05.28.21

President Campinos is Finished (EPO Crisis Afoot)

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Letters of Lead
Based on the tone and the choice of words, Campinos has already been written off by staff

Summary: There is nobody left to discuss ways forward with Campinos; he has clearly lost control of the institution at several levels

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO has lost patience for the abusive António Campinos, who increasingly resembles Benoît Battistelli over time. In some sense he’s even worse than Battistelli, but that’s not what’s important.

“The EPO’s management is running out of apologists and allies, even among stakeholders.”Earlier in the week the CSC circulated a report “on the meeting with the President on 19 May 2021″ (i.e. about 10 days ago). “The main item on the agenda was an update on the social [sic] agenda 2021,” they wrote. “A second agenda item was “New Normal”.”

For those who don’t know, “New Normal” is just a catchy buzzphrase for doing illegal things and then exploiting COVID-19 to justify those illegal things. As if “there was no other choice…”

Thankfully, EPO staff is smart enough to not fall for these tricks.

Hungarian Letter“The Administration limited its part of the dialogue to presenting its point of view mostly with the usual buzzwords,” said the CSC. “The meeting was anyway far too short for a meaningful exchange on all the topics of the social agenda that count. Besides the review of the Salary Savings Plan / New Pension Scheme, we would also have liked to ask the President about other topics, such as Covid-19 vaccination in the EPO or the 2021 appraisal exercise.”

The EPO’s management didn't even provide masks to staff (in spite of national laws mandating that). The CSC concluded: “Mr Campinos apparently expects us to have more modest ambitions and be more “constructive”. We might disappoint him, at a time where he is methodically eroding the benefits and the conditions of employment of staff.”

We thought it would be “constructive” to share the whole letter to staff. It would certainly be “constructive” for the European public to see what’s really going on inside Europe’s second-largest institution, given how media actively covers it up (intentionally choosing not to inform the general public). It’s dated Thursday.

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich, 27 May 2021
sc21071cp

Report on the meeting with the President on 19 May 2021

The main item on the agenda was an update on the social agenda 2021.

Reform of the education / childcare benefits
As regards the reform of the education / childcare benefits, the Office’s proposal CA/7/21 is on its way to the Administrative Council, so that any discussion on its content would have been useless. However, one colleague who is new in the Staff Representation described her eye-opening first experience of “social dialogue” in the working group on this very reform, or rather the lack of it. She was all the more disappointed because the official propaganda machinery had given her the impression, as a normal staff member before she joined the Staff Representation, that a proper social dialogue was taking place.

The President gave again an insight into the way he sees social dialogue. He stressed that consultation was not co-management: he would look at our proposal, make his decision and then tell us. He added that the Staff Committee constantly asking for more did not motivate him to accept our proposals.

We also asked for a psycho-social impact study of the reform of the education / childcare benefits as well as of teleworking. The Administration replied that they were already doing a lot to help staff. It made no commitment.

Employment conditions: Extension / conversions
We stressed the drawbacks of the fixed-term contracts and proposed a solution limiting them to five years1. The President informed us that the framework would remain by two times five years, in line with the direction given in the SP2023, followed by conversion into permanent employment if certain criteria were fulfilled2. Further details will be regulated in a Circular (405).

Communication and Resources for Staff Representatives including Circular 356
The President confirmed that he saw no “business case” for allocating a secretary for the staff committees and that secretarial tasks could be distributed among staff representatives. As a result, the last secretary will retire on 31 May and there will be no anchor in the Staff Representation from 1 June 2021. As regards “mass emails”, they should include a practical opt-out option for staff and comply with data protection.

____
1 See our publications on the topic here.
2 See also CA/3/18, §35: “… depending on business and organisational needs, service rendered and performance.”


Review of the Salary Savings Plan / New Pension Scheme (SSP/NPS)
Quite unexpectedly, the Administration skipped this important item on the social agenda. We would have liked to address and possibly dispel some disturbing rumours about the next reform of the pension scheme(s).

“New Normal”
A second agenda item was “New Normal”, next to the social agenda. Here a strange discussion unfolded with the President and VP5. We submitted that a Conference of ministers of the Contracting States3 could be useful (and that it was actually overdue) to set the course for the future of the Office. The President argued that such a conference was not necessary and could open a Pandora box in times of a pandemic. We, on the other hand, are still of the opinion that “New Normal” should stand on solid legal foundations.

Conclusion
The Administration limited its part of the dialogue to presenting its point of view mostly with the usual buzzwords. The meeting was anyway far too short for a meaningful exchange on all the topics of the social agenda that count. Besides SSP/NPS, we would also have liked to ask the President about other topics, such as Covid vaccination in the EPO or the 2021 appraisal exercise.

The President apparently expects us to have more modest ambitions and be more “constructive”. We might disappoint him, at a time where he is methodically eroding the benefits and the conditions of employment of staff.

The Central Staff Committee

____
3 In accordance with Article 4a EPC, not to be confused with a “diplomatic conference” in accordance with Article 172 EPC

In a month from now Campinos marks 3 years since he was parachuted into the Office (into the top position). He still shows no real understanding of the patent system, he cannot grap the concept of social dialogue, and it won’t be long before just 0% of his staff trusts him (last year’s survey, conducted confidentially, showed that only 3% of staff still trusted him).

What an awful way to run an institution with the word “European” in it. Lest we even mention the crisis of the EPO's tribunals (news less than a day old)…

As one new comment put it a few hours ago: “In my mind, it also marks the end of the days where rules had to be obeyed (at least for the EBoA). The EBoA discussed and refused request 1 (postponement of the Oral Proceedings) in non-public consultations only with the Appellant when there was no justification to exclude the public on this point, and granted request 2 (Oral Proceedings to discuss Art. 24 EPC) without obeying Rule 115 EPC. And what about the approach that serving documents to parties and clause 2 of Art. 9 RPEBOA are not so important? Only in the last moment the EBoA “gracefully” granted (less than) one month for the Appellant to submit his observations. Surely, Art. 10 RPEBOA provides that third parties’ observations (and amicus curiae submissions) “may be dealt with as the Board thinks fit”. This Board obviously thinks it fit to put them on an USB stick and then directly throw them in the bin. Which patent attorney right in his mind would put in his or her computer an USB stick that had been sent to him by mail? I hope none.”

The EPO’s management is running out of apologists and allies, even among stakeholders.

Why Use Gemini (Plus a Techrights Mention)

Posted in Site News at 5:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: A new video that explains the use of Gemini (and Techrights mentioned towards the end)

Links 28/5/2021: Nitrux 1.4, Diffoscope 176

Posted in News Roundup at 11:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • StarLabs’ LabTop Mk III and Mk IV Linux Laptops Now Support Coreboot 5 Firmware

        Star Labs is one of the Linux hardware vendors that’s very serious about offering open hardware to their customers, and the company recently unveiled the fact that they plan to completely replace the proprietary AMI firmware with the well-known Coreboot open-source firmware.

        The Linux hardware company started adding Coreboot support to its Linux laptops since early March 2021, starting with the Star LabTop Mk IV and Star LabTop Mk III models, and it also released a Coreboot Configurator utility a month later to make it easier to change various Coreboot settings.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.14 To Bring Reworked User-Space API For Intel Discrete Graphics – Phoronix

        The Linux 5.14 kernel this summer is going to bring a reworked user-space API for Intel’s DG1 graphics card and their future discrete graphics offerings. This change to the Intel kernel graphics driver’s user-space API, which is currently flagged as “broken” until it has been proven sufficiently capable for user-space needs and stable, is principally needed for handling of device local memory (dedicated vRAM).

        For a while now Intel’s open-source driver engineers have been working on a redesigned user-space API for accommodating the DG1 and future Intel discrete graphics processors. This changed uAPI is necessary for user-space to be able to control their desired memory regions whether they are wanting to utilize system memory or now the device local memory attached to a dGPU.

      • Dell Hardware Privacy Support Slated For Linux 5.14 – Phoronix

        Last year we wrote about Dell working on a hardware privacy driver for Linux as with 2021 laptops they are beginning to add hardware-based privacy buttons for disabling microphone and camera support. That Dell Hardware Privacy platform support is now set to be introduced to the mainline kernel with Linux 5.14.

        With Dell 2021 laptops select models will begin having hardware-based kill switches for the microphone and web camera shutter assembly to physically block the web camera from capturing images/video. As part of this Dell Hardware Privacy is also ePrivacy screen support too.

      • Linux 5.12.8
        I'm announcing the release of the 5.12.8 kernel.
        
        All users of the 5.12 kernel series must upgrade.
        
        The updated 5.12.y git tree can be found at:
        	git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.12.y
        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:
        
        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s...
        
        thanks,
        
        greg k-h
        
      • Linux 5.10.41
      • Linux 5.4.123
      • Graphics Stack

        • OpenGL and Vulkan applications can now talk to each other with Mesa drivers

          Not specifically gaming related but we love to cover industry stuff too, that might be interesting for some of our more technically minded users. Collabora have mentioned that thanks to work done on Mesa, OpenGL and Vulkan applications can now talk to each other.

          While Vulkan is the next-generation, and eventually anything that wants performance will move over from OpenGL like applications, game engines and games – this all takes time. The bigger games especially, often taking a great many years and an API switch isn’t an easy thing. However, what if some parts could gradually move to Vulkan while keeping other bits OpenGL?

    • Applications

      • Zellij Rust Terminal Multiplexer 0.12.0 Released With Detachable / Persistent Sessions

        Zellij, a new terminal workspace and multiplexer (like tmux and screen) written in Rust, has reached version 0.12.0, receiving a much requested feature: detachable / persistent sessions.

        Compared to other terminal multiplexers, Zellij comes with a user-friendly UI with the available keyboard shortcuts displayed at the bottom, as well as auto placement of new vertical and horizontal splits, based on the available space, along with no limitations when it comes to panes resizing.

        Besides this, Zellij includes a layout system and plugins written in any language that compiles to WebAssembly.

        For a lot more information, check out the initial article about Zellij on Linux Uprising.

      • Tailwind is an interesting concept, but I am not convinced yet

        Tailwind 2 is all the rage now. With a beautiful landing page, promising productivity, and thousands of people swearing by it, could Tailwind be the future of front-end design? I am still not convinced.

        What is Tailwind? Tailwind is a Tachyons school of thinking that preaches the utility-first approach to CSS. Whereas frameworks like Bootstrap and Bulma give you basic styling, pre-designed components, and utility classes, Tailwind gives you only the utility classes that you can combine to components yourself with just HTML extraction.

        There is a lot of praise published on Tailwind &mdash, and some critics as well. I don’t feel like repeating it. Rather, I will make this post about my personal experience. I will tell you why I avoided Tailwind, why I gave it a try, my first experience, and my final thoughts.

        Why didn’t I try out Tailwind sooner?

        I am not a CSS guru, but I can write stylesheets for my use-cases. I depended on frameworks like Bootstrap and Bulma for application development or plain old vanilla CSS for prototyping and small sites. But above all, I am a developer that doesn’t depend on a build system for his styles and JavaScript. I didn’t work on fully separated components in my own work.

        This brings me to the reason why I avoided Tailwind. I didn’t want to depend on a build system to ship a few styles for a landing page. You can try Tailwind without it, but you cannot ship Tailwind in the same sense of shipping Bulma due to its size. On top of that, I thought having a lot of classes is ugly and pollution for your templates.

      • Daniel Stenberg: Giving away an insane amount of curl stickers

        Everyone once in a while when I post a photo that involves curl stickers, a few people ask me where they can get hold of such. I figured it was about time I properly offered “the world” some. I expected maybe 50 or a 100 people would take me up on this offer.

        The response was totally overwhelming and immediate. Within the first hour 270 persons had already requested stickers. After 24 hours when I closed the form again, 1003 addresses had been submitted. To countries all around the globe. Quite the avalanche.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install VeraCrypt on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install VeraCrypt on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, TrueCrypt was a popular cross-platform open-source software used to encrypt and protect your data. But the TrueCrypt project is no longer maintained and the VeraCrypt has become the most popular alternative to TrueCrypt. VeraCrypt is a cross-platform encryption tool based on TrueCrypt and supports all operating systems including Windows, Linux, and macOS.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of VeraCrypt on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install Thelia on Ubuntu 18.04 | LinuxHostSupport

        We will show you how to install Thelia 2 on Ubuntu 18.04 using Apache web-server and a MySQL database. Thelia is an open-source tool for creating e-business websites and managing online content. It is written in PHP and it is published under a free license. Developed in accordance to web development standards and based on Symfony 2, Thelia meets the following objectives: performance and scalability. It is fairly easy to install Thelia 2 on an Ubuntu 18.04 VPS. The installation process should take about 10 minutes if you follow the very easy steps described below.

      • How to Work with Ansible Provisioner in Vagrant

        In the previous article, we have seen what is provisioner and how to work with shell and file provisioner. In this article, we will see how to use an ansible provisioner to automate the vagrant workflow. Here we will create a playbook and use the playbook to run ansible play against the vagrant guest machine.

