The ‘Old School’ Web is Alive and Well, Contrary to What Hype About ‘Smart’, ‘Clown Computing’, ‘Web 2.0′, and ‘Mobile-Friendly’ Wants Us to Believe

Posted in Site News at 8:28 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Urban decay
Keep things simple and tidy, not bombastic and outsourced

Summary: Decaying World Wide Web bloat (Flash, ActiveX, AMP and so on) shows us that we need to go back to basics; sites that didn’t rush to fake novelty (seduced by false promises) are still doing OK, whereas others perish and die from unmaintainable complexity and/or over-reliable on third parties

Today, 17 years ago, Tux Machines was born. It won’t be long before the site turns 20 and it’s still exceptionally popular. At an average of 400KB/second, based on the past month, it’s actually one of the busiest hubs of GNU/Linux news. Tux Machines rarely publishes original stories; it’s curating existing news and organises the news for easier digestion by those who aren’t neophiles and have limited time in which to catch up with important events/developments. By means of comparison, Techrights turns 15 this year, it has a lot more traffic because of videos (based on volume at least), and unlike Tux Machines it mostly publishes original stories, along with memes, Daily Links, and the occasional poetry.

“After nearly 15 years we still haven’t burned a source, not even by accident.”In 2014 we became a busy hub for EPO news; Benoît Battistelli was such a terrible leader (already outdone by António Campinos in some ways) that EPO staff was “flocking” to our “cause”, according to EPO leaks. People recognised that we were reliable and discreet enough. After nearly 15 years we still haven’t burned a source, not even by accident.

The other day I had a chat with the person who runs Freenode. He had developed software that enables anonymous chats over IRC. Bear in mind he also founded a privacy-preserving VPN company called PIA, boasting millions of customers. Earlier today, as noted here before, we upgraded our Gemini server. We’ve long hoped to make it a possible vector through which to submit leaks to us. We’re actually rather astounded that about 10,000 pages are requested from the Techrights Gemini (gemini://) capsule per day, on average, only a few months after we set it all up.

NetSurfOur capacity to publish is generally improving; what takes up a lot of time is technical work at the back end, improving all sorts of things that make the site better and more self-governing (we’re mostly self-hosted, so it’s hard to censor us).

One recent example of the technical work (not writing but building) is the IRC stuff; we strive to make IRC less centralised and more self-hosted, albeit federated. We hope that more sites and projects will follow our footsteps.

The Techrights site looked almost the same in 2006. In fact, no wonder Web browsers from around 2006 still work perfectly OK with this site, including NetSerf, which we’re currently reviewing and plan to write about in the future (maybe videos too, but I want to study it fully for a long time). NetSerf has been on my machine for about a year, but I only recently (weeks ago) started using it on a daily basis. It gives hope for a Google-free Web, otherwise the retreat might be Gemini.

Web pages needn’t be complex. JavaScript is rarely truly needed. Over the past decade or so many Web pages were turned into “webapps” against the wishes of actual users. In the process, Web giants extended their spying, prying eyes. We need to move away from all that and make it possible for people to pursue reliable information, without having to become the information themselves (what’s known as ‘surveillance capitalism’, treating surfers like rats in a lab’s maze).

Techrights isn’t committed to lesser known projects for the sake of being “different” but for the sake of being right and just. Projects such as IPFS, Gemini, NetSerf and so on generally emancipate Internet users, putting back in control individuals rather than corporations. Notice how there’s almost no corporation (at all) involved in those projects. By the way, NetSerf deals with Tux Machines perfectly well too. The sorts of Web sites NetSerf cannot cope with are the types of sites better not accessed at all (because of what they do to visitors).

Image credit: The NetSurf Developers – SF007, CC BY-SA 3.0.

Links 9/6/2021: GRUB 2.06, New GeckoLinux

Posted in News Roundup at 6:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Pipewire: Linux Audio Still Needs A Lot Of Work

        I’ve been using Pipewire for a few months and since my initial video I’ve noticed more and more problems showing up and I felt like I needed to do a follow up video, I am starting to get really concerned with distros that are starting to ship it as a default.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Getting Started With Swap Files on Linux

        A swap file in Linux is a file on your hard disk that the Linux kernel uses to store variable data of the applications running on your computer. A process known as swapping is responsible for transferring the data to a swap file when the Random Access Memory (RAM) doesn’t suffice.

        Imagine you are running a memory-intensive application and the system starts using 100% of the RAM, the Linux operating system will use a swap file to avoid your RAM from filling up and rendering your system non-responsive or worse: crashing.

      • Analyzing cases for and against setting swap space on cloud instances | Enable Sysadmin

        If you want to start an argument with a Linux user, ask about swap memory. Some praise it as a cushion or as a safety net while others disparage it as a crutch and a destroyer of system performance.

      • How to Install and Configure Zabbix on Ubuntu/Debian

        System administrators often use monitoring tools such as Zabbix to keep an eye on servers, virtual machines, devices connected to their network, and more. Zabbix is a great tool that provides a graphical interface to control and manage these services efficiently.

        But the installation process of Zabbix on Linux is quite long and confusing. This article will demonstrate how to easily install Zabbix and its prerequisites on a system running Ubuntu or Debian.

      • How To Install Neos CMS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Neos CMS on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Neos is a modern free and open-source content management system that can be used to build and manage websites easily. It is based on its own PHP framework that allows you to build a perfectly customized experience. Neos CMS has many valuable features that appeal to both content editors and developers, such as inline editing, full Unicode support, complete internationalization, and built-in SEO.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Neos open source content application platform 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 Blender 2.93 LTS via Another PPA in Ubuntu 20.04, 21.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        The free and open-source 3D modeling software Blender 2.93 was announced as LTS (Long Term Support) release.

        Blender 2.93 is the last major milestone of the 2.x series. And the next Blender 3.0 is under development now.

        “Blender 2.93 brings 22 new nodes to the Geometry Nodes editor, mesh primitives support, adds the much anticipated Line Art modifier to automatically generate grease pencil lines around objects, a new and faster fill tool, and many Eevee renderer improvements.”

      • How to Install and Configure Zabbix on Ubuntu/Debian

        System administrators often use monitoring tools such as Zabbix to keep an eye on servers, virtual machines, devices connected to their network, and more. Zabbix is a great tool that provides a graphical interface to control and manage these services efficiently.

        But the installation process of Zabbix on Linux is quite long and confusing. This article will demonstrate how to easily install Zabbix and its prerequisites on a system running Ubuntu or Debian.

      • How to Change the Default Shell on Linux With chsh

        A shell is a program that acts as the outermost layer of an operating system through which you interact with its various programs and services. Most Linux distros use bash as their default shell. However, you’re free to choose another shell for your system if you want.

        Besides bash, Linux also supports other shell programs, such as ksh, zsh, csh, and fish. Each of these shells has some unique characteristic that sets them apart from bash and the other shells.

        Let’s dive in to learn more about shell and how to change your default Linux shell.

    • Games

      • Incredible top-down-shooter Brigador gets a huge free enhancement

        Brigador: Up-Armored Edition, a beautiful cyberpunk top-down shooter with awesome city-wide destruction has a big free upgrade out now for all players. Stellar Jockeys / Gausswerks have clearly been busy while building the next game with Brigador Killers.

        Soaked in glorious neon with big tanks and stomping mechs, Brigador is a serious treat for the eyes. Probably is one of my favourite top-down shooters. The Blood Anniversary Update is certainly something too coming with the addition of blood for fleshy enemies, some big weapons now leave nice craters, special pilots from two other indie games (Cruelty Squad and Starsector) have been added, four new optional missions in the campaign, “wildcard” enemies might spawn during Freelance skirmishes, 11 new vehicles, new lore and the list goes on.

      • How to install Starcraft 2 on Ubuntu Linux

        In this Linux guide you will learn how to install Starcraft 2 on Ubuntu Linux. The Starcraft 2 game has been released free of charge for anyone with registered Battle.net account. Before you proceed with the installation make sure that you have correctly installed an appropriate VGA driver whether it is for your NVIDIA or Radeon graphic card.

      • GameMode GNOME Shell Extension Finally Supports the GNOME 40 Desktop

        If you’re an avid Linux gamer like me, you should know that the GameMode GNOME Shell extension developed by Christian Kellner has just been updated today to work on the GNOME 40 desktop environment series.

        When installed, the GameMode GNOME Shell extension adds an icon on the system tray area of GNOME’s top menu bar to show you when the GameMode daemon is active or not. Of course, for it to work, your distribution needs to ship with Feral Interactive’s GameMode daemon.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • How to Upgrade to KDE Plasma 5.22 from 5.21

          The KDE team announced the stable release of KDE Plasma 5.22 with new features, improvements, and bug fixes. Here, in this quick guide, we give you the steps to upgrade to KDE Plasma 5.22 from 5.21.

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 Released

          KDE Plasma 5.22 is now available, bringing “hugely improved” Wayland support, better performance for gaming, adaptive panel transparency for the panel and widgets, and more.

    • Distributions

      • Manjaro Cutefish Edition is a community spin with a macOS-like design for this Linux distro

        Cutefish is a new(ish) desktop environment for GNU/Linux distributions that includes Apple-inspired design elements including a dock, icons, and color theme. While the developers seem to have plans to release an operating system called CutefishOS that’s based on Arch Linux soon, the easiest way to take the software for a spin at the moment is with the new Manjaro Cutefish Edition.

        This community spin of Manjaro Linux comes with the Cutefish application dock, file manager, calculator, status bar, full-screen application launcher, and other packages pre-installed. And it’s a pretty nice take on the desktop environment… although it’s also a bit familiar looking.

      • How to choose the right Linux distribution

        Selecting the right Linux distribution out of the gate could make the difference between enjoying a long, productive life with the operating system or a short-term experience filled with frustration.

        But for many, the hundreds of options can be overwhelming. Of course, all of those varied choices, are (at the same time) one of the many reasons Linux is such a great operating system. You can have a desktop operating system that perfectly fits your needs and style.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • kde plasma desktop updated to 5.22.0

          KDE Plasma desktop packages have been updated from 5.21.5 to 5.22.0. It is recommended that you reboot after the update completes so the new libraries can load. Release notes for this awesome desktop from the KDE developers can be found here.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • GeckoLinux STATIC and NEXT 153.210608 released

          GeckoLinux is pleased to announce the 153.210608 update to its full range of STATIC and NEXT editions. These updated editions are now based on the new openSUSE Leap 15.3 release, which in turn is built from SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) packages. The Linux kernel is still at version 5.3.18, but additional backports are included for better compatibility with newer hardware. GeckoLinux in turn continues to refine its package selection and unique configuration to provide a simple, clean system that works out of the box. For this GeckoLinux STATIC release, the Calamares installer is now at version 3.2.36, and has been configured to use the Btrfs filesystem with LZO transparent compression by default for the guided partitioning options, although of course all other modern Linux filesystems are also available with the custom partitioning option. When Btrfs is used, the Snapper system is now pre-configured for automatic timeline and administration snapshots, which can be easily managed via the YaST Filesystem Snapshots module. Additionally, zRAM swap is enabled out of the box, and the EarlyOOM daemon is also enabled to help prevent unrecoverable system freezes in low memory situations. NTP for automatic network time updates is now configured out of the box for all editions. Attention has also been given to using the appropriate input driver (libinput or Synaptics) for each desktop environment, and other minor tweaks and improvements are included in several editions. A variety of GeckoLinux STATIC ISO spins are available with polished desktop environments to suit every need and preference…

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • VzLinux: Another CentOS clone that could easily power your data center

          Make no mistake, VzLinux didn’t just appear from the shadows to ride on the coattails of the failure that is now CentOS. VzLinux has actually been around for over 20 years, serving as the base operating system for OpenVz, and various Virtuozzo commercial products, a company that specializes in virtualization products, and was divested from Parallels in 2016.

          Although VzLinux has been around for some time, the 8th release of the enterprise-ready Linux distribution should sound quite familiar. VzLinux is a free, 1:1 binary compatible fork of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8. Just like Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux and so many others.

        • New open source agriculture project, Stack Overflow survey, and celebrate open source maintainers [Ed: Openwashing and boosting of Microsoft events in a site called Open Source dot com]
        • Automating the heck out of your ops: Reclaim Your Time by using Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps – IBM Developer

          It has become a common practice for developers to own more operational aspects of their product’s lifecycle in what is commonly known as DevOps. This brings with it several challenges especially in context for developers who may only be responsible for ops on a rotating or part-time basis.

          Some examples include: finding the needle in a haystack, navigating disjointed tools, managing time pressure, and an increasing number of services, applications, and their relationships. All of this while they are still crafting new code.

          Let’s go into more detail starting with time pressure. In 2016, a major airline had a five hour outage which cost an estimated $150M. That’s over $8,000 per second — talk about pressure! Combine this with having separate tools for your logs, metrics, tickets, chat, documentation, and more, as well as the increase in complexity in modern cloud architectures where applications consist of 100s or 1000s of microservices. This environment presents a steep hill for developers to climb.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Blog: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology taps Canonical for cloud computing overhaul

          Canonical, the publisher ofUbuntu, announced today that it is working with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a postgraduate university in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, on a major upgrade of its cloud computing infrastructure. The project makes it easier and more economical for KAUST to manage its cloud environment while ensuring the high levels of computing performance that researchers need.

          Even by the standards of most universities, KAUST’s computing requirements are intense. The institution is dedicated exclusively to scientific and technological research, with all students undertaking PhD or master’s studies. Its network must be able to support a wide variety of workloads without downtime.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Open source is a community, not a brand [Ed: Nope, "Open Source" is a brand for openwashing whereas Free software is a community]

        It’s no longer a question of why should you use open source. The tables have turned and businesses are asking themselves why aren’t they using open source? But an even bigger question has been left unanswered, and that is how are they using open source? Are they staying true to the open source meaning?

        As open source has become increasingly more popular, companies have begun to adopt open source for the brand, but then try to go against the purpose of open source, according to Gordon Haff, a technology evangelist at open-source company Red Hat. “I’ve definitely been on a lot of calls where one of the first things I’ll ask business leaders is why do you want to be open source, and often the answer is: because our customers seem to like that, but we don’t want Amazon to compete with us. We don’t want someone else to compete with us. We want to be able to maintain some proprietary parts of our software,” he said.

      • The battle of open-source licenses

        Earlier this year, Elastic reignited the open-source licensing debate when it announced it would be changing its license model to better protect its open-source code. Over the last couple of years, a number of companies — including Redis Labs, MongoDB, Cockroach Labs, and Confluent — have been switching their open-source licenses to avoid what they call “the big code robbery,” where cloud providers like Amazon take their successful open-source project, adopt and profit off it as a cloud service without giving back to the community.

        “Cloud vendors do not care about monetizing FOSS projects, they are about getting more workloads running on their infrastructure — hence, to be the preferred destination for such workloads,” said CloudBees’ co-founder and chief strategy officer Sacha Labourey.

        Confluent created a new community license, and MongoDB announced its Server Side Public License (SSPL) to combat cloud providers. In January, Elastic announced it would move its Kibana and Elasticsearch open-source projects to a dual license under the Elastic License v2 and SSPL.

      • Understanding the new “open” licenses

        The Commons Clause was one of the first licenses that came out to try to combat cloud providers. It made headlines and caused an uproar in the open-source community when Redis Labs announced it was switching to the license. Under the clause, users do not have the right to sell the software, meaning third parties can not sell the software for a fee or as a product or service.

        It was drafted by Heather Meeker, a specialist in open-source software licensing and strategy, and meant to complement other licenses. Applying the Commons Clause to an open-source project means the source code is available and enables users to modify and distribute it, but it does not comply with the Open Source Initiative’s (OSI) 10 guidelines for open source.

      • Top 13 Open-Source Groupware Solutions for enterprise

        Groupware is an environment where all users can share their documents. It is a technology used for the daily task of communicating, collaborating, coordinating with others take place. You can think of it as a technology designed to be used by a group of people for sharing information.


        We have seen in this list many good open-source Groupware Solutions that you may use in your organization. Which one of them to choose depends on what type of features or scenarios your business and teams is going to need.

        There are some other open-source Groupware Solutions too, you can search about them online to find more information.

      • Banks back Harmony as Huawei debunks Chinese state ownership rumours

        Despite international sanctions and scepticism from competitors, Huawei’s newly released Harmony operating system (OS) has been picking up steam. Three major Chinese banks recently announced that they would support and integrate the domestically-developed operating system. Meanwhile, rumours that the tech giant had donated HarmonyOS (known as HongmengOS in China) to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology rattled Chinese social media over the weekend.

        The Bank of China, China CITIC Bank and China Guangfa Bank announced on Friday that they had access to the newly released HarmonyOS and fully supported the integration of the operating system.

        The Bank of China said that it would cooperate with Huawei to launch the Atomic Service of banknote reservations in the HarmonyOS system. This would allow consumers to make reservations by searching for the app in the Service Centre, without the need to download or install any new programmes.

      • Forked DEX On Binance Chain Tests Uniswap & Legal Limits

        Uniswap v3, or the third version, has been deployed to the Ethereum mainnet on May 5. The team behind the project stressed that “Uniswap v3 Core will launch under the Business Source License 1.1—effectively a time-delayed GPL-2.0-or-later license. The license limits use of the v3 source code in a commercial or production setting for up to two years, at which point it will convert to a GPL [General Public License] license into perpetuity.”

      • Version 8 of open-source code editor Notepad++ brings Dark Mode and an ARM64 build, but bans Bing from web searches

        Version 8.0 of the popular Windows editor Notepad++ has arrived with new features including Dark Mode, a native build for ARM64, and optional new toolbar icons using the Fluent UI.

        Despite the seemingly unstoppable rise of Visual Studio Code, there is still a place for a fast and capable native code editor. Notepad++ is coded with C++ and based on the Scintilla editor component.

        Notepad++ is open source under the GPL 3 (or later) licence. It has never been the prettiest of editors, but has lots of nice features like syntax highlighting and code completion for a huge range of languages, a range of character encodings and the ability to convert between them, understanding of Unix-style line endings, ability to collapse sections of text, macro and plugin support, and more.

      • Pavit Kaur: GSoC: About my Project and Community Bonding Period

        To start writing about updates regarding my GSoC project, the first obvious thing I need to do is to explain what my project really is. So let’s get started.


        Debian is a huge system with thousands of packages and within these packages exist inter-package dependencies. So if any package is updated, it is important to test if that package is working correctly but it is equally important to test that all the packages which are dependent on this updated package are working correctly too.

        Debci is a platform serving this purpose of automated testing for the entire Debian archive whenever a new version of the package, or of any package in its dependency chain is available. It comes with a UI that lets developers easily run tests and see their results if they pass or not.

      • Introducing the Open Source Insights Project

        Google has been working on software supply-chain security for many years, and transitive dependencies remain one of the most complex and least understood aspects. While we will be integrating this data into our Cloud and internal products in a variety of ways, we believe there is an immediate value in helping developers understand and visualize dependencies. Today, we are excited to share an exploratory visualization site: Open Source Insights, which provides an interactive view of the dependencies of open source projects.

      • Google’s Open Source Insights Visualizes Package Dependencies

        The tool “continuously scans millions of projects in the open source software ecosystem, gathering information about packages, including licensing, ownership, security issues, and other metadata” to help you make informed decisions about building and using open source software.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Dennis Schubert: WebCompat Tale: CSS Flexbox and the order of things

            Have you thought about the order of things recently? Purely from a web development perspective, I mean.

            The chances are that you, just like me, usually don’t spend too much time thinking about the drawing order of elements on your site when writing HTML and CSS. And that’s generally fine because things usually just feel right.

          • 11 secret tips for Firefox that will make you an internet pro

            With Firefox, getting around the internet is fast, straight-forward and easy. Now you can go beyond the basics with these secret and not-so-secret tricks that make your internetting experience even more fun. Read on for some of our favorite Firefox features that you may not know about… yet.


            Tab hoarders, we see you. Heck, we are you. Don’t ever let anyone shame you for having dozens (and dozens3) of open tabs, implying you don’t have it together and can’t find the right one. Instead, dazzle them with this trick. Add a % sign to your URL search to search specifically through all your open tabs, including tabs in different windows. Then you can click over to the already open tab instead of creating a duplicate, not that anyone has ever done that.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Tender to implement master document fixes (#202106-02)

          The Document Foundation (TDF) is the charitable entity behind the world’s leading free/libre open source (FLOSS) office suite LibreOffice.

          We are looking for an individual or company to implement master document fixes.

          The documentation team regularly publishes guides and books. The underlying workflow requires to fix bugs and issues with the master document feature of Writer.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GRUB 2.06 release
          • GRUB 2.06 Released With BootHole Fixes, LUKS2 Encrypted Volume Support

            It’s shipping one year late but GRUB 2.06 is now officially available as the latest version of this widely-used open-source bootloader.

            GRUB 2.06 had been aiming for release in 2020 but that didn’t happen and now finally mid-way through 2021 this big release has been realized. The GRUB 2.06 release candidate had been available for testing since March and now deemed good enough for stable.

      • Programming/Development

        • Implementing Private Fields for JavaScript

          When implementing a language feature for JavaScript, an implementer must make decisions about how the language in the specification maps to the implementation. Sometimes this is fairly simple, where the specification and implementation can share much of the same terminology and algorithms. Other times, pressures in the implementation make it more challenging, requiring or pressuring the implementation strategy diverge to diverge from the language specification.

          Private fields is an example of where the specification language and implementation reality diverge, at least in SpiderMonkey– the JavaScript engine which powers Firefox. To understand more, I’ll explain what private fields are, a couple of models for thinking about them, and explain why our implementation diverges from the specification language.


          The most basic mental model one can have for private fields is what it says on the tin: fields, but private. Now, JS fields become properties on objects, so the mental model is perhaps ‘properties that can’t be accessed from outside the class’.

          However, when we encounter proxies, this mental model breaks down a bit; trying to specify the semantics for ‘hidden properties’ and proxies is challenging (what happens when a Proxy is trying to provide access control to properties, if you aren’t supposed to be able see private fields with Proxies? Can subclasses access private fields? Do private fields participate in prototype inheritance?) . In order to preserve the desired privacy properties an alternative mental model became the way the committee thinks about private fields.

        • Reasons why bugs might feel “impossible”

          Of course, bugs always happen for logical reasons, but I’ve definitely run into bugs that felt like they might be impossible for me to understand (until I figured them out!)

          I got about 400 responses, which I’ll try to summarize here. I’m not going to talk about how to deal with these various kinds of “impossible” bugs in this post, I’ll just try to classify them.

          Here are the categories I came up with for ways a bug might feel impossible to understand. Each one of them has a bunch of sub variants which are bolded below.

        • Jussi Pakkanen: An overhaul of Meson’s WrapDB dependency management/package manager service

          For several years already Meson has had a web service called WrapDB for obtaining and building dependencies automatically. The basic idea is that it takes unaltered upstream tarballs, adds Meson build definitions (if needed) as a patch on top and builds the whole thing as a Meson subproject. While it has done its job and provided many packages, the UX for adding new versions has been a bit cumbersome.

          Well no more! With a lot of work from people (mostly Xavier Claessens) all of WrapDB has been overhauled to be simpler. Instead of separate repos, all wraps are now stored in a single repo, making things easier.

