[Meme] It’s Always an Emergency When You Need to Protect Criminals From Prosecution/Accountability

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

A rigged court: It's Friday; People on holiday; Just following orders; Emergency law; The commies are coming; It came from above; Release the beast!

Summary: The latest task for elevated judges in the Enlarged Board of Appeal is to cover up a long-running illegal practice at the EPO while minimising backlash

Techrights Wiki @ Gemini: At Long Last, An ‘Alpha’ Release

Posted in Site News at 8:25 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

This Wiki keeps growing; the hard part is finding a way to keep its mirrors automatically updated as the Wiki expands

Summary: We cautiously announce the Wiki mirror at gemini:// despite its many existing deficiencies (which make us a tad apprehensive) that can be overcome in due course though a lack of consistency across the Wiki makes that extra hard

THE awaited migration to optical fibre is nearly done (boxes and gear in place) and a preliminary migration/conversion to gemini:// for the entire Wiki (about 700 pages in total) can now be found at gemini://gemini.techrights.org/wiki/ (self-hosted from home). If you do not have a Gemini client installed (they’re trivial to install), here’s a Web gateway for the capsule:

This is just a mirror and upon closer scrutiny it soon becomes apparent that much polishing is needed, albeit given the artificial and deliberate limitations of Gemini Protocol it’s understandable that a perfect conversion (even a one-way, uni-directional translation) is infeasible. It is, at best, an approximation.

“It’s possible to have privacy in IRC.”This coming weekend we plan to write about the EPO, seeing that Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos get their way with courts that they totally control (it happened again on Friday; see the links under “Patents” in the latest batch of news). That helps explain why European software patents exist; those who authorise them disregard the law and instead serve the patent litigation industry. It’s a coup, it is vendor capture (or regulatory capture via courts and institutions which happily undermine constitutions).

Leaks and More

Coffee dropThe good news is that we’re still becoming more resistant to censorship and robust in the uptime sense. We have two IRC networks, two protocols for serving pages (in 2 different countries), and IPFS for decentralisation. It’s a monumental task to gag/censor us now, even with SLAPP/injunctions (some copies of our publications we just lack the ability to remove). To discuss our ongoing work, suggest topics, issue amendments etc. come and join us in IRC. Bouncers and anonymity agents are being added this month. It’s possible to have privacy in IRC. More on that shortly.

Links 17/7/2021: EPO Exposes Its Courts Being Rigged (Later on a Friday), ZDNet Continues With Microsoft’s Latest PR/Propaganda

Posted in News Roundup at 7:46 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Obligatory Media Nonsense

    • Server

      • Announcing Istio 1.10.3

        This release contains bug fixes to improve robustness. This release note describes what’s different between Istio 1.10.2 and Istio 1.10.3.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Piwigo on Ubuntu 20.0

        Piwigo is a free and open-source photo gallery that allows users to upload and manage their photos on the web. Simply put, it’s a photo manager, more like Google Photos, with a strong emphasis on user experience and simplicity. It provides an intuitive and easy-to-use User Interface that allows you to create photo albums and upload your favorite photos.

        Piwigo provides additional plugins that allow users to further customize the look and feel of the UI and improve the overall presentation of photos.

      • How to Install Different Browsers on a Chromebook

        While Google Chrome might be the star of the Chromebook show, you can install different browsers on a Chromebook. Whether you’re a web developer testing a site on multiple browsers, or just someone who wants something different, you have the full range of Linux browsers available.

      • Build Your Own Raspberry Pi Cloud Server with Nextcloud

        Cloud storage is an essential part of modern life. The downside is that your data is stored on remote servers by a faceless corporation which you have to trust with the privacy and security of your precious documents and photos.

        There is another option, however: hosting your files on your very own cloud server running on a computer in your home or office. One of the most popular services for achieving this is .

        We’ll show you how to install Nextcloud on a Raspberry Pi, attach external storage, and choose a suitable case.