        The following is the snippet from the playbook I am going to use in this article for demonstration. There is only one play and it will take care of installing packages using the apt module. Create a new .yml or .yaml file and copy the snippet.

      • How to add GUI to Arch Linux 2021

        In Arch Linux 2021 we have the power to customize it as per our desire and needs. While using Arch Linux we use to get our hands on command line to work out on it. But sometimes ,we need to explore the Arch Linux with the help of a GUI. As GUI makes it more simple for the new linux lovers to explore and interact with the Arch linux distribution. Here we will go through “Install Gnome to arch Linux”.

        In this tutorial I will make you aware with all the steps to make your Arch Linux more live. We can do this by installing a GUI on our Arch Linux 2021. If you haven’t done the Arch Linux installation you can check out my tutorial “How to install Arch Linux 2021 on Virtual Box”. I am choosing the Gnome Desktop environment as it is one of the most popular Linux GUI environment in the Linux community. And also everyone from the linux community is familiar with that. Now Let’s start.

      • How to set up a Pacemaker cluster for high availability Linux
      • Logical operators & Pipes in Linux
      • Queueing theory

        Last year I began looking at queuing theory, to try and see if I could use it as a robust underpinning for a cost model to evaluate rewritten stream-processing programs.

      • Jonathan McDowell: Trying to understand Kubernetes networking

        I previously built a single node Kubernetes cluster as a test environment to learn more about it. The first thing I want to try to understand is its networking. In particular the IP addresses that are listed are all 10.* and my host’s network is a 192.168/24. I understand each pod gets its own virtual ethernet interface and associated IP address, and these are generally private within the cluster (and firewalled out other than for exposed services). What does that actually look like?

      • [Older] Command separators in Linux

        Commands can also be combined in such a way that they are executed in a particular sequence.

      • [Older] Command substitution – Linux Concept

        On a keyboard, there is one interesting key, the backward quote, `. This key is normally situated below the Esc key. If we place text between two successive backquotes, then echo will execute those as commands instead of processing them as plain text.

      • [Older] Pattern matching in vi Editor – Linux Concept

        To learn about pattern matching, we will ensure that the pattern that we will search for is highlighted when the pattern searched for is found.

      • [Older] Redirection Operators in Linux – Linux Concept

        You will learn the very useful concept of I/O redirection in this article.

      • How to Remove Package from Laravel (Composer) – TecAdmin

        Composer is the most popular way for managing packages in PHP bases applications. Laravel also relies over composer for installing, upgrading and removing packages. Composer 2.0 is the latest version available for installation. This is more powerful, fast and fully compatible with older versions.

      • Change Authentication Method For MySQL Root User In Ubuntu

        This guide explains why and how to change authentication method for MySQL root user to Caching SHA-2 Pluggable Authentication or Native Pluggable Authentication method in Ubuntu.

        Even if you have setup password for MySQL root user, you still can’t authenticate with the database server as root user with a password. Because, the MySQL root user is set to authenticate using the auth_socket plugin by default instead of the password in Ubuntu systems running MySQL 5.7 and newer versions.

      • Install Open Classifieds on Debian 9 | LinuxCloudVPS Blog

        Open Classifieds is a free, powerful, open-source web platform that allows users to easily create and build classifieds, advertisement, and listings sites. Let’s begin with the installation. In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Open Classifieds on your Debian 9 server.

      • [Older] How To Harden OpenSSH on Ubuntu 20.04

        OpenSSH is one of the most popular tools that uses SSH protocol for secure system administration, file transfers, and other communication across the Internet. It is free and used by system administrators to manage remote systems. OpenSSH runs on port 22 and it is the first target of a hacker. So you may need to harden your OpenSSH server to protect it from hackers.

      • How To Install Nagios 4 and Monitor Your Servers on Ubuntu 20.04 | LinuxCloudVPS Blog

        Nagios is a free, open-source and powerful monitoring tool that helps you to monitor your entire IT infrastructure, servers, services and applications from the central location. It is based on client-server architecture. So you will need to install the Nagios agent on the client system and add it to the Nagios server for monitoring. If you are looking for a monitoring solution then Nagios is an essential tool for any production server environment.

    • Games

      • An interview with Kodera Software, creator of the hard sci-fi ΔV: Rings of Saturn

        Today we present another interview with a game developer! We had a chat with Kodera Software, creator of the hard sci-fi ΔV: Rings of Saturn which is available in Early Access.

        [...]

        If you are curious about the software, I use a lot of FOSS. I render my sprites in Blender, compose them in GIMP, edit audio in Audacity, put it all together in Godot Engine, control my version with git and use gitlab as both an online repository and issue tracker.”

        [...]

        “Windows sales are, unsurprisingly, the majority with 90.3% units, followed by 6,3% for Linux and 3,4% on Mac.”

      • Look after and manage young pop stars in Idol Manager, with a Beta available now | GamingOnLinux

        Here’s one we completely missed from Kickstarter that was fully funded back in 2018 and has a Beta available now. Idol Manager is all about developing your agency and looking after the stars of tomorrow.

        Not exactly a game I personally would have jumped at the chance to play, however, the more I think on it – why the heck not? We manage all kinds of ridiculous things like prisons, space ships, colonies, airports, train stations and all sorts in between so why not people who want to become pop stars? Idol Manager actually has quite a great look to it.

        [...]

        It’s actually been in Beta now for multiple years with the Linux build arriving all the way back in March 2019.

      • rpg-cli turns your filesystem into a ‘JRPG-inspired’ terminal game | GamingOnLinux [Ed: would be wide to delete GitHub and use Free software instead]

        If you’ve used the Linux command-line before you’ve likely done plenty of CD commands to change directory – but what if that was an RPG? Not that you asked but rpg-cli answered.

        A pretty amusing idea really, giving you a little RPG experience in your terminal that uses your file system as the environment. So you move into a directory and something will happen. Actually, it’s quite an ingenious idea that I’ve fallen a tiny bit in love with and hope to see it expanded a lot.

        [...]

        Check it out free and open source on GitHub.

      • Learn to break locks in Sophie’s Safecracking Simulator

        You’ve broken locks in all sorts of games, although they’re never particularly difficult and usually just involve rotating one thing until it becomes easy as some kind of mini-game, but what about one that teaches you a little about mechanical locks? Sophie’s Safecracking Simulator does that and plenty more. There’s a wonderful multi-step tutorial to walk you through different pieces of a lock, along with some high-tech tools you can use and you can keep generating a new lock to bust through in record time.

    • Distributions

      • Nitrux 1.4.1 Released with Plasma System Monitor, Heroic Games Launcher, and Pacstall

        The monthly release cycle continues, and Nitrux 1.4.1 is here as the ISO release for May 2021, adding the latest KDE apps and Plasma desktop environment. Included, you can find KDE Plasma 5.21.5, KDE Gear 21.04.1, as well as KDE Frameworks 5.82.0.

        Not only that, but the KDE Plasma environment has been enriched with a new app, namely Plasma System Monitor, which replaces the old KSysGuard (KDE System Guard) system monitor app. In addition, the Parachute overview and plasma-hud have been updated to make your workflow more productive.

      • Changelog: Nitrux 1.4.1

        We are pleased to announce the launch of Nitrux 1.4.1. This new version brings together the latest software updates, bug fixes, performance improvements, and ready-to-use hardware support.

        Nitrux 1.4.1 is available for immediate download.

      • Arch Family

        • Archinstall 2.2 Released For Improving This Easy-To-Use Arch Linux Installer

          Archinstall 2.2 brings support for using GRUB as a secondary boot loader on installations, but is still considered experimental. Archinstall 2.2 also has a number of install experience improvements, the ability to select multiple options during installs, support for loading a JSON-based install configuration file, the minimal installation now includes AMD/Intel CPU microcode files by default, a new “–advanced” option for launching the installer with more options, and a variety of other improvements.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Rocky Linux 8 – Phoenix Tux

          That’s it. For now. I have to say, I’m quite happy with Rocky. All considering, it’s doing pretty well. I was able to replicate my CentOS desktop experience almost fully. That’s already a highly promising start. Some issues remain, but they could be entirely due to the pre-release nature of this project. But always remember, this is a server distro, it’s never really meant for the common laptop, mind.

          The emotional connection still isn’t there – that will take a while – but Rocky Linux is definitely a good, solid choice for a decade-savvy desktop, if you care about stability more than the latest fads and colors. It will take me a bit more time to polish the edges off my Frankenstein, but even so, I’ve got 95% of the stuff already here. Browsers, music players, productivity tools. Looking good. Well, there you go. A sort of a teaser slash primer. I feel like some good things are about to come. If you want to reignite that CentOS spark, Rocky Linux is a very smart choice. Recommended. For those who’re about to Rocky, we salute you. See you around.

        • 3 key considerations for your trusted compute base

          This isn’t the first article I’ve written about trusted computing bases (TCBs), so if the concept is new to you, I suggest you have a look at What’s a trusted compute base? to get an idea of what I’ll be talking about here. In that article, I noted the importance of the size of the TCB: “What you want is a small, easily measurable and easily auditable TCB on which you can build the rest of your system—from which you can build a ‘chain of trust’ to the other parts of your system about which you care.”

          In this article, I want to discuss the importance of a TCB’s size, how you might measure it, and how difficult it can be to reduce its size. Let’s look at those issues in order.

        • What you need to know about Quarkus in 2021

          Part of publishing services on the cloud is providing users and developers easy access to those services through easy and reliable means. One of the most popular methods of interfacing with applications online is through an application programming interface (API), a fancy term that means you allow users to interact with your app through code.

          The API concept is significant because it helps others build upon your app. Suppose you design a website that returns a random number when a user clicks a button. Normally, that would require a user to navigate to your site and click a button. The site might be useful, but only to a point. If you included an API, a user could just send a signal to your server requesting a random number, or they could program something of their own that “calls” your server for a number with no clicking or manual interaction required. A developer could use your random number as a value for a game or as part of a passphrase generator or whatever else developers need random numbers for (there’s always something). A good API unlocks your application for others to use your code’s results, transforming your work on the web into, essentially, a software library.

        • Building a real-time leaderboard with Red Hat Data Grid and Quarkus on a hybrid Kubernetes deployment

          Red Hat Data Grid, built on the Infinispan community project, has been a key component of the Red Hat Summit keynote demonstration for several years, and the first part of our virtual summit in April 2021 was no exception. This year, we built an online Battleship game that was deployed across three continents and hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure. If you missed the live action with Burr Sutter, you can catch the video replay on YouTube.

          In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at Data Grid’s role in the demonstration, explain the architecture, and break down some of the technical details behind what Burr calls “that Data Grid magic.”

        • IT leadership: 5 steps to foster inclusive decision-making

          Everyone with a good idea should be given the respect to have that idea thoughtfully and authentically considered. Everyone, regardless of demographic, should be able to freely contribute and lend their expertise to the conversations when decisions are made. It isn’t just the morally right thing to do; it makes good business sense.

          To accomplish this within Research & Development at Tricentis, we use a framework called “R&D Thinks.” Participation is not limited to the R&D department. We also invite solution architects, support engineers, marketing content strategists, product marketing managers, and others to participate – and they do!

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Hey snap, where’s my data?

          Snaps are self-contained applications, isolated from the underlying operating systems by several layers of confinement. This mechanism introduces security benefits, but it may also create confusion for people who are less familiar with how snaps work and behave, especially when it comes to filesystem access. Today, we’d like to clarify some of the questions and misconceptions around how snaps manage system and user data.

          [...]

          Snap data management is different from the classic Linux conventions. To that end, both the developers and the users should pay attention to the finer nuances, so they can get the best experience. Developers should make sure they correctly utilize the necessary and available paths, and build their snaps so they store important information in locations that will be backed up on maintenance operations. Users should note the difference between their classic Linux home and snap home.

        • Let’s play: sharded big data PostgreSQL

          Everyone knows that if you’ve got big data, you need Apache Hadoop, right? It’s an affordable, horizontally scalable, clustered data processing platform ideal for data warehousing use cases. And it knocks the socks off classic relational database management systems like PostgreSQL that can barely keep up when playing with a terabyte of data, let alone a petabyte. Right? Well, maybe. Let’s look at PostgreSQL again and see what it can do.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 28 May 2021

        Farewell, May –we’re wrapping up the month with another great week. Here are the latest updates on the Apache community’s activities…

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Contest for LibreOffice Ecosystem and LibreOffice Technology logo

          The Strategic Marketing Plan discussed in 2020 has introduced a couple of concepts – LibreOffice Ecosystem and LibreOffice Technology – which will be the cornerstone of LibreOffice marketing activities for the foreseeable future, and will be deployed on web properties, marketing materials, documents, presentations and merchandise for events. Now, we need high-impact visuals to stress the importance of these concepts for LibreOffice.

      • Programming/Development

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Billie Jean King Has Emerged as a Venerated Foremother of American Sports

      At 77, Billie Jean is still active in the progressive movement in sports.