        • Linux Fu: Databases Are Next-Level File Systems | Hackaday

          It is funny how exotic computer technology eventually either fails or becomes commonplace. At one time, having more than one user on a computer at once was high tech, for example. Then there are things that didn’t catch on widely like vector display or content-addressable memory. The use of mass storage — especially disk drives — in computers, though has become very widespread. But at one time it was an exotic technique and wasn’t nearly as simple as it is today.

          However, I’m surprised that the filesystem as we know it hasn’t changed much over the years. Sure, compared to, say, the 1960s we have a lot better functionality. And we have lots of improvements surrounding speed, encoding, encryption, compression, and so on. But the fundamental nature of how we store and access files in computer programs is stagnant. But it doesn’t have to be. We know of better ways to organize data, but for some reason, most of us don’t use them in our programs. Turns out, though, it is reasonably simple and I’m going to show you how with a toy application that might be the start of a database for the electronic components in my lab.

          You could store a database like this in a comma-delimited file or using something like JSON. But I’m going to use a full-featured SQLite database to avoid having a heavy-weight database server and all the pain that entails. Is it going to replace the database behind the airline reservation system? No. But will it work for most of what you are likely to do? You bet.

        • Qt Learning solutions survey
        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Batch triangulation on the command line

            This post describes a purpose-built bit of code that you might find useful if you do triangulations.

            I know, nobody does triangulations anymore! Except maybe surveyors, and they have gadgets and software that do triangulations automatically. But my wife and her fellow volunteers at a local arboretum still do triangulations “by hand”, and often.

        • Rust

          • Announcing Rustup 1.24.3

            The rustup working group is happy to announce the release of rustup version 1.24.3. Rustup is the recommended tool to install Rust, a programming language that is empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

        • Java

          • Snowflake targets Java and Scala devs, will soon slither after Pythonistas too

            Cloudy data-wrangling outfit Snowflake has opened itself up to Java and Scala developers.

            At the company’s annual event, Summit, the firm talked up Snowpark, which will allow developers to use the abovementioned languages to manage its platform. Until now, Snowflake has focused on SQL-centric developers. Java user-defined functions will also be permitted on the platform, allowing both code and business logic to be applied to Snowflake.

            Peter O’Connor, Snowflake’s veep for sales in Asia Pacific, told The Register it was recognition the company needs to be more accommodating to developers if it is to continue its growth.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation

              • Tech network pushes open-source backbone for Covid vaccine certificates – San Francisco Business Times [Ed: Linux Foundation is openwashing mass surveillance]
              • Linux Foundation readies Global COVID Certificate Network [Ed: Digital surveillance where papers could be used instead and serve to reduce spying]
              • Gain a New Skill This Summer With 25% Off Linux Foundation Training & Certification

                Summer is here, which means it’s time for summer school! Take advantage of longer days and more downtime by gaining new open source skills to advance your career prospects. With the Open Source Jobs Report finding 93% of hiring managers are having a difficult time filling positions requiring these skills, now is the time to make your move.

              • Free Course Explores Hyperledger Besu, the Open Source, Java-Based Ethereum Client

                Hyperledger Besu is an Ethereum client designed to be enterprise-friendly for both public and private permissioned network use cases. Accepted as a Hyperledger project in 2019, Besu is the first Hyperledger DLT that can operate on a public blockchain.

                Developed under the Apache 2.0 license and written in Java, Hyperledger Besu runs on the Ethereum public network, private networks, and test networks such as Rinkeby, Ropsten, and Görli. Besu implements Proof of Work (Ethash) and Proof of Authority (IBFT 2.0 and Clique) consensus mechanisms and supports enterprise features including privacy and permissioning.

                Hyperledger Besu can be used to develop enterprise applications requiring secure, high-performance transaction processing in private networks, making it applicable to many different use cases in both the public and private sectors. It is growing rapidly in popularity and adoption, which is why Hyperledger has partnered with Linux Foundation Training & Certification to develop a new, free online training course to help more individuals get started with this exciting distributed ledger technology, Hyperledger Besu Essentials: Creating a Private Blockchain Network.

              • Participate in the 2021 Open Source Jobs Report!

                The Linux Foundation has once again partnered with edX for the next iteration of our Open Source Jobs Report. The report examines the latest trends in open source careers, which skills are in demand, what motivates open source job seekers, and how employers can attract and retain top talent. This year’s report will also examine the effects of the ongoing pandemic on the industry.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (nginx), Fedora (musl), Mageia (dnsmasq, firefox, graphviz, libebml, libpano13, librsvg, libxml2, lz4, mpv, tar, and vlc), openSUSE (csync2, python-py, and snakeyaml), Oracle (qemu), Red Hat (container-tools:2.0, kernel, kpatch-patch, nettle, nginx:1.16, and rh-nginx116-nginx), Slackware (httpd and polkit), SUSE (389-ds, gstreamer-plugins-bad, shim, and snakeyaml), and Ubuntu (gnome-autoar and isc-dhcp).

          • Intel Continues Working On New ISA Extensions To Help Fight Speculation Vulnerabilities – Phoronix

            In addition to making public new security advisories this Patch Tuesday requiring updated CPU microcode, Intel also issued a press statement about their ongoing fight against speculation vulnerabilities with their processors.

            Martin Dixon, an Intel Fellow and VP of the Intel Security Architecture and Engineering Group, penned a post about their continued work against transient execution vulnerabilities and the improvements they are still working on for future Intel CPUs to provide better defenses.

          • Intel Releases New CPU Microcode Due To New Security Vulnerabilities (June 2021) – Phoronix

            Intel just issued a big set of CPU microcode updates for addressing a new set of security advisories just made public.

            Going public today are a set of three new processor vulnerabilities:

            Intel SA-00442 – With a CVSS Base Score of 8.8 “High” is a new VT-d advisory where a vulnerability with Intel Virtualization Technology for Direct I/O could lead to a privilege escalation. This is due to an incomplete cleanup whereby authenticated users with local access could exploit to enable higher privileges.

          • Uncle Sam recovers 63.7 of 75 Bitcoins Colonial Pipeline paid to ransomware crew [Ed: Microsoft Windows TCO]

            The US Department of Justice on Monday said it has recovered 63.7 Bitcoins, right now worth $2.1m and falling, of the 75 or so BTC the Colonial Pipeline operators paid the ransomware miscreants who infected the fuel provider’s computers.

          • Siloscape malware targets Windows containers, breaks through to the underlying Kubernetes cluster

            A reverse engineer has discovered what is claimed to be “the first known malware targeting Windows containers to compromise cloud environments,” a sentence to put any system administrator on edge.

            Building on work published in December of last year on reverse-engineering Windows containers, security researcher Daniel Prizmant’s latest discovery – made during his day job at Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 security arm – looks to punch holes in Kubernetes clusters, and has apparently succeeded in doing so across at least 23 known targets.

          • DoS vulns in 3 open-source MQTT message brokers could leave users literally locked out of their homes or offices
          • Australian cops, FBI created backdoored chat app, told crims it was secure – then snooped on 9,000 users’ plots

            The Australian Federal Police (AFP) has revealed it was able to decrypt messages sent on a supposedly secure messaging app that was seeded into the criminal underworld and promoted as providing snoop-proof comms.

            The app was in fact secretly built by the FBI, and designed to allow law enforcement to tune into conversations between about 9,000 users scattered around Earth.

            Results in Australia alone have included over 500 warrants executed, 200-plus arrests, the seizure of AU$45m and 3.7 tonnes of drugs, and the prevention of a credible threat to murder a family of five. Over 4,000 AFP officers were involved in raids overnight, Australian time. Europol and the FBI will detail their use of the app in the coming hours.

            The existence of the app — part of Operation Ironside, which quietly began three years ago — was revealed at a press conference in Australia today, where AFP commissioner Reece Kershaw said that, during informal meetings over beers, members of the AFP and the FBI cooked up the idea of creating a backdoored app. The idea built on previous such efforts, such as the Phantom Secure platform.

          • John the Ripper password cracker review

            John the Ripper is one of the best tools that you’ll find for cracking passwords. It’s highly versatile, well supported, and free, and it should be in every security professional’s toolkit.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • ProtonMail Introduces a New Design for Web Users – It’s FOSS News

              If you have been using ProtonMail beta version, you may have noticed the user interface improvements they have been doing for years now.

              While the old design was simple and effective, it did lack a lot of essential design choices and features.

              For the very same reason, I preferred to use the beta version. But now, you no longer need to use the beta version to get a modern user experience. With the official announcement, ProtonMail has finally deployed the modern redesign for web users.

            • Millions of Ugandans denied vital services over digital ID cards

              Millions of Ugandans struggle to access vital public services and entitlements as they lack digital identity cards, six years after they were introduced, human rights groups said on Tuesday.

              Government data shows that a quarter of Ugandan adults, or 4.5 million people, did not have a biometric identity card in 2020, with pregnant women being turned away from health centres and old people unable to claim welfare payments, they said.

              “There are significant weaknesses in the digital ID system,” said Salima Namusobya, head of the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER), one of three co-authors of Tuesday’s report, which described the IDs as a “national security tool”.


              “On the ground, it’s very clear that it’s a military-led project,” said Christiaan van Veen, director of the Digital Welfare State and Human Rights Project at New York University, co-author of the report, which involved some 450 interviews.

              “This project was led by senior figures in Uganda’s military and when they were presenting the project in parliament they made no secret about it: this is a national security project and the national digital ID is one way of knowing where every Ugandan is.”

              NIRA will take measures to increase card issuance, from informative text messages to mobile teams that will prioritise the elderly and disabled, Kisembo said.

            • UK government bows to pressure, agrees to delay NHS Digital grabbing the data of England’s GP patients

              The UK government has conducted an embarrassing climbdown by agreeing to delay the implementation of NHS Digital’s controversial grab of GP patient data by two months.

              Jo Churchill, under-secretary for health and social care, told MPs today in Parliament that the date for the extraction of data from GP systems under General Practice Data for Planning and Research programme would be pushed back from 1 July to 1 September this year.

              “We have decided we will proceed with the important programme, but we will take some extra time, as we have conversed with stakeholders over the past couple of days,” Churchill said.

              NHS Digital has yet to clarify until which date patients will be offered the ability to opt out of the data haul. As originally planned, they had to inform their GPs of their wish to do so by 23 June, around six weeks following the programme’s announcement. The non-departmental body has yet to respond to The Register’s request for more information.

            • Ring’s new limits on police access to video aren’t enough, experts say

              At the very least, Amazon seems to be listening.

              After years of criticism from civil liberties groups and privacy advocates, Amazon will no longer let police privately ask users of its Ring products such as smart doorbells to share video footage their cameras have captured. Instead, police will have to make those requests in public via Ring’s Neighbors app, where anyone—including people who don’t own any Ring products—can see them.

              Amazon is also setting some boundaries on what police can ask for in the first place. They can’t seek footage from longer than a 12-hour period or from areas that are more than a half-mile from an incident, and each request must relate to a specific active investigation. Amazon also says police can’t “intentionally” ask for information about protests or other lawful activities.

            • Hyderabad Man Bears The Brunt Of Facial Recognition Technology
    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Chinese app binned by Beijing after asking what day it is on anniversary of Tiananmen Square massacre

        Popular Chinese shopping app Xiaohongshu has seen its software banished from app stores and its social media accounts crimped, a few hours after issuing a controversial post on June 4th that asked, “Tell me loudly, what is the date today?”

        One answer to that question is that June 4th is the anniversary of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, an event Beijing prefers not to discuss — online or in the real world. Friday June 4th 2021 was also just another Friday and therefore the last day of the working week, an occasion that Xiaohongshu often marks by posing weekend-oriented questions on social media.

        Xiaohongshu’s post to Weibo, China’s Twitter analog, was quickly removed, but first caught the eye of government internet watchdog The Cyberspace Administration of China, which reportedly started an investigation into Xiaohongshu. According to The Wall Street Journal, Xiaohongshu denies its post was political.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Introduction of Eurasian Industrial Design Protection [Ed: European Patent Convention (EPC) is routinely violated though, just like the firm that wrote it violates many laws and got sued for it, parties alleging corruption]

          The EAPO began accepting applications for Eurasian patents on 1 January 1996, and by the end of 2020 had received over 60,000 patent applications. Of these, 3,377 were filed in 2020, the vast majority (almost 74%) via the PCT system, under which the EAPO acts as a receiving office, designated office and elected office. Around 29% of the 2020 patent applications originated in the US, and the most popular technology areas were organic chemistry, pharmaceuticals and medicines.

          Eurasian patents are unitary in nature and provide protection in all eight EAPO member states: Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Armenia, Republic of Belarus, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russian Federation, Republic of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

          The Eurasian system includes substantive examination for novelty and inventive step; a post-grant opposition procedure; the ability to submit third party opinions; and the opportunity to appeal against EAPO decisions. The requirements for patentability under the EAPC “correspond to PCT Regulations, European Patent Convention (EPC) and to legislation of the world developed countries”.

        • Bardehle Pagenberg bolsters Paris office with two patent attorneys [Ed: Yet another day of puff pieces or ads disguised as 'news']
        • [Older] Patent Office Updates You Need to Know

          On May 19, 2021, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) introduced additional programs for COVID-related applications. TTAB has announced a Pilot Prioritized Review Program for Appeals Related to COVID-19, which will prioritize examination and issuance of ex parte appeal decisions examined under the USPTO’s COVID-19 Prioritized Trademark Examination Program. The TTAB is also launching a Conference Pilot Program for Oppositions Against Applications Related to COVID-19, which allows a TTAB attorney or judge to participate in the parties’ mandatory settlement and discovery planning conference. More information on both programs is available here.

          On May 20, 2021, the European Patent Office (EPO) announced that it is extending its videoconference pilot program for oral proceedings before the oppositions divisions. All oral proceedings will be held remotely through January 31, 2022. More info here.

      • Trademarks

        • Retromark Volume IX: the last six months in trade marks

          This volume was due a few months ago, but then my son was born and my capacity for blogging (along with my capacity for other more basic things like sleeping and remembering to feed myself) vanished. As I emerge from nappies, crying, baby vomit and all of that baby glamour, I’ve finally found a moment to reflect on the last six (well, seven) months of trade mark disputes.


          Tefal, the sauce pan legends, make pans with red spots in the middle which change colour when the pan heats up to show you when they are ready to cook with. I’m pretty sure I’ve owned several such pans, but I’m not sure I knew they were unique to Tefal. It appears that at least 32.5% of people will proclaim “TEFAL!” when shown the photo below, but that was not enough to save the day at the UKIPO.


          This was the first ever case featured in Retromark and turned up again in Volume 7. In its third appearance, the Court of Appeal dismissed Bentley Motors’ appeal against the High Court’s finding that its sales of clothing had infringed the trade marks of Bentley Clothing. This is the first of two Court of Appeal judgments led by Lord Justice Arnold in this volume.

          At trial, Motors had advanced a major defence of honest concurrent use which failed (it has sold clothing since 1987), but it was unable to obtain permission to appeal this.

          There were three grounds of appeal. The first, not pressed by Motors, was whether the sign below was to be regarded as one sign or two. The trial judge held two, the Court of Appeal agreed.

      • Copyrights

        • Photographer seeks $12m in copyright damages over claims Capcom ripped off her snaps in Resident Evil 4 art

          A US designer has sued for damages of around $12m amid allegations that Japanese games developer Capcom breached copyright by using her photos in titles including the massively popular Resident Evil.

          The lawsuit [PDF] alleges that Capcom used around 80 images – originally photographed by professional scenic artist and designer Judy Juracek – in its games and without her permission.

          A number of those images are said to have been published in a book called Surfaces – along with an accompanying CD-ROM – by Juracek in 1996. In the 13-page submission filed in the US District Court of Connecticut last Friday, along with 134 pages of evidence comparing her images to those in the game [PDF], lawyers acting for Juracek highlighted two instances that they say point to copyright infringement.

EPO Management Pours Money Down the River, Wasting Budget on Failed and Failing Projects

Posted in Europe, Finance, Patents at 3:11 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Objects of Propaganda
The ‘suits’ at the EPO have no clue whatsoever (they’re not hired for their skills)

Summary: EPO managers have no idea how to run a patent office (or any office for that matter); in the process they dismantle systems and processes that generally work

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO wrote about “IT matters” earlier this month. “In this document,” they told to staff, “we explain that reality gives the lie to lofty principles when ‘prudence’ is invoked to justify cuts in some IT areas whereas generous and risky decisions are taken in other areas.”

“Prudence requires more than just realising short-term gains in some performance indicators without taking the total costs and the long-term development of the Organisation sufficiently into account,” they said.

“In a nutshell, the EPO wastes money on many bad things, based on a complete misunderstanding of technology and the needs/goals of the Office.”The document was prepared about a week ago but circulated today, quoting the real Bonaparte, not his cheap imitation, and berating Professor António ‘Hey Hi’ Campinos, the algorithms specialist and computing expert who sent the EPO to Microsoft in the United States (instead of keeping systems that the Office can actually control). Misguided or deeply corrupt (e.g. kickbacks)?

We’ve decided to reproduce the whole document in HTML form. Watch what the management of the EPO has done, as published by the CSC:

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich, .1 June 2021

‘It is only by prudence, wisdom, and dexterity, that great ends are attained, and obstacles overcome. Without these qualities nothing succeeds.’

Napoléon Bonaparte (1769-1821)

Prudence: When the gap between claim and reality is wide

Who could have any objection to ‘prudent’ management and decision-making? But reality gives the lie to lofty principles when ‘prudence’ is invoked to justify cuts in some areas whereas generous and risky decisions are taken in other areas.


Prudence is a big word. And no doubt, skills and good judgment in the use of resources as well as circumspection with respect to danger and risks is a virtue. Accordingly, it does not come as a surprise that the concept of prudence has been claimed by the powerful since centuries to justify their actions and to present them in a favourable light, irrespective of the nature of these actions.

Hardly surprising, the prudence concept found its way into management speech. At the EPO, this concept has been used for many years to justify and substantiate decisions which have a significant negative impact on staff and to make these decisions look as if there were no alternatives. In many cases, however, these decisions are highly questionable in terms of a sustainable functioning of the Office.

Use of the prudence concept during the Coronavirus pandemic

The Coronavirus pandemic is no exemption to this. Already shortly after the pandemic started, management took far-reaching measures regarding workforce planning (see e.g. the report of the April 2020 MAC meeting) by introducing a recruitment freeze1. Following this policy, the number of persons employed was

1 CA/10/21, page 36

far below initial budget at the end of last year2. This decrease in workforce can have a massive negative impact on the workload of EPO staff and the quality of the work at the Office in the medium term.

Described as part of a ‘prudent approach’, these measures were largely justified by an expected steep drop in the number of filings by 10 per cent due to a likely ‘major economic disruption caused by the Coronavirus outbreak’3. This assumption was substantiated, by way of analogy reasoning, with the decline in the number of filings during the global financial crisis in 2008/2009.

This line of argumentation was questioned by staff representation, since the global financial crisis was of a quite different nature than the economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus pandemic. As is predicted by many experts, the pandemic will trigger a technology and innovation push to fight the pandemic and to shape the period following the pandemic, which is expected to show up positively in the number of filings.

With that, it can hardly surprise that the current filing numbers4 are by about 20% above the predictions based on the said pessimistic management scenario.

High time therefore to reconsider the far-reaching measures of management regarding workforce planning?

Not according to management: ‘So far, no significant overall decrease in incoming workload or increased active withdrawals of patent applications could be observed, although some sectors are more impacted. However, given the uncertainty surrounding the future evolution of the global economy and in particular the risk of a significant slowdown when the liquidity support measures will be phased out, the Office continue to follow a cautious approach and chose a workload scenario which still takes into account the possibility of a drop in incoming search workload in year 2021 by some 10% compared to budget 2020, followed by a gradual recovery over time starting already in 2022.’ (CA/25/21, page 2).

In the end, it boils down to this: Predictions were made by Management based on courageous analogies. They justified wide-ranging cuts in budget and workforce, which were promoted as part of a prudent approach. And as reality does not support the argument, reference is made to an indeterminate future when the prediction may eventually still come true.

In science and engineering, it is good practice to reject hypotheses that cannot be falsified. As an organisation that builds on the outcome of science and engineering, the EPO should apply similar principles and abstain from tempting but suspect

2 ibidem
3 CA/50/20, page 5
4 EPO applications Q1 2021

management actions which rely on a one-sided interpretation of the current situation.

Prudence: Between ideal and reality

Unfortunately, this is not the only biased use of the prudence concept.

Example iPads

Let’s have a look at document CA/F 6/21 which gives an overview of ‘award decisions pursuant to Article 58(3) of the FINREGS’. While management does not tire of propagating the said prudent approach when it comes to budget and workforce, it takes initiatives in other areas with courage and stunning generosity. In Annex 2.3 of the CA document, management reports on the purchase of 4500 iPads, accessories and related services, amounting to up to EUR 15 million until 2025 and more than EUR 3,000 per tablet unit.

This special treat for staff in DG1 and the Boards of Appeal, which is explained by management as ‘another step towards a fully digital Patent Grant Process’, is not only in striking contrast with the prudent approach as to budget and workforce.

Example mainframe decommissioning

But also contrary to other decisions in the IT sector at the EPO which are claimed to cut costs and to render the operating processes more efficient. Although often described as ‘legacy’ by management, the mainframe continues to be the backbone for data and operating processes which are mission-critical for the EPO and other offices.

The mainframe remains a thorn in the side of management due its maintenance costs – which are too high, they argue. For this reason, a first attempt was made to migrate the data and operating processes from the mainframe to another hardware platform using a so-called lift & shift process, which left the underlying processes largely untouched. This attempt met with reservations from IT experts from the very beginning. And what happened proved them right: this attempt was a failure.

In a second attempt, management decided to apply an emulator solution to make the migration from the mainframe happen. Again, it’s not a modernisation of the processes but essentially a change in the hardware platform. And, in view of the failure of the first attempt and the strong desire of management to decommission the mainframe, this second attempt takes place under high time pressure.

What remains is a hollow aftertaste. While the said core data and operating processes were kept stable over many years in the mainframe environment, it is

unclear whether the said mission-critical business activities will continue to work in the new environment without a hitch, in particular in the light of the high time pressure for the second attempt. It appears to be a high-risk strategy without a safety net: No return to the current mainframe-based solution is foreseen when the second attempt would fail, too.

Is the mainframe decommissioning, as implemented so far, reflecting a prudent approach? Probably not, as an activity triggered by a strong management desire, despite the technological obstacles and organisational hiccups.

Does it at least help the Office to save substantial resources? Probably neither. According to CA/F 6/21, the hardware, software and services for the mainframe infrastructure cost several million euros per year (page 10). No doubt, this is more than a small amount of money.

But it is an investment in the very core of the EPO’s data and operating processes. And it must not serve as a sacrifice for the management’s savings policy when the same managers are prepared to spend even more money on tablets with little restraint.

