ways you couldn’t have imagined.

          Along with the seemingly endless array of new technologies and services at your disposal comes a level of complexity IT admins have either never before experienced or have yet to master. Consider this: Every enterprise business is talking Kubernetes and with good reason. Kubernetes gives admins and businesses heretofore unheard of power over container management. But Kubernetes isn’t easy. Sure, you could deploy a Kubernetes cluster in about 15 minutes. Once you get beyond that, the complexity rises exponentially.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • VzLinux 8.3 released
        • What is your server hardware refresh schedule? | Enable Sysadmin [Ed: "More than seven years" is the longest term in these options; shouldn't hardware last a decade or more? IBM doesn't want it to, as it's selling grossly overpriced stuff.]

          “Tech refresh” as we call it is a big deal. It’s such a big deal that company leadership details their refresh plans from three to five years into the future, or further. And some optimistic projectionists might attempt to extend that crystal ball’s (aka spreadsheet’s) capability even further. I’ve seen tech refresh projections as far as ten years into the future and compensation for growth, attrition, and business changes. I think three years, on a rolling basis, is a good start and a good goal for most of us.

        • What will technology look like in 30 years?

          Can we predict the technology of the future—correctly, this time?

          I finished my article 7 signs you survived the best era of IT with a question to myself: What will be the technology world 30 years from now?

          We need to recognize that we did not do a great job decades ago to predict what would be “the future” of technology. After all, people used to think that by the year 2000, everybody would be driving their flying cars, robots would do all the boring work, and the world of technology would make humanity free of diseases, poverty, and all the little problems like work or taxes.

        • Red Hat Learning Subscription Premium helps you craft your skill-building strategy

          The Red Hat Learning Subscription has facilitated the delivery of on-demand Red Hat Training courses to professionals across industries and the globe since 2016, and continues to evolve to meet the needs of the market. An all-new Premium tier of Red Hat Learning Subscription was announced recently which expands training modality options to accommodate a variety of learning styles by providing live virtual instruction, recorded video classrooms, or text-based courses. In this post, we’ll highlight some of the enhancements and flexible features you’ll find with the Premium tier.

        • IBM Cloud suffers second outage in five days [Ed: Clown Computing is subpar disservice you neither own nor control]

          IBM Cloud was hit by another outage this week, just five days after a similar incident.

          The unidentified “severity-one” incident impacted multiple services across Washington DC, Osaka, London, Dallas, Sydney, Tokyo, and Frankfurt on Tuesday.

        • Adam Young: QJackCtl and Pipewire

          It took me a few tries, but I finally got a passable demo/tutorial about Pipewire and QJackCtl.

        • Technically Speaking (S1E05): Weird Data Science

          In this episode, Red Hat’s Chris Wright and Sherard Griffin explore artificial intelligence and machine learning’s relationship to data, the role that open source plays in the development of models, and how projects like Open Data Hub can foster a culture of innovation.

        • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 overview | security functionality and performance for IT environments

          In this video, I am going to show an overview of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4 and some of the applications pre-installed.

        • Red Hat Brings Red Hat Universal Base Image to Docker Hub
        • Red Hat Brings Red Hat Universal Base Image to Docker Hub
        • Red Hat Universal Base Image and Docker Hub: Why should developers care?

          Red Hat Universal Base Image (UBI) is Red Hat’s container-ready operating system image that allows you to build smaller images for use in container-based systems. With the announcement that UBI images are now “Verified Publisher” images on Docker Hub, developers now have nothing standing between them and their application running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Freely redistributable Linux images that are OCI-compliant (Open Container Initiative) and ready for Kubernetes can be prepared with a simple FROM command in your Dockerfile.

        • Red Hat’s David Egts on Potential of Edge Computing, Open Hybrid Cloud for Government Data Management

          David Egts, senior director and chief technologist of Red Hat‘s North American public sector business, indicated during a question-and-answer session with ExecutiveBiz the use of edge computing devices and an open hybrid cloud approach could help agencies address data management challenges.

      • Debian Family

        • What to expect from Debian/bullseye #newinbullseye

          Debian v11 with codename bullseye is supposed to be released as new stable release soon-ish (let’s hope for June, 2021! Smile). Similar to what we had with #newinbuster and previous releases, now it’s time for #newinbullseye!

          I was the driving force at several of my customers to be well prepared for bullseye before its freeze, and since then we’re on good track there overall. In my opinion, Debian’s release team did (and still does) a great job – I’m very happy about how unblock requests (not only mine but also ones I kept an eye on) were handled so far.

          As usual with major upgrades, there are some things to be aware of, and hereby I’m starting my public notes on bullseye that might be worth also for other folks. My focus is primarily on server systems and looking at things from a sysadmin perspective.

        • Pavit Kaur: Journey to GSoC

          I am really excited that my Google Summer of Code proposal with Debian for the project “Debian Continuous Integration improvements” has been accepted. Through this blog, I am here to share about my Pre-GSoC journey.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Enhanced Raspberry Pi GPIO Support Added to Ubuntu 21.04

          The dev team for Ubuntu on the Raspberry Pi shared a blog post this week detailing key new features in the latest update for Ubuntu 21.04. The most recent version of Ubuntu is confirmed to officially include enhanced GPIO support on the Raspberry Pi via a new Python library.

          The new Python library is known as LGPIO and it replaces RPi.GPIO which no longer works correctly with Linux Kernel 5.11. If you’re using Ubuntu 21.04, all you need to do is install the LGPIO package to get started. By using LGPIO. The new 21.04 update is optimized to support the GPIO as before by using the new Python library. Controlling components such as LEDs or servos is completely restored and makers again have full control over the GPIO with Ubuntu.

          If you want to use the new LGPIO library yourself, check out the tutorial published by the Ubuntu team for detailed instructions. Read more about the latest update on the official Ubuntu blog and maybe brainstorm some new project ideas along the way.

        • Downloading Ubuntu via BitTorrent gets Comcast customer a DMCA warning

          This week, Redditor u/NateNate60 got a nasty surprise in his inbox—a DMCA infringement warning from his ISP, Comcast Xfinity. The notice warned him that Comcast had “received a notification by a copyright owner, or its authorized agent, reporting an alleged infringement of one or more copyrighted works.”

          The strange thing about this warning was the “infringed work” in question: Ubuntu 20.04, which is free to redistribute by any means desired. Adding insult to injury, the hash listed on the notice is the same one associated with Canonical’s own torrent for Ubuntu 20.04.2—u/NateNate60 was getting dinged for torrenting an unmodified copy of an open source operating system.


          Ars asked OpSecSecurity to expand on its incontrovertible evidence, but we received no further reply. It took a little longer to get an answer from Comcast. The representative we spoke to was aware of the issue, by way of u/NateNate60′s original Reddit post. Unfortunately, the screenshot u/NateNate60 took was heavily redacted—too heavily redacted for Comcast to easily look up the incident.

          We asked Comcast to search for any DMCA warnings sent associated with the hash listed as “Infringing Work” instead—if possible, this would get us closer to the bottom of the story one way or another. Any such warning would either be a bogus takedown for downloading Ubuntu or would demonstrate that a (very unlikely) hash collision had taken place and that the Ubuntu torrent shared a hash with a torrent for something unrelated.

          Comcast’s team found no evidence of sending a DMCA warning associated with the hash in question—but the search effort was seriously hampered by the lack of an associated case number.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Advancing system-level change with ad transparency in the EU DSA

            At Mozilla we believe that greater transparency in the online advertising ecosystem can empower individuals, safeguard advertisers’ interests, and address systemic harms. It’s something we care passionately about, and it’s an ethos that runs through our own marketing work. Indeed, our recent decision to resume advertising on Instagram is underpinned by a commitment to transparency. Yet we also recognise that this issue is a structural one, and that regulation and public policy has an important role to play in improving the health of the ecosystem. In this post, we give an update on our efforts to advance system-level change, focusing on the ongoing discussions on this topic in the EU.

          • Zeke Smith on internet haters, Survivor and sending support to people online

            The lines between online life and real life practically disappeared in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to replace social platforms and video apps for human contact.

            As part of our mental health awareness month coverage this May, we are talking to people about how their online lives impact their mental health. We connected with Zeke Smith, the comedy writer who was known to fans of CBS’s Survivor as “the goofy guy with the mustache and the Hawaiian shirt” over two seasons of the show until another contestant outed Smith as a trans man. Smith found himself suddenly in the spotlight as an activist and voice of an often-invisible community.

            Smith talked to us about how to think about online haters, when it’s time to log off and why a puppy pic is usually more useful than a hot take.

          • Mozilla Addons Blog: Manifest v3 update

            Two years ago, Google proposed Manifest v3, a number of foundational changes to the Chrome extension framework. Many of these changes introduce new incompatibilities between Firefox and Chrome. As we previously wrote, we want to maintain a high degree of compatibility to support cross-browser development. We will introduce Manifest v3 support for Firefox extensions. However, we will diverge from Chrome’s implementation where we think it matters and our values point to a different solution.

            For the last few months, we have consulted with extension developers and Firefox’s engineering leadership about our approach to Manifest v3. The following is an overview of our plan to move forward, which is based on those conversations.

          • The Mozilla Blog: Our approach to advertising on Facebook platforms [Ed: This is more posing and posturing from Mozilla which neither respects your privacy nor really cares about Facebook’s surveillance; in fact Mozilla added several people from Facebook to its management after the CA scandal.]

            When I joined Mozilla, the organization had made the decision to pause Facebook advertising in light of the Cambridge Analytica privacy controversy. This was a decision that I understand, but I’m changing course.

            For Mozilla, it boils down to this: our mission requires that we empower everyone to protect themselves online, not just the folks that are plugged in to the recent techlash. And a lot of the people that may need our tools the most spend a lot of time on Facebook and Instagram.

            So the question becomes, can we reach folks on these platforms with our ads, while staying true to Mozilla’s values? I believe we can, and it starts with being up front about what we’re doing.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • TDF Annual Report 2020

          The Annual Report of The Document Foundation for the year 2020 is now available in PDF format from TDF Nextcloud in three different versions: low resolution (4.7MB), medium resolution (18MB) and high resolution (24.7MB). The annual report is based on the German version presented to the authorities in April.

          The 54 page document has been entirely created with free open source software: written contents have obviously been developed with LibreOffice Writer (desktop) and collaboratively modified with LibreOffice Writer (online), charts have been created with LibreOffice Calc and prepared for publishing with LibreOffice Draw, drawings and tables have been developed or modified (from legacy PDF originals) with LibreOffice Draw, images have been prepared for publishing with GIMP, and the layout has been created with Scribus based on the existing templates.

          All pictures are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 License, courtesy of TDF Members from all over the world. Stock photos are CC0 by Pixabay.

      • FSF

        • Apply to be the FSF’s next executive director

          The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect computer user freedom, seeks a principled, compassionate, and capable leader to be its new executive director. This position can be remote or based in our Boston office.
          The FSF is committed to the notion that users are entitled to control their computing, individually and collectively, and therefore to control the software that does that computing. The executive director will work closely with the president, board of directors, and all Foundation staff to achieve this goal.

          The FSF faces many challenges as software becomes increasingly central in the exercise of all fundamental human freedoms, including speech, association, privacy, and movement, and as software owners seek to exploit their control over us to profit at the expense of those freedoms. The executive director has a vital role in enabling the FSF to continue meeting these challenges, starting from the strong base that has been built in the last thirty-five years. The Foundation has recently reached record-high membership numbers and was awarded a perfect score from Charity Navigator, as well as its eighth consecutive four-star rating. Efforts to improve the Foundation’s governance are underway.

        • GNU Projects

        • Licensing/Legal

          • The Audacity: Audio tool finds new and exciting ways to annoy contributors with a Contributor License Agreement

            The saga of the Audacity takeover continued this week with the announcement of a Contributor License Agreement (CLA) by the project’s new owners.

            Contributors to Audacity will be expected to sign the agreement in order to give code to the project. “The purpose of the CLA,” stated the explanation, “is to provide future flexibility in altering (ie, uplicensing, dual licensing) for the entire Audacity project, not just the parts of the code that we have written ourselves.”

            The audio tool is currently licensed under GPLv2 and plans are afoot to update the licence to GPLv3. However, in defence of the CLA, Audacity cited platforms such as Apple’s App Store that have “policies or technical processes that make it difficult or impossible for Audacity to exist on them while it is licensed solely under the GPL (v2 or v3).”

      • Programming/Development

        • Jussi Pakkanen: Managing dependencies with Meson + WrapDB

          A recent blog post talked about how to build and manage dependencies with CMake and FetchContent. The example that they used was a simple GUI application using the SFML multimedia libraries and the Dear ImGui widget toolkit using the corresponding wrapper library. For comparison let’s do the same with Meson.


          In Meson every subproject is compiled in its own isolated sandbox. They can only communicate in specific, well defined and secured channels. This makes it easy to generate projects that can be built from source on Windows/macOS/Android/etc and which use system dependencies on Linux transparently. This equals less hassle for everyone involved.

        • Docker introduces developer environments in containers

          Virtual DockerCon kicked off today, at which the company introduced Docker Development Environments, calling them “the foundation of Docker’s new collaborative team development experience.”

          In the past Docker containers have been mainly for deployment of applications, but the Docker Development Environment extends that to… (you guessed it) development as well.

        • Indie developers created an easier way to try out Fuchsia OS on your computer

          Google officially released their Fuchsia OS earlier this week, starting by rolling it out to some owners of the original Nest Hub. Now, a group of indie developers have created a simpler way of trying out Fuchsia on your own computer.

          From the very beginning, Fuchsia OS has been developed in the open, meaning it’s possible to download the code yourself, build it on your computer, then run it on a compatible device such as the Google Pixelbook or in an emulator. While this is an achievable task — and one we’ve undertaken on more than one occasion — it creates a massive barrier to entry for those who want to get a taste of what Fuchsia OS is all about.

        • Wouter Verhelst: SReview and pandemics

          The pandemic was a bit of a mess for most FLOSS conferences. The two conferences that I help organize — FOSDEM and DebConf — are no exception. In both conferences, I do essentially the same work: as a member of both video teams, I manage the postprocessing of the video recordings of all the talks that happened at the respective conference(s). I do this by way of SReview, the online video review and transcode system that I wrote, which essentially crowdsources the manual work that needs to be done, and automates as much as possible of the workflow.

          The original version of SReview consisted of a database, a (very basic) Mojolicious-based webinterface, and a bunch of perl scripts which would build and execute ffmpeg command lines using string interpolation. As a quick hack that I needed to get working while writing it in my spare time in half a year, that approach was workable and resulted in successful postprocessing after FOSDEM 2017, and a significant improvement in time from the previous years. However, I did not end development with that, and since then I’ve replaced the string interpolation by an object oriented API for generating ffmpeg command lines, as well as modularized the webinterface. Additionally, I’ve had help reworking the user interface into a system that is somewhat easier to use than my original interface, and have slowly but surely added more features to the system so as to make it more flexible, as well as support more types of environments for the system to run in.

