07.15.21

Gemini version available ♊︎

Links 15/7/2021: Netflix in Gaming (DRM)

Posted in News Roundup at 7:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Lenovo repair center returned my laptop. BIOS update immediately bricks Windows 10.

        Well, I got my ThinkBook 15 Gen2 ITS laptop back from the Lenovo repair center in Texas yesterday.

        Unfortunately, it seems they either wiped the SSD or replaced it. Sometimes they solder everything in and have to replace everything, and the dumb thing about this is that the whole thing happened over a USB port failing.

        So I get the thing back and set it up and then realize that the BIOS has been reverted to the 1.05 release that shipped with the ThinkBook 15 Gen2 ITL back in November of last year, so I updated it to the 1.12 BIOS that Lenovo recommends, which includes many bug fixes, not the least of which is to mitigate some RowHammer exploits, which are rather nasty and yet another one of the lulz that malware writers are exploiting now.

        With operating systems in general tending to become more secure, they’ll take what they can get, and such attacks are no longer theoretical. People really need to mitigate before the damage happens. Once you’re actively exploited, it’s too late.

        Unfortunately, the same BIOS version that updated the older motherboard just fine bricked Windows 10 with an “Inaccessible Boot Drive” Blue Screen of Death. Since the repair center returned it to me without any of my data on it anyway, I booted off a recovery stick and told it to “Reset This PC” from the built-in recovery partition (although I could have used the stick too since I always back up system files and make a new stick image whenever there’s a major new Windows update out.

        I don’t feel that we should be running into issues like this with supported BIOS updates and the supported OS, but that’s Microsoft and Lenovo for you. Just, thank God nothing important got messed up. If you are going to update the BIOS on these things, do it while you still have a warranty and preferably before you do anything else with the PC, and be prepared to recover the OS.

        [...]

        Microsoft claims to have stringent “Windows Hardware Quality Labs” standards for drivers that end up in Windows Update, and to be fair, unless you are having a problem or know what you’re doing, you might be best off leaving it alone, but in reality it gives you the driver that time forgot, sometimes it’s not even important (my backup hard drive works fine without the SES driver), and under no circumstances should old drivers interfere with important security features.

    • Server

      • 6 Must-Have Open-Source Tools to Secure Your Linux Server

        Tech geeks often tout Linux as the most secure operating system, especially compared to the mainstream proprietary ones like Windows and macOS. While that’s true for the most part, Linux doesn’t offer you a secure environment by default.

        Linux server’s security largely depends on what methods you adhere to and the tools you have deployed on your system to help it withstand viruses, malware, and other malicious attacks.

        Nothing’s invincible; for this very reason, it is practical to secure your Linux server with the best open-source security tools in the market.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 914

        joycon fixing, audacity, star wars

      • FLOSS Weekly 638: Bufferbloat and Beyond – Dave Taht

        Dave Taht is one of the Internet’s unsung (but singing) heroes, and is doing more than anyone today to rescue your Internet connection from something you haven’t heard of, but should: bufferbloat. On FLOSS Weekly, Doc Searls and Jonathan Bennett spend an information-packed hour with Dave, digging deep into bloated network buffers, bureaucracies, corporate failings, and slow but real progress against all of those, much of it with Dave’s leadership.

      • We Have Perfected Tiling Window Manager Rices

        People occasionally ask me about my Linux rice and I really don’t know what to say, Tiling Window Managers have basically been perfected and they all look the same, sure color schemes will be different but the general design is all the same.

    • Kernel Space

      • AMD Zen 3 APU Temperature Monitoring Narrowly Misses Linux 5.14

        Landing into “hwmon-next” just after the Linux 5.14-rc1 tagging that marks the formal end to feature work for the current cycle was the k10temp driver adding support for AMD Zen 3 APU temperature monitoring under Linux.

        The k10temp driver already has support for Zen 3 desktop CPUs and even Zen 3 SP3/Threadripper CPUs with the necessary model IDs in place, but unfortunately the Zen 3 Ryzen APU model ID was missing until the commit on late Sunday.

        The change is rather trivial and namely just adding the Family 19h Model 50 bits in place for allowing this k10temp thermal driver to work for Zen 3 APUs.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Some ways to get (or not get) information about system memory ranges on Linux

        What’s clear is that in general, a modern x86 machine’s physical memory ranges are quite complicated. There are historical bits and pieces, ACPI and other data that is in RAM but must be preserved, PCI(e) windows, and other things.

      • Filtering spam using Rspamd and OpenSMTPD on OpenBSD

        I recently used Spamassassin to get ride of the spam I started to receive but it proved to be quite useless against some kind of spam so I decided to give rspamd a try and write about it.

        rspamd can filter spam but also sign outgoing messages with DKIM, I will only care about the anti spam aspect.

      • How to install Netstat on Linux

        Netstat is a Linux tool that system admins use for analyzing network stats. It comes in handy when you’re trying to take a deeper look at your Linux machine and how it is handling networking. In this guide, we’ll show you how to install Netstat on your Linux PC.

      • Self Hosted, WEB Photo Organizer With Photoprism and Raspberry PI

        With Smartphone camera quality increasing, thousands of photo files live spread in our hard drives, sometime without a unified organization.

      • How to Install LEMP Stack on Rocky Linux 8

        LEMP is a popular stack that comprises open-source software that is collectively used to host and serve web applications, whether in production or any stage along the development cycle.

        The terminology LEMP is an acronym for Linux, Nginx (pronounced as Engine X, hence the E) which is a web browser, MariaDB or MySQL – database, and PHP for processing dynamic content). LEMP stack is popularly used for hosting high-traffic and highly scalable web applications and websites.

      • How to Install Mono on Ubuntu [Ed: Microsoft poison pill inside GNU/Linux]

        Mono is the OpenSource implementation of the Microsoft .NET software stack. It is based on ECMA/ISO standards and implements the C# programming language and the Common Language Runtime. To find out more about Mono, have a look at the Mono project website.

      • How to Change Hostname in Ubuntu / Linux a guide for beginners 2021

        Are you looking to change hostname in Linux? That is a good idea. But do you know “What is hostname? Why do you want to change hostname? or How to change hostname in Ubuntu or other Linux Operating System.

        In simple word, the hostname is a computer name of your laptop of desktop or other devices have Linux OS.

        If you remember, you set the hostname/computer name at a time when you were installing Ubuntu.

        But now, You don’t like that hostname by any reason and want to change it without restarting Ubuntu system. Yes you can change hostname easily by using the command line as well as using GUI (Graphical Interface)

        This article completely for beginners, because I cover how to change hostname by using GUI and What to do after changing the hostname.

      • How to Install OwnCloud to Create Own Cloud Storage in Linux

        Cloud storage stands for a virtualized pool of network storage most commonly hosted by third parties. Cloud storage is a network-based service that physically does not exist but remains somewhere in the cloud. To be more clear, cloud storage means sharing data over a network, rather than having local servers or personal devices.

        Cloud storage is all around us in our smartphones, on desktops and servers, etc. The Dropbox application which is now available on smartphones is nothing but a cloud storage application. Google Drive is another cloud storage application that lets you store and access your stored data from anywhere and anytime.

      • How to Install and Use Nmap on Ubuntu – Unixcop

        Nmap is a very popular free and open-source network security tool and port scanner. It designed to perform security scans and discover hosts on a network by sending different packets to them and then analyzing their responses.

        Nmap was named “Security Product of the Year” by Linux Journal, Info World, LinuxQuestions.Org, and Codetalker Digest. featured in twelve movies, including The Matrix Reloaded, Die Hard 4, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and The Bourne Ultimatum.

      • How to Install minio S3 Object Storage on Ubuntu 21.04 – Unixcop

        Minio is an Amazon s3 compatible high-performance object storage service. It is an open-source application released under Apache License v2.0 that supports unstructured data such as images, videos, backup, etc. written in GO that uses buckets to organize the object.A bucket is similar to a folder or directory in a filesystem, where each bucket can hold an arbitrary number of objects

        We will install and configure self-hosted Minio object storage in Linux. For a demonstration of the example in the article, I have used Ubuntu 21.04.