    • Education

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Vaccinating the World, If We Had Grown Ups in Charge

        To be specific, suppose that instead of funneling money into drug companies to subsidize the patent monopoly financed system, we instead use this money, and added more to it, for the purpose of fully prefunding the development of vaccines. The condition of accepting funding is that all the work would be fully open-source.

        This means that all the findings would be posted on the web, so that researchers around the world could build on them. It also means that any patents would be in the public domain so that any manufacturers, anywhere in the world, could produce the vaccines developed through this system, if they had the necessary expertise. The requirement for openness would also apply to the results of clinical trials, so it would be possible for researchers to know which vaccines were most effective for specific demographic groups and against which variants of the virus.

      • A Caring World Needs a Sharing World to End the COVID-19 Pandemic

        While appearing to support the South Africa-India proposal, the Biden administration has considerably narrowed down the scope of the waiver to just patents in comparison to what was there in the original proposal in the WTO: to waive all intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines, diagnostics, and medicine, including industrial designs, copyright and trade secrets. These waivers are required to scale up vaccines from research and development to production at an industrial scale. The Biden patent waiver is, however, limited to vaccines only. It leaves out patents on Remdesivir and various monoclonal antibodies that have shown efficacy against COVID-19. Without extending the vaccine patent waiver to other property rights, the stance by the Biden administration of waiving only vaccine patents is more optics than a real effort to ramp up the fight against COVID-19. The issue of knowledge transfers, to scale up vaccine manufacturing in other countries, still needs to be fought and won.

        Even if it is at the level of optics, there are several reasons behind the United States’ sudden change in its position. The United States has been relatively isolated because of its America First policy of hoarding vaccines and vaccinating all Americans first before exporting the vaccines to the rest of the world. According to an article in the New York Times in March, the United States was sitting on “tens of millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine,” which it was not using, while the WHO’s Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT)-Accelerator program—and its vaccines pillar of COVAX, on which a large part of the world depends—has been facing difficulties getting vaccine supplies. And lastly, with India facing a huge surge in cases domestically and virtually stopping all vaccine exports, China has emerged as one of the only suppliers of vaccines to large parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America. This is endangering Biden’s plans of a grand alliance against China, isolating it globally.

      • Tiger Nut Maker in Newburgh Recalls Products Over Safety Concerns

        Tiger nuts aren’t made from tigers, and they’re not actually nuts either. The sweet treats are tubers that have been described as having the same consistency as chickpeas with the sweetness like that of a coconut. While tiger nuts aren’t really a household name in the United States, they’re extremely popular in Spain and are the main ingredient in the popular drink, horchata.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 176 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 176. This version includes the following changes:

            * Update ffmpeg tests to work with ffmpeg 4.4.
              (Closes: reproducible-builds/diffoscope#258)
            

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Selling Death: the US is Dominant Once Again…in Arms Sales

        In April of this year, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) published its annual analysis of trends in global arms sales and the winner — as always — was the U.S. of A. Between 2016 and 2020, this country accounted for 37% of total international weapons deliveries, nearly twice the level of its closest rival, Russia, and more than six times that of Washington’s threat du jour, China.

        Sadly, this was no surprise to arms-trade analysts.  The U.S. has held that top spot for 28 of the past 30 years, posting massive sales numbers regardless of which party held power in the White House or Congress.  This is, of course, the definition of good news for weapons contractors like Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin, even if it’s bad news for so many of the rest of us, especially those who suffer from the use of those arms by militaries in places like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Israel, the Philippines, and the United Arab Emirates.  The recent bombing and leveling of Gaza by the U.S.-financed and supplied Israeli military is just the latest example of the devastating toll exacted by American weapons transfers in these years.

      • Opinion | A Permanent Structure of Peace

        Every war meant to end terrorism begets terrorism, as it creates an avalanche of collateral damage and unintended consequences.

      • Border Boo Boos

        “A medical examiner has identified human remains found in southeast New Mexico last year near the U.S.-Mexico border.”

        Hmmm. An examination of any map will reveal that southeast New Mexico, Eddy County and Malaga, the small community near where the remains were discovered, are quite a distance from the Mexican border.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The Faux Civics Lesson

        What is common knowledge to most leftists in the US today and certainly to CounterPunch readers, is the fact that the political system which the Framers of the Constitution wrote and envisioned has turned to absolute shit because of the right-wing juggernaut so prevalent in US society.

        The imperial presidency has rendered laughable the system of checks and balances between the three branches of the federal government. Congress has been gerrymandered at exponential levels, and it has turned the Supreme Court and many lower federal courts into the playground of the far right and the wealthy. Watch what happens to Roe v. Wade as the litmus test of both the latter and the former.

      • Opinion | Meet the Senate Nuke Caucus, Busting the Budget and Making the World Less Safe

        These lawmakers represent states with a direct interest in pouring billions into modernizing and building new weapons.

      • ‘End This Game’: Dems Urged to Ditch GOP After ‘Woefully Inadequate’ Infrastructure Offer

        “Ceding to Republicans and accepting any GOP proposal will only lead to the death of more people from extreme weather… and will put in jeopardy the Democratic majority in 2022 and 2024.”

      • Opinion | Hunger as a Weapon: How Biden’s Inaction Is Aggravating Cuba’s Food Crisis

        If President Biden wants to support human rights in Cuba and empower the Cuban people, he can start by alleviating the food crisis by ending Trump’s prohibition on remittances and restoring the right of U.S. residents to travel.

      • Shamelessness, Thy Name is Blinken

        The US, as well as the lickspittle NATO nations of Europe have pretty much topped this hypothetical example with a real one. They accomplished this by going into high dudgeon over Belarus President/dictator Alexander Lukashenko’s ruse of warning of a bomb on a UK Ryanair passenger jet flying from  Greece to Lithuania and sending Belorus fighter jets to intercept and ‘escort’ and divert the plane to a landing in Minsk. There his police conducted a comic “search” for the nonexistent threat and then arrested a critical Belarus journalist who was on board.

        European countries are calling Lukashenko’s outrage an official government act of piracy and are threatening to ban all flights from Belarus in response. In the US, an indignant Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement saying:

      • The Emperor’s New Rules

        In contrast to U.S. actions, in nearly every speech or interview, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken keeps promising to uphold and defend the “rules-based order.” But he has never clarified whether he means the universal rules of the United Nations Charter and international law, or some other set of rules he has yet to define. What rules could possibly legitimize the kind of destruction we just witnessed in Gaza, and who would want to live in a world ruled by them?

        We have both spent many years protesting the violence and chaos the United States and its allies inflict on millions of people around the world by violating the UN Charter’s prohibition against the threat or use of military force, and we have always insisted that the U.S. government should comply with the rules-based order of international law.

      • Led by Jayapal, Broad Coalition of 156 House Dems Demands Medicare Expansion in Infrastructure Bill

        “Lowering the eligibility age, improving benefits, and allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices will change lives and save people money.”

      • Trump Influence Very Much Alive

        And so it came to pass that the Republican leaders of the House and Senate slavishly followed Trump’s exhortation and expressed their disapproval of bipartisan legislation to create a commission to probe the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection because it ostensibly would make the former president look bad. He was impeached for instigating it.

        “Republicans must get much tougher and much smarter and stop being used by the radical left,” Trump appealed to Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Senate minority leader, The Washington Post reported.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Reaping the Bitter Fruits of Collaboration

        Make no mistake, collaboration strategy was devised by economic sectors primarily dependent upon the utilization of public resources for their profits. And while Republican governors and presidents initiated that strategy, it was willingly embraced by Democrat politicians as a means of dodging the tough decisions for the political expediency of kicking the can down the road to “collaboratives.”

        The classic example is the Healthy Forests Initiative devised by former timber lobbyist Mark Rey, who was appointed by President Bush to oversee our national forests. The timber industry knew it would be tough for conservationists to argue against “healthy forests,” since who doesn’t want a healthy forest?

      • Your Opinion Doesn’t Matter. Protests Matter.

        Your opinion matters only if you express it. Expression of an opinion doesn’t change anything unless it’s done effectively. Opinions expressed en masse, alongside others who share your views, are more likely to effect change—but that’s not enough to move the needle. What changes policy, what improves lives for the foreseeable future, what makes history on a radical scale, is a sustained mass movement that expresses an opinion so aggressively that the ruling classes are forced to change course or risk losing their power and privilege to revolutionary overthrow.

        American liberals and leftists have strong opinions on a variety of issues. But they express them on the couch or online rather than in the streets, where it matters. On the rare occasion when we venture into the public sphere, our protests are usually sporadic and unsustained, like the annual anti-Trump women’s marches with the pink pussy hats or militantly nonviolent, like the antiwar protests leading up to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. Neither had any effect. Leftie demonstrations rarely assume the dangerous character required to scare the powers that be: violent, or nonviolent while brandishing a credible threat of violence.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Major open source projects abandon Freenode following hostile takeover

        Dozens of organizations and projects continue to move away from the popular Freenode IRC chat network, which has long been synonymous with open source projects.

        Since last week, several reputable projects and organizations such as Wikimedia (non-profit that runs Wikipedia), Adafruit, along with several Linux distros such as Ubuntu, Gentoo and CentOS have switched away from Freenode, most notably to Libera Chat, which was founded and is run by the former Freenode staff.

    • Monopolies

      • Workers Stage Global Day of Action to #MakeAmazonPay

        “Loud and clear, Amazon’s producers, distributors, and delivery drivers are telling Jeff Bezos: pay your workers.”

      • [Guest Post] Repeat filings after Monopoly: an exchange of views [Ed: Monopoly is a wonderful thing, say lawyers who work directly for monopolists]

        Furthermore, the GC highlighted once again – in accordance with established ECJ case-law – how to interpret bad faith, namely that it “presupposes the presence of a dishonest state of mind or intention” [para. 32]. This is the case if it is apparent from relevant and consistent indicia that the EUTM-holder filed the trademark application “not with the aim of engaging fairly in competition but with the intention of undermining, in a manner inconsistent with honest practices, the interests of third parties, or with the intention of obtaining, without even targeting a specific third party, an exclusive right for purposes other than those falling within the functions of a trade mark, in particular the essential function of indicating origin” [para.33]

        The importance of the EUTM holder’s intention also becomes apparent in the wording of established case-law. While “account may also be taken of the origin of the contested sign and its use since its creation, the commercial logic underlying the filing of the application for registration of that sign as an EU trade mark, and the chronology of events leading up to that filing” [para. 38 emphasis added], consideration “must” be given to the EUTM holder’s intention [para. 39].

        This intention must be proven by the applicant seeking cancellation, by submitting sufficient and objective circumstances that would allow for the conclusion that the trademark was filed in bad faith. Only after the applicant for a declaration of invalidity has relied on objective circumstances regarding the EUTM holder’s intention that could rebut the presumption of good faith [para. 43 (above) and 44], the burden of proof may shift.

        The GC thus stressed that only the trade mark holder’s intention is critical, not whether a trade mark has been re-filed per se [para. 89].

        In addition, the GC reminded that all of the specific circumstances of the case had to be taken into account [cf. para 71]. In this case, those circumstances included, aside from the EUTM holder’s admission, the filing of oppositions based on the trade mark at stake [para. 59] and the fact that the earlier marks had not been surrendered [para. 60].

      • Patents

        • Patents are needed to develop medicines for future pandemics – Merkel [Ed: Merkel is lying. Old mythology. Merkel also protects criminals and covers up the crimes at the EPO in Germany because of financial interests.]
        • EPO invalidates UC Berkeley CRISPR patent

          The EPO has revoked a foundational CRISPR patent owned by UC Berkeley following oral proceedings at the office on April 12 and 13, it emerged this week.

          The university’s EP3241902 patent, called “Methods and compositions for RNA-directed target DNA modification and for RNA-directed modulation of transcription”, was invalidated in its entirety last month on the basis of an invalid priority claim.

          This invalidation represents the first big loss of UC Berkeley’s CRISPR patent rights in Europe.

          While the written decision from the EPO’s Opposition Division has not yet been published, preliminary non-binding opinions from the division cited a key 2012 publication from the university, referred to as Jinek 2012, as potentially relevant prior art.

          This prior art, the division suggested, supported the revocation of the patent on the basis of a lack of inventive step under Article 56 in the European Patent Convention.

          This is the second time a core CRISPR patent has been invalidated by the EPO over the past six months. The Broad Institute’s EP2771468 CRISPR patent, called “Engineering of systems, methods and optimised guide compositions for sequence manipulation”, was revoked in November 2020.

        • Unified Files Amicus Addressing Western District’s Court Congestion, Refusal To Transfer

          On May 24, 2021, Unified filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in support of a mandamus petition related to a denial of transfer. The brief argues that the Western District judge’s decision not to transfer a case brought by Koss Corp. ignored authority and the court’s analysis amounted to an abuse of discretion by erroneously weighing or failing to credit the parties’ representations, including party witness convenience.