        • New in Qt 6.1: std::hash Support for QHash

          In the previous blog post of this series, we discussed KDToolBox::QtHasher, a helper class that allows us to use unordered associative containers datatypes which have a qHash() overload but not a std::hash specialization. The majority of Qt value classes indeed are lacking such a specialization, even if they do provide a qHash() overload.

          For our datatypes, having to provide both qHash and std::hash (if you want to store them in either QHash/QSet or std::unordered_map/set without the need of a customer hasher) is…mildly annoying. In a project, I’ve even resorted to using a macro to implement one function in terms of the other one.

          This consideration led me to ask myself, “why can’t QHash itself support std::hash directly?” This would allow me to implement just one hashing function, and not two. Cherry on top: it would allow us to use QHash/QSet datatypes that only offer std::hash and not qHash, such as the ones coming from the Standard Library! (You may want to read here about why it’s actually impossible to reliably add a qHash overload for them.)

        • [Development] New Qt Multimedia

          After 5 months of work, I am now preparing to merge the new API and implementation for Qt Multimedia back into the development branch.

          You can find the first iteration of a merge commit here: https://codereview.qt-project.org/c/qt/qtmultimedia/+/351108

          With this, Qt Multimedia is probably the module that is changing most between Qt 5 and Qt 6. The reason for that is that we had large issues maintaining Qt Multimedia during the Qt 5 lifetime, and never really got to a point where it offered a consistent experience across all platforms.

          The hope is that we can change that for Qt 6. To make this possible, we have changed not only parts of the public API, but completely redone its internal architecture, especially how multimedia connects to the platform specific backends. Apart from cleaning up the backend API and greatly simplifying it, I also chose to make it private and remove the plugin architecture around it. The backend is now selected at compile time, and we’re now only supporting one backend per platform.

          The architectural cleanup lead to huge simplifications in the code base. The module went from 140k LOC in 5.15 to 73k LOC in Qt 6, while keeping 90% of the functionality we had in 5.15 and adding a few things that were missing there. This should make it significantly easier to maintain and further develop the module over the lifetime of Qt 6.

        • Qt Multimedia Prepares For Qt 6 With Rewritten GStreamer Backend, Other Big Changes

          Qt Multimedia should return for Qt 6.2′s release later this year and is perhaps the module changing the most in its transition from Qt5 to Qt6.

          Qt Multimedia has been one of the many missing modules currently from Qt 6.0~6.1 while not only has it been ported to Qt 6 now but has been seeing some radical improvements.

        • Python

          • The 2021 Python Language Summit

            Every year, a small group of core developers from Python implementations such as CPython, PyPy, Jython, and more come together to share information, discuss problems, and seek consensus in order to help Python continue to flourish.

            The Python Language Summit features short presentations followed by group discussions. The topics can relate to the language itself, the standard library, the development process, documentation, packaging, and more! In 2021, the summit was held over two days by videoconference and was led by Mariatta Wijaya and Łukasz Langa.

          • Reports from the 2021 Python Language Summit

            Over on the Python Software Foundation blog, the reports from day 1 of the Python Language Summit are available. At the time of this writing, a few from day 2 are ready as well.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Bash alias to output the current Swatch Internet Time
          • Text filter in Linux – Linux Concept

            Normally, shell scripting involves report generation, which will include processing various text files and filtering their output to finally produce the desired results. Let’s start discussing the two Linux commands, namely more and less:

            more: Sometimes we get a very large output on the screen for certain commands, which cannot be viewed completely in one screen. In such cases, we can use the more command to view the output text one page at a time.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Daniel Stenberg: QUIC is RFC 9000

        The official publication date of the relevant QUIC specifications is: May 27, 2021.

        I’ve done many presentations about HTTP and related technologies over the years. HTTP/2 had only just shipped when the QUIC working group had been formed in the IETF and I started to mention and describe what was being done there.


        I initially wanted to keep up closely with the working group and follow what happened and participate on the meetings and interims etc. It turned out to be too difficult for me to do that so I had to lower my ambitions and I’ve mostly had a casual observing role. I just couldn’t muster the energy and spend the time necessary to do it properly.

        I’ve participated in many of the meetings, I’ve been present in the QUIC implementers slack, I’ve followed lots of design and architectural discussions on the mailing list and in GitHub issues. I’ve worked on implementing support for QUIC and h3 in curl and thanks to that helped out iron issues and glitches in various implementations, but the now published RFCs have virtually no traces of me or my feedback in them.

  • Leftovers

    • Reading the World With Charles Larson

      Oddly, I never had him for a class, but I was the student rep on the rank-and-tenure committee for a year, which he chaired, and I’m pretty sure I was my normal pain-in-the-ass defending professors who had worn out their welcome and critiquing celebrated ones who seemed to be phoning it in. He never held my contrariness against me and I was very surprised (and very happy) 23 years later when Chuck started emailing me book reviews, usually reviews of novels, most of them international. His specialty was African literature, a field of study which he helped establish and develop in the US.

      My classes from Larson started after I became his editor. His writing is sharpened to the essential elements. Perhaps only other writers realize how very difficult it is to write in a way that reads so fluidly and yet is capable of condensing complex thoughts about challenging novels into a mere 900 words. These little essays were object lessons in how to read a book, how to think and write about what you’d read, and how to evaluate whether it was worth reading. But they aren’t lectures or exercises in academic exegesis. He never lost his excite in discovering a great new book or writer and he wasn’t afraid to let excitement show in his writing. In a very non-obtrusive way, Chuck Larson was able to use his thoughts on a novel to open a portal onto the wider world, from Pamuk’s Turkey to Achebe’s Nigeria. In addition to being a teacher of literature, he was also a mentor of young writers, including his very talented daughter Vanessa, now an editor at the Washington Post. I know, because he sent many of them to CounterPunch and their writing showed all the hallmarks of Chuck’s light touch.

    • Anger and Dismay

      But the fairer reports dwindled as the media returned to “Israel’s need for self-defense, the right of every country” – with no mention of any similar Palestinian need. It equated rockets fired from Gaza, or those ten percent which pierced Israel’s protective “Iron Dome” and did then wreck homes and cause deaths, with the constant, hour-long torrents of death and destruction blasted by one of the strongest military forces in the world into a small, densely populated confine, which could in no way  deter the fighter-bombers and missiles, the drones circling low, night and day, over homes and families, for Gaza had no “Iron Domes” sent over by US arms producers. The media seemed largely to accept the huge disproportion, showing  the mourning and heartbreak when  a Jewish child was tragically killed by a rocket, but remaining almost silent about Palestinian children.

      Ibrahim al-Talaa, 17, told of feeling it was the end for himself and his family.

    • Science

      • Artificial Intelligence (AI) -or- “Look, I’m not stupid. They can’t make things like that yet.”

        As an avid fan of all sorts of Science Fiction, I particularly love stories with machine intelligence, or AI.

        However, businesses like IBM, Intel, and Microsoft cheapen the term to sell products.


        I bought a laptop with an Intel processor last year, and of course since it was their latest stuff it’s very fast (at least for several more years and relative to the ones that came before it), but I laughed when Intel was advertising their Tiger Lake platform as having “AI”. It’s just an improved x86-64 processor. Nothing more, nothing less. Instructions get improved and added, efficiency is optimized a bit, clock speeds are finagled with, but it’s definitely not AI. It’s just another von Neumann architecture CPU, and there’s debate over whether such a CPU would ever be able to run a realistic AI even given what we know of the laws of physics.

        Microsoft advertises Bing as AI, or a “decision engine” even though it can’t capture more than about 2% of the search engine market (Roughly where “Windows Live Search” was before the rebranding.), even though it theoretically has a captive audience with everyone who uses the Windows operating system, and as Microsoft buries more crap that opens it up directly into the GUI with security updates, as they did when I installed one this month and had a new MSN toolbar to get rid of in my taskbar.

        IBM promotes everything as AI as their company value continues to crater and the employees (including Red Hat) are being laid off or fearful of it as the company tries to economize due to lack of profits.


        However, marketing AI seems to work in this context sometimes too. 15 years ago, when nobody would have argued that we had AI, Bethesda released The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, and marketed a term called “Radiant AI”, in which every NPC in the game had goals and routines. In fact, these games have scripts that assign NPCs some random needs and goals. They managed to get an ex of mine to repeat the term “Radiant AI” when saying why he must buy the game.

        Ask any gamer how Bethesda “AI” works out, and they can tell you that NPCs often end up breaking the game because of script clashes that the “AI” wasn’t smart enough to prevent from happening, which can even make some parts of the game unplayable. Skyrim crashed more than any game I’ve ever played and the crashing even got ported over to the Nintendo Switch. In one patch from Bethesda, they broke the dragon AI and the dragons started to fly backwards. Perhaps they are a good fit as a subdivision of Microsoft.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Fifty Years Later: The Forgotten Story of Dissenting POWs

        The best known is Bowe Bergdahl, a 23-year old Army private who was captured by the Taliban in 2009 and held until a prisoner exchange arranged five years later by the Obama Administration.

        Prior to becoming a POW, Bergdahl had emailed his parents in Idaho, expressing disillusionment with  U.S. intervention in Afghanistan and related mistreatment of Afghan citizens. “We make fun of them in front of their faces, and laugh at them for not understanding we are insulting them,” he told his parents. “I am sorry for everything. The horror that is America is disgusting.”

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Fedora Magazine: IRC Announcement

        Since its beginnings, the Fedora Project has used the freenode IRC network for our project communications. Due to a variety of recent changes to that network, the Fedora Project is moving our IRC communications to Libera.Chat.


        If you are a Matrix user, we ask for your patience as we get bridges setup on the new network. If you were joined to rooms via the generic freenode bridge, you will need to leave them and rejoin the fedora rooms in matrix (which will be plumbed with the Libera channels)

    • Monopolies

      • ‘Stop the Monopoly Madness’: Biden Urged to Block Amazon’s $8.5 Billion Purchase of MGM

        “In announcing plans to buy MGM, Jeff Bezos placed a big softball on a tee for the Biden administration to knock over the fence.”

      • Patents

        • The global patent market state of play – a clash of courts [Ed: Propaganda front of patent trolls and corrupt EPO management (overlaps exist) only wants courts that lower the degree of scrutiny of patents because it’s all about money, not justice or science, to these people]

          The results of IAM’s first litigation survey reflect how, as patent disputes become more global, the pros and cons of different national courts can be make or break for both plaintiffs and defendants

        • How much is needed to find a threat of patent infringement? A respectful dissent

          As any aficionado of American legal history will be well aware, Judge Holmes, the third most cited American legal scholar of the 20th century, was nicknamed “the Great Dissenter.” This was a tribute to the 55 dissenting opinions that he wrote during his 29 years serving at the U.S. Supreme Court. Interestingly, over the years many of his dissenting opinions would end up paving the way for future policies.

          A recent judgment of 26 April 2021 from the Barcelona Court of Appeal (Section 15) illustrates the usefulness of dissenting opinions as food for further thought. The facts of the case relevant to this blog may be summarized as follows:

          A Spanish company filed a revocation action against patent EP 888 289 (“EP ‘289”) and its corresponding SPC, which protects lacosamide, an antiepileptic drug. The patent owner filed a statement of defense together with a counterclaim, in which it requested the Court to prohibit that company from launching its product into the market before the SPC expired. In a nutshell, it alleged that the activities carried out by that company constituted a “threat of infringement.” Specifically, it mentioned the following acts: a) obtaining a marketing authorization many years ahead of the expiry date of the SPC; b) obtaining a price also years ahead of the expiry date of the SPC; c) having filed a revocation action; d) having failed to undertake to wait for the expiry date of the SPC despite having received three warning letters; and e) all the other companies that had obtained marketing authorization and price had undertaken not to launch while the SPC was in force.

          The Court of First Instance, in a judgment of 14 April 2020, dismissed the revocation action. It also dismissed the counterclaim, on the grounds that actions against “threats of infringement” would have no legal basis in Spanish law.


          The point is, of course, debatable, as illustrated by the dissenting opinion written by one of the members of the Court of Appeal in this case. The same member also noted that the regulatory context has changed since the judgment of 22 January 2013 (Donepezil). In particular, he mentioned the entry into force of the new Patent Act on 1 April 2017, which introduced, in article 71.1, the right of the patent owner to request the cessation of the acts that infringe its right “or their prohibition if they have not yet taken place.” This latter right had to be introduced to comply with article 9.1 of the Enforcement Directive (Directive 2004/48/EC), which, in turn, had introduced this right to comply with article 50 of TRIPS. The question at issue is how far the preparations to infringe must have reached to allow the patent owner to obtain a judgment prohibiting infringement.

          The judgment did not cite or interpret the contours of the “prohibition action” introduced in article 71.1 of the Patent Act. The dissenting opinion, however, made a contribution to this debate in paragraph 3, where it stated the following: “The purpose of the prohibition action is to restrain future infringement that has not yet taken place when there are serious reasons to believe that infringement is probable.” In paragraph 6, it added: “Therefore, for the prohibition action to succeed, the plaintiff must show rational evidence of the imminence of the acts of infringement.” The latter sentence is, of course, also debatable, since, as the dissenting opinion explains in paragraphs 8 and 9, “imminence” is a requirement for preliminary injunctions aimed at prohibiting acts of infringement that, to be prohibited, the legislature requires be “imminent.” No such requirement was included in article 71.1 for prohibition actions in the main proceedings. This may be interpreted as a sign that the legislature wanted the test for prohibition actions to be less stringent that the strict “imminence” test required for preliminary injunctions. In this regard, the judgment of 22 January 2013, although published before the Patent Act was amended, appears better tailored to the text and spirit of article 71.1 of the new Patent Act.

          All in all, the differing views expressed by the majority of the Court and the dissenting opinion in this case illustrate that, as used to be the case with Judge Holmes’s dissenting opinions, this debate is here to stay.

        • Federal Circuit Nominee: Judges Should Judge The Cases They Have, Not Seek Cases They Want To Judge

          But there’s one more thing. During her nomination hearing, she was asked by Senator Grassley (R-IA) if it was appropriate for judges to actively seek to create favorable patent venues in their courts. (1:06:58). And her answer summarizes the ideal of a judge—judges should be “bound by the rule of law and just be focused on the facts of each case without really taking into consideration regarding what sorts of cases they might want to appear before them.”

          It’s an answer in stark contrast to the practices of at least one other judge.

        • China – time is money [Ed: IAM speaks about rushed judgment or wrong judgement as if it’s something to be celebrated… because money trumps justice?]

          The ultra-fast speed of proceedings and low legal costs are proving sufficient enticement to overcome stubbornly low damages levels for some plaintiffs. And with injunctive relief on the table, everyone expects China’s patent litigation docket to grow

        • The global patent market state of play – a clash of courts

          The results of IAM’s first litigation survey reflect how, as patent disputes become more global, the pros and cons of different national courts can be make or break for both plaintiffs and defendants

        • Germany – at the heart of Europe [Ed: Maybe IAM should explain to its readers that Germany openly embraced corruption at the EPO to have “established itself as the continent’s go-to patent venue”]

          Germany has firmly established itself as the continent’s go-to patent venue with speed, relatively low costs and the promise of an injunction firmly at the forefront of litigants’ minds

        • Tesla structural battery pack patent hints at clever contingencies for crashes, cell failures [Ed: Didn't the fraud who run Tesla said he would quit all this patent nonsense? What's the point of all this? Openwashing in addition to his greenwashing?]