      • How to Set Up Postfix SMTP Relay on Debian with Sendinblue – LinuxBabe

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

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

      • How to Take Screenshots in Incognito Mode in Android – Make Tech Easier

        Incognito mode is an online privacy feature that prevents your browsing history from being stored. While the feature is effective for browsing without leaving a trace, it can sometimes limit the experience. For example, you are not allowed to take screenshots in Incognito mode.

      • How to Ubuntu Update and Dist Upgrade Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Guide 2021

        The latest version of Ubuntu 20.04 has been launched on 23 April 2020. If you are still using the old version please dist upgrade now.

        A Long year back, I started to use Ubuntu version 6.04. It was really hard to update ubuntu.

        Slowly -2 latest versions were launched in the market one by one with new features. And Today Ubuntu has version 20.04 LTS with very attractive features. So Updating Ubuntu and its software become very easy and simple.

        You can update ubuntu by command line as well as using a GUI interface. This really makes users happy and satisfied. I will cover this topic of how to ubuntu update and dist upgrade process work. what is the difference between ubuntu update and ubuntu dist upgrade?

        You must check the current version of ubuntu before moving to the next step. If you know the current version then it will be better to update Ubuntu in the latest version.

      • How to Use Shutdown Command in Linux, Proper way explained 2021

        Don’t you want to see the screen of your Linux machine? Either you don’t work anymore? Then you can shutdown machine like Windows operating system.

        But, It is a little bit painful for the new user if he/she doesn’t have access to GUI. He/she can’t run commands randomly, that is the weakest point in Linux. You will have to run command in the proper way.

        So before to bring your system down, you must know about shutdown command in Linux.

        The shutdown command in Linux is used to down system securely. At the time of shutdown all logged in users and processes are notified that the system is going down, and nobody is allowed to log in.

        By shutdown command in Linux you can down system immediately or you can schedule process.

      • How to Use The Netcat Command (nc): An In-Depth Tutorial

        Netcat is one of the most versatile networking tools for system administrators – it is called the Swiss army knife of Networking.

        This tool can be used for creating any connections over TCP or UDP protocol which makes it an excellent debugging tool. It helps the user investigate connections directly by connecting to them.

        Netcat can also perform port scanning, file transfer, and sometimes it might be used by the hackers or penetration testers for creating a backdoor into a system.

        In this tutorial, we’ll be covering the Netcat utility or nc command in detail.

        Netcat was developed back in 1995. Despite its usefulness and popularity, it was not maintained. Many other versions of it have been developed since then. One of the most prominent among them is called Ncat, developed by the Nmap project.

      • How to install Atom Text Editor on Linux Lite 5.4 [Ed: Microsoft vendor lock-in]

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Atom Text Editor on Linux Lite 5.4.

      • Troubleshooting application performance with Red Hat OpenShift metrics, Part 2: The test environment | Red Hat Developer

        This series shows how I solved a real-life performance problem by gathering metrics from Red Hat OpenShift in the Developer Sandbox for Red Hat OpenShift. Part 1 laid out the development environment and requirements. Now, in Part 2, we will set up the test environment and I will introduce two different test scenarios.

      • Add User to Group in Linux, How to Do It (with Examples)

        In this article we will show you how to add a user to a group in Linux system. We will also learn how to view the groups and group ID of any user account.

        Linux user and group is an essential part of Linux security. As you know, Linux is a multi-user operating system. Adding users to group is a task worth learning. Groups allow certain user permissions to be available for group members.

        The primary purpose of groups is to define a set of privileges such as reading, writing, or executing permission for a given resource that can be shared among the users within the group. Instead of managing permissions for each user account, you can simply add a user to a group in Linux to grant the appropriate permissions.

    • Games

      • 6 Best Free and Open Source FICS Chess Clients

        Chess is a recreational and competitive board game played between two players. It is a very popular game, played by millions across the world, in clubs, online, by correspondence, and in tournaments.

        Chess has the virtue of being suitable for people of all ages. It has many positive attributes such as to help individuals develop their memory, improve and enhance their concentration, as well as logical thinking. It also promotes and improves imagination and creativity. Chess is one of those games that takes a few days to learn and the rest of your life to master, with the game being a never ending learning process, even for the top players.

        The game is played on a square chessboard with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. Each player controls 16 pieces, and the object of the game is to checkmate the opponent’s king.

      • Netflix is getting into video games, so we’ll have another cloud gaming service

        Not only is Netflix a huge force in series, films, anime and plenty more they’re also now getting into video games. Coming from a report on Bloomberg, it certainly looks like we’re going to see one of the biggest streaming players enter the cloud gaming / game streaming market.

        In the report it mentions that Netflix has now hired Mike Verdu, a former VP at Facebook Reality Labs who also worked with EA prior to that. Verdu will be vice president of game development at Netflix. Sounds like we will see games on Netflix within a year if it all goes well, with games being sat in their own category just like everything else on the service.

      • Netflix Signals Expansion Into Video Games With New Executive Hire

        Before joining Netflix, Verdu was the V.P. of content for Facebook Reality Labs where he oversaw Oculus Studios and the teams bringing second- and third-party virtual reality games and other apps to Oculus VR headsets, such as Oculus Quest and Quest 2. Verdu also previously served as the senior V.P. of Mobile for Electronic Arts, where he was responsible for the mobile game studios that operated “SimCIty BuildIt,” “Plants vs. Zombies 2,” “Real Racing 3,” “The Sims Freeplay,” “The Simpsons: Tapped Out” and Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes,” among others.

      • Netflix Expands Into Video Games With New Executive Hire

        Netflix is expanding into video games and has hired Mike Verdu, a former Facebook and Electronic Arts executive, as its new vice president of game development, a Netflix spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday.

    • Distributions

      • Haiku R1/Beta3 Timeline Update

        It is possible for Haiku WebKit updates to be issued post-release, however it is a priority of the Haiku Project to ensure that the browsing experience in Haiku is as best as it can be, especially considering that the web browsers are an important part of any operating system and that WebPositive is a major focus point for reviewers.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Huh, it’s as if something happened that made people not like CentOS so much

          Canonical is cock-a-hoop after Ubuntu snatched first place for OpenStack deployment from the CentOS Linux distribution – but according to some the victory might ring hollow.

          The finding came from the 2020 OpenStack User Survey, organised by the Open Infrastructure Foundation, which queries respondents on a variety of topics, including the main operating system used for their OpenStack cloud deployments.

          The 2020 survey kicked off after IBM’s $34bn purchase of Red Hat, and closed before Red Hat confirmed the community build of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), known as CentOS, would morph into CentOS Stream. The change to something perceived as not fit for a production environment left the knickers of many developers ever so twisted.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chrome will soon let you turn on an HTTPS-first mode

            The HTTPS-First Mode will be available starting with Chrome 94, according to Google. Currently, that release is set for September 21st. And HTTP connections will still be supported, the company says.

          • Increasing HTTPS adoption

            As we approach an HTTPS-first future, we’re also re-examining the lock icon that browsers typically show when a site loads over HTTPS. In particular, our research indicates that users often associate this icon with a site being trustworthy, when in fact it’s only the connection that’s secure. In a recent study, we found that only 11% of participants could correctly identify the meaning of the lock icon. To try and reduce this confusion, Chrome will run an experiment in M93 that replaces the lock in the address bar with a more neutral entry point to Page Info (example below). We hope that this experiment will improve the discoverability of critical privacy and security information and controls provided in Page Info, such as site permissions. Importantly, a “Not Secure” indicator will continue to show on sites without HTTPS support, and the experiment includes an enterprise policy in case organizations want to opt-out. In all cases, we’ll provide advance notice if we decide to move ahead with a full launch.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • YottaDB r1.32 Released

          There are numerous smaller enhancements that make system administration and operations (DevOps) friendlier, and easier to automate. For example, %PEEKBYNAME() has an option to query global directory segments without opening the corresponding database files, orphaned relinkctl files are automatically cleaned up, and the –octo option of ydbinstall / ydbinstall.sh installs Octo such that octo –version reports the git commit hash of the build.

        • Against SQL

          This isn’t just a matter of some constant programmer overhead, like SQL queries taking 20% longer to write. The fact that these issues exist in our dominant model for accessing data has dramatic downstream effects for the entire industry:

          Complexity is a massive drag on quality and innovation in runtime and tooling

          The need for an application layer with hand-written coordination between database and client renders useless most of the best features of relational databases

          The core message that I want people to take away is that there is potentially a huge amount of value to be unlocked by replacing SQL, and more generally in rethinking where and how we draw the lines between databases, query languages and programming languages.