        • Unified Files in Amicus for En Banc Review of Apple v. Qualcomm on Appellate Standing

          On May 21, 2021, Unified filed an amicus curiae brief in support of en banc review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Apple v. Qualcomm on the issue of the court’s increasingly patent-focused, Circuit-specific rules surrounding appellate standing. In the brief, Unified asked the court to review a decision on appeal from a PTAB proceeding where the panel found that the petitioner lacked standing, despite having been sued and paying royalties on the patent in question.

[Meme] Outsourced Panel to Decide on Legality of Outsourced Panels

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 10:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Quiet please, G1/21 in progress; Has the hearing been outsourced or something?
Outsourced ‘logic’

Summary: The absurdity of EPO management has hit António Campinos in the rear end; Is Campinos shouting again? After his father had fought for justice (until his early death) the son nonchalantly attacked the very legitimacy of courts and as one comment has just put it (first comment), “my own personal opinion after many year’s association with the EPO is that today marks a sad loss of the days when impartiality could be expected.” It’s increasingly clear that EPO management got greedy. It totally rigged it. It went too far. It thought it could carry on rigging court cases with its 'Swedish chef'. This time the rigging became far too obvious and now they belatedly pay the price.

Breaking: G1/21 (ViCo Hearing) Going Down the Drain

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 10:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Drain

Summary: The crisis of legitimacy inside the Boards of Appeal has caused today’s hearing to be postponed, maybe indefinitely (pending a solution to this crisis/deadlock)

SO it finally happened!

“By extension, the credibility of any claims of independence for Boards of Appeal judges is now at historic lows (or worst since the kidnapping of Judge PC).”Stick a fork in it, it’s done!

OK, as a quick recap, a few days ago we finished our 20-part series about G1/21. Rose Hughes and comments on her blog posts played a role in getting the scrutiny up to speed. Techrights threw a wrench (as did many others) and the kangaroo court sort of ‘died’, albeit it’ll never acknowledge what caused it. By extension, the credibility of any claims of independence for Boards of Appeal judges is now at historic lows (or worst since the kidnapping of Judge PC).

In the words of Dr. Hughes (minutes ago):

The Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) has decided to reschedule oral proceedings for G1/21 due to a procedural technicality. The referral concerns the legality of conducting Board of Appeal oral proceedings by Video Conferencing (ViCo) without the consent of all parties. However, the substantive issues in the referral were not considered today. Instead, the EBA accepted a request from the Opponent for postponement of proceedings. The Opponent particularly objected that they had not been given sufficient time to consider the President’s submissions on the referral, given that they had only received formal notification of these submissions a few days before the hearing.

G1/21: Case catch-up

The new rule of procedure of the Boards of Appeal (RPBA), Article 15a, was introduced earlier this year. Article 15a RPBA permits a Board of Appeal to hold oral proceedings by ViCo whenever “the Board considers it appropriate to do so”. The rapid introduction of this new provision sparked considerable controversy, given that it permits Boards of Appeal to hold oral proceedings by ViCo even when one or more of the parties disagree. Whilst most commentators have accepted the necessity of ViCo proceedings during the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns were raised that access to justice before the EPO requires a party to have the right to put their case in-person.

The referral in G1/21 asks whether Article 15a RPBA is compatible with the right to oral proceedings as enshrined in Article 116(1) EPC. The referral itself stems from appeal of the opposition decision to maintain EP1609239 in amended form (T1807/15) (IPKat).

[...]

The EBA was clearly concerned that a decision on the legality of mandatory ViCo proceedings should not be unnecessarily delayed, given the potentially large number of affected cases. The Opponent was therefore asked how long they would require to consider the President’s submissions. The Opponent responded that they would like at least 1 month. The EBA accepted this request, and oral proceedings will be rescheduled for June-July in order to allow the Opponent to make further written submissions.

It thus seems that, in the Enlarged Board’s admirable attempt to provide legal certainty on ViCo proceedings as soon as possible, certain procedural rules have been overlooked. We will therefore have to wait a little longer to hear the arguments on the substantive issues of the referral. However, on the plus side, at least the parties will not have to travel all the way back to Munich to attend the rescheduled hearing…

Amy Sandys has also just commented on this:

At the beginning of 2021, the European Patent Office and EPO Boards of Appeal changed their practice. Previously, the office could only conduct oral proceedings via video with the consent of both parties.

However, from January 2021, the office made it possible for video proceedings to go ahead even without the consent of both parties.

The above aren’t patent sceptics but maximalists. Maybe deep inside they worry about the very viability of these courts, which they wanted us to wrongly assume had operated smoothly and happily. There has been no Haar-mony there for a long, long time.

The Administrative Council needs to step in an examine what happened to EPO management under Benoît Battistelli‘s and António Campinos‘s regime. They clearly undermined the legitimacy of about a decade’s worth of BoA decisions. Battistelli lost his cool about 8 years ago and now we have loads of discredited decisions, including some on European software patents. Getting back to the drawing table is well overdue. Doing illegal things for so many years, hoping that rigged courts will then rubber-stamp them, is what we can expect from primitive societies, not the very heart of Germany. Speaking of Germany, Merkel is lying again. Old mythology is being spread in the news today. As we noted before, Merkel and her colleagues also protect the “Mafia” at the EPO and cover up/hide the crimes at the EPO (in Germany) because of financial interests. Merkel’s latest remarks are bound to infuriate billions of people who cannot be vaccinated due to patent monopolies. Those who echo the same talking points (as one comment in IP Kat did yesterday) basically spread a very racist lie. They want us to think that given knowledge and equipment poor countries still cannot manufacture thei own vaccines. As if people in those countries are brutes and animals or something…

Old Video Explaining Software Patents

Posted in Patents at 6:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link


Summary: The video above explains how software patents work

Old Talk by Dr. Richard Stallman About How Patents Work

Posted in Intellectual Monopoly, Patents at 5:42 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link


Summary: Richard Stallman explains how patents work

Transcript:

[00:00]

RMS: These patents last for 20 years, starting from when someone applied for the patent. You see, the patent office issues patents in response to an application. Someone pays an expensive application fee and even more money to the lawyers who draw up the patent so that it will give him a lot of power, and if the lawyers have done this right the patent office sometime

[00:30]

later issues the patent, and the patent is an absolute monopoly on using a certain technical idea.

So the myth that people have is the idea that what is being patented is an entire product. They think that if someone designs a product he will go and quote patent the product unquote. That’s already a mistake.

[01:00]

And they will imagine that if his product was new that nobody else could possibly have patented it before, so he’s the only one who can patent it. And he alone will have a patent on this product. This is completely a myth, because patents don’t cover an entire product. Each patent is a monopoly on using a certain method, a technical method, and that method is probably

[01:30]

just a tiny part in a real product today in a field like software. So today, the situation we really face is that in the one software product there are thousands of different ideas and each of them might be patented by somebody else. So this myth of one patent per product gives people completely the wrong idea

[02:00]

of the system they are trying to think about. And this myth is used very effectively by the lobbyists in favor of software patents.

Another myth that they appeal to is the myth that software patents quote protect unquote the quote small inventor unquote. The lobbyists in favor of software patents are working for

[02:30]

megacorporations. So, when they say that this is good for small companies one must suspect that they are trying to pull the wool over our legislators’ eyes. In fact, the situation is that software patents are mainly good for the megacorporations. You see the megacorporations that are active in the software field get thousands of patents each

[03:00]

and they cross-license with each other, which means that they form a kind of exclusive club and they avoid the bulk of the problems of the system. Meanwhile, with all their patents they can attack anyone else when they want to and as a result, software patents give the megacorporations a certain amount of dominion over all software activities.

[03:30]

Now, another myth that these megacorporation lobbyists frequently cite is the idea that it’s just too hard to deal with anything if the laws are different between different countries. That’s like saying, well, if in your country I don’t need a bodyguard that’s too complex.

[04:00]

Please make me need a bodyguard in your country the same way I need it in that country and in that country. That way I can take the same bodyguard everywhere. There’s no sense in this idea. They can perfectly well deal with being free to write and distribute and use whatever programs they like. It wouldn’t cause them any trouble at all.

And another myth that they like to cite

[04:30]

is the idea that if the US has software patents, that proves it must be the right thing to do.

[audience laughs]

You’ll be amazed at how much mileage they get out of something so utterly absurd. Or they say, the US has software patents, if our country doesn’t offer software patents to our companies

[05:00]

then US companies will have an advantage. It’s actually just the opposite. Any country that doesn’t allow software patents is giving all the software developers and users in that country an advantage, which is that they don’t have to be worried about being sued because of how they wrote the programs they wrote or how someone else wrote the programs they use. They’re safe.

[05:30]

They have protection from patents. You see, every country has its own patent system. They’re all separate. So each country’s patent office issues patents that restrict what people are allowed to do in that country only. So US patents only restrict US companies and individuals and things that are done in the US.

[06:00]

And Canadian patents restrict things that are done in Canada, only. But everyone in the world can get a US patent. They don’t have to be Americans to get US patents. Canadians can get US patents. So Canadian companies can get US software patents and then attack us poor American software developers at home. We’re not safe anywhere.

[06:30]

[audience laughs]

But if Canada rejects software patents but then Canadians at least will be safe at home. No one in the world whether Canadian or American or anything else will be able to get Canadian software patents and sue poor Canadians at home. So in fact, the country that doesn’t allow software patents is giving its own citizens an advantage.

[07:00]

They could attack Americans but Americans couldn’t fight back.

[audience laughs loudly]

Now, most of the time when people describe the workings of the patent system they are people who have a vested interest in the system. Either they’re patent lawyers or they’re part of the patent bureaucracy or they

[07:30]

work in the patent department of a megacorporation. So they have a vested interest in making patents sound like a good system. And they do this in a particular way. The magazine “The Economist” once compared the patent system to a time-consuming lottery, because the effects of any given patent vary tremendously. I’m sure you know what the advertisements

[08:00]

for a lottery look like. They dwell luxuriously on the unlikely possibility that you win. And they never mention the overwhelmingly likely possibility that you lose. And in this way they contrive to give a misleading picture without factually lying. The publicity for the patent system uses the same

[08:30]

principle. The proponents of the system dwell lovingly on what it’s like to apply for a patent and get one, and they ask you to imagine that you’re walking down the street with a patent in your pocket and you can pull it out and point it at people and say, “give me your money”.

[audience chuckles]

So I’m going to try to counterbalance their bias by describing

[09:00]

what the patent system looks like from the other end of the patent barrel, what it feels like to be walking down the street knowing that at any time somebody could pull out a patent and point it at you and say give me all [your money].

Links 28/5/2021: GNU/Linux in Punjabi University, More on WordPress at 18

Posted in News Roundup at 4:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Punjabi University to work on operating system based on Linux

      Punjabi University will now work on Linux-based operating system. The University Vice-Chancellor (VC), Prof Arvind, said they would develop an operating system that worked in Punjabi.

      The VC made the announcement on the concluding day of the 50th seven-day workshop organised by the Department of Punjabi Computer Help Centre.

    • Server

      • AMD Preparing More Linux Code For The Frontier Supercomputer

        Frontier as the first US exascale supercomputer being commissioned by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Department of Energy. while being powered by AMD CPUs/GPUs is in the process of seeing more Linux kernel changes for bringing up the new platform.

        Frontier is being powered by AMD EPYC and Radeon Instinct accelerators. While set to be delivered in 2021, the Linux software support continues to be worked on for making this supercomputer a reality. In particular, the latest code sent out is working on coherent handling of GPU memory with this supercomputer supporting a coherent interconnect between the CPUs and GPUs. The latest patch series out of AMD is proposing changes to the memory management code around device zone page migration and ultimately for handling page migration and coherent CPU access to video memory.

      • 6,000 GPUs: NERSC Says Perlmutter Delivers 4 Exaflops, Claims Top Spot in AI Supercomputing

        Based on the Top500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, the current top-ranked system is Fugaku, jointly developed by Japan’s RIKEN scientific institute and Fujitsu.

    • Kernel Space

      • Android PS5 Controller Support | Connection Via USB or Bluetooth

        The upcoming Google Pixel 6 series is expected to launch with Linux kernel 5.10 which means that it will likely have the new Linux kernel driver for the Sony PS5 controller. The driver is now being backported to the Android 4.14-stable, the Android-4.9-q, and even the Android-4.19-stable branches which gives OEMs the option to be able to cherry pick the needed patches.

        XDA developers note that the DualSense controller feels incredibly immersive. When it comes to correct implementation, it still isn’t even possible for the Android apps to activate the vibration of the Sony DualSense controller like how the PS5 gamers are designed. Android also cannot support the controller’s somewhat adaptive trigger features which technically add a bit of resistance.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to configure ACL (Access Control Lists) in Linux

        Traditional Linux access permissions for files and directories consists of setting a combination of read, write, and execute permissions for the “owner”, “group”, and “others” of the file or directory.

        These permissions can be set using the ‘chmod‘ command. However, this has its limitations and does not allow you to set flexible permissions for users.