Example framework contracts

Let’s take another example. On page 5 of document CA/F 6/21, management explains that IT operational services have to follow the framework contracts approach, based on the following argument: ‘The focus was on avoiding interdependent smaller contracts with too much management overhead, thereby reducing the associated coordination and communication challenges. At the same time there is a wish to leverage more flexibility to easily and quickly evolve the contractual basis for the service provision to keep up with and deliver the transformations associated with SP2023.’

The costs for this framework contracts approach may amount to up to approximately EUR 75 million until 2025.

Comparing the new framework contracts approach and the previous situation with a diversity of service contractors, different aspects strike right away:

• The new approach involves the risk that the (partly decade-long) expertise and experience of the previous service providers are lost because proper know-how transfer to the new service providers is hardly possible. This is all the more true in view of the complexity of the EPO’s data and operating processes.

• The costs and benefits of the new approach are not fully taken into account: Management sets the focus on the apparent benefits (mainly reduction of

administration overhead and higher flexibility to the benefit of the Office). What is not taken sufficiently into account is the imminent loss of know-how (see above), indirect excess labour costs due to extra burden for EPO staff to organise know-how transfer, and indirect costs due to an expected decline in the quality of deliverables/final products in the medium term.

• In the past, the evaluation of bids of service providers for specific activities was largely based on technical expertise of EPO specialists. The situation is clearly different for the new approach: due to its general nature as a framework contract, technical expertise and technical aspects only played a secondary role during the evaluation of the bids whereas apparent administrative and cost advantages became much more important.

• With the new approach, orders for IT service activities may be passed on to sub-contractors. With that, deliverables/final products may show the ‘handwriting’ of several service providers, which creates at least two problems on the part of the EPO:

a. Know-how transfer to sub-contractors to which activities are passed on is difficult or nearly impossible. In any case, it will require extra efforts on the part of EPO experts to make sure that deliverables/final products can at least rather meet the EPO’s quality standards in this situation.

b. With the different ‘handwriting’ of contributors, it will be challenging for the EPO to make sure that the deliverables/ final products can be maintained at limited expense and will live up to the EPO’s expectations.

As for the previous example, approaches to cut costs and to improve the management of the EPO’s IT activities that look tempting at first sight can easily turn into its opposite.


Prudence requires more than just realising short-term gains in some performance indicators without taking the total costs and the long-term development of the Organisation sufficiently into account.

In fact, prudence is a valuable concept indeed when it is taken seriously and is not used as a fig leaf to justify short-sighted decisions whose adverse effect on the EPO and its staff may show in the medium term at the latest.

In a nutshell, the EPO wastes money on many bad things, based on a complete misunderstanding of technology and the needs/goals of the Office. As some readers may recall, very "big money" was blown away on failed "IT" projects in the past. Almost quarter of a billion euros on just one such project. Nobody was held responsible for it.

Announcement: Updating Our Keys (Don’t Be Alarmed by Warnings)

Posted in Site News at 11:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz


Summary: Important notice to people who read the site over the gemini:// protocol

THIS is just a quick announcement. Last month we updated our self-signed SSL keys, for those who insist on HTTPS although we do not formally support HTTPS. But more importantly, due to a security patch, hours ago we updated Agate (for gemini://) and this involved a transition to a new standard for server verification. If your Gemini clients/browsers moan about the key+certificate pair having been changed by the Techrights capsule, don’t worry. It’s not an imposer. We patched Agate and had to change the pair. It’s not a security risk. We just swapped files. The new pair, like the previous one, should be good for almost a decade.

“…over time we’re enhancing the Gemini experience of Techrights because there are many practical benefits.”In terms of traffic in Gemini, this month it’s looking like we might serve over 200,000 pages (over gemini:// alone). Gemini space is growing very fast. If you’re new to this whole thing, start here. We aren’t outsourcing “trust” to the corporate Linux Foundation (“Let’s Encrypt”) and over time we’re enhancing the Gemini experience of Techrights because there are many practical benefits.

As promised, there’s a big series about the EPO on the way. We’re getting back to the Benoît Battistelli days because António Campinos is nakedly attacking judges, whom he’s also pressuring to unlawfully allow European software patents. There will likely be ongoing attempts to deplatform us, one way or another.

Links 8/6/2021: Firefox 89 on POWER and KDE/Plasma 5.22 on Debian

Posted in News Roundup at 11:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Lenovo’s new ThinkPad has one major Linux upgrade

        Lenovo has updated its popular business-class ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptop series, which now comes pre-installed with either Fedora Linux or Ubuntu, besides Windows 10.

        Now in its 9th generation, the ThinkPad X1 Carbon is one of Lenovo’s longest-running line of business laptops. The latest series sports Intel’s 11th Gen Core Series “Tiger Lake” processors and a host of other improvements thanks to the line being Intel Evo certified.

        The latest series retains the X1 Carbon’s characteristic hybrid carbon fiber weave and thanks to the magnesium alloy body weighs in at 2.49 pounds (1.13 Kg). New in this generation is the unified one-bar hinge design, a wider touchpad, and an improved Dolby Atmos enabled speaker system.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Kali Linux 2021.2 overview | By Offensive Security

        In this video, I am going to show an overview of Kali Linux 2021.2 and some of the applications pre-installed.

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 128 – Late Night Linux

        The new Firefox design annoys Féilim, more Audacity drama, Fuchsia launches with a whimper, Ardour faces an age-old problem, KDE Korner, and more.

        Listen to 2.5 Admins episode 40 for a detailed breakdown of the Freenode drama.

        FOSS Talk Live is happening this Saturday, starting at 7pm UK time on YouTube.

    • Kernel Space

      • The best webcam for Linux
      • The best webcam for Linux

        For those who prefer total customization for their PCs and laptops, using Linux as an operating system is often the next logical step. Unlike Windows and MacOS, Linux provides its users with a completely free-to-use, open-source software with numerous iterations to create whatever setup you desire.
        That being said, connecting a high-quality webcam to your Linux rig might take a little shopping around and a few extra steps, but if you wanted things the easy way, you wouldn’t have gone with a third-party solution in the first place. Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 is a great choice for its ease of use and quality HD recording.

      • Bootlin welcomes Clément Léger in its team – Bootlin’s blog

        Since June 1st, we’re happy to have an additional engineer in our team, Clément Léger!

        After graduating from ENSIMAG in 2012, Clément spent 9 years working for Kalray, a silicon vendor company based in France, designing and producing an innovative and advanced new multi-core CPU architecture. At Kalray, Clément was in charge of porting a bootloader and the Linux kernel to this new CPU architecture, working on all aspects needed to support the CPU in the arch/ of Linux (syscalls, interrupts, exceptions, MMU, etc.) as well as developing a number of core kernel drivers such as pinctrl, irqchip, remoteproc and spimem.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Informative guide to useful Linux Keyboard shortcuts

        Using Linux means using command line interface aka CLI aka terminal on regular basis. Being good at using CLI is what separates a casual Linux user & an expert.

        In this tutorial, we will learn about some useful Linux keyboard shortcuts that can increase your efficiency as well as your productivity.

      • How FreeDOS boots | Opensource.com

        When you turn on the power to your computer, the system performs several self-checks, such as verifying the memory and other components. This is called the Power On Self Test or “POST.” After the POST, the computer uses a hard-coded instruction that tells it where to find its instructions to load the operating system. This is the “boot loader,” and usually it will try to locate a Master Boot Record or (MBR) on the hard drive. The MBR then loads the primary operating system; in this case, that’s FreeDOS.

        This process of locating one piece of information so the computer can load the next part of the operating system is called “bootstrapping,” from the old expression of “picking yourself up by your bootstraps.” It is from this usage that we adopted the term “boot” to mean starting up your computer.

      • Tune your MySQL queries like a pro | Opensource.com

        Many people consider tuning database queries to be some mysterious “dark art” out of a Harry Potter novel; with the wrong incantation, your data turns from a valuable resource into a pile of mush.

        In reality, tuning queries for a relational database system is simple engineering and follows easy-to-understand rules or heuristics. The query optimizer translates the query you send to a MySQL instance, and then it determines the best way to get the requested data using those heuristics combined with what it knows about your data. Reread the last part of that: “what it knows about your data.” The less the query optimizer has to guess about where your data is located, the better it can create a plan to deliver your data.

        To give the optimizer better insight about the data, you can use indexes and histograms. Used properly, they can greatly increase the speed of a database query. If you follow the recipe, you will get something you will like. But if you add your own ingredients to that recipe, you may not get what you want.

      • Find The List Of Installed Repositories From Commandline In Linux

        This brief tutorial explains how to find the list of installed repositories in Linux from command line. Listing the installed repositories from CLI mode is not only easier, but also faster compared to GUI mode. Here, I have given methods to list installed repositories in various Linux distributions.

      • How to Install and Setup Apache Spark on Ubuntu 21.04 – Unixcop

        Apache Spark is an open-sourcedistributed computational framework that is_created to provide faster computational results.

        It is an in-memory computational engine, meaning the data will be processed in memory.

        Spark supports various APIs for streaming, graph processing, SQL, MLLib. It also supports Java, Python, Scala, and R as the preferred languages. Spark mostly installed in Hadoop clusters but you can also install and configure spark in standalone mode.

        In this article, we will be seeing how to install Apache Spark in Debian and Ubuntu-based distributions.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Collabora continue enhancing Wine for Wayland, now with Vulkan and multi-monitor support

        Currently in the experimental stages, Collabora continue hacking away at the code for Wine to enable full Wayland support and they’ve reached some big new milestones with Vulkan and multiple monitor support.

        Their work will eventually mean you won’t need XWayland for much of it, as this Wayland driver for Wine allows Windows applications to run on Linux directly with Wayland compositors. It’s both highly interesting and vitally important for the future of Linux when more and more distributions are moving fully to Wayland.

      • Wine 6.0.1 Pops Open Support For The Apple M1, Dozens Of Fixes – Phoronix

        While Wine’s bi-weekly development releases are normally in good shape and suitable for Linux gamers and other enthusiasts wanting to run Windows games and applications on Linux or macOS, Wine 6.0.1 is out this week for those sticking to the yearly stable releases with follow-on point releases.

        Since the Wine 6.0 release in January there have been dozens of fixes collected for this first point release. Wine 6.0.1 carries 63 known bug fixes affecting a mix of different games and applications. Among the software benefiting from Wine 6.0.1 are fixes for Adobe products, Skyrim SE, Deer Hunter, The Witcher 3, World of Tanks, and Far Manager, among many other games/apps.

    • Games

      • Play Doom on Kubernetes | Opensource.com

        Do you ever feel nostalgic for Doom and other blocky video games, the ones that didn’t require much more than a mouse and the hope that you could survive on a LAN with your friends? You know what I’m talking about; the days when your weekends were consumed with figuring out how you could travel with your desktop and how many Mountain Dews you could fit in your cargo pants pockets? If this memory puts a warm feeling in your heart, well, this article is for you.

        Get ready to play Doom again, only this time you’ll be playing for a legitimate work reason: doing chaos engineering. I’ll be using my fork of Kube DOOM (with a new Helm chart because that’s how I sometimes spend my weekends). I also have a pull request with the original Kube DOOM creator that I’m waiting to hear about.

      • Proton 6.10 GE is out as a recommended upgrade for users of this community-built version | GamingOnLinux

        Proton GE, the community-built version of Proton has a fresh major upgrade with Proton-6.10-GE-1 out now. This is also a recommended upgrade by the developer. As a reminder, if you didn’t see it, as of a recent version of Proton GE you may need to remove current game prefixes setup by it to allow the games to work properly. More on that in the previous article with instructions on how to do so.

        If you’re not clear on what Proton and Steam Play are, be sure to check out our constantly updated dedicated page. It’s a special compatibility layer for running Windows games and apps from Steam on Linux.

      • Nvidia and Valve are bringing DLSS to Linux gaming… sort of

        Linux gamers, rejoice—we’re getting Nvidia’s Deep Learning Super Sampling on our favorite platform! But don’t rejoice too hard; the new support only comes on a few games, and it’s only on Windows versions of those games played via Proton.

        At Computex 2021, Nvidia announced a collaboration with Valve to bring DLSS support to Windows games played on Linux systems. This is good news, since DLSS can radically improve frame rates without perceptibly altering graphics quality. Unfortunately, as of this month, fewer than 60 games support DLSS in the first place; of those, roughly half work reasonably well in Proton, with or without DLSS.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 Released. This is What’s New

          Keeping up with the schedule, the KDE Team brings another great and stable KDE Plasma 5.22 release. This version promises more stability, performance tweaks rather than visual changes. Here’s what’s new. Also, we wrap up with and the top features of the KDE Plasma 5.22 desktop.

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 is out now with a focus on ‘stability and usability’ and more Wayland

          Stability and usability are the keys to the new KDE Plasma 5.22 release that’s officially available today.

          I am always in awe of what Plasma can do. It’s probably one of the most versatile Linux desktop environments available. It has options for everything, options within options and it manages to somehow look good while doing everything you could possibly want it to.

          Plasma 5.22 works even better with Wayland as of this release, which is becoming increasingly important. KDE say it now works with variable refresh rate/FreeSync, marking off another big piece from the list, especially with different refresh rates possible across different screens.

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 Arrives with Miscellany of Usability Improvements

          KDE Plasma 5.22 has been released, following a successful bout of beta testing last month.

          This uplift of the free, open source desktop environment improves ‘stability and usability across the board’, according to KDE devs.

          And that’s not an understatement.

          Refactored code and copious bug fixes converge to offer better performance, better responsiveness, and an overall better experience. Add in generous helpings of user interface tweaks (like the flashy adaptive panel transparency) and a reel of excellent end-user refinements (like the new System Settings speed dial page showing the most commonly-accessed settings) and Plasma 5.22 really shines bright.

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 Released With Much Better Wayland Support, Usability Enhancements

          KDE’s big Plasma 5.22 desktop release is now available with maturing its Wayland support continuing to be one of the big ongoing focuses for the project.

          KDE Plasma 5.22 brings much better Wayland support — “hugely improved” is how the 5.22 beta release phrased it. There is now support for variable rate refresh (VRR) / Adaptive-Sync on Wayland, vertical/horizontal maximization now working with KWin Wayland, global menu applet support under Wayland, support for activities, and a lot of other general improvements and fixes so the overall Wayland support is much more polished and nearly at par to the X.Org Server support.

        • Plasma 5.22

          Plasma 5.22 is here, and it is more reliable and stable than ever. By cleaning up and refactoring code in the background, the Plasma desktop gives you greater responsiveness and performance, helping you become even more productive without hiccups or surprises. Enjoy a smoother experience with KDE’s Plasma 5.22 desktop.

          Plasma 5.22 has become more pleasurable to use through improvements to the design and greater smoothness and consistency in transparencies, blurs, icons, and animations. Moving things to accessible locations, offering hints and visual cues, and creating new settings allows you to customize your work environment to make it fit perfectly to your needs. Following the true KDE spirit, the push for a more stable and attractive desktop does not mean you have to renounce control over how you want it to look or behave. Plasma 5.22, as always, packs all the flexibility and tools for customization you have come to expect and love, and some more to boot.

    • Distributions

      • Top 10 Popular Linux Desktop Distributions in 2021 – TecAdmin

        As half of the year has passed, it is the right time to discuss the best Linux distributions in 2021. Linux is an open-source operating system based on a Linux Kernel, GNU shell utilities, desktop environment, applications, package management system, and X server. It is far most famous among other operating systems because of its features and user-friendly attributes in terms of flexibility, security, ease of use, and diversity.

        Linux operating systems have different versions to cover all types of users according to their requirements and work. These versions are known as distributions. These are open source distributions meaning they are accessible without any cost.

        This article will discuss the top 10 popular Linux distributions among 600 plus different distributions based on their purpose, pros and cons, features, and system and user requirements.

      • MX Linux: A Great Linux Distro Designed with User in Mind

        MX Linux is an impressive Linux distro with Xfce desktop environment as the default. It is lightning fast, stable and yet still offers modern versions of the software you might expect from other Linux distros.

        MX Linux is gaining a lot of traction. The number of people using it has grown significantly in the last couple of years. So what’s leading to this kind of growth?

        One of the biggest reasons that MX Linux is doing so well is because they have a very close-knit community. In addition, this distro provides great documentation. It’s very easy for people to contribute and get involved.

        MX Linux provides amazing choice to the end user about what they want to do and how they want to do it. Certainly, most Linux users know exactly what they want out of their system. They are using Linux because they can change things. Unfortunately, there seems to be a trend in desktop Linux where most of the choices seem to be removed. However MX Linux users definitely enjoy choice.

        To put in short, this distro gives sensible tools and fantastic options to their users to let them use what they want to use.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • New Rebuilds Look to Advance New Hardware

          Developers of the openSUSE community are making advances toward even broader hardware support through the FrontRunner project.

          FrontRunner is a rebuild of SUSE Linux Enterprise from sources in the Open Build Service (OBS) that provides community collaboration through openSUSE’s Step effort. FrontRunner rebuilds all sources in one project that include and stage changes to advance architecture enablement for future Leap releases.

          “I am excited how FrontRunner opens up a new approach for openSUSE and SUSE to jointly enable new hardware architectures for openSUSE Leap,” said Dr. Gerald Pfeifer, chair of the openSUSE Board and Chief Technical Officer at SUSE.

          openSUSE Leap inherits its base from SUSE Linux Enterprise.

          “FrontRunner provides a staging area to feed back into SUSE Linux Enterprise, allowing for new levels of collaboration,” Pfeifer said.

          Step, which was started in February, is designed to expand more architecture availability for future openSUSE Leap and SLE releases. FrontRunner rebuilds were established within the Step effort under the openSUSE:Step:Frontrunner namespace in OBS.

        • openSUSE FrontRunner Aims To Advance The Distro’s Hardware Architecture Support

          More information on openSUSE’s FrontRunner initiative are now being shared as a rebuild of SUSE Linux Enterprise in the Open Build Service and allowing for staging changes to advance architecture enablment for future Leap releases.

          The FrontRunner initiative is supported both by SUSE and openSUSE with a focus on new hardware architecture support moving forward and a staging area that will ultimately feed back into SUSE Linux Enterprise. FrontRunner is part of the overall openSUSE Step project.

        • Smart SUSE Linux Enterprise Server shifts compatibility goalposts | ITWeb

          In its most recent release of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server – SLES 15 SP3 – SUSE has embedded full binary compatibility between SLES and its community Linux distro, openSUSE Leap. This smart shift essentially allows for those already using openSUSE Leap to easily migrate to SLES 15 SP3 for corporate Linux desktop or server requirements. The move is designed to provide users and organisations with increased compatibility, while allowing for them to leverage the synergies that sit between both the enterprise and community versions of the technology.

          The overall move is not geared towards replacing the community version, but rather to empower it – the two versions are not identical. The two SUSE open source code streams have been brought into alignment, offering pre-made binaries that enhance results, but the architecture won’t support all of the same platforms. Only openSUSE Leap will support RISC-V and ARMv7, but both will support s390x, aaargh64, x86-64 and ppc64le.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Hybrid work model: 4 best practices for fairness | The Enterprisers Project

          As vaccinations bring us closer than ever to a post-COVID world, many business leaders are contemplating the future of their offices – when, where, and how to fill the workspaces that have sat dormant for the last 13 months.

          But according to Pew Research, more than half of workers whose jobs can be done from home want to continue working remotely after the pandemic ends. And employers seem to be embracing a hybrid work model for the post-COVID world, with many planning for local employees to come into the office only a few days per week and allowing some individuals to stay entirely remote.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Heroes of Fedora (HoF) – F34 Beta

          Hello everyone, welcome to the Fedora Linux 34 Beta installation of Heroes of Fedora! In this post, we’ll look at the stats concerning the testing of Fedora Linux 34 Beta. The purpose of Heroes of Fedora is to provide a summation of testing activity on each milestone release of Fedora. Without community support, Fedora would not exist, so thank you to all who contributed to this release! Without further ado, let’s get started!

        • CentOS Looks To Deal With Deprecated Device Support, Out-Of-Tree Kernel Modules – Phoronix

          Being proposed within the CentOS project is a new special interest group for providing kernel modules not otherwise available within CentOS Stream. This would also include changes around where CentOS / Red Hat disable some kernel modules or artificially limit the scope of supported hardware.

          The CentOS “kmods” SIG is being considered for dealing with kernel modules not available in CentOS Stream but could be beneficial to it. The proposed SIG would focus on restoring support for deprecated devices where it just means build time changes or other kernel alterations compared to the Stream / RHEL kernel configuration, offering in-tree kernel modules not enabled for CentOS, and out-of-tree kernel modules too.

        • Create and manage Red Hat Data Grid services in the hybrid cloud | Red Hat Developer

          In a recent article, we described how we used Red Hat Data Grid, built from the Infinispan community project, to deliver a global leaderboard that tracked real-time scores for an online game.

          In this article, we’re back to demonstrate how we used the Red Hat Data Grid Operator on Red Hat OpenShift to create and manage services running on AWS (Amazon Web Services), GCP (Google Cloud Platform), and Microsoft Azure. In this case, we used the Data Grid Operator to create a global Data Grid cluster across multiple cloud platforms that appeared as a single Data Grid service to external consumers.

          Note: The global leaderboard was featured during Burr Sutter’s Red Hat Summit keynote in April 2021. Get a program schedule for the second half of this year’s virtual summit, coming June 15 to 16, 2021.

        • Achieving polyglot persistence with application stream databases in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.4

          Today’s applications need a modern data infrastructure—one that can provide developer agility, yet offer a solid foundation. A database, backed by a solid operating system, is at the heart of building such foundations. Across both commercial and open source database offerings, the choices are virtually unlimited. In recent years, the popularity of open source databases has drastically increased, and this gap is quickly narrowing (see Figure 1).

        • Know before you watch: Partners’ guide to Red Hat Summit Part 2

          As Red Hat Summit continues, so does the Partner Experience. Building on the content, keynotes and sessions during Red Hat Summit in April, we’re offering even more breakout sessions, celebrity appearances and Ask the Expert sessions on June 15-16. If you’re a partner looking to learn more about Red Hat products and engage in conversation, there is plenty for you to explore during our extended Summit event. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of Red Hat Summit in June.

        • Introduction to RHEL System Roles

          In today’s IT environments, organizations are having to manage an ever-growing quantity of systems. These systems need to scale within and outside of the traditional datacenter. This requires organizations to depend ever more on automation to perform tasks. Deploying and managing an operating system like Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) can be time-consuming without automation, with administration and maintenance tasks taking significantly longer to complete.

          RHEL System Roles are a collection of Ansible roles and modules that can help automate the management and configuration of RHEL Systems. RHEL System Roles can help provide consistent and repeatable configuration, reduce technical burdens, and streamline administration. In this post, we’ll show you how to use the know-how of Red Hat with RHEL System Roles, so you can spend more time doing work that’s more valuable to the business and less time reinventing the wheel.

        • Identity and access in the DevSecOps life cycle

          May is Identity and Access month in the Red Hat’s monthly Security series! Beginning in March 2021, the Red Hat Security Ecosystem team has provided an introduction to a DevOps Security topic in a regular fashion to help you learn how Red Hat weaves together DevOps and security to help master the force called DevSecOps. We explain how to assemble Red Hat products and our security ecosystem partners to aid in your journey to deploying a comprehensive DevSecOps solution.