      • Education

        • Virtual Workshops for Embedded Machine Learning

          Back in April we started a series of workshops that focused on helping you master embedded machine learning all from the comfort of your own home! We partnered with our friends at HiMax and Nordic to help incorporate imaging and weather sensors, as well as our growing MicroMod product line, to learn how to collect data, build your first models, test and deploy them, and more! Both workshops filled up completely (to the point that we needed to increase the cap on one) so we wanted to share them with you in case you didn’t have a chance to get in, or if you did attend but wanted to re-watch the VOD. Keep in mind for those of you that are going to be learning along with the workshops, each have their own, unique kit to pick up. Make sure to click the links below to visit each workshop page to find all the materials you need!

      • Programming/Development

        • Book Review: A Philosophy of Software Design

          I really liked A Philosophy of Software Design by John Ousterhout. It is compact and short, only 170 pages, so it is a quick read, but it contains many good ideas. The focus is on how to structure systems to make them easy to understand and work with. The author is a professor of Computer Science at Stanford, but he has also spent 14 years developing commercial software.

        • [Old] What is a hacker?

          In our use, a hacker is a member of an international subculture of computer programmers, hardware designers and others who subscribe to a certain aesthetic, people who understand to appreciate a certain kind of beauty.

          The word is also often used by us to signify a very gifted computer expert who programs for enjoyment, not necessarily for payment or other rewards, but being a hacker is not limited to programmers or even hardware designers. One might be a molecular biology hacker, for example.

        • Report: 83% of UK software engineers suffer burnout, COVID-19 made it worse • The Register

          A report on the wellbeing of UK software engineers (developers and DevOps professionals) found 83 per cent suffering from some degree of burnout, with most agreeing that COVID-19 was partly to blame.

          This survey [PDF] was conducted in June 2021 by pollsters Survation, on behalf of DevOps company Haystack, and although the number of participants was small (just over 250) it was conducted by interviews, rather than online forms which are vulnerable to low-quality responses.

        • Want To Build An App? Android Studio Is The Program For You [Ed: When you use this program you're basically a pawn of Google; when I made Android apps I used Eclipse (Google doesn't like things it cannot control).]

          Ever wanted to build your own app but not exactly sure where to start or what programs to use? Android Studio could be an option for you.

        • Python

          • 5 hidden gems in Python 3 | Opensource.com

            Python has made a name for itself in the world of programming for being easy to learn, easy to read, and reasonably easy to debug. It’s seen as a good starting language because it can usually resolve complex concepts such as data types on the programmer’s behalf. It’s considered easy to read because its syntax is simple and it enforces predictable formatting. And it’s easy to debug because not only does it catch many errors on its own, it also integrates with advanced tools like GNU Debugger (gdb.) And that was its reputation before Python 3.

            Like everything else in life, change is inevitable for programming languages. Python must iterate and develop because computers are forever improving, and people’s expectations of what a “simple” programming language does for them change over time. Additionally, other languages sometimes come up with really good ideas that get adapted into Python. Python 2.x was outrageously popular, so when Python 3 began to loom on the horizon, there was a considerable amount of anxiety mixed in with the excitement. Everyone wanted to know how Python could possibly get any better, but there was also the obligatory fear of change, the potential loss of important libraries that wouldn’t upgrade, and the uncertainty of what workload would be required to adapt existing codebases.

        • Rust

          • This Week in Rust 399

            Hello and welcome to another issue of This Week in Rust! Rust is a programming language empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software. This is a weekly summary of its progress and community. Want something mentioned? Tweet us at @ThisWeekInRust or send us a pull request. Want to get involved? We love contributions.

    • Leftovers

      • Swedish rapper Yasin jailed over plot to kidnap rival artist

        The plot failed but the victim was kidnapped, beaten and robbed several weeks later without Yasin’s involvement.

      • Science

        • NLP needs to be open. 500+ researchers are trying to make it happen

          A group of more than 500 researchers from 45 different countries — from France, the US, and Japan to Indonesia, Ghana, and Ethiopia — has come together to work towards tackling some of these problems. The project, which the authors of this article are all involved in, is called Big Science, and our goal is to improve the scientific understanding of the capabilities and limitations of large-scale neural network models in NLP and to create a diverse and multilingual dataset and a large-scale language model as research artifacts, open to the scientific community.

        • Tapping into the Brain to Help a Paralyzed Man Speak

          Now, in a scientific milestone, researchers have tapped into the speech areas of his brain — allowing him to produce comprehensible words and sentences simply by trying to say them. When the man, known by his nickname, Pancho, tries to speak, electrodes implanted in his brain transmit signals to a computer that displays them on the screen.

      • Education

        • Explainer: Digitech risks for School Boards

          I’m a parent with two children in public schools in Christchurch, NZ. I’m also a software developer with an interest in education. I’m writing this post to make members of NZ school boards of trustees aware of a significant risks they face, but which I believe few if any school boards in NZ recognise, much less attempt to mitigate.

          These risks are created by the software adopted by nearly every school in NZ. This software is provided via national-level agreements made by the Ministry of Education with their vendors, who are mostly US-based multinational technology corporations. Increasingly, school curriculums completely depend on this software.

          Today, nearly every school in NZ is either a ‘Microsoft Office 365′ or a ‘Google Classroom’ school. Many schools also embed products like SeeSaw and StoryPark into their student assessment process and depend on them for parental engagement.

          My goal here is to explain the liabilities lurking within this status quo, and how the Ministry of Education has divested responsibility for these liabilities onto individual school board members.

        • Technology commentator Tony Grasso

          Research finds young people are signing away their rights in legal documents they don’t understand [...]

      • Hardware

        • Intel Did A Boeing

          Similarly, the end result for Intel of focusing on the stock price instead of the product was: [...]

        • The Woz Backs ‘Right To Repair’ Reform

          We’ve repeatedly noted how the “right to repair” movement has been gaining a full head of steam as consumers, independent repair shops, schools, farmers, and countless others grow tired of corporations’ attempts to monopolize repair. Whether it’s Sony and Microsoft creating repair monopolies for their game consoles, Apple bullying independent repair shops, or John Deere making it a costly hassle just to fix a tractor, the more companies restrict access to cheap repair, parts, tools, and documentation, the more this movement seems to grow.

        • Right to Repair: Draft report

          This draft report was released on 11 June 2021. It assesses the case for a right to repair in Australia, with a focus on whether consumers face any unnecessary barriers to repair that require a government policy response.

          The final report is expected to be handed to the Australian Government by 29 October 2021.

      • Health/Nutrition

      • Integrity/Availability

        • Proprietary

          • [Old] Kroll Ransomware Attack Trends – 2020 YTD

            Threat actors in nearly half (47%) of Kroll’s ransomware cases leveraged open remote desktop protocol (RDP) and Microsoft’s proprietary network communications protocol and more than a quarter (26%) cases were traced back to a phishing email. Vulnerability exploits (17%), including but not limited to Citrix NetScaler CVE-2019-19781 and Pulse VPN CVE-2019-11510, and account takeovers (10%) rounded out the primary ransomware precursors (Figure 2).

          • Where’s the Apple M2?

            DPReview just published Apple still hasn’t made a truly “Pro” M1 Mac – so what’s the holdup? Following on the good performance and awesome power efficiency of the Apple M1, there’s a hungry background rumble in Mac-land along the lines of “Since the M1 is an entry-level chip, the next CPU is gonna blow everyone’s mind!” But it’s been eight months since the M1 shipped and we haven’t heard from Apple. I have a good guess what’s going on: It’s proving really hard to make a CPU (or SoC) that’s perceptibly faster than the M1. Here’s why.

          • Ransomware gang REvil’s websites go offline, sparking speculation

            The “dark web” page of the group known as REvil disappeared some two weeks after an attack which crippled networks of hundreds of companies worldwide and prompted a ransom demand of $70 million.

          • India among top three countries facing phishing attacks via WhatsApp and Telegram, reveals report

            The biggest share of detected malicious links between December 2020 and May were sent via WhatsApp (89.6 per cent), followed by Telegram (5.6 per cent), according to data shared by Kaspersky Internet Security for Android, part of the cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab.

            Messaging app Viber was in third place with a share of 4.7 per cent and Hangouts had less than one per cent share.

          • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Security

            • Privacy/Surveillance

              • Inside Facebook’s Data Wars

                But the CrowdTangle story is important, because it illustrates the way that Facebook’s obsession with managing its reputation often gets in the way of its attempts to clean up its platform. And it gets to the heart of one of the central tensions confronting Facebook in the post-Trump era. The company, blamed for everything from election interference to vaccine hesitancy, badly wants to rebuild trust with a skeptical public. But the more it shares about what happens on its platform, the more it risks exposing uncomfortable truths that could further damage its image.

              • “An Ugly Truth” gives sneak peek as Zuckerberg becomes wartime leader

                Facebook tells Axios that Zuckerberg instructed leaders they’d have to be more decisive, and would need to move forward even when there wasn’t a clear consensus. His view was that it was like wartime, and he needed to run the company as a wartime CEO.

              • Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg’s Partnership Did Not Survive Trump

                For the past week, the country had been reeling from the violence in Washington, and with each passing day, reporters were uncovering more of the footprint left behind by the rioters on social media.

                Speaking to the cameras rolling in her sun-filled Menlo Park, Calif., garden, Ms. Sandberg confronted this question, one she’d prepared for: Could Facebook have acted sooner to help prevent this?

      • Defence/Aggression

        • Bombast in the Black Sea: the Latest British Provocation

          The Suez Canal and the Brink of War

          Less than two weeks before the U.S. presidential election in 1956, Israel invaded Egypt in order to set the stage for the British-French invasion.  With Western preoccupation in the Middle East, the Soviet Union threatened to intervene on behalf of the Arabs and stepped up the bloody suppression of the Hungarian Revolution.  President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s opposition to the invasion allowed the United Nations to negotiate a cease-fire in Egypt.  In the aftermath of the Suez crisis, the United States effectively replaced Britain as the guarantor of stability in the Middle East, creating a commitment that remains the underlying premise of U.S. policy in the region.  The Middle East has become America’s briar patch, and the discontinuity in the region in the wake of the U.S. invasion of Iraq points to the need for reassessing our commitment.

        • Causes of Extremism Spike in US Military Examined in New Study

          A new look at current and former members of the U.S. military linked to extremist plots finds the numbers have tripled, due in large part to a series of recent events such as the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, which helped mobilize extremists in general.

          The analysis by the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START), released Wednesday, looked at 354 individuals with military backgrounds charged or convicted of criminal acts linked to extremist ideology.

        • ‘Charming Kitten’ APT Siphons Intel From Mid-East Scholars

          The current campaign includes masquerading as British scholars; engaging in dialogue with targets; and linking to the website of a legitimate, world-class, already compromised academic institution in order to harvest credentials.

        • Professor Says Being Impersonated by Iranian [Crackers] Was Stressful But Good For Networking

          Iranian [attacker] with links to the country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps impersonated two academics in an attempt to hack journalists, think tank analysts, and other academics, according to a new report.

        • German police raid suspected IS supporters

          Police in the German state of Hesse searched multiple locations in connection with investigations involving suspected “Islamic State” extremists, local authorities said Wednesday morning.

          Ten search warrants were executed across the state “on suspicion of terrorist financing and the preparation of a serious, state-endangering act of violence” early Wednesday.

        • Afghanistan: US to evacuate endangered translators

          An official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Reuters news agency that the initial evacuation will include about 2,500 people who are likely to be housed in military facilities, either in the US or a third country, while their visa applications are processed.

          The Special Immigrant Visa program is offered to those who worked with the US government or the American-led military force during the Afghanistan war that began in 2001.

      • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

        • Fact check: Untethered to reality, Trump lies over and over about the 2020 election at CPAC

          What can you even say about claims so disconnected from reality? Here’s a brief fact check of eight of them.

        • MS Estonia preliminary investigation not yielding any big surprises yet

          Work conducted on July 12 and 13 went well, with no equipment failures, while weather conditions were good.

          The teams used side scan sonar and a multibeam sonar belonging to Stockholm University on the vessel Electra, which, BNS reports, give an excellent overview of the wreck of the Estonia and the seabed surrounding the wreck.

          More light being shed on geological picture

          Arikas said the seabed was also explored using a profiler, which allows a user to view the seabed substrate to a depth of 50 meters.

          This will provide the survey group with an answer as to the geological state of the seabed, meaning where there are rocks, moraine, clay and sand, he said.

      • Environment

        • Italy to ban large cruise ships in centre of Venice to protect lagoon

          The decision, confirmed at a meeting of Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s cabinet, comes just days before a meeting of the UN’s cultural organisation UNESCO, which had proposed to add Venice to its list of endangered heritage sites.

          “The decree adopted today represents an important step for the protection of the Venetian lagoon system,” Draghi said in a statement.

        • Hotter worlds cut humans’ size − and their brains?

          In a greenhouse world, humans’ size could shrink. And there is a hint of hazard to thinking capacity as well.

        • End Subsidies That Drive Overfishing and Threaten Ocean Health
        • Energy

          • EPA Warns of Mountain Valley Pipeline Impact on Streams, Says Project Should Not Receive Water Permit

            The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is advising the Army Corps of Engineers not to grant a federal water permit to the Mountain Valley Pipeline due to “substantial concerns” about the project’s impact on streams and rivers. The warning is another regulatory hurdle for a pipeline that is already delayed and over budget.

            The EPA’s advice brings hope to opponents of the pipeline who are growing increasingly confident that the 303-mile natural gas pipeline, which has been under construction for over three years, will never come online.

            Stay up to date with DeSmog news and alerts

          • UK domestic flights nearly 50% cheaper than the train, but six times worse for carbon

            Which? compared the carbon footprint of flying vs taking the train on 10 UK routes between 3 and 8 August, including to many popular holiday destinations such as Bournemouth and Newquay.

            However, travellers who want to reduce their carbon footprint by taking the train face an expensive bill for doing so. Eight of the 10 routes we looked at were cheaper by plane, and significantly so – train fares were 49% more expensive than the same route by plane on average.

        • Overpopulation

          • The French nationals going ‘childfree’ to save the planet

            A graphic on the organisation’s website counts in real time the number of people alive on earth. The counter steadily ticks upwards. “We’re already at 7.8 billion. It’s already too much. We should hit 8 billion by 2022 or 2023,” says Garnier.

          • Overpopulation leading to undue stress, competition and conflict

            World Population Day is observed on July 11each year. This day was established by the United Nations and is dedicated to focusing on the importance of the population issues. This year the theme is, “Rights and Choices are the answer: Whether baby boom or bust, the solution to shifting fertility rates lies in prioritising the reproductive health and rights of all people.” Many scientists think estimating all available resources, the earth has a maximum carrying capacity of 9-10 billion population. The current population of the world is about 7.8 billion and if it is not controlled then by the end of the century it is estimated to rise to 10.8 billion.

            There are many causes of overpopulation like high birth rate, low death rate, better medical facilities, rise in the number of immigrants, agricultural and industrial revolution and lack of family planning facilities, especially in rural areas. India has all these factors which result in overpopulation thereby causing other problems like exhaustion of natural resources, climate change, pollution, overcrowding, unemployment and many others. I will confine myself to the issue of unemployment.

          • The Potential Effects of Overpopulation in Florida

            Florida’s population continues to grow rapidly. It’s not just caused by local births. It’s also caused by people from both local and international lands, moving into the state. While it can be a good idea to have a lot of people supporting the economy, too much of one thing can be bad too.

      • Finance

        • Report Finds Min. Wage Earners Can’t Afford One-Bedroom Rental in Most of U.S.
        • Fate of Democrats’ Ambitious $3.5 Trillion Bill Rests Once Again With Centrists
        • The NYT Goes Looney Tunes on the Fed

          This is bizarre, because people who read the news section of the NYT would know that workers have more bargaining power in the economy right now than at any point since at least the late 1990s. The quit rate hit a record level in April, and even with a drop in May, it is still at a 20-year peak. Workers, especially at the bottom end of the wage ladder, are seeing substantial wage gains.

          The pandemic payments have also allowed many families to pay down debt, leaving their finances in much better shape than before the recession. Also, the expanded subsidies in the health care exchanges have allowed many people to get health care insurance who could not previously afford it. The NYT had a very good column earlier this month by Julia Coronado laying out many of the measures showing the improved economic plight of low and middle class families.

      • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

        • Biden Is Silent on Filibuster as Texas Dems Face Arrest to Protect Voting Rights
        • Thousands in Cuba Protest Amid Deep Economic Crisis and Ongoing US Blockade
        • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Fuck These Fuckin Fascists’ by The Muslims

          The following was originally published at Ongoing History of Protest Music. Punk rock has a long history of “fuck Nazi/fascists” type songs. The latest release by The Muslims, aqueer, Black, and Brown Muslim punk band hailing from North Carolina, upholds that tradition.The Muslims formed in 2017. Since then, they have released three albums and one EP. They unapologetically use their music to challenge racism, political corruption, and white supremacy. Their newest single “Fuck These Fuckin Fascists” is direct, scathing, and representative of the kind of music they create.“I started writing this song during Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial and finished it during theattempted coup,” stated vocalist QADR. “What a time to be alive. As a person who fits the description ofa so-called ‘Black Identity Extremist,’ I find it funny that our music and message, calling out racistviolence, makes people more uncomfortable than actual racist violence. At least we’re cute, tender, andfunny AF.”QADR added, “Artists are the truth-tellers throughout history, and we’re just speaking our truth.Fascism was never wiped out, it just got more polite and calls itself a Richard Spencer now, whateverthat is. We’re going to speak truth to power and have a damn good time doing it.”Trump may no longer be president of the United States, but fascist ideologies live on. Raise your voice and join The Muslims in telling fascists to “fuck off!”Listen to The Muslims’ “Fuck These Fuckin Fascists”:

        • Twitter restricts account of expert who mocked China leader

          A New Zealand academic says Twitter temporarily restricted her account after she mocked Chinese President Xi Jinping.

          University of Canterbury Professor Anne-Marie Brady is an expert on China’s attempts to exert political influence around the world and has been an outspoken critic of its ruling Communist Party. Last week, she sent tweets poking fun at the party’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

        • Twitter sees jump in govt demands to remove content of reporters, news outlets

          In its transparency report published on Wednesday, Twitter said verified accounts of 199 journalists and news outlets on its platform faced 361 legal demands from governments to remove content in the second half of 2020, up 26 percent from the first half of the year.

          The biannual report on Twitter’s enforcement of policy rules and the information and removal requests it receives comes as social media companies including Facebook and Alphabet’s YouTube face government scrutiny worldwide over the content allowed on their platforms.

        • China tightens control over cybersecurity in data crackdown

          Tech experts in China who find a weakness in co mputer security would be required to tell the government and couldn’t sell that knowledge under rules further tightening the Communist Party’s control over information.

        • Facebook Requests FTC Recuse Khan, Entry-Level Broadband Prices, FCC’s Open RAN Showcase

          Facebook is asking for the recusal of Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Lina Khan from the agency’s antitrust cases against the company, following Amazon’s call.

        • Finland sanction reversed after rejected Iraqi asylum seeker’s death proven fake

          The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday revised a ruling sanctioning Finland for the supposed death of a refused asylum seeker returned to Iraq, based on evidence his death had been faked.

        • Hawkins Blasts Biden’s Failure to Call for Filibuster Reform in Voting Rights Speech

          Hawkins Blasts Biden’s Failure to Call for Filibuster Reform in Voting Rights Speech
          Calls for Expanded Pro-Democracy Movement
          Howie Hawkins, the 2020 Green Party presidential candidate, blasted President Joe Biden today for failing to call for filibuster reform in order to get voting rights legislation through the U.S Senate.
          “Biden’s voting rights speech in Philadelphia was a white flag of surrender by the feckless Democrats to the ruthless Republicans. The Democrats have the power to pass federal voting rights laws that can stop the Republican assault voting rights and impartial elections in the states. Biden’s failure to take on the filibuster makes the Democrats complicit in Republican voter suppression,” Hawkins said.
          “The Democrats have enough Senate members to reform the filibuster and pass federal voting rights legislation. Instead Biden spoke about voting rights as a 2022 mid-term election issue. By then it will be too late. The Republicans are positioning themselves with new state election laws to take control the House and Senate by partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression, and meddling with election results,” Hawkins said.
          Hawkins called for a new pro-democracy movement that is independent of both major parties with an expanded agenda of pro-democracy demands.

      • Censorship/Free Speech

        • Internet Censorship: The Real Monopoly Threat

          He’s right, but in pretty much the opposite of the way he intends. When the mainstream “right” and “left” agree on anything, that’s almost always a blazing neon sign warning us that our freedoms are under threat.

          Catron (and Trump and Sanders) want the US government to seize control of social media platforms and dictate which users those platforms must accept and what kind of content those platforms must permit publication of. They don’t put it quite that baldly, of course, but who would? Their cause is implicit in their criticisms of “Big Tech” as a “monopoly,” which requires government regulation to promote competition in the “marketplace of ideas.”

        • Court To Judge Roy Moore: You’re Not Defamation-Proof, But This Contract You Signed Sure Is

          Judge Roy Moore — former Senate hopeful and twice-removed-for-misconduct Alabama Supreme Court justice — has lost his lawsuit against satirist Sacha Baron Cohen. Having agreed to be on the receiving end of some satire (albeit not knowingly), Roy Moore sued Cohen after falling victim to a prank in which Cohen (performing as his character General Erran Morad) waved an electric wand he claimed could detect sexual predators. The wand beeped while close to Roy Moore.

        • Devin Nunes’ Lawyer, Steven Biss, Finally Gets Sanctioned In Wacky Defamation Case

          Back in April, we wrote about how Steven Biss, who has become infamous for his flurry of frivolous defamation lawsuits — many of which are on behalf of Congressional Representative Devin Nunes as well as an odd collection of wacky people in Nunes’ orbit — had lost yet another case, but that the court had rejected sanctioning Biss. That didn’t last long. That ruling was in the 4th Circuit appeals court in the case Biss brought on behalf of Russian-born academic Svetlana Lokhova against a Cambridge academic, Stefan Halper, and a variety of media organizations. I’m not going to recount all the details of the case again. You can read those in our original post. Just know that it seemed to be a pretty obvious SLAPP suit. Much of it was filed after the statute of limitations had passed, on statements that were clearly not defamatory, and, in at least one case, appearing to sue the wrong party. However, the District Court judge and the Appeals Court both found that while Biss had a long history of bad behavior in court, they didn’t want to take the further step of sanctioning him. Yet. Though both courts made it clear that further shenanigans could change that.

        • Blasphemy suspect injured in firing en route to court in Multan

          A man accused of blasphemy was injured after the brother of the complainant allegedly opened fire on him while he was going to attend the hearing of the case lodged against him.

          As per police, the man, a resident of Chah Loharanwala in Mauza Jhok Lashkarpur, was going to attend the hearing of a blasphemy case lodged against him with the Makhdoom Rasheed police.

        • Sokoto Residents Ask Sultan To Pass Death Sentence On Youth Who Allegedly Insulted Prophet Muhammad

          Some of the residents had explained that the youths dragged the victim, Talle Mia Ruwa from a police post in the community where he was initially kept, overpowered the police personnel and dragged the middle-aged man to the community square where they killed him.

          SaharaReporters reported that irate youths, supported by leaders in Sade community in the Darazo LGA, burnt Talle Mai Ruwa for allegedly insulting Prophet Muhammad.

        • Jeremiad Against Fascist Facebook / My Departure

          This is exactly the problem. Why have 5000 friends and 2800 followers if they never see your posts? It’s like pouring water into a bucket with a big hole in the bottom. It’s become a farce.

      • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Civil Rights/Policing

        • The five-day workweek is dead

          But there’s nothing inevitable about working eight hours a day, five days a week (or more). This schedule only became a part of American labor law in the 1930s, after decades of striking by labor activists who were tired of working the 14-hour days demanded by some employers. Indeed, one of the biggest goals of the American labor movement beginning in the 19th century was “an attempt to gain time back,” Erik Loomis, a history professor at the University of Rhode Island, told Vox.

          And now, more than 15 months into the pandemic, there’s a growing conversation about how American workers can take back more of their time. The trauma and disruption of the last year and a half have a lot of Americans reevaluating their relationships to work, whether it’s restaurant servers tired of risking their safety for poverty-level wages or office workers quitting rather than giving up remote work. And part of that reevaluation is about the workweek, which many say is due for a reboot.