      • How to install and configure NGINX as reverse proxy | LibreByte

        NGINX is a web server with excellent performance and low memory footprint. NGINX can be used as a reverse HTTP proxy, as a generic TCP / UPD proxy, as a mail proxy server and as a load balancer, today we will install NGINX on Debian GNU/Linux and use it as a generic TPC/UPD proxy.

      • How to Enable Debug Mode in Laravel – TecAdmin

        Debugging is a helpful feature for developers to identify the causes of issues. Most of the modern application frameworks provides you the option to enable debug mode including Laravel. It is an good idea to keep enable debug mode in your development environment. In your production environment, this value should always be false.

      • How to install Gnome GUI on Almalinux 8.4 – Linux Shout

        Those who have just installed the AlmaLinux Minimal ISO version without GUI Desktop, have to use the command-line interface. And if you are not comfortable with it anymore, then it is possible to install Graphical Linux Desktop using such as Gnome using just a few commands. Here we will show you how to install GNOME GUI Desktop on the AlmaLinux server CLI version.

      • How to Disable IPv6 on Debian 10

        In this short article, I explain how to disable IPv6 in the Debian 10 network stack. Why would one want to do this? Most likely if you have connection problems and cannot reach servers on the Internet from your Debian system using IPv6, while it works using IPv4. Disabling IPv6 should always be the last resort. If you can’t fix it on your network, for example, because your Internet access provider blocks IPv6, then the only other option is to disable it on your server, and that’s what I’ll describe below.

      • Pattern searching using grep – Linux Concept

        The command g/RE/p stands for globally search for the regular expression (RE) and print the line.

      • How to Install and Use TeamViewer on Ubuntu 20.04

        Teamviewer is a widely used utility for accessing and controlling a remote computer system. Many rganizations use TeamViewer to provide remote support to their clients. Use cases include troubleshooting system crashes, remote technical assistant, online educational programs, Video conferencing, remotely working when away from office (e.g. Work From Home) etc.

        TeamViewer has become particularly essential during these Covid-19 days as most of the IT staff is working remotely. With TeamViewer, we can access the remote desktop screen, control it with our own mouse and keyboard and fix system issues without being there in person, assist employees working from home, and so on.

      • How to Set Up Postfix SMTP Relay on Ubuntu with Sendinblue

        This tutorial is going to show you how to set up Postfix SMTP relay with Sendinblue on Ubuntu. Postfix is a popular open-source SMTP server. Previously I wrote an article on how to easily set up a full-blown email server on Ubuntu with iRedMail, which helped a lot of readers run their own email servers.

        However, some readers told me that port 25 is blocked by hosting provider/ISP as a way to control email spam, so they couldn’t send emails. Vultr would unblock port 25 if you ask them to, and ScalaHosting doesn’t block port 25 at all, so I recommend using ScalaHosting VPS. Some other hosting providers/ISPs like DigitalOcean would refuse to unblock port 25.

      • How to install Kubeflow 1.2 on Red Hat OpenShift | Red Hat Developer

        As artificial intelligence (AI) adoption increases across industries, particularly through machine learning (ML), the job of integrating the often disparate tools, libraries, packages, and dependencies also increases in complexity. This makes development and operations (DevOps) a daunting task that both organizations and open source communities are actively working on. To quote the authors of Hidden Technical Debt in Machine Learning Systems, “developing and deploying ML systems is relatively fast and cheap, but maintaining them over time is difficult and expensive.”

        If you are in the throes of tackling DevOps for AI/ML (MLOps), two open source projects worth your attention are the upstream Kubeflow and the downstream Open Data Hub (ODH). The goal of these projects is to provide machine learning toolkits that handle the complex parts of orchestration that traditional software DevOps does not.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • OpSec Says DMCA Notice System Was “Spoofed” To Target Ubuntu Download

          An anti-piracy company cited as the sender of a DMCA notice targeting an entirely legal copy of Ubuntu says that its notice sending system was spoofed. The notice was reportedly sent via Comcast to warn a Reddit user that he’d breached copyright law but the explanation from OpSec Security only raises even more questions as to how something like this could possibly happen.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Review: the Cosmo Communicator

        It’s 2021, and it’s time to upgrade your smartphone. Maybe it’s getting slow, it might be damaged, or your device’s OEM refuses to update your version of Android. Whatever the reason, you set your budget and full of hope and starry-eyed about all the possibilities, you go to your preferred electronics store (or carrier, if you’re American) – and as you scroll through the possible phones, your hopes are shattered and your heart sinks in your shoes. Your choices are between an endless array of black slabs, and while you can technically choose between Android and iOS, you will have most likely made that specific choice ages ago, and switching platforms is hard.

        Slightly dramatised, sure, but the reality of smartphones today is that all of them look and feel the same. The difference between mid range and high end have shrunk over the years, and while there are still small differences here and there, the general experience is going to be the same from device to device. Even if you skip a few years of upgrades, the jump in performance to the latest and greatest processor isn’t going to make that much of a difference in your day to day use. While you can technically opt for one of the new folding phones, the reality is that they still suffer from early adopter problems, and their prices are far beyond what most of us would want to pay for a smartphone.

        [...]

        Since this is plain old Debian, pretty much anything in the Debian repositories will work, since ARM is a supported architecture. You can set up your own desktop the same way you would set up any KDE installation on a regular PC or laptop, and other than the smaller display, there’s really nothing special or extraordinary about it.

        The official Linux image for Cosmo also makes some special affordances for the device. It comes with a phone and SMS application, so you can make phone calls and send text messages right from within Linux. You can also set up the cover display as an external touchpad, but while an interesting gimmick, I did not find this particularly useful. Version 4 of the Linux image also introduces better support for the shortcut keys to control various aspects of the hardware, like WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular. Sadly, this version was released a few days before my fiancee and I had to go to the hospital to deliver our child, so I haven’t been able to test it quite yet. It requires a fresh installation due to a switchover from droid-hal-cosmopda-bin to lxc-android, and I do not feel comfortable performing such an installation on devices that aren’t mine.

        Performance of the Linux image was great, and I did not notice any serious shortcomings. Of course, if you come in expecting the performance of a big gaming laptop you’re going to be disappointed, but if you have reasonable expectations, you won’t be disappointed. It’s too bad I couldn’t test the external display support, because that would be an absolutely ideal use case for this device, especially for people who work in a variety of locations.

        One downside of the Linux image is that it’s based on Debian Buster, which means some of the packages are going to feel a bit outdated because Buster favours stability over bleeding edge. The KDE version, for instance, is three years old, which is perfectly fine and working well, but you will miss out on more recent features and improvements. It would be great if other, more up-to-date distributions, such as Ubuntu or Manjaro, could be made to work on the Cosmo for those of us of a more adventurous nature.

      • Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro compact Amlogic S905X3 SBC launched for $61

        Banana Pi has already designed an Amlogic S905X3 SBC with Banana Pi BPI-M5 that closely follows Raspberry Pi 3 Model B form factor, but they’ve now launched a more compact model with Banana Pi BPI-M2 Pro that follow the design of the company’ earlier BPI-M2+ SBC powered by the good old Allwinner H3 processor.

        BPI-M2 Pro comes with 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC storage, HDMI video output, Gigabit Ethernet, Wifi & Bluetooth connectivity, as well as two USB 3.0 ports.

      • Yet Another Rigol DS1054Z Viewer

        This is coded in Pascal (FPC Lazarus), but we weren’t able to browse the program because [Alfred] hasn’t posted the source code yet. It is written only for Linux, and he has tested it on Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and Manjaro. The project relies on Python, PyVisa, and gtk2, and talks to your DS1054Z over USB or LAN. The installation instructions are well documented, but as [Alfred] himself warns, if you encounter trouble arising from subtle dependency version conflicts, you may need to be a nerd and/or a pensioner with unlimited time on your hands to solve them. There is no users guide nor extensive help according to [Alfred]. However, simple hints might be found in hover text or by pressing F1. Disclaimers aside, this looks like an interesting project to try out.

        As [Alfred] notes, there are many other tools available to fetch data and images from your Rigol oscilloscope. [Jenny List] wrote a two-part series on using Python to control your test instruments, and here’s an example of a simple Python script that does a screen grab. Do you have a favorite way to remotely operate your oscilloscope? Let us know in the comments below.

      • Huawei Watch 3 with HarmonyOS is coming on June 2

        Huawei is holding an event on June 2 to unveil its new lineup of HarmonyOS-running devices, which will also include a new smartwatch – the Huawei Watch 3.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Calculate pi with a Raspberry Pi Spigot | The MagPi #106
        • Raspberry Pi: After launching five devices in less than a year, here’s what they’re doing next

          For Raspberry Pi, the passage of time over the past year has been marked by the launches of a series of new products (four devices in 2020, to be precise, plus another device in January this year), a feat the British computer maker managed to pull off despite the country being plunged into a series of COVID-19 lockdowns.

          Demand for its tiny computers soared due to the overnight switch to home working. On top of that, after the launch of Raspberry Pi’s High Quality Camera in April 2020, the company went on to launch the 8GB Raspberry Pi 4 one month later. This would be followed by the Compute Module 4, the Raspberry Pi 400, and most recently, the $4 Raspberry Pi Pico in January this year.

          “We went into the pandemic with this enormous pipeline of stuff to do,” Raspberry Pi creator and co-founder, Eben Upton, tells TechRepublic. “Every single one of those [launches] moves us forward quite a long way.”

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • CMS

        • Happy 18th Birthday, WordPress

          WordPress is celebrating 18 years today since the first release of the software to the general public. That release post, titled, “WordPress Now Available,” kicked off an exciting era in the history of the blogosphere where WordPress emerged as an unofficial successor to the abandoned b2/cafelog software. Reading the comments on the first release, you can feel the energy of that time when loyal b2 users were thrilled to have a smooth migration to a new blogging engine that would be maintained.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • The Best Adobe Photoshop Alternatives in 2021

            GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is regularly the top pick when it comes to free photo editing apps because it’s both powerful and, well, free. It’s why it’s also our top pick for Best Free Photo Editing Apps here. As far as replacing Photoshop entirely, it’s got its perks for the budget-conscious.

            GIMP offers layer-based editing, with support for PSD, TIFF, PNG, EXR, and RGBE files, and its dark UI resembles that of Photoshop. It has color adjustments, object selection tools, powerful retouching tools, such as the Heal, Clone, and Warp Transform tool, as well as sharpening and blurring filters. Similar to Photoshop, it also has Curves, Levels, Dodge and Burn, and a variety of image transform tools. GIMP also has available user-created plug-ins and scripts that add additional features and tools to the workflow.

            One major knock on the program is that it doesn’t necessarily instill the same industry-standard habits that you’ll get from software like Photoshop or even Affinity Photo, so moving from GIMP to any of those in the future might pose a challenge. Considering this is free software, it makes it a great choice for budget-conscious users who still want to manipulate their images and don’t mind the learning curve. Although open-source, GIMP offers numerous resources and tutorials to get users started, and has active community members who share how-to videos on YouTube.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • A Second Cambrian Explosion of Open Source Licenses Or Is it Time For Open Source Lawyers to Have Fun Again?

            Eventually, the sprawling nature of this experimentation began to cause problems. The Free Software Foundation’s Free Software Definition and the Open Source Initiative’s Open Source Definition were both attempts to bring some order to the open source software world.
            In the specific context of licensing, the Open Source Initiative began approving licenses that met its criteria. Soon thereafter, it released a License Proliferation Report detailing the challenges created by this proliferation of licenses and proposing ways to combat them.
            These activities helped to bring order and standardization to the world of open source licensing. While OSI continues to approve licenses, for well over a decade the conventional wisdom in the world of open source has been to avoid creating a new license if at all possible. As a result, for most of this century open source software license experimentation has been decidedly out of style.
            Largely for the reasons described in the License Proliferation Report, this conventional wisdom has been beneficial to the community. License proliferation does create a number of problems. Standardization does help address them. However, in doing so standardization also greatly reduced the amount of license experimentation within the community.
            Reduced experimentation means that concerns incorporated into approved licenses (access to modifications of openly licensed code) have been canonized, while concerns that had not been integrated into an approved license (restrictions on unethical uses of software) at the moment of formalization were largely excluded from consideration within the open source community.

      • Programming/Development

        • Tech entrepreneur David Richards looking to boost number of software developers

          “EyUp will teach people to code, help them find jobs as developers, nurture new start-ups and contribute to social and economic wellbeing.”

          The Yorkshire venture will have three strands to it. EyUp Skills will run a 16-week full-time course in partnership with the coding bootcamp iO Academy.

        • Make anything a JavaScript module using Node.js ESM Module Loaders

          Disclaimer: you can’t load an actual bottle into Node.js (yet).

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl / Unix One-liner Cage Match, Part 1

            A shell (like Bash) provides built-in commands and scripting features to easily solve and automate various tasks. External commands like grep, sed, Awk, sort, find, or parallel can be combined to work with each other. Sometimes you can use Perl either as a single replacement or a complement to them for specific use cases.

