Bill Gates Left This Man in Charge of Microsoft for Decades

Posted in Microsoft, Steve Ballmer, Videos at 9:44 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: This new video of Steve Ballmer is circulating around the Web at the moment

Telescope is Probably One of the Lightest Gemini Clients/Browsers Out There (One Megabyte of RAM)

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 8:15 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Front page of Techrights in Telescope
Front page of Techrights (as shown in the new release of Telescope)

Summary: Telescope was released some hours ago; it’s a simple and lightweight program for accessing Gemini capsules; to quote the developer: “The main difference between telescope and others (I’ve only tried tinmop and amfora as TUI clients) is the Emacs (and w3m) inspired interface: instead of scrolling a page and typing a number to open a link, you have a cursor you can move freely around the page. The default keybindings are heavily inspired from Emacs, but I tried at least to include some keys familiar to vi(1) users, so hjkl, gg, G, gT etc. work. All the keybindings are customizable anyway.”

EARLIER today (about 7 hours ago) Omar Polo announced the first release of Telescope, which is a Gemini client with a very narrow list of dependencies. It’s developed on a local Git setup (GitHub is only a mirror) and initial feedback from the past few hours had been positive [1, 2, 3, 4], so we’ve decided to give it a go, taking it for a quick spin.

Telescope RAM usageAmfora would likely be its main ‘competition’, but Amfora is Microsoft-controlled (GitHub) and it uses Rust (also Microsoft-controlled). It’s also heavier in the RAM sense. My system allocates 12 MB of RAM to Amfora and that climbs up to 40 MB when I start browsing. How odd; I remember running Firefox 1.0-2.0 on a PC with just 32 MB of RAM (total). Telescope, by contrast, opens a set of processes, but all of them are tiny. See the screenshot on the right.

Isn’t it odd that Amfora, which does not use a GUI, takes up a lot more RAM than the GTK-based Moonlander?

Telescope shows article
A Techrights article less than a day old

The Burden of Truth

Posted in Site News at 7:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Or when proof is overwhelming

You're causing a scene, madam; With all your whistleblowing

Summary: Systematic demonisation of (lesser convenient to those in power) truth-tellers isn’t a new thing; we ought not fall for it

TRUTH can hurt status

Or a legal apparatus

Criminals never liked journalism: 'I saved his a--': Trump boasted that he protected Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman after Jamal Khashoggi's brutal murder, Woodward's new book saysFacts can cause death
Depending on their breadth

Guns don’t kill people
Don’t mind that ripple

Sites promote hate
Censorship arrives late

Corruption is everywhere
We should really not care

Journalists are spies
People we must despise

We'll cut him in halfLeaks are unauthorised
They must all be supervised

Laws are objective
For the objectives of the rich

Loose lips sink ships
Same for anonymous tips

Gossip is everywhere
Especially when people care

Accuracy is meager
For PR on 6-figure

You're causing a scene, sir  With all your publicationsConspiratorial thinking
The stigma they love milking

Hard evidence shown
The exposed then moan

Russian agents in every corner
Controlling every loner

Privacy is dark
“Dark web” is stark

Anonymity is trolling
In the eyes of those falling

I didn't even leak anything, I just published what leakers had sent meGovernments protect us
Every lad and lass

Corporations protect authority
Except for antitrust scrutiny

Journalism begets disaster
When it helps expose a master

The peasantry dissenting
Revolting after venting

Unions are for socialists
Instead we need just loyalists

Links 1/7/2021: Many Linux 5.14 Merges and RISC-V on the Rise

Posted in News Roundup at 5:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Clang PGO Shot Down For Now From The Linux Kernel – Phoronix

        While Clang PGO support was sent in for Linux 5.14 as part of Clang compiler handling updates for this next kernel version, the functionality was subsequently dropped out and a new pull request issued after criticism from Linus Torvalds and others.

        While Google and others have already been using this Clang profile guided optimization support for the Linux kernel to build workload-optimized kernels, there were questions and criticisms raised over it that led to the pull request being re-submitted without the PGO bits in place.

      • Intel Discrete Graphics On Linux Nearing The Point Of A Working, Accelerated Desktop – Phoronix

        Bringing up Intel discrete graphics on Linux especially when it comes to accelerated 3D rendering has been a very lengthy process for the DG1 graphics card enablement, but it may soon actually start working.

        Getting Intel discrete graphics working on Linux has been a many month process even with being derived from the existing Gen12/Xe Graphics architecture. The Intel kernel graphics driver has seen a lot of work to handle the notion of local device memory (dedicated vRAM) since previously the driver was just always dealing with integrated graphics, so there has been a lot of changes on that front including the adopting of TTM for kernel memory management in those cases. Plus a lot of other changes across the open-source Intel Linux graphics stack in preparing DG1 and future discrete offerings from Intel.

      • Linux 5.14 Lands Changes For On-Package HBM Xeons, More Intel CPUs With In-Band ECC – Phoronix

        The Linux 5.14 RAS (Reliability, Availability and Serviceability) and EDAC (Error Detection And Correction) changes have landed with several improvements this time around on the Intel side.

        RAS/EDAC changes this time around include the support for on-package high bandwidth memory (HBM) for Xeon Sapphire Rapids as previously covered on Phoronix and officially confirmed earlier this week by Intel that various Sapphire Rapids SKUs will indeed have HBM. The Xeon HBM bits here are around the EDAC support for memory error checking/reporting.

        This pull request also includes adding Ice Lake Neural Network Processor for Deep Learning Inference (ICL-NNPI) support to the igen6_edac driver. Additionally, Tiger Lake and Alder Lake are added as well for supporting cases where the CPUs support in-band ECC. These SoCs including Alder Lake all have the same in-band ECC (IBECC) capabilities as the Elkhart Lake SoC but with the exception TGL / ADL now has two memory controllers rather than one.

      • Linux 5.14 GPU Driver Updates Come In Heavy With ~300k New Lines Of Code – Phoronix

        The Direct Rendering Manager (kernel graphics/display driver) updates for Linux 5.14 are putting on the pounds with nearly 300k lines of new code added (312,187 insertions, 22,367 deletions). The big increase is driven by new AMD Radeon graphics support added, a new Microsoft driver added, and other changes.

        As we’ve been accustomed to, the big increase in L.O.C. count is largely due to the new hardware support with the AMDGPU DRM driver and all the associated header files. Those register header files are automatically generated and really drive up the line count for the AMDGPU kernel driver that is already the largest driver within the Linux kernel source tree. The new AMD Radeon hardware support with Linux 5.14 is Yellow Carp and Beige Goby.

      • Linux 5.14 Picks Up Support For A Tiny & Inexpensive MIPS IoT Single Board Computer

        The MIPS code within the Linux kernel remains in a mature but rather stagnate state while the upstream MIPS architecture development has ceased and most vendors these days using Arm or RISC-V instead or even OpenPOWER prospects. But there still are some ongoing MIPS improvements to the Linux kernel.

        Most of the MIPS kernel work we talk about these days is around the MIPS-based Loongson processors out of China that are Linux/open-source friendly and seeing new kernel work from vendor Lemote Tech. But occasionally there are other MIPS hardware work worth mentioning, such as the case here for Linux 5.14.

      • Graphics Stack

        • NVIDIA’s 470 Linux Driver Beta Released With DLSS And Improved PRIME

          A lot of Linux users have a love-hate relationship with NVIDIA when it comes to drivers. It looks like NVIDIA is trying to win over the Linux fans by delivering timely driver releases as the beta version of the 470 Linux Driver is finally out.

          Some of the main highlights of the release are the support for DLSS (Deep Learning Super Sampling), improved Wayland support, and improved PRIME (used for managing hybrid graphics in laptops)

    • Applications

      • Free DJ Software Mixxx 2.3.0 Released as New Major Update [PPA]

        After more than two years of development, free open-source DJ software Mixxx 2.3.0 released as the big stable release with a total of 7477 changes over 1 million lines of code since the last release.

        The new release introduced hotcue colors and custom labels. Hotcues can now have individual colors to make them visually distinguishable. And it’s now possible to see the hotcue labels on the overview waveforms, as well edit them by right-clicking.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Server Monitoring with Munin and Monit on Debian 8 (Jessie)

        In this article, I will describe how you can monitor your Debian 8 (Jessie) server with Munin and Monit. munin produces nifty little graphics about nearly every aspect of your server (load average, memory usage, CPU usage, MySQL throughput, eth0 traffic, etc.) without much configuration, whereas Monit checks the availability of services like Apache, MySQL, Postfix and takes the appropriate action such as a restart if it finds a service is not behaving as expected. The combination of the two gives you full monitoring: graphics that let you recognize current or upcoming problems (like “We need a bigger server soon, our load average is increasing rapidly.”), and a watchdog that ensures the availability of the monitored services.

        Although Munin lets you monitor more than one server, we will only discuss the monitoring of the system where it is installed here.

        This tutorial was written for Debian 8 (Jessie), but the configuration should apply to other distributions like Ubuntu with little changes as well.

        I want to say first that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal, but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

      • How to setup a NAS with XigmaNAS – Unixcop

        In this article I will show you how to setup a NAS with XigmaNAS, formerly known as Nas4Free.

        A NAS (Network-attached Storage) is a network server specialized for serving files. With a PC, a couple of disks and XigmaNAS you can build a low-cost ZFS-based NAS with little effort.

      • How to install the Latest Symfony on Ubuntu 21.04 – Unixcop

        Symfony is the leading PHP framework to create websites and web apps

        There are many PHP frameworks but in this post, you will learn how to install Symfony. Maybe this is one of the most advanced ones out there.

        Symfony is an entire web development platform that includes a framework

        On the other hand, it uses the Model – View – Controller pattern that is so widespread among developers. Also, it allows you to create from simple websites to macro projects and complex applications all hand in hand with a huge community of users.

        So, let’s get started.

      • Learn Mount command in Linux and Umount command with examples a Guide

        But In Linux, When you will connect an external device, It will not mount automatically. You can mount external storage device on the desired directory in a Linux distribution.

        You can change mounting point in Linux as per your choice.

      • How to install Hastebin on Ubuntu 21.04
      • Home made snapshots with rsync – Unixcop

        In this article I will show you how to make snapshots of your filesystem that looks likes a full copy but that copy isn’t going to use the same store space as in a real full copy.

      • 20 Things You MUST DO After Installing Fedora 34 (RIGHT NOW!)

        In this video, I’ll be taking you through 20 things that’ll make your Fedora Perform Better (Preload), your Internet Speed Faster (custom DNS) and so many more improvements.

      • How To Install Lighttpd, PHP, and MariaDB on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Lighttpd, PHP, and MariaDB on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Lighttpd is a free, open-source, secure, and standards-compliant web server designed for high-performance environments. Compared to other alternative web servers, Lighttpd consumes very few resources and capable of serving large loads and when installed alongside PHP and MySQL or MariaDB it can serve millions of connections reliably. Lighty also has many modules that extend its capabilities.

        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 PrestaShop 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 Miniconda on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Miniconda on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Miniconda is a minimal free Conda installer. It’s a thin, bootstrap version that contains just conda, Python, the packages they depend on, and a limited range of other helpful modules like pip, zlib, and a few others. Miniconda is suitable for those who don’t mind installing each package individually. It saves you not only the disk space but also avoids dumping a lot of unnecessary applications that you don’t use often in your hard drive.

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

        Git is probably the most popular and most respected version control system. Large companies and individual developers use it to track and share their code and projects. It allows developers to collaborate from every point of the world and revert changes to codes if need.

        This tutorial will look at reverting to a specific commit in a specific repository using the git checkout command.

      • How to Create a Dockerfile? – Linux Hint

        Docker allows developers to build, test, and deploy applications quickly and efficiently using isolated and portable containers that run anywhere.

        Docker is an open-source tool that packages application(s), all the required packages, and its base operating system into containerized packages. As Docker containers are standalone, they run on any system without any need for reconfiguration.

        Docker builds containers from images. A Docker image is a standalone package that defines all the requirements needed to run an application, such as operating system, runtime, system tools, libraries, configurations, and more. Docker converts the images to containers during runtime.

        Docker builds images from configurations defined in a Dockerfile. A Dockerfile is simply a configuration file that states all the instructions on creating a Docker image. As a result, building Docker images using a Dockerfile is easier and much more efficient.

        This guide will walk you through creating a Dockerfile and using it to build a docker image.

      • How to Run Docker in Verbose Mode? – Linux Hint

        Errors are bound to occur once an application gets to the deployment stage. Hence, knowing how to use debugging tools and application is a critical requirement for a DevOps engineer.

        This guide will show you how to debug the Docker daemon to find and resolve errors. The debugging process works by allowing the docker daemon to show the verbose output of operations happening in the background and other helpful information. In return, the logs help to identify the reason why containers or images are not working correctly.

      • How to Set CORS in NGINX? – Linux Hint

        Cross-Origin Resource Sharing is a protocol that allows controlled access to resources located outside the scope of a given domain. CORS is similar to SOP with additional features and flexibility.
        A common example of CORS usage is if JavaScript needs to patch a request to an API endpoint located on a different domain. If SOP is used, which is followed by XMLHttpRequest and fetch, the request would be blocked. However, using CORS, the request can be allowed to access the requested endpoint.

        As you can imagine, there are some advantages and disadvantages of using CORS on your server as it does not protect against cross-domain-based attacks, including CSRF.

        The purpose of this tutorial is to give you a quick rundown of how CORS works and how to enable it on an NGINX server.

      • Configuring VNC Server Access on a Redhat Linux

        Most of the time as a Linux system administrator you are managing your servers over the network. It is very rare that you will need to have a physical access to any of your managed servers. In most cases all you need is to SSH remotely to do your administration tasks. In this article we will configure a GUI alternative to a remote access to your RHEL server, which is VNC. VNC allows you to open a remote GUI session to your server and thus providing you with a full graphical interface accessible from any remote location.

      • How to Vim / Vi Save and Quit the Editor

        Vim is an improved adaptation of Vi – the standard Unix visual text editor. Vim is available on literally all Unix-like systems, including Linux and Mac OS.

        Vim is pretty fast and almost all functions has shortcut keys. Vim is a very useful text editor for programming/scripting and editing configuration files and more.

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to save a file in Vim / Vi and quit the editor.

    • Games

      • GodotCon July 2021 – Schedule

        Our next online GodotCon is just around the corner! We can’t wait to see you all this Saturday, 3rd of July 2021!

        We cannot express how grateful we are for all the people that took the time to submit a proposal for this conference. We were once again overjoyed to see the awesome stuff that you make!

        While we all can’t wait to meet in person, we realised how important it is to make GodotCon more accessible for everyone. As the pandemic restrictions will ease, we will restore in-person conferences, but we also plan to keep doing these online events!

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • MATLAB, SAS, Stata and SPSS files in LabPlot

          The analysis and the visualization of data normally starts with the data itself. Though it is possible to create the data directly in LabPlot, in many cases it will be coming from an external sources. For an application like LabPlot, it is essential to support the relevant data sources of popular and frequently used file formats. To the many already supported file formats (see features for an overview), in the coming release we’re adding the support for MATLAB’s .mat files and for multiple file formats produced by statistical applications SAS, Stata and SPSS.

          MATLAB is a commercial and proprietary numeric programming language and computing environment with a used widely in academia and industry. With the help of the MATIO open source library, we’re adding the support for MATLAB’s mat files (version 4 to 7.4). Similar to other already supported file formats, the import is done via LabPlot’s import file dialog where you can check the structure of the file, preview the data and specify which portion of it to import…

        • Plasma desktop customization guide – How to for newbies

          A few weeks back, one of my readers contacted me and asked me if I could do an article, newbie style, explaining the steps I take in customizing the vanilla Plasma desktop to my liking. And I thought, why not indeed. Although I’ve done this exercise many times before, in various shapes and forms, I’ve never explicitly went through it in one go, as a complete, sequential piece.

          Well, today, I shall rectify that. But let us set the expectations ere you continue any further. One, you should go through my Linux section and read a dozen odd guides on various Plasma tools and features. Perhaps start with my Plasma is the best piece, and then continue yonder. Two, this is MY customization, so if you don’t like the Dedoimedo Haute Couture, then stop, in the name of love. Three, Plasma doesn’t really need any tweaking. But it’s a flexible desktop, and it lets you do whatever you like, thus everything I’m going to show you today can be accomplished with zero command line and zero third-party tools. Begin, we must.

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • VLC, Plasma, PipeWire Update in Tumbleweed

          Three openSUSE Tumbleweed snapshots were released so far this week.

          There were two bigger snapshots and one smaller one that brought the ClamAV update.

          Kicking off the week was snapshot 20210625 that provided updates for the 3D graphic Mesa and Mesa-drivers packages; the updated 21.1.3 versions mostly provided AMD changes and the verison no longer needs a GStreamer Video Acceleration API plugin that inspects environment variables. ImageMagick’s update to version fixed a hang with the SVG parser that would get caught in an infinite loop. Mozilla Firefox 89.0.2 had an update to fix performance and stability regressions with WebRender on Linux and also fixed an occasional hang with WebRender. VLC 3.0.16 fixed an MP4 drop, some regressions with broadcast streams and provided settings improvements. A new major version of the Linux Auditing Framework, audit, updated from version 2.8.5 to 3.0.2 and updated some syscall argument interpretations. PipeWire updated to version 0.3.30+55, which included the update of some Advanced Linux Sound Architecture rules. The update of nodejs16 16.4.0 upgraded dependencies and stabilized the class: AsyncLocalStorage. Other packages to update in the snapshot were GNOME’s video player totem 3.38.1, Flatpak 1.11.2, libstorage-ng 4.4.15 and bind 9.16.18.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora Community Blog: Source-git SIG report #1

          Greetings from the Fedora source-git SIG! We are planning to start publishing reports of what we are working on so everyone can easily pay attention and get involved if interested.

        • 4 questions to keep your IT strategy on course | The Enterprisers Project

          Most leaders try to visualize the future by examining the present and asking, “What’s next?” That’s a tough proposition because these leaders are trying to extrapolate. Where you go next depends on your future challenges. It’s an iterative process where you build on each successive year.

          This might seem like an effective planning approach, but it has its limitations. By extrapolating, you tend to react to what’s happening rather than planning for the future. After a few iterations, you can lose track of your goals, requiring a course correction to get back on track.

          Imagine an end goal, and then fill in the gaps between your current location to your destination.
          I find it’s much easier to interpolate instead: Imagine an end goal, and then fill in the gaps between your current location to your destination. In my experience, this approach helps me to generate better strategic plans.

        • When agile meets hybrid work: 4 must-do’s for leaders | The Enterprisers Project

          Agile software development has been a prized practice for maximizing the efficiency and output of teams for nearly two decades. The specific tenets of agile development – close communication, frequent product upgrades, and inherent trust in employees – have since been extended into agile business leadership.

          While agile leadership has been adopted in organizations ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies, the past 18 months have placed more pressure on companies to maintain agility and react to changes than ever before.

          While co-location was a key tenet of agile software development, distributed teams are now the norm.
          Agile leadership has taken on an entirely new definition in the post-COVID business environment. While co-location was a key tenet of agile software development, distributed teams are now the norm. And with new emerging self-service technologies and workflows that empower business users to own their own automation projects, modern enterprises must be able to go with the flow and make rapid adjustments to stay ahead of the competition.