        • Two Tibetans Arrested For Celebrating Dalai Lama’s Birthday

          ”They were arrested on suspicion of being part of a group on social media that shared images and documents, and encouraged the reciting of Tibetan prayers on the birthday of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,” Golog Jigme said, citing sources in the region.

        • More Than 160 Additional Indigenous Graves Have Been Found In Canada

          The Penelakut Tribe says more than 160 undocumented and unmarked graves have been found on the site of the former Kuper Island Indian Industrial School.

        • TSA agent at MSP accused of leaking security footage, taking unauthorized photos of female travelers

          “Security cameras at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport play an important role in maintaining the safety of people using the facility,” airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said in an emailed statement. “Footage from those cameras is subject to state data practices laws, which prohibit unauthorized acquisition or distribution of protected data. Misuse of the data can violate individuals’ rights to privacy and in some cases compromise the security of the airport and of the millions of people who use it. Any individual who violates the law is subject to criminal prosecution.”

        • Taliban Impose New Restrictions on Women, Media In Afghanistan’s North

          Several residents of Balkh, a district in northern Balkh province that is located 20 kilometers north of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, confirmed to VOA that the Taliban have distributed leaflets, ordering locals to follow strict rules that are similar to those they imposed on Afghans when they last governed the country from 1996 to 2001.

        • Hisbah threatens to apprehend, prosecute users of mannequins in Kano

          Hisbah Commander-General, Ustaz Harun Muhammad Sani Ibn-Sina declared that the use of mannequins to display clothes is unIslamic and contravenes the provision of Islamic injunctions hence the decision to ban the use of the object by tailors, supermarkets, boutique owners and others in the state.

        • Muslims against black Africans in France: “You nigger, you dirty black bitch”, “we Algerians have sold you like cattle for 800 years” (VIDEO)

          On Thursday July 8, Mourad D. was found guilty of assault and racial insult. In a video posted on social media on May 30, the man could clearly be heard racially insulting a woman who was recording him after a violent attack: “You nigger, you dirty black bitch”, or “we Algerians have sold you like cattle for 800 years”. A few minutes earlier, he had not hesitated to hit an Uber Eats delivery man. The events had taken place outside the restaurant “Le Brasco” in Cergy, in the Val-d’Oise.

        • Over 60 Hindus forcibly converted to Islam in Pakistan’s Sindh

          The Hindus were compelled to recite the Kalimas (Islamic oath of allegiance) in front of municipal chairperson Abdul Rauf Nizamani.

      • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

        • Creating audiobooks

          I’ve found three options for DRM-free audiobooks for any book or text (e.g. long-form articles): find the audiobook on YouTube and download the audio track (using for example Invidious or youtube-dl); use an ebook reader app such as Librera/FBReader to read the book using text-to-speech; or create an audiobook using a text-to-speech service. The real-time text-to-speech option (using an app) has downsides: it either needs a constant [Internet] connection to use a web service to perform the TTS, or else it’s an offline version but the quality of TTS is usually pretty bad. I decided that I’d much prefer good quality offline audiobooks that I can listen to anytime, anywhere.

          To create my audiobook, I follow this process: convert the article/book to text, clean up the text if necessary, generate an audio file using text-to-speech, and post-process the audio file if necessary.

      • Monopolies

        • Patents

          • When does pre-clinical data plausibly support a therapeutic effect? (T 966/18) [Ed: Another case from the rigged ‘courts’ of the EPO]

            The timing of a patent filing is critical to the patent’s validity. The earlier a patent is filed, the lower the risk of disclosures before the priority date destroying novelty and inventive step. Yet, the later a patent application is filed, the more time there is to obtain data and satisfy the requirement that the invention is sufficiently supported and disclosed. The recent Board of Appeal decision in T 0966/18 is an example of a case in which pre-clinical data, together with common general knowledge, was deemed as plausibly demonstrating a claimed therapeutic method. In fact, the data provided in the patent in question was surprisingly light. The patentee was able to compensate for this by reference to a strong body of supporting evidence from the prior art. However, this strategy may come back to bite the patentee when the question of inventive step is considered.

            Legal Background: Plausibility at the EPO

            It is established case law of the Boards of Appeal that clinical data is not absolutely necessary to demonstrate the plausibility of a claimed invention (T 0609/02, Case Law of the Boards of Appeal, II.C.7.2, see also Warner-Lambert v Actavis [2018] UKSC 56 (IPKat)). Indeed, at the time a patent application is filed for the new therapeutic effect of a drug, clinical trial data are often not available. Even if the inventors are pursuing the drug candidate in clinical trials, the patent application may be filed well before any read-out of results from the trial. Early filing is often necessary to avoid the clinical trial summary and protocol becoming prior art, particularly in jurisdictions other than Europe (IPKat).

            [...]

            The Board of Appeal decision in T 966/18 appears to confirm a relatively low bar for establishing the plausibility of a medical use claim. To this Kat, the Board of Appeal in this case were surprisingly lenient with regards to the quality of the data needed to support a medical use claim. Quantitative pre-clinical data, without evidence of statistical significance, was enough to satisfy the sufficiency requirement for a relatively ambitious therapeutic effect, at a standard below what might be expected for peer-reviewed publication. It is of course possible that the Board of Appeal was inadvertently influenced by the post-filed positive clinical trial results that the patentee was able to provide. In view of these data, a negative decision on sufficiency might have appeared unreasonable.

            However, whether or not the Board was in fact swayed by the post-filed data, a large factor in the Board’s decision was undoubtedly the strong body of evidence from the prior art that there was a link between the target and disease pathology. The prior art effectively lowered the bar for the quality of pre-clinical data that was required in the patent. However, the question of inventive step of the claims has not yet been considered, either by the Board of Appeal or the Opposition Division. It will thus be interesting to see whether the patent holds up at Opposition in view of the Board of Appeal’s observation that the skilled person would have been aware of a body of evidence linking the target and disease, and prior art suggesting the use of anti-α-SN in a vaccine strategy for Parkinson’s Disease. Whilst the patent has successfully jumped the sufficiency hurdle, the potentially larger hurdle of inventive step remains.

          • LONGi has achieved several successes in patent dispute against Hanwha Q-Cells [Ed: The 'success' of suing]
          • In-house counsel get set for UPC [Ed: Charlotte Kilpatrick continues to produce UPC propaganda]

            Lawyers from the telecoms, pharma and chemical industries reveal their plans for using the UPC, and send a warning to UK firms

          • Measuring up measurement methods – how to understand EPO patent parameters [Ed: Continuing to overlook the collapse of patent quality and the rule of law at the EPO]

            Last week we examined the ‘unclear essential parameter trap’ where an application including a parameter that does not meet EPO standards may be refused, regardless of its substantive merit. This week we explore the various ways in which a parameter may be deemed unclear.

            Strict EPO practice is nothing new – the legal framework around the ‘unclear essential parameter trap’ is long established, although changes made to the EPO Guidelines in 2019 made this even more stringent. The changes essentially merged two sub-sections of the previous guidelines, incorporating the comments on measurement methods from previous F-IV, 4.18 into current F-IV, 4.11. Although in principle nothing much has changed, anecdotally, there are reports of more clarity objections to usual parameters than before. One can find reasons for this perceived stricter practice in subtle changes to guideline’s wording. Previous F-IV, 4.18 stated “In principle the method of measurement is necessary for the unambiguous definition of the parameter” (emphasis added). The term ‘in principle’ perhaps suggesting some flexibility in how the rule should be applied. In contrast, current F-IV, 4.11 states unequivocally “the method for measuring a parameter (or at least a reference thereto) must appear completely in the claim itself” (emphasis added)”. Moreover, the EPO has categorised the changes to the guidelines as part of “major amendments”, which had “substantially rewritten sub-sections on the practice regarding the use of parameters in claims”, implying a shift in practice.

          • Managing rejection: how in-house revive failed USPTO patents [Ed: Fake patents, not failed patents, but the propaganda mill of the patent litigation powerhouses don't know or understand the notion of patent denied]

            Counsel from Siemens, Hologic and three other companies explain how they make the most of interviews to get past rejections

          • FOSS Patents: Serial assertions of the same patent claims in the Western District of Texas against multiple defendants: judicial economy weighs against venue transfer

            Once upon a time, there was a federal judicial district to the east of Dallas that every defendant to a patent infringement case sought to leave. Today, that district still exists, and remains pretty important. But the number one hotspot is the Western District of Texas (specifically, its Waco division).