            Perl is the most robust portable option for text processing needs. Perl has a feature rich regular expression engine, built-in functions, an extensive ecosystem, and is quite portable. However, Perl may have slower performance compared to specialized tools and can be more verbose.

          • Perl / Unix One-liner Cage Match, Part 2

            In Part 1, I compared Perl’s regexp features with sed and Awk. In this concluding part, I’ll cover examples that make use of Perl’s extensive built-in features and third-party modules.

  • Leftovers

    • Education

      • Illinois Continued to Seclude and Restrain Students This Year Even Though Many Schools Were Closed

        Illinois school workers physically restrained or secluded nearly 2,400 students more than 15,000 times this school year, a period when many schools were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, new state data shows.

        The data, obtained Thursday by the Chicago Tribune and ProPublica, shows that even with new rules put in place early last year, schools continued to use physical restraints and isolated timeout thousands of times. The data includes public schools, private schools and regional cooperatives that exclusively serve students with disabilities.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Infectious Disease Expert: Only Way to Get to Immunity Is to Vaccinate the World
      • Rich Nations Could ‘Make Enough Vaccine for the World’ With Just $25 Billion: Analysis

        “The global vaccine apartheid is a policy choice,” said the People’s Vaccine Alliance. “We have the means to end it.”

      • Dr. Monica Gandhi on the Origins of COVID-19, Vaccine Equity, the Debate over Masks & More

        President Joe Biden has ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to investigate the origins of COVID-19 as new questions are being raised over whether an accidental leak from a Chinese virology lab is to blame for the pandemic. The Wall Street Journal reports three employees of the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill with COVID-like symptoms in the autumn of 2019 and were hospitalized in November of that year, before the first recorded case of COVID-19. China has criticized the Biden administration’s call for a new probe, saying the lab leak hypothesis is a “conspiracy created by U.S. intelligence agencies.” In March, the World Health Organization said its investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic found it was “extremely unlikely” that the novel coronavirus emerged from a laboratory, but many scientists are calling on the WHO to further investigate the possibility. We speak with infectious disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi, who says there are real questions about whether information about the virus was withheld early on, delaying public health measures and vaccine development, but she stresses that “designing” a virus in a lab is very difficult. “I personally do not think that you can create these type of viruses in a lab. Only nature can do this,” Dr. Gandhi says. She also discusses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s loosening of public health restrictions and how the U.S. can use its vaccine surplus to help other countries. “The solution of the pandemic is immunity. And the only way to get to immunity is to vaccinate the world,” she says.

      • No Tokyo Olympics: As COVID Spikes in Japan, Calls Grow to Cancel Games. IOC Refuses. Who Profits?

        Pressure is growing on organizers to cancel the Tokyo Olympics as Japan struggles to contain a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases. The games, which were delayed by a year due to the pandemic, are scheduled to begin July 23 even though less than 3% of the Japanese population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, one of the lowest rates in the developed world. Jules Boykoff, author and former Olympic athlete who played for the U.S. Olympic soccer team, says the “extremely lopsided” contracts the International Olympic Committee signs with host countries give the body ultimate authority over whether or not to cancel the event. “More than 80% of the people in Japan oppose hosting the Olympics this summer, and yet the IOC insists on pressing ahead,” says Boykoff. We also speak with Satoko Itani, professor of sport, gender and sexuality studies at Kansai University, who says there is growing public anger at the government and a “sense of unfairness” that the games are going ahead during a pandemic. “They feel that the people are not protected,” they say.

      • Opinion | It’s Time to Break Big Pharma’s Grip on Healthcare and Empower Medicare to Negotiate Cheaper Drug Prices

        The Lower Drug Costs Now Act would be long-overdue step towards making prescription medicines more affordable for all Americans.

      • As Bayer Considers Ending Some US Glyphosate Sales, Campaigners Urge EPA to Enact Full Ban

        “Unless this cancer-causing weedkiller is banned by the Environmental Protection Agency or Bayer cuts its losses and stops making it, people will continue to be exposed and risk serious illness.”

      • Delhi govt declares black fungus epidemic as number of cases rises, issues regulations

        Amid rising incidents of black fungus in the national capital, the Delhi government on Thursday declared it an epidemic with Lt Governor Anil Baijal issuing regulations under the Epidemic Diseases Act to contain and manage cases of the deadly mucormycosis in the city.

      • Go read this investigation into the real death toll from the Texas freeze

        “We now know that the Texas government’s repeated failure to modernize our energy systems killed over 700 Texans in February’s winter storm,” former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke tweeted, calling for more action from lawmakers to harden the state’s energy system from climate change and more extreme weather. Many energy companies chose not to steel the state’s energy infrastructure against bouts of cold weather, even after a similarly brutal 2011 cold snap.

      • Why the Covid Wuhan lab escape theory, dead and buried months ago, has risen again

        A new unpublished research paper, seen by The Telegraph, shows that scientists were doing just that as early as 2008. The tests, known as “gain of function” experiments, were designed to get ahead of an emerging deadly virus.

        In 2008, Dr Shi’s group in Wuhan first demonstrated the ability to switch the receptor binding domains for bat and human Sars viruses, and by 2010 the Institute of Virology had embarked on “gain of function” experiments to increase the infectiousness of Sars coronavirus in humans.

        By 2015, Wuhan scientists had created a highly infectious chimeric virus which targeted the human upper respiratory tract.

      • Waking up to post-Covid healthcare

        The US companies Pfizer (BioNTech) and Moderna own dozens of patents on the technology used to produce and formulate Covid-19 and other mRNA vaccines. Joe Biden has stated that he will use his authority to remove the exclusivity of the US patents pertinent to these vaccines. Still, it will require the concurrence of the European Patent Office and other agencies that is not likely to come soon. However, there is a blessing in disguise here; Pakistan is one of the few countries that are not part of the Patent Cooperative Treaty and therefore not bound to any patents in the treaty — as all are. The individual patents must be registered in Pakistan to be applicable. Even if there is a patent in Pakistan, there is a clause of humanitarian use that allows the use of the invention with a royalty arrangement which is always minimal. A similar situation had risen in the past regarding AIDS treatment when India chose to go around the patents despite being a member of the PCT. This opportunity is not available to most other countries, including India and Bangladesh.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • TSA formally directs pipeline companies to report cybersecurity incidents in wake of Colonial attack [Ed: Or they should report if they use Windows. Then cyber risk is implied.]

        The directive will also require pipeline owners and operators to designate an individual who is available 24/7 to coordinate with officials at both TSA and CISA in the event of a cyber incident, and for owners and operators to carry out assessments of existing cybersecurity practices to identify potential gaps and report their findings to TSA and CISA within 30 days.

      • Microsoft, Mastercard Sign on to VP Harris’ Central America Strategy [Ed: Spying contracts]

        Commitments by the companies include Microsoft’s agreeing to expand [Internet] access to as many as 3 million people in the region by July 2022 and Nespresso’s plans to begin buying some of its coffee from El Salvador and Honduras with a minimum regional investment of $150 million by 2025, a White House official said.

      • Goodbye & good riddance. [To Internet Explorer]
      • Why Microsoft Finally Dumped Internet Explorer
      • Compiler uses C code to write once and accelerate CPUs [Ed: Merely copying a company's own claims about itself from a press release is not journalism]

        An Apple M1 processor with eight Arm cores is 400% faster than the single-threaded GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), says CacheQ Systems.

      • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

          • The Organization for Ethical Source Takes on Stewardship of Contributor Covenant [Ed: An attack on Free software, just like “inner source”, backed by the likes of Microsoft and IBM. It’s killing communities and dividing people. Look at who’s promoting this… typically front groups of the same companies that are attacking communities (to form monopolies) and this ’cause’ is convenient to them because they know it is a destructive force against communities… in doublespeak “ethical” clothing. The charlatans and frauds who run the lie or facade “ethical source” are working closely with Microsoft (which powers ICE camps), while bemoaning ‘Open Source’ powering ICE camps. Incredible.]
      • Security

        • Detecting CVE-2021-31166 – HTTP vulnerability

          In this blog we aim to provide a little insight into part of the lifecycle of Corelight Lab’s response to a critical HTTP vulnerability. We’ve open-sourced many such responses over the last year (see Appendix A), and this one is a good demonstration of the evolving nature of the threat landscape. It also serves to highlight some issues we track through development of these packages.

          [...]

          In May’s Patch Tuesday, Microsoft released a critical patch to systems running a vulnerable version of a function in HTTP.sys. The vulnerability is unauthenticated, trivial, wormable, and is rated as a 9.8 CVE score.

        • Open-source tool Yor automatically tags IaC resources for traceability and auditability

          Yor is an open-source tool from Palo Alto Networks that automatically tags cloud resources within infrastructure as code (IaC) frameworks such as Terraform, Cloudformation, Kubernetes, and Serverless Framework.

        • ‘Have I been Pwned’ is Now Open Source to Check Passwords [Ed: It has just been 'pwned' by outsourcing to proprietary software monopoly controlled by Microsoft and the NSA]

          Have I been Pwned is making its first move to open-source with its password portal codebase available in GitHub.

        • Privacy/Surveillance

          • US Postal Service’s Social Media Surveillance Program Uses Clearview’s Facial Recognition Tech

            Late last month, it was discovered the United States Postal Service was operating a social media surveillance program. The “why” of this was never explained. Apparently, the USPS has time and money to blow, so it has something called an “Internet Covert Operations Program” (iCOP) which it uses to investigate crimes that definitely are not of a postal nature.

          • Chile’s New “Who Defends Your Data?” Report Shows ISPs’ Race to Champion User Privacy

            Over the last four years, certain transparency practices that once seemed unusual in Latin America have become increasingly more common. In Chile, they have even become a default. This year, all companies evaluated except for VTR received credit for adopting three important industry-accepted best practices: publishing law enforcement guidelines, which help provide a glimpse into the process and standard companies use for analyzing government requests for user data; disclosing personal data processing practices in contracts and policies; and releasing transparency reports.

            Overall, the publishing of transparency reports has also become more common. These are critical for understanding a company’s practice of managing user data and its handling of government data requests. VTR is the only company that has not updated its transparency report recently—since May 2019. After the last edition, GTD published its first transparency report and law enforcement guidelines. Similarly, for the first time Movistar has released specific guidelines for authorities requesting access to user’s data in Chile, and received credit for denying legally controversial government requests for user’s data.

            Most of the companies also have policies stating their right to provide user notification when there is no secrecy obligation in place or its term has expired. But as in the previous edition, earning a full star in this category requires more than that. Companies have to clearly set up a notification procedure or make concrete efforts to put them in place. Derechos Digitales also urged providers to engage in legislative discussions regarding Chile’s cybercrime bill, in favor of stronger safeguards for user notification. Claro has upheld the right to notification within the country’s data protection law reform and has raised concerns against attempts to increase the data retention period for communications metadata in the cybercrime bill.    

          • European privacy campaigners win battles against mass surveillance by UK and Swedish governments, but have they lost the war?

            Applying those principles, the Grand Chamber found that there were three defects in the UK’s mass surveillance activities. The bulk interception had been authorized by a government minister, not by an independent body; when applying for a warrant there was a failure to include the search terms that would be used; and a failure to ensure that search terms relating to an individual – such as an email address – were subject to prior authorization. The Grand Chamber also found that journalists’ sources were not protected from bulk interception, as required by Article 10 of the Convention. However, in a win for the UK government, the judges held that the framework for requesting and receiving intelligence from foreign governments – for example, from the US – had implemented sufficient safeguards to protect against abuse. The Grand Chamber said that these would ensure that the “UK authorities had not used requests for intercept material from foreign intelligence partners as a means of circumventing their duties under domestic law and the Convention.”

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Private Security Company Thinks It Should Be Able To Take People To Jail Just Like Real Cops

      A snitch app called Citizen is angling for the position of Local Law Enforcement®. Going a step further than hotbeds of bigotry like Ring’s Neighbors or Facebook-but-for-racism Nextdoor, Citizen is actually trying to create a private law enforcement agency that provides “security” and other services for app users.

    • An Afropessimist on the Year Since George Floyd Was Murdered

      Last year, as I sat in my study in Southern California and watched videos of the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct station on Lake Street burning in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, a memory eddied up in the flames.1

      It’s one or two in the morning. Lake Street runs like a deep scar down the southern arm of the city. I’m idling in my parents’ green station wagon at a stoplight with a couple of teammates from the football team. Marcus, Ray, and me; three Black, intrepid, rusty-butt boys out looking for a thrill. Curtis Mayfield croons “Freddie’s Dead” on the eight-track player. A blunt passes from Marcus to me, in the front, then to Ray in the back seat. Soon, a contender pulls up beside us. White boys in letter jackets from a rival school. Their engine revs. Their windows roll down. They say, “Eat shit and die!” “Got to bring ass to get ass!” we yell back. Green winks the light. First car to the corner of Lake and Cedar wins.2

    • January 6 Commission Vote Likely to be Blocked by Senate Republicans Thursday
    • Ethel Rosenberg: She Could Not Save Herself and Neither Could Anyone else

      Ethel Rosenberg was a complex American. She was the loving mother of two boys, the devoted wife of a man who spied for the Soviet Union, and a resolute Communist in a nation resolutely anti-communist. “We are the victims of the grossest type of political frame-up ever known in American history,” she wrote. She added, “we ask the people of America to…come to our aid.” You can’t get more communist than that in the aftermath of the Popular Front and the era of Earl Browder who said, “Communism is the Americanism of the twentieth-century.”