          Tesla’s next generation of vehicles like the Cybertruck and the Made-in-Texas Model Y will likely be built with a structural battery pack. Together with the company’s 4680 cells and megacasted parts, Tesla’s integrated battery system is expected to improve its vehicles’ mass and range significantly.


          Tesla’s vehicles are famed for their excellent safety ratings. Built without a heavy internal combustion engine in front, Tesla’s EVs feature generous crumple zones that help absorb the impact in a collision. If the EV maker’s structural batteries really make its cars more structurally sound, then Tesla could further establish itself as the maker of the safest cars on the road, bar none.

        • United Kingdom – clouded in uncertainty | IAM [Ed: EPO propaganda outlets pretend that a country is to be assessed only based on prospect of patent litigation there. What an absurd perspective.]

          Our survey results reveal that some familiar concerns remain with the United Kingdom as a patent litigation venue at a time when Brexit has only muddied the waters further

        • Brazil Supreme Court rules patent extensions keep drug prices from being affordable.

          The Brazilian Supreme Court has issued a ruling that will make its intellectual property law allowing long-term patent extensions unconstitutional. This could clear the way for lower cost generic versions of certain drugs to enter the market sooner. If generics can enter, drug costs will be more affordable.

          As a result, pharmaceutical patents that were granted an extension will lose the additional time, and no other pharmaceutical patent can be granted an extension. The court has deemed its decision to be retroactive as well, meaning that any existing extensions will be reserved and, moving forward, patent protections will be limited to twenty years following the initial grant.

          Patents are currently protected for twenty years from the date that an application is filed, as well as another ten years at the time it’s granted. The addition time has been put into place because the Brazilian patent office can take a decade or more to review applications and adding ten years of is a form of compensation to the filer.

        • TomTom overturns Conversant patent with Bardehle’s help [Ed: Firm that lobbies for software patents profits from patent trolls litigating in Europe. This patent troll is armed by Microsoft.]

          The German Federal Patent Court has overturned Conversant patent, EP 17 97 659, which protects mobile communication technology for autonomous transmission in high-speed uplink packet access, and transmission time control.


          Bardehle Pagenberg partner Tobias Kaufmann, working with lawyers from his firm, had already represented TomTom as intervener for Daimler in the infringement proceedings. The team is also acting for TomTom in other connected cars suits, for instance against Nokia.

          In addition, the company brought on board Augsburg-based lawyer Maximilian Ernicke. Previously, Ernicke was as an associate for Bardehle.

          Most Conversant patents are filed by German-British law firm EIP, via its London patent attorneys. Its lawyers are also conducting the infringement proceedings for Conversant in Germany and the UK.

        • Software Patents

          • $3,000 for Gridley IP prior art

            On May 27, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $2,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 8,676,668. The patent is owned by by Gridley IP LLC, an IP Edge entity. The ’668 patent generally relates to mapping population activity by discerning a location, speed, and direction of wireless mobile devices within a geographic region. It has been asserted against Waitr, Route4Me, WorkWave, Instacart, Doordash, NeighborFavor, Cabconnect, Zum Services, HopSkipDrive, SuperShuttle, and Flywheel Software based on their respective delivery and ridesharing services and apps.

          • The EBoA on computer-implemented simulations [Ed: This is the same EBoA now renowned for being a kangaroo court or vendor-captured rubberstamping court of the corrupt EPO]

Postscriptum: Carl Josefsson Sidelined From G 1/21!

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:54 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Fritz Blumer and not Calle Josefsson
Josefsson must step aside and will be replaced by a Swiss member of the EPO‘s EBA, Fritz Blumer.

Summary: The ‘real judges’ of Benoît Battistelli and the cronies of António Campinos (whom he pressures to allow illegal software patents) have gone too far; and now the public is losing confidence in the integrity of the boards, even the highest or most glorified one

This postscriptum to the series about case no. G 1/21 is occasioned by the interlocutory decision of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, taken just over a week ago on 17 May 2021.

At the time when the series was being written, the Enlarged Board of Appeal had made no identifiable public reaction to the allegations of partiality against the Chairman and internal members of the panel assigned to deal with case no. G 1/21.

“For the purpose of considering these matters, the Enlarged Board sat in an altered composition without the members who were under suspicion of partiality.”However, the situation changed rather dramatically on 17 May 2021 when the Enlarged Board convened to consider partiality objections raised by the appellant, Rohde & Schwarz GmbH.

Following deliberation the Enlarged Board issued an interlocutory decision, which has been published online here. (Warning: epo.org link)

The appellant raised objections against the Chairman (Carl Josefsson) and two other internal members (identified as “X” and “Y” in the decision).

A further member of the panel (identified as “Z” in the decision) informed the Enlarged Board that he was involved in the preparation of Article 15a RPBA and that his involvement could be relevant to the objections made by the appellant. He therefore asked the Enlarged Board to decide on his continued participation in the case.

For the purpose of considering these matters, the Enlarged Board sat in an altered composition without the members who were under suspicion of partiality.

The altered composition was as follows:

Fritz Blumer (Chairman)

Win van der Eijk

Tamás Bokor

Richard Arnold

Evangelos Chatzikos

Pascal Gryczka

Giovanni Pricolo

From this we can deduce that the partiality objections under consideration related to the following members of the original panel: Carl Josefsson, Ingo Beckedorf, Gunnar Eliasson and Andrea Ritzka.

The Enlarged Board in its altered composition decided that the partiality objections against Josefsson and one other internal member (the person identified as “Z”) were substantiated.

Josefsson will now be replaced by Fritz Blumer, a Swiss member of the Enlarged Board, who chaired the interlocutory session of 17 May.

Fritz Blumer
Fritz Blumer will now take over the position of Chairman

As far as can be determined, the other person removed from the case (“Z”) is Ingo Beckedorf. Beckedorf was reputed to have been involved in the drafting of the disputed regulation and he confirmed this in his own voluntary submissions to the Enlarged Board. Beckedorf will now be replaced by the Hungarian Tamás Bokor.

Information from sources close to the action suggests that many senior legally qualified members of the Enlarged Board were becoming increasingly critical of the manner in which Josefsson was conducting the procedure.

Josefsson gave the impression of being oblivious to the widely articulated – and entirely legitimate – public concern about his actions. His continued participation in the procedure risked bringing the Enlarged Board – and by extension the Boards as a whole – into public disrepute.

It seems that a majority of the Enlarged Board decided that it was time to stage a “palace revolt” to sideline Josefsson in the hope of preventing any further reputational damage.

Most observers agree that the interlocutory decision of 17 May is a hefty slap in the face for Josefsson who should have voluntarily requested the Enlarged Board to recuse him, rather than waiting for the appellant to raise an objection to his participation.

The other member who was replaced (Beckedorf) had the good grace to inform the Enlarged Board that there might be grounds for questioning his impartiality and he actively requested the Enlarged Board to consider his position.

Josefsson, on the other hand, stubbornly insisted upon remaining as Chairman until he was forcibly removed in response to the appellant’s objection.

This raises serious questions about Josefsson’s sense of judgement in politically sensitive cases like G 1/21. He really does seem to be suffering from a bad case of the EPOnian “tunnel vision” syndrome.

The IP blogosphere has been remarkably restrained in its reaction to the interlocutory decision of 17 May. The decision was posted on the Kluwer Patent Blog by Thorsten Bausch and it attracted a number of comments. IPKat also reported on the decision under the heading “EPO responds to accusations of perceived bias in G1/21 (ViCo oral proceedings)” but so far the posting has attracted few comments. Or maybe Rose from AstraZeneca has been busy with her red pencil, helping to keep the EPO safely immune from too much criticism. Otherwise, there has been very little public exposure given to the matter.

It now remains to be seen how the Enlarged Board in its new composition will deal with the case after Josefsson has been sidelined.

It’s still too early to say whether his removal was just a carefully choreographed move for the sake of “optics” or whether it will really turn out to be a genuine game-changer.

The interlocutory decision of 17 May gives some hope for a more balanced procedure free from Josefsson’s visible influence.

However, the visible influence which Josefsson could still exert over the proceedings from behind the scenes should not be underestimated.

Rule 12d(3) of the EPC (warning: epo.org link), introduced by Battistelli’s 2016 “reform”, makes all internal members of the Enlarged Board dependent upon Josefsson’s goodwill for the purpose of obtaining a positive “opinion” on their reappointment. In other words, no internal member of the Boards can afford to dirty their copybook with the Overlord of Haar, who evidently plans to remain on his throne until 2027 at least.

This effectively means that all internal members of the reconstituted panel are beholden to Josefsson despite the fact that he has been officially sidelined from case no. G 1/21.

Thus, although Josefsson can no longer influence the outcome of the procedure directly, he still has considerable means at his disposal to influence it indirectly.

We conclude this postscriptum by mentioning that the hearing in case no. G 1/21 is scheduled to take place by videoconference on 28 May 2021.

Members of the public wishing to attend as observers are required to register here. (warning: epo.org link and deadline imminent; it says “please register online below (registration form in English) by 27 May 2021.”)

Watch this space for further updates…

Latest News on G 1/21: Another Spanner in the Works

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 12:18 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Justice and scales
Latest news about G 1/21.

Summary: Breaking news from Europe’s biggest anarchy

As is generally known by now, on Monday, 17 May 2021, an interlocutory decision of the EPO‘s Enlarged Board of Appeal was taken in case G 1/21.

“This latest submission from Isarpatent raises new partiality objections and requests a postponement of the oral hearing scheduled for 28 May 2021.”This decision focused on partiality objections raised by the appellant, Rohde & Schwarz GmbH, and it resulted in two members of the original panel being sidelined, namely the Chairman Carl Josefsson and a legal member, Ingo Beckedorf.

The interlocutory decision was communicated to the parties on Friday, 21 May, together with an order dated 20 May setting out the new composition of the panel. [PDF]

As previously reported, the new composition of the panel is as follows:

Chairman: Fritz Blumer (CH)

Legally qualified member: Wim van der Eijk (NL) – designated as Rapporteur

Legally qualified member: Tamás Bokor (HU)

Legally qualified member: Richard Arnold (GB)

Legally qualified member: Evangelos Chatzikos (GR)

Technically qualified member: Gunnar Eliasson (SE)

Technically qualified member: Andrea Ritzka (DE)

The following Monday, 24 May, the appellant Rohde & Schwarz GmbH – represented by Isarpatent Patent- und Rechtsanwälte – threw another spanner in the works with a detailed 23-page submission. [PDF]

This latest submission from Isarpatent raises new partiality objections and requests a postponement of the oral hearing scheduled for 28 May 2021.

According to Isarpatent, the change of the composition of the Enlarged Board, and the interlocutory decision of 17 May give rise to new objections concerning the composition of the panel.

EPO objection
New objections raised by Isarpatent in case no. G 1/21.

The submission notes that the present referral relates to “an important legal question, relevant for the future form of oral proceedings, with an exceptionally broad user interest” and that it demands to be “handled with the utmost care and diligence”.

However, the EBA opened the proceedings with several orders dated March 17, 2021 and – on the same day – issued summons to oral proceedings scheduled on May 28, 2021. This was just in time to fulfil the minimum two months’ notice of the summons stipulated in Rule 115(1) EPC.

The Enlarged Board’s manner of proceeding in this case is in stark contrast to the practice in examination and opposition proceedings, where the summons is issued at least four (examination) to six (opposition) months ahead of the day appointed for the oral proceedings.

According to Isarpatent:

The precipitate way in which the Enlarged Board of Appeal handles this important case, which concerns fundamental rights according to Art. 116 EPC, puts the parties of the proceedings, third parties according to Article 10 of the Rules of Procedure of the Enlarged Board of Appeal (RPEBA), and finally the members of the EBoA under unnecessary pressure in view of the complex legal issues to be discussed.

Isarpatent further notes that the interlocutory decision of 17 May has resulted in a substantial reshuffle of the panel a mere five working days before the scheduled oral proceedings and that this has “put the new members under exceptional pressure as they now need to familiarize themselves with the case and discuss the matter with the further Board members within an extremely short period of time.”

Accordingly, Isarpatent has requested a postponement of the oral hearing scheduled for 28 May 2021.

In addition to this, Isarpatent has made a whole host of further procedural requests, including a request for interlocutory oral proceedings to deal with its new partiality objections.

In this regard, Isarpatent has requested that Beckedorf be heard as a witness to clarify the roles of Eliasson and Ritzka in the procedure which led to the adoption of the disputed video-conferencing regulation.

They also request the Enlarged Board to provide the parties with copies of the submissions of Beckedorf, Eliasson and Ritzka which are mentioned in the interlocutory decision and to provide information about the members of the “Working group on VICO provision in RPBA”, an advisory body which was set up by Josefsson and in which Eliasson and Ritzka are suspected of having participated.

Isarpatent also claims that the selection of Blumer and Bokor as the replacements for Josefsson and Beckedorf was not in conformity with the applicable Rules of Procedure and has requested their replacement “pursuant to Art. 2(1)(b) of the Business Distribution scheme of the Enlarged Board of Appeal”.

What is particularly interesting is that on page 21 and 22 of the submission, Isarpatent draws attention to the invisible influence which Josefsson can still exert over the proceedings from behind the scenes.

As already pointed our in the postscriptum to the recent series, Rule 12d(3) of the EPC, introduced by Benoît Battistelli‘s 2016 “reform”, makes all internal members of the Enlarged Board dependent upon Josefsson’s goodwill for the purpose of obtaining a positive “opinion” on their reappointment.

This effectively means that all internal members of the reconstituted panel are still beholden to Josefsson despite the fact that he has been officially sidelined from case no. G 1/21.

Isarpatent has now had the temerity to point an incriminating finger at this “elephant in the room”, and it remains to be seen how the Enlarged Board will react.

All things considered, Isarpatent’s submission puts the Enlarged Board in a very difficult situation.

If they choose to take the submission seriously, it’s difficult to see how the proceedings scheduled for 28 May 2021 can go ahead as planned.

If they don’t, then it’s likely to enhance the perception of a “kangaroo court” and confirm suspicions that Josefsson’s sidelining on 17 May might just have been a tactical manoeuvre for the sake of “optics”.