      • Debian Family

        • Bits from Debian: Registration for DebConf21 Online is Open

          The DebConf team is glad to announce that registration for DebConf21 Online is now open.

          The 21st Debian Conference is being held Online, due to COVID-19, from August 22 to August 29, 2021. It will also sport a DebCamp from August 15 to August 21, 2021 (preceeding the DebConf).

          To register for DebConf21, please visit the DebConf website at https://debconf21.debconf.org/register

          Reminder: Creating an account on the site does not register you for the conference, there’s a conference registration form to complete after signing in.

        • Norbert Preining: KDE/Plasma 5.22 for Debian

          As usual, I am providing packages via my OBS builds. If you have used my packages till now, then you only need to change the plasma521 line to read plasma522. Just for your convenience, if you want the full set of stuff, here are the apt-source entries…


          Currently, the frameworks and most of the KDE Gear (Apps) 21.04 are in Debian/experimental. I will upload Plasma 5.22 to experimental as soon as NEW processing of two packages is finished (which might take another few months).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical’s Mir 2.4 Brings Numerous X11 + Wayland Enhancements – Phoronix

          Mir continues to be developed by Ubuntu-maker Canonical as a set of libraries and Wayland compositor for building Wayland-based shells with integrated window management and other features to ease the bring-up and catering to business use-cases around IoT and digital signage, among other uses. Out today is version 2.4 of Mir with more features and fixes.

          Mir 2.4 adds a new driver-quirks option for its GBM-KMS back-end, –enable-key-repeat is now respected with Mir’s Wayland code, timestamps are now handled under Wayland for frame done events, and the Mir X11 platform has also seen a number of improvements too. On the X11 front, Mir 2.4 now adds the hostname to the window title when remoting via X-forwarding, the X11 platform code has finally been ported from Xlib to XCB, support for resizing Mir-on-X11 windows, and also a number of X11 platform fixes.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Aetina DeviceEdge Mini Edge AI computers support NVIDIA Jetson SO-DIMM modules – CNX Software

        NVIDIA Jetson modules offer a wide range of AI performance starting from the entry-level 492 GFLOPS Jetson Nano module up to the 32 TOPS Jetson AGX Xavier platform.

        That’s probably Aetina decided to offer its DeviceEdge Mini AI edge solution with either Jetson Xavier NX, Jetson Nano, or Jetson TX2 NX pin-compatible SO-DIMM modules designed for applications in smart transportation, factories, retail, healthcare, AIoT, robotics, etc…

      • What is RISC-V?

        Almost all new IoT/edge devices that can run Linux use either the x86 architecture (mostly Intel, some AMD) or Arm, which is licensed by vendors like Qualcomm, Nvidia, NXP, Huawei, and Samsung. Arm is ubiquitous in smartphones and dominant among open-spec, community-backed SBCs such as the Raspberry Pi (see What is an SBC?). When referring to such boards, I prefer to use the term open-spec. Even if a project is scrupulous in meeting open source requirements, there is always at least one component that is proprietary: the processor.

      • NXP’s Ultra-Wideband (UWB) evaluation kits work with Apple U1 chip – CNX Software

        NXP offers RTOS and Linux software solutions for IoT integration using the SR150 chip. The board can be used to develop asset trackers, indoor navigation applications, POS Terminals, smart locks, and all sorts of inventory and supply chain management solutions.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • You Can Still Use the Old Firefox Interface (but not for long)

            Firefox 89 is finally available to download with a major redesign. While some like what they are trying to do, as a competitive alternative to Google Chrome in terms of user experience, many do not seem to like the modern design.

            Of course, the design choices will always have distinct perspective for all kinds of users. But is there a way to go back to the old Firefox design?

            Well, for now, it seems like a yes. But you may not be able to revert the design after the next Firefox update.

          • Firefox 89 on POWER

            Firefox 89 was released last week with much fanfare over its new interface, though being the curmudgeon I am I’m less enamoured of it. I like the improvements to menus and doorhangers but I’m a big user of compact tabs, which were deprecated, and even with compact mode surreptitously enabled the tab bar is still about a third or so bigger than Firefox 88 (see screenshot). There do seem to be some other performance improvements, though, plus the usual more lower-level changes and WebRender is now on by default for all Linux configurations, including for you fools out there trying to run Nvidia GPUs.

            The chief problem is that Fx89 may not compile correctly with certain versions of gcc 11 (see bugs 1710235 and 1713968). For Fedora users if you aren’t on 11.1.1-3 (the current version as of this writing) you won’t be able to compile the browser at all, and you may not be able to compile it fully even then without putting a # pragma GCC diagnostic ignored “-Wnonnull” at the top of js/src/builtin/streams/PipeToState.cpp (I still can’t; see bug 1713968). gcc 10 is unaffected. I used the same .mozconfigs and PGO-LTO optimization patches as we used for Firefox 88. With those changes the browser runs well.

      • Programming/Development

        • Jonathan Dowland: LaTeX draft documents

          I’m writing up a PhD deliverable (which will show up here eventually) using LaTeX, which is my preferred tool for such things, since I also use it for papers, and will eventually be using it for my thesis itself. For this last document, I experimented with a few packages and techniques for organising the document which I found useful, so I thought I’d share them.

        • Mock syscalls with C++

          I wrote and maintain some C++ code to stream high quantities of data as fast as possible, and I try to use splice and sendfile when available.

          The availability of those system calls varies at runtime according to a number of factors, and the code needs to be written to fall back to read/write loops depending on what the splice and sendfile syscalls say.

          The tricky issue is unit testing: since the code path chosen depends on the kernel, the test suite will test one path or the other depending on the machine and filesystems where the tests are run.

          It would be nice to be able to mock the syscalls, and replace them during tests, and it looks like I managed.

        • Qt 6.1.1 Released With 150+ Bug Fixes

          Following last month’s release of Qt 6.1, the first point release of this latest Qt6 stable series is now available.

          Qt 6.1.1 was issued on Monday with more than 150 bug fixes. This is just the first of at least two more planned point releases until Qt 6.2 LTS is ready for introduction. Qt 6.2 just entered its feature freeze and going through the release dance for planned release at the end of September.

        • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Imba

          Imba is a friendly full-stack programming language for the web that compiles to performant JavaScript.

          It has language level support for defining, extending, subclassing, instantiating and rendering DOM nodes.

          In Imba DOM elements and CSS are treated as first-class citizens. DOM elements are compiled to a memoized DOM, which is an order of magnitude faster than today’s virtual DOM implementations.

Links 8/6/2021: KDE Plasma 5.22 Released, GNU Health in Bangladesh

Posted in News Roundup at 7:53 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Linux 101: Why file and directory names lack spaces

        I cannot tell you how many times I get asked by collaborators, colleagues, friends and family, “Why do you never put spaces in file and folder names?” The answer to that question is generally met with either blank stares or cries of “What?” Way back when, in the mid-1990s, when I was still using Windows, spaces in file and folder names were commonplace for me.

        Then I made the switch to Linux in 1997, and everything changed on every level. That included the names I gave files and folders. Back then, creating a folder name with a space was in very bad form and could cause you all sorts of trouble navigating the directory structure.

      • Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 9 Laptop Now Comes with Fedora Linux or Ubuntu

        Lenovo is keeping to its promise of delivering more and more Linux laptops, and now the hardware giant is selling the 9th Generation of the ThinkPad X1 Carbon notebook with the Fedora Linux or Ubuntu as default operating systems.

        Last year in August, Lenovo was selling the ThinkPad X1 Gen 8 with Fedora Linux, but now you can buy the newer model, which features ultra-thin and ultra-light redesigned chassis, an impressive 16:10 display, a wider touchpad, and larger battery.

      • Shells Review: A Secure Personal Computer Anywhere

        Have you ever left an important file on your home computer or wished you could try out a new OS without going through the dual-boot hassle? Shells may just be the solution you’ve been looking for. It’s your own personal workspace powered by the cloud. Think of as a personal computer you can access from any device with an Internet connection – even TVs.

      • Russell Coker: Dell PowerEdge T320 and Linux

        I recently bought a couple of PowerEdge T320 servers, so now to learn about setting them up. They are a little newer than the R710 I recently setup (which had iDRAC version 6), they have iDRAC version 7.

        RAM Speed

        One system has a E5-2440 CPU with 2*16G DDR3 DIMMs and a Memtest86+ speed of 13,043MB/s, the other is essentially identical but with a E5-2430 CPU and 4*16G DDR3 DIMMs and a Memtest86+ speed of 8,270MB/s. I had expected that more DIMMs means better RAM performance but this isn’t what happened. I firstly upgraded the BIOS, as I expected it didn’t make a difference but it’s a good thing to try first.

        On the E5-2430 I tried removing a DIMM after it was pointed out on Facebook that the CPU has 3 memory channels (here’s a link to a great site with information on that CPU and many others [1]). When I did that I was prompted to disable advanced ECC (which treats pairs of DIMMs as a single unit for ECC allowing correcting more than 1 bit errors) and I had to move the 3 remaining DIMMS to different slots. That improved the performance to 13,497MB/s. I then put the spare DIMM into the E5-2440 system and the performance increased to 13,793MB/s, when I installed 4 DIMMs in the E5-2440 system the performance remained at 13,793MB/s and the E5-2430 went down to 12,643MB/s.

        This is a good result for me, I now have the most RAM and fastest RAM configuration in the system with the fastest CPU. I’ll sell the other one to someone who doesn’t need so much RAM or performance (it will be really good for a small office mail server and NAS).

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • How to install OpenTTD on Deepin 20.2

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

      • A First Look At Two Editions Of Peux OS (Xfce, XMonad)

        In recent weeks, the most requested Linux distro for me to take a look at has been Peux OS. It’s an Arch-based distro that claims to be minimal and beautiful. Their flagship edition uses the Xfce desktop, and many people asked me to try out the Xmonad edition.

      • What Is Decentralization: Is The Term Overused

        Decentralization seems to be everyone’s favourite buzzword right now, whether that be in social media, video sharing and even in finance but decentralization doesn’t have 1 definition and most people using it never bother to explain which one they’re using.

      • Destination Linux 229: Jill’s Treasure Hunt & Is WSL Here To Embrace or Extinguish? – Destination Linux

        This week’s episode of Destination Linux, we’re headed to Jill’s Museum for another treasure hunt. Then we take a look at the new refreshed Firefox and we also have some discussion on how everyone is leveraging Linux inside their OS and what this means for Linux in the future. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linus Torvalds: Busy Linux 5.13 release candidate not a major concern

        Linus Torvalds, the principal developer of the mainline Linux kernel, has expressed mild concern about the size of the fifth release candidate (RC) of the upcoming kernel, version 5.13.

        Linux kernels typically go through seven RCs, pushed out every Sunday by Torvalds after the week’s submissions have been reviewed and pooled. Due to the sheer number of changes, some kernels need an extra rc8 release (like the previous 5.12 release) to allow for an extra week of testing.

        After releasing 5.13-rc5 over the weekend, Torvalds explained he was mildly surprised by the activity in the preceding week, although it is too early to say if this release will require an additional RC.

      • Linux 5.14 To Allow EXT4 Journal Checkpoints From User-Space For Extra Privacy – Phoronix

        Queued up now into the EXT4 file-system’s “dev” tree is the recent work on a journal checkpoint ioctl (EXT4_IOC_CHECKPOINT) and optional support for TRIM/discard or zero-out support on journal flushes. This is the work that came about in recent months in working to ensure the privacy of deleted file names from the system.

        The new journal checkpoint ioctl allows triggering a checkpoint from user-space and flushes the journal. EXT4_IOC_CHECKPOINT forces all the transactions to the log, checkpoints the transactions, and flushes to disk. “Systems that wish to achieve content deletion SLO [service level objective] can set up a daemon that calls this ioctl at a regular interval such that it matches with the SLO requirement. Thus, with this patch, the ext4_dir_entry2 wipeout patch, and the Ext4 “-o discard” mount option set, Ext4 can now guarantee that all file contents, file metatdata, and filenames will not be accessible through the filesystem and will have had discard or zeroout requests issued for corresponding device blocks.”

      • Linux 5.13 hits rc5, isn’t yet calm, Linus Torvalds is only mildly perturbed

        The fifth release candidate for version 5.13 of the Linux kernel has emerged, and project boss Linus Torvalds has expressed only mild concern about progress.

        “Hmm,” opened Torvalds’ weekly State of the Kernel post. “Things haven’t really started to calm down very much yet, but rc5 seems to be fairly average in size. I’m hoping things will start shrinking now.”

        Torvalds hasn’t found anything to worry him so far in the 5.13 release cycle.

        The first release candidate saw him opine that the community could expect “a fairly big merge window, but things seem to have proceeded fairly smoothly.” He added that assessment could represent “Famous last words.”

      • AMD Is Hiring More Linux Engineers For The Scheduler, Memory Management, Net I/O – Phoronix

        It looks like AMD’s rising marketshare in the data center is paying off as AMD is hiring more Linux kernel engineers.

        On top of hiring more Linux engineers earlier this year as part of a client-focused push, it’s been brought to my attention they are now looking to hire several more Linux kernel engineers. This time around they appear to be focused on Linux kernel work in the server / EPYC space but some of that work does also carry over to benefit AMD desktop/mobile efforts as well.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Vulkan 1.2.180 Released With Two New Extensions – Phoronix

          Vulkan 1.2.180 is out as the latest revision to this graphics/compute interface. Vulkan 1.2.180 comes with a number of fixes/clarifications to the spec plus the addition of two more extensions.

        • Collabora’s Wayland Driver for Wine Gets Vulkan and Multi-Monitor Support

          Earlier this year in February, I talked about Collabora’s latest work on the Wayland driver for Wine, which is considered an alternative to XWayland for running Windows applications and games via the Wine compatibility layer on GNU/Linux distributions that use the Wayland display system.

          Collabora worked hard these past few months to further improve its Wayland driver for Wine and managed to add a few exciting new features, including support for the Vulkan graphics API, support for multi-monitor configurations, cursor clipping and relative movement, as well as HiDPI and Wayland keymap handling.

        • Open-Source Driver Flips On OpenGL ES 3.1 For Select NVIDIA GeForce 200 Series GPUs – Phoronix

          Sadly there isn’t much to report on at this time around improved open-source “Nouveau” driver support for the recent GeForce RTX 20 and RTX 30 series while even the GTX 900 and GTX 1000 series graphics processors are in poor shape for this unofficial driver. But when it comes to the aging GeForce 200 series, select models there are finally seeing OpenGL ES 3.1 supported by this open-source driver.

          Mesa 21.2 with the latest Git development code for the Nouveau NV50 Gallium3D driver has exposed OpenGL ES 3.1 for select GeForce 200 series GPUs. Receiving GLES 3.1 support in the GeForce 200 series are the DirectX 10.1 class GPUs, which amount to the GT21x GPUs as with the GeForce GT 210/220/240 where as the other 200 series parts were only at DirectX 10.0.

        • Mesa 21.2′s Direct3D 12 Driver Now Allows For Easy Multi-GPU Selection

          MESA_D3D12_DEFAULT_ADAPTER_NAME can be set with a substring of the given GPU you desire to use with the driver, whether it just be the GPU vendor name or a portion of the graphics card model, depending upon the GPU makeup of your system.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Xeon Platinum 8380 P-State CPU Frequency Scaling Comparison

        As part of the curiosity-driven benchmarks and areas of technical interest now that we’ve gotten some of our initial Intel Xeon Platinum 8380 “Ice Lake” benchmarks out of the way has been looking into the performance of Linux’s P-State CPU frequency scaling driver on the 3rd Gen Xeon Scalable server. Benchmarked for the latesting testing was the power/efficiency out-of-the-box with P-State powersave as used by default with many Linux distributions against the P-State “performance” mode as well as putting P-State into passive mode to be able to via intel_cpufreq to try the Schedutil governor that relies on the kernel’s scheduler utilization data for making frequency scaling decisions. Here is a number of power/performance governor benchmarks with the dual Xeon Platinum 8380 server in these varying kernel configurations.

    • Applications

      • Subtitld: A Cross-Platform Open-Source Subtitle Editor

        Subtitles make the experience of watching a video seamless. You do not need to necessarily understand the language of the video, the subtitle helps you figure out what’s happening with a text version of the audio in your preferred language.

        You get subtitles for most of the content in streaming platforms you might have to add subtitles for some videos that you have in your local collection.

        While you can do that by simply downloading SRT files and loading it up using the video player, how do you edit it, remove it, or transcribe a video? Subtitld is an open-source subtitle editor that comes to the rescue.

      • Helix: A Terminal Based Text Editor for Power Linux Users

        When it comes to terminal based text editors, it is usually Vim, Emacs and Nano that get the limelight.

        That doesn’t mean there are not other such text editors. Neovim, a modern enhancement to Vim, is one of many such examples.

        Along the same line, I would like to introduce yet another terminal based text editor called Helix Editor.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Please notice you’ve been pwned, Senpai.

        First and foremost: compartmentalize your digital life. Not only this makes it much more resilient in terms of data loss (replication of backups over multiple accounts is key), but it also guarantees that a compromised account held in one badly maintained service does not spread out to your remaining online identity (if any).

      • How to Install AlmaLinux

        AlmaLinux is an RHEL-based Linux distro that debuted in 2021 as a direct replacement to CentOS, which has now become CentOS Stream. It’s an enterprise-grade operating system that’s ideal for servers and production environments. Best of all, it’s free.

        This guide will show the step by step instructions to install AlmaLinux. You can follow these steps whether you are installing AlmaLinux onto a physical computer or a virtual machine such as VirtualBox or VMware. If you are currently using CentOS, check our guide on migrating from CentOS to AlmaLinux.

      • How to Limit Network Bandwidth Usage in Linux Using Trickle

        Have you ever encountered situations where one application dominated your all network bandwidth? If you have ever been in a situation where one application ate all your traffic, then you will value the role of the trickle bandwidth shaper application.

        Either you are a system admin or just a Linux user, you need to learn how to control the upload and download speeds for applications to make sure that your network bandwidth is not burned by a single application.

      • How to Check Disk Queue Length in Linux

        The average disk queue length is the average number of read and write operations that were queued during a selected interval for the chosen device. It’s important to watch them as these values provide one of the representations of the storage performance. Higher values indicate that the quantity cannot continue with the requests from the appliance, leading to higher response times.

      • How to Migrate from CentOS 8 to AlmaLinux 8.4

        In this guide, we will walk you through the migration of CentOS 8 to AlmaLinux 8.4 using an automated migration script that is available on Github.

      • How to Use Declare Command in Linux Bash Shell

        In this article, we will be looking at what is the use of the declare command in bash and how to use it. A declare is a bash built-in command that provides type-like behavior for your scripts.

        If you have any prior experience in any programming language like Java, C you may know what is a type of system. Sadly, bash does not have a strong type system. With declare command, you can get type-like behavior and you can set attributes for your variables.

      • How To Install Snipe-IT on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Snipe-IT on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Snipe-IT is a free, open-source IT asset management system written in PHP. With Snipe-IT, you can manage your IT assets easily with its user-friendly portal, including management of users and security roles.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Snipe-IT open-source information technology asset management tool 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 Muck by Dani on a Chromebook

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

      • How To Install TeamViewer on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install TeamViewer on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, TeamViewer is remote assistance software that enables desktop screens to be shared between two computers. With TeamViewer, you can control computer systems running Linux, Windows, and Mac OS remotely as if you were sitting right in front of that system.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of TeamViewer remote desktop access on an AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for Rocky Linux.

      • Jenkins Cluster Hosting for Continuous Integration and Delivery (CI/CD) | RoseHosting

        Jenkins is a free and open-source Continuous Integration server written in Java. It helps developers to automate the build and deployment process. It can be installed on a Cloud platform to run self-hosted pipelines.

        Jenkins uses master-slave architecture to achieve clustering. Where a build process can be deployed across multiple worker nodes. This will allow you to deploy multiple projects within a single cluster.

        In this post, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of setting up the Jenkins cluster on the RoseHosting Cloud Platform. We will use Jenkins DevOps Pack from the RoseHosting Cloud Marketplace to set up the cluster. We will also build a Java project from GitHub using the Maven plugin.

      • /proc/mdstat

        /proc/mdstat is a special file that shows you the state of the Linux kernel’s md driver. md (multiple device) driver is the software RAID implementation that allows you to create any number of RAID devices based on the disk devices (physical or virtual) available to your Linux system.

      • Want to Try Kali Linux? Here’s How to Install It in VirtualBox

        With its huge collection of tools and utilities, Kali Linux is the first choice of many users when it comes to penetration testing and ethical hacking. While many penetration testers use Kali as their primary operating system, this is not a feasible choice for users who just want to try the OS.

        Installing Kali Linux on a hypervisor like VirtualBox is viable in such situations. Anything you do inside the virtual machine won’t affect your host system and vice versa. Also, you’ll be able to use both operating systems at the same time without any issue.

        In this article, you will learn how to install Kali Linux in VirtualBox.

      • What you can find out asking which, whereis and whatis in Linux | Network World

        The which, whereis and whatis commands on a Linux system provide information about commands. They provide related but not identical information. In this post, we’ll check out the differences and provide a script for getting information that’s available from all three commands. We’ll also explore some sample commands for looking at secondary (i.e., not section 1) man pages.

      • Bringing NV-DDR support to parallel NAND flashes in Linux

        We have recently contributed support for NV-DDR interfaces to parallel NAND flashes in the Linux kernel, which brings performance improvements for a number of NAND flash devices. In this article, we will detail what are the ONFI specifications, the historical SDR interface, then the introduction of faster interfaces in the ONFI specification, and finally our work to support such interfaces in the Linux kernel.

      • How To Join Libera Chat IRC | with Pictures and Step by Step

        This tutorial explains how one can join online chat at Libera Chat IRC. This includes how to join alternatively with an IRC client program, like Hexchat, and also register a nickname or username so nobody else can use it. This tutorial can also be viewed as a practical beginner’s guide to IRC. Happy chatting!

      • How to Revert to the Old User Interface in Firefox 89 | UbuntuHandbook

        Since version 89, the free and open-source Firefox web browser makes use of the new ‘Proton’ UI design.

        For those who do not like the new Firefox appearance, the configuration options to re-enable the old style interface is still available in the 89 release.

      • How to Install ReactJS on Ubuntu 21.04 – Unixcop

        We begin the installation of React JS by installing npm – short for the node package manager, is two things. Firstly, it is a command-line tool that is used for interacting with Javascript packages, which allows users to install, update, and manage Javascript tools and libraries.

        Secondly, npm is an online open-source software registry that hosts over 800,000 Node.JS packages. Npm is free and you can easily download software applications that are publicly available.

      • How to Get Troublesome Steam Games to Work On Linux – Make Tech Easier

        If you’ve tried exploring what Linux had to offer in gaming since the “big push” of 2018 to 2019 to develop ports and workarounds for as many Windows/Mac titles as possible, you’ll know about Steam’s infamous contribution to this effort in the form of Proton. At the same time, if you try to run some of the more dependency-heavy titles, you’ll quickly notice that Proton isn’t completely spick and span when it comes to smoothing the transition from Windows to Linux for a number of games.