      Anne Sebba explores the life and times of Ethel Rosenberg—who died in the electric chair at Sing Sing Correctional Facility on June 19, 1953 when she was 35-years-old— in a new biography with the subtitle “An American Tragedy” (St. Martin’s Press). Unfortunately, Sebba seems to buy into some Cold War thinking when she writes about the “free world,” and when she adopts a liberal perspective and argues that for “one brief moment in time, hysteria overtook common sense.” Excuse me, but the hysteria lasted decades.

    • Biden’s Pledge to Rein In Arms Deals Is Already Eroding

      When it comes to trade in the tools of death and destruction, no one tops the United States of America.

    • Fears Mount That GOP’s Big Lie on 2020 Just a ‘Test Run’ for What Comes Next

      With Republicans set to block a commission to probe the January 6 attack, progressives warn “the insurrection never actually stopped.”

    • Eisenhower rejected military chiefs’ demand for nuclear war on China, classified account of ’58 Taiwan Strait crisis reveals
    • Lee Camp: How to End the US Prison State Quick and Easy

      A few weeks ago I covered the mind-blowing facts about American prisons that should make anyone and everyone rethink/detest/abhor the entire institution. Now, I want to examine the reasons people find themselves locked up in the largest prison state in the world (the Land of the Free) and see if we can’t decrease the number of inmates to something more reasonable …like zero. Or one. …One guy who’s a real grade-A asshole.

    • U.S. Says It Will Not Rejoin Open Skies Treaty With Russia

      The nearly 30-year-old accord, known as the Open Skies Treaty, was put in place to ensure that Russia and the United States could monitor military movements by using sophisticated sensors in aircraft that would fly over certain territory of the other’s country.

    • Belarus update: Bomb threat was called in after plane diverted

      Authorities had used the excuse of the threat to justify their actions

    • QAnon content “evaporated” online following post-Jan. 6 social media crackdown, study finds

      In the place of a widespread Q following that grew to incredible size during the Trump presidency — a number of the Jan. 6 rioters who breached the U.S. Capitol were QAnon believers — the movement is now “a cluster of loosely connected conspiracy theory-driven movements that advocate many of the same false claims without the hallmark linguistic stylings that defined QAnon communities during their years of growth,” according to the researchers, Jared Holt and Max Rizzuto.

      They analyzed more than 40 million mentions of 13 widely known QAnon catchphrases and related language, including “WWG1WGA” (Where we go one we go all), “the storm,” “great awakening,” “trust the plan,” “save the children,” “Pizzagate.” Their usage began in earnest last March as the COVID-19 pandemic first barrelled through the U.S. and peaked during last summer’s racial justice protests — spiking again before Jan. 6 and dropping precipitously in the days following the insurrection, presumably due to the moderation changes at major social media firms.

    • Understanding QAnon’s Connection to American Politics, Religion, and Media Consumption

      The far-right conspiracy theory movement known as QAnon emerged on the internet in late 2017 and gained traction throughout former president Donald Trump’s time in office. QAnon’s core theory revolves around Satan-worshipping pedophiles plotting against Trump and a coming “storm” that would clear out those evil forces, but the movement has also been described as a “big tent conspiracy theory” that involves a constantly evolving web of schemes about politicians, celebrities, bankers, and the media, as well as echoes of older movements within Christianity, such as Gnosticism.

      To understand how this loosely connected belief system is influencing American politics, religion, and media, we fielded three questions, each containing a tenet of the QAnon conspiracy movement.

    • Dalai Lama’s successor has to be approved by Beijing: China’s white paper on Tibet

      The 14th Dalai Lama fled to India in 1959 following a Chinese crackdown on an uprising by the local population in Tibet. India granted him political asylum and the Tibetan government-in-exile has been based in Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh since then.

      The Dalai Lama is 85 years old now and the issue of his successor has gained prominence in the last couple of years due to his advanced age.

      The Dalai Lama’s succession issue was in the limelight, especially in the last few years after the US has stepped up campaign that the right relating to the reincarnation of Dalai Lama’s successor should be within the exclusive authority of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people.

    • “Have You Ever in Your Life Attended a Meeting of the Ku Klux Klan?”

      Last summer, as thousands of people around the country poured into the streets to express their grief and fury at the death of George Floyd and so many other Black people killed by police and vigilantes, I opened a file of a long-closed court case.

      The complaint that launched the case said the Alamance County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Terry Johnson, “intentionally discriminates against Latino persons in Alamance County by targeting Latinos for investigation, detention, and arrest, and conducting unreasonable seizures and other unlawful law enforcement actions.”

    • China’s Digital Expertise And Export Strategy Concerning, Say Experts

      China’s utilization of digital tools and its export to developing countries poses a serious threat to human rights agendas and the global order of democracy, according to Eileen Donahoe, executive director of Stanford University’s Digital Policy Incubator.

      Donahoe said Wednesday that dictators and autocrats are capitalizing on digital resources to better repress and control their own people. Ethiopia shut down its internet nationwide last summer to quell protests demanding justice for the killing of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa. The Myanmar military has used social media to spread disinformation and sway public opinion throughout the Rohingya genocide. China has used its growing digital infrastructure to increase surveillance of its own citizens.

    • Three sentenced over Barcelona and Cambrils jihadist attacks

      One of the perpetrators rammed a van into pedestrians in Barcelona’s Las Ramblas tourist area, before a twin attack was launched in a nearby town.

    • Judge says Trump’s false election claims still pose threat months later

      A D.C. federal judge says that former President Trump’s false claims about the 2020 presidential election still pose a threat months after a mob of his supporters breached the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

      Judge Amy Berman Jackson made the remark in a strongly worded court ruling Wednesday denying a motion to revoke detention for Cleveland Meredith Jr., who threatened to injure Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in a text message.

      Remarking on Trump’s claims, Jackson wrote “the steady drumbeat that inspired defendant to take up arms has not faded away.”

    • Cut US Military Aid to Israel

      Since the Israeli/Palestinian ceasefire began this week, the Biden administration’s refrain has been that Israelis and Palestinians should have “equal measures of security, peace, and dignity,” but not a word about equal rights.

      The administration’s silence on Palestinian rights is an affirmation of the Israel’s apartheid policies, which deny Palestinians equal citizenship, restrict their movement, and dispossess them of their homes and land.

      We demand that the U.S. cease all military aid to Israel until it respects the human rights of Palestinians. The cutoff of US military aid to Israel is the leading demand on the U.S. of the Palestinian National BDS Committee, which has broad support in Palestinian civil society.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Dems Propose ‘Necessary’ Transparency Rules for How Big Tech Manages Online Content

      “Markey and Matsui recognize the need for online businesses to protect the rights of impacted communities, and to prevent discrimination based on people’s personal information and characteristics.”

    • Facebook whistleblower reveals identity after being suspended for leaking “vaccine hesitarian” censorship document

      “Facebook uses classifiers in its algorithms to determine specific content … they call it” vaccine hesitarian “. And without the user’s knowledge, they assign these comments scores called “VH scores” and “vaccine hesitarian scores,” Kerman told O’Keefe. “And based on those scores. , Demotion or leave the comment, depending on the content in the comment. “

      Kahmann revealed that the company is “testing” 1.5% of its 3.8 billion users in the comments section of its “Authoritative Health Page.”

      “They are trying to control this content before it appears on the page before you see it,” says Carman.

      The assessment is divided into two layers, one is “warning and criticism” and the other is “indirect vaccine disappointment”, praising the refusal of the vaccine or others giving the vaccine. It contains “shocking stories” that can discourage you from taking it.

      The algorithm flags important terms in comments to determine if they can maintain their location, but if the algorithm itself cannot determine, a human “evaluator” can make the decision. ..

  • Environment

    • Fearing Their Kids Will Inherit Dead Coral Reefs, Scientists Are Urging Bold Action

      Time is short, she says. For coral reefs to survive, emissions would have to fall to zero before 2100, and restoration and adaptation tools would have to be rolled out in a widespread way in the next 20 to 30 years.

    • Did Zoom kill business travel for ever? Road warriors weigh in.

      When her members were polled about their employees’ willingness to travel, the percentage who said workers were “not willing at all” has bounced between 2 and 5 percent over the past six months. The percentage who travel managers estimate would be “somewhat willing” has jumped from 41 percent to 58 percent since November, and the number who are “very willing” to resume travel has risen from 9 percent to 17 percent.

    • Fossil fuel use leads to worse and longer droughts

      Human reliance on fossil fuels is resulting in worse and longer droughts. It’s a familiar message across the world.

    • Opinion | Why Bill Gates, John Kerry, and Other Climate Dudes Are Dead Wrong

      There’s no Gates-ian fairy tale, no Franzen-like acceptance of disaster, and no awaiting the invention of some Kerry-like miracle technologies.

    • ‘This Is Climate Denial’: Biden Goes to Bat for Massive Alaska Drilling Project Approved Under Trump

      “Burning that oil would create nearly 260 million metric tons of CO2 emissions—about the equivalent of what is produced by 66 coal-fired power plants.”

    • Engine No. 1’s Big Win Over Exxon Shows Activist Hedge Funds Joining Fight Against Climate Change

      By Mark DesJardine, assistant professor of strategy and sustainability at Penn State and Tima Bansal, Canada research chair in business sustainability at Western University for The Conversation

      One of the most expensive Wall Street shareholder battles on record could signal a big shift in how hedge funds and other investors view sustainability.

    • Court Rules Australian Government Has Duty to Protect Children, Environment From Climate Impacts

      “This is the first time a court of law, anywhere in the world, has recognized that a government minister has a duty of care to protect young people from the catastrophic harms of climate change.”

    • Energy

      • Opinion | I Was Once a Lobbyist for the Koch Brothers. I Just Didn’t Know It

        In the past decade, with nearly unlimited wealth, Koch’s political operation has injected hundreds of millions of dollars into elections through a constellation of nonprofits and LLCs.

      • Opinion | Big Oil Takes Huge Loss in a Day of Game-Changing Climate News

        Dutch court ruling and two shareholder revolts bring new hope against climate emergency.

      • Steve Baker’s #CostOfNetZero Campaign Trended But Only Because Steve Baker Kept Tweeting It

        It’s been a busy week for the latest member of the UK’s most prominent climate science denial group – trending on Twitter, if not in real life.

        Steve Baker MP, the most recently appointed trustee of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, did not enter the fold quietly. This week, his #CostOfNetZero hashtag began trending, becoming the “most used by Conservative MPs” early this week, according to an account that monitors politicians’ activity on the platform. 

      • Warren Proposes $1.9T in Investments in Energy Research, American Manufacturing
      • World Edging ‘Inexorably’ Closer to 1.5°C Warming Threshold: WMO

        “It’s now a race to phase out fossil fuels as fast as possible,” said 350 Canada.

      • Big Oil’s Tobacco Moment

        A Dutch court on Wednesday ruled that Royal Dutch Shell, the big oil company, is on the hook both for the greenhouse gas emissions caused by its own production of oil and gas and the downstream use of those products. It’s a bit of a tobacco cabal moment but for the oil industry: For the first time, an international tribunal has held a multinational company accountable for its role in accelerating climate change and ordered it to change course.

        It’s not clear how the court might enforce its judgment against Shell, and it’s not clear if any other courts will follow The Hague’s lead. But coming the same day that ExxonMobil was fighting with shareholders over the company’s dedication to clean energy, the Dutch ruling seems to mark an inflection point in Big Oil’s battle against the growing climate lobby.

      • Big Oil Loses Big in a Day of Game-Changing Climate News

        The Dutch case is particularly remarkable, for three reasons. First, “because it is the first time a judge has ordered a large polluting corporation to comply with the Paris climate agreement,” Roger Cox, a lawyer for Friends of the Earth Netherlands (in Dutch, Milieudefensie)—which brought the case with 17,000 other plaintiffs—told The Guardian. Second, because the judge held that society’s interest in emissions reductions takes priority over the commercial harm that Shell would suffer as a result. And third, and perhaps most far-reaching, because Shell must slash not only its direct emissions—the heat-trapping gases Shell releases when it drills for, refines, and brings oil to market—but also the company’s indirect emissions, the gases millions of customers around the world release when they use Shell’s gasoline and other products. As climate activist Greta Thunberg observed, this latter provision is what makes the court ruling such “a game changer.” If other countries apply the same logic, fossil fuel companies would have to leave much of their product in the ground, just as climate science says is imperative.

      • Government gives municipalities the right to ban diesel cars

        The government has proposed a new environmental bill that will give municipalities permission to create their own zero-emission zones.