Watch this space for further updates…

Managing Perceptions for the EPO’s Regime

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:17 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Managing IP lyingSummary: EPO propaganda outlets, patently connected to the EPO’s messaging campaigns (based on their past actions), continue to spread propaganda about outsourced courts (sent to American technology companies that spy, in clear violation of the EPC); the timing is beyond conspicuous and there are further stories that demonstrate the erosion of patent justice in Europe (it’s good for those who engage in blackmail and also fund the publishers, lobby for the UPC, promote software patents, and remain suspiciously quiet about the EPO’s abuses)

THE EPO‘s Haarian propaganda is likely to have already started, albeit it seems to be covert [4]. A short while ago we saw more of the same tang (loaded headlines such as “remote litigation is here to stay) from the very same site [3] which we suspect to have started this propaganda. Those are the people who write puff pieces for António Campinos, promote patent trolls, and helped spread many lies about the UPC for Benoît Battistelli and Team UPC. They also promote European software patents, as might be expected from a site that’s funded by patent litigation companies. The above video starts by discussing [1]. A firm that lobbies for software patents (and profits from patent trolls litigating in Europe) is mentioned in connection to [2]. Another example of European Patents causing harm and costing a fortune to smaller European firms, even firms that turn out to be innocent. This one is about TomTom, which was blackmailed for using Linux… by Microsoft with its notorious software patents. A patent troll that is armed by Microsoft is now having a go at TomTom as well. It never ends, does it? If patents are supposed to help, who is being helped? Lawyers and trolls? To quote JUVE: “The German Federal Patent Court has overturned Conversant patent, EP 17 97 659, which protects mobile communication technology for autonomous transmission in high-speed uplink packet access, and transmission time control.”

References from the video (in order of appearance):

  1. TomTom overturns Conversant patent with Bardehle’s help
  2. MOSAID (now known as “Conversant”)
  3. Remote litigation is here to stay – here’s how to adapt
  4. EPO Propaganda, Looking to Legitimise a Rigged Panel of Judges, Starts With Author Who Did Puff Pieces With António Campinos

When the Lips of António Campinos Move…

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Born in France; Speaks Portuguese; Lies in both languages
Bonus: he can also lie in English

Summary: António Campinos is so full of himself that he’s attacking staff and destroying the Office while claiming the very opposite (with a straight face)

How to Sign the Letter in Support of Richard Stallman Without Microsoft’s GitHub

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 8:19 am by Guest Editorial Team

Published yesterday, reproduced with permission

Letters of support or signatures are more about the message than the person; beware personification tactics (e.g. Assange instead of Wikileaks or defamed SUEPO representatives/BoA judges instead of EPO staff)

Summary: New instructions for those who want to combat a censorious trend that seeks to annul, based on lies, voices of software freedom advocacy

First of all, thanks to our friends who have set up the letter in support of RMS. Thanks to all the people who invest their time in adding the signatures that arrive everyday.

We have received requests mainly from non technical people to clarify the process of signing without using GitHub[1]. In response, we have set up this page to try to explain it as clearly as possible. Feel free to contact us if you still have doubts.

  1. Add your signature at https://codeberg.org/rms-support-letter/rms-support-letter/issues/1.
    To do this, the first step is to register.

    • Scroll to the very bottom of the page, and you will see Sign in to join this conversation. Click on Sign in. On that page, choose REGISTER.

    • Enter a username, email address, password, and the Captcha code. This will send a message to your email to activate your account.

    • Go to your email, open the message, which will have a link to a page that will ask you to confirm your password. Enter your password. You will then be told that your account has been activated.

    • Now that you are registered, go back to https://codeberg.org/rms-support-letter/rms-support-letter/issues/1. When you scroll to the bottom of that page, after the last comment, the comment field will be open.

    • You may now write your “comment,” which should consist of ONLY two lines.

      name: Your real name
      link: mailto:my-email-address@example.com

      Note that there should be no space between the colon in “mailto:” and the email address.

      Instead of your email address, you can add your website, like this:

      name: Your real name
      link: https://mywebsite-example.com

    • Now click on the green button that says COMMENT and you are done.

  2. Send and email to either ~tyil/rms-support@lists.sr.ht or signrms@prog.cf.
    Important: The email should be in plain text not HTML. How to compose an email in plain text.

    In the subject of the email, write something like “Signing RMS Support Letter” or similar.

    In the body of the email, follow the guidelines as above. ONLY two lines, and the “link” line can be either your email address or your website:

    name: Your real name
    link: mailto:my-email-address@example.com

    Note: The procedure we have described here for sending these emails implies more work for the volunteers in charge of adding the signatures. Therefore, it is intended to be used by non technical people only, in which cases exceptions are likely to be made. The preferred method is the one described in the letter at https://codeberg.org/rms-support-letter/rms-support-letter/issues/1; that is, to send an email attaching a “patch.” The patch makes it easier and faster to add the signature.

How to write emails in plain text(#plain-text)

Each email client or email web platform has its own method for setting the composition format. Here we are describing only two. It shouldn’t be difficult to find the one that applies to what you are using.


    If you are using the Gmail web interface (at your own risk!):

    1. Click Compose (upper left angle).
    2. In the email composition window, go to the lower right angle and click on the three vertical dots (more options). Select Plain text mode.
  • Thunderbird

    1. Go to Edit -> Account Settings -> Composition & Addressing
    2. Uncheck “Compose messages in HTML format.”

References and Notes

  1. GitHub is a site that a number of people refuse to use for several reasons, among which: it requires nonfree JavaScript, it discourages copyleft licenses, it’s owned by Microsoft.

Links 27/5/2021: WordPress at 18 and GNU/Linux in Schools

Posted in News Roundup at 7:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Entroware Poseidon is a Linux PC Powered by an 11th-Gen Intel CPU

        Launched today, the Poseidon is Entroware’s most powerful Intel-based Linux PC to date. You can spec it out with an eight-core Intel Core i9-11900 processor, up-to 128GB RAM, and even a terrifically epic 16 TB of combined HDD and SSD storage.

        The base config is priced from £760 and is rather modest than that, offering a six-core Intel Core i5-11400, 8GB DDR4 3200 Mhz RAM, and a single 250 GB PCIe NVMe SSD. You can switch out to an Intel Core i7-11700 if you want a little more oomph, and doubling the RAM to 16 GB (either when you buy or after, using RAM you buy yourself) seems like a bit of a no-brainer.

      • How Linux made a school pandemic-ready

        More than 20 years ago, when Robert Maynord started teaching at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Monona, Wisconsin, the school had only eight functioning computers, all running Windows 95. Through his expertise in and enthusiasm for Linux and open source software, Robert has transformed the school community, its faculty, and its students, who are in kindergarten to eighth grade.

        “In those early years, it quickly became apparent that paying license fees to Microsoft for each computer, in addition to purchasing all the software to install, was absurd when the computer itself was only worth $20,” says Robert. So he began installing Linux on the school’s computers.

      • UK-based Entroware launch the Poseidon desktop with 11th Generation Intel CPUs | GamingOnLinux

        After a new shiny pre-built desktop PC built for Linux support? UK-based Entroware are back again after the recent Proteus laptop reveal with their new Poseidon desktop. This is their new top-end model built for “Every Linux Professional”.

        “From the sound-dampened chassis to the high quality power supply and everything in between, Poseidon is built from top to bottom with every component being carefully selected for for reliability and performance.” – Entroware

        Not exactly built for gamers mind you, however, don’t let that stop you. The point here is it’s another Linux vendor putting out a new model that might work out a little easier for you than slotting it all together from parts, along with having someone to fallback on if it doesn’t work right. The Poseidon does not come with a dedicated GPU either, it’s a bring-you-own graphics card box although you do get Intel UHD Graphics as standard with the CPU options.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • The misc control group

        Control groups (cgroups) are meant to limit access to a shared resource among processes in the system. One such resource is the values used to specify an encrypted-memory region for a virtual machine, such as the address-space identifiers (ASIDs) used by the AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV) feature. Vipin Sharma set out to add a control group for these ASIDs back in September; based on the feedback, though, he expanded the idea into a controller to track and limit any countable resource. The patch set became the controller for the misc control group and has been merged for Linux 5.13.

        The underlying idea is to allow administrators (or cloud orchestration systems) to enforce limits on the number of these IDs that can be consumed by the processes in a control group. In a cloud setting, those processes could correspond to virtual machines being run under KVM. The initial posting for ASIDs was met with a suggestion from Sean Christopherson to expand the reach of the controller to govern more types of encryption IDs beyond just those used by AMD SEV. Intel has an analogous Trust Domain Extensions (TDX) feature that uses key IDs, which are also a resource that may need limiting. The s390 architecture has its secure execution IDs (SEIDs), as well; those are far less scarce than the others, but could still benefit from a controller to limit the consumption of them.

      • Exported-symbol changes in 5.13

        There have been many disagreements over the years in the kernel community concerning the exporting of internal kernel symbols to loadable modules. Exporting a symbol often exposes implementation decisions to outside code, makes it possible to use (or abuse) kernel functionality in unintended ways, and makes future changes harder. That said, there is no authority overseeing the exporting of symbols and no process for approving exports; discussions only tend to arise when somebody notices a change that they don’t like. But it is not particularly hard to detect changes in symbol exports from one kernel version to the next, and doing so can give some insights into the kinds of changes that are happening under the hood.

        The kernel has many thousands of functions and data structures; most of those are private to a given source file, while others are made available to the kernel as a whole. Loadable modules are special, though; they only have access to symbols that have been explicitly exported to them with EXPORT_SYMBOL() (or one of a few variants); many symbols that are available to code built into the kernel image are unavailable to loadable modules. The intent of this limitation is to keep the interface to modules relatively narrow and manageable.

        It is far from clear that this objective has been achieved, though. The 5.12 kernel exported 31,695 symbols to modules, which does not create an impression of a narrow interface. That number grew to 31,822 in 5.13-rc1. That is an increase of 127 symbols, but the actual story is a bit more complicated than that; 244 exported symbols were removed over this time, while 371 were added. The curious can see the full sets of added and removed symbols on this page.

      • Sticky groups in the shadows [LWN.net]

        Group membership is normally used to grant access to some resource; examples might include using groups to control access to a shared directory, a printer, or the ability to use tools like sudo. It is possible, though, to use group membership to deny access to a resource instead, and some administrators make use of that feature. But groups only work as a negative credential if the user cannot shed them at will. Occasionally, some way to escape a group has turned up, resulting in vulnerabilities on systems where they are used to block access; despite fixes in the past, it turns out that there is still a potential problem with groups and user namespaces; this patch set from Giuseppe Scrivano seeks to mitigate it through the creation of “shadow” groups.

        There are two ways to prevent access to a file based on group membership. One of those is to simply set the group owner of the file to the group that is to be denied, then set the permissions to disallow group access. Members of the chosen group will be denied access to the file, even if the world permissions would otherwise allow that access. The alternative is to use access control lists to explicitly deny access to the intended group or groups. Once again, any process in any of the designated groups will not be allowed access.

        By way of a refresher, it’s worth remembering that Linux has two separate concepts of group membership. The “primary group” or “effective group ID” is the group that will be attached to new files in the absence of other constraints. This was once the only group associated with a process in Unix systems, and is set with setgid(). The “supplementary” groups are a newer addition that allow a process to belong to multiple groups simultaneously; the list of supplementary groups can be changed with setgroups(). Negative access-control decisions are usually (but not necessarily) based on supplementary group membership.

      • Calling kernel functions from BPF

        The kernel’s BPF virtual machine allows programs loaded from user space to be safely run in the kernel’s context. That functionality would be of limited use, however, without the ability for those programs to interact with the rest of the kernel. The interface between BPF and the kernel has been kept narrow for a number of good reasons, including safety and keeping the kernel in control of the system. The 5.13 kernel, though, contains a feature that could, over time, widen that interface considerably: the ability to directly call kernel functions from BPF programs.

        The immediate driver for this functionality is the implementation of TCP congestion-control algorithms in BPF, a capability that was added to the 5.6 kernel release by Martin KaFai Lau. Actual congestion-control implementations in BPF turned out to reimplement a number of functions that already exist in the kernel, which seems less than fully optimal; it would be better to just use the existing functions in the kernel if possible. The new function-calling mechanism — also implemented by Lau — makes that possible.

    • Applications

      • 8 Best Free Linux e-book Tools – Updated 2021

        An electronic book (commonly abbreviated e-book) is a text and image-based publication which can be read on a computer or other digital devices such as an e-book reader.

        The rise of multimedia digital downloads in recent years has been truly extraordinary. The impact has been so great in respect of digital music downloads. Digital music accounted for half of the all the revenue generated by the music industry in 2016 and amounted to a total of 7.8 billion U.S. dollars that year. Over the years, many music labels stopped releasing singles on a physical format. We do not foresee that major book publishing companies will abandon paperbacks. However, the expansion of digital downloads equally applies to books. The biggest booksellers have reported that they sell more digital books than paperbacks.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Archival cascades: a practical way to not break URLs

        Well, there are two ways I could have done it. Since Site.js simply serves any content in the root of your site as static content, I could have just copied the content there. But Site.js also has a feature specifically for this use case called archival cascades.

      • Enable Fractional Scaling on Ubuntu – Linux Hint

        When it comes to using HiDPI devices such as monitors or high-resolution laptops, displaying programs that uses default screen resolutions can lead to undesirable results. To counter this problem, a lot of operating systems use a method known as scaling, which multiplies the number of pixels displayed by a discrete numerical value. For instance, scaling by 2 would double the pixels on the screen resulting in a clearer and sharper image.

        Fractional Scaling does the same thing. However, instead of using discrete numerical values, it uses fractional values to scale the program according to needs. This gives the user better control and more options to scale according to their requirements since they are not limited to integer values anymore.

        Like other operating systems, Ubuntu also offers its users the luxury of enabling fractional scaling. In this guide, we will cover how you can do the same on Ubuntu 20.04 and some previous versions as well.

      • Find All Files with Extension in Linux – Linux Hint

        Often, we find ourselves stuck when we have to find all files with the same or different extensions. This has most likely happened to various Linux users while using the terminal. It is one thing to search for a single file type or file, but what will you do when you want to find out all files simultaneously? This article comes to the rescue for our readers who have such a dilemma.

        We can use various Linux utilities for finding or locating files on a file system, but searching all files or filenames with the same or different extensions can be difficult and require specific patterns or expressions. In the upcoming section of the article, we will understand the working, syntax, and execution of these utilities.

      • How Do I Convert a .tex Latex File to PDF in Linux? – Linux Hint

        LaTex is one of the high-quality markup languages and a documentation preparation scheme. In several areas, including computer science, mathematics, physics, it is the “de facto” standard for the publication and communication of scientific research papers. All of us utilize it for making school projects, research assignments, and important articles. On the other side, as a researcher publishing your findings is also important for you. At this point, you should question yourself that is it possible to convert the .tex LaTex file to PDF format in a Linux terminal? YES! PdfLatex is a Latex-to-PDF converter tool. PdfLatex installation on Windows seems to be a time-consuming process; however, it can be easily installed on your Linux system with the help of a few commands.

        Now, Let’s check out the complete installation procedure of PdfLatex and using it for the required conversion.

      • How Do I Find CPU Frequency in Linux? – Linux Hint

        The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is considered an essential component in any system. It is also referred the “Computer’s Brain” because it handles all kinds of data processing operations. CPU is embedded in any system based on various specifications; frequency is one of them. The CPU frequency is also known as Clock speed or Clock rate. The clock speed of your CPU figures out how quickly it can process instructions per second. It is a unit of measurement for the number of your CPU execution, expressed in MHz or GHz.