      • How to Install HestiaCP Control Panel on Ubuntu 20.4 – Unixcop

        In this tutorial, we will see how to install the HestiaCP control panel on Ubuntu, which is alternative and similar to VestaCP and made by the developer of the vestaCP.After December’2019, Vestacp is not updating their software, and it seems dead project already, as there are no significant updates made in Github.So, in that case, Hestiacp is a good choice. Also, it has some extended features, regular maintenance, and its forum support is excellent.

      • How to install PostgreSQL in FreeBSD
      • 12 Useful Linux date Command Examples

        The date command is a command-line utility for displaying or setting date and time in the Linux system. It uses the system default time zone to display the time.

        In this article, I will show you 12 examples of how to best use the date command on Linux. To demonstrate the examples below I have used an Ubuntu 20.04 system. As the date command is pre-integrated in all Linux systems we don’t need to install it.

      • How to Install Pip on Ubuntu 21.04 – Unixcop

        Pip is a package management system that simplifies installation and management of software packages written in Python such as those found in the Python Package Index (PyPI).

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Python Pip on Ubuntu 18.04 using the apt package manager.We will also walk you through the basics of installing and managing Python packages with pip.

      • How to install and configure Axel- download accelerator in ubuntu

        In our Day in and day out works while using various linux Distributions, file downloaders are needed. By default, we use the wget command line tool to download data to our system. wget is a very versatile tool. It supports many protocols like HTTP, HTTPS, FTP and also allows us to download multiple files and directories. But one problem which sticks to it is speed. The download speed associated with it is not too quick. To boost up the download speed we can use the Axel download accelerator. Axel not only download the multiple files simultaneously but also speed them up as well. Axel can download files from HTTP, HTTPS and FTP links simultaneously. In this we will install and configure axel on ubuntu.

        In this tutorial I will guide you through all the detailed steps to install and configure Axel on ubuntu. Axel can use multiple connections to retrieve files. Axel can be configured to use multiple mirrors as well. It also supports automatic aborting and resuming for unresponsive connections. Unlike other Download accelerators ,it stores all the data in a single file.

      • How To Set Up Laravel on Ubuntu 21.04 & 20.10 – TecAdmin

        Laravel is an open-source PHP web framework, designed for the faster development of web applications. It is based on the Symfony framework, follows the model–view–controller architectural pattern. At the time of writing this tutorial, Laravel 8 is the latest stable version available.

        The Laravel comes with a powerful command-line utility known as Artisan. Which is useful to perform multiple command-line operations.

      • How to Setup MariaDB Galera Cluster on Ubuntu 20.04

        Load balancing and clustering are very important in a production environment to achieve high availability for your database system. MariaDB Galera Cluster provides a multi-master clustering solution and supports XtraDB/InnoDB storage engines. A multi-master cluster allows read and writes to any cluster node. If you modify data on any node, they are replicated to all other nodes. Galera cluster also supports cloud and WAN environments to build a distributed cluster across countries and continents.
        In this post, we will show how to set up a three-node MariaDB Galera cluster on Ubuntu 20.04 server.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine on Wayland meets Vulkan, multi-monitor support & more

        For the past few months we have been improving the experimental Wayland driver for Wine, which allows Windows applications to run directly on Wayland compositors. Our goal is to eventually remove the need for XWayland for many use cases, and thus reduce the overall system complexity while eliminating points of potential inefficiency.

        We first announced our work on the driver last December, and posted an update earlier this year. We are now happy to announce a second update for this driver, adding several major features which increase its scope and utility. You can read all the details in the new upstream mailing list RFC (Request for Comment) post.

      • Experimental Wayland Driver For Wine Now Supports Vulkan, Other Features

        Announced at the end of last year was an experimental Wayland driver for Wine providing native Wayland support without relying on X11/XWayland. In the months since that yet-to-be-merged driver has continued supporting more functionality and with the latest update is much more viable.

        This newest Wayland driver update for Wine now has working Vulkan support, multi-monitor setups are correctly handled, HiDPI is also now available, cursor clipping and relative moment is working too, and Wayland keymap handling is also in place.

        With these latest features wired up, the Wayland Wine driver is closer to being functional for daily usage and also meeting the needs of modern Linux gamers. The Vulkan support with this Wayland driver is working both directly within Wine as well as through the likes of WineD3D and DXVK.

    • Games

      • Steam Play, Proton – How be things in 2021?

        Playing Windows games on Linux is a unicorn. Magical. Weird. But in recent years, it’s sort of become a large-nosed horse. Maybe. Whatever the analogy or whatnot, the gaming parity between these operating systems remains one of the primary reasons why people, even if all other circumstances align just right, cannot use Linux as their everyday driver. Games!

        For years, I’ve been exploring the different solutions and tools, which promise this or that level of support for Windows games. I tried pure WINE, I tried various WINE helper scripts. I fiddled with PlayOnLinux, and I also tried the early release of Proton, the Steam gaming compatibility framework, which is designed to bridge the gap between the two worlds. It was also the most reasonable solution so far. If you think about it, if there’s chance to make Linux gaming truly happen, it’s Steam. So I figured, let’s do another Proton review.

      • Astalon: Tears of the Earth is an 8-bit inspired action-adventure that looks magnificent | GamingOnLinux

        After a fresh pixel-art action-adventure? Look no further than Astalon: Tears of the Earth, which just released recently with Linux support from LABS Works and DANGEN Entertainment.

        Set in a dying world “where life is cruel”, with death apparently just being a stepping stone towards something else. Full of various creatures to slay down, powerful artifacts to find, puzzles to solve and a story about “friendship and sacrifice, building up the courage to take down giants to protect the weak and powerless”. Certainly sounds like it could be quite interesting. Seems it’s scored quite well around the web, with a great 88 score on Metacritic and user reviews on Steam seem to be quite positive about it too.

      • Critters for Sale is the most bizarre adventure you’re ever going to have | GamingOnLinux

        After the first episode being available for some time, Critters for Sale is officially released in full now and it’s certainly an wild and weird experience to go through.

        Spread across 5 episodes each a different short story, it touches on different themes like time travel, black magic, and immortality across different eras and locations. What’s truly unique is the visual style and story-telling, it’s unlike anything else I can remember.

        Thankfully, it seems they’ve solved the previous graphical corruption seen on NVIDIA GPUs on Linux, so it’s probable they upgraded the version of Unity used since the original first episode release. It’s looking good on Linux. Well as good as it can with the visual style that is, which is — different.

      • The open source original Soldat is looking for a new maintainer | GamingOnLinux

        The absolute classic that is Soldat, which went fully open source back in 2020 is now in need of someone to take over as the original creator has announced.

        “Soldat is an exciting unique side-view multiplayer action game. Played by hundreds of players at this moment. It takes the best from games like Liero, Worms, Quake and Counter-Strike and gives you fast action gameplay with tons of blood and flesh. Little ragdoll soldiers fight against each other on 2D battle arenas using a deadly military arsenal. This is what multiplayer was invented for.”

      • fheroes2 for playing Heroes of Might & Magic II adds The Price of Loyalty campaign support | GamingOnLinux

        fheroes2 is a game engine reimplementation project we highlighted recently for playing Heroes of Might & Magic II on modern systems, and they have a big new release available.

        They said that in past releases, it had only basic support for The Succession Wars campaign, which they’ve now nicely polished up across all parts of it including the missing video scenes. On top of that, there’s also now full support for The Price of Loyalty campaigns. With the new 0.9.4 release, you can play through all original 6 campaigns present in Heroes of Might & Magic II!

      • Nvidia and Valve Collaborate to Bring DLSS to Linux

        Both powerhouses in the gaming industry are trying to make the experience on Linux much improved, by way of DLSS.

        DLSS stands for Deep Learning Super Sampling and is a temporal image upscaling technology developed by Nvidia for Nvidia graphics cards. This technology makes it possible to upscale lower-resolution images into higher-resolution images, so they can be better displayed on higher-resolution displays.

      • Nvidia and Valve Team Up to Bring DLSS To Linux Systems

        PC gaming is diverse largely due to the range of software and hardware available for the platform. While things operate fundamentally the same way, there’s a lot of small things to account for. One of those is the user’s operating system, which greatly affects which games are available to play. Valve has long heralded Linux OS, and it could see some big improvements soon thanks to a partnership with Nvidia.

        As reported by The Verge, Nvidia has announced that it’s bringing DLSS to Linux operating systems, which will allow RTX users on the OS to take advantage of DLSS – Deep Learning Super Sampling – to improve a game’s performance and graphics quality. The support will come by way of Steam Proton, software that allows Windows games to work with Linux. If successful, gamers will see a significant change in how their games run.

      • Mainframe Defenders: Meltdown – Prologue gives you a taste of the excellent tactical game | GamingOnLinux

        Mainframe Defenders released back in February 2020 is a quality turn-based tactics game with a very retrofuturistic visual style like old terminals and now there’s a free Mainframe Defenders: Meltdown – Prologue to play.

        It’s incredibly slick, the interface and visual style is really quite something when everything is in motion. The gameplay matches up nicely too, with simple but interesting tactical choices you need to make throughout the different types of missions.

      • Legend of Keepers: Return of the Goddess announced with a free update | GamingOnLinux

        Goblinz Studio / TavroxGames have announced Legend of Keepers: Return of the Goddess, the first expansion for the popular dungeon defending management game Legend of Keepers: Career of a Dungeon Manager.

        With a plan to release it in “Q3 2021″ for all platforms, they’re also planning a free update for everyone. The free update is due “this Summer” which will include new heroes to fight against (no other details mentioned yet). Not played before? It mixes together dungeon management and defending. You setup various trap and monster rooms, while heroes invade to try and take down your boss. It’s very much like the Boss Monster card game.

      • Open source Infinity Engine reimplementation GemRB 0.8.8 out now | GamingOnLinux

        While we have Beamdog taking care of the newer Enhanced Edition generation of classic RPGs like Baldur’s Gate, we also have the free and open source GemRB reimplementation which has a big update out.

        GemRB works with the likes of Baldur’s Gate 1, Baldur’s Gate 2, Planescape: Torment, Icewind Dale 1 and Icewind Dale 2 so you can play the original classics with an updated and modern game engine. Eventually it seems they will even move onto working with the Enhanced Edition of each.

      • Dying Light – Hellraid gets a big upgrade from Techland with a fresh story | GamingOnLinux

        Dying Light – Hellraid, the much unloved expansion to the zombie-slasher that puts you into dungeons fighting skeletons has received a huge upgrade. Maybe now people won’t hate it so much?

        What was originally going to be its own game that was canned, Techland have mostly moved onto Dying Light 2 development but it seems they still have a team going on the original. This new upgrade for the Hellraid DLC adds in quite a lot by the sounds of it, with more to come that will be revealed and added into Hellraid over time

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.22 Officially Released, This Is What’s New

          Highlights of the KDE Plasma 5.22 release include the implementation of the new Plasma System Monitor app introduced in the KDE Plasma 5.21 release as the default system monitoring app and a replacement for the KDE System Guard, also known as KSysGuard, application.

          Another major change in this release is the new adaptive panel transparency feature that promises to help you make both the panel and the panel widgets more transparent. In addition, KDE Plasma 5.22 has great overall Wayland support, especially for activities and support for searching through menu items from the Global Menu applet.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 40.2 Released with Better Flatpak Support, Improved Screencasting, and More

          While there wasn’t an official release for GNOME 40.1, the GNOME 40.2 update is now available, rolling out soon to most GNU/Linux distributions, and comes with lots of fixes and improvements for your favorite apps, as well as general performance enhancements.

          Highlights include improved touch interaction of app grid actions, screencastsing improvements on fractional scaling, improved workspace placeholder in Activities Overview’s minimap, improved fingerprint authentication, support for animated backgrounds set via the wallpaper portal, and better performance during Night Light transition on NVIDIA GPUs.

        • Another year in GSoC and Fractal(-next)

          This year I applied for Google Summer of Code again and chose Fractal to work on multi-account support. I got accepted (that’s why I’m writing this), so today I start the coding (and design) period to achieve that.

          Any of you who had followed what happened in my internship in 2020 and afterwards might remember that I had the same goal back then. The problem was that the way the app was structured internally made it incredibly difficult to do so without all hell breaking loose. You can remind (or read) the details in my final report last year and what I learned in the process.

        • The Beginning – Kai A. Hiller

          Hello, I’m Kai. I’m a computer science student at the KIT in Germany. This year I am participating in my second Google Summer of Code at the GNOME foundation to work on Fractal. My mentor is Julian Sparber, who works towards end-to-end encryption in Fractal and already gave me a warm welcome. I created this blog to keep everyone interested updated on my progress over the course of the summer.

    • Distributions

      • Manjaro Vs Pop!_OS: Which Linux Distro Should You Choose?

        Manjaro and Pop!_OS are two of the most popular Linux distributions taking second and fourth places in Distrowatch’s distro rankings. For starters, Manjaro is an Arch-based distro, whereas Pop!_OS is Ubuntu-based. After two years of using Pop!_OS, I finally switched to Manjaro, and here are my two cents on Manjaro Vs Pop!_OS.

        After testing out and writing the Manjaro Vs EndeavourOS article, I was quite surprised about how well Manjaro handles packages using Pamac. The next day I woke up to find out that something went wrong during the Pop!_OS 21.04 beta update installation as my PC refused to boot due to broken packages. I found this a great opportunity to finally try out something different and ended up installing Manjaro Xfce.

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD from a NetBSD user’s perspective

          I’ve been a NetBSD developer for three years and it’s been my primary operating system for a long time too – on everything: routers, laptops, Raspberry Pis, PowerPC mac minis, Vortex86 embedded boards, and servers.

          I’ve recently been using FreeBSD a lot at work. We have a lot of servers and embedded boards running it, and I was given the option of installing anything I wanted on my workstation. I chose FreeBSD to maintain a separation of BSDs between my work and home life ;)

          I thought I’d write a little bit about some differences that stand out to me. Since everyone that knows me well knows that typical use cases like web hosting aren’t really my jam, and I’m more of an embedded, audio, and graphics person, maybe I can offer a more uncommon perspective.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Automating ServiceNow with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform

          Sysadmins are asked regularly to quickly complete service requests to better serve business and user needs, with more and more admins relying on Ansible to do so. How can we, as sysadmins, respond faster when these requests come up?

          IT service management (ITSM) is a collection of policies and processes for the management and support of IT services. The main focus of ITSM is increasing the value of the customers’ service chain. But without the proper automation support, providing IT services can quickly become a major time-sink for administrators.

        • The NeuroFedora Blog: Next Open NeuroFedora meeting: 07 June 1300 UTC

          Please join us at the next regular Open NeuroFedora team meeting on Monday 07 June at 1300UTC in #fedora-neuro on IRC (Libera.chat). The meeting is a public meeting, and open for everyone to attend. You can join us over:

        • How to size your projects for Red Hat’s single sign-on technology | Red Hat Developer

          Red Hat’s single sign-on (SSO) technology is an identity and access management tool included in the Red Hat Middleware Core Services Collection that’s based on the well-known Keycloak open source project. As with other Red Hat products, users have to acquire subscriptions, which are priced according to the number of cores or vCPU used to deploy the product.

          This presents an interesting problem for pre-sales engineers like me. To help my customers acquire the correct number of subscriptions, I need to sketch the target architecture and count how many cores they need. This would not be a problem if off-the-shelf performance benchmarks were available; however, they are not.

          This article will help colleagues and customers estimate their SSO projects more precisely. We will examine the performance benchmarks I ran, how I designed them, the results I gathered, and how I drew conclusions to size my SSO project.

        • Mankind Pharma innovates with SUSE to increase global reach of affordable medicines | SUSE Communities

          Mankind Pharma upgraded its existing SAP systems to a new SAP S/4HANA platform, supported by a highly resilient and scalable IT infrastructure. The company selected IBM Power Systems servers, which it deployed as its primary data center and disaster recovery site. Each server runs multiple virtual environments and uses SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for SAP Applications as the host operating system for the SAP S/4HANA applications and databases, as well as other systems.

        • Stephen Smoogen: Leaving Fedora Infrastructure [Ed: Older, but resurfaced in Planet Fedora earlier today]

          In June 2009, I was given the opportunity to work in Fedora Infrastructure as Mike McGrath’s assistant so that he could take some vacation. At the time I was living in New Mexico and had worked at the University of New Mexico for several years. I started working remote for the first time in my life, and had to learn all the nuances of IRC meetings and typing clearly and quickly. With the assistance of Seth Vidal, Luke Macken, Ricky Zhou, and many others I got quickly into ‘the swing of things’ with only 2 or 3 times taking all of Fedora offline because of a missed ; in a dns config file.

          For the last 4300+ days, I have worked with multiple great and wonderful system administrators and programmers to keep the Fedora Infrastructure running and growing so that the number of systems using ‘deliverables’ has grow into the millions of systems. I am highly indebted to everyone from volunteers to paid Red Hatters who has helped me grow. I want to especially thank Kevin Fenzi, Rick Elrod, and Pierre Yves-Chibon for the insights I have needed.

          Over the years, we have maintained a constantly spinning set of plates which allow for packagers to commit changes, build software, produce deliverables, and start all over again. We have moved our build systems physically at least 3 times, once across the North American continent. We have dealt with security breaches, mass password changes, and the undead project of replacing the ‘Fedora Account System’ which had been going on since before I started. [To the team which finished that monumental task in the last 3 months, we are all highly indebted. There may be pain-points but they did a herculean task.]

        • Introduction to Red Hat’s UBI Micro

          What is attack surface anyway? In one of Aesop’s Fables, The Town Mouse & the Country Mouse, the country mouse says to the city mouse, “You may have luxuries and dainties that I have not,” … “but I prefer my plain food and simple life in the country with the peace and security that go with it.” This is a concept familiar to even the ancient Greeks. In any system, there’s less headache, less stress, and less risk when you depend on fewer moving parts. In computer security, we refer to this concept as attack surface. And, we are in a constant battle to reduce the attack surface, a struggle between convenience and minimization.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Fridge | Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 686

          Welcome to the Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter, Issue 686 for the week of May 30 – June 5, 2021. The full version of this issue is available here.

        • How to accelerate migration towards NFV with Open Source MANO

          Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Cloud native network functions continue to draw immense attention from the telecom sector. From the beginning, virtualisation is trying to fulfill the promises of reducing CapEx and OpEx by decoupling Network Functions from the underlying infrastructure and ensuring flexibility and scalability. However, despite the huge traction it has gained, there are still obstacles to overcome before it can be part of day-to-day operations.

          One of the important challenges associated with this transformation is implementing the process for management and orchestration of network functions. Telcos need to build virtualized network functions while maintaining a high quality of service and keeping up with a constantly evolving technology landscape. The 5G stage will likely last for the next 5-8 years before the transition to 6G, and so on. The switch to a new generation network is costly, and if the average revenue per user does not grow as fast as CapEx, telcos will not be able to maintain profitability.

        • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology taps Canonical for cloud computing overhaul

          Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, announced today that it is working with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a postgraduate university in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, on a major upgrade of its cloud computing infrastructure. The project makes it easier and more economical for KAUST to manage its cloud environment while ensuring the high levels of computing performance that researchers need.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Analyze community health metrics with this open source tool

        Community managers, maintainers, and foundations seek metrics and insights about open source communities. Because each open source project works differently, its data needs to be analyzed differently. Yet, all projects share common challenges with getting data and creating visualizations. This presents an ideal use case for an open source project to solve this problem generically with the capability to customize it to users’ needs.

        The open source GrimoireLab project has been working on ways to measure the health of open source communities. In addition to powering large-scale open source metrics solutions, it also serves as the backbone of the new Cauldron platform.

        GrimoireLab solves some hard problems related to retrieving and curating data. It was designed to be a flexible metrics solution for analyzing open source communities. LibreOffice and Mautic are among the communities using GrimoireLab’s open source tools to generate community health metrics.

      • HTTP/2 in libsoup3, WebKitGTK, and Epiphany

        The latest development release of libsoup 3, 2.99.8, now enables HTTP/2 by default. So lets look into what that means and how you can try it out.


        In simple terms what HTTP/2 provides for improved performance is more efficient network usage when requesting multiple files from a single host. It does this by avoiding making new connections whenever possible and over that single connection allowing multiple requests to happen at the same time.

        It is easy to imagine many workloads this would improve, such as flatpak downloading a lot of objects from a single server.

      • StarlingX 5.0: Full-stack open-source edge cloud computing – TechRepublic

        Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of having to pick one software project from column A all the way to selecting one from column Z if you could simply set up cloud-based edge computing using an already integrated software stack? The Open Infrastructure Foundation heard your cries and its answer is StarlingX. This is an open-source edge computing and Internet of Things cloud platform that combines Ceph storage, OpenStack cloud, Kubernetes container orchestration, KVM virtualization and, of course, Linux to provide you with everything you need for an easy-to-deploy cloud/edge computing software stack.

      • New Google tool reveals dependencies for open source projects

        Google has been working on a new, experimental tool to help developers discover the dependencies of the open source packages/libraries they use and known security vulnerabilities they are currently sporting.

      • HarmonyOS 2.0 update tracker: HongMeng OS 2.0 Release date, beta, & other info

        According to data from Statcounter, Huawei has, over the past year, been holding steady at about 10% of the global Mobile Vendor Market Share, trailing behind Korean tech giant Samsung at about 31% and Apple at 25% market share.

        This is rather impressive, especially seeing as Huawei’s sales outside of China have been greatly handicapped owing to the ongoing tension between the Chinese tech giant and the U.S.

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • It’s time to ditch Chrome

            In theory, competition and data protection laws should provide the tools to keep Google from getting out of control, says Fielding. But in practice, “that doesn’t seem to be working for various reasons – including disparities of wealth and power between Google and national regulators”. Fielding adds that Google is also useful to many governments and economies and it is tricky to enforce national laws against a global corporation.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Firebird Project is happy to announce general availability of Firebird 4.0

          Firebird Project is happy to announce general availability of Firebird 4.0 — the latest major release of the Firebird relational database.

          Firebird 4.0 introduces new data types and many improvements without radical changes in architecture or operation, the most important are:
          Built-in logical replication;
          Extended length of metadata identifiers (up to 63 characters);
          New INT128 and DECFLOAT data types, longer precision for NUMERIC/DECIMAL data types;
          Support for international time zones;
          Configurable time-outs for connections and statements;
          Pooling of external connections;
          Batch operations in the API;
          Built-in cryptographic functions;
          New ODS (version 13) with new system and monitoring tables;
          Maximum page size increased to 32KB.

        • PostgreSQL Weekly News – June 6, 2021
        • pg_statement_rollback v1.2 has been released
        • Chinese Translation of Community Code of Conduct Posted
        • Submit your talk to PG Day’21 Russia by 7 June!
        • pg_partman 4.5.1 released
        • Database .NET v32.6 released
        • PostgreSQL benefits and challenges: A snapshot

          The database market continues to be splintered among open source and commercial products, with multiple options in each camp. PostgreSQL, a three-decades-old, community-supported open source project, continues to gain in popularity and is used in production by large enterprises in many parts of the world.