        • An architect’s guide to Network Programmability

          Network programmability is the use of software to deploy, manage, and troubleshoot network elements. A programmable network is driven by an intelligent software stack that can take action based on business requests or network events. Let’s discuss how network programmability can help communication service providers adapt to new trends including internet of things (IoT), 5G and edge computing.

          Complementary to network programmability is Software Defined Networking (SDN), which not only separates the control plane and forwarding plane of network elements but also provides (application programming interfaces) APIs to control and manage them. You can learn more about SDN in a previously published post.

        • RESTEasy Reactive and more in Quarkus 2.0

          Since its initial release back in 2019, the Quarkus community has been continuously innovating, responding to user issues, and improving support for a wide variety of use cases. More notably, the community has produced regular and predictable releases, which is important for accelerating adoption for production workloads. In this article, I’ll cover a few of the new features in Quarkus 2.0 and share what we at Red Hat are doing to provide commercial support for this new release later this year.

        • Node.js serverless functions on Red Hat OpenShift, Part 1: Logging

          The article Create your first serverless function with Red Hat OpenShift Serverless Functions showed how to get started with a Node.js function application. You saw how to create a simple function application and deploy it to Red Hat OpenShift. It also covered basic usage of the Knative command-line tool kn.

          This series of articles offers a deeper dive into Node.js serverless functions on OpenShift. In Part 1, we’ll look at how logging works and how to customize what is logged in a Node.js function application.

        • Top tips for making your Call for Code submission stand out

          You and your team have answered the Call for Code, and you’re almost ready to submit your solution. With the deadline for the 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge rapidly approaching (it’s Saturday, July 31 at 11:59 pm PDT), I have a few last-minute tips and a checklist for you to review before you submit your entry.

        • IBM Open Sources Kestrel for Threat Hunting

          IBM contributed Kestrel, an open-source programming language for threat hunting, to the Open Cybersecurity Alliance (OCA) today in a move that Big Blue says marks a major milestone in OCA’s mission to drive greater interoperability across the security industry.

          Kestrel, jointly developed by IBM Research and IBM Security, uses automation to accelerate threat hunting and allows security analysts to express hunts in an open, composable language. The machine-learning based automation and composable hunting flows reduce the time it takes to discover new threats and also to create new hunts, according to Jason Keirstead, CTO of threat management for IBM Security and co-chair of the OCA.

          “Kestrel is designed to take advantage of the collective learned experience of the threat hunting community — and enable that to be combined with the power of machine learning and automation to speed response to threats,” he said in a statement. “By sharing new threat hunting patterns as they emerge via code that can be easily customized, Kestrel lets threat hunters devote more time to figuring out what to hunt, as opposed to how to hunt.”

      • Debian

        • Forget Windows 11 — deepin Linux 20.2.2 doesn’t require your PC to have a TPM

          Thankfully, even if Microsoft thinks your perfectly fine computer is obsolete, the Linux community doesn’t think that. In other words, if your computer is incompatible with Windows 11 due to a lack of a TPM chip or other hardware issue, it can still run a modern Linux distro just fine. Case in point, one of the prettiest Linux distributions, deepin, just reached version 12.2.2 and it is the perfect option for those that are unable to upgrade to Microsoft’s next desktop OS. It even supports Android apps like Windows 11!

          “In deepin 20.2.2, a brand-new App Store is released, with a fresh visual design, simplified interaction, Android apps support, and better application management. In addition, kernels are upgraded with the upstream, more GPU models and graphics cards are adapted, and deepin applications are updated, optimized, and fixed, offering improved stability and compatibility, and a better user experience. What’s more, deepin supports secure boot to ensure that the device boots trusted software and protects system security,” explains the development team.

        • Sparky news 2021/06

          The 6th monthly Sparky project and donate report of 2021:
          – Linux kernel updated up to version 5.13.0
          – Added to repos: FreeTube, FrostWire, Lightworks
          – Sparky 2021.06 of the semi-rolling line released
          – new app Sparky Welcome replaces Sparky First Run

        • Vincent Bernat: Upgrading my desktop PC

          I built my current desktop PC in 2014. A second SSD was added in 2015. The motherboard and the power supply were replaced after a fault1 in 2016. The memory was upgraded in 2018. A discrete AMD GPU was installed in 2019 to drive two 4K screens. An NVMe disk was added earlier this year to further increase storage performance. This is a testament to the durability of a desktop PC compared to a laptop: it’s evolutive and you can keep it a long time.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Snap Windows to Corners in Ubuntu Using WinTile

          In this post we show you how to enable quarter tiling on the Ubuntu desktop using a free, open source GNOME extensions.

          “Doesn’t Ubuntu have window snapping features built in?”, you ask — and it does, but it only works for edge tiling (i.e. you drag a window to the side of the screen and let go and it fills exactly half of your available desktop) or maximising (drag a window to the top of the screen and let go and it fills the whole of your desktop).


          People have tried adding to GNOME Shell before. In fact, there have been a couple of valiant efforts to add quarter tiling to GNOME Shell but none of them have, thus far, ever been merged or accepted into main. There’s also no current indication that the feature is being added any time soon.

          Thankfully for us, GNOME Extensions exist. These little bolt-ons let us to “fill” in gaps with the functionality, behaviour, or styling we’re missing.

          In this instance we want quarter tiling, and the best tool for the job is the terrific WinTile.

        • System76 Announces Pop!_OS COSMIC

          System76 has released the Pop!_OS COSMIC operating system, which offers the ability to navigate via mouse, keyboard, and/or trackpad and lets you customize each option.

          COSMIC stands for Computer Operating System Main Interface Components, which are separate from the tiling and window-management components, according to the GitHub page. “Most components can be configured to fit the user’s workflow and preferences, with two main presets for both keyboard-focused and mouse-focused navigation and use.”

        • Pop!_OS 21.04: GNOME for the WARRIOR!

          Time to check out the latest from System76, Pop!_OS 21.04 debuting with their own Cosmic Desktop shell.

        • Linux overview | Pop!_OS 21.04

          In this video, I am going to show an overview of Pop!_OS 21.04 and some of the applications pre-installed.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Best Free and Open Source Software – June 2021 Updates – LinuxLinks

        The table above shows our articles updated in June 2021.

        For our entire collection, check out the categories below. This is the largest compilation of recommended software. The collection includes hundreds of articles, with comprehensive sections on internet, graphics, games, programming, science, office, utilities, and more. Almost all of the software is free and open source.

      • Apache Month in Review: June 2021
      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • 7 Firefox Addons to Protect Your Online Privacy

            Our modern browsers are much better than their ancestors at protecting us from vulnerabilities and online dangers, but the big ones aren’t always so great when it comes to caring for your privacy. Firefox is one of the better browsers in this regard, with some decent anti-tracking features, but you may still need to get some add-ons to shore up those privacy defenses.

            The following add-ons for the Firefox browser can help with that. Here are some of our favorites that will block all the online nonsense you don’t want any part of.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • ONLYOFFICE 6.3 is Here with Dark Theme, 150% Scaling, and More

          ONLYOFFICE is a full-featured free alternative to MS Office. In ONLYOFFICE 6.3 document editing become even more convenient.

          We all have used Microsoft Office at some point in our lives. But since the Office suite is not free, it has become hard to edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations without having to spend money. Fortunately, there are various free and open-source alternatives available.

          ONLYOFFICE is a free collaborative cloud-based, on-premise, and desktop office suite. It is a viable alternative to mega corporations like Google and Microsoft. ONLYOFFICE is free and can be self-hosted. It is fully compatible with Office Open XML formats: .docx, .xlsx, .pptx and enabling collaborative editing in real time. Therefore, it is one of the best Office alternative that most accurately reads and writes Word/Excel/Powerpoint files. It runs fast on both desktop and in the browser.

          The software is not only available as an online service, but can also be installed on your own server.

        • Announcing the LibreOffice Getting Started Guide 7.1

          Jean Weber, Kees Kriek, Felipe Viggiano and Peter Schofield from the LibreOffice Documentation Team are happy to announce the immediate availability of the Getting Started Guide 7.1, the introductory guide for all readers that need to start using the LibreOffice suite and quickly get to the proficiency level.

        • The Document Foundation welcomes allotropia to its Advisory Board

          The Document Foundation (TDF) announced today that allotropia – a German company that provides services, consulting and products around LibreOffice and related open source projects – has joined TDF’s Advisory Board.

          Founded in late 2020 with five long-time LibreOffice developers, allotropia’s stated mission is to bring LibreOffice to shine – in as many different shapes and forms as necessary, to serve the modern needs of office productivity software. allotropia was spun off from CIB, another long-time provider of LibreOffice-based products and services (and also a member of the Advisory Board).

        • Collabora Office 21.06 Features Improved Interoperability

          Collabora Office has a great choice in user interfaces: a tabbed NotebookBar (for users familiar with recent Microsoft Office versions), as well as a traditional menus and toolbars. In addition we provide an optional side bar tool palette that makes best use of available horizontal screen space. With easy access to tools users can quickly find what they need.

      • CMS

      • FSF

        • Read and share articles from the Bulletin

          Free software is a concept that can’t succeed unless it grows, and that’s why advocacy is a crucial part of the Free Software Foundation’s (FSF) mission. Our biannual Free Software Foundation Bulletin is one part of that work: it’s available both online and in a handy printed pamphlet, the latter of which has just been mailed out to over 11,000 free software supporters around the world. Each issue of the Bulletin provides both updates on what the FSF has been up to for the last six months, and free software news and views to help you explain to the people in your life why they should fight for the right to technology that respects them.

        • FSF takes next step in commitment to improving board governance

          In addition, FSF executive director John Sullivan has begun recruiting candidates to succeed him as the organization’s chief employed officer. Completing his 18th year with the foundation, John is continuing in his role leading FSF’s day-to-day operations, managing all union and non-union staff, and serving as a clerk to the board.

          With an active search for candidates underway, John is committed to assisting until a successful candidate is hired and onboarded.

          The board is also evaluating the first proposed changes to its bylaws since 2002. The goals of these revisions are to ensure that user freedom cannot be compromised by changes in the board, members, or hostile courts, with particular focus on the future of the various GNU General Public Licenses (GPL); to codify the implementation of the staff seat created on March 25, 2021; and, to align the bylaws with the outcomes of the ongoing effort to modernize the foundation’s governance structure and processes.

          As FSF continues to pursue its mission, the board believes these collective efforts will strengthen the organization’s governance, ensuring that it is transparent, accountable, and professional for current and future board members, associate members, staff, and the broader free software movement. These efforts also underscore the board’s recognition of the need to attract a new generation of activists for software freedom and to grow the movement.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • CLAs are not for open source, use a Developer Certificate of Origin

            Startups trying to embrace open source today readily adopt Contributor License Agreements (CLAs) as mandatory requirements for contributing. This is not in the spirit of OSS, and you should use a Developer Certificates of Origin (DCO) instead.

          • It Matters Who Owns Your Copylefted Copyrights

            Throughout the history of Free and Open Source software (FOSS), copyright assignment has simultaneously been controversial and accepted as the norm in our FOSS communities. This paradox, I believe, stems entirely from some key misunderstandings that perpetuate. This issue requires urgent discussion, as two of the most important FOSS projects in history (GCC and glibc) are right now considering substantial and swift changes to long-standing copyright policies that date back to the 1980s. This event, and other recent events over the last few years in the area of GPL compliance and corporate FOSS adoption, point to long-term problems for projects. This essay works through these nuances, and will hopefully assist FOSS contributors as they make difficult decisions about copyright ownership for their projects. At the end, I provide a summary list of issues to consider when creating copyright ownership policies for FOSS.

          • Kuhn: It Matters Who Owns Your Copylefted Copyrights

            Bradley Kuhn has posted a lengthy missive on the Software Freedom Conservancy blog about the hazards of distributed copyright ownership.

      • Programming/Development

        • PHP 7.4.21 Released!

          The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.4.21. This is a security release.

          All PHP 7.4 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

        • PHP 8.0.8 Released!

          The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 8.0.8. This is a security release.

        • PHP 7.3.29 Released!

          The PHP development team announces the immediate availability of PHP 7.3.29. This is a security release.

          All PHP 7.3 users are encouraged to upgrade to this version.

        • PHP 8.1 Alpha Releases Get Underway With Enums, Fsync, Fibers, More Performance – Phoronix

          The PHP 8.1 alpha releases got underway in June in working towards the next annual feature release for the PHP scripting language.

        • Remi Collet: PHP version 7.3.29, 7.4.21 and 8.0.8

          RPMs of PHP version 8.0.8 are available in remi-php80 repository for Fedora 32-34 and Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.4.21 are available in remi repository for Fedora 32-34 and remi-php74 repository Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

          RPMs of PHP version 7.3.29 are available in remi-php73 repository for Enterprise Linux (RHEL, CentOS).

        • Intel Posts Big Set of Patches For AVX-512 FP16 Compiler Support For Sapphire Rapids – Phoronix

          Besides Sapphire Rapids introducing Advanced Matrix Extensions (AMX), new developer documentation has detailed AVX-512 FP16 capabilities coming with the next-generation Xeon processors. Intel has posted initial developer documentation around AVX512FP16 as well as a big set of GCC and LLVM Clang compiler patches for handling the new intrinsics.

          The new documentation confirms the AVX-512 FP16 data type support coming with Sapphire Rapids. Compared to FP32/FP64, the FP16 support for AVX-512 supports full speed handling of denormal (FP16) values. This also isn’t to be confused with the AVX-512 BF16 support found with Cooper Lake for BFloat16. This AVX-512 half-precision floating point support should help for training and inference with deep learning models where FP32 isn’t needed, among other use-cases.

        • Ravgeet Dhillon: Setup and Customize Bootstrap in Next.js

          A few months back, we wrote a blog on how to add and customize Bootstrap in Nuxt.js. Today, we will learn how to set up Bootstrap in a Next.js project. We will also install react-bootstrap to use Bootstrap based React components.

        • Perl/Raku

        • Python

          • Read Values from YAML File – Linux Hint

            YAML is a popular data serialization language developed for human readability and interaction. YAML is a powerful tool that offers many features and flexibility, making it a good choice when working with configuration files.

            This tutorial shall cover how to work with YAML and a popular scripting language, Python. Python is a great language used in many areas, including automation (such as Ansible), where YAML files find heavy use. Therefore, the ability to work with YAML and Python is a great advantage.

          • bpython – A Fancy Python Interpreter for Linux

            Bpython is an open-source terminal-based fancy Python interpreter which offers important features that are not part of the default interpreter.

        • Rust

          • What the Error Handling Project Group is Working Towards

            This blog post is a follow up of our previous post detailing what we’re working on now. We’ve been iterating for a while now on some of the challenges that we see with error handling today and have reached the point where we want to describe some of the new changes we’re working towards. But first we need to describe the main challenges we’ve identified.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Bits relating to Alpine security initiatives in June

            Alpine 3.14.0 was released on June 15, with the lowest unpatched vulnerability count of any release in the past several years. While previous Alpine release cycles did well on patching the critical vulnerabilities, the less important ones frequently slipped through the cracks, due to the project being unable to focus on vulnerability remediation until now.

            We have also largely cleaned up Alpine 3.13 (there are a few minor vulnerabilities that have not been remediated there yet, as they require ABI changes or careful backporting), and Alpine 3.12 and 3.11 are starting to catch up in terms of unpatched vulnerabilities.

            While a release branch will realistically never have zero unpatched vulnerabilities, we are much closer than ever before to having the supported repositories in as optimal of a state as we can have them. Depending on how things play out, this may result in extended security support for the community repository for 3.14, since the introduction of tools and processes has reduced the maintenance burden for security updates.

            Finally, with the release of Alpine 3.14, the security support period for Alpine 3.10 draws to a close, so you should upgrade to at least Alpine 3.11 to continue receiving security updates.

          • Nasty security flaw discovered at the heart of Linux RPM [Ed: It's IBM RPM, not "Linux RPM"]

            A Linux developer has submitted a patch to fix a long-standing issue in the open source RPM package management system that can reportedly be exploited to install malicious software.

            In March 2021, Dmitry Antipov, a Linux developer with CloudLinux, pointed out that unsigned packages or packages signed with revoked keys could surreptitiously be patched or updated.

            “The problem is that both RPM and DNF (a package manager that installs, update and removes RPM packages) do a check to see if the key is valid and genuine, but not expired, but not for revocation,” Antipov explained.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • New UK internet law raises free speech concerns, say civil liberties campaigners

        Britain’s proposed new internet law entails a government power grab with worrying implications for freedom of speech, according to civil liberties groups, academics and the tech industry.

        The groups are concerned the proposed Online Safety Bill would hand to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden disproportionate powers in the name of protecting users from “harmful” content.

        The Bill allow him to “modify” a code of practice — the blueprint created by the regulator Ofcom for how tech companies should protect users — to ensure it “reflects government policy.”

        Critics say such powers, which were set out in a draft of the proposed law published in May and due for imminent scrutiny by MPs and peers, could undermine the regulator’s independence and potentially politicize the regulation of the internet.

        “The notion that a political appointee will have the unilateral power to alter the legal boundaries of free speech based on the political whims of the moment frankly makes the blood run cold,” said Heather Burns, policy manager at the Open Rights Group.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • SparkFun’s CEO vs. patent troll

          A patent troll is “a company that is specifically set up to purchase the rights to a handful of patents and then sue anyone they feel they can get money from,” writes Nate Seidle, founder of the electronics company SparkFun. In a blog post, Nate writes about how his company is regularly harassed by parasitic patent trolls who send him letters demanding back royalties and other assorted damages for infringing on nonsensical patents that never should have been awarded in the first place.

          This week, a patent troll called Altair Logix (headquartered at a PO box and photocopy shop in a Frisco, Texas strip mall) filed a lawsuit against SparkFun for supposedly infringing on a patent for a “Media Processing Unit” written in 1998 and granted in 2001.

EPO Circus Versus European Constitutions

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 1:14 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: Spontaneous video about tomorrow morning’s hearing, whose outcome was basically heralded already (partly by virtue of the remote hearing itself)

MY thoughts on this article are set aside and expressed above. There are 13 hours left until the notorious EPO hearing whose outcome was fixed by António Campinos and a Battistelli appointee. In order to tackle European software patents we need to understand what the ‘sausage factory’ looks like. The EPO lacks oversight, it doesn’t care what constitutions say, and justice is just a word, not a principle.

“If the EPO’s tribunals are really this bad, and the only proposed alternative is equally bad (and unconstitutional) UPC, the EPO needs to be rebooted.”It wasn’t always this bad, but this is the present situation, which makes outside intervention imperative and long overdue. If the EPO’s tribunals are really this bad, and the only proposed alternative is equally bad (and unconstitutional) UPC, the EPO needs to be rebooted. It has long deviated from the foundational documents and the only redemption should be wide-ranging.

Links 1/7/2021: Kodachi 8.6, FSF for GNU GPL, and Tor

Posted in News Roundup at 11:43 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • FLOSS Weekly 636: RISC-V – Stephano Cetola

        Director of Technical Programs at RISC-V’s, Stephano Cetola joins FLOSS Weekly. The RISC-V Foundation was first to the table with an open-source ISA—Instruction Set Architecture—and every developer with a stake in the future is at that table, as participating members of RISC-V. And these are just two among the many interesting facts Doc Searls and Jonathan Bennett learned on this week’s show from Cetola. If you care about the past and future of open hardware, nothing can be more important than what you’ll hear in this hour of FLOSS Weekly.