        But have you ever thought of knowing what kind of CPU your computer has and how fast it runs? There exist many reasons why you would want to know what CPU you have in your system. Perhaps you are troubleshooting any hardware issue or loading a kernel module. Whatever the cause is, determining the CPU speed and type from the command line is quite easy in Linux. Several commands can be utilized for obtaining information about your processor, including CPU frequency. In this article, we have compiled some of those commands to get to know your CPU better.

      • How Do I Redirect Top Output to a File in Linux? – Linux Hint

        When a Linux user types any command into the bash prompt, the terminal usually prints the output of the invoked command so you can read it straight away. However, bash also permits you to “redirect” or save any command’s output in the system.

        This article will discuss three different procedures of redirecting the output of the top command to any file.

      • How To Install AaPanel On Ubuntu | CPanel Alternative | Itsubuntu.com

        In this tutorial post, we will show you the basic process of installing aaPanel on Ubuntu based operating system. If you don’t know about aaPanel then this is a popular web hosting management software similar to cPanel. aaPanel is a is free, easy to use and lightweight web hosting control panel software.

        If you are looking to the alternatives to the cPanel then aaPanel is the best and free alternatives to cPanel. aaPanel is the international version of the popular BAOTA panel which is quite famous in Chinese market. aaPanel provides the one-click function such as one-click install LNMP/LAMP, one-click deployment of SSL, remote backup and other web softwares.

        You can easily create and manage websites, FTP, and databases, with visual file manager, visual software manager, visual CPU, memory, flow monitoring chart, scheduled tasks and other various hosting related tasks.

      • How to Get Vim Show Hidden Invisible Characters – Linux Hint

        Vim stands for “Vi improved.” It is a commendable text editor for Unix-like operating systems. vim can be utilized for editing different types of text documents, but it is complemented for editing computer programs. Vim comprises two modes:

      • How to Install and Use Vivaldi Email Client on Ubuntu – Linux Hint

        Vivaldi is one of the most secure and efficient web browsers out there. It offers protection from malicious sites, keeps your identity private, and comes equipped with an excellent adblocker. Other than Linux systems, Vivaldi is also available for Windows & macOS.

      • How to Play Stadia Games on Ubuntu – Linux Hint

        Stadia is an online game streaming service developed by Google. Launched in November 2019, it is based on the concepts of cloud computing. Stadia allows users to play various console-based games remotely on Chromecast Ultra devices, the Chrome OS tablet, the Stadia app on compatible Android devices, and the Chrome Browser. This means that one can enjoy thrilling top-tier games such as FIFA, Assassin’s Creed, Hitman, Far Cry, and many more on our native Linux distro – Ubuntu.

      • Linux Find Out Video Card GPU Memory RAM Size Using Command Line

        have a quick question for you, Vivek: I’m trying to find out my NVDIA display card memory size on Fedora Linux. How do I find out my VIDEO Card (VGA) Memory size on Linux?

      • How to use a VirtualBox bridged adapter? – Linux Hint

        Shame on #cnxsoftware for getting back to #microsoft spam. “Sponsored Post” is NOT even a post, it’s just pure spam, promotion of #ProprietarySoftware and #malware … please don’t do things like these… they’ll doom the whole site.

      • Linux Less Command with Example – Linux Hint

        The Linux less command is a command-line tool that displays a file line by line or one page at a time. It is particularly helpful when viewing large files that would otherwise be cumbersome to view using a conventional text editor such as vim or nano. Less command is a bit like more command and allows you to carefully scroll through the file line by line or section by section.

        In this brief guide, we feature the Linux less command alongside some command examples.

      • Linux Locate Command – Linux Hint

        Linux provides several tools that help you find or locate files. One of them is the find command. While the find command does a commendable job in locating files, it’s quite sluggish and takes up a lot of your time. A better alternative to the find command is the locate command.

        Locate command is blazing fast and helps you find your files or search patterns without delays. It refers to a database called the updatedb database for searching the files instead of probing the entire filesystem, which is pretty much what the find command does and up a lot of time. This explains why the locate command is super-fast.

        Let’s dive in and explore the Linux locate command and check out its example usages.

      • Linux Stat Command Examples – Linux Hint

        The stat command displays the detailed summary of the given file or file system. We will show you in this article the basic use of the stat command with different examples.

      • Linux “df” Command Examples – Linux Hint

        The “df” command in Linux stands for “disk free.” It is used for checking the space available across the different file systems of your Linux system. We will learn the usage of this command in Linux in today’s article.

      • Nmap to scan all ports – Linux Hint

        Nmap (Network Mapper) is one of the best tools to deal with networking. Initially, it was just a ports scanner, and today it is considered one of the main sysadmin Swiss knives.
        Useful to scan ports, audit the network security and stability, find vulnerabilities, and even exploit them, Nmap is a tool no sysadmin can ignore.

        Nmap was already deeply explained at LinuxHint with practical examples in tutorials quoted in this article. This article describes several Nmap techniques to scan all ports on a single or multiple targets, including vulnerability and UDP scans.

        This first example shows how to scan all ports with Nmap, defining ports between 0 and 65535.

      • Setuid, setgid, and sticky bit explained – Linux Hint

        Linux has 3 types of access to files and directories: reading, writing, and execution permissions.
        Reading permission grants users access to read files while writing permissions allow users to edit or remove files, execution permissions allow them to run files.

        These permissions can be applied with differences for the file owner, users belonging to the file’s group, and all users (not the owner nor group users).

        The bit setuid, setgid and sticky allow you to implement additional restrictions or privileges without changing the permissions table.

        Regular Linux permissions were deeply explained at Linux Permissions Explained, a recommended reading before continuing with this tutorial. The current tutorial focuses on flags setuid, setgid, and sticky to “inherit” the file owner or group permissions to users with restricted access and prevent non-privileged users from removing files they don’t own.

      • The Linux “ps” Command Examples – Linux Hint

        The “ps” command in Linux is an abbreviation of “process status”. It is used to get information about the processes running within your system. The output of this command can vary depending upon the parameters used with it. However, in this article, we intend to teach you the basics of using the “ps” command in Linux with the help of a few examples.

      • Updating to newer Red Hat OpenShift 4 releases | Red Hat Developer

        This article demonstrates two common scenarios for updating Red Hat OpenShift 4: to a newer z-stream release and to a newer minor release. I include plenty of screenshots of actual updates from 4.5.4 to 4.5.17 and then to 4.6.4, so you know what to expect when you make these updates yourself.

      • NSE (Nmap Scripting Engine) Tutorial – Linux Hint

        NSE (Nmap Scripting Engine) enables additional functions in the Nmap scan process by allowing scripts for additional tasks such as brute force, vulnerability detection, or exploitation.
        The Nmap Scripting Engine (NSE) contains a set of scripts classified by category, and users can write their own scripts with custom features.

        This tutorial explains NSE basics, including practical examples showing how to use Nmap Scripting Engine to hack WordPress sites and SSH credentials or execute multiple additional security checks.

    • Games

      • Co-op News Punch Podcast – Episode 30

        Guess what? We’re back again! The dynamic duo returns for another casual and frank chat about Linux and Linux Gaming topics across many different areas in the industry. Myself and contributor Samsai had some good stuff to talk about this week!

      • Detective adventure Backbone looks incredible and launches on June 8 | GamingOnLinux

        After a successful Kickstarter campaign back in 2018, the Backbone: Prologue release in 2019, we’re about to see Backbone officially launch on June 8.

        Backbone is a post-noir roleplaying detective adventure, in which you step into the shoes of raccoon private investigator, Howard Lotor, and explore dystopian Vancouver, BC, beautifully rendered in high resolution pixel art.

      • Space Betrayers mixes together a card game, crisis management and social deduction

        Promising a social deduction game like nothing you’ve ever played before, Space Betrayers has managed to grab my attention because it genuinely sounds quite good.

        The setup sounds familiar in a way to other such deduction games, with plenty of betraying and backstabbing. Here you have just retrieved an ancient “Star Relic” from the hands of “the Swarm” and now you have to survive until you escape them all. Sounds like it could be fun.


        Unlike certain other games of the genre (hi Among Us), you will see full Linux support for Space Betrayers which they proudly state very clearly on their Patreon page and it’s listed in the Steam system requirements too.

      • Super chilled-out life sim The Garden Path looks absolutely gorgeous | GamingOnLinux

        After a long time waiting after being hyped when covering it here back in 2019 after chatting to the developer, The Garden Path from developer carrotcake gets a proper announcement and trailer.

        The Garden Path is a “slice-of-life sim” about gardening and the “small pleasures that follow”, so it follows along other similar casual experiences like Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing and so on. You get to go fishing, grow some plants, trade, hang out with NPCs and go on little exploration adventures.

        Looking as gorgeous as ever, developer Louis Durrant has done a fantastic job at bringing the world to life in what looks almost like an animated painting.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • Kali Linux team releases Kaboxer, a tool for managing applications in containers
      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Port operating systems to new chip architectures | Opensource.com

          I was once asked why computers are called “computers” when they do so much more than compute numbers. A modern PC browses the internet, plays audio and video, generates beautiful graphics for video games and movies, simulates and predicts complex weather patterns and epidemiological risks, brings architectural and engineering blueprints to life, and much more.

          The reason computers can do all of this because all these problems can be expressed as numerical equations, and the computer’s CPU—its central processing unit—is actually little more than a simple calculator.

        • How remote work helped us improve collaboration: 4 lessons

          For many organizations, COVID-19 has made efficient virtual collaboration paramount to growth, success, or simple survival. Over the last year, we have seen companies including Facebook, Okta, Slack, Square, and Twitter commit to remote work for the foreseeable future – and more will follow as the benefits become more apparent.

          Remote work can increase overall job satisfaction and productivity, help attract and retain talent, and even lead to improved mental health. With more workers and employers realizing their work can be done from anywhere – sometimes even more efficiently – remote work looks poised to stay beyond the end of the pandemic.

          At Automox, a cybersecurity company, we have always had a remote strategy and mindset – even before the pandemic – and many employees were accustomed to occasional work-from-home days. Like many companies, however, we also missed things that were taken for granted when we were in the office three to four days a week.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Punished for downloading Ubuntu via torrent

          Recently a United States man who uses the services of popular internet service provider Comcast got the shock of his life. He received an email from Comcast telling him they knew the man had been using his internet connection to illegally download copyrighted content. Specifically, the man was accused of illegally downloading a copy of the Ubuntu Operating system in ISO format.


          This is a cheap and easy way to protect your copyrighted work. It will not be able to stop all cases of infringement but it should be enough to make it difficult for those who are profiting from your work to do so openly and with such ease. Often though, the artists and creators usually lack the skills and knowledge to use such tools and so it is common practice on the internet to pawn off this task to third party specialists.

          This is where problems crop up because often these third parties struggle to differentiate between legitimate and illegal use of copyrighted works. Not so long ago Techzim itself discovered that it had been accused by Udemy of pirating its works. The bots employed by representatives of Udemy happened upon our articles on Udemy and instantly flagged the content as infringement. Never mind the fact that this was actually material promoting the official Udemy site itself.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Big changes for devs: Chrome 91 lands with WebAssembly SIMD, JSON modules, clipboard file support

            Google has released Chrome 91, and although there’s little new on the surface, there are key changes for developers including WebAssembly SIMD, JSON modules, a Gravity Sensor API, and read-only access to files on the clipboard.

            SIMD (Single instruction, multiple data) is hardware acceleration which enables a single instruction to operate on multiple pieces of data, for faster computation of vector operations. WebAssembly SIMD, based on a new 128-bit value type for packed data, is now enabled by default in both Chrome desktop and Android.

        • Mozilla

          • Tor Announcing new Board members

            We are excited to announce that three new members are joining the Tor Project’s Board of Directors: Alissa Cooper, Desigan (Dees) Chinniah, and Kendra Albert! Each new member comes to Tor with a different set of expertise that will help the organization and our community. At the end of this post, you can read each of their bios.

            Please join us in welcoming Alissa, Dees, and Kendra to the Board!

      • CMS

        • WordPress at 18

          Today marks the 18th anniversary of WordPress’ launch, a day that I fondly refer to as WordPress’ birthday, which means WordPress is 6,575 days old. To celebrate another turn around the sun, the community has had parties, we have shared data, and we have told our story.

          Since our last birthday we developed our 40th release and now also support over 40% of the web. So it seems fitting that this year’s celebration should be a list of 40 milestones that have helped us get there.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GIMP’s ‘Woke’ Fork Glimpse is Getting Discontinued

            Glimpse Image Editor can no longer be maintained and has been archived due to lack of contributors. The funding channels have been closed as well.


            In case you did not know, the creator of the project (Bobby Moss) already left it a while back because of a conflict with his day job. He did have plans to come back but he cannot revive the project alone.


            It could make a comeback, but for the time being, the Glimpse team encourages the existing users to continue supporting GIMP which can indirectly help if Glimpse Image Editor gets resurrected.

            If you are an existing Glimpse user, you should consider using GIMP and direct all your financial contributions to them until Glimpse returns.

            I should also keep an eye on another potential fork, if someone else decides to pick up where Glimpse left. Who knows?

      • Programming/Development

        • Processing modular and dynamic configuration files in shell

          While working on a continuous integration/continuous development (CI/CD) solution for a customer, one of my first tasks was to automate the bootstrapping of a CI/CD Jenkins server in OpenShift. Following DevOps best practices, I quickly created a configuration file that drove a script to complete the job. That quickly became two configuration files when I realized I needed a separate Jenkins server for production. After that came the request that the customer needed more than one pair of engineering and production CI/CD servers for different groups, and each server had similar but slightly different configurations.

          When the inevitable changes had to be made to the values common to two or more of the servers, it was very difficult and error-prone to propagate the changes across two or four files. As CI/CD environments were added for more complex testing and deployments, the number of shared and specific values for each group and environment grew.

          As the changes became more frequent and the data more complex, making changes within the configuration files became more and more unmanageable. I needed a better solution to solve this age-old problem and manage changes faster and more reliably. More importantly, I needed a solution that would allow my clients to do the same after turning my completed work over to them.

        • Literals in C – Linux Hint

          You must have heard about the constant variables, whose value cannot be changed. The constant values allocated towards the relentless variables are known as Literals. The literals could be a set of values that could not be changed. It still has memories. However, it has no links in the form of variables. As an illustration, Const int =10; of a constant variable statement where 10 is an int literal. C literals are mostly cast-off to simplify code to get around situations by declaring a variable is not a preference. There are different kinds of literals used in the C programming language. We will discuss each one of them separately.

        • Static Variables in C – Linux Hint

          Static variables do have the ability to maintain their meaning even though they’ve been removed from their scope! As a result, static variables keep their former value in the setting mentioned above and do not need to be initialized once in the new environment. Static variables are always set up once. The compiler holds the variable until the completion of the code. Within and outside of the method, static variables may be specified. Static variables have a standard fixed value of 0. The static variables remain active until the code is over. Ordinary variables are restricted to the range in which they are specified, whereas static variables have a scope that extends within the code.