          Yandex, for example, stores petabytes of data in PostgreSQL, which enables the company’s email service to handle more than 150 million emails a day. GitLab, which has been using Postgres for years, maintains a large cluster that handles 181,000 transactions per second. IKEA, which moved to PostgreSQL to reduce its total cost of ownership (TCO), has a number of databases running multiple terabytes of data.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • CMS

        • WordPress Economy Drives More Than Half a Trillion in Revenue, New Global Study Shows

          WP Engine, the world’s most trusted WordPress technology company, announced the results of a new, first-of-its-kind research study examining the combined global economy for WordPress, which was estimated at $596.7 billion in 2020, and is expected to grow to $635.5 billion by the end of 2021. The study examined both the economic value of the WordPress ecosystem and the social impact of this ever-expanding community of open source developers, agencies and users.

          To put the global WordPress economy in context, if WordPress were a country, its economy would rank 39th in the world according to an IMF list of countries by GDP. The estimated 2021 economy facilitated by WordPress is comparable to that generated by the Apple App Store at $643B, and if it were equivalent to the market cap of a company it would come in at no. 10 on the list of companies by market capitalization (as of May 13th), bigger than that of the world’s most valuable automaker, Tesla at $550.72B.

        • People of WordPress: Tijana Andrejic

          WordPress is open source software, maintained by a global network of contributors. There are many examples of how WordPress has changed people’s lives for the better. In this monthly series, we share some of the amazing stories.

          This month to coincide with WordCamp Europe, we feature Tijana Andrejic from Belgrade, Serbia, about her journey from fitness trainer to the WordPress world, with the freelance and corporate opportunities it introduced.


          Tijana was hired as a Customer Happiness Engineer for a hosting company, where she discovered the benefits of having a team. She realized that having close working relationships with colleagues is helpful for business success and accelerates personal growth.

          Tijana hopes that by sharing her story, she can help others who are either starting their career or are moving roles. She describes the opportunities she discovered in the WordPress community as ‘a huge epiphany’, especially in the world of freelancing.

        • WP Briefing: Episode 10: Finding the Good In Disagreement

          To Agree, disagree, and everything in-between. In this episode, Josepha talks about forming opinions and decision-making in the WordPress project.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Health: IFMSA Bangladesh joins the GNU Health Alliance

            It’s a great day for Bangladesh. It’s a great day for public health! Today, GNU Solidario and the International Federation of Medical Students Association, IFMSA Bangladesh, have signed an initial 5-year partnership on the grounds of the GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions.

            IFMSA Bangladesh is a non-for-profit, non-political organization that comprises 3500+ medical students from over 65 schools of Medicine across Bangladesh. They are a solid organization, very well organized, with different standing committees and support divisions.

            IFMSA vision and mission fits very well with those of GNU Solidario advancement of Social Medicine. IFMSA has projects on Public Health (reproductive health; personal hygiene; cardiovascular disease and cancer prevention, … ), Human rights and peace (campaigns to end violence against women; protection of the underprivileged elders and children.. ). I am positive the GNU Health ecosystem will help them reach their goals in each of their projects!

            The GNU Health Alliance of Academic and Research Institutions is extremely happy to have IFMSA Bangladesh as a member. IFMSA Bangladesh joins now a group of outstanding researchers and institutions that have made phenomenal advancements in health informatics and contributions to public health.

      • Programming/Development

        • Primary Responsibilities of a DevOps Engineer
        • GitLab Acquires UnReview to Expand its Open DevOps Platform with Machine Learning Capabilities

          Today GitLab Inc., the company that offers the single application for the DevOps lifecycle, announced it has acquired UnReview, a machine learning (ML) based solution for automatically identifying appropriate expert code reviewers and controlling review workloads and distribution of knowledge. This acquisition is expected to advance the user experience within GitLab’s Dev Section including Manage, Plan and Create stages by improving a user’s ability to perform impactful code reviews by using ML to recommend code reviewers based on their previous contributions to areas of code as well as current reviewer workload. With this, teams can increase their velocity, code quality and security.

          “Integrating UnReview’s technology into the GitLab platform marks our first step in building GitLab’s Applied Machine Learning for DevOps,” said Eric Johnson, CTO of GitLab. “By continuing to incorporate machine learning into GitLab’s open DevOps platform, we are improving the user experience by automating workflows and compressing cycle times across all stages of the DevSecOps lifecycle. We’re also building new MLOps features to empower data scientists.”

        • GitLab Expands Applied Machine Learning for DevOps

          GitLab Inc. has acquired UnReview, a machine learning (ML) solution that can automatically identify appropriate code reviewers, as a step toward expanding its open DevOps platform with ML capabilities.

        • GitLab Buys UnReview, To Expand Its Open DevOps Platform With ML Capabilities | TFiR: Interviews, News & Analysis by Swapnil Bhartiya

          GitLab has acquired UnReview, a ML-based solution for automatically identifying appropriate expert code reviewers and controlling review workloads and distribution of knowledge, for an undisclosed sum.

        • Daniel Stenberg: Bye bye metalink in curl

          In 2012 I wrote a blog post titled curling the metalink, describing how we added support for metalink to curl.

          Today, we remove that support again. This is a very drastic move, and I feel obliged to explain it so here it goes! curl 7.78.0 will ship without metalink support.

        • Qt 6.1.1 Released

          I am happy to announce we have released the Qt 6.1.1 today.

        • Qt 6.2 Enters Feature Freeze With More Qt5 Modules Ported To Qt6 – Phoronix

          While Qt 6.1 released just one month ago, Qt 6.2 as of today is already into its feature freeze. This quicker than normal time to feature freeze comes due to this year’s Qt releases being tightened up following the Qt 6.0 debut at the end of last year. Qt 6.2 will be the first Long Term Support (LTS) release of the Qt6 series.

          With the tightened cycle this year, Qt 6.2.0 should debut around September rather than November~December when the second Qt release of the year normally occurs. For making that happen, as of today the Qt 6.2 feature freeze has taken place. The freeze was announced this morning though given a QML CMake API change hasn’t yet landed, they haven’t started the code branching from dev to 6.2 quite yet. Some feature freeze exceptions are also planned around Qt Multimedia and Qt WebEngine.

        • New Qt Multimedia
        • Perl/Raku

  • Leftovers

    • Living Ever Larger in the Lap of Luxury
    • Hollow Thoughts and Prayers
    • The Epic Misery of Thomas Bernhard

      In a characteristically bleak 1986 interview with Asta Scheib only a few years before his early death, Thomas Bernhard observed, “One always depends on people. There is no one who doesn’t depend on somebody. Someone, who is always alone with himself, will go under in no time, will be dead.” The idea of a necessary but unwanted reliance on others is threaded throughout Bernhard’s novels. Constituted by an endless running away or going against, his characters are incapable of creation or independence. Often supported by inherited wealth, they devote themselves to senseless projects or burn the books they have barely started, before being drawn ineluctably back to their decaying family estates. They despise their dependency on these places and figures, yet in the end cannot help giving into it.

    • Science

      • First Luxembourgish super computer to be inaugurated on Monday

        Grand Duke Henri, Prime Minister Bettel, and Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot will all be present at the inauguration. MeluXina is one of eight super computers that are being installed across Europe at the moment. Super computers allow users to substantially increase their research capacities.

      • Confirmatory research ‘boring and stressful’, says Harvard study

        Scholars who conduct studies that seek to confirm a hypothesis are more prone to stress, low motivation and boredom than those who carry out more open-ended investigations, according to a new analysis highlighting the “unintended negative consequences” caused by the rise of preregistered reports.

    • Education

      • The War on the Classics

        Our iconoclastic age is smashing images that keep the powerful in full control of their money and privileges, while giving the underclass the illusion of change, that their lives are getting better.

        Teaching Greek and Latin in selected colleges and universities is now becoming the venom of the iconoclasts. These include people of non-Western traditions who feel angry for having being exploited in the past and, possibly, are being exploited now.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Liz Fowler is Back! And She’s Writing US Health Policy Again

        Fowler, former vice president of public policy and external affairs at Wellpoint, the giant health insurance company that later became Anthem, wrote the reform policy to protect the future and the profits of the industry from which she came. Thanks to her efforts, Anthem and other for-profit insurance companies prospered from Fowler’s ability to craft the Affordable Care Act to their liking. In 2020, Anthem reported over $4.5 billion in net income. Now Liz Fowler is back, writing U. S. health care policy in line with insurance company desires. President Biden appointed her to head up the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) within the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). She’s back to the top spot to direct the future of health care.

        Back in 2009, the insurance industry and anti-single payer policy experts promoted CMMI and wrote it into the Affordable Care Act to promote cost cutting in Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP through value-based payment models. But CMMI’s work is based on the wrong-headed theory that U. S. healthcare is too expensive because of overuse. Value-based payment advocates claim that too many doctors and hospitals are giving too much care. CMMI wants to reverse the payment scheme and pay doctors and hospitals more for doing less. They contend they will be paying for quality or value rather than quantity. Their attempts to force doctors to fill out endless forms are stressing physicians, but they have yet to find a way to accurately measure value. CMMI is working from a false premise:  in the U.S., patients see their doctors an average of 4 times annually while in the U. K., France, Canada, Australia, Germany and Japan, patients see their physicians from 5 to over 12 times a year. In the U.S., Americans spend an average of .6 days per year in the hospital, whereas residents of other wealthy countries spend up to three times that number. So, if Americans are seeing their doctors less and spending fewer days in the hospital, why are we still spending more than wealthy countries on health care?

      • A People’s Vaccine Against a Mutating Virus and Neoliberal Rule

        A recent Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that worries about the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States are at their lowest level since it began. Only half of Americans are either “very worried” (15%) or “somewhat worried” (35%) about the virus, while the other half are “not very worried” (30%) or “not worried at all” (20%).

      • COVID Shutdowns Hurt Homeless Students. School Reopenings Bring New Challenges.
      • Those Who Didn’t Wear Masks Were 2 Times More Likely to Get COVID, Data Shows
      • Ahead of Summit, 200+ Global Leaders Call on G7 Nations to Help Vaccinate the World’s Poor
      • The “lab leak” hypothesis is becoming a conspiracy theory

        If, as I have, you’ve been paying attention to these things for a number of years, you know that, whenever there is a major outbreak, epidemic, or pandemic of infectious disease, one conspiracy theory always—and I do mean always—arises. That conspiracy theory is that the causative microbe was developed in a laboratory and/or escaped a laboratory. HIV, H1N1, the original SARS, Ebola virus, every single one of them gave birth to such conspiracy theories. Unsurprisingly, given its global scope and death toll, so it was with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and the hypothesis that this coronavirus originated in a lab has become known as the “lab leak” hypothesis, with major news outlets devoting a lot of ink, both digital and real, as well as TV air time to the idea.

      • America Pursues Vaccine Internationalism—but What Kind?

        On June 3, President Joe Biden finally announced his plan to send part of America’s vaccine stockpile overseas. The first step, he declared, is to share some 25 million doses with other countries. At least three-quarters of those shots will go to COVAX, the international effort intended to route vaccines from rich countries to poor ones. The United States will dispatch the remainder to “countries experiencing surges, those in crisis, and other partners and neighbors, including Canada, Mexico, India, and the Republic of Korea,” as Biden put it.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Energy secretary backs ban on ransomware payments: ‘You are encouraging the bad actors’

          Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Sunday that she supports a law that would ban companies from paying ransom to [crackers] holding their information hostage after a recent spate of cyberattacks on companies responsible for crucial parts of the U.S. infrastructure.

          In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Granholm acknowledged that she is not sure whether Congress or President Joe Biden are ready to take that step, but she warned that paying ransom only emboldens [crackers]. And she said private companies need to take responsibility and tell the government when they are attacked for the good of the country.

        • Justice Dept. Claws Back $2.3M Paid by Colonial Pipeline to Ransomware Gang

          The U.S. Department of Justice said today it has recovered $2.3 million worth of Bitcoin that Colonial Pipeline paid to ransomware extortionists last month. The funds had been sent to DarkSide, a ransomware-as-a-service syndicate that disbanded after a May 14 farewell message to affiliates saying its Internet servers and cryptocurrency stash were seized by unknown law enforcement entities.

        • US recovers millions in cryptocurrency paid to Colonial Pipeline [crackers] [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Colonial Pipeline, a network that provides around 45 percent of the East Coast’s fuel, was the target of a crippling cyberattack last month that forced it to shut down operations for several days.

          Joseph Blount, the company’s CEO, later revealed in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that he authorized the company to pay the cyber criminals behind the attack the equivalent of $4.4 million in bitcoin on the day of the breach in exchange for the keys to decrypt the network.

          The FBI recommends against paying the ransom, as it may encourage the [attackers] to go after another group, and the payment may be used for criminal operations. The Biden administration has reiterated this stance in recent weeks.

        • US Snatches Back Ransom from Colonial Pipeline [Crackers] [iophk: Windows TCO]

          U.S. law enforcement officials say they have hit back at the Russian-based criminal network that caused gas pipelines to shut down across parts of the country last month, seizing much of the multimillion-dollar ransom payment before it could be used.

          The Justice Department announced Monday it recovered $2.3 million of the approximately $5 million Colonial Pipeline paid to the DarkSide Network following the ransomware attack, which resulted in fuel shortages along the U.S. East Coast.

        • Feds recover millions from pipeline ransom [crackers], hint at U.S. [Internet] tactic [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The FBI was able to seize control of DarkSide’s proceeds by gaining access to a central account holding about 63.7 bitcoins, worth around $2.3 million, Deputy Director Paul Abbate said. A court document said that the seizure took place in Northern California, putting it within reach of U.S. law, and that the FBI was able to access the “private key,” or password, for one of the gang’s bitcoin wallets. It was unclear how the key was compromised.

        • Adversaries Could Shut Down US Power Grid, Energy Secretary Says [iophk: Windows TCO]

          When Granholm was asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper about vulnerabilities in the electricity grid and whether a foreign actor has the ability to shut it down, Granholm said, “Yeah, they do. There are thousands of attacks on all aspects of the energy sector and the private sector generally.”

        • Senate sergeant at arms says cyberattack more worrisome than repeat of Jan. 6 insurrection [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Senate Sergeant at Arms Karen Gibson said Saturday she is more concerned about a cyberattack on the government than another insurrection like the one that rocked Capitol Hill on Jan. 6.

        • First Known Malware Surfaces Targeting Windows Containers

          Organizations running Windows containers in their Kubernetes cluster have a brand-new threat to worry about.

          Researchers from Palo Alto Networks (PAN) have discovered what they say is the first known malware targeting Windows containers. The malware, named Siloscape, is designed to escape from a Windows container into the Kubernetes node so it can spread in the cluster.

          Attackers can use the malware to carry out a variety of malicious actions, such as credential and data theft, deploying ransomware, and breaching enterprise software development and testing environments.

          Daniel Prizmant, senior staff researcher at PAN’s Unit 42 threat intelligence team, says the malware is a manifestation of the growing attacker focus on cloud environments. “Attackers are undergoing their own digital transformation and exploiting the massive enterprise shift to the cloud and new technologies like containers,” he says. “As a result, container security has become important.”

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • What Computer Worms Are and Why They’re Still Dangerous

            It seems like every week you hear of some sort of cyber attack on a business or government agency, but it shouldn’t really be news to us. These type of attacks are as old as the Internet itself.

            Since the time of the earliest computer worms, like the Morris Worm in 1988, these little parasites have been infecting computers and networks around the world. But what are computer worms, and why should we pay attention to them?

          • Security updates for Monday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libwebp, python-django, ruby-nokogiri, and thunderbird), Fedora (dhcp, polkit, transfig, and wireshark), openSUSE (chromium, inn, kernel, redis, and umoci), Oracle (pki-core:10.6), Red Hat (libwebp, nginx:1.18, rh-nginx118-nginx, and thunderbird), SUSE (gstreamer-plugins-bad), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-hwe-5.8, linux-kvm, linux-oracle).

          • CloudLinux Launches TuxCare, an Enterprise Brand | Data Center Knowledge

            With enterprise customers now driving roughly half of its business, the company is making a concerted effort to cater to them.

          • Adventures in Contacting the Russian FSB

            KrebsOnSecurity recently had occasion to contact the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), the Russian equivalent of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In the process of doing so, I encountered a small snag: The FSB’s website said in order to communicate with them securely, I needed to download and install an encryption and virtual private networking (VPN) appliance that is flagged by at least 20 antivirus products as malware.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Maryland and Montana Pass the Nation’s First Laws Restricting Law Enforcement Access to Genetic Genealogy Databases

              Consumer personal genetics companies like Ancestry, 23andMe, GEDMatch, and FamilyTreeDNA host the DNA data of millions of Americans. The data users share with consumer DNA databases is extensive and revealing. The genetic profiles stored in those databases are made up of more than half a million single nucleotide polymorphisms (“SNPs”) that span the entirety of the human genome. These profiles not only can reveal family members and distant ancestors, they can divulge a person’s propensity for various diseases like breast cancer or Alzheimer’s and can even predict addiction and drug response. Some researchers have even claimed that human behaviors such as aggression can be explained, at least in part, by genetics. And private companies have claimed they can use our DNA for everything from identifying our eye, hair, and skin colors and the shapes of our faces; to determining whether we are lactose intolerant, prefer sweet or salty foods, and can sleep deeply. Companies can even create images of what they think a person looks like based just on their genetic data. 

              Law enforcement regularly accesses this intensely private and sensitive data too, using FGGS. Just like consumers, officers take advantage of the genetics companies’ powerful algorithms to try to identify familial relationships between an unknown forensic sample and existing site users. These familial relationships can then lead law enforcement to possible suspects. However, in using FGGS, officers are rifling through the genetic data of millions of Americans who are not suspects in the investigation and have no connection to the crime whatsoever. This is not how criminal investigations are supposed to work. As we have argued before, the language of the Fourth Amendment, which requires probable cause for every search and particularity for every warrant, precludes dragnet warrantless searches like these. A technique’s usefulness for law enforcement does not outweigh people’s privacy interests in their genetic data.

              Up until now, nothing has prevented law enforcement from rifling through the genetic data of millions of unsuspecting and innocent Americans. The new laws in Maryland and Montana should change that.

            • Ring Changed How Police Request Door Camera Footage: What it Means and Doesn’t Mean

              Because only a portion of Ring users also are Neighbors users, and some of them may opt out of receiving police requests, this new system may  reduce the number of people who receive police requests, though we wonder whether Ring will now push more of its users to register for the app. 

              This new model also may increase transparency over how police officers use and abuse the Ring system, especially as to people of color, immigrants, and protesters. Previously, in order to learn about police requests to Ring users, investigative reporters and civil liberties groups had to file public records requests with police departments–which consumed significant time and often yielded little information from recalcitrant agencies. Through this labor-intensive process, EFF revealed that the Los Angeles Police Department targeted Black Lives Matter protests in May and June 2020 with bulk Ring requests for doorbell camera footage that likely included First Amendment protected activities. Now, users will be able to see every digital request a police department has made to residents for Ring footage by scrolling through a department’s public page on the app. 

              But making it easier to monitor historical requests can only do so much. It certainly does not address the larger problem with Ring and Neighbors: the network is predicated on perpetuating irrational fear of neighborhood crime, often yielding disproportionate scrutiny against people of color, all for the purposes of selling more cameras. Ring does so through police partnerships, which now encompass 1 in every 10 police departments in the United States. At their core, these partnerships facilitate bulk requests from police officers to Ring customers for their camera footage, built on a growing Ring surveillance network of millions of public-facing cameras. EFF adamantly opposes these Ring-police partnerships and advocates for their dissolution.

            • VICTORY: You Can Now Make Your Venmo Friends List Private. Here’s How.

              EFF first pointed out the problem with Venmo friends lists in early 2019 with our “Fix It Already” campaign. While Venmo offered a setting to make your payments and transactions private, there was no option to hide your friends list. No matter how many settings you tinkered with, Venmo would show your full friends list to anyone else with a Venmo account. That meant an effectively public record of the people you exchange money with regularly, along with whoever the app might have automatically imported from your phone contact list or even your Facebook friends list. The only way to make a friends list “private” was to manually delete friends one at a time; turn off auto-syncing; and, when the app wouldn’t even let users do that, monitor for auto-populated friends and remove them one by one, too.

              This public-no-matter-what friends list design was a privacy disaster waiting to happen, and it happened to the President of the United States. Using the app’s search tool and all those public friends lists, Buzzfeed News found President Biden’s account in less than 10 minutes, as well as those of members of the Biden family, senior staffers, and members of Congress.  This appears to have been the last straw for Venmo: after more than two years of effectively ignoring calls from EFF, Mozilla, and others, the company has finally started to roll out privacy settings for friends lists.

              As we’ve noted before, this is the bare minimum. Providing more privacy settings options so users can opt-out of the publication of their friends list is a step in the right direction. But what Venmo—and any other payment app—must do next is make privacy the default for transactions and friends lists, not just an option buried in the settings.

            • Apple pays millions to woman after explicit photos posted online

              Apple paid millions of dollars to a student after iPhone repair technicians posted explicit photos and videos from her phone to Facebook, legal documents have revealed.

              The tech giant agreed a settlement with the 21-year-old after two employees at a repair facility uploaded the images from a phone she had sent to Apple to be fixed, resulting in “severe emotional distress”.

              The incident, which occurred in 2016 at a centre in California run by Pegatron, an Apple contractor, is one of the most significant privacy violations to be revealed at an iPhone repair facility.

            • Student’s nude photos leaked to Facebook by iPhone service centre, Apple now paying her millions of dollars

              The confidentiality agreement was meant to avoid “substantial business harm”, as Apple insisted on confidentiality throughout the settlement. For this reason, Apple was simply referred to as a “customer” throughout the proceedings.

              The tech major was only recently named as the customer during a separate, unrelated lawsuit it faced. Apple confirmed the incident to The Telegraph.

              The confidentiality agreement left many details of the incident hidden. What is known is that the two employees have been fired after an “exhaustive” investigation by Apple. Apple has also been reimbursed for the settlement by Pegatron. Pegatron and its insurers, who refused to pay the bill, have now settled the matter privately.

              The incident shows a glaring loophole in the tall claims repeatedly made by Apple over the strict control of its repair facilities. The company has often cited this as an argument against legislation that would make it easier for third parties to fix its devices. It seems like Apple’s case does not seem too strong if such incidents can occur within the company’s well-monitored facilities.

            • Apple settles with student after authorized repair workers leaked her naked pics to her Facebook page
    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Law of Aggression
      • Nukes, Lies and Invisible Murder

        This is a sneak peek into a 2019 report by the Joint Chiefs of Staff called “Nuclear Operations,” which Brian Terrell quoted recently. The document was, for some reason, publicly posted in the waning days of the Trump administration, then — oops — quickly removed, but not before it was downloaded by the Federation of American Scientists.

        As The Guardian noted, the document, the first of its kind in 14 years, seemed to indicate a creepy shift in Pentagon thinking: from nuclear deterrence to actually fighting (and of course winning) a nuclear war.

      • Alabama Deputy Sued After Cuffing An Arrestee So Tightly His Hand Had To Be Amputated

        There’s a saying lots of cops and cop defenders use. It rhymes, so it’s easy to remember and even easier to deploy carelessly anytime someone expresses doubts about excessive force or excessive sentencing.