      • Hellpoint on Linux | Ubuntu 20.04 | Native

        Hellpoint running natively on Linux. Here are my thoughts on this Dark Souls type game.

      • Pretty Ping: Prettier Way To See Your Pings

        Pretty ping isn’t actually a ping rewrite unlike you may expect, this is a wrapper around the base version of ping that shows the data in a bit more of a user readable format.

      • Valve Saves The Day | L4E Shorts

        I got the urge to play some Madden football. Imagine my surprise when it wouldn’t even LAUNCH on Windows!

      • BSDNow 409: The Filesystem Dungeon

        DTrace network probes, next 50 years of shell programming, NetBSD on the Vortex86DX CPU, system CPU time in top, your filesystem as a dungeon, diving into toolchains, and more

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 912

        Laptop woes continue, old servers, raspberri pi, tapedrive backup, 3d printing

    • Kernel Space

      • Protecting control dependencies with volatile_if()

        Memory ordering issues are, as Linus Torvalds recently observed, “the rocket science of CS”. Understanding memory ordering is increasingly necessary to write scalable code, so kernel developers often find themselves having to become rocket scientists. The subtleties associated with control dependencies turn out to be an especially tricky sort of rocket. A recent discussion about how to force control dependencies to be observed shows the sorts of difficulties that arise in this area.

      • A stable bug fix bites proprietary modules

        The kernel-development community has long had a tense relationship with companies that create and ship proprietary loadable kernel modules. In the view of many developers, such modules are a violation of the GPL and should simply be disallowed. That has never happened, though; instead, the community has pursued a policy of legal ambiguity and technical inconvenience to discourage proprietary modules. A “technical-inconvenience” patch that was merged nearly one year ago has begun to show up in stable kernel releases, leading at least one developer to complain that things have gone a little too far.

        Code that is directly linked into the kernel can access any symbol that is visible to it. Loadable modules, instead, are restricted to a smaller (though still large) set of symbols that are explicitly “exported” for that purpose. Symbols that are exported with EXPORT_SYMBOL() are available to all loadable modules, while those exported with EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL() can only be used by modules that declare a GPL-compatible license. A non-GPL-compatible module that tries to use a GPL-only symbol will fail to load.

        The idea behind GPL-only exports is that the affected symbols are so deeply situated within the kernel that any module using them must be a derived product of the kernel and, thus, be subject to the requirements of the GPL. In practice, that sort of analysis is rarely (if ever) done, and the decision of whether to use a GPL-only export is left to individual developers. Many developers habitually use EXPORT_SYMBOL_GPL() for every symbol they export out of a general distaste for proprietary modules; some maintainers encourage this practice for code that passes through their hands.

        Over the years, purveyors of proprietary modules have engaged in a number of tricks to get around GPL-only exports. One of those was manually looking up symbol addresses with kallsyms_lookup_name(); that practice was shut down in early 2020. Another is to split a module into two, one GPL-licensed and one proprietary. The GPL-licensed module interfaces directly with the kernel, using GPL-only symbols where needed; it then calls into the proprietary module, where all the real work gets done.

        In July 2020, the posting of this kind of shim module created a stir on the mailing lists, leading to the posting by Christoph Hellwig of a patch set making this trick harder to exploit. Specifically, any module that uses symbols exported by a proprietary module is itself marked proprietary, regardless of the license it declares to the kernel. Modules that hook into proprietary modules, thus, will lose access to GPL-only symbols, making it impossible to perform the shim function they were created for in the first place. This series was merged for the 5.9 kernel release in October.

      • Landlock (finally) sets sail

        Kernel development is not for people who lack persistence; changes can take a number of revisions and a lot of time to make it into a mainline release. Even so, the story of the Landlock security module, developed by Mickaël Salaün, seems like an extreme case; this code was merged for 5.13 after more than five years of development and 34 versions of the patch set. This sandboxing mechanism has evolved considerably since LWN covered version 3 of the patch set in 2016, so a look at what Landlock has become is warranted.

        Like seccomp(), Landlock is an unprivileged sandboxing mechanism; it allows a process to confine itself. The long-term vision has always included adding controls for a wide range of possible actions, but those in the actual patches have been limited to filesystem access. In the early days, Landlock worked by allowing a process to attach BPF programs to various security hooks in the kernel; those programs would then make access-control decisions when asked. BPF maps would be used to associate specific programs with portions of the filesystem, and a special seccomp() mode was used to control the whole thing.

        The goals behind Landlock have never been particularly controversial, but the implementation is a different story. The use of BPF was questioned even before making BPF available to unprivileged users in any context fell out of favor. It was also felt that seccomp(), which controls access to system calls, was a poor fit for Landlock, which does not work at the system-call level. For some time, Salaün was encouraged by reviewers to add a set of dedicated system calls instead; it took him a while to give that approach a try.

        In the end, though, dedicated system calls turned out to be the winning formula. Version 14 of the patch set, posted in February 2020, dropped BPF in favor of a mechanism for defining access-control rules and added a multiplexing landlock() system call to put those rules into force. The 20th version split the multiplexer into four separate system calls, but one of those was dropped in the next revision. So Landlock, as it will appear in 5.13, will bring three system calls with it.

      • Linux Kernel 5.13 released, here’s what’s new

        After several months of development, Linux Torvalds finally announced the latest Linux kernel – Kernel 5.13 release on Sunday. The chief maintainer of Linux was quoted saying, “So we had quite the calm week since rc7, and I see no reason to delay 5.13.”

        One of the important updates with this new release is the native support of Apple M1 silicon devices. Even though this support is still at its formative stage and some core features are still not included (no accelerated graphics), you can expect more updates in future kernel releases.

        Tip: The M1 is the first System on a Chip (SoC) designed by Apple specifically for use in Macs. It represents Apple’s shift from Intel processors, which the Cupertino corporation has been using since 2006. Some of the devices already using the M1 chip include MacBook Air (M1, 2020), MacBook Pro (13-inch, M1, 2020), iMac (24-inch, M1, 2021), iPad Pro, 11-inch, etc.

        Linux kernel 5.13 brings forth a new “Landlock” security module used alongside the existing modules like SELinux. Landlock’s purpose is to restrict ambient rights for a collection of processes running on the system. For example, global filesystem access would be considered a security risk. Still, on security, this new kernel allows keys from sources other than Trusted Platform Module (TPM), which is not present on all systems. Trusted keys are now managed in the ASN.1 format.

    • Applications

      • Top 10 Linux file managers

        Arguably, one of the most common administrative tasks for Linux end users is file management. File management tools are intended to simplify tasks such as locating files, managing disk space allocation, deleting files, moving files, naming files, and opening files in other applications.

        Linux operating systems have a wide range of free open source file managers. Unfortunately, many users do not realize the full capabilities of the file managers they use daily. Most default file managers provide simple yet decent features to use, but you could also install other feature-rich file managers to meet your needs. I use GNOME Files (formerly Nautilus), the default file manager for Fedora, but I also find myself using Konqueror and Midnight Commander (my favorite text-based console file manager).

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Memcached From Source on Ubuntu 20.04 – howtodojo

        This tutorial explain how to install memcached from source on Ubuntu 20.04 (LTS) Focal Fossa. Memcached can be use for any caching usage but mostly used by dynamic web application to reduce database load. We can also cache API calls and page rendering.

        Memcached (pronounced: mem-cash-dee) is a free, high performance, distributed memory object caching system.

        Why Memcached from source? Ubuntu already shipped with Memcached but not the latest version. The version shipped with Ubuntu 20.04 is 1.5.22 while the latest stable of Memcached is 1.6.9.

      • MariaDB Docker: a must guide for every administrator | FOSS Linux

        The worldwide popularity of the MariaDB server speaks for itself. Its landmark in the MariaDB community has strong developmental ties from MySQL’s original developers. This team stepped up to create MariaDB when Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL was a news bulletin. MySQL provided the fork for creating MariaDB. It caters to data processing tasks that meet the objective of small teams and enterprise needs.

        MariaDB is a perfect drop-in replacement for MySQL due to shared similarities in its offered database features. Switching to this database app is as simple as uninstalling MySQL; if you have it on your system and making a fresh MariaDB installation.

        Its open-source status is a continuing guarantee of database reliability and security to its user community. Notable organizations and companies that are already first in line to reap the benefits of MariaDB include ServiceNow, Wikipedia, and DBS Bank.

      • How I build my personal website using containers with a Makefile | Opensource.com

        The make utility and its related Makefile have been used to build software for a long time. The Makefile defines a set of commands to run, and the make utility runs them. It is similar to a Dockerfile or Containerfile—a set of commands used to build container images.

        Together, a Makefile and Containerfile are an excellent way to manage a container-based project. The Containerfile describes the contents of the container image, and the Makefile describes how to manage the project itself: kicking the image build, testing, and deployment, among other helpful commands.

      • How To Enable Brotli Compression in Apache – TecAdmin

        Just like Gzip, Brotli is also a generic-purpose compression algorithm developed by Google. It compresses data using a combination of modern technologies and algorithms. It is similar in speed to deflate but provides higher compression. Brotli compression is supported by all the major browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge.

        The Brotli compression is opted by the top tech fortunes like Cloudflare etc. This is the reason, we recommend switching to brotli from the old deflate data compression algorithm.

        This tutorial helps you to enable brotli compression in the Apache webserver.

      • How To Install Nvidia Drivers on Manjaro 21 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Nvidia Drivers on Manjaro 21. For those of you who didn’t know, Nvidia is a graphics processing chip manufacturer that currently generates most of its revenue from the sales of graphics processing units (GPUs), which are used for competitive gaming, professional visualization. Installing NVIDIA drivers on Manjaro Linux is an easy task that can be done in less than a minute. Manjaro includes a tool that can detect the graphics card model and install the appropriate NVIDIA drivers. Alternatively, you can download and install the drivers from the NVIDIA site.

        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 Nvidia Drivers on a Manjaro 21 (Ornara).

      • How To Install Memcached From Source on Ubuntu 18.04 – howtodojo

        This tutorial explain how to compile and install memcached from source on Ubuntu 18.04 (LTS) Bionic Beaver.

        Memcached can be use for any caching usage but mostly used by dynamic web application to reduce database load.

        We can also cache API calls and page rendering.

        Memcached (pronounced: mem-cash-dee) is a free, high performance, distributed memory object caching system.

        Why Memcached from source? Ubuntu already shipped with Memcached but not the latest version. The version shipped with Ubuntu 18.04 is memcached 1.5.6 while the latest stable of Memcached is 1.6.9.

      • How to Install Nessus on Kali Linux Complete Guide for Beginners

        We are studying of Penetration Testing Tutorial This article will cover how to download, install, activate, and access the web interface of Nessus on Kali Linux.

        This post is origin How to Install Nessus on Kali Linux Move forward and start your tutorial. In a previous post you have completed Nessus Vulnerability Scanner Tutorial If you did not read it, please read now.

      • How to Install and Configure Git on Linux Distributions

        Git is one of the most used free and open-source version control repository management tools. Most programmers, developers, and software quality controllers use Git for professional use. Git is super scalable and super fast to use. It can also handle data version control for Big data analysis and other data analysis-related tasks. If you’re a software developer, you must learn Linux and Git simultaneously to develop your skills. Very often, Git is used to showing as a skill for getting hired in any programming job. On the other hand, if you have a large software project where many developers update, modify and write new codes, Git is totally for you. Using Git, you can check who made what changes, who wrote which part of the project. Even Git also allows you to retrieve the versions if necessary.

      • How to connect to MySQL database | FOSS Linux

        A database is a collection of data that is stored electronically in a computer. Databases are controlled by Database Management Systems (DBMS). Therefore, the DBMS data and the applications used are referred to as a Database System.

        Data in database systems are modeled in rows and columns in a series of tables to make the processing and querying of data efficient. Data in tables can be easily accessed, managed, modified, updated, and organized efficiently. Most database systems use Structured Query Language (SQL) for writing and querying data.

        A structured Query language is a programming language used by most relational databases to query, manipulate and define data and provide access control. MySQL is a popular and open-source relational database application; hence many servers make use of MySQL. MySQL has powerful features, but it is simple to set up and use.

      • How to use Podman inside of Kubernetes | Enable Sysadmin

        In part one, the focus was on Podman in Podman scenarios. We saw some of the different rootful and rootless Podman combinations. We also discussed the ramifications of the –privileged flag.

        But what about Podman and Kubernetes? There are plenty of options available for relating these two services, as well.

        For part two of the series, I am using a Kubernetes cluster running with CRI-O as the runtime.

      • How to create and work with MariaDB database | FOSS Linux

        MariaDB is a divergence of the MySQL relational database system, which means that the original developers of MySQL created MariaDB after Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL raised some issues. The tool offers data processing capabilities for small and enterprise tasks.

        Generally, MariaDB is an improved edition of MySQL. The database comes with several built-in features that offer straightforward usability, performance, and security enhancement that are not available in MySQL.

      • How to use Podman inside of a container | Enable Sysadmin

        One of the most asked about topics to folks working on upstream container technologies is running Podman within a container. Most of this has historically been related to Docker in Docker (DIND), but now, people also want to run Podman in Podman (PINP) or Podman in Docker (PIND).

      • How to expose a WebSocket endpoint using Red Hat 3scale API Management | Red Hat Developer

        WebSocket is a communications protocol that provides full-duplex communication channels to web servers and clients over a single TCP connection. The protocol was standardized by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and has been in common use by web developers for more than a decade.

        Red Hat 3scale API Management is a hosted environment for web applications. In this quick tip, you will see how to use 3scale to set up WebSocket communication easily. Figure 1 shows how 3scale mediates between the web client and the WebSocket interface on the server.

      • How to set up OpenCL for GPUs on Linux and Docker

        OpenCL is an abbreviated form for “Open Computing Language”. It is a programming language that can be used across diverse platforms, primarily for accelerated computing. Due to its diverse nature of applicabilities across multiple platforms, it is most often referred to as a cross-platform computing language. You can write programs on OpenCL and run them on a variety of devices including CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs and a lot more.

        In this guide, I’m going to focus on GPUs alone. I’ve worked with both NVIDIA and AMD GPUs and I’m going to show you how you can get them operational with OpenCL in the simplest possible way.

        Though I’ve used Ubuntu for the host system, the Docker part is applicable to all other Linux distributions.

      • Creating MariaDB User in Linux and Windows | FOSS Linux

        MariaDB is a community-based project of the MySQL DB. It is an open-source system, a relational database management system, and a fully compatible database. Furthermore, the software allows modification and alteration of its initial source code because of its open-source nature. Therefore, this will enable users to explore more on their skills without blocking them. In this article, we will look at how to create a user in both Windows and Linux.

      • Creating a PKGBUILD to Make Packages for Arch Linux – It’s FOSS

        PKGBUILD files are how packages are built and created for Arch Linux and its derivatives such as Manjaro.

        You may have even come across them a bit yourself if you’ve ever used the AUR, Arch Linux’s user-curated repository of PKGBUILDs.

        But how exactly do you go from a PKGBUILD to an installable package? What exactly is going on between the two, and how can you make them for your own packages? You’ll learn them in this article.

      • How to Upgrade to Pop OS 21.04 from 20.10 [Step by Step]

        In this post, we cover some basic steps required to upgrade to Pop OS 21.04 from Pop OS 20.10.

      • Enrico Zini: Systemd containers with unittest

        This is part of a series of posts on ideas for an ansible-like provisioning system, implemented in Transilience.

        Unit testing some parts of Transilience, like the apt and systemd actions, or remote Mitogen connections, can really use a containerized system for testing.

        To have that, I reused my work on nspawn-runner. to build a simple and very fast system of ephemeral containers, with minimal dependencies, based on systemd-nspawn and btrfs snapshots:

      • Keeping Kdenlive from crashing
      • How to install IMVU on a Chromebook – Revised Tutorial
      • How to Generate Random Data in PostgreSQL
      • How To Install PostgreSQL 9.6 on Ubuntu 20.04

        In this tutorial, we learn how to install PostgreSQL 9.6 on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa).

        PostgreSQL, or usually called Postgres, is an open-source object-relational database management system (ORDBMS) with an emphasis on extensibility and standards compliance.

        PostgreSQL is ACID-compliant and transactional. It is developed by PostgreSQL Global Development Group (PGDG) that consists of many companies and individual contributors. PostgreSQL released under the terms of PostgreSQL license.

    • Games

      • Cyanide & Happiness – Freakpocalypse (Episode 1) is now available for Linux

        Love some quirky comedy? A few months after releasing for Windows, Cyanide & Happiness – Freakpocalypse (Episode 1) is now available for Linux too. Funded thanks to Kickstarter backers in 2017 giving around $575,377 the popular web comic has turned into a digital point and click adventure.

        “In this point-and-click adventure, control Coop in his quest to be the hero he always wanted to be by helping the people of Netherton! Talk to, touch, and look at everything in your environment! That sexy looking clock? Ask it to prom! That rotting piece of fruit? Touch it!”

      • Resident Evil 2 on Linux | Ubuntu 20.04 | Steam Play

        Resident Evil 2 running through Steam Play on Linux.

      • Dark detective hacking adventure Song of Farca releases on July 21

        It’s been announced for release on July 21, which the publisher informed us today that this date will include the Linux version.

      • The popular board game Brass: Birmingham gets the digital treatment | GamingOnLinux

        Brass: Birmingham, a popular board game that had a big and successful crowdfunding campaign which was the sequel to Martin Wallace’s original game Brass has now been made into a digital game. The adaption comes from developer Cublo and publisher Phalanx, the same teams behind the original digital version of Brass from 2017.

        ” Would you like to take part in the Industrial Revolution and find out why Brass: Birmingham is considered to be an excellent sequel to one of the best economic board games of all time? Brass: Birmingham takes you back in time again, when a knack for strategic thinking fueled by gut instinct could sketch biographies of the likes of Friedrich Krupp or Richard Arkwright. Will you manage to follow in the footsteps of mighty industrialists from the era of iron and steam power?”

      • ScummVM adds support for Nightlong: Union City Conspiracy and The Journeyman Project 2 | GamingOnLinux

        Have time to play some more classics? The latest release of ScummVM might not be out yet but they have announced some more titles will be playable. The team do provide regular daily builds of all the latest work, thanks to that trying out all the latest enhancements is only a few clicks away.

        Two notable titles they included support for recently are Nightlong: Union City Conspiracy a cyberpunk-themed adventure released originally in 1998. An interesting development, as thankfully the original developers actually provided the ScummVM team with the source code and so it got ported over to ScummVM. Doesn’t look like it’s easy to come by the game though.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce’s Apps Update for June 2021 Brings New Releases of Ristretto, Xfce Settings, and More

        June has been a slow month for the development of the lightweight Xfce desktop environment, probably because the summer is here and we’re all thinking about the holidays, but we got a new major release of the beloved Ristretto images viewer.

        Ristretto 0.11 is here and it’s been in development for the past two years, adding new features like the ability to copy an image to the clipboard, support for old GTK2-style background color settings, new stock icons with reverse DNS format, as well as the ability to show the toolbar in full-screen when the mouse cursor is moved to the top.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KaOS 2021.06 Released, Brings the Latest KDE Plasma 5.22

          KaOS provides one of the best integrations yet of a refreshed KDE-based computing platform. The latest KaOS 2021.06 release comes with KDE Plasma 5.22, which offers new visual effects, and a new system monitor.