        • Unions in C – Linux Hint

          A union is a very interesting user-defined data type in the C programming language. It is very much similar to structures in the C programming language. However, there are some differences due to which structures and unions are considered as the independent data types in the C programming language. In a straightforward way, you can consider a union as a conjunction or union of the different data types within one container. It means that a union can hold variables belonging to different data types within the very same container.

          All this discussion will start to make more sense once we go through some relevant examples based on the usage of unions in the C programming language in Linux. However, before sharing those examples with you, we would like to discuss the working of unions and structures so that you can differentiate between these two data types before taking a look at the associated examples. So, let’s take a look at the affixed portion of our article.

        • “malloc” in C – Linux Hint

          Whenever we declare a variable in the C programming language, a chunk in the memory is reserved for holding that variable whose size depends on that variable’s data type. This is referred to as automatic memory management, and it happens at the compilation time. However, at times, you do not want to allocate memory automatically because, in some situations, the exact memory size is subject to change. In such situations, you need a mechanism for allocating memory dynamically.

          In the C programming language, the following four functions are used whenever we talk about dynamic memory management: malloc(), calloc(), realloc(), and free(). However, the scope of today’s article is limited to the malloc() function in C, which stands for “memory allocation.” We will take a look at its usage and try to justify why we need this function in the first place. Finally, we will conclude our article after walking you through an example of using the malloc() function in the C programming language.

        • Python

          • A bunch of releases from the Pallets projects

            May 11 marked a new major release for the Python-based Flask web microframework project, but Flask 2.0 was only part of the story. While the framework may be the most visible piece, it is one of a small handful of cooperating libraries that provide solutions for various web-development tasks; all are incorporated into the Pallets projects organization. For the first time, all six libraries that make up Pallets were released at the same time and each had a new major version number. In part, that new major version indicated that Python 2 support was being left behind, but there is plenty more that went into the coordinated release.


            While Flask is pretty well-known and has even been written about here before, the Pallets umbrella organization has flown a bit under the radar, at least for me. The Jinja2 template engine, a Pallets component that is used by Flask, is also fairly high-profile, but the other pieces of the puzzle are less so. The only other Pallets library I had heard of was the Werkzeug library for supporting Web Server Gateway Interface (WSGI) applications. It is used to connect Flask applications to web servers.

            There are three more libraries on the pallet, but those are smaller and more specialized: MarkupSafe, which provides a text object that escapes characters interpreted by HTML, ItsDangerous, which provides helpers to cryptographically sign data that will be moved between trusted and untrusted environments, and the Command Line Interface Creation Kit, or Click, which is used for “creating beautiful command line interfaces in a composable way with as little code as necessary”. The coordinated release was announced on the Pallets blog; it is based on two years of work, though there have been other fairly substantial releases in that time span (e.g. Flask 1.1 in July 2019, Jinja 2.11 in January 2020, Werkzeug 1.0 in February 2020).

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Bash Arrays In-Depth – Linux Hint

            In Bash, an array can be an indexed array or an associative array. An indexed array is a list whose items are numbered beginning from zero. An associative array is a list where strings have replaced the numbers. Assume a pen, an exercise book, a textbook, a ruler, $42, and a pencil on a study table.

        • Rust

    • Standards/Consortia

      • US Patent Office to take only DOCX in future – or PDFs if you pay extra [Ed: This article perpetuates some Microsoft falsehoods]

        Documents submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office should be in .DOCX format starting from next year – and if you want to stick to PDFs, that will cost extra.

        “At the USPTO, we are continuously working to modernize and streamline our patent application systems,” the agency announced this week. “To improve application quality and efficiency, the USPTO will be transitioning to DOCX for all filers on January 1, 2022.”

        The office said it decided to make the change years ago in an attempt to streamline the patent examining process. DOCX, otherwise known as Office Open XML, is standardized as ECMA-376 and ISO/IEC 29500. Though it was created by Microsoft for its own products, such as Word, the file format is supported by LibreOffice, OpenOffice, Google Docs, and others. And though the Windows giant has sworn it won’t sue over licensing and patents regarding DOCX, there are some caveats.

      • [Old] The problem with USPTO’s proposed non-DOCX penalty

        Until now, it has been optional for a practitioner to file a US patent application in DOCX format rather than in PDF format. But USPTO now proposes to charge a $400 penalty for filing a patent application in non-DOCX format. This is a very bad idea, for reasons that I will discuss in detail. Only if USPTO were to make fundamental changes in its way of receiving DOCX files would it be acceptable for USPTO to impose a penalty for filing in a non-DOCX format.

        USPTO needs to follow WIPO’s example, permitting the practitioner to file a “pre-conversion format” version of a patent application along with the DOCX file. In the event of some later problem with USPTO’s rendering of the DOCX file, the practitioner would be permitted to point to the pre-conversion format, which would control in the event of any discrepancy.

        The normal way to file US patent applications is in PDF format. With PDF format, the applicant has complete control over the appearance of characters and symbols.

        Some years ago, the USPTO began beta-testing a system that would permit a practitioner to file a patent application in DOCX format instead of in PDF format. Yours truly was among the very first of the beta-testers of USPTO’s system for DOCX filings. As implemented by the USPTO, the practitioner would upload a DOCX file, and USPTO would render the DOCX file in a human-readable PDF image format. As part of the e-filing process, the practitioner was expected to proofread the rendered image as provided by the USPTO’s e-filing system. The notion was that the practitioner would be obliged to catch any instances of USPTO’s system rendering the DOCX file differently from the way the practitioner’s word processor had rendered that same DOCX file. If, for example, some math equation or chemical formula had gotten corrupted in USPTO’s system, the practitioner would expected to catch this prior to clicking “submit”.

  • Leftovers

    • Getting Absurd: Twitch Creates A ‘Hot Tub’ Channel, Says It Should Have Communicated With Streamers About Demonitization

      Twitch seems to be putting on some sort of master class in how to respond to a crisis on its platform in as confusing a manner as possible. Without writing a thousand word summary, this whole thing started when Twitch nuked a bunch of streamer content in response to a backlog of DMCA notices, changed its affiliate program without notice, hung its streamers out to dry over the DMCAs when the backlash occurred, and basically angered the hell out of its most important asset, it’s creative community. This basically set the theme for the public that Twitch wasn’t treating its community very well.

    • New York Needs Trae Young

      For 15 months, New York City has yearned for normalcy. For years, the New York Knicks fans have been yearning to matter. On Sunday, these worlds collided.

    • Rough Trade, Big City: The Legacy of Midnight Cowboy

      With Shooting “Midnight Cowboy”, the Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist and film historian Glenn Frankel completes a trilogy of behind-the-scenes accounts of cinematic cowboy ballads. Of course, technically speaking, John Schlesinger’s 1969 Best Picture winner isn’t a western like High Noon or The Searchers; its 10-gallon-hat hero Joe Buck styles himself after Gary Cooper and John Wayne, but he’s shooting blanks. Played behind blue eyes by a 29-year-old Jon Voight, Joe is a rootless dreamer, decamping from Texas to the East Coast via Greyhound. Arriving in New York to try his luck as a hustler, he’s quickly reduced to a face in the crowd. From there, Midnight Cowboy unfolds as the tender chronicle of a country mouse lost in a metropolitan maze and of his friendship with a resourceful big-city rodent, Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman), who becomes Joe’s pimp and pedagogue, imparting a few hard lessons about survival before succumbing to his own inherent vice.

    • Science

      • Algae proteins partially restore man’s sight

        He was treated with optogenetics – a field new to medicine, but one that has long been a staple of fundamental neuroscience.

        It uses light to control precisely the activity of brain cells and was used by the scientists to restore the ability of one of his eyes to detect light.

        The technique is based on proteins, produced in algae, called channelrhodopsins, which change their behaviour in response to light. The microbes use them to move towards the light.

        The first step in the treatment was gene therapy. The genetic instructions for making the rhodopsins were taken from algae and given to cells in the deep surviving layers of the retina at the back of his eye.

        Now when they were hit with light they would send an electrical signal to the brain.

      • Partial recovery of visual function in a blind patient after optogenetic therapy

        Optogenetics may enable mutation-independent, circuit-specific restoration of neuronal function in neurological diseases. Retinitis pigmentosa is a neurodegenerative eye disease where loss of photoreceptors can lead to complete blindness. In a blind patient, we combined intraocular injection of an adeno-associated viral vector encoding ChrimsonR with light stimulation via engineered goggles. The goggles detect local changes in light intensity and project corresponding light pulses onto the retina in real time to activate optogenetically transduced retinal ganglion cells. The patient perceived, located, counted and touched different objects using the vector-treated eye alone while wearing the goggles. During visual perception, multichannel electroencephalographic recordings revealed object-related activity above the visual cortex. The patient could not visually detect any objects before injection with or without the goggles or after injection without the goggles. This is the first reported case of partial functional recovery in a neurodegenerative disease after optogenetic therapy.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Opinion | Making Vaccines More Accessible in an Unequal Society

        Many essential workers still aren’t vaccinated. It’s not because they don’t want to be—it’s because they can’t get time off work.

      • What The New Acceptability of the Lab Leak Origin Tells Us About Media Outlets

        In March 2020, I blogged about how articles denouncing the possibility that the Coronavirus pandemic originated with a leak from a bioweapons lab sometimes actually admitted to basic facts that made such an origin seem likely. The first reported outbreak was extremely close to one of the few places on earth actively experimenting with weaponizing Coronavirus, but a huge distance from the supposed source in bats. Not only had various labs had leaks before, but scientists had recently warned of the danger of leaks from the lab in Wuhan.

        There was a theory about a seafood market, and the fact that this theory fell apart seems not to have entered the public consciousness to the same extent as the false fact that it supposedly disproved the lab leak theory.

      • Pharma Giant Funds Ads Attacking Drug Bill After Hiking Prices Up to 470 Percent
      • Covid in India and the Indian Variant in the UK

        It has also been linked to recent increases in cases among unvaccinated people in the UK, which now has the highest number of cases of the Indian variant outside India itself. According to The British Medical Journal, cases of the Indian variant in the UK have risen by more than 160% in the week to 20 May. The variant is still predominantly affecting the north west of England and London, but there are clusters across the country.

        India’s official death toll from the Covid pandemic is reported to be 295,525, with total infections standing at 26.3 million ((as of last Saturday). However, experts believe the real figure to be up to five times higher. Mortality and morbidity are 75% of those aged 45 or more, and this age-group has been given priority in the face of India’s vaccine shortages.

      • ‘Let Us Globalize Compassion’: Nobel Laureate Urges World Leaders to Waive Vaccine Patents

        “While the world has suffered as one, we have not suffered equally.”

      • In Victory for Public Health, Biden’s EPA Reverses Trump-Era ‘Secret Science’ Rule

        “The Biden administration is making clear that the best available science, and not political interference from industry, will guide the EPA’s decisions on protecting the public from pollution.”

      • President Biden Wants To Replace All Lead Pipes. Flint Has Lessons To Share

        Some question whether lead service lines should be such a high priority. Lead pipe replacement makes up nearly half of the Biden administration’s proposed $110 billion to upgrade the nation’s water infrastructure. But by some estimates, the U.S. needs to spend close to $1 trillion to upgrade the entire drinking and waste water system, from water treatment plants to distribution lines.

      • Soldier who called on troops to refuse vaccine distribution faces mutiny related charge

        A soldier who called on his fellow military personnel to refuse helping with the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines has been charged with an offence related to mutiny.

        It’s believed to be the first time in decades that the Canadian military has laid such a charge.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Emails landing in junk due to Microsoft Office 365 ‘change’

          Microsoft says it has rectified an issue that saw emails being routed to the user’s junk folder incorrectly.

        • EFF Tells Court Defendants Must Be Allowed To Examine The DNA Software Used To Convict Them

          A proper adversarial system means the accused can confront the accuser. But that’s rarely the case when crime solving software is involved. The FBI doesn’t allow accused child porn downloaders to examine the malicious software it used to identify their computers. Multiple law enforcement agencies have dropped cases rather than discuss Stingray devices in open court.

        • [Attackers] release patient data stolen from New Zealand health systems

          [Crackers] sent patient data stolen during an attack on New Zealand’s Waikato District health system to local media outlets on Wednesday, with the outlets declining to publish the sensitive information.

          The Waikato District Health Board (DHB) confirmed the attack in a statement Wednesday, saying that it is “aware that the media have received what appears to be personal and patient information from Waikato DHB information systems.”

        • Cyber insurance rates to increase 20-50% this year: Aon

          Policyholders can expect 20% to 50% rate increases for cyber coverage throughout 2021 as trends that began last year continue at an accelerated pace, Aon PLC said in a report issued Wednesday.

          These trends include increased claim frequency and severity, much of it driven by ransomware events, according to the report.

        • [Old] Cybersecurity Insurance Has a Big Problem [iophk: Windows TCO]

          In 2020, the world seemingly entered a new era of cyberattacks. Although there have been decades of viruses, breaches, and other forms of attack, last year saw increased bad actor sophistication, a propensity to pay in ransomware cases, and a broad swath of geopolitical uncertainty — conditions that hackers have found favorable.

          The severity of financial consequences has been profound. Ransoms have rocketed from five-figure price tags into the millions, including $10 million reportedly paid by Garmin. Several ransom demands were far higher before being negotiated downward, according to clients of mine worldwide. All of which is further escalation of a worrisome trend: A recent report by Hiscox shows insured cyber losses of $1.8 billion in 2019, up an eye-popping 50% year over year.

        • [Old] Increasing Cyberattacks Causing Cyber Insurance Rates to Rise

          Since early 2018, ransomware attacks have increased 486%, leading to more aggressive underwriting and as much as a 20%-50% increase in some cyber policy premiums (Greenwald, J, 2021). The increase in cyberattacks and its subsequent effect on the insurance market is particularly dangerous to the healthcare industry. In 2020, healthcare rose from tenth place to the seventh most targeted sector for cyberattacks and its data breaches continue to have the highest associated cost of any leading industry (Davis, J 2021).

        • DHS to require pipeline companies to report cyberattacks

          The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will issue a directive later this week requiring all pipeline companies to report cyber incidents to federal authorities after a devastating ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline forced a shutdown of operations.

          The Washington Post first reported that DHS’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA), which is responsible for securing critical pipelines, will issue the directive this week following concerns that pipeline operators are not required to report cyber incidents, unlike other critical infrastructure sectors.