        Already, the country’s four biggest cities of Copenhagen, Aarhus, Odense and Aalborg, along with the capital enclave of Frederiksberg, are believed to be making plans to ban diesel cars without particulate filters from their centres.

        Some of the cities already have zones where larger polluting vehicles such as buses and trucks are banned.

      • ‘You Strike a Match’

        As a result of this admission, Montoya and Reznicek were indicted on nine felony charges of intentionally damaging energy infrastructure — a designation that can render a private, commercial company’s enterprise a matter of federal concern. The designation was a provision of the Patriot Act, the controversial George W. Bush-era national security law passed in the wake of 9/11, and federal prosecutors have embraced it as a way to target environmental activists who engage in property destruction.

        For more than a year, Reznicek and Montoya each faced the possibility of more than a century in federal prison. Then, in February, both women entered into plea agreements with federal prosecutors to drop eight of the charges in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to damage an energy facility. The agreement means that the pair now face a maximum 20-year sentence each — a punishment that would still be among the longest-ever sentences for eco-activism in the U.S. The women are due to be sentenced at the end of July

    • Wildlife/Nature

  • Finance

    • Elizabeth Warren Slams Jamie Dimon Over Overdraft Fees Amid Pandemic
    • Does Bitcoin’s Recent Crash Spell the Beginning of the End for Cryptocurrencies?

      Are cryptocurrencies on their last legs? The leader of the pack, Bitcoin, has lost almost half its value since reaching an all-time high in mid-April, and others have also collapsed in the wake of the Chinese government’s decision to crack down on all cryptocurrency-related transactions. The Securities and Exchange Commission has also signaled tougher oversight. Despite the market gyrations, crypto’s champions continue to see these currencies as an ideal market-generated solution as questions arise about the future viability of paper currencies in a global economy characterized by sky-high indebtedness and bloated government/central bank balance sheets. Enthusiasts behind Bitcoin, Ethereum, Tether, Dogecoin, and a host of other cryptocurrencies, seem to think that the wonders of 21st century financial technology (aka “fintech”) will enable these digital creations to stand as alternative stores of value outside the control of our central banks, whose actions (they have claimed since the days of Austrian economist Friedrich von Hayek) regularly debase traditional paper currencies.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

  • Misinformation/Disinformation

    • EU proposes stricter anti-disinformation code

      The EU has announced plans to beef up its code of practice on online disinformation, with the aim of preventing digital ad companies from earning profits from fake news.

      The new proposals from the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, come amid concerns about the role of social media and tech giants in the spread of false information online, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.

    • Commission’s Guidance To Disinformation: We Need Legislation And Oversight, Not Co-Regulation

      Today, the Commission published its guidance on how the Code of Practice on Disinformation should be strengthened to become a more effective tool for countering disinformation.

  • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Why Do White Republicans Oppose Black Lives Matter? Look What They’re Watching

      To mark the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin, the New York Times put together a special opinion section reflecting on what has changed and where the country is now on race and police violence. One piece (5/22/21) described and analyzed the rise and fall of support for the Black Lives Matter movement: “Did George Floyd’s death catalyze support for Black Lives Matter? If so, for how long and for whom?”

    • Google is now embroiled in a full class-action lawsuit over whether it underpaid women

      The lawsuit alleges that Google pays men more than women for the same work, in violation of California’s Equal Pay Act, and that Google paid its female employees nearly $17,000 less per year than male counterparts in the same roles. The women filed the suit in 2017, claiming they were put into lower career tracks than their male colleagues— so-called “job ladders” that resulted in them receiving lower bonuses and salaries. The women have since left Google.

    • Google Women Suing Over Gender Bias Win Class-Action Status

      Alphabet Inc.’s Google failed to persuade a judge to block class-action status for a gender-pay disparity lawsuit brought on behalf of almost 11,000 women.

      A San Francisco state judge certified the class action Thursday, allowing the four lead plaintiffs to represent 10,800 women over claims that Google pays men more for doing the same job. A previously disclosed analysis showed that the case seeks more than $600 million in damages. The women allege violations of California’s Equal Pay Act, one of the strongest measures of its kind nationwide.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Why Bill C-10 Undermines the Government’s Commitment to the Principle of Net Neutrality

      Fifth, while some may argue that algorithmic choices determine the content of feeds and it is therefore better to substitute the choice of the CRTC for that of large tech companies, there are notable differences. Where the tech companies use their position to engage in self-dealing or unreasonable preferences, the law should step in. That has happened in Europe with respect to search engine results that led to a multi-billion dollar fine and has similarly been raised with respect to Amazon. Canada needs to be more aggressive on tht front. But social media and streaming companies are motivated by keeping users on the platform (either to maximize ad revenue or maintain subscriber revenue), not by pushing content for which the user may have demonstrated little interest. The platform algorithms raise concerns and require greater transparency, but substituting government mandated algorithms is an even riskier policy that interferes with user content choices and undermines the principle of net neutrality.

    • Verizon Forces Users On To More Expensive Broadband Plans Just To Get $50 Covid Subsidy

      As part of a recent COVID bill, the government recently announced that folks struggling economically during COVID would be getting some temporary help. Under the EBB (Emergency broadband Benefit program), U.S. consumers can nab a $50 discount off their broadband bill, or $75 if you live in tribal areas. The program ends when its $3.2 billion in federal funding expires, or six months after the government has declared an end to the pandemic.

    • Letter to freenode – Post Mortem of May 25, 2021

      As you are aware, over the last few weeks, we’ve been seeing an increasing amount of spam from other networks intending to mislead and influence long term running projects, namespaces and channels into moving to another new network which was formed parallel to freenode. While group contacts from the channels did not contact freenode staff directly, we were rather surprised when we received reports of unpleasant elements operating in the background and influencing these projects, namespaces and channels with false information in order to harm freenode’s administration and staff members’ images and paint a false narrative altogether.

      In conjunction with yesterday’s events, in retrospect, we should have handled the action of closing down channels slightly differently. Originally, we posted a draft policy revision and solicited feedback in #freenode-policy-feedback. After several days, we discussed various feedback internally that was given.

      The intent of doing this was not an attempt of a hostile takeover nor hijack like many people are saying. Since certain projects were disrupting their users’ ability to chat on freenode via mass kicks, force closures, spam, we decided to enact this policy in those places which were deemed in violation and could cause an issue later.

    • Ubuntu, Wikimedia jump ship to the Libera Chat IRC network after Freenode channel confiscations

      One of the bigger beasts of the Linux world, Ubuntu, has abruptly jumped ship to Libera Chat from the Freenode IRC network after what the Ubuntu Community Council described as a “hostile takeover” of its namespaces.

  • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

    • Roku Inks Streaming Rights Deal With Saban Films

      The company says that it has signed an exclusive pay-one window deal with Saban Films, covering much of the studio’s 2021 slate. The deal is the first exclusive feature window deal that Roku has signed, with the Saban films set to be available for free on The Roku Channel.

  • Monopolies

    • Washington, DC Lawsuit Claims Amazon Violates Antitrust Laws by Inflating Prices
    • Jeff Bezos To Step Down As Amazon CEO On July, Andy Jassy To Take Over

      He will become executive chair at Amazon and focus on new products and initiatives. He also plans to focus on his other ventures, such as his rocket ship company, Blue Origin, and his newspaper, The Washington Post.

    • Bond, ‘Survivor’ and Those ‘Apprentice’ Tapes: 5 Burning Questions About Amazon and MGM’s Mega-Deal

      Tech giant Amazon on Wednesday officially announced plans to merge with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the 97-year-old studio that’s home to the 007 franchise, Rocky Balboa and “Thelma and Louise.” The eye-popping $8.45 billion sale is the second-biggest acquisition in Amazon’s history following its $13.4 billion purchase of Whole Foods in 2017.

    • Amazon to acquire MGM

      “The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP [sic] in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling,” added Hoplins

    • Hollywood Docket: Biden Admin Is OK With Antitrust Trial for Comcast

      Back in Feb. 2020, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court and primed a trial against Comcast for monopolizing local TV ad sales. Viamedia is taking on the cable TV giant and is specifically upset at how Comcast has allegedly leveraged control over “interconnects” — local clearinghouses that serve pay-TV providers on the local ad front. According to the suit, Comcast told Viamedia’s clients that they’d only get access to the interconnects if they ended their relationship with Viamedia and bought services from Comcast instead.

    • Patents

      • CVC Files Reply to Broad’s Opposition to CVC Motion for Misjoinder of Inventorship under 35 U.S.C. § 102(f) [Ed: Can we stop calling life and nature "inventions" in order to trick the system into granting patent monopolies on those?]

        Last December, Junior Party University of California/Berkeley, the University of Vienna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier (hereinafter, “CVC”) filed its Substantive Motion No. 3 under 37 C.F.R. § 41.121(a)(1) asking for judgment of unpatentability for all claims in interference under 35 U.S.C. § 102(f) or (if post-AIA) 35 U.S.C. § 115(a) for “failure to name all inventors of the alleged invention” against Senior Party The Broad Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University (hereinafter, “Broad”) in Interference No. 106,115. In support of its motion, CVC argued that Broad deliberately misidentified the inventors on its involved patents and applications in the interference. These allegations were based on differences between the named inventors in the patents- and applications-in-interference and the inventors named in a declaration by the Broad’s patent attorney during a European opposition (EP 277146); it may be recalled that such irregularities involving a Rockefeller University inventor (Dr. Luciano Marraffini) not named in the EP application were the basis for that patent to be invalidated (see “The CRISPR Chronicles — Broad Institute Wins One and Loses One”). More recently, Broad filed is motion opposing CVC’s allegations of misjoined inventorship (see “Broad Files Motion Opposing CVC Motion for Misjoinder of Inventorship under 35 U.S.C. § 102(f)”). Last week CVC filed its Reply.

      • Senator Chris Coons Says No One Who Has Ever Criticized Intellectual Property Can Head The Patent Office

        There had been some talk that we might, once again, get someone to head the Patent Office who actually understood and appreciated the many trade-offs associated with monopoly rights around inventions. But apparently that’s not happening. There’s an article in The American Prospect saying that Senator Chris Coons — one of the more maximalist of the copyright and patent maximalists in Congress — has secured some sort of ridiculous deal with the Biden administration that no one who has ever criticized patents will be allowed to run the US Patent & Trademark Office.

      • Software Patents

        • Convergent Behaviour: Trends In AI HealthTech Patent Filings [Ed: Shrewdly but dishonestly disguising illegal software patents as “HEY HI”; the law firms have no sense of shame; they just borrow buzzwords to promote an unlawful agenda they profit from. Buzzwords such as “MedTech” have been made up to complement junk like “HEY HI” and facilitate loads of illegal patents.]

          Part 1 of this series identified the kinds of Healthtech AI innovations that can be patented and part 2 discussed the considerations in developing a coherent IP strategy to secure the strongest protection to support the scaling of AI-driven technologies in healthcare. This final article in the series examines some of the current trends within Medtech AI innovation, as reflected in the patent filing statistics. We also provide a case study, looking in detail at the patent filing strategy of one of the companies who were awarded funding in the AI in Health and Care Award, discussed in the Intelligent Health session run by NHSX on assessing and scaling promising AI technologies in healthcare.

    • Trademarks

      • Warner Bros. Bullies Airbnb Hobbit-Themed Offering Into Changing Its Name Over ‘Hobbit’ Trademark

        We’ve covered intellectual property issues that revolve around Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings properties before. By now, everyone should know that any use of or homage to those properties, or even coincidental usage, will typically result in angry letters from lawyers. What’s even more fun about all of that is you get to play the game called, “Whose lawyers are going to write the angry letter this time?” Between the Tolkien estate and its IP management partners and Warner Bros., the studio behind the LotR films, they have managed to block an unrelated wine business from using the word “hobbit,” bullied a pub named “The Hobbit” to get it to change its name before recanting said bullying, and got a Kickstarter project shut down for trying to create a real-world “Hobbit house.”

    • Copyrights

      • Cox Appeals $1B Piracy Liability Verdict to ‘Save the Internet’

        Cox Communications has submitted its appeal brief, asking the court to reverse the $1 billion jury verdict handed down following a piracy liability lawsuit filed by several major record labels. The Internet provider argues that it’s being incorrectly held liable for pirating subscribers. Cox says that the music industry is waging war on the internet, which will never be the same again if the verdict is upheld.

      • High School Teacher’s Copyright Suit Against Netflix Gets Dismissed Because Coincidence Isn’t Protectable

        Of all the areas that result in copyright lawsuits that never should have been filed, it surely must be ignorance of the idea/expression dichotomy that is the most common. That link will take you to a litany of posts about copyright fights in which one party sues another over elements of a creative work that are themselves not protectable. The basic explainer goes like this: the specific expression of a work, or even the specific expression of unique thematic or character elements, can be protected by copyright, whereas mere general ideas cannot. This is why Batman is a copyrightable character, but that copyright cannot be used to sue the hell out of anyone that writes a story about an insane rich person who wears a cape and cowl while fighting bad guys. Idea versus expression.

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