          KaOS Linux remains one of the most aesthetically pleasing Linux distributions around the beautiful KDE desktop environment. It is is built from scratch and uses customized KDE as its desktop environment. This distro is exclusively developed for 64-bit architecture computers only.

          The idea behind KaOS is to create a tightly integrated rolling distribution to maintain a modern desktop with the latest features and software. KaOS is targeted at users who are looking for an operating system that puts all of its resources into making one desktop environment the best it can be, with that desktop being KDE.

          If you already are sold on the efficiency that the KDE desktop offers, you will be pleased with the unique design of this distro. Recently, KaOS 2021.06 version of this distribution is out now.

        • Arch Linux Inspired KaOS Linux Jumps in the KDE Plasma 5.22 Bandwagon

          KaOS Linux 2021.06 is now available for download as the first ISO release of the distribution to ship with the latest and greatest KDE Plasma 5.22 desktop environment by default. The second point release, KDE Plasma 5.22.2, is included, along with the KDE Gear 21.04.2 and KDE Frameworks 5.83 software suites, all built on Qt 5.15.2.

          It’s good to see KaOS Linux jumping into the KDE Plasma 5.22 bandwagon as it gives users more options if they want to use the latest desktop environment on their personal computers. Right now, you can try the Plasma 5.22 desktop on KDE neon, Arch Linux, PCLinuxOS,

          openSUSE Tumbleweed, and Kubuntu 21.04.

        • KaOS 2021.06 Brings in Plasma 5.22, JPEG XL Support, and More

          KaOS 2021.06 comes with Plasma 5.22, which is the latest and the most stable release currently. Not just limited to stability, it also provides better flexibility and usability. To know more about the desktop environment, you can refer to our article on Plasma 5.22.

          To give you a quick overview, the most remarkable new feature Plasma 5.22 presents is Adaptive Transparency. It means the panel and panel widgets will be pleasantly translucent. However, if there are any maximized windows, they will become entirely opaque.

          Also, Plasma Wayland session now supports Activities. Thus, you can keep your work separate from other tasks. In other words, you will get the most out of your activity by staying focused on it.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

        • Deepin 20 – A Beautifully Crafted Linux Distribution

          Deepin OS is a revolutionary distribution. OK. I’ll stop right there; maybe that was giving a little too much credit. But I’ve got to be honest with you, nothing quite easily blows me away when it comes to Linux distributions as of late.

          Deepin 20 specifically is awesome! The installer is dead simple that even my grandma could install it on a PC.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

        • Mageia 7 Reached End of Life on June 30th, 2021, Here’s How to Upgrade to Mageia 8

          Released on July 1st, 2019, the Mageia 7 release shipped with the Linux 5.1 kernel, KDE Plasma 5.15 desktop environment, the DNF package manager supporting system upgrades from Mageia 6 to Mageia 7, a revamped Welcome screen, and much more.

          The release was supported for exactly two years, until June 30th, 2021, with software and security updates, but it has now reached end of life and it will no longer receive support from the Mageia team. As such, all Mageia 7 users are now urged to upgrade to the latest release, Mageia 8.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • CentOS Hyperscale SIG Quarterly Report for 2021Q2

          This report covers work that happened between April 2nd and June 30th. For previous work, see the 2021Q1 report.

        • CentOS Hyperscale Workstation Sees Experimental OS Builds, More Changes Coming – Phoronix

          One of the exciting initiatives taking place recently within the CentOS camp has been the CentOS Hyperscale special interest group that is backed by engineers from Twitter and Facebook along with other organizations. They’ve been making more progress on offering their hyperscaler-focused packages/updates and even onto publishing a CentOS Hyperscale Workstation operating system image for testing.

          The CentOS Hyperscaler effort has been working on better fitting CentOS Stream to modern enterprise needs and via their repository working on things like backporting newer systemd versions and other key packages either as upgrades or what isn’t currently found in CentOS/EPEL.

        • IBM’s 18-month company-wide email system migration has been a disaster, sources say

          IBM’s planned company-wide email migration has gone off the rails, leaving many employees unable to use email or schedule calendar events. And this has been going on for several days.

          Current and former IBMers have confirmed to The Register that the migration, 18 months in the making, has been a disaster.

          “I feel bad for bringing this to the press but I’m afraid that I’m only one of the many thousands at Big Blue who are utterly disgruntled at the moment,” one employee told us. “If we can’t even handle our own cloud migration program then why would any customer trust us?”

      • Debian Family

        • Docker Swarm Install on a Thin Client | StorageReview.com

          If you are unfamiliar with Docker or containers as a whole, you might think of them as lightweight VMs that run on almost anything. While this is a major oversimplification, it gives you enough information without being overwhelming. Swarm is an extension of Docker. It provides a simple and built-in way to “orchestrate” containers, deploying them across multiple nodes, managing resources, and other things of that nature.

          In my existing infrastructure, I already had 5 nodes running in Swarm. Four Raspberry Pi B4s and one Dell Optiplex 7040. This provides an excellent base to get started. But you only need a single node to follow along with this Docker Swarm tutorial. It should be noted that while I got this one for pretty much nothing, they can be found for $200 or less on eBay if you search and haggle some.

        • Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities June 2021

          This month I didn’t have any particular focus. I just worked on issues in my info bubble.

        • Anton Gladky: 2021/06, FLOSS activity

          This is my fourth month of working for LTS. I was assigned 12 hrs and worked all of them.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Pop!_OS 21.04 Full Review – Cosmic is Awesome!

          Pop!_OS 21.04 features the new “COSMIC” desktop workflow, with a host of new features. New features include a dock, dedicated interfaces for workspaces and applications, and much more. In this video, I’ll give you a full review of 21.04 and let you know my thoughts.

        • Pop!_OS 21.04

          Today we are looking at Pop!_OS 21.04. It uses Linux Kernel 5.11, Gnome 3.38, their new Cosmic desktop environment, and uses about 1.5GB of ram when idling. Enjoy

        • Pop!_OS 21.04 Run Through
        • Why the Pop!_OS 21.04 Linux distro is out of this world

          System76 sent a message out to us media types to let us know the latest iteration of its in-house Linux distribution, Pop!_OS, was available for download and/or upgrading. As a long-time (relatively speaking) user of Pop!_OS, I was excited. The official release of the upgrade was made available last night, so I went to sleep knowing I’d run pop-upgrade release upgrade in the morning and wait for the magic to unfold.

        • Ubuntu 20.10 Supports Ends This Month – You Must Upgrade Soon!

          Okay, it’s not quite that dramatic, but if you run Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” you need to upgrade to Ubuntu 21.04 some time soon.


          Because official support for Ubuntu 20.10 ends on July 22, 2021 — that’s this month!

          Thankfully there are plenty of compelling reasons to migrate to Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’, which launched back in April.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Best Free and Open Source Software – June 2021 Updates

        Here’s the latest updates to our compilation of recommended software.

        The table above shows our articles updated in June 2021.

        For our entire collection, check out the categories below. This is the largest compilation of recommended software. The collection includes hundreds of articles, with comprehensive sections on internet, graphics, games, programming, science, office, utilities, and more. Almost all of the software is free and open source.

      • Try Dolibarr, an open source customer relationship management platform

        No matter what industry you work in, a key aspect of sustaining your business is keeping your customers. In the customer-relations domain, we call this customer retention.

        Whether you run a retail store, restaurant, pub, supermarket, gym, or any other business, you need a reliable way to keep in touch with your customers. After all, they’re customers because they like what you do, and, if they’ve shared their contact information with you, they want to hear more about what you have to offer. Sending them discount coupons, promotions, and special offers benefits your customers and helps ensure they remember your brand and come back to do business with you again.

      • Bitwarden review: The best free password manager for 2021

        Up until spring of 2021, only two of our leading password managers offered free service tiers that allowed you to synchronize and use your password manager across multiple devices. So when LastPass restricted its free service to use on only a single device in March, Bitwarden — the only other app with the same offer — sealed the deal and became the de facto champion of the free password manager game.

        But what do we know about Bitwarden? Is it as safe to use as LastPass? Is it as convenient and user-friendly? Is it as compatible across platforms, and packed with as many features? You bet your login it is. Bitwarden’s open-source code base creates a transparent security foundation beneath its otherwise streamlined and designed-for-simplicity interface. This — combined with its hyperflexible platform and browser compatibility and its feature-rich premium options — push Bitwarden ahead of its competitors.

      • Best x Open-source and Inventory and Storage management [2021]

        Storage management is a term that includes all the technologies, processes, and strategies that organizations use to maximize the performance of their data storage resources.

        Storage management features virtualization, security, provisioning, automation, redundancy, fault tolerance, it takes into account a ton of different factors, improves the performance of data storage resources, reassigns storage capacity quickly as business needs change and more.

        In addition, increasing the storage capacity is an expensive investment for companies, so there is a good amount of capacity planning and forward-thinking involved in it as well, especially considering the rate at which data is growing.

        Storage management is the main processes and technologies that are needed to deliver big, fast, and reliable data to your organization.

        In this article, we’ll cover 10 open sources of storage management systems.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New stable release: Tor

            We have a new stable release today. If you build Tor from source, you can download the source code for on the download page.

            Tor makes several small fixes on, including one that allows Tor to build correctly on older versions of GCC. You should upgrade to this version if you were having trouble building Tor; otherwise, there is probably no need.

      • FSF

        • How your support fuels the GNU GPL

          The Free Software Foundation (FSF) Licensing & Compliance Lab is the central hub for licensing education and advocacy. Our work ranges from evaluating software, operating systems, and physical devices using our criteria for user freedom, to protecting free software against proprietary developers, to teaching users, developers, and lawyers about free software licensing. We have a large job to fulfill in order to make sure freedom is maintained and protected for future generations. With all that work going on, often behind the scenes, we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of our recent achievements.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt 6.1.2 Released
        • How to Become DevOps: Education Requirements and Career Path – LinuxTechLab

          Although various companies may have their expectations and job requirements for a DevOps position, a decent working definition of a DevOps engineer is a technical expert who follows a software development approach that combines development and operations. The main duty of a DevOps engineer is to supervise software code releases to accomplish corporate goals.

        • Aigars Mahinovs: Keeping it as simple as possible

          You know that you’ve had the same server too long when they discontinue the entire class of servers you were using and you need to migrate to a new instance. And you know you’ve not done anything with that server (and the blog running on it) for too long when you have no idea how that thing is actually working.

          Its a good opportunity to start over from scratch, and a good motivation to the new thing as simply as humanly possible, or even simpler.

        • Perl/Raku

          • PAN Bus Factor

            For CPAN our definition is “a measurement of how risky it might be to start relying on a CPAN module, which might not be actively maintained”.

        • Python

          • New features and other changes in Python 3.10 [LWN.net]

            Python 3.10 is proceeding apace; everything looks to be on track for the final release, which is expected on October 4. The beta releases started in early May, with the first of those marking the feature-freeze for this version of the language. There are a number of interesting changes that are coming with Python 3.10, including what is perhaps the “headline feature”: structural pattern matching.

            As we did with Python 3.9, and Python 3.8 before it, taking a look at what is coming in the (now) yearly major release of the language has become something of a tradition here at LWN. The release notes that are compiled as part of the release process are invaluable in helping track all of the bits and pieces that make up the release. “What’s New In Python 3.10″ does not disappoint in that regard; those looking for more information about this release are encouraged to give it a look. In addition, we have covered some of these changes as they were discussed and developed over the last year or so.

        • Rust

          • Announcing our Executive Search

            With a successful launch behind us and an ambitious agenda ahead, the Rust Foundation is looking to channel the energy and vision of our members with the hiring of the organization’s first permanent executive director. In short, we’re in search of a dynamic leader who can help us unlock the Foundation’s full potential, connecting our aspirations with strategy and execution.

            While there would be clear benefits to having an existing member of the Rust community fill this role, we would also be excited to introduce someone new with the right blend of experience and expertise. In either case, the new executive director will need to work with and learn from Rust’s famously supportive community in order to succeed. This person will lead the Foundation’s efforts to support the volunteer work of maintainers, by identifying, funding, and leading programs like eliminating maintainer out-of-pocket costs.

          • This Week in Rust 397
  • Leftovers

    • The Myths of Point Reyes: Legality, History and Economy

      Myth of Legality

      Somewhat related to the myth of perpetuity is the myth of legality. When the federal government bought the ranchlands in the 60’s and 70’s to form the park, the land deals included Rights of Use and Occupancy (ROPs), generally for 25 years or life of the owner or spouse. The assertion is that, regardless of the squishier claims around who intended what and when, the fact of the matter is the ranches are legally warranted beyond the ROP durations under the same language cited above (repeated here):

    • Maybe We Shouldn’t Go Back to Normal

      I have never been normal. As a Black, disabled, trans person, I live on the margins of society. So when I hear people talking about “getting back to normal,” I want to ask, What exactly are we expecting to return to as things continue to open up? Understandably, so many of us want to return to some semblance of what once was before the pandemic started. Normal, however, has always been a perilous reality for me.

    • Can Civilization be Regenerated?

      Plato, 427 – 347 BCE, lived at a time of peril. He grew up in Athens during the last twenty-three years of the Peloponnesian War. Things did not look good. He tried to find out why Athens was part of a Greek fratricide. He studied why civilizations often decline, even disappear. His fertile mind examined historical experience, seeking clues and examples of regeneration. Book 7 of his Republic and his dialogues, Timaios and Kritias, offer valuable insights into how humans can sometimes dig in the rubble in order to reinvent civilization. His story of the lost world of the Atlantis has mesmerized countless people throughout the ages. The dialogues Timaios and Kritias explain the rise and fall of the giant island empire of Atlantis.

    • Leaves Must be Canceled. All Hands on the Congressional Deck.

      Readers of the Washington Post this past Sunday, many of whom work at least a 40-hour week with short vacations, were informed by reporter Paul Kane about the large number of recess days the Senate and the House are taking this summer. In the midst of a huge backlog of critical legislation – as with the multi-trillion-dollar public and human infrastructure bills and other responsibilities deferred under prior periods of Republican control – these recess periods constitute reckless abandon and endangerment to the country.

    • Dinosaur Jr. – Live on KEXP at Home
    • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Reparations Is A Must (4th Of July Love Song)’

      For some, the Fourth of July is a patriotic day to celebrate the independence of the United States. For others, it is a mournful reminder of a nation built on colonialism and systemic racism. Folk duo Dan + Claudia Zanes address the more somber side of American history with “Reparations is a Must (4th of July Love Song),” the first single off their upcoming debut album “Let Love Be Your Guide,” which will be released on September 10.The entire album was conceived during the 2020 Black Lives Matter uprisings and coronavirus pandemic, and the eclectic collection features a wide range of genres including gospel, R&B, and Haitian folk songs. It also displays an optimism for mending the wounds of the past and moving forward together.The song features an introduction from educator, author, and activist Dr. Kaye Wise Whitehead, “Reparations is a Must (4th of July Love Song),” and the duo created a lyric video to further comment on the need for reparations.“This video shows the kinds of images we both grew up with in New Hampshire,” Claudia Zanes recalled. “I saw white folks represented almost everywhere I looked. It was hard for me to find my sense of belonging. In history classes I learned very little about slavery, even less about Jim Crow, and practically nothing about the amazing achievements and contributions of Black people in America.”“The idea of reparations never came up! And if it had, back then I had no context. This is our way of helping families talk about one of the most important issues facing our country. If we’re not talking about reparations, what are we talking about?” Zanes added.One of the songs poignant lyrics is “but if you sing, ‘This Land Is Your Land,’ reparations is a must.”Woody Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land” is a classic protest standard, whose lyrics feature a strong anti-capitalistic and anti-classist message (even though the tune’s most direct lines are often omitted). The song also deserves scrutiny due to its omission of colonialism and the issue of stolen land.An important part of folk music is how it opens itself up for critique. Dan + Claudia’s song builds upon past folk traditions to advance an important discussion.Listen to Dan + Claudia Zanes – “Reparations is a Must (4th of July Love Song):

    • Science

      • Former NASA astronaut and Shuttle boss weigh in on fixing Hubble Space Telescope

        The outlook continues to look a little bleak for NASA’s veteran Hubble telescope as a former astronaut and a Space Shuttle manager weighed in on repair options and the possibility of a fix.

        NASA has remained silent on the fate of the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) since an admission last week that back-up computer hardware exhibited the same behavior as the primary payload computer system, which unexpectedly halts and puts the spacecraft goes into safe mode, suspending scientific operations. Engineers have since spread the fault-finding net a little wider.

        Writing on Twitter, former astronaut Clay Anderson gave voice to the fears of many, saying that he believed the observatory was “beyond repair.”

      • The Rotting Internet Is a Collective Hallucination – The Atlantic

        Sixty years ago the futurist Arthur C. Clarke observed that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. The internet—how we both communicate with one another and together preserve the intellectual products of human civilization—fits Clarke’s observation well. In Steve Jobs’s words, “it just works,” as readily as clicking, tapping, or speaking. And every bit as much aligned with the vicissitudes of magic, when the internet doesn’t work, the reasons are typically so arcane that explanations for it are about as useful as trying to pick apart a failed spell.

        Underpinning our vast and simple-seeming digital networks are technologies that, if they hadn’t already been invented, probably wouldn’t unfold the same way again. They are artifacts of a very particular circumstance, and it’s unlikely that in an alternate timeline they would have been designed the same way.

        The internet’s distinct architecture arose from a distinct constraint and a distinct freedom: First, its academically minded designers didn’t have or expect to raise massive amounts of capital to build the network; and second, they didn’t want or expect to make money from their invention.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Liberals and Congress Retreat Rather Than Fight for National Single Payer Medicare for All

        Decades of a movement based on educating the public about the merits of a national health insurance program (like Canada and many other developed countries) achieved a remarkable feat: the majority of Americans now favor  Medicare for All. At a Bernie Sanders healthcare town hall last year, Rep. Pramila Jayapal glibly stated that the problem to enacting Medicare for All was not more education of the public, but a question of “political will” necessary to actually push it forward.

        Yet, despite a pandemic, which has laid bare the inequalities and deficiencies of our healthcare system coupled with Democrat majorities in three branches of government, Medicare for All seems off the table. Where is the political will?

      • Exposé Showing ‘Inappropriately Close’ FDA, Biogen Collaboration Prompts Demand for IG Probe

        The Department of Health and Human Services’ internal watchdog must launch a formal probe following a new exposé showing Biogen “courting” a key U.S. Food and Drug Administration official and an apparent lack of independence between the federal agency and the pharmaceutical company in the lead-up to the controversial approval of Alzheimer’s disease drug aducanumab, Public Citizen said Wednesday.

        “The circumstances described in the STAT exposé, if confirmed,” said Dr. Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, “paint a damning picture of drug regulators who surrendered their independence and objectivity, essentially began working on behalf of Biogen, and fostered regulatory capture at the agency.”