          A spokesperson for DHS told The Hill in an emailed statement Tuesday that “the Biden administration is taking further action to better secure our nation’s critical infrastructure,” with TSA and the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) working together on the issue.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Securing Open Source Infrastructure

              As an open-core company, we understand the importance of the open source community. To support the community, we are offering Teleport Pro for free.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • European Court on Human Rights Bought Spy Agencies’ Spin on Mass Surveillance

              Yet, the landmark decision, while powerful in declaring that UK mass interception powers are unlawful, failed to protect journalists, and lacked legal safeguards to ensure British spy agency GCHQ wasn’t abusing its power, imprudently bought into spy agency propaganda that suspicionless interception powers must be granted to ensure national security. The Grand Chamber rejected the fact that mass surveillance is an inherently disproportionate measure and believed that any potential privacy abuses can be mitigated by “minimization and targeting” within the mass spying process. We know this doesn’t work. The Grand Chamber refused to insist that governments stop bulk interception–a mistake recognized by ECHR Judge Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque, who said in a dissenting opinion: 

              The case at issue, Big Brother Watch and Others v. The United Kingdom, was brought in the wake of disclosures by whistleblower Edward Snowden, who confirmed that the NSA and GCHQ were routinely spying on hundreds of millions of innocent people around the globe. A group of more than 15 human rights organizations filed a complaint against portions of the UK’s mass surveillance regime before the ECHR. In a decision in 2018, the court rejected the UK’s spying programs for violating the right to privacy and freedom of expression, but it failed to say that the UK’s indiscriminate and suspicionless interception regime was inherently incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights. EFF filed a Declaration as part of this proceeding. The court, however, acknowledged the lack of robust safeguards needed to provide adequate guarantees against abuse. The Grand Chamber’s decision this week came in an appeal to the 2018 ruling. 

              The new ruling goes beyond the initial 2018 decision by requiring prior independent authorization for the mass interception of communications, which must include meaningful “end-to-end safeguards.” The Grand Chamber emphasized that there is considerable potential for mass interception powers to be abused, adversely affecting people’s rights. It warns that these powers should be subject to ongoing assessments of their necessity and proportionality at every stage of the process; to independent authorization at the outset, and to ex-post-facto oversight that should be sufficiently robust to keep the “interference” of people’s rights to only what is “necessary” in a democratic society. Under powers given to UK security services in 2000, they only needed authorization by the Secretary of State (Home Office) for interception. The Grand Chamber ruled that, in lacking adequate safeguards like independent oversight, UK surveillance law did not meet the required “quality of law” standard and was incapable of keeping the “interference” to what was necessary.

            • ECHR Ruling: Mass Surveillance Legislation Violates Human Rights

              Today, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that the U.K. and Sweden‘s legislation on mass surveillance programmes violate human rights. In two separate proceedings, the Court concluded that both Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (human right to respect for private and family life) and Article 10 (human right to freedom of expression) were breached by failure to ensure end-to-end safeguards. In order to prevent violations in the future, the ECHR imposed independent reviews for countries that have acceded the convention. However it did not rule out mass surveillance as such.

            • Several Organizations Protest Facebook, Sign Public Complaints Against Platform

              Representatives from a coalition of organizations gathered outside Facebook’s lobbying headquarters in Washington, D.C. Tuesday to protest the company’s alleged abuse of the American people and announce a formal list of 70 public complaints against the social media platform.

              Robert Weissman, president of the consumer rights advocacy group and think tank Public Citizen, accused Facebook of political indifference and subverting democracy, saying “the American people and people of the world will no longer tolerate Facebook’s abuses. This is a company out of control. It is literally out of the control of our democracy.”

              The organizations present hold Facebook responsible for the alleged spreading of misinformation that influences elections, limiting users’ access to competing ideas, and wielding unjust amounts of political power.

            • Facebook says it will no longer remove posts claiming COVID is human-made

              Facebook posts claiming that COVID-19 was “man-made” will no longer be removed, the social media giant announced Wednesday.

              Why it matters: The lifting of the ban reflects a reinvigorated debate on the origins of the pandemic in recent days, following a Wall Street Journal report that three researchers at the Wuhan Institute of Virology were hospitalized in November 2019 after falling ill.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • DC Court Says Recordings Of Capitol Rioters Must Be Made Public, But Only On A Case-By-Case Basis

        Here’s a small victory for the First Amendment and presumption of openness that’s supposed to apply to court proceedings. A recent opinion [PDF] by the DC Circuit Court will give everyone more access to recordings covering the dozens of prosecutions of insurrectionist cosplayers who raided the Capitol on January 6th. The court comes down firmly on the side of openness and transparency, but has hung a rather large asterisk on that statement.

      • Black Lives Matter
      • Marcus Smith “Died Like an Animal” When Cops Hogtied Him. Police Have Known for Decades It Can Kill

        Despite decades of warnings against the practice, police departments across the country continue to hogtie people during arrests, sometimes with fatal results. On September 8, 2018, Marcus Smith, a 38-year-old homeless Black man in Greensboro, North Carolina, was facing a mental health crisis and asked police officers for help. Instead, eight white officers brutally and fatally hogtied him. Police videos show officers pushed Smith face down on the street and tied a belt around his ankles, then attached it to his cuffed hands so tightly that his knees were lifted off the pavement. Smith’s family filed a lawsuit in 2019 alleging wrongful death, accusing the police department of a cover-up. “The Greensboro Police Department, spearheaded by the chief of police at that time, watched the video and then chose to put out a press release that … ignored and left out the crucial factor that he was hogtied,” says Flint Taylor, one of the lawyers for the Smith family and a founding partner of the People’s Law Office in Chicago. We also speak with Marshall Project reporter Joseph Neff, who says there is little data about instances of police hogtying. “It’s hard to know how extensive it is, because there’s no reporting requirement,” he says.

      • Pandemic of Sexual Assault in the Military?

        Why should our troops enjoy such protected status, as though they exist in a separate reality from the rest of society? Arguably, in these years, the face of America has indeed been militarized, whether we like it or not. After all, we’ve just lived through two decades of endless war, American-style, in the process wasting significantly more than $6.4 trillion dollars, more than 7,000 uniformed lives, and scores of health- and safety-related opportunity costs.

        Meanwhile, it’s taken years for the public and members of Congress to begin to recognize that it matters how the military treats its own — and the civilians with whom they interact. (After all, many felonies committed by such personnel against civilians, at home and abroad, are prosecuted within the military-justice system.) That Congress has taken so long to support even such a timid bill in a bipartisan fashion and that few think to question whether felonies committed by American soldiers should be prosecuted within the military, suggests one thing: that we’re a long, long way from taking responsibility for those who kill, maim, and rape in all our names.

      • The Military Needs A New Way to Handle Sexual Assault

        Given the more than 60 Democratic and Republican votes lined up, the Senate is poised to move forward with a new bill that would change the way the military handles sexual assault and other felony crimes by service members. Sponsored by Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), the new law would assign decision-making on sexual-assault cases and a host of other felonies, including some hate crimes, to a specially trained team of uniformed prosecutors. While the bill will indeed inch the military away from its antiquated practice of allowing commanders to decide whether to prosecute their own officers and soldiers on sexual-assault allegations, it baffles me that it’s still allowed to handle its own violent crimes rather than having them dealt with through our criminal justice system.

      • Civil and military use: Armament companies test anti-collision system for drones

        In future, military drones will be treated the same as manned aviation.Then European air forces could also station the „Eurodrone“ in their countries and exercise with it outside military training areas. For this, an EU project is to develop general standards.

      • The History the Japanese Government Is Trying to Erase

        It was predictable that most of the early online harassment would target the one Japanese member of our group. As we prepared what would become an open letter demanding retraction of Harvard Law School professor J. Mark Ramseyer’s article claiming that Korean “comfort women” were contractually bound prostitutes, we had braced ourselves for abuse. Ramseyer’s piece bolstered the ultranationalist Japanese worldview that rehabilitates Japan’s history of militarism and colonialism and denies the coercive and brutal nature of much of that era’s violence. Although it appeared in an obscure law and economics journal, the far right in Japan embraced it as “cutting edge” research. The Japanese far-right newspaper Sankei Shimbun introduced the article’s claims as definitive scholarly confirmation that “comfort women” were not sexual slaves. It made front-page news in Korea, and was discussed and debated on television and in print for weeks.

      • US-funded Belarusian regime-change activist arrested on plane joined neo-Nazis in Ukraine
      • The Far Right Is Ready For a Slice of Real Power in Sweden

        Sweden, at the top of most global welfare rankings, has traditionally sought to be a safe haven by accepting waves of immigrants since World War II. The country, which grew accustomed to relatively low levels of crime, has witnessed a surge of bombings and riots in immigrant neighborhoods in the past decade.

        Sweden’s police chief last August lamented an “extremely serious” escalation of violence related to gang crime, urging society to “put its foot down.” He spoke after two people were murdered in Stockholm in a week and several police officers were injured during a riot in the southern city of Malmo. A 12-year-old girl had also been killed “in a criminal showdown” earlier that month.

        The country reported about 10 times more deadly shootings than the U.K. in the past year, adjusted for population size.

      • VOA Exclusive: Taliban Attach Conditions to Istanbul Conference Participation

        The Afghan Taliban have decided upon three conditions to attend an eagerly awaited U.S.-proposed conference in Turkey: The conference must be short, the agenda should not include decision-making on critical issues, and the Taliban delegation should be low level, a senior Taliban leader told VOA Tuesday.

      • ‘Kill the Jews’: Arab mob attacks pro-Israel rally in Illinois

        In the week leading up to the event, the Instagram account created for the march received over 1,300 comments containing vile anti-Semitism, hate speech, calls for violence at the event, and death threats toward the organizers said Daniel Raab, one of the people behind the rally.

      • Boko Haram: Religious Based Violence and Portrayal of Radical Islam

        The manifesto of Boko Haram rests on Islamic principles i.e. establishing Shariah or Islamic law in the region. A system that operates to preserve the rights of poor factions of the society and tends to promote or implement Islamic values. Hence, in this context, it negates westernization and its prospects. However, the rise of Boko Haram was based on anti-western agenda which portrayed that the existing government is un-Islamic and that western education is forbidden. Hence, the name Boko Haram itself delivered the notion that western culture or civilization is forbidden. Boko Haram has a unique political and religiously secular manifesto. Boko Haram was formed by Mohammad Yusuf, who preached his agenda of setting up a theocratic political system through his teachings derived from Islam. And countered the existing governmental setup of the Christians. The violent dynamics surged in 2009 when an uprising against the Nigerian government took the momentum that killed almost 800 people. Following the uprising, Mohammad Yusuf was killed and one of his lieutenants Abu Bakar Shekau took the lead.

    • Environment

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | Biden’s Eloquence About George Floyd Will Ring Hollow If Rahm Emanuel Gets Ambassador Nomination

        “Rewarding Rahm Emanuel’s cover up of Laquan McDonald’s murder with an ambassadorship is not an act that reflects a value of or respect for Black lives.”

      • The Nazi Past of US Geopolitics

        Germany’s geopolitics was turbo-charged in 1923 when a German general, geographer, politician, professor and teacher of top-ranking Nazi, Rudolf Hess, founded the Zeitschrift für Geopolitik (Journal for Geopolitics). During the 1920s, the journal’s editor Karl Haushofer had been a student of Rudolf Hess. In 1933, he became Adolf Hitler’s Deputy Führer until his infamous flight to Scotland in 1941. The goal was to convince none other than the wartime prime minister Winston Churchill to join Nazi-Germany’s invasion of the Soviet-Union. The effort failed, of course.

        Karl Haushofer might not be the inventor of term Lebensraum (living space) but he certainly was the one who shaped the term into a strategic plan and introduced the idea to Adolf Hitler. The relatively uneducated Hitler (who was born Adolf Schicklgruber in Austria’s rural hinterland) never attended university, never completed the typical German apprenticeship, never received any military training beyond being a relatively inconsequential foot-soldier during the Great War I (WWI).

      • Liz Cheney, Dick Cheney and the Rule of Law

        In being ousted from the third spot in the leadership of the Republican Conference in the House, Cheney has found a new morality. In her floor speech, she called Donald Trump’s canard of a stolen election a “threat America has never seen before.”  Opposing Trump’s interpretation of the result was a “duty”. “I will not sit back and watch in silence, while others lead our party down a path that abandons the rule of law and joins in the former president’s crusade to undermine our democracy.”  After her speech, she told reporters that she would “do everything” she could “to ensure that the former president never gets anywhere near the Oval Office.”

        Cheney’s seemingly shabby treatment led such papers as the Washington Post to remark that truth was again under assault. “Truth is the issue upon which Cheney has made her stand – truth and her unwillingness to be silent for the supposed good of the team.”  Peter Wehner, who served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and the two Bushes, saw the event as a “confirmation that the Republican party is diseased and dangerous, increasingly subversive and illiberal”.  Eric Lutz, writing in Vanity Fair, called the Cheney display “defiant”, laying “bare the cowardice of her colleagues who, with their vote on Wednesday, affirmed what had long been clear: The GOP is the cult of Trump now, and fealty the price of admission.”

      • News From Home, and Other People’s Homes

        Lahore, Pakistan—I write to friends in India, and receive from them, messages of fear, of fatigue, narrating incidents of death and helplessness. I write to friends in Palestine, and they tell me that they are not OK, not safe, and they want the world to do something. I receive news from a friend who used to live in Kabul, and he tells me that the school bombings took place in his old neighborhood. I have become an antenna, receiving news of heartbreak and destruction, and the collapse of all sense of order. I transmit what I receive back into the world, not sure who might be listening. Where there were homes in Deir Yassein, you’ll see dense forests— That village was razed. There’s no sign of Arabic. I too, O Amichai, saw the dresses of beautiful women And everything else, just like you, in Death, Hebrew, and Arabic. They ask me to tell them what Shahid means— Listen: it means “The Beloved” in Persian, “witness” in Arabic.

      • Keith Ellison: On the Other Side of Criminal Justice Reform and Transformation Is a Safer Society

        When Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison took charge of the prosecution of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin for the May 25, 2020, murder of George Floyd, he said “we’re going to bring to bear all the resources necessary to achieve justice in this case.” Ellison did just that, organizing a team of lawyers that secured the historic conviction of Chauvin on a pair of murder charges. A year later, Ellison’s office is taking on another high-profile case involving the death of a Black man—20-year-old Daunte Wright—at the hands of a police officer. I spoke with Ellison, a former cochair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and a longtime advocate for criminal justice reform, about these two cases, and about where the movement to address police violence and systemic racism stands one year after Floyd’s murder.

      • The Party of White Grievance Has Never Cared About Democracy

        Alarm bells are ringing about the dangerous implications of the behavior of the Republican Party. By doubling down on defense of the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen, punishing any members who reject that lie, refusing to support an investigation into the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, and unleashing a fusillade of voter suppression legislation across the country, many see these actions as an ominous new trend in American politics that threatens the foundations of our democracy itself.

      • Why Is Merrick Garland’s DOJ Carrying Water for Bill Barr?

        Last night, The Washington Post reported that Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance empaneled a grand jury in his ongoing criminal investigation of the Trump Organization. It’s a huge step. There is now a real possibility that Trump, his family, or high-ranking officials in his organization will be indicted for financial crimes.

      • “America on Fire”: Historian Elizabeth Hinton on George Floyd, Policing & Black Rebellion

        Protests and vigils were held across the U.S. to mark one year since the police murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd’s death sparked a national uprising and global movement against systemic racism and police brutality. Elizabeth Hinton, an associate professor of history and African American studies at Yale University and a professor of law at Yale Law School, connects the Black Lives Matter protests to a long history of Black rebellion against police violence in her new book “America on Fire” and notes that the U.S. has had previous opportunities to address systemic racism and state violence, but change remains elusive. “Every time inequality and police violence is evaluated, all of these structural solutions are always suggested, and yet they’re never taken up,” Hinton says.