      • Generate a SSH Key Pair: How to Do it (with Examples)

        Learn how to generate a SSH key pair on your own machine that can then be used to authenticate your connection to a remote server.

        Password authentication is the default method most SSH clients use to authenticate with remote servers, but it suffers from potential security vulnerabilities like brute-force login attempts. An alternative to password authentication is using authentication with SSH key pair, in which you generate a SSH key and store it on your computer.

      • How to install Gnome 40 on Debian 11

        Before installing Gnome 40 on Debian, you must ensure that your system is upgraded from Debian 10 stable to Debian 11 testing. The reason you’ll need to update is that the packages on Debian 10 are out of date and won’t work with the Gnome 40 packages.

        To start the upgrade, open up a terminal window on the desktop. You can open up a terminal window on the desktop by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T on the keyboard. Or by searching for “terminal” in the app menu.

        With the terminal window open and ready to use, make your terminal window a root shell by entering the su command. You need root to modify sources in your sources.list file.

      • How Do I Check My Pod Details in Kubernetes? – Linux Hint

        In Kubernetes, Pods are the simplest and most basic deployable entities. In your cluster, a Pod defines a specific occurrence. One or even more containers, such as Docker containers, are contained in Pods. When many containers are running in a Pod, they are handled as a single entity that shares the Pod’s resources. Several containers in a single Pod are considered an advanced use case. A cluster’s processes are represented by Pods. Kubernetes can inform on the status of each process operating in the cluster by restricting Pods to a single process. While Pods can hold several containers, the most typical configuration is one container per Pod. Containers that are tightly tied and need to share resources may be placed in the same Pod in some cases. As though they were operating on the very same machine, Pods can interact fast and effortlessly with one another. Inside the cluster, each Pod is specified with its IP address, enabling the application to be using ports without interference. Pods are projected to be transient, disposable objects. When a Pod is generated, it is allocated to a node to run on. The Pod object is removed until the process is stopped. The Pod is evicted due to a shortage of resources or the node crashes. The Pod stays on that node. It is important to check Pod details in Kubernetes from time to time. So, we are going to explain the method to check Pod details in Kubernetes.

      • How to Update Ubuntu Automatically? – Linux Hint

        If you are new to Ubuntu, you must have wondered that the Ubuntu system is not updating itself. You probably have a single question that “does Ubuntu update automatically?”. Unlike Windows or Mac, Ubuntu doesn’t update itself. It lacks completely integrated, automatic, and self-updating software management. However, you can update it easily. So in this guide, you will get to know about the procedure to update Ubuntu automatically.

      • How to Open AppImage in Ubuntu – Linux Hint

        AppImage is a convenient way for the developers to provide the software to most Linux distributions by packing the software in just one file rather than creating multiple packages for multiple Distributions.

        If you are familiar with .deb packages, then AppImage is a simple concept to understand. Yes, it’s a way of installing software on Linux. It is a “Universal software package” format. So why is a tutorial required for using it? Because it is not as convenient as installing .deb packages (by double-clicking them or from terminal using GDebi), but with AppImage, you need to follow some steps to install the software.

        AppImage doesn’t follow the traditional way of installing software. It doesn’t install the software. It is a compressed image containing all dependencies and libraries required to run specific software. The AppImage is executed, and then you can run the software. There are no extractions or installations required. So many people always ask the question, “how do I open AppImage in Ubuntu?”. Now, let’s start the tutorial and get a thorough explanation on installing and opening an AppImage quickly.

    • Games

      • O3DE Game Engine Seeing Progress On Linux Editor [Ed: Linux Foundation promoting Windows-only things]

        The Open 3D Engine spun out of Amazon’s Lumberyard game engine has been seeing progress on Vulkan 1.2 API work as well as Linux porting at large, including the bringing up of the game engine’s editor on Linux.

        Opened last week was this work-in-progress pull for Linux editor support for this open-source game engine. Over the past week it quickly went from being very early stage with various hacks to now sort of working.