      • The War on Drugs Comes to the Doctor’s Office
      • Ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19, take 2: FLCCC conspiracies

        On Monday, I posted a typically lengthy, detailed, and snarky article about how ivermectin is the new hydroxychloroquine. What I meant by that comparison is that, just as 12-15 months ago the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine was the repurposed drug touted as a “miracle cure” for COVID-19 that fizzled when tested with rigorous clinical trials, over the first half of 2021 the veterinary deworming drug ivermectin has become the repurposed drug touted as a “miracle cure” for COVID-19. Like hydroxychloroquine, which by the end of last summer I was describing as the Black Knight of COVID-19 treatments, an homage to (of course) the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, belief in ivermectin as a highly effective treatment for COVID-19—that will eliminate the need for vaccines, too!—seems similarly immune to having its limbs hacked off by science, the way that they were for hydroxychloroquine. This post won’t be as long—although it might be as snarky—and will deal more with the conspiracy theories that have cropped up around ivermectin. Unsurprisingly, they’re very similar to the conspiracy theories that cropped up around hydroxychloroquine. They’re even being people, people such as the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC).

      • Written Description: Why do differences in clinical trial design make it hard to compare COVID-19 vaccines?

        The number of COVID-19 vaccines is growing, with 18 vaccines in use around the world and many others in development. The global vaccination campaign is slowly progressing, with over 3 billion doses administered, although the percentage of doses administered in low-income countries remains at only 0.3%. But because of differences in how they were tested in clinical trials, making apples-to-apples comparisons is difficult—even just for the 3 vaccines authorized by the FDA for use in the United States. In this post, we explore the open questions that remain because of these differences in clinical trial design, the FDA’s authority to help standardize clinical trials, and what lessons can be learned for vaccine clinical trials going forward.


        Study populations. Vaccines were studied in different populations, based in part on recruitment efforts and in part on trials being conducted in different countries. Globally, for instance, the J&J patient population was 45% Hispanic and/or Latinx, Pfizer-BioNTech 26% and Moderna 20%. Given disparities in COVID-19 impact on different communities, disparities in vaccine access, and a history of biased clinical trial populations, balanced vaccine demographics are particularly important. Population age also differed, though less starkly (even setting aside pediatric trials); 25% of Moderna’s patients were 65 or older, but only 21% of Pfizer-BioNTech’s. (Notably, even knowing whether the comparisons are apples to apples is nontrivial; Moderna’s reported age breakdown was 18-65/older, Pfizer’s was 16-18/16-55/55+/65+/75+, and J&J’s was under/over 60).

        Endpoints. Manufacturers also chose different endpoints for their clinical trials. What were the endpoints? Pfizer-BioNTech measured efficacy against any symptomatic infection beginning seven days after the second vaccine dose. Moderna also measured any symptomatic infection, but not until two weeks after the second dose. And J&J measured cases both at two and four weeks after its single dose—but counted only cases of moderate-to-severe COVID-19 (including a positive test). These differences make it difficult to compare even topline results.

        Variants. Finally, clinical trials occurred at different times and in different countries—which means that the prevalence of viral variants also differed. Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Moderna’s vaccines were tested before variants of concern were widely circulating, making it harder to know how effective they are against variants. J&J’s vaccine, on the other hand, was tested in South Africa when the Beta variant was spreading there, and it showed lower efficacy in preventing infection in South Africa (57%) than in the United States (72%), though still strong protection (85%) against severe illness. Three months ago we described the existing data on vaccines and variants, including the lack of clinical trial evidence for most vaccine/variant combinations. Studies from England and Scotland suggest Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines offer somewhat reduced protection against infection by the highly transmissible Delta variant, but similar protection against severe illness. But these studies are not randomized controlled clinical trials.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Dangers Posed by Evidentiary Software—and What to Do About It

        More and more, lawyers on both sides of the Atlantic are recognizing the importance of ensuring the reliability of software for use in court. In early June, the UK barrister Paul Marshall laid out the various ways that the Post Office Limited—and, indeed, the UK government—had failed the SPMs, with the POL essentially betting its rich coffers against the ability of the SPMs to successfully win against it. Marshall’s speech is well worth the read for anyone interested in ethics, the law and government.

        As for trusting computer code, Marshall reminded his audience that the software was the only evidence against the SPMs, “If you remember only one thing from this talk, bear in mind that writing on a bit of paper in evidence is only marks on a piece of paper until first, someone explains what it means and, second, if it is a statement of fact, someone proves the truth of that fact.” If you’re looking at computer software providing evidence, then the software must be available for cross-examination—just as it would be for any witness. In the US, anything less obviates the legal protections of due process and the confrontation clause. It results in conviction through mistakes, not facts.

      • Proprietary

        • Google is moving away from APKs on the Play Store

          Google has announced a big change for developers who want to list their apps on Google Play that could have an impact on the Android app ecosystem. Right now, the standard format for app publishing is the APK, but starting in August, Google will require that new Play apps are published instead using the Android App Bundle.

          On a Google page about Android App Bundle, the company touts many potential improvements with the new format, such as smaller app downloads for users. But the format has a catch: Android App Bundles are a format that only Google Play uses, which could complicate app redistribution.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

            • Linux Foundation/Other

              • Pulling GitHub into the kernel process

                There is an ongoing effort to “modernize” the kernel-development process; so far, the focus has been on providing better tools that can streamline the usual email-based workflow. But that “email-based” part has proven to be problematic for some potential contributors, especially those who might want to simply submit a small bug fix and are not interested in getting set up with that workflow. The project-hosting “forge” sites, like GitHub and GitLab, provide a nearly frictionless path for these kinds of one-off contributions, but they do not mesh well—at all, really—with most of mainline kernel development. There is some ongoing work that may change all of that, however.

                Konstantin Ryabitsev at the Linux Foundation has been spearheading much of this work going back at least as far as his September 2019 draft proposal for better kernel tooling. Those ideas were discussed at the 2019 Kernel Maintainers Summit and at a meeting at Open Source Summit Europe 2019 in October. Throughout, Ryabitsev has been looking at ways to make it easier for non-email patch submitters; along the way, he has also released the b4 tool for collecting up patches and worked on patch attestation.

              • Real-time Microconference Accepted into 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference

                We are pleased to announce that the Real-time Microconference has been accepted into the 2021 Linux Plumbers Conference. Since 2004, the project that has become known as PREEMPT_RT, formally the real-time patch, has improved the real-time and low-latency features of the Linux kernel. Over the past decade, many parts of PREEMPT_RT have been included into the official Linux codebase. Examples include: mutexes, high-resolution timers, lockdep, ftrace, RT scheduling, SCHED_DEADLINE, RCU_PREEMPT, generic interrupts, priority inheritance futexes, threaded interrupt handlers, and more. The number of patches that need integration has been significantly reduced, and the rest is mature enough to make their way into mainline Linux.

              • Linux Foundation Awards IT Training & Certification Scholarships to 500 Diverse Individuals Across the Globe [Ed: Monopolies disguised as "diversity", i.e. the very opposite of what monopolists are doing]

                The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, has announced the recipients of the 2021 Linux Foundation Training (LiFT) Scholarships. LiFT aims to increase diversity in open source technology by providing access to online and in-person training and certification exams for underserved demographics at no cost to the recipient. Since 2010, The Linux Foundation has awarded over 1,100 scholarships for millions of dollars worth of specialized, technical training to those who may not have the ability to afford this opportunity otherwise.

              • The Linux Foundation awards training, certification scholarships to 500 people from around the world

                The Linux Foundation has announced the winners of its 2021 Linux Foundation Training Scholarships, which award online and in-person training and certification exams at no cost to underserved demographics from around the world.

        • Security

          • Leaked print spooler exploit lets Windows users remotely execute code as system on your domain controller

            An infosec firm accidentally published a proof-of-concept exploit for a critical Windows print spooler vulnerability that can be abused by rogue users to compromise Active Directory domain controllers.

            The security hole, tracked as CVE-2021-1675, can be exploited by a low-privileged user to execute code as an administrator on a system running the print spooler service. Initially Microsoft classified it as a local privilege escalation flaw in June’s Patch Tuesday run of Windows updates – but on 21 June that classification was upped to describe it as a remote-code execution vuln meaning it can be pulled off over a network.

          • How to implement Linux security best practices

            Server admins must consider potential security problems when deploying infrastructure to ensure it is protected from attackers. For example, admins should harden systems, especially going beyond the network to account for employees who work remotely. They also need to keep data encrypted when moving and when at rest.

            David Clinton, a server admin and AWS Certified Solutions Architect, wrote Linux Security Fundamentals to give admins a high-level overview of Linux security best practices. These steps ensure a company’s infrastructure is protected from attackers and stays that way.

            “Whether you’re a professional Linux admin, a developer, a data engineer or even just a regular technology consumer, you’ll both be safer and more effective at everything you do if you can understand and apply security best practices,” Clinton wrote.

          • Microsoft faces up to an old foe with out-of-band patch for PDF weirdness • The Register

            Internet Explorer 11 may only have a year left, but Microsoft still found itself releasing a patch to resolve some PDF issues in the elderly browser.

            The issue could stop PDFs working in either IE 11 itself or the all-important WebBrowser control, upon which many apps depend (despite Microsoft pushing out Edge-friendly alternatives).

          • REvil ransomware group deploys Linux encryptor against EXSi virtual machines [Ed: This is not a "Linux" issue but an issue with something that gets installed on Linux and then targets some proprietary software]
          • ‘Press X To Apply Fourth Amendment:’ Documents Show How GrayKey Brute Forces IOS Passwords

            Consecutive FBI directors (James Comey, and Chris Wray) have declared a small scale war on encryption. Both of these directors relied on inflated numbers to make their case — an error chalked up to software rather than rhetorical convenience. (The FBI has refused to hand over a correct count of encrypted devices in its possession for more than three years at this point.)

          • Germany: The state hacks along

            With the temporary exception of the Federal Police, all German police agencies and secret services are now allowed to hack into computers and telephones. This is an extremely deep invasion of privacy

          • We Infiltrated a Counterfeit Check Ring! Now What?

            Imagine waking up each morning knowing the identities of thousands of people who are about to be mugged for thousands of dollars each. You know exactly when and where each of those muggings will take place, and you’ve shared this information in advance with the authorities each day for a year with no outward indication that they are doing anything about it. How frustrated would you be?

          • Exploit Code Released for Critical Windows Print Spooler Flaw | Decipher

            There are several different proof-of-concept exploits for a vulnerability in the Windows print spooler service circulating publicly right now, some of which are able to exploit the bug even if the patch Microsoft released earlier this month is applied.

            The vulnerability (CVE-2021-1675) affects most versions of Windows and Windows Server, and although Microsoft initially classified it as a low-severity local privilege escalation bug, it revised that assessment last week to clarify that it can be used for remote code execution and upgraded it to a critical rating. The print spooler service runs by default on Windows Domain Controllers and is often enabled on other servers and desktops, as well. However, the attacker would need to have authenticated access to the print spooler service in order to get remote code execution.

            A research team posted PoC exploit code for the vulnerability to GitHub on Tuesday, and although the repository was removed soon after, it was up long enough to allow other people clone it and fork it.

          • Security updates for Thursday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (htmldoc, ipmitool, and node-bl), Fedora (libgcrypt and libtpms), Mageia (dhcp, glibc, p7zip, sqlite3, systemd, and thunar), openSUSE (arpwatch, go1.15, and kernel), SUSE (curl, dbus-1, go1.15, and qemu), and Ubuntu (xorg-server).

          • Privacy

            • Maine Sets Example With ‘Country’s Strongest’ Facial Recognition Ban

              Civil liberties advocates on Wednesday cheered as Maine enacted what that state’s ACLU chapter called “the country’s strongest statewide facial recognition law.”

              “I hope that Maine can provide an example to other states that want to rein in the government’s ability to use facial recognition and other invasive biometric technologies.”—Maine Rep. Grayson Lookner, sponsor

            • PCLOB “Book Report” Fails to Investigate or Tell the Public the Truth About Domestic Mass Surveillance

              Let’s start with the fact that the report is still classified—the PCLOB is supposed to provide public access to its work “to the greatest extent” consistent with the law and the needs of classification.  Yet the public statement here is just 26  pages describing, rather than analyzing, the program. Nothing signals to the public a lack of commitment to transparency and a frank assessment of civil liberties violations like blocking the public from even reading a report about one of the most invasive U.S. surveillance programs.

              Member LeBlanc rightly points out that, at a minimum, the PCLOB should have sought to have as much of its report declassified as possible, rather than issuing what he correctly criticizes as more like a “book report” than an expert legal and technical assessment. 

              The PCLOB was created after a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission to address important civil liberties issues raised by intelligence community activities. While its first report about Section 215 was critical in driving Congress to scale back that program, other PCLOB reports have been less useful. EFF sharply disagreed with the Board’s findings in 2014 on surveillance under FISA Section 702, especially where it found that the Section 702 program is sound “at its core,” and provides “considerable value” in the fight against terrorism—despite going on to make ten massive recommendations for what the program must do to avoid infringing on people’s privacy.

            • Victory! Biden Administration Rescinds Dangerous DHS Proposed Rule to Expand Biometrics Collection

              The DHS proposed rule garnered more than 5,000 comments in response, the overwhelming majority of which opposed this unprecedented expansion of biometrics. Five U.S. Senators also demanded that DHS abandon the proposal.

              EFF, joined by several leading civil liberties and immigrant rights organizations, submitted a comment that warned the proposal posed grave threats to privacy, in part because it permitted collection of far more data than needed to verify a person’s identity and stored all data collected in the same place—amplifying the risk of future misuse or breach. EFF’s comment also highlighted the burden on First Amendment activity, particularly because the breadth of sensitive biometrics required by the proposal could lay the groundwork for a vast surveillance network capable of tracking people in public places. That harm would disproportionately impact immigrants, communities of color, religious minorities, and other marginalized communities.

              In its final days, the Trump Administration failed to finalize the proposed rule. Civil liberties and immigrant rights organizations, including EFF, pushed hard during the transition period to rescind it. Last month, the Biden Administration did just that.

            • Instagram to Lean Into Video Amid “Stiff Competition” With TikTok, YouTube

              The videos that will start showing up in users’ feeds in the coming months will include recommended content from accounts users don’t already follow, with a new test feature being rolled out this week that will allow users to select topics that they want to see more or less of, Mosseri said.

            • “Artificial intelligence” for law enforcement? European Parliament‘s Home Affairs Committee calls for ban on biometric mass surveillance

              Patrick Breyer (Pirate Party), who was involved in the drafting of the report as shadow rapporteur for the Greens/EFA group, comments:

              “This report is a milestone in the fight against biometric mass surveillance in Europe, because for the first time a majority in the European Parliament wants to put an end to this total form of surveillance. Biometric and mass surveillance and behavioral prediction technology in our public spaces undermines our freedoms and threatens our open society. We cannot allow the discrimination of certain groups of people and the false incrimination of countless individuals by these technologies. The European Data Protection Supervisor has also recently spoken out in favour of a ban on biometric mass surveillance.

              I call on all citizens to put pressure on the EU by signing the European Citizens’ Initiative #ReclaimYourFace!“

            • Stanford researcher’s cryptography can preserve genetic privacy in criminal DNA profiling

              Crime scene DNA analysis can help identify perpetrators, but current methods may divulge the genetic information of innocent people. Cryptography can protect genetic privacy without hampering law enforcement, Stanford researchers say.

            • Phones with selfie cameras behind the screen could be coming soon

              The illusory all-screen phone design is no longer just a dream. iPhones have a notch at the top, whereas Android handsets come with hole-punch selfie cameras. These are necessary compromises between form and function. We need cameras and sensors on the front side of the screen, but we also want the display to occupy as much real estate as possible. The “perfect” smartphone design is already in development. More phones with cameras under the screen are coming this year, after the world’s first such device launched in 2020. But some handset vendors came up with a novel way to place the selfie camera behind the display.

            • Who in America is standing up to privacy-bothering facial-recognition tech? Maine is right now leading the pack • The Register

              The State of Maine has enacted what the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) describes as the strongest state facial-recognition law in the US amid growing concern over the unconstrained use of facial-recognition systems by the public and private sector.

              The Maine bill, LD 1585 [PDF], forbids state officials from using facial-recognition technology, or entering into agreements with third parties to do so, except under a relatively limited set of circumstances having to do with serious crimes and searches of vehicle registration data. It imposes the sort of broad limitations that civil liberties advocacy groups have been advocating.

              “Maine is showing the rest of the country what it looks like when we the people are in control of our civil rights and civil liberties, not tech companies that stand to profit from widespread government use of face surveillance technology,” said Michael Kebede, policy counsel at the ACLU of Maine, in a statement.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • In the Archive of the Filipino Revolution

        At 7 am on December 30, 1896, a 35-year-old ophthalmologist, bound at the elbows with four bayonets pointed at his back, walked onto the killing field in a military compound just outside the walled city of Manila. Hours earlier, in a detention cell, he had penned 14 melancholy yet triumphant stanzas, “Mi Ultimo Adios,” exalting God and motherland—the Philippines. He hid the poem inside a lamp, later remitted to his family among his other worldly possessions. In the morning before the last day of the year, the eye doctor met his execution squad.

      • The Insanity of Militarism From McCain to Flynn and Biden

        All of the idealism and discussion about the rules of war and atrocities were forgotten by many with the ease of a change in fashion. Being against war was no longer fashionable for some.

        Fast forward to the contemporary US where the military enjoys 89% approval. Two issues were recently raised, one about POWs during the Vietnam War and one about the reputation of a member of the Trump administration who received a pardon from Trump for lying to the FBI. The lies had to do with communicating with a Russian official, a whole other ball of wax that deserves separate treatment. The issue of POWs from the Vietnam War involves the late Senator John McCain, and the case of lying to the FBI and a presidential pardon involves retired General Michael Flynn.

      • Rep. Nikema Williams: I Experienced Capitol Attack on My 3rd Day in Congress. We Must Investigate.

        House lawmakers are set to vote to create a select committee that will investigate the deadly January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, while Republican leaders still aren’t saying whether they will participate in the panel. Congressmember Nikema Williams of Georgia says it’s vital to properly investigate the January 6 insurrection. “I experienced this attack on the Capitol my third day of being a member of Congress, having just been sworn in,” Williams says. “I signed up to serve the people, but I never imagined that I would be unsafe as a member of Congress.” Williams also discusses ongoing negotiations about infrastructure spending and the push to pass a sweeping voting rights bill.

      • The Human Cost of 10 Years of Conflict in Syria

        “Bombing, bombing, bombing”—that’s how Ahmad Yassin Leila recently described the whirlwind of destruction that met him and his young family as they sought shelter in Idlib, Syria, early last year. Leila, his wife, and their four children had come to Idlib after the Syrian government’s heavy artillery siege of their Damascus neighborhood of East Ghouta had forced them from their home years before. Since then, they had been on the run from the pervasive violence—shock waves, caved-in ceilings, flying shrapnel—that seemed to follow wherever they fled.1

      • As the Honduran Coup Turns 12, Human Life Is No More a Priority Than It Was Then

        Twelve years ago, in the wee hours of June 28, 2009, Manuel Zelaya, the president of Honduras, was abducted from his residence by heavily armed Honduran soldiers and carted off to Costa Rica in his pyjamas, never to be restored to his rightful post.

      • ‘Merciless War Criminal’ and Ex-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Dead at 88

        Donald Rumsfeld, the former U.S. congressman, aide to several Republican presidents, and two-time defense secretary whose torture-laden tenure and ruinous legacy were defined by his lies in service of an unending war that’s killed at least hundreds of thousands of people, died Tuesday at age 88.