            Judge Alan Albright is his lawsuits’ keeper, at least when we’re talking about patent cases. Not only does he take a long time to rule on venue transfer motions but from time to time he denies venue transfers even though the arguments made by plaintiffs against a transfer are outrageous, such as in a case in which a shell company was set up just to game the system. Unsurprisingly, the exit route from the Western District of Texas quite often passes through the DC-based Federal Circuit.

            The Federal Circuit made an interesting–not spectacular, but definitely instructive–decision (PDF) that practicioners should keep in mind. There’s a case in which a Canadian company named NCS Multistage is suing a Norwegian company named TCO in the Western District of Texas. The defendant would have preferred to litigate in the Southern District of Texas. But the Federal Circuit found that Judge Albright had not clearly abused his discretion.

          • Doubled down: Enlarged Board of Appeal decision G 4/19 on Double Patenting [Ed: It is widely known by now, based on extensive evidence, that the Enlarged Board of Appeal of the EPO is rigged, but this corrupt law firm (lawsuits won against them) doesn't care. All about money. Backing EPO corruption.]

            The Enlarged Board of Appeal of the European Patent Office recently issued decision G 4/19. The Enlarged Board held that a European patent application can be refused if it claims the same subject-matter as an existing European patent (i.e. not just a co-pending EP application) which has been granted to the same applicant and has the same effective date.

          • Electronic Priority Document Exchange (PDX) Program [Ed: Just doing fake “tech”, like punishing people who are not Microsoft customers]

            This site provides useful information for applicants that wish to take advantage of the electronic priority document exchange (PDX) program. Use of PDX avoids the fee associated with ordering a certified priority document for each office of subsequent filing and the costs of transmitting those certified copies to foreign associates or foreign intellectual property (IP) offices. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) transmits certain U.S. priority applications as-filed to any foreign IP office that participates in the priority document exchange program (participating office) and retrieves/accesses certain foreign priority applications as-filed from the participating offices. The priority document exchange program includes two modes of exchange: Direct Bilateral Exchange and World Intellectual Property Organization Digital Access Service (WIPO DAS) Exchange.

          • Chinese Invention Patent Grants Up 63% in May 2021 YoY [Ed: How to detect that patent quality has collapsed (in pursuit of other goals)]

            The China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) recently released data indicating that 2021 year-to-date invention patent grants totaled 269,706 invention patents, a 62.4% increase in cumulative grants from January through May 2020. The percentage of patents granted to foreign patentees dropped from 19.5% to 15.7% although the absolute number of patents to foreign patentees increased from 32,389 to 42,286. However, this may overstate the total number of patents granted to true foreigners as some Chinese entities file in the name of a foreign holding company – for example, the top foreign patentee in 2020 was Alibaba Group of Hangzhou, China according to CNIPA’s annual report for 2020…

          • BAT and Kirkland invalidate four Philip Morris heat-not-burn patents [Ed: The latest of many fake patents to just simply perish. Notice who granted this and ponder how/why...]

            Today, the UK High Court handed down a judgment invalidating four patents belonging to tobacco product manufacturer Philip Morris (case no: HP-2020-000011). The decision is yet another twist in the high-stakes global dispute between the rivals BAT and Philip Morris. All current battles between the two giants concern lucrative technology for heat-not-burn cigarettes.

            BAT and Philip Morris showdown

            In the same proceedings, Philip Morris defended the validity of its four patents while counterclaiming for infringement by BAT’s heat-not-burn glo product. However, given that the court found all four patents invalid, the judge dismissed the counterclaim.

            A spokesperson for BAT says, “BAT is pleased that the UK High Court has found these four Philip Morris patents invalid. BAT commenced this legal action to protect our innovations and product portfolio in the Tobacco Heated Products space. We will continue to protect our valuable proprietary technology.”

            A spokesperson for Philip Morris says, “We respectfully disagree with the decision of the court and are evaluating the decision and assessing our options. The patents in question form part of PMI’s extensive portfolio of patents for smoke-free innovations reflecting our commitment to and progress towards a smoke-free future and our considerable investment in smoke-free technologies over more than a decade.”

            “We intend to continue to vigorously protect our intellectual property.”

          • “What’s the point of a TRIPS waiver?” A reply [Ed: Patents can do endless harm if the law is misused (as happens a lot these days); our objective should be to convince patent litigation fanatics/profiters that this is the case and get them to publicly admit it]

            In the face of existing and new scholarship, uncritical assumptions that proponents have not considered the operational challenges of a waiver is unhelpful. You will find nuance and detail to our plea here to see the waiver as a proportionate and necessary masthead from which a number of actions need to flow.

            As Trebilcock and Poliwoda argue, here, even for those who take the view (as they do) that a sweeping waiver of IP rights, by itself, is unlikely to have any dramatic effect on expanding vaccine output, especially over the near term – it is important to explore alternative or complementary strategies. With this background, we respond to Reddy and Pai’s post and address those who ask “what’s the point of a TRIPS waiver?”

            ‘Simply put, there is no shortage of voluntary licensing agreements for COVID vaccines, for countries that have the capacity to manufacture vaccines’, say Reddy and Pai and from this deduce that IPRs are not barriers to production. Yes, licenses have been granted to Indian companies but it is also true that there is considerable underuse of capacity because other facilities do not have licenses. If IP restrictions were lifted and pharmaceutical companies were willing to share more of their know-how, how much more vaccine could be made worldwide? It is hard to know.

          • [Older] New COVID-19 Vaccine Patent Database Launched :: Pink Sheet [Ed: Building monopolies and fences around a pandemic instead of actually putting an end to it. Nobody doubts this, not even patent lawyers (deep inside): patents have only exacerbated the pandemic because monopolies devalue lives.]

            As part of its drive to maximize global access to coronavirus vaccines, the Medicines Patent Pool has developed a publicly accessible resource giving information on the patent status of approved and candidate vaccines.

          • Pfizer Is Upholding Global Vaccine Apartheid. Today We Risk Arrest to Stop It.
          • Software Patents

            • VVC FRAND royalty report by Charles River Asso. estimates lower rates because of AV1 adoption

              Unified is pleased to announce the release of its report over the estimate of the aggregate FRAND royalty burden for the SEPs covering the video codec standard H.266, also called Versatile Video Coding (VVC). The report is a part of Unified’s Video Codec Zone whose goal is to provide objective, independent evidence refuting unsubstantiated Standard Essential Patents (SEP) licensing demands.

              VVC (H.266) constitutes the latest installment in a series of video codec standards released by the ITU and ISO/IEC and is regarded as the direct successor to HEVC (also H.265). The fragmented licensing landscape for HEVC with three different patent pools has resulted in a significant degree of uncertainty about HEVC’s licensing terms and very high aggregate royalties. The issues revolving around its licensing have not only significantly hampered HEVC’s adoption but also likely have further boosted the significant momentum around royalty free video codecs like AV1. Against this background, the future uptake of VVC will strongly depend on whether the VVC SEP holders will be able to set clear and transparent licensing terms and royalties that are not excessive, but FRAND. VVC’s estimated FRAND royalty rates range from $0.05 for cellular devices to $0.17 for streaming devices.

            • IP Analytics – MedTech [Ed: When they use the buzzword “MedTech” they typically mean unlawful software patents]

              Development in medical technology (MedTech) has seen steady growth for at least the past decade. This growth has been driven in part by the ageing population and the need for technical solutions to ease the pressure on struggling healthcare systems around the world. Healthcare, health monitoring and treatment are now moving away from traditional realms where a patient is seen by a medical professional. Instead, new, innovative and cost-effective solutions are needed to supplement the more traditional solutions in order to meet the growing demand.

            • Network-1 Expands Its Foreign M2M/IoT Patent Portfolio With Three New Granted Patents [Ed: EPO granting bogus software patents again]

              …Decision to Grant European Patent No. EP3111689 (Embedded Universal Integrated Circuit Card Supporting Two-Factor Authentication), which is being published today in the European Patent Bulletin of July 14, 2021. In addition, the UK Intellectual Property Office issued Intention to Grant letters for Applications GB1608573.0 and GB2100530.1 (both entitled Set of Servers for “Machine-to-Machine” Communications Using Public Key Infrastructure). The UK applications are expected to be granted shortly after July 9, 2021 and August 9, 2021, respectively. The claims in these granted foreign applications are generally directed towards authentication of a module including an embedded universal integrated circuit card (eUICC) with a mobile network and supporting secure communication between the module and the mobile network.