      • Love your Sakura games? There’s a new Humble Bundle with 16 games included | GamingOnLinux

        The Humble Sakura Series Bundle has gone live, giving you a chance to pick up a bunch of them for cheaps. Quite a big bundle this time around too, with 16 items as the Sakura games have been going for some time now.

      • A warning for the Steam Deck: Remember the Steam Machines

        I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that Valve has announced its latest foray into the PC hardware world, the Steam Deck. It’s a handheld gaming PC, running its own version of the SteamOS, and is proving somewhat divisive among the PC Gamer team. This isn’t Valve’s first hardware rodeo, however, as the creator of Gordon Freeman and Steam itself has also readily turned its hand to tech in recent times.

        Admittedly to lesser or greater levels of success. But let’s be charitable and start with what Valve has excelled at: VR.

      • Steam Deck: How Proton will make your Steam games shine on Valve’s handheld

        Valve just announced the upcoming Steam Deck handheld gaming PC. Pre-orders also went live to varying degrees of success, but word has it that a lot of people are interested in Valve’s latest hardware push, and for good reason.

        But the Steam Deck doesn’t run Windows, so how exactly is it going to play most games in the Steam library? It comes to software called Proton, which is essentially a compatibility layer that allows the Linux-based operating system to play Windows games.

        Proton, and the Steam OS Linux distro that accompanies it, isn’t new. In fact, it’s been around for a few years, making waves in the Linux gaming community a few years ago. It simplified PC gaming outside of Microsoft’s scope and it’s gotten so much better in the days since.

        However, Proton has limitations, which we’ll get into in just a second. But it’s important to understand that it means that the Steam Deck could see infinitely greater success than the ill-fated Steam Machines. Valve has taken Linux seriously for years now, and it looks like the Steam Deck is the company’s next big push.

      • What is Valve Proton? The Steam Deck’s live-or-die Linux software, explained

        Looking at the spec sheet alone, the just-revealed $399 Steam Deck gaming handheld should be a winner. Valve’s PC-centric Nintendo Switch rival features a big 7-inch touchscreen, plenty of control inputs, an all-AMD chip based on the same hardware inside the Xbox Series S|X and PlayStation 5, and the ability to double as a full-fledged Linux PC. But forget the hardware. While it’s impressive indeed, the Steam Deck will sink or swim based on its software, and that means Valve awesome Proton technology is about to be thrust into the spotlight.

      • Steam Deck: How Proton will make your Steam games shine on Valve’s handheld

        Valve just announced the upcoming Steam Deck handheld gaming PC. Pre-orders also went live to varying degrees of success, but word has it that a lot of people are interested in Valve’s latest hardware push, and for good reason.

        But the Steam Deck doesn’t run Windows, so how exactly is it going to play most games in the Steam library? It comes to software called Proton, which is essentially a compatibility layer that allows the Linux-based operating system to play Windows games.

      • Steam Deck isn’t just bad news for the Nintendo Switch – Windows 11 better watch out as well

        While a lot has been made of how the new Steam Deck could take on the Nintendo Switch when it comes to handheld gaming, what’s perhaps most exciting is what it could do for Linux gaming.

        The Steam Deck runs Steam OS, an operating system built by Valve and based on Arch Linux. Steam OS has been around for a while now – though you might not have known it. Originally a Debian-based Linux distro, Steam OS was originally conceived as an alternative to Windows 10 that gamers would use, either installing it on their own gaming PCs, or by buying a Steam Box gaming device.

      • Steam Deck website Easter egg pokes fun at the “SteamPal” leak

        The Steam Deck website has an Easter egg that proves Valve isn’t afraid of making a few jokes at its own expense, even when it comes to leaks.

        If you head to the official site’s software page, then scroll down to the section with the heading “A new Steam operating system,” you’ll see it ends with a linked passage saying “Hold on to your butts!” Click the text, which is a reference to Samuel L. Jackson’s famous line in Jurassic Park, and a new subsection will roll out with another