        “Donald Rumsfeld is responsible for thousands and thousands of deaths and enriching himself in the process. The least we can do is to forever link his name with ‘war criminal.’”—Veterans for Peace

      • Over 110 Groups Urge Biden to End Unlawful Lethal Strikes

        Decrying the United States’ “forever wars” and their deadly consequences, a group of over 110 advocacy groups from around the world on Wednesday published an open letter imploring President Joe Biden to end airstrikes “outside any recognized battlefield” and “abandon this war-based approach and chart a new path forward that promotes and respects our collective human security.”

        The letter demands “an end to the unlawful program of lethal strikes outside any recognized battlefield, including through the use of drones,” that are “a centerpiece” of the so-called War on Terror and have “exacted an appalling toll on Muslim, Brown, and Black communities in multiple parts of the world.”

      • US ‘Intervention Has Directly Led to the Conditions Migrants Are Fleeing’

        Janine Jackson interviewed the Americas Program’s Laura Carlsen about Biden’s Central American policy for the June 25, 2021, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • As US Pivots from Afghanistan to Yemen, Al-Mahrah Copes with Increasing Military Presence

        Eastern Yemen has been largely spared the country’s grueling six-year war, with U.S. military personnel in the region, once a rare sight, garnering little more than a curious stare from the passing onlooker. But a new sense of anxiety has settled over the residents of the eastern Al-Mahrah Province amid stories of violent midnight raids by American and Saudi commandos and an increasingly visible U.S. military presence in the region.

      • Tigrayan forces have routed the Ethiopian army

        The recapture of Mekelle marks a turning point in an atrocity-filled war that Abiy had thought would last just a few weeks. It has not only scuppered Abiy’s attempt to bring Tigray to heel by force of arms, but also threatens to break up the fractious ethnic federation that makes up Africa’s second-most populous country.

      • China Blasts Japan After Official Sounds Beijing Threat ‘Wake Up’ Call

        He said Beijing had “lodged solemn representations” with Tokyo over Nakayama’s use of the word “country.”

      • Terrorism Spreading ‘Unabated’ Across Africa, Warns US Commander

        Around the same time, U.S. Africa Command began changing its language when talking about terror groups in Africa, speaking of “containing” rather than “degrading” them.

        This past November, the Pentagon’s inspector general was equally blunt in its final report on U.S. counterterrorism operations in Africa, warning that key terror groups, like the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab in Somalia and various affiliates of the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS or IS, were maintaining their strength if not growing.

    • Environment

      • ‘This Is the Climate Emergency’: Dozens of Sudden Deaths Reported as Canada Heat Hits Record 121°F

        Dozens of sudden-death calls that Vancouver authorities have received this week are believed to be tied to the dangerous heatwave currently scorching Canada and pushing temperatures to record levels, an event experts say is a direct result of the human-caused climate emergency.

        “We’re in a climate emergency that has never once been treated as an emergency.”—Greta Thunberg

      • Wall Street Sharks Are Out to Privatize, Commodify, and Profit From Our Water

        “The pump don’t work ’cause the vandals took the handles.” Thus sang Bob Dylan in 1965, and we can now clearly see those vandals: In addition to polluting corporations, they’re the national, state and local officials who have routinely failed over the years to prevent the waste and defilement of our water supply while also failing to budget for even minimal upkeep and modernization of water delivery. As a result, the system is badly broken.

      • California AG wants SEC to ‘use its regulatory authority’ on climate change

        The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) needs to draw on its regulatory authority and make companies disclose both their risks to climate change and impacts on it, California Attorney General Rob Bonta told The Hill’s Equilibrium.

        Bonta is one of 14 Democratic state attorneys general who are calling for the government’s corporate watchdog to establish a standard for firms when it comes to disclosing climate risk — part of a larger debate among investors, businesses and policy makers about how best to incorporate environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) concerns into the market.

      • The Climate Crisis is a Crime that Should be Prosecuted

        Every person on Earth today is living in a crime scene.

      • London Climate Action Week Risks Selling a Sham ‘Net Zero’ Vision

        This year’s London Climate Action Week marks a key moment in the run-up to November’s COP26 in Glasgow. Running from June 26 – July 4, you could be forgiven for thinking it was a festival on “net zero”. Search its website for the term and a whole host of events and organisations pop up, such as “Bankers for Net Zero”, or “Get Net Zero Right”, a town hall debate promising a “frank conversation”.

        “Net zero” is equally stamped all over international, EU and national climate policies. The UK was the world’s first major economy to sign-up to “net zero” by 2050, while the EU’s Green Deal is based on “net zero” by mid-century. Many are interpreting this to mean we are finally ready to follow the climate science and leave oil, coal and gas in the ground.

      • The Climate Crisis Is a Crime Story

        The crime in question is the fossil fuel industry’s 40 years of lying about climate change. Arguably the most consequential corporate deception in history, the industry’s lies have had the effect of blunting public awareness and governmental action against what scientists say is now a full-fledged climate emergency. As a candidate in 2020, Joe Biden said he would support efforts to prosecute the oil giants for their lies. It remains to be seen whether he will keep that promise.

        Journalists have dedicated years to documenting the crime scene evidence. Then, in 2015, the Los Angeles Times, Inside Climate News, and the Columbia Journalism School blew the case open by tracing the crime link to ExxonMobil, then the world’s largest oil company.

        Internal records showed that by the late 1970s, Exxon’s own scientists were briefing its top executives that man-made global warming was real, potentially catastrophic, and caused mainly by burning fossil fuels. Climate activists seized on the revelations, launching the hashtag #ExxonKnew.

      • Greenhouse gas emissions keep on rising at ‘alarming’ rate: study

        UNSW in a statement issued on Thursday points to a study published this week in Environmental Research Letters, with researchers showing that road transport, meat consumption and a global trend towards expanding floorspaces – otherwise the hallmarks of affluent economies – were big factors behind greenhouse gas increases while industry, agriculture and the energy systems continued to account for a substantial slab of the carbon emission total.

      • Australia court rules government has duty to protect youth from climate change

        The Federal Court of Australia ruled Thursday that the Minister for Environment, Sussan Ley, and the wider government, has a duty of care to protect Australia’s youth from the climate crisis.

        The landmark decision comes after eight Australian teenagers filed a claim with the Federal Court, seeking an injunction to “restrain an apprehended breach of the duty,” that they believed the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment owes them and other Australian children. As a result of the age of the applicants, the proceedings were brought by their representative, 86 year-old Sister Marie Brigid Arthur, who is a Sister of the Brigidine Order of Victoria.

      • Dozens of Sudden Deaths Reported as Canada Heat Hits a Record 121 Degrees
      • Sea Level Expert in Miami: “We Are Building Here Like There’s No Tomorrow — Maybe That’s Correct”

        As the death toll from the 13-story apartment building collapse in Florida rises to 12, with nearly 150 people still missing, we examine how the disaster raises new questions about how rising sea levels will impact oceanside buildings in Miami and other cities. “The reason this is so important is that either this is something unique to the building or this is a general problem that all the condos along the coasts of the world are going to have to deal with,” says Harold Wanless, a professor in geography and urban sustainability at the University of Miami who leads a project called The Invading Sea, a collaborative effort by news organizations across Florida to address the threat of sea level rise.

      • Extreme Heat in Portland Is an ‘Acute Disaster on Chronic Disaster’

        Portland, Ore.—By noon on Monday, the temperature in Portland was climbing up the triple digits, passing 104, then 106, on its way to a record high of 116—40 degrees higher than the average temperature for this time in June. Most of the city was in a daze, the streets quiet and nearly empty. But one block in the city’s southeast quadrant was busy with cars and people lining up at a shade tent to collect coolers full of water, Gatorade, and other supplies to bring to people living on the streets and in encampments throughout the city.

      • Progressives Decry ‘Foolish and Dangerous’ Approach of White House Climate Memo

        Climate activists and experts responded with alarm Wednesday to some parts of a White House memo, obtained and reported on by Axios, outlining Biden administration plans for climate and energy provisions in evolving budget reconciliation legislation.

        “The White House continually praises far-fetched, pro-industry projects like carbon capture as a viable solution to drastically reducing climate emissions. This approach is foolish and dangerous.”—Mitch Jones, Food & Water Watch

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • An Inequality Even Conservative Justices Can’t Swallow
      • Peter Thiel’s $5 Billion Roth IRA: Only the Size is News
      • This Company Got a $10 Million PPP Loan, Then Closed Its Plant and Moved Manufacturing Jobs to Mexico

        Late last summer, after churning along through the pandemic with only a two-week pause, managers at FreightCar America called hundreds of workers into the break area at the company’s factory near Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to tell them that the plant was closing for good.

        For some employees, the news wasn’t a shock: They’d been hearing rumors that management would move the work elsewhere for years. The timing, however, seemed odd. Only a few months earlier, the publicly traded company had received a $10 million Paycheck Protection Program Loan — the maximum amount available under a pandemic relief program designed to keep workers employed. Some had believed the funds would keep the doors open for a little while longer.

      • Loan forgiveness is a poor solution to the US student debt crisis

        Trillions of dollars have emerged from recent US stimulus packages and budget proposals, but student loan forgiveness has yet to be addressed. Still, the American people have not forgotten their new president’s campaign promises to solve the disaster of spiralling student debt.

      • Robinhood hit with record $70m bill by financial watchdog for outages, misleading investors • The Register

        Robinhood, the app that looks like the lovechild of a stock-trading platform and a video game, was hit with a record $70m bill by a US watchdog for causing investors to lose millions in total from misleading financial information and system outages.

        The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) ordered the software biz to cough up $57m in fines plus pay back $12.6m to customers to cover their losses with interest.

        “The fine imposed in this matter, the highest ever levied by FINRA, reflects the scope and seriousness of Robinhood’s violations, including FINRA’s finding that Robinhood communicated false and misleading information to millions of its customers,” Jessica Hopper, the head of FINRA’s Department of Enforcement, said in a statement.

      • One Of The Largest Holders Of Bitcoin Has Died At 41

        A Bitcoin holder, hodling over $1 billion worth of bitcoin is now reportedly dead leaving behind his virtual financial holdings. Guess he took hodl till I die literally. Bitcoin is the most expensive and popular cryptocurrency right now going for as much as 36,358 dollars at the time of the writing of this article. The currency has taken a lot of hits recently but is still a viable investment in every crypto enthusiast’s eye.


        He also showed support for open-source systems. When the open-source operating system Open BSD ran into funding issues, it was Popescu who donated around $20,000 to the non-profit foundation behind the project back in 2014. Most of what he said on the network was usually taken in a bad light and his threat of dumping 1 million bitcoins earned him the title of Father of Bitcoin Toxicity.

        Well, his warning did work as the network’s use of 1MB block sizes remained unchanged. While being one of the biggest bitcoin holders out there, Popescu was also the biggest supporter of cryptocurrency in general. His death will be mourned by every crypto investor out there.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Indigenous-Led Action Outside White House Urges Biden to ‘Protect People, Not Polluters’

        For the third straight day, climate action advocates descended on Washington, D.C. Wednesday—this time for an Indigenous-led demonstration demanding that President Joe Biden stand up “for the rights of our communities instead of doing the bidding of corporate polluters.”

        “If we can stop these pipelines, stop our dependence on oil and gas, and change to cleaner types of energy that are sustainable, it will protect the future.”—Crystal Cavalier-Keck, MVP opponent

      • ‘We Have to Make Our Nation Confront What It Doesn’t Want to Remember’

        On April 21, the Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Viet Thanh Nguyen sat for an extended Zoom chat with The Nation as part of the magazine’s biweekly Conversations series. Born in Vietnam and raised in the United States, where his family were resettled as refugees, Nguyen has become an essential literary voice—at once an eloquent champion of the displaced and a trenchant critic of empire.

      • Loony Economics: Republicans Blame Democrats for the Rise in Chipotle Burrito Prices

        Republicans have finally found an issue to run on in next year’s midterm elections. Apparently Dr. Seuss and Mr. Potato Head weren’t gaining enough traction…

      • Gonzo Governance

        The election of Donald Trump as President of the United States in 2016 and his defeat in 2020 launched destructive acts against democracy and civility. The former President followed a mediated self-aggrandizing script and narrative of destruction and salvation: He damaged the role and institution of a democratically elected president with Media Logic and the politics of fear and promoted himself as the salvation for the country. Gonzo Governance has continued as his claims, threats, destructive policies, and institutional changes in voting, managing elections, and the civic culture were adopted by members of Congress and state and local officials.

        His rise from a reality TV star to a disruptive President, and then his refusal to concede defeat in 2020, received extensive mass media and digital media coverage. Donald Trump spread fear and misinformation through thousands of lies and tweets. Media Logic refers to the way in which various media define, organize, and present material, as well as how audiences participate, expect, interpret, and use information. The media environment and new information technologies that are personal, visual, and instantaneous were foundational for audiences to be receptive to Trump’s nationalist slogans, derogatory epithets, memes, and politics of fear.

      • Clyburn Intervention Seen as Latest Salvo in Dem Establishment’s Bid to Stop Nina Turner

        Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, the third-ranking Democrat in the U.S. House, threw his support behind Shontel Brown on Tuesday in the race to fill the vacant seat in Ohio’s 11th Congressional District, the latest salvo in the party establishment’s effort to forestall the momentum of progressive firebrand Nina Turner.

        “People are chipping in $5, $10, $27 at a time because they know our grassroots movement cannot be stopped.”—Nina Turner

      • Blocking Biden

        – Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

        When I was a kid in sleep-away camp, I dreaded the onset of August because it meant we were nearing the end of a glorious summer and heading back home.

      • Biden and Trump: No COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Workers

        Biden became president on January 20, 2021. On January 21, Biden ordered the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to create emergency COVID safety standards for workplaces by mid-March.And then… nothing, for months.

        Finally, in June, Biden’s OSHA announced that the agency would issue an emergency COVID workplace safety standard, but only for healthcare workers.

      • Neoliberalism Has Depended on Huge Levels of Government Support for Its Entire Existence

        The most basic tenet undergirding neoliberal economics is that free market capitalism—or at least some close approximation to it—is the only effective framework for delivering widely shared economic well-being. On this view, only free markets can increase productivity and average living standards while delivering high levels of individual freedom and fair social outcomes: big government spending and heavy regulations are simply less effective.

      • 67 Republicans Join Democrats on Vote to Remove Confederate Statues From Capitol
      • Trump Ranks Last in “Moral Authority” in Survey of Presidents
      • Trump’s Company & Its CFO Will Be Formally Charged With Tax Crimes on Thursday
      • Backlash to Abortion Ban in New Hampshire Could Derail GOP Scheme to Flip Senate
      • Russian national jailed in Belarus asks Putin to revoke his citizenship

        Russian national Dmitry Popov, who is facing up to 15 years in prison in Belarus, has asked President Vladimir Putin to revoke his Russian citizenship. The appeal was included in a letter Popov sent to his sister from jail, and was published online by blogger Anton Motolko and RFE/RL’s Belarusian service. 

      • ‘Direct line’ 2021 Putin discusses Sputnik V, local issues, and more in annual call-in show

        Last year, President Vladimir Putin’s annual call-in show was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. But on Wednesday, June 30, the “direct line” made its return to national television. Despite some technical hiccups, Putin answered questions from Russian residents for four hours straight. Meduza watched the whole thing and summed up Putin’s most interesting remarks about vaccination against COVID-19, hyper-local issues, and his presidency, in a nutshell.

      • Former ‘Navalny Live’ director Alexey Yakovlev arrested at Moscow airport

        On the evening of June 30, Russian law enforcement detained Alexey Yakovlev, the former broadcast director for the YouTube channel “Navalny Live,” on board a plane that had just landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport.

      • Calls to Cancel Canada Day and Secure Justice for Indigenous People After Mass Graves Found

        A number of Canadian communities have answered calls to cancel Canada Day, the country’s annual celebration of its establishment as a country 154 years ago, following the discovery of nearly 1,000 unmarked graves on the grounds of residential schools for Indigenous children.

        “Indigenous people deserve more than words and promises. These horrific discoveries make it undeniably clear: the federal government has failed and is continuing to fail First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.”—Jagmeet Singh, New Democratic Party

      • Poll Finds Americans Want Dems to Push Forward With Original Infrastructure Bill
      • The Sunrise Movement Calls for a Better Infrastructure Deal

        “We don’t know what the House and the presidency and the Senate is going to look like in 2022 or 2024,” New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said to hundreds of young Sunrise Movement activists gathered in front of the White House on Monday. “What we know is that we’ve got an opening to tackle climate.”

      • Biden’s Infrastructure Deal Shows How ‘Bipartisanship’ is a DC Codeword for Continuation of the Center-Right Status quo

        This smug self-congratulation about bipartisanship speaks volumes about the trajectory that public policy formation in Washington has been taking for decades. For establishment Democrat Washington insiders like Biden, calling something ‘bipartisan’ seems to be the greatest complement one can pay a proposal. It’s not hard to see why: in a prevailing culture that constantly tells us how divided the country is, it provides a facile way of presenting oneself as a great statesman who’s able to bridge the bitter divides and put the interests of the nation above petty partisan squabbles. The master of this pose was, of course, Biden’s former senior running mate, Barack Obama, who waxed lyrical about his willingness to compromise with Republicans.

        The reality, however, is that bipartisanship is not only a tool for lazy posturing, but also stands as possibly the biggest impediment to enacting a radical agenda that breaks with the neoliberal status quo. After all, if the majority of people vote for one party and then that party compromises with the other that had only minority support, then you are thwarting the will of the majority and, in turn, undermining democracy. Keep in mind that this happens in an atmosphere that is already steeply tilted against majority rule and towards minority obstructionism of even modestly left-of-center policies. The Senate already gives disproportionate representation to small, white, and right-leaning states and, on top of that, has adopted an arcane set of rules surrounding the filibuster that requires a 60–40 supermajority for anything to pass.

      • Not your average 30-year-old Open Media profiles Russian defense minister’s younger daughter, examining her remarkable professional feats and penchant for leveraging dad’s influence and connections

        In a new investigative report published by Open Media, Ilya Rozhdestvensky profiles Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu’s daughter Ksenia, who is just 30 years old but oversees billions of rubles in investments and youth programs. According to Open Media’s findings, the entire Shoigu family leverages state funding and government connections in its business dealings. Meduza summarizes the story here.

      • Russia blacklists Khodorkovsky Foundation as ‘undesirable’

        The Russian Attorney General’s Office has recognized Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s eponymous, U.K.-registered foundation as “undesirable” in Russia, along with several other NGOs based in Britain and France. 

      • India says U.S. social media giants must obey its laws

        As acrimony grows with Indian authorities, Twitter faces at least five police cases in different states. Its non-compliance with new rules raised suggestions that Twitter may no longer enjoy legal protection in India over content posted by users.

        On Wednesday, an Indian state challenged in the Supreme Court a bar on police action against Twitter’s country head, Manish Maheshwari, after a lower court protected him against arrest over an accusation that the platform had been used to spread hate.