      • Trump & Gingrich Team Up on MAGA-Style “Contract With America” Ahead of 2022
      • ‘They’ve Been Looking to Bolster the Claim the Election Was Stolen’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Voting Booth’s Steven Rosenfeld about the Arizona audit for the May 21, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • [Old] Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens

        Multivariate analysis indicates that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence. The results provide substantial support for theories of Economic-Elite Domination and for theories of Biased Pluralism, but not for theories of Majoritarian Electoral Democracy or Majoritarian Pluralism.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Legal thuggery: A favored technique by disinformation merchants to silence critics

        If there’s one characteristic that prominent cranks share, it’s an extreme sensitivity to science-, evidence-, and reality-based criticism, particularly if that criticism comes from someone with the credentials or knowledge to dismantle their misinformation, conspiracy theories, and lies. Part and parcel of that sensitivity is a propensity to try to use whatever means they can to silence such criticism. (Indeed, many of the very same cranks who decry “cancel culture” are among its most enthusiastic practitioners.) A favored technique to silence critics involves what I’ve long referred to as “legal thuggery.” Basically, legal thuggery involves using the legal system to intimidate, in this case, to intimidate your critics into silence. This sort of legal thuggery is easy, too, if you happen to be a wealthy quack who can afford lots of lawyers, as most skeptics are regular people for whom hiring a lawyer to defend themselves is a huge expense. That’s the point. That’s why cranks engage in such legal thuggery. It’s still going on, and I still detest it, which is why I will discuss three COVID-19 era examples.

      • EU pushes for stronger disinformation rules

        The European Commission is pushing for stronger rules around online disinformation, according to guidance released Wednesday.

        The guidance calls for reinforcing the European Union’s Code of Practice on Disinformation with stronger commitments from the tech companies that have signed onto the code that was launched in 2018.

        The guidance notably urges the code to be updated to call for tech companies to demonetize content with disinformation.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Content Moderation Case Studies: Twitter Clarifies Hacked Material Policy After Hunter Biden Controversy (2020)

        Summary: Three weeks before the presidential election, the New York Post published an article that supposedly detailed meetings Hunter Biden (son of presidential candidate Joe Biden) had with a Ukrainian energy firm several months before the then-Vice President allegedly pressured Ukraine government officials to fire a prosecutor investigating the company.

      • 47 Advocacy Groups Urge Facebook to Explain, Cease Censorship of Israel Critics

        The groups called on the social media giant to “repair this mistrust with our communities and ensure that we can count on Facebook and Instagram as free civic spaces and tools for holding governments accountable.”

      • Amid Systemic Censorship of Palestinian Voices, Facebook Owes Users Transparency

        The vitality of social media during a time like this cannot be understated. Journalistic coverage from the ground is minimal—owing to a number of factors, including restrictions on movement by Israeli authorities—while, as the New York Times reported, misinformation is rife and has been repeated by otherwise reliable media sources. Israeli officials have even been caught spreading misinformation on social media. 

        Palestinian digital rights organization 7amleh has spent the past few weeks documenting content removals, and a coalition of more than twenty organizations, including EFF, have reached out to social media companies, including Facebook and Twitter. Among the demands are for the companies to immediately stop censoring—and reinstate—the accounts and content of Palestinian voices, to open an investigation into the takedowns, and to transparently and publicly share the results of those investigations.

        A brief history

      • Social media companies lose legal shield over posts by users

        Large social-media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and WhatsApp lose legal protection for the user content posted on their platforms from today, and stand answerable to Indian civil and criminal laws just like any other ordinary citizen or local entity.

        Till yesterday, they enjoyed immunity when it came to the content posted by any third-party user on their platforms. The only obligation on them was to take down any illegal content that they noticed on their own, or when it was highlighted to them by the state, or the courts, or any responsible/aggrieved party. Now it’s a civil and criminal liability on them for any illegal post, be it in words, or a picture or a video.

      • 8m TikTok videos blocked, court told

        It was hearing a petition jointly filed by 40 residents of Peshawar, who sought orders for the respondents, including PTA and Federal Investigation Agency, to ban TikTok to the extent of violation of the constitutional provisions, which don’t allow acts contrary to Islamic code of life.

      • Censorship looms with new cyberpolicy

        Communications and Information Ministerial Regulation No. 5/2020, signed by minister Johnny G. Plate in November of last year, allows the ministry to remove prohibited content on digital platforms owned by the public, individuals or private companies, known as digital service providers (PSEs).

      • ‘Tool for censorship’: Newly effective regulation could curb free speech in Indonesia

        The ministerial regulation, signed by Communication and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate in November, allows the ministry to remove prohibited content on digital platforms owned by the public, individual and private companies, known as digital service providers (PSEs).

      • Amid censorship fears, Hong Kong’s artists contemplate an uncertain future

        Almost a year after Beijing imposed a controversial national security law on the territory, the creative community has been left unsure about what is, or is not, legally permissible. And although the legislation, which outlaws sedition, secession and subversion, has largely been used against opposition activists, it has also cast a shadow of uncertainty over local artists, curators and gallery owners.

        “Hong Kong, right now, is the most dangerous place — more dangerous than Beijing,” said artist Kacey Wong, whose performances and installations were once a regular sight at the demonstrations that rocked the city from June 2019 until last summer.

        “In Beijing, everybody knows what they can talk about, and what cannot be mentioned. But in Hong Kong, nobody knows what the dangerous topics really are,” he said, adding: “(The law) changed everything — from creating artwork (to) freedom of expression. Anything deemed sensitive becomes dangerous, not only to the artist but also the viewer.”

      • UK online safety bill raises censorship concerns and questions on future of encryption

        The draft is yet to undergo pre-legislative parliamentary scrutiny and its impact may not be evident for some time. Still, some experts told CPJ the bill’s exemptions for journalism would not be enough to mitigate the overall impact on digital speech. Worse, privacy groups say it could undermine end-to-end encryption, a safety feature for online communications that CPJ and others recommend for journalists and their sources.

        “Once a presumption takes root that online speech is dangerous, that will inevitably spread beyond individual users’ posts to online communication generally, including the press,” Graham Smith, an internet law expert who has critiqued the concept of an online duty of care, told CPJ by email this month.

      • Modi government asks large social media companies to report status of compliance with new IT rules

        Non-compliance with rules would result in these social media companies losing their intermediary status that provides them exemptions and certain immunity from liabilities for any third-party information and data hosted by them.

        In other words, they could be liable for criminal action in case of complaints.

        The new rules require them to take down any content flagged by the authorities within 36 hours, and set up a robust mechanism to respond to complaints.

        The new IT rules also require significant social media intermediaries — providing services primarily in the nature of messaging — to enable identification of the “first originator” of information that undermines sovereignty of India, security of the state, or public order.

      • Indian Police Visit Twitter Offices as Modi Goes on Pandemic Offense

        The officers from India’s elite antiterrorism police unit descended after dusk on the New Delhi offices of Twitter, with television news cameras in tow. Their mission: Start an argument over fake news.

        The offices sat empty, closed amid India’s devastating coronavirus outbreak. And the police acknowledged that they were there to deliver nothing more legally binding than a notice disputing a warning label that Twitter had assigned to some tweets.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • I Was a Reporter. Now I Drive for Lyft. Journalism Has Become a Bastion of Privilege

        days. I’m a Lyft driver with a journalist’s ear, and my passengers’ stories capture my attention. It’s not just my ear, though; I was once a congressional reporter.

        I left journalism for economic reasons, first to do other editorial work that paid more, then to drive for Lyft. When I started driving for Lyft, I thought, this is more like journalism than journalism is now.

      • Journalist assaulted

        The journalist was accused of defaming the military last year and also faced a court case in this regard. According to the FIR, Mr Toor had allegedly indulged in propaganda against Pakistan and its institutions on social media for long.

        However, the Lahore High Court absolved him of the charges after the FIA police told the court that no evidence was found to support the charges.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Crime-Reporting App Citizen Apparently Attempting To Get Into The Law Enforcement Business

        It looks like app developers want to be cops. Late last week, a Los Angeles resident spotted a Citizen-app branded patrol car roaming the city. Citizen is yet another app that allows residents to send crime alerts and other news to each other, following in the steps of Ring’s Neighbors app and Nextdoor, a hyperlocal social media service that only lets actual neighbors connect with each other.

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Racist, Sexist Boy’ By The Linda Lindas

        The post was originally published at Ongoing History of Protest Songs.Back in March 2020, ten-year-old Mila was approached by a boy in her school whose father told him to stay away from Chinese people.

        “It was my first experience of racism, and I didn’t really know how to respond,” said Mila, who told the boy she was Chinese, and he backed away.

      • NYT Scolds Pride Organizers for Not Tolerating NYPD Abuse

        An editorial in the New York Times (5/18/21) condemning New York City Pride organizers for excluding police contingents from the annual parade is not just baffling, but extremely dangerous. In one piece, the Times editorial board disregards historical context, current affairs and the realities that queer people face today.

      • The U.S. Broke Its Promise to Return Land to Hawaiians. My Family Knows Something About Land Loss.

        Long after the interview was over, I had trouble shaking the quote. “It’s like we’re an invisible people,” Mike Kahikina had told me. I kept thinking about what he said, even weeks later.

        Invisible people.

      • Report: US Police Have Killed 1068 People Since Floyd’s Death

        A study prepared by the Mapping Police Violence website noted that at least 1068 people were killed by U.S. police officers across the country, an average of three killings per day.

        za It also detailed that since Floyd was killed, 25 states saw a decrease, while 19 states saw an increase, and seven states saw no change in police killings compared to the same period last year.

      • Groups call on Google to drop out of Saudi project over human rights concerns

        A coalition of more than 30 human rights and digital privacy rights groups called on Google to abandon its plans to establish a Google Cloud region in Saudi Arabia over concerns about human rights violations.

        The groups, which include Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and PEN America, wrote in their letter that Saudi Arabia’s record of tamping down on public dissent and its justice system that “flagrantly violates due process” made it unsafe for Google to set up a “cloud region” in the kingdom.

      • McDonald’s: You Don’t Need to Wait for Washington to Pay Us a Living Wage

        I work at McDonald’s. And when I see those kinds of stories, I just have to shake my head. McDonald’s seems confused about how to attract new workers when there’s a very simple solution to their problem—one that workers like me have been demanding for years: Pay us a living wage.

      • McDonald’s Gross Profit 2006-2021 | MCD

        McDonald’s annual/quarterly gross profit history and growth rate from 2006 to 2021. Gross profit can be defined as the profit a company makes after deducting the variable costs directly associated with making and selling its products or providing its services.

        McDonald’s gross profit for the quarter ending March 31, 2021 was $2.668B, a 13.94% increase year-over-year.

      • [Old] How McDonald’s Corporation Makes Most of Its Money

        With 37,000 locations across 120 countries, McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) is easily the biggest restaurant chain in the world. The fast food titan is also among the most profitable companies on the market. Despite a weak operating year in 2016, its 20% profit margin places it 9th from the top among the 30 members of the Dow.

        It might surprise you to learn that most of those earnings weren’t produced directly through the sales of trademark menu products like Quarter Pounders, Chicken McNuggets, or Big Macs. Instead, Mickey D’s market-thumping profitability is thanks to the rent, royalty income, and fees it collects from its army of franchisees.

      • Germany: Refugee set fire to his wife because she was to take one’s driving test

        The marriage had been in disharmony for a long time. She had separated at the beginning of 2020, partly because of his jealousy. A big point of contention was her driving licence training. Telman A. insinuated that she was having an affair with the driving instructor. For this reason, he allegedly also set fire to the driving school car, a Hyundai.

      • Brooklyn Man Facing Hate Crime Charges After Allegedly Destroying Church’s Crucifix, Setting Fire To Yeshiva, Synagogue

        A Brooklyn man is facing hate crime charges after he allegedly destroyed a crucifix and burned an American flag at church and later set fire to a yeshiva and synagogue.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Warren and Progressives Mount Major Push to Break Up Facebook and Amazon
      • No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to subscribe: Amazon buys MGM for $8.5 billion

        Amazon said Wednesday that it has struck a deal to acquire the historic movie studio MGM for $8.5 billion, bolstering its efforts to become a top player in Hollywood.

      • Sen. Amy Klobuchar calls on Justice Department to probe Amazon-MGM deal

        On Tuesday, Amazon announced that it had reached a deal to purchase the film and TV goliath MGM for $8.45 billion — and leading antitrust figures in Congress aren’t happy. In a letter today, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) sounded the alarm over the size and scope of the deal, calling on the Justice Department to investigate the acquisition before it finalizes.

      • Patents

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • TikTok debuts new voice — after Canadian actor sues over the old one

          Users of the social media app TikTok noticed a new female voice narrating their videos on Monday, about three weeks after a Canadian actor filed a lawsuit against the video-sharing platform for copyright violation.

          Bev Standing, a voice actor based in Welland, Ont., is suing TikTok’s parent company, China-based ByteDance, on the claim that recordings of her voice are being used without permission.

        • TikTok Debuts New Videos Voice Narrator After ByteDance Sued by Actor

          The change comes about three weeks after a Canadian actor filed a lawsuit against ByteDance. The lawsuit for copyright violation alleges that ByteDance has used the Canadian’s voice without her permission.

          “They replaced me with another voice,” says Bev Standing, a voice actor from Ontario. She says she first learned about the replacement from an email a journalist sent. New videos on the official TikTok account feature the new voice – while older videos still feature Standing’s voice.

          According to legal experts, the move may be an acknowledgment that Standing suffered damages. However, that does not necessarily mean that ByteDance will opt to settle the case. Standing says she has been doing voice-overs for commercials, corporate videos, and more as a full-time freelancer since 2014.

        • Federal Court of Appeal Court Upholds Canadian Pirate Site Blocking Order

          Canada’s Federal Court of Appeal concluded today that the country’s first pirate site blocking order can stay in place. The Court dismissed the appeal from Internet provider TekSavvy. According to the Court, site-blocking injunctions don’t violate the Copyright Act, freedom of speech, or net neutrality. While it’s not a perfect remedy, it trumps other available options.

        • Upload Filters Will Always Be A Bad Idea, But Germany’s New Implementation Of Article 17 Is An Attempt To Provide Some Protection For Users, Which Others May Follow

          The EU’s Copyright Directive was passed back in 2019, and the two-year period for implementing the law in national legislation is almost up. The text’s contradictory requirements to stop infringing material from being posted online without imposing a general requirement to monitor users, which is not permitted under EU law, has proved difficult for governments to deal with. France aims to solve this by ignoring even the limited user protections laid down by the Directive. Germany has been having a rather fraught debate about how exactly Article 17, which implicitly requires upload filters, should be implemented. One good idea to allow users to “pre-flag” as legal the material they upload was jettisoned. That led to fears that the country’s implementation of Article 17 would be as bad as France’s. But the final version of the law does attempt to ensure that automated filters — now admitted as indispensable, despite earlier assurances they were optional — do not block user uploads that are not infringing on copyright. Communia explains:

IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:18 am by Needs Sunlight

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