      • New Cold War on a Burnt Planet? Nothing Could Make Me Sadder

        Let me start with my friend and the boat. Admittedly, they might not seem to have anything to do with each other. The boat, a guided-missile destroyer named the USS Curtis Wilbur, reportedly passed through the Straits of Taiwan and into the South China Sea, skirting the Paracel Islands that China has claimed as its own. It represented yet another Biden-era challenge to the planet’s rising power from its falling one. My friend was thousands of miles away on the West Coast of the United States, well vaccinated and going nowhere in Covid-stricken but improving America.

      • Mo Brooks Finally Served Lawsuit Over January 6 Speech After Days of Avoidance
      • US Justice Groups Release Blueprint ‘To End the Torture of Solitary Confinement’
      • Want Socialism? Try the US Military

        America’s love affair with lunacy continues undimmed. Along with flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, and fans of perpetual motion, according to a May 21 Ipsos poll, 53 percent of Republicans now assert that Donald Trump is the current president of the United States.

      • Sheikh Jarrah Residents Face Legal Defeat; Israel Arrests Thousands of Palestinians to Quell Dissent

        Israel is cracking down on Palestinians living in the occupied West Bank, occupied East Jerusalem and inside Israel amid the ongoing ceasefire between Israel and Gaza. Israeli police have arrested nearly 2,000 Palestinians over the past month in an attempt to quell protests and uprisings against the occupation, according to the newspaper Haaretz. “Israel is criminalizing our right to say we’re Palestinian, our right to say we want to live in our homes in dignity, our right to be free,” says Mariam Barghouti, a Palestinian writer and researcher.

      • Under Israeli Bombs: PTSD, Traumatic Sress Disorder and Flashbacks

        Shocking reports have been surfacing from during the bombardment and since the ceasefire over the past few weeks. A 14-year old Palestinian boy committed suicide following the death of all his family members. Eleven of the 67 Palestinian children killed in Israeli airstrikes, aged between five and 15, were participating in the Norwegian Refugee Council’s “psycho-social programme aimed at helping them deal with trauma”.

        It is not just children traumatised. Palestinian youth know their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents are also suffering, keeping up a brave face as they deal with their long-term PTSD. Nobody can become resigned to such continuous systemic violence.

      • The Biden-Putin Summit: A Time of Testing

        Neither Biden nor his three predecessors (Bush, Obama, and Trump) have made  headway in pursuing a stronger stance toward Russia.  The United States has focused on a strategic relationship with Ukraine as a way to intimidate Russia.  This has been both counter-productive and destabilizing.  European leaders, particularly France’s Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Angela Merkel, have had no success in persuading the United States that Ukraine is a “red line” for Russia and that Putin will not tolerate closer U.S.-Ukrainian ties, let alone membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  Putin has emphasized this on numerous occasions, but the Biden administration stubbornly insists on strengthening military ties to Ukraine and referring to a “strategic relationship” with Ukraine.

        Nevertheless, Putin may well favor a more predictable relationship with the United States, which would provide diplomatic openings for Biden if he chooses a negotiable path.  If the issues of election interference and cybersecurity dominate the discussions, then the outcome will be problematic.  There is a more conciliatory path and, at the risk of being charged with “appeasement,” the United States could take the lead in reducing the acrimony over the issue of Ukraine and addressing the stalemate on arms control and disarmament.

      • Opinion | American Carnage and Stupidity: A Slow Leak In A Balloon On the Floor
      • Possible First Use of AI-Armed Drones Triggers Alarm Bells

        Governments at the United Nations have been debating for months whether a global pact should be agreed on the use of armed drones, autonomous and otherwise, and what restrictions should be placed on them. The U.N.’s Libya report is adding urgency to the debate. Drone advances have “a lot of implications regionally and globally,” says Ziya Meral of the Britain’s Royal United Services Institute, a defense think tank.

        “It is time to assess where things are with Turkish drones and advanced warfare technology and what this means for the region and what it means for NATO,” he said at a RUSI-hosted event in London.

      • Hate preachers now a ‘priority threat’ amid concerns over return of Islamist extremism

        The development comes after a review by Sara Khan, the Government’s extremism commissioner, and Sir Mark Rowley, the former head of counter-terrorism policing, warned that many “hateful extremists” who are not involved in terror are able to operate with “impunity”.

        It warned extremists were “creating a ‘chilling’ impact on freedom of expression”. It singled out Cage, an advocacy group whose “senior leaders have advocated supporting violent jihad overseas”, accusing the group of “misleading and inflammatory” attempts to label counter extremism efforts as Islamophobic.

        However the Government is believed to have rejected the review’s separate recommendation that ministers should expand current criminal offences relating to the stirring up of hatred.

      • The Last Surviving Soldier Who Liberated Auschwitz Has Died

        As a young Red Army soldier, Dushman flattened the forbidding electric fence around the notorious Nazi death camp with his T-34 tank on Jan. 27, 1945.

        He admitted that he and his comrades didn’t immediately realize the full magnitude of what had happened in Auschwitz.

        “Skeletons everywhere,” he recalled in a 2015 interview with Munich newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung. “They stumbled out of the barracks, they sat and lay among the dead. Terrible. We threw them all of our canned food and immediately drove on, to hunt fascists.”

      • Turkey pulls out of women’s rights convention in latest move toward an Islamist republic

        The announcement by Ankara has triggered immense backlash and international condemnation. Human rights groups around the world spoke out against the move, calling the cancelling of the Convention a terrible regression for women in Turkey. Many have called on Turkish authorities to rescind on the withdrawal. “Exactly ten years after it was signed, women are speaking today with one voice to demand that the Turkish authorities reverse a decision that will put the safety and even the lives of millions of women and girls in peril,” said Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Agnes Callamard.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Despite the Headlines, the Gates Foundation Has Evaded Scrutiny

        But buried in the Times story is also an allegation of financial misconduct that governance and tax experts say should trigger official investigations into the foundation, and prompt us to rethink governance rules over billionaire philanthropy.

        In the Times’ reporting of Michael Larson’s alleged bullying, it noted that when one of his employees found a job at another company, Larson retaliated by making financial trades designed to hurt that company’s stock price.

    • Environment

      • Economic Devastation From Climate Crisis Like Two Covid-19 Pandemics Per Year by 2050: Analysis
      • Amnesty Says Paltry G7 Climate Plans ‘A Devastating, Mass-Scale Assault on Human Rights’
      • CO2 levels are at an all-time high — again

        Not even a global pandemic could stop carbon dioxide concentrations from spiking. They reached historic levels yet again in May 2021, the month that scientists compare CO2 concentrations from year to year.

        Planet-heating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere averaged 419 parts per million this May, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). That pileup of CO2 is comparable to where it was a little over 4 million years ago, when the average global temperature was about 7 degrees Fahrenheit hotter and sea levels were a whopping 78 feet higher than they are today.

        Without much more drastic action, scientists warn, CO2 levels will keep trending upward — which also brings the world closer to more inhospitable temperatures and coastal flooding.

      • U.S. Becomes Net Oil Exporter as World Burns

        The Biden White House has put tackling climate change near the top of its priorities, rejoining the Paris climate accord, hosting a Climate Summit in April and staking out 50 percent emissions reduction for the United States by 2030, measured against a 2005 baseline. The administration is championing the introduction of electric vehicles like the new Ford F-150, and just suspended drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But Biden’s team is also defending a Trump-era decision to greenlight a massive oil and gas project elsewhere in Alaska.

        And even as the president and his team seek to reestablish American climate leadership, the surge in U.S. oil exports underscores how challenging fighting global warming in a globalized economy will be. If American consumers finally begin to tame our fossil fuel gluttony, only to have American companies flooding the global market with cheap, fracked-in-the-USA crude — delaying a transition from fossil fuels abroad — is that truly progress?

      • Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Hits Highest Level in Over 4 Million Years
      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Sea Shepherd Embarks on Long-Term Conservation Effort to Protect the Dolphins of the Amazon River

          Sea Shepherd is launching a new conservation research campaign in Brazil to protect the dolphins of the Amazon River. The scientific expedition, known as Boto Da Amazônia, was announced by Sea Shepherd’s founder, Captain Paul Watson, during a virtual event on June 5.

          Sea Shepherd is partnering with scientists from the National Institute for Research in the Amazon, renowned for their expertise in the study of the Amazon river dolphin (Inia geoffrensis) and Tucuxi (Sotalia fluviatilis). The collaboration, which begins in October 2021, will contribute to the scientific body of research about these species and allow for greater environmental protections to be put in place. Both species are currently listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List.

    • Finance

      • Inequality Has Become the Main Barrier to Beating This Cruel Disease

        The first wave of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic did not have much impact in India; it was the second wave that was the most devastating.

      • Bankers Have Short Memories

        Thanks to the Troubled Asset Relief Act (TARP),  eight banks survived because the federal government made investments in those banks that were to be repaid to the government in future years. As recent events have shown, the banks were outraged when the shoe was, as it were, on the other foot.

        In March 2021, Congress enacted the $1.9 trillion stimulus package designed to help those who had been adversely affected by the pandemic.  That was similar to how TARP had helped banks and certain other industries that suffered during the crisis of 2008.  A part of the 2021stimulus package included a $4 billion debt relief package.  The $4 billion debt relief was intended to be given to black and other minority farmers who, in addition to the effects of the pandemic, have suffered for years as a result of discriminatory lending practices by the banks in their dealings with the minority communities.  According to a report in the New York Times, the number of Black-owned farms in the country has gone from approximately one million in the 1920s to fewer than 40,000 today.  The decrease is attributable in part to onerous loan terms imposed by lenders on the minority community and the resulting high foreclosure rates.

      • Biden Capitulates: Cuts Corp Taxes & Cuts Infrastructure Spending

        The announcement by Biden is clearly a capitulation to corporate interests, McConnell and Republicans of truly historic dimensions. It’s a ‘double reversal’, not only cutting corporate taxes instead of raising them, but unilaterally, and without obtaining any concessions from Republicans, slashing his infrastructure spending proposals further again, than a week after his prior spending cut of $550B.

        Biden now plans CUTTING corporate taxes to 15%. Trump had cut corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Biden ran for office pledging to raise that back to 28%. He then reneged in February and said the corporate tax hike would be to only 25%. He then agreed with European Union finance ministers last week to cut taxes on US multinationals to only 15%. Now he announces, after latest talks with McConnell and Republicans, he’ll CUT US corporate taxes in general to 15%–instead of raising to even 25%.

      • Economy Adds 559,000 Jobs in May; Unemployment Drops to 5.8 Percent [Ed: Fake "Unemployment" rates. When you don't count who's out of work but who is still looking for work and hasn't given up.]

        The May employment report was somewhat weaker than had generally been expected, with the economy adding 559,000 jobs. On the household side, the unemployment rate fell by 0.3 percentage points to 5.8 percent. While this is still high by any reasonable measure, it is worth noting that the unemployment rate did not get this low following the Great Recession until October of 2014.

        The employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) edged up to 58.0 percent, which is 3.1 percentage points below the pre-pandemic level. By this measure, the gender differences in the hit from the pandemic have largely disappeared, the women’s EPOP for May was 53.1 percent, down 2.3 percentage points from its average in 2019. For men the May EPOP was 63.4 percent, down 3.2 percentage points from its year-round average of 66.6 percent in 2019. However, in payroll employment, women’s share was 49.8 percent in May, compared with 50.0 percent before the pandemic.

      • The Government Is Here to Help Small Businesses — Unless They’re Cooperatives

        There are still no grocery stores across a wide swath of northern Flint, Michigan, where a Kroger and a Meijer closed after lead was found in the water in 2015.

        So Reginald Flynn, a local pastor and community activist, convened a few people in the auditorium of a charter school he runs to talk about starting a grocery store. He wanted to start a cooperative — a community-owned business not bound by the decisions of a huge grocery chain — and began selling shares to neighbors at $250 each. But he still needed more startup money and had no success getting a bank loan.

      • Election of Union Leader Who Called for COP26 to be Ditched ‘Not Ideal’, Say Campaigners

        Green campaigners have expressed concern about the GMB union’s newly elected leader, who has called for Glasgow to ditch the upcoming COP26 climate summit and enthusiastically backed fracking.

        Gary Smith was previously Secretary of GMB’s Scotland branch but on Thursday was elected as the union’s new UK-wide General Secretary and Treasurer. GMB is the third largest union in the UK, with some 620,000 members covering work across a range of industry sectors, including oil and gas, aviation and manufacturing, as well as the public sector.

      • Historic But Inadequate: Joseph Stiglitz on G7 Deal to Back a 15% Global Minimum Corporate Tax Rate

        Finance ministers from seven of the world’s wealthiest nations have backed a plan to set a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15% on multinational companies. The agreement, which was reached during a meeting in Britain of the G7, or Group of 7, is “historic” but should have aimed higher, says economist Joseph Stiglitz. “If you have too low of a tax rate, that minimum tax becomes, de facto, the maximum tax,” he says.

      • G7 Heralds 15 Percent Corporate Tax Rate. Critics Say It Fails Poorer Nations.
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • In Guatemala, Harris Should Prioritize People Over Corporations

        Vice President Kamala Harris is traveling to Guatemala this week to discuss solutions to the poverty, violence, and corruption that are among the driving forces of migration. Contributing to these drivers are neoliberal arrangements, such as the Central America–Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA-DR), which have been imposed on Guatemalans. This framework favors the development of large-scale mining and energy projects that are devastating to the well-being of rural communities and Indigenous peoples, while allowing private corporations to sue governments over hard-fought social and environmental protections.

      • Why I’m Voting for Maya Wiley for Mayor

        I write as a lifelong activist, a New Yorker, and a member of The Nation editorial board (the views expressed here are mine). The city is at a crossroads, with vastly different futures possible as we emerge from Covid. The contest for mayor is therefore unusually important. For nearly a year, Andrew Yang, famous for being famous, managed to dominate and trivialize the race, while more accomplished candidates had trouble breaking through. But in these last weeks, the race has begun to clarify the issues and the stakes. Progressives now face familiar dilemmas. Who shares my values? Who can win and govern effectively? And who do I want to make sure loses? Happily for us, for substantive and strategic reasons, there is an obvious choice: Here’s why I urge you to put Maya Wiley as your #1 choice for mayor.

      • House Democrats Call for Answers on US Involvement in Brazil

        A group of House Democrats is demanding answers from Attorney General Merrick Garland about the US Justice Department’s role in Brazil’s wide-ranging anti-corruption probe, known as Operation Car Wash, or Lava Jato in Portugese. In a letter, obtained by The Nation, that was sent to Garland today, 23 House Democrats, led by Georgia Representative Hank Johnson, renewed concerns over the secretive collaboration between the US Justice Department and Brazilian officials in Lava Jato, which led to the wrongful imprisonment of former president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva and paved the way for far-right nationalist Jair Bolsonaro to win the presidency.

      • Memo to Wealthy Socialists: Don’t Lie About Your Class Background

        As a socialist—mainly in socialism’s libertarian wing—since my teenage years, no one could be more thrilled by this development than I. However, the arrival on the scene of tens of thousands of young socialists has understandably resulted in some growing pains for the American socialist movement of today.

        Especially because many of these new entrants are from upper-middle class families or even wealthy ones. Which itself is a good sign. When the children of those who have benefitted most handsomely from capitalism—either as members of the professional managerial class who use their expertise to keep capitalism going or as members of the ruling class who own and control capital itself—decide from direct experience that the dominant political economic system is flawed, dangerous to humanity’s well-being, and desperately needs to be replaced by a more democractic and fair political economic system.

      • As Negotiations on Infrastructure Drag on, Progressives Urge Dems to Go It Alone
      • Texas AG Says He Helped Trump Win State With His Lawsuit Against Mail-In Ballots
      • Is Scotland Closer to Independence?
      • Senator Manchin, Killing the Filibuster Won’t Destroy Democracy – But You Might

        Back at the beginning of the year – and just two days before January 6—I was writing about the dire situation on Capitol Hill, and mentioned Profiles in Courage, the book John F. Kennedy and Theodore Sorensen wrote about brave US senators in our history who took unpopular stands in the face of loud opposition. 

      • The End of Democracy as We Know It

        Sunday morning, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin announced in the Charleston Gazette-Mail that he’s a “no” on the For the People Act—and a no for ending the filibuster. 

      • ‘Manchin Must Wake Up’ or Face Up: Progressives Demand Floor Debate on Pro-Democracy Bill
      • Manchin’s Effort to Screw His Own Party Is So Monumental, It Shocked Fox News
      • Washington Post Publisher Says Biden DOJ ‘Intensified’ Trump-Era Attacks on Press Freedom
      • Neoliberalism in Their Hearts, Proto-Fascism in Their Heads: The Political Identity of Today’s GOP

        With becoming the party of Trump, analysts have sought to come to terms with the political identity of today’s GOP. The general consensus among mainstream pundits seems to be that the Republican Party is no longer a conservative party, but has instead become something of an authoritarian outlier. Many from the progressive and radical community, on the other hand, go even further and claim that the GOP is now a fascist party.

      • Facebook Bans Trump for 2 Years, But Its Design Still Marginalizes Key Voices in Public Discourse

        Social media giant Facebook has announced it has suspended former President Donald Trump’s account until at least 2023. He was initially suspended from the platform for comments to supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6 and is permanently banned on Twitter. Facebook’s move could have implications for other world leaders who use Facebook, like Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, said he is not sure the decision struck the right balance for protecting free speech but is defensible because Facebook “has a responsibility to ensure that the people using its platform aren’t using it to undermine democracy or incite violence.” But he argues the much bigger issue is Facebook’s engineering and design decisions, such as ranking algorithms, which really determine which speech gets heard or marginalized.

      • FG summons UK, US envoys over comments on Twitter ban

        The Federal Government on Monday summoned the envoys of the United States, United Kingdom, and the European Union in Nigeria over comments on the suspension of Twitter in the country.

        The invitation was contained in a statement issued and made available to newsmen on Monday by the spokesman of the Crisis Monitoring and Public Communications Division of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kimiebi Ebienfa.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Does Taking Down Content Lead Ignorant People To Believe It’s More Likely To Be True?

        Harpers has a giant and fascinating article by Barrett Swanson entitled The Anxiety of Influencers that has received some attention online. Most of the reactions are the kind of typical tut tutting about the existence of TikTok/Instagram influencers whose entire (quite short) careers as “influencers” are based on their ability to get famous on social media for influencing. I do understand why people — especially older folks (a category I now inhabit myself) — look down upon these stories and shake their heads and wonder “what has happened to the children these days?” However, I’m more in the camp of recognizing this kind of thing happens in every generation, and I don’t begrudge kids these days from trying to chase a dream, even if it feels like a silly one to someone not of that generation. There will always be young people chasing dreams, and along with it old people complaining about the kids these days. I don’t think that approach is particularly useful, so I’ll just say that the article is an interesting window into some of the “collab houses” that have sprung up all over (though mostly in LA), full of kids trying to become famous as influencers.

      • Growing Movement Pushes Museums to Cut Ties With Colonialism and Apartheid
      • Nigeria Suspends All Of Twitter After It Removes President’s Tweet

        If you want to see what censorship is, let’s take a look at Nigeria banning Twitter indefinitely in response to Twitter removing a tweet by President Muhammadu Buhari that it believed violated the site’s policies. The tweet was read to be a threat to brutally kill those engaging in attacks on public infrastructure, in particular police stations in Southeast Nigeria. Buhari’s tweet harkened back to the way dissenters were dealt with during the Nigerian Civil War:

      • Facebook’s Policy Shift on Politicians Is a Welcome Step

        Back then, Facebook executive Nick Clegg, a former politician himself, famously pondered: “Would it be acceptable to society at large to have a private company in effect become a self-appointed referee for everything that politicians say? I don’t believe it would be.” 

        Perhaps Clegg had a point—we’ve long said that companies are ineffective arbiters of what the world says—but that hardly justifies holding politicians to a lower standard than the average person. International standards will consider the speaker, but only as one of many factors. For example, the United Nations’ Rabat Plan of Action outlines a six-part threshold test that takes into account “(1) the social and political context, (2) status of the speaker, (3) intent to incite the audience against a target group, (4) content and form of the speech, (5) extent of its dissemination and (6) likelihood of harm, including imminence.” Facebook’s Oversight Board recently endorsed the Plan, as a framework for assessing the removal of posts that may incite hostility or violence.

        Facebook has deviated very far from the Rabat standard thanks, in part, to the policy it is finally repudiating. For example, it has banned elected officials from parties disfavored by the U.S. government, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), all of which appear on the government’s list of designated terrorist organizations—despite not being legally obligated to do so. And in 2018, the company deleted the account of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, claiming that they were legally obligated after the leader was placed on a sanctions list. Legal experts familiar with the law of international sanctions have disagreed, on the grounds that the sanctions are economic in nature and do not apply to speech.

      • When Sensitivity Becomes Censorship

        “How do I know what I think till I see what I say?” was a maxim of E.M. Forster’s—and a fine one. But the Simon & Schuster workers who petitioned to break their company’s contract with former vice president Mike Pence were sure they knew what he thought before he said it. To publish his memoir would be “legitimizing bigotry,” since Pence was the tool of Donald Trump, and Trump had “unequivocally advocated for racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-Blackness, xenophobia, misogyny, ableism, islamophobia, antisemitism, and violence.”1

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Gag Order Lifted On Yet Another Trump DOJ Leak Investigation That Targeted Journalists

        Another leak investigation that involves the DOJ going after journalists’ communications has been revealed. This would be the third time since Biden took office that subpoenas targeting journalists have had their gag orders removed, allowing the public to see what the DOJ was up to during Trump’s unceremonious reign as president.

      • Biden DOJ Says It Will No Longer Spy on New York Times Journalists
      • Biden’s DOJ Vows to Stop Spying on Journalists Months After Placing Gag Order on New York Times

        The New York Times has revealed shocking details about an unsuccessful attempt by the Trump administration, and then the Biden administration, to secretly obtain the email logs of four reporters at the newspaper. As part of the campaign, the Biden Justice Department placed a gag order on the Times in March to prevent many at the paper from even knowing about the request until a federal court lifted it. In recent weeks the Justice Department also disclosed the Trump administration had secretly obtained the call records of four journalists at the Times, as well as three journalists at The Washington Post and one at CNN. Jameel Jaffer, founding director of the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, says subpoenas for journalists’ records are “really troubling” because of their potential chilling effect on critical journalism. “It’s about the right of the public to have access to information about the government,” he says.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Supreme Court Denies Residency Path for Undocumented People on Humanitarian Visa
      • Jameel Jaffer: America’s Secret Spy Court Should Be Forced to Make Rulings Public

        We speak to Jameel Jaffer about a petition asking the Supreme Court to review whether the public has a right to access the decisions of the special federal court that rules on the legality of government surveillance, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA Court. The American Civil Liberties Union submitted the request with support from the Knight First Amendment Institute, whose director, Jameel Jaffer, notes the court routinely issues rulings that have far-reaching implications for Americans’ privacy and freedom of speech rights. He says the argument free speech advocates are making is that the First Amendment guarantees the public a right of access to the FISA Court rulings like other courts that also deal with national security issues.

      • Global Law Enforcement Convention Weakens Privacy & Human Rights

        The Protocol now heads to members of CoE’s Parliamentary Committee (PACE) for their opinion. PACE’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights can recommend further amendments, and decide which ones will be adopted by the Standing Committee or the Plenary. Then, the Council of Ministers will vote on whether to integrate PACE’s recommendations into the final text. The CoE’s plan is to finalize the Protocol’s adoption by November. If adopted, the Protocol will be open for signatures to any country that has signed the Budapest Convention sometime before 2022. 

        The next step for countries is at the signature stage. Countries can present a signature without reservation as to ratification, acceptance, or approval. At that time, they can reserve the right not to abide by certain provisions in the Protocol, in particular Article 7 on direct cooperation between law enforcement and companies holding user data. 

        If countries sign the Protocol as it stands and in its entirety, it will reshape how state police access digital data from Internet companies based in other countries by prioritizing law enforcement demands, sidestepping judicial oversight, and lowering the bar for privacy safeguards. 

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Floyd Mayweather-Logan Paul Fight Overwhelms Showtime Servers

        Showtime’s refund policy does not mention technical difficulties, only if an event is canceled. “If the PPV event is canceled in its entirety, and you purchased the event through the SHOWTIME app, you will automatically be refunded in full to the payment method you used when you purchased the event,” reads the message. “Refunds may take time to be credited to your account. Refund processing times may vary depending on your billing method.”

      • Mayweather-Paul Fight Overwhelms Showtime Servers, Causing PPV and App Outages

        Transmission and transaction trouble for major events are nothing new for Showtime or other outlets as traditional media outlets move into direct-to-consumer business models. CBS has had trouble meeting demand for streaming of major live events such as the Grammy Awards and Super Bowl in the past. HBO generated consumer grumbling when its server capability was swamped by eager demand in May 2019 for series finale of “Game of Thrones.” Meanwhile, Disney bought a strong streaming platform with its 2017 acquisition of BamTech, which was a stepping stone for the launch of Disney Plus and ESPN Plus.

      • Floyd Mayweather and Logan Paul fans demand refund as fight stream crashes

        Fans in America were unable to watch the opening fights of the night due to the Showtime stream failing to work

      • Farmers Deserve the Right to Repair Their Tractors

        However, most companies refuse to make those tools available to farmers, making it exceptionally difficult to fix broken machinery on their own. They can’t even go an independent mechanic, since manufacturers won’t sell them parts or diagnostic tools either. This leaves farmers essentially no choice but to take their broken equipment to a licensed dealership.

        This isn’t cheap. A farmer might spend thousands of dollars on a simple adjustment they could have done themselves with the appropriate resources. On the other hand, this arrangement has proven wildly lucrative for manufacturers; for Deere, as an example, parts and repairs are up to six times more profitable than selling the equipment itself.

        But money isn’t the only problem – it’s also a matter of time. Oftentimes on a farm, tasks like planting and harvesting have to be done within a window of just a few days when the moisture content, ripeness, or weather conditions are just right. If, god forbid, machinery breaks during that window and a dealership can’t make an appointment immediately, the wait can cut severely into the farmers’ annual yields and income.

      • [Old] Farmers Deserve the Right to Repair Their Tractors

        Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of alternatives for farmers who want to buy equipment they can fix. About 95 percentof large farm tractors are made by just three companies: Deere, CNH Industrial, and AgCo, all three of which engage in the kind of resource restriction that prevents on-farm repairs. Instead, some farmers have resorted to buying decades-old tractors that don’t require copyrighted software to repair.

      • Apple is building video and music sharing into FaceTime

        Apple is bringing video and music sharing to FaceTime through a feature it’s calling SharePlay. Using SharePlay, people will be able to watch or listen to content in sync with everyone else on the call, either by casting the content to an Apple TV device while staying on the call or by watching both on the same screen using Picture in Picture.

    • Monopolies

      • Google Settles French Advertising Antitrust Case for $268M

        The commitments under the settlement are only binding in France, but the Wall Street Journal reported that they could become a template for how Google resolves similar cases in other countries.

      • Google reaches $270 million settlement in French antitrust case

        Google agreed to pay a fine of $270 million and make changes to its online ad tools in a settlement with French regulators announced Monday.

        France’s competition watchdog investigation had focused on Google’s alleged abuse of its leading role in the digital advertising sector.

        Google did not dispute the facts of the case and opted to settle while proposing changes, according to the Competition Authority.

      • Patents

        • Videoconference oral proceedings before The European Patent Office (G1/21) [Ed: These EPO hearings are not legal and the court has been stacked to claim otherwise]

          The European Patent Office (EPO) was due to hear the referral in G1/21 on Friday 28 May 2021 concerning the question of whether the conduct of oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference is compatible with the right to oral proceedings as enshrined in Article 116(1) EPC if not all of the parties to the proceedings have given their consent to the conduct of oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference. Our previous update on this referral can be found here.

          The UK Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA) has previously stated its support for videoconference oral proceedings, subject only to the underlying systems being fit for purpose (see here). The EPO President also provided comments on the referral in support of videoconference in advance of the hearing (see here).

          Despite the composition of the Board already having been changed last month due to alleged partiality, in the oral proceedings held on Friday, the Enlarged Board heard and deliberated in a non-public forum for most of the morning on a further complaint regarding the partiality of the Board. The Enlarged Board decided late-morning that the oral proceedings could continue with the same composition. However, the appellant had further requested a postponement since they had only received formal notification of the President’s comments on 26 May 2021 i.e. two days before the scheduled oral proceedings. The appellant argued that their right to be heard would be violated if the proceedings continued without postponement since they had not had sufficient time to review the President’s comments with their client and provide comments in reply.

        • Despite Patentee Protestations, It Isn’t Expertise That’s Bringing Plaintiffs to Waco

          The meteoric rise of the Waco Division’s patent caseload is widely understood to be due to plaintiff-friendly policies on scheduling, transfer, and motions to dismiss.

          But recently, some patentees have taken a different tack. They’ve claimed that the reason cases are headed there is because litigants want to take advantage of Judge Albright’s experience as a patent litigator.

          That claim just doesn’t hold up.


          Declaratory judgment cases are cases where an alleged infringer goes to court first, asking the court to issue a declaration that they don’t infringe or that the patent they’re accused of infringing is invalid. In recent years, declaratory judgment actions have comprised about 5% of all patent cases.

          But in the Waco Division, since Judge Albright was seated in 2018, I could only identify a total of only 15 declaratory judgment cases in front of Judge Albright. And of those 15, many appear to be manufacturers who are indemnifying their customers who were sued in the Western District—not companies seeking out a Waco courtroom.

          Given that the Waco Division has seen more than 1,000 patent cases during that timeframe, the proportion of declaratory judgment actions (~1.4%) filed in Waco is disproportionately low.

          This suggests that alleged infringers do not believe that Judge Albright’s patent expertise is equally helpful to both sides.

        • Global protection and local outreach: How the USPTO’s IP attachés are helping U.S. business interests abroad [Ed: USPTO is trying to be seen as internationalist when in fact it's a monopolist working for monopolies at the expense of people all around the world. Fake corporate "woke" culture... in service of the rich, at the expense of those who are marginalised.]

          During the past several months, we were pleased to welcome the USPTO’s intellectual property (IP) attachés to a series of virtual events in our respective regions covering the Midwest and the Rocky Mountain states.

          Who are the IP attachés? They are U.S. diplomats with expertise in intellectual property. Their prior experience includes work in government, industry, major trade associations, and some of the best law firms in the country. They are currently assigned to 12 embassies, consulates or missions around the world, where they advocate U.S. positions on IP matters for the benefit of U.S. businesses. Three attachés cover China, two focus on multilateral issues in Geneva, and the others cover Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Eurasia, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Middle East and North Africa.

          Aside from their diplomatic duties, the IP attachés also provide information to U.S. businesses entering foreign markets, including how to navigate foreign laws and protect their IP abroad. One way they do that is through the kinds of outreach efforts they conducted recently with stakeholders located in our two regions. These included a series of virtual meetings held with Utah stakeholders in October 2020 and another round of meetings held in April 2021 with stakeholders in Ohio and Kentucky.

        • How All Businesses Can Benefit from Tax Reliefs [Ed: Tax evasion using patents... or so-called 'Patent Box']

          The Patent Box is a quite complicated tax relief. It was introduced to encourage companies to keep and commercialise intellectual property and only applies to products that are either patented in their entirety or contain a patented item.

          For those products that qualify, companies can reduce their rate of corporation tax to 10% for profits accumulated from their sale. For patents to be accepted, they must have been granted by the UK Intellectual Property Office or the European Patent Office.

          Due to the complexity of this tax relief, it can be easy to misinterpret how much of a business’ income is relevant to a patent. To identify what does and doesn’t qualify, make sure you work closely with your accountant to establish robust accounting systems.

        • Free Masterclass On IP; Nokia And Daimler Settle SEP Patent Dispute; EU Submits Alternative Proposal To WTO Against IP Waiver And More

          Nokia and Daimler settle SEP patent dispute, sign patent licensing agreement

          Nokia and Daimler have announced that the companies have entered into a patent licensing deal which puts an end to all ongoing litigations between the Finnish networking giant and the German Automotive manufacturer. Daimler has agreed to pay Nokia, royalties for use of the latter’s technologies in navigation systems and communications used in Daimler’s cars. While the terms of the agreement remain confidential, reports suggest that Daimler will pay Nokia around 2 dollars per produced car. The deal between the two companies puts an end to a dispute which spanned over two and a half years.

          EU submits alternative proposal to WTO against IP waiver

          The European Union on Friday submitted a proposal to the World Trade Organization against IP waivers as an alternative to the proposal moved by India and South Africa. The European in its proposal has submitted that focus must be moved on removing the export restrictions and making use of flexibility in existing WTO rules as opposed to the call for waiver of IP rights. The EU in its proposal has contended that a waiver would not necessarily boost production of drugs and vaccines being used in the treatment and management of COVID19. Instead, by removing the export restrictions and encouraging vaccine developers to enter deals with producers in developing countries would help in boosting production. Further, the EU in its proposal has also highlighted that a number of countries already possess provisions of compulsory licensing which may be invoked at national levels. India has unfortunately held contrary positions at home and at the WTO. While at home, the Government is advocating voluntary licensing as a means to the solution, it has held a contradictory stand at the WTO arguing that IP waivers are the way forward.

        • A Swarm of Gnats and Injury-In-Fact

          A swarm of gnats (midges) can be annoying. Although each bug is almost too small to be seen or felt, 20,000+ of the critters buzzing around can cause some to panic or at least release a curse. I’d advise you to just act gnaturally. But imagine for a second that you are able to capture two of the creatures that were part of the swarm. Are you then able to pass judgment on those two captured individuals for the harm of the swarm? Will killing those two gnats provide any relief from the swarm? (I know you are thinking revenge, but that is gnot the kind of concrete and particularized relief I’m talking about.)


          The Case: After some litigation, Apple eventually licensed 20,000+ Qualcomm patents in a six-year-deal.* Meanwhile, Apple also pursued inter partes review (IPR) of two of the licensed patents. US7844037 and US8683362. The PTAB granted the IPR petitions but eventually sided with Qualcomm–holding that the challenged claims had not been proven obvious. Apple then appealed, but the Federal Circuit dismissed the appeal for lack of standing. The court held that Apple had not shown any “injury-in-fact” associated with the continued existence of the two challenged patents.

        • Users meet to discuss EPO Guidelines and agree to extend public consultation [Ed: EPO breaks week-long silence to pretend it cares what the public thinks and says whilst in fact censoring the public]

          The SACEPO Working Party on Guidelines held its 21st meeting on 20 May, discussing the Guidelines for Examination in the EPO (EPC Guidelines) and the Guidelines for Search and Examination at the EPO as PCT Authority (PCT-EPO Guidelines). It was the first meeting of the working party in its new composition, now also including members of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI), the Union of European Practitioners in Intellectual Property (UNION-IP) and the International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys (FICPI). The SACEPO Working Party on Guidelines meets at least twice a year to discuss practice at the EPO as described in the EPC and PCT-EPO Guidelines.

        • G1/21: Videoconferencing at the EPO – short observations of today’s oral proceedings before the Enlarged Board of Appeal [Ed: Maiwald on the collapse of EPO’s EBoA/EBA]

          Today the oral proceedings regarding G1/21 concerning the question whether oral proceedings before the EPO in principle can be conducted by videoconference, even against the will of the parties, took place.

          Due to a first objection for suspicion of partiality concerning the original Chairman and a legally qualified member said Chairman and legally qualified member were replaced for today’s hearing. Two other members also objected to were not replaced and formed part of the composition of today’s Enlarged Board of Appeal.

          The initial Chairman and President of the Boards of Appeal was found biased since he performed legislative and managerial acts in relation to the new Article 15a RPBA. The legally qualified member who was replaced for today’s hearing was also found biased although he did not play a formal role in the decision-making process leading to the adoption and approval of Article 15a RPBA. However, his active involvement in the preparation of the proposal was visible to other actors in the process and those with an interest in the way oral proceedings are conducted before the Boards of Appeal.

          The two further members were not found biased merely due to the fact that they are members of the Presidium of the Boards of Appeal and were consulted by the President of the Boards of Appeal on the proposal for new Article 15a RPBA. Their involvement was not considered sufficient to find suspicion of partiality.

        • Q&A: conducting litigation in Switzerland

          This Q&A covers the procedures and practical considerations of litigation in Switzerland, including limitation issues, case management, submission of evidence and available remedies.

        • Congressional Committee Calls On GAO To Investigate Whether Patent Office Director Is Putting Thumb On The Scale Of Patent Reviews

          The chair and ranking member of the House IP subcommittee that covers intellectual property is now asking the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to investigate whether or not the Director of the Patent Office is pressuring the important Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) to make certain decisions on the validity of patents. There’s a lot of important background here, but it’s all kind of fascinating how two big legal issues are coalescing in this result, in which the USPTO’s own legal arguments may reveal how the Director has been unfairly influencing decisions. The two key points to understand are (1) the Inter Partes Review (IPR) process, and (2) questions about the constitutionality of certain appointments — both of which are issues that we’ve covered for years, that seem deep in the weeds, but turn out to be quite important.

        • Software Patents

          • The Importance Of Protecting Your FinTech Innovations [Ed: Ridiculous buzzword used for a number of years now to promote lousy and unlawful software patents. This is promoted by a notoriously corrupt law firm that faces lawsuits for it and defends EPO crimes.]

            The UK is home to many FinTech organisations. Intellectual property (IP) plays a key role in the success of these organisations. However, inadequate use of IP protection is not uncommon in this field, and is sometimes only considered as an afterthought, when it may be too late.

            IP can be protected in various ways. It is possible to protect how things look (e.g. an app layout) using designs, and protect the organisation’s brands using trademarks. It is also possible to protect how things work using a patent. However, there seems to be much uncertainty from clients, especially start-ups in this field, about whether it is possible to obtain patent protection in this area.

            The simple answer is that some FinTech technologies are patentable, whereas some are not. As an example, a common pitfall for FinTech applications in Europe is when the technology is considered to be a method of doing business. Pure business methods are going to struggle. Whereas, the chances improve where the invention is focussed instead on the manner of implementation at system level.

            What makes matters more interesting is that different countries have different requirements for patentability. This means the same invention may be more successful in some territories than in others. For example, the UK is typically one of the more challenging countries for these types of applications. The European Patent Office on the other hand is generally more favourable, as is the US. On this point, it is worth noting that it is possible to obtain patent protection via a European patent. Do not worry too much about Brexit, as it has not affected this route.

          • Cert Denied; and What is left?

            There is also a pair of cases pending certiorari involving Obamacare reimbursement that could be big $$$$. United States v. Maine Community Health Options, No. 20-1432; Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative v. United States, No. 20-1200; United States v. Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, No. 20-1536.

      • Copyrights

        • MPA “Hacker” Shows that Pirates Don’t Fear EU’s Copyright Takedown Plans

          Europe is working hard to modernize copyright law and regulations. The implementation of the Copyright Directive is nearing its conclusion. At the same time, copyright takedown and liability regulations are further strengthened by the proposed Digital Services Act. Or are they? An MPA-controlled ‘hacker’ shows that, for now, pirates and cybercriminals have little to fear.

        • Amazon, Lee Child Pirate Site Lawsuit Encounters Creaking Ukrainian Legal System

          In 2020, Amazon teamed up with publisher Penguin Random House and authors including Lee Child and John Grisham to sue several pirate eBook sites operating out of Ukraine. After a cash-strapped local court reported that it had no stamps and envelopes so couldn’t correspond on paper, the publishers had to hire a private investigator in an effort to track down and serve a key defendant.

        • European Commission Betrays Internet Users By Cravenly Introducing Huge Loophole For Copyright Companies In Upload Filter Guidance

          As a recent Techdirt article noted, the European Commission was obliged to issue “guidance” on how to implement the infamous Article 17 upload filters required by the EU’s Copyright Directive. It delayed doing so, evidently hoping that the adviser to the EU’s top court, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), would release his opinion on Poland’s attempt to get Article 17 struck down before the European Commission revealed its one-sided advice. That little gambit failed when the Advocate General announced that he would publish his opinion after the deadline for the release of the guidance. The European Commission has finally provided its advisory document on Article 17 and, as expected, it contains a real stinker of an idea. The best analysis of what the Commission has done, and why it is so disgraceful comes from Julia Reda and Paul Keller on the Kluwer Copyright Blog. Although Article 17 effectively made upload filters mandatory, it also included some (weak) protections for users, to allow people to upload copyright material for legal uses such as memes, parody, criticism etc. without being blocked. The copyright industry naturally hates any protections for users, and has persuaded the European Commission to eviscerate them:

Time for the Boards of Appeal to Host Their Own Files, Knowing That the Patent Office is Censoring Submissions From the Public

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Europe, Law, Patents at 7:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: For the appearance and practice of independence the Boards of Appeal must immediately take control of their systems as the EPO is tampering with evidence and removing (censoring) some of it to influence the outcome of the cases

THE video above was made before writing this article. It explains why we’re comparing the situation at the EPO to what happened last year (and in late 2019) in Seattle. That serves as a cautionary tale.

“Just as police departments must comply with a FOIA request in the US (within reasonable limits based around sensibilities and safety), the EPO (Organisation) must inform the judges of stakeholders’ input, thoughts, general information of interest, including any conflict of interest.”Pardon us, dear readers, if the analogies aren’t convenient, but they’re worth entertaining. On the one hand we have a police department (supplying evidence to a court, where the accused decided to plead guilty); on the other hand, on the other side of the Atlantic, we have a European tribunal that’s supposed to judge the largest patent office in Europe.

Just as police departments must comply with a FOIA request in the US (within reasonable limits based around sensibilities and safety), the EPO (Organisation) must inform the judges of stakeholders’ input, thoughts, general information of interest, including any conflict of interest.

But now we know that the EPO has been manipulating what judges can see and what various concerned observers can view/digest.

This is appalling. This is a catastrophic disaster, albeit don’t expect European media to even mention it.

“That was around 2019, well before the media caught up with things and thereafter blasted Gates (it was also in 2019 that his wife sought a divorce, largely due to her husband’s connections with Epstein, whom he had repeatedly met behind her back).”To borrow the Seattle analogy, we requested police files about the arrest at Bill Gates’ home — files that were likely hosted on Microsoft servers and thus potentially subjected to tinkering, manipulation, and censorship by Microsoft (and its co-founder, Gates). The fact that it took them months just to open their own files (they tried and failed many times) does not bode well, does it? In fact, we wrote about this many times before and directly quoted the Police Department (PD) on it. In general terms, you cannot let the subject of investigation be in control of the investigative authority and its files. Think about it for a moment; why should it take several months for a PD to open its own files?

That was around 2019, well before the media caught up with things and thereafter blasted Gates (it was also in 2019 that his wife sought a divorce, largely due to her husband’s connections with Epstein, whom he had repeatedly met behind her back).

As noted in the video, several readers wrote to us regarding the revelations from EPOnia. Some were outright astounded that it hadn’t (yet) become a scandal.

“Do you find normal that the registry of the EBA (“the court”) is hosted (and censored/filtered) by the EPO (“the administration”),” one reader asked us. “A proper independent court should have its own registry of documents, notably to avoid censorship from the administration.”

“It’s not a solved issue and merely the edge of a massive iceberg that’s the loss of judges’ autonomy (lots and lots of patent judges).”Indeed, it’s a very severe abuse of power and yet more evidence of the lack of independence.

The reader continued: “Do you have any proof that the submission has been censored?”

We have it now. “I am thinking about writing a submission,” the reader added, but then asked, “is the period to submit comments still open?”

Expect more to come about this. It’s not a solved issue and merely the edge of a massive iceberg that’s the loss of judges’ autonomy (lots and lots of patent judges). Yesterday, “Congressional Committee Calls On GAO To Investigate Whether Patent Office Director Is Putting Thumb On The Scale Of Patent Reviews” was published by TechDirt. Remember what Andrei Iancu did to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) in sight of inter partes reviews (IPRs) thwarting lots of patents that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) should never have granted in the first place. Many were software patents, invalid under Alice/35 U.S.C. § 101.

In any event, we now have hard evidence of the censorship, which is a form of tampering. “Censorship of third party observations by EPO confirmed,” one source told us, sharing this new pair of pages [PDF]. Here they are as a GIF:

G1-21 - TPO - 4 June 2021
G 1/21 – TPO – 4 June 2021

Notice the date.

“A new third party observation which was submitted on 4 June has appeared [PDF] in the public register for case no. G 1/21,” the source told explained. “This new submission of 4 June draws the attention of the Enlarged Board to a recent judgment of the French Supreme Court. According to the person who made the submission, the French Supreme Court has ruled that hearings held by ViCo without the consent of a party are not compatible with the rights of citizens as guaranteed by the French Constitution.”

It’s also not compatible with a lot of other things. Each such hearing is held in violation if not contempt of the law.

“The fact that this submission is visible in the public register whereas the earlier submission of 1 June is not visible confirms earlier suspicions that the EPO is censoring the submission of 1 June,” our source noted. “The submission of 1 June raises allegations of cronyism against Campinos and casts doubts on his motives for supporting mandatory hearings by ViCo (i.e. without the consent of the parties). EPO management clearly wants to prevent these allegations from becoming public knowledge.”

“If the media doesn’t cover this scandal, maybe that says a lot about the media, not about the severity of the scandal itself.”Some EPO insiders wrote to us expressing complete agreement with the observation made therein. Campinos must be shivering in his boots sneakers. What if the whole subversion of justice was designed out of personal interest? Or convenience (for himself and his cronies)?

“Art10 of the RoP of the EBOA is a joke,” one reader told us this morning, as “they can do whatever they want with the 3rd party submissions, including throwing them in the bin (not publishing them), like they probably did here.”

Our reader then noted: “I would not be surprised if those rules are written by the EBOA itself, we have the same problem with the UPC where the ROP are made by this ad hoc committee they created in the treaty to make those 130 pages without any parliamentary involvement.”

If the media doesn’t cover this scandal, maybe that says a lot about the media, not about the severity of the scandal itself.

IRC Proceedings: Monday, June 07, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:15 am by Needs Sunlight

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