      • Iranian Disinformation Effort Went Small to Stay Under Big Tech’s Radar

        The channel and the message were secretly part of an Iranian disinformation campaign, according to Israeli disinformation researchers. Over several months, Iranian agents had infiltrated small WhatsApp groups, Telegram channels and messaging apps that Israeli activists used for intimate discussions among dozens to thousands of people.

        Once there, the agents shared polarizing images and text, and began to send direct messages to people within the groups. Their goal, most likely, was simply to cause trouble, and to make people in these otherwise trusting online communities wary of one another.

        The first-of-its-kind discovery of the Iranian campaign by FakeReporter, an Israeli disinformation watchdog group, offers insight into how countries have miniaturized their disinformation campaigns in an effort to stay under the radar of tech companies that have become more aggressive in rooting them out.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Russia’s censorship agency files claim against Telegram bot ‘Eye of God’

        Russia’s censorship agency, Roskomnadzor, has filed a claim against Evgeny Antipov — the founder of the popular Telegram bot “Eye of God,” which searches online databases for personal information.

      • Ninth Circuit Appeals Court Says Some Disturbing Stuff About Section 230 While Dumping Another Two ‘Sue Twitter For Terrorism’ Lawsuits

        In a very dense and somewhat counterintuitive opinion [PDF], the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has dumped two more of the dozens of bogus “sue social media companies for acts committed by terrorists” lawsuits. But it has kept one alive. Worse, the 167-page ruling comes with concurring opinions that suggest Ninth Circuit judges think Section 230 immunity is, on the whole, letting social media companies get away with too much bad stuff.

      • One Year In, Critics Say China’s National Security Law Has Undermined Hong Kong’s Core Values

        It has been one year since China officially implemented a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong, right before the anniversary of the island’s handover from British to Chinese rule on July 1.

        The wide-ranging law calls for the arrest and prosecution of those accused of jeopardizing China’s national security via subversion, terrorism, or collusion with foreign forces.

        In the year since, critics say the measure has undermined the city’s core values, including freedom of speech, democratic elections and rule of law.

      • New Florida Law Requires Ideology Surveys at Public Universities and Colleges
      • As Expected: Judge Grants Injunction Blocking Florida’s Unconstitutional Social Media Law

        I’m sorry, but those of you looking forward to riding the Friend Feed Flume at Zuckland or the Search Engine Shuffle at GooglePark are probably out of luck. Florida’s new social media law (and its theme park owner exemption) is not going to become law.

      • Florida’s Shameful, Recent Past Echoes in Desantis War on Academic Freedom

        Just two years ago, Florida state Rep. Evan Jenne introduced a resolution calling for what he called “a formal and heartfelt apology” to victims of one of the most shameful episodes in the modern history of the Sunshine State—a lengthy witch hunt by a legislative committee at the height of post-World-War-II McCarthyism that ruined the lives of university professors and members of the LGBTQ community, and targeted Black activists.

      • Judge blocks Trump-inspired Florida law cracking down on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube; DeSantis vows to appeal

        A federal judge on Wednesday night blocked a Florida law that would penalize social media companies for barring the speech of politicians, striking a blow to conservatives still fuming over the suspension of former President Donald Trump and allegations that Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube censor right-wing views.

        In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle of the Northern District of Florida said the law, which would have forced social media companies to allow speech even if it violated their rules, would likely be found unconstitutional.

      • Judge blocks Florida’s social media law

        SB 7072, signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in May, limits when web services can kick off users. It includes a ban on suspending or annotating the posts of political candidates, a requirement that users can “opt out” of algorithmic sorting systems, and an “antitrust violator blacklist” for companies that break the rules. As mentioned above, the rules don’t apply to “a company that owns and operates a theme park or entertainment complex,” placating media conglomerates like Disney.

      • Florida Can’t Punish Social Media for Candidate Bans, Judge Says

        Likening the state’s law to “burning the house to roast a pig,” U.S. District Judge Robert R. Hinkle in Tallahassee said the legislation passed by a Republican legislature and a priority of Governor Ron DeSantis, violates the companies’ free speech rights. [sic]

      • Judge blocks Florida social media law

        “Rather than preventing what it calls ‘censorship,’ the Act does the exact opposite: it empowers government officials in Florida to police the protected editorial judgment of online businesses that the State disfavors and whose perceived political viewpoints it wishes to punish,” the complaint from the companies says.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Celebrating the Holidays
      • Advocates Stand With Bill Cosby’s 60 Accusers After Sexual Assault Conviction Overturned

        Women’s rights advocates expressed solidarity on Wednesday with the 60 women who came forward to tell their stories of sexual abuse at the hands of Bill Cosby after the actor’s conviction was overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

        The seven-judge panel ruled that Cosby should not have been convicted in 2018 on three counts of aggravated indecent assault of his former mentee, Andrea Constand, due to a “non-prosecution agreement” he had reached earlier with a former prosecutor. 

      • How the “Abolition Amendment” Would End Constitutional Loophole That Allows Forced Labor in Prisons

        After President Biden signed legislation this month to create a federal holiday commemorating June 19 as Juneteenth, Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley and Georgia Congressmember Nikema Williams reintroduced what is being called the “Abolition Amendment” to amend the 13th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which banned slavery and involuntary servitude “except as a punishment for crime” — a clause that has allowed the widespread use of forced prison labor. “Eliminating the loophole … is one way to continue moving forward with addressing the problems of our past and building for the future,” says Democratic Congressmember Nikema Williams. “American prisons are run by incarcerated labor,” adds Jorge Renaud, national criminal justice director for LatinoJustice, who experienced forced labor while serving 27 years in a Texas prison.

      • Maya Schenwar Says Defunding the Police Might Have Saved Her Sister’s Life
      • Maya Schenwar’s Sister Died of an Overdose. She Says Defunding the Police Might Have Saved Her

        As the U.S. marks 50 years since President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs on June 17, 1971, we speak with journalist Maya Schenwar, editor-in-chief of the news website Truthout, whose sister Keeley died of a drug overdose in February 2020 at the age of 29. Schenwar says her sister’s death came after “a long cycle of criminalization” that made her chances of recovery much harder. “She became so afraid of being rearrested,” says Schenwar, who notes that many drug users avoid seeking medical help because of the fear of police involvement and incarceration. “Why are we supporting criminalization at the expense of people’s actual survival?” she asks. Drug overdoses have soared during the pandemic, causing over 92,000 deaths in the United States in the 12-month period ending in November — the most since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began keeping track over two decades ago. Experts say the pandemic and the increasing availability of synthetic opioids such as fentanyl have contributed to the death toll.

      • Nearly 200 unmarked graves found near Canada residential school

        The community of ʔaq’am, one of four bands in the Ktunaxa Nation, used ground-penetrating technology to uncover the gravesites close to the former St Eugene’s Mission School near Cranbrook, British Columbia.

        Some remains were found in shallow graves, only 3-4ft deep, the Lower Kootenay Band said in a statement.

        ` St Eugene’s was operated by the Catholic Church from 1912 until the early 1970s. It was one of more than 130 compulsory boarding schools funded by the Canadian government and run by religious authorities during the 19th and 20th Centuries with the aim of forcibly assimilating indigenous youth.

      • EFF30 Fireside Chat: Founders Edition

        As an end to EFF’s year-long celebration of our 30th anniversary, join us for a candid live discussion with some of our founders and early board members. EFF’s Executive Director, Cindy Cohn will be joined with Esther Dyson, Mitch Kapor, John Gilmore, and Steve Wozniak to discuss a variety of topics from EFF’s origin story and its role in digital rights to where EFF is as an organization today.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Ohio Republicans Forced To Back Off Unpopular Ban On Community Broadband

        Ohio Republicans have been forced to back off an attempt to ban community broadband networks in the state after massive public opposition. As we recently noted, state Republicans included a last-hour amendment to a state budget bill (at AT&T and Charter’s behest) that would have effectively outlawed community and municipal broadband. Such networks are an organic, grass roots response to market failure at the hands of regional telecom monopolies. And instead of addressing them by offering better, cheaper service, giant ISPs often find it’s cheaper to just lobby state and federal lawmakers.

      • The Senate Bill C-10 Debate Concludes: “I Don’t Think This Bill Needs Amendments. It Needs a Stake Through the Heart.”

        After months of Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault invoking the names of cultural lobby groups as evidence of support for Bill C-10, it took one of Canada’s most celebrated authors to set the record straight and bring the debate to a close.

    • Monopolies

      • ‘Ridiculous’: Amazon Derided for Calling on Lina Khan to Recuse From Antitrust Probes

        Amazon filed a petition Wednesday seeking the recusal of newly confirmed Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan from any antitrust probes involving the tech behemoth, arguing that Khan’s past work criticizing the company means she cannot oversee such investigations in an impartial manner.

        “Amazon is going to pursue every single angle they can invent to try to dodge scrutiny.”—Stacy Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

      • Warren Urges Investigation Into Potential Antitrust Practices by Google
      • Setbacks in the FTC’s Antitrust Suit Against Facebook Show Why We Need the ACCESS Act

        The federal court in DC ruled narrowly that the FTC hadn’t included enough detail in its complaint about Facebook’s monopoly power, and gave it 30 days to do so.  That alone was troubling, but probably not fatal to the lawsuit. A more ominous problem came in what lawyers call dicta: the court opined that even if Facebook had monopoly power, its refusal to interoperate with competing apps was OK. This decision highlights many of the difficulties we face in applying current antitrust law to the biggest Internet companies, and shows why we need changes to the law to address modern competition problems caused by digital platform companies like Facebook.

        When the FTC filed its suit in December 2020, and 48 U.S. states and territories filed a companion suit, we celebrated the move, but we predicted two challenges: 1) proving that Facebook has monopoly power and 2) overcoming Facebook’s defenses around preserving its own ability and incentives to innovate. Yesterday’s decision by Judge James E. Boasberg of the Federal District Court for D.C. touched on both of those.

        To make a case under the part of antitrust law that deals with monopolies—Section 2 of the Sherman Act—a plaintiff has to show that the accused company is a monopoly, legally speaking, or trying to become one. And being a monopoly doesn’t just mean being a really large company or commanding a lot of public attention and worry. It means that within some “market” for goods or services, the company has a large enough share of commerce that the prices it charges, or the quality of its products, aren’t constrained by rivals. Defining the market is a hugely important step in monopoly cases, because a broad definition could mean there’s no monopoly at all.

      • Congressional Leadership Realizing That ‘Big Tech’ Antitrust Bills Aren’t Ready For Prime Time

        As you’ve now heard, there’s a big push in Congress to revise how antitrust works. A group of mostly Democratic House members (with a few Republicans on board) introduced a questionable package of antitrust bills, with many, many problems. There were some good ideas (such as better funding of the FTC) and some more creative ideas (such as around interoperability), but done in such ham-fisted ways that they would cause a lot more harm than good. We’ve noted how the bills would create massive problems for content moderation, and raise related speech issues.

      • Techdirt Podcast Episode 288: Rep. Zoe Lofgren Sees Problems On Every Page Of These Antitrust Bills

        We’ve been talking a lot about the huge effort in Congress to pass new antitrust laws targeting big tech companies, and all the issues these proposals have. This week, we’ve got an insider perspective on just what’s going on with antitrust in the House: Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who called out many of the deficiencies in the bills during last week’s marathon markup session, joins us for a discussion all about the many, many problems in all five proposed antitrust bills.

      • Congress Faces Renewed Pressure to ‘Modernize Our Antitrust Laws’

        But technology giants like Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple, which dominate e-commerce, social networks, online advertising and search, have risen in ways unforeseen by the laws. In recent decades, the courts have also interpreted the rules more narrowly.

      • Amazon says new FTC chair shouldn’t regulate it because she’s too mean

        It’s unlikely that Amazon’s petition will succeed. Recusal petitions against FTC commissioners are rarely successful, and it’s common for an FTC chair to have previously worked for nonprofit groups or as a congressional staffer. The petition highlights an unusually high number of public editorials by Khan, but even those are well within the limits of political commentary.

      • Google and Microsoft end their five-year cease-fire
      • Patents

        • Lithium Australia’s first generation LieNA® processing technology to receive patent from European Patent Office [Ed: Many if not (soon) most patents granted by the EPO are nowadays not in compliance with the law and would not be upheld by courts, so what's really being celebrated here?]
        • EPO-IEA study: Rapid rise in battery innovation playing key role in clean energy transition [Ed: Notice how criminals who run the European Patent Office (EPO) still piggyback the International Energy Agency (IEA) for greenwashing and whitewashing puff pieces]

          Electricity storage inventions show annual growth of 14% over past decade, joint study by European Patent Office (EPO) and International Energy Agency (IEA) finds

        • Patent and design protection not mutually exclusive – “Paper Dispenser” decision of the German Federal Court of Justice [Ed: They'll grant patents on a pile of shit as soon as they're done with toilet roll patents (and related 'innovation')]

          The German Federal Court of Justice (“BGH”) held in its decision “Papierspender” (“Paper Dispenser”) that a Community design was not automatically caught by the functionality provision of the Community Design Regulation because it had appeared in a patent application. The decision highlights the importance for product developers to keep detailed records, already during product development, as to why a particular visual appearance of the product was chosen.

          In the decision of 7 October 2020, the BGH annulled the appeal court’s judgment that had found the community design No. 001344022-0006 invalid. Functionality was not proven by the mere fact that the product appeared in a patent application as a patent application does not contain considerations as to the visual appearance of the product, but only describes its technical function. Now the case is back at the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court.


          Developing this further, the BGH has now decided that the mere fact that a patent has been requested for the product at issue is not compelling evidence that its features were solely dictated by the technical function, nor was it necessary to prove an “aesthetic excess” as the Appeal Court Dusseldorf seemed to require.

          Of course a patent application may serve as an indication of functionality in the overall assessment under art. 8(1) CDR as to whether the appearance of the features is dictated by the technical function. That is not contrary to the principle that different forms of IP protection can coexist. That said, the mere existence of a patent application cannot prove functionality, and neither the absence of considerations regarding the visual appearance of the product nor the presence of considerations regarding its technical function in the patent application indicate functionality. After all, it is the sole objective of a patent application to describe the technical function and not the visual appearance of the product.

        • In-house debate remote relationships after COVID [Ed: Conflating predation with "relationships"]

          Five in-house counsel weigh in on the importance of in-person interactions and how private practice lawyers can make the most out of virtual connections

        • PTO Director Review Process following Arthrex [Ed: The patent extremists still try to find a way to destroy and obliterate PTAB for weeding out fake patents]

          The request must be filed within 30-days of the PTAB’s final written decision or rehearing decision. The Agency has indicated that a request for review by the USpTO Director will be considered a request for rehearing under 37 C.F.R. 90.3(b) — that means that no appeal to the Federal Circuit will be due until after the Director acts on the request. In the short-term, the Office is not charging a fee for the request, but a fee will be added.

          Request vs Petition: I’m not sure why, but the PTO is not identifying the Request for Review as a Petition for Review.

          Pop-Panels and Ex Parte Proceedings: The Supreme Court identified inter partes review as demanding a process for PTO Director Review. However, it is clear that this extends to Post-Grant and Covered-Business-Method Reviews. It is unclear though whether it will extend to reexaminations or ordinary ex parte examination. I’m sure that the Director will still receive those petitions this month. The Office created Precedential Opinion Panels (POP) as a mechanism for giving the PTO Director more direct control over PTAB precedent. The Agency has indicated that the POP system remains in place for now, but is could be eliminated in favor of the simpler system of director review.

        • Patent eligibility of diagnostic methods in Australia confirmed: Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc v Sequenom, Inc [2021] FCAFC 101

          For many years, the following question awaited judicial determination under Australian law: is a DNA-based diagnostic method patent eligible subject matter? For this reason, the case of Sequenom, Inc. v Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. has been watched closely as it played out around the world: from the US, to the UK, and now, at last, Australia. In exciting news for life sciences innovators, the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia has confirmed that diagnostic methods involving the practical application of “natural phenomena” can be patentable inventions in Australia.

          We have previously reported on the US decision of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc. 788 F.3d 1371 (Fed. Cir. 2015), which held that the claims in suit to prenatal diagnostic methods were patent ineligible because they began and ended with a natural phenomenon. We have also previously reported on the decisions of the High Court of Australia in D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc [2015] HCA 35 (Myriad), which held that the claims-in-suit to isolated nucleic acids were not directed to patent eligible subject matter, and in Apotex Pty Ltd v Sanofi-Aventis Australia Pty Ltd & Ors [2013] HCA 50 (Apotex), which held that methods of medical treatment are patent eligible subject matter.


          In line with our previous discussion of the NRDC Factors and the Myriad Factors, Justice Beach concluded that the invention fell clearly within the concept of a manner of manufacture as outlined in National Resource Development Corporation v Commissioner of Patents [1959] HCA 67 (NRDC): the claimed invention was a product or process made by human intervention, which had economic utility. Justice Beach went on to consider the additional factors set out in Myriad, even though he did not consider it necessary as he found that the claims to the prenatal diagnostic method did not involve a significant new application or extension of the concept of manner of manufacture.

          On appeal in Sequenom FCAFC, the appellants contended that the Patent claimed “a mere discovery of a naturally occurring phenomenon” (the discovery being the fact that cell free foetal DNA (cffDNA) from maternal plasma or serum is a source of foetal DNA), not a method involving a practical application that goes beyond the discovery itself, and, as a result, there was no artificially created state of affairs arising from the invention as claimed. In a related submission, the appellants contended that, properly understood, the end result of each claim is information only and, accordingly, not an artificially created state of affairs. Based on these arguments, the appellants claimed the invention was not a manner of manufacture, and therefore not patent eligible.

        • Munich Regional Court upholds AASI application against Huawei

          The Munich Regional Court last week gave IP Bridge the green light to proceed against Huawei with three lawsuits based on standard essential mobile phone patents. The judges rejected Huawei’s opposition to an AASI (case ID: 7 O 36/21). Under German law, parties can oppose an AASI judgment at the same chamber before appealing it at a higher court.

          The Munich Regional Court considers it likely that Huawei will file an anti-suit injunction with a Chinese court in order to prevent IP Bridge from making SEP claims in Germany. However, the Chinese mobile giant has not yet applied for such an ASI in China or elsewhere.


          Under German law, the legal basis for an AASI without an ASI is the so-called ‘danger of imminent action’ (in German: Begehungsgefahr). The Munich judges have thus confirmed IP Bridge’s right to enforce its IP rights in Germany, regardless of whether another court prohibits the NPE from doing so.

          The AASI dispute stems back to three patent infringement suits filed by IP Bridge in Munich based on standard-essential mobile phone patents (EP 17 88 782 B1, EP 22 94 737 B1, EP 21 24 463 B1). IP Bridge and Huawei are currently exchanging pleadings in these cases. Oral proceedings will not start until autumn. IP Bridge has filed an application for a global FRAND licence at the UK High Court in London.

        • Double take: Enlarged Board of Appeal confirms in G 4/19 that patent applications can be refused on the basis of double patenting [Ed: The Enlarged Board of Appeal is crooked and basically controlled by the people whom it’s supposed to judge; funny how law firms never want to mention this]

          Although it is established practice at the European Patent Office (EPO) that two patents cannot be granted to the same applicant for the same subject matter, the exact legal mechanism for refusing grant of patents on this basis was previously unclear.

          In G 4/19, the Enlarged Board of Appeal held that Article 125 EPC (which relates to taking into account law generally recognised in contracting states of the EPC) provides the legal mechanism for refusing grant of patents under Article 97(2) EPC.

          The Board also held that patents can be refused for double patenting, regardless of whether they are (1) two applications filed on the same day, (2) parent and divisional applications or (3) an application and its priority application.

          Rather disappointingly, the Board did not answer the final question referred in T 0318/14 as to whether an applicant had a “legitimate interest” in obtaining grant of a second application directed to the same subject matter as the first due to the resulting second patent having a later date of expiry.

        • Supreme Court Says Patent Review Judges Are Unconstitutional, But It Can Be Fixed If USPTO Director Can Overrule Their Decisions

          As you may recall, a few weeks ago I wrote about how Congress was asking the GAO to investigate whether the director of the US Patent & Trademark Office had been interfering in determinations made by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB). I’m not going to go into all of the background again (please read the original for that), but under the America Invents Act, a process for reviewing patents after they were granted was set up, known as the Inter Partes Review (IPR) process. This was important, because the granting of patents is a non-adversarial process, where patent examiners are not given very much time to actually review everything. So the IPR process allowed those (especially those with prior art) to kick off a process by which the PTAB would recheck to see if the original examiner made a mistake in granting a 20 year monopoly to someone.

        • Software Patents

          • Dolby Labs patent determined to be likely invalid

            On June 17, 2021, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) instituted trial on all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 10,237,577. The IPR was filed as a part of Unified’s ongoing efforts in its SEP Video Codec Zone. Formerly owned by Intellectual Discovery Co. Ltd., the ‘577 patent is currently owned by Dolby Laboratories. The patent is a part of the HEVC Advance patent pool and HEVC Advance claims that certain claims of the ’577 patent are essential to the HEVC standard.

          • PacSec3 ’497 reexamination request granted

            On June 17, 2021, 6 weeks after Unified filed an ex parte reexamination, the USPTO granted Unified’s request, finding substantial new questions of patentability on all challenged claims of U.S. Patent 7,523,497, owned by PacSec3, an NPE. PacSec3 was formed in 2020 with NACAR IP LLC as its managing member. NACAR IP was also formed in early 2020 with Dynamic IP Deals, LLC (d/b/a DynaIP), a patent monetization company, identified as its managing member. The ‘497 patent has been asserted against F5 Networks, NetScout Systems, Palo Alto Networks, McAfee, Cisco, and Juniper Networks.

      • Copyrights

        • Comcast Suspends Internet Connection For Downloading Torrents

          According to an alert issued in response to repeated allegations of copyright infringement, Comcast has suspended an Xfinity account for eight hours, warning that a further breach would result in 12 hours of downtime. In response to additional complaints, Comcast warns that the account could be terminated.

        • Nintendo Fears Relaunch of Pirate Site So Asks for Legal Protection

          Nintendo won a $2.1 million summary judgment against the operator of the pirate site RomUniverse last month. The California federal court denied a permanent injunction, however, noting that the site had already shut down. Nintendo now asks the court to reconsider this decision, as there are signs that RomUniverse may relaunch after all.

        • Did The Supreme Court Just Take A Sledge Hammer To Copyright’s Statutory Damages?

          Last week, in a somewhat controversial decision in the TransUnion v. Ramirez case, the Supreme Court ruled, 5 to 4, that plaintiff’s in a class action lawsuit did not have standing to sue under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FRCA). The issue may seem wholly unrelated from copyright, but in reading through the decision, it’s possible it could lead to a vastly different world for copyright going forward, because the same issues that the Court finds fault with in the FRCA also apply to copyright law — and, indeed, it’s the part of copyright law that is most widely abused in lawsuits.

EPO Run by Completely and Totally Incompetent and Irresponsible People

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

It’s quite the miracle (or outcome of diplomatic immunity) that this tactless cabal still runs Europe’s second-largest institution

EPO's violations of German directives
Leading by example? Last autumn’s photo reveals violations of German directives.

Summary: The EPO‘s union expresses concerns about the EPO’s tactless (as always) approach towards COVID-19

The EPO’s Staff Union (SUEPO) has circulated a document among members, taking note of the improper attitude of António Campinos, who has long created blunder after blunder in the wake of coronavirus crisis. The Central Committee of SUEPO amicably contacted Team Campinos, but as always it falls on deaf ears. Campinos is a carbon copy of Benoît Battistelli, with a change in hue, at best. They promote the same agenda typically with the very same tactics. It took Campinos just a couple of years to effectively blacklist SUEPO (it took longer for Battistelli to do the same!) and as the letter below shows, he’s already an empty suit, a worthless manager who conflates rubber-stamping (approving more and more monopolies) with “success”.

“The public needs to see what a bunch of reckless and incompetent people control Europe’s largest patent office and Europe’s second-largest institution overall.”In its message to members, the Central Committee of SUEPO says: “In this letter addressed to the Members of the Administration Council, SUEPO invites the delegations to check whether this continued policy of the Office is in line with the orientations of the Council.”

The letter is reproduced below as HTML, with our comment added below it. The public needs to see what a bunch of reckless and incompetent people control Europe’s largest patent office and Europe’s second-largest institution overall. Every experienced (senior) examiner would have done a better job than those so-called ‘managers’ (whom examiners aptly refer to as “Mafia”).

Here is the letter to Members of the Administration Council:


To: AC delegations
Cc: president@epo.org, council@epo.org

Extension of Covid-19 measures at the EPO despite relaxation in host states

Dear Members of the Administrative Council,

In its Communiqué of 25 June 2021 (see Annex 1), the Office has announced the extension of the Covid-19 measures until 31 January 2022. As far as is known, a first reassessment will only take place mid-September. Until then, the allowed occupancy of EPO buildings remains set at a maximum of 15%. The canteens (except in The Hague), cafeteria and Amicale sports facilities remain closed. It will remain difficult and unattractive for EPO staff to come back to the buildings for the months to come.

The staff representation had requested from the Office that it follows the relaxation of Covid-19 measures currently performed in host states (e.g. see Annex 2) with due respect to Article 20 PPI. Unfortunately, such requests were rejected.

We kindly invite the delegations to check whether this continued policy of the Office is in line with the orientations of the Council.

SUEPO Central


1. Communiqué of 25-06-2021, “More vaccination slots & updated measures”
2. Letter from the Local Staff Committee Munich to Ms Simon (VP4), “On Covid-19 measures at the EPO” (sc21012ml)

Here is the first annex (referred to above):


More vaccination slots & updated measures

Home → Organisation → DG 0 → PD Communication → Announcements → 2021

More vaccination slots & updated measures


For colleagues and their families wishing to be vaccinated in Munich & Berlin

More vaccination slots for active staff and their families available

The EPO vaccination campaign at our sites in Germany has started, with 500 vaccination slots already offered to staff in Germany. As there is sufficient vaccine available, staff in Berlin and in Munich can now register family members to be vaccinated, too (spouse, partner, dependants above 18 years of age). This is an exceptional offer to ensure that all available vaccine doses are used. Family members should bring along their ID, paperwork, and vaccination booklet to their appointment.

Please regularly check this list for remaining availability if you would like a vaccination but have not yet registered. More slots are being opened for next week (Wednesday 30 June to Friday 2 July). The general requirements for participation in the vaccination programme are:

- You have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccination
- You undertake to have both vaccinations carried out by the EPO, at the same site.
- If you have a medical condition, are currently using medication, or have had adverse reactions to previous inoculations, we advise you to be vaccinated at your doctor’s practice or medical centre.

You can find further details for being vaccinated in Berlin and Munich here.

Measures to keep all colleagues safe and healthy

Quarantine measures and travel

You are no longer required to comply with EPO-wide rules on quarantine when returning from travelling. In order to provide greater clarity when returning from travels, all colleagues are simply required to comply with national rules and measures relating to quarantine and travelling. When travelling this summer, colleagues are urged to be prudent given the evolution of the pandemic and the risk of infection that still persists. Colleagues are also asked to ensure that they have the ability to work remotely in the eventuality that their plans to return from leave are impacted by evolutions in the pandemic and interruptions to travel.

Measures to remain in force

Please note that measures to fight coronavirus at the EPO are foreseen to remain in place until 31 January 2022. Please be reminded that we need to be patient and cautious to succeed in fighting coronavirus and that we are employing a prudent and careful approach in order to protect the health of all our colleagues. While many staff members have received the vaccination, many have not been vaccinated against an infection that can be fatal.

The maximum occupancy rate at all buildings will therefore continue to be 15% for the foreseeable future. Colleagues should continue to work from home. However, the situation will be reassessed in mid-September. Any increases in the maximum limit will be implemented gradually and as conditions allow.

In the event that you have to come to the Office, please observe the golden rules and occupancy rates; and be sure to always wear an FFP2, a surgical mask or any kind of non-medical, three layer disposable mask in all public areas, as well

as any other instances when social distancing requirements cannot be met.

Further information

You can find links to the official communications of EPO host countries on the Strong together pages.



The second annex:

Date: 22.06.2021

European Patent Office | LSC Munich | GERMANY

Ms Nellie Simon

Subject: On Covid-19 measures at the EPO

Dear Ms Vice President,

We are writing to you in your capacity as site manager of Munich City.

Reopening of Canteens. The Local Staff Committee Munich has received a significant number of requests from colleagues in Munich asking for the re-opening of canteens. During the summer of 2020 the service provided by the personnel from Leonardi was greatly appreciated by the staff. This brought a sense of normality after a difficult period caused by the Covid-19 restrictions both at home and at the office.

Unfortunately, after a short while, all the canteens were closed. Because of this decision, the colleagues working from their office were forced to fetch lunch from nearby restaurants, thereby unnecessarily exposing themselves to the virus.

Resume activities provided by Amicale Clubs. Furthermore, staff would like to resume with the activities provided by Amicale clubs. The inability to practice group sports, meditation, and other mentally easing activities has had a major impact on their ability to cope with stress and to durably concentrate at work, leading to reduced effectiveness.

Reopening showers. To avoid using public transport as a source of infection with the COVID-19 virus, numerous staff members cycle to work. Access to showers is hence unarguably necessary in at least in one of the buildings.

Nonetheless, the staff has continuously performed well, despite the restrictions.

According to the 3G concept Geimpft, Getestet oder Genesen the LSC Munich is proposing a reopening of the canteens, sports and showers facilities.

To be consistent with Article 20 PPI, we would like to refer to regulations issued by two Bayerische Staatsministeriums (link and link). The LSC Munich notes that within this Rahmenhygienekonzept it would be possible to re-open some of the above-mentioned facilities in Munich City.

Moreover, given the size of the rooms (inter alia the gym at BT8 or the Amicale room for smaller groups) the sports activities can take place in full compliance with hygiene standards in Bavaria as of today, when setting the appropriate rules and limits in accordance with the above-mentioned Rahmenhygienekonzept.

As increasingly more colleagues get vaccinated, the reasons for restrictions inside the office buildings need, in our opinion, to be reevaluated.

We gratefully acknowledge the Health & Safety department’s periodic reviews and its intention to give an update on the sports and canteen facilities at the office at the next LOHSEC meeting in June ‘21. In order to provide a complete picture, we ask the Administration to communicate to us the conditions under which rooms or gym areas can be reopened.

We further suggest linking any relaxation or tightening of restrictive measures to the publicly known incidence rate of new infections, like the state and federal governments do (expressed as n / 100.000). Beside strengthening the efforts on the protective side, it would have the advantage of staff being able to prepare in advance, much like under the present teleworking scheme. Thus, the first and second thresholds of n=35, respectively n=50 should find application in the same way in the EPO than outside of its premisses.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Alex Kemény
Chairman of the Local Staff Committee

While it’s unclear whether Nellie Simon is even based on Munich (some of the high-level managers have used the pandemic to go on holiday; barely even online, managing in absentia), it remains to be seen what happens next. It has been over a week and talking to EPO managers expecting any form of empathy is like speaking to a wall. Nellie Simon was not selected to support her staff but to support her friend.

EPO Referral Case G 1/21: It’s Popcorn Time!

Posted in Europe, Patents at 7:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The EPO shitshow

Summary: In the referral case G 1/21, proceedings are due to resume on 2 July 2021

At the EPO, proceedings are due to resume shortly in the case G 1/21. That’s less than 24 hours from now.

This is the controversial high profile referral case where the legitimacy of mandatory ViCo hearings without the consent of the parties is being challenged.

The proceedings were adjourned following a first mandatory ViCo hearing held on 28 May.

The next hearing – likewise by mandatory ViCo – is due to take place on Friday, 2 July.

In the meantime, the Enlarged Board of Appeal has issued the minutes [PDF] of the previous hearing of 28 May and an interlocutory decision [PDF] on the partiality objections discussed during that hearing.

At the same time, the appellant has filed its response to the comments of the President of the Office.

There isn’t really any new information in the minutes of the hearing of 28 May and the associated interlocutory decision merely confirms what was already suspected, namely the dismissal of the appellant’s partiality objections relied on formalistic “legal sophistry” which were used by the Enlarged Board to avoid any engagement with the substance of those objections.

“At the same time, the appellant has filed its response to the comments of the President of the Office.”The remainder of this update will focus on the response to the comments of the President of the Office submitted on behalf of the appellant by its representatives from the Munich-based law firm, Isarpatent.

The appellant’s written submission [PDF] begins by recalling that well-founded concerns exist regarding the conduct of oral proceedings by videoconference without the consent of the parties. Such an approach is incompatible with the right to oral proceedings as enshrined in Article 116 (1) EPC.

Reference is made to the interlocutory decision T 1807/15 [PDF] which triggered the referral procedure G 1/21. This interlocutory decision provides a thorough analysis of the different approaches for interpreting the term “oral proceedings” as used in Article 116 EPC. These approaches include considering the case law of the Boards of Appeal, literal and systematic interpretations, supplementary means of interpretation such as the Travaux preparatoires of the EPC, teleological interpretation, subsequent agreements and dynamic interpretation.

None of these approaches leads to an interpretation of Article 116 EPC which would support the proposition that it is lawful to hold oral proceedings by videoconference without the consent of the parties.

According to the appellant’s representatives, the comments by the President of the Office fail to dispel the aforementioned concerns.

“None of these approaches leads to an interpretation of Article 116 EPC which would support the proposition that it is lawful to hold oral proceedings by videoconference without the consent of the parties.”The appellant’s written submission proceeds to recapitulate the approaches for the interpretation of the term “oral proceedings” as used in Article 116 EPC based on literal and systematic interpretation, supplementary means of interpretation, teleological interpretation and dynamic interpretation.

Reference is made in this regard to an amicus curiae brief submitted by VPP [PDF] – a German association of “intellectual property experts” – together with an associated legal opinion authored by Alexandra Speer and Ronja Schregle of the Department of Corporate and Intellectual Property Law at the Technical University of Munich School of Management.

The appellant’s representatives also address the question of “dynamic interpretation” which is a relatively recent addition to the Enlarged Board’s repertoire of legal fudge techniques. Here the appellant argues that it is doubtful as to whether “secondary legislation” (in the form of an amendment to the Rules of Procedure of the Boards of Appeal) could provide “a valid ground for a dynamic interpretation limiting substantial procedural rights” which are anchored in the primary law of the European Patent Convention itself.

Specific reference is made in this regard to Article 164 (2) EPC which stipulates that “[i]n case of conflict between the provisions of this Convention and those of the Implementing Regulations, the provisions of this Convention shall prevail”. This provision “has to be taken as a limitation of the legislative powers of the Administrative Council”.

“…changes in member states’ authorities and judicial systems do not go as far as holding videoconferences against the will of the parties to the proceedings or without their consent, not even in the exceptional circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic.”The appellant’s representatives also discuss the differences between proceedings before first instance examination and opposition Divisions and proceedings before the Boards of Appeal. Here it is explained that appeal proceedings are wholly separate and independent from the proceedings at first instance and their function is to give a judicial decision upon the correctness of a preceding decision taken by an administrative department.

In appeal proceedings the principle of party disposition is to be considered when summoning to oral proceedings. Thus, even if one would follow the President’s comments that the administrative character of proceedings before examining and opposition divisions must be taken into account in the interpretation of Article 116 EPC, such considerations cannot apply to judicial appeal procedures before the Boards of Appeal. Such a different interpretation is supported by the different legal principles underlying the appeal proceedings.

The appellant’s representatives also refer to “societal developments in the Contracting States, which might arguably justify adapting the interpretation of the term «oral proceedings’”. Here it is noted that the use and societal acceptance of videoconferencing technology has increased during the coronavirus pandemic.

“…if a party objects to oral proceedings being held using videoconferencing technology, the court cannot force the party to use that format.”However, changes in member states’ authorities and judicial systems do not go as far as holding videoconferences against the will of the parties to the proceedings or without their consent, not even in the exceptional circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic.

Section 128a of the German Code of Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordnung), stipulates that courts can order proceedings to be held in the form of a videoconference. However, the court itself must sit in a courtroom, and the parties (or their representatives) are entitled to appear in the courtroom. Therefore, if a party objects to oral proceedings being held using videoconferencing technology, the court cannot force the party to use that format.

“…oral proceedings by videoconference without the consent of the party would violate the provisions of the German constitution.”According to a legal opinion [PDF] by Prof. Siegfried Broß – a former judge at the German Federal Constitutional Court and long-time critic of the EPO’s legal “no-man’s land” of Battistelli – oral proceedings by videoconference without the consent of the party would violate the provisions of the German constitution.

Reference is also made to an amicus curiae brief submitted by Meissner Bolte [PDF], major German law firm specialising in the area of “industrial property right protection” which has been highly critical of the EPO’s attempts to impose mandatory ViCo hearings.

The submission concludes by drawing attention to relevant decisions from national courts in Switzerland and France:

In Switzerland, the Federal Supreme Court (Schweizer Bundesgericht) recently decided that a lower court had no legal basis to order a video conference against the will of the parties. In particular, the Supreme Court ruled that it was not permissible to rely on the extraordinary situation resulting from the coronavirus pandemic as a justification for such measures.

In France, the Constitutional Court (Conseil d’État) decided that oral proceedings by videoconference without consent of the party amounted to “a serious and manifestly illegal infringement of … the right to a fair trial”.

In essence, the appellant’s position is that Article 116 EPC guarantees the right of the parties to be heard at in-person oral proceedings. Holding oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference without the parties’ consent is incompatible with the EPC and violates the legitimate expectation of a party to proceedings before the EPO that its well-established right to have oral proceedings in person will not be curtailed.

All in all, it seems fair to say that the appellant’s representatives have presented a compelling case in support of their position that “the question referred to by the Technical Board of Appeal 3.5.02 shall be answered in the negative”:

That is, the conduct of oral proceedings in the form of a videoconference is not 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.

Now it’s over to the Enlarged Board of Appeal to decide the matter.

“With proceedings due to resume at 9:00 on 2 July, it’s popcorn time, folks…”It remains to be seen whether or not the EPO’s highest judicial organ is capable of making a belated effort to assert its independence by acting in a manner that would go some way towards restoring public confidence in the integrity of the procedure.

The alternative is that – as many observers fear – the Enlarged Board will turn out to be a tame and submissive “lapdog” of Team Campinos.

With proceedings due to resume at 9:00 on 2 July, it’s popcorn time, folks…

EPO popcorn time
Popcorn time at the EPO as proceedings in G 1/21 due to resume.

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