            • Network-1 Expands Its Foreign M2M/IoT Patent Portfolio With Three New Granted Patents
        • Trademarks

          • General Court rules that shape of Guerlain’s Rouge G lipstick case can be registered as a trade mark

            Can the shape of a lipstick case function as an indicator of commercial origin? The answer is yes when such case is the iconic and immediately recognizable (at least to lipstick lovers!) one of Rouge G de Guerlain…

            [...]

            In 2018, Guerlain applied to register the 3D sign represented above (left-hand side) for “lipsticks” in Class 3.

            The EUIPO examiner rejected the application considering that the sign would lack distinctive character, in accordance with Article 7(1)(b) EUTMR. The subsidiary claim of the applicant under Article 7(3) EUTMR (acquired distinctiveness) could be examined once the decision became final.

        • Copyrights

          • VPN Hosting Company Asks Court to Dismiss Piracy Lawsuit

            Cloud hosting and DDoS protection company Sharktech has asked a Colorado federal court to dismiss a ‘frivolous’ piracy liability complaint. Through a lawsuit, several independent film companies hold Sharktech liable for the infringing activities of the subscribers of some customers that offer VPN services.

          • Spotify Blocks Users For “Improperly Downloading” Tracks With Third-Party Software

            Spotify has reportedly blocked the accounts of several customers after they “improperly” downloaded tracks from the service using a third-party software tool. Audials Music exploits Spotify to stream music to users at breakneck speed while recording tracks locally as MP3 files. This was noticed at Spotify and has resulted in users being suspended from the service for abuse.

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DecorWhat Else is New


  1. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, September 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, September 25, 2021



  2. Links 25/9/2021: GNU/Linux Recognition in Mainstream Media and Wine-Staging 6.18

    Links for the day



  3. Reminder: GNU Turns 38 This Monday Around Midday (When GNU's Founder Gives Talk in Poland)

    With media and Torvalds speaking again about anniversaries (this has gone on for the past week because Torvalds wrote about it yet again), it is important to recall the announcement that got the ball rolling and basically started it all (the GNU/Linux operating system) because it was in 1983, not 1991. We reproduce in full the announcement.



  4. Links 25/9/2021: Wine 6.18 and Chromium Complier Woes

    Links for the day



  5. [Meme] When the EPO Watches Everything ('Dissidents', Media, Etc.) and Isn't Being Watched by Anybody

    The EPO is taking Europe for a wild ride; Everything is a vehicle for the very same agenda, with nobody left to hold it accountable or ask any tough questions… (even the media is in the EPO’s back pocket or back seat)



  6. Virtual Oversight

    “eMeetings” that simulate an impression of oversight are like ‘ViCo’ to simulate access to justice; will that ever change and will oversight be restored at EPOnia, Europe’s second-largest institution?



  7. The Corporate Coup Against the Soul of the Free Software Community Is Not Over

    The erosion of community role in the development of GNU/Linux is a growing problem; part of the problem is that large corporations target technical and philosophical (perceived) leaders in coordinated smear campaigns, led by media they own



  8. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, September 24, 2021



  9. Links 24/9/2021: GNU Coreutils 9.0, BattlEye GNU/Linux Support

    Links for the day



  10. [Meme] 'Linux' Foundation is Greenwashing Microsoft Again, Misusing the Linux Brand Like Nobody's Business

    Microsoft has weaponised the Linux brand to dub a toxic company like itself (helping notoriously polluting companies and generating lots of waste, both directly and through planned obsolescence, inefficient software, DRM, etc.) as "green"



  11. Richard Stallman to Speak (in Person) in Poland, Dedicate the Talk to Medical Professionals

    Days after his talk in Ukraine Richard Stallman plans to do the same in Poland (just announced)



  12. Links 24/9/2021: 30 Years of Europe’s First Root Name Server, Repairability of Laptops Discussed

    Links for the day



  13. ZDNet Has Failed

    ZDNet is on the decline and its demise appears to have greatly accelerated in recent months; we take a quick look at this month's coverage and explain the conflict of interest (it's PR, not news, and it's far too shallow/blatant to simply overlook)



  14. [Meme] Some People Are Just Above the Law

    A lot of people are still flabbergasted or at least baffled/miffed to discover that some people are in effect above the law; not even Europol and Interpol can apprehend and hold them accountable; that needs to change. Had Benoît Battistelli worked for France Télécom S.A. (not the EPO), would he be arrested? What about António Campinos and his drunk son?



  15. NPR and PBS, Both Funded by Bill Gates, Try to Save Him

    Bill Gates continues to corrupt the media and corrupt social control media (such as Twitter) using his money



  16. The EPO Must Forsake Its Diplomatic Immunity and Quit Pretending It's About Patent Law (or Any Law)

    There's no sign of the EPO actually trying to obey the law and correct the mistakes of the past; to make matters worse, the existing administration adds yet more corruption to an already-massive pile while dismissing any form of oversight



  17. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 23, 2021



  18. Links 24/9/2021: Ubuntu 21.10 Beta, Istio 1.11.3, and More Milestones for Steam Deck

    Links for the day



  19. [Meme] President Campinos Addresses the Legacy of Battistelli's “Strike Regulations”

    A sequence of four EPO memes about those infamous and unlawful “strike regulations” that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have exploited to abuse thousands of workers



  20. [Meme] Bill Gates Keeps Digging Himself Deeper in the Grave Each Time He Speaks

    These sorts of ‘interviews’ with Gates’ own propaganda mills (he also pays Twitter now) aren’t going to improve his image; people aren’t infinitely gullible (Source)



  21. Linux Foundation and Other 'Diploma Mills' Say There's Demand for Their Products in Their New 'Research' (Marketing)

    The so-called ‘Linux’ Foundation (LF), together with edX, are basically marketing their services and products, but this is disguised as 'research' (a false narrative widely parroted by shallow and paid-for media partners of theirs), piggybacking brands like “Linux” and buzzwords like “Open Source” (even when they promote proprietary things, e.g. memorisation of proprietary GUIs)



  22. [Meme] The EPO's Carte Blanche and 'Diplomatic Immunity' Card

    EPO staff is being taken for another ride by António Campinos and his cohorts, whose popularity among staff has likely gone down to sub-zero levels already (even faster than Benoît Battistelli)



  23. As Expected, Minimal Pseudo Compliance From EPO Management, Adding Insult to Injury

    SUEPO Central, the core of the staff union of EPO staff (almost 7,000 workers at the EPO, most of whom are SUEPO members), has strong words about the EPO's attitude and stance, which is perhaps unsurprising but still extremely disappointing



  24. Links 23/9/2021: PostgreSQL 14 RC 1 and MidnightBSD 2.1

    Links for the day



  25. Links 23/9/2021: More UPC PR Stunts and IBM (Poettering) TPM for Linux

    Links for the day



  26. The EPO is on the Run (Escaping Negative Press Coverage)

    Aside from tens of millions of euros granted to media and academia (to keep them complicit or silent about EPO corruption, which also implicates the EU) there’s also SLAPP and threats against staff representatives; but Members of the European Parliament are becoming interested in what’s really going on in Europe’s second-largest institution, so this utter waste of EPO money (manipulating the press and gaming universities’ research) might in itself become a scandal sooner or later



  27. [Meme] Lowering the Standards...

    It's time for another round of fluff at the EPO, this time without even travelling (PR-over-'ViCo')



  28. Gemini HTTP/HTML/Web Proxies and Self-Hosting Your Own Proxy

    Gemini protocol (gemini://) and the fast-growing Geminispace (expected to exceed 2,000 known capsules by year’s end, in effect quadrupling in a single year!) are possible to access using Web browsers, at least for those who do not have Gemini clients/browsers just yet; today we examine and give an outline of the options



  29. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, September 22, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, September 22, 2021



  30. Links 23/9/2021: GNU Parallel 20210922, Moroccan Propaganda From EPO

    Links for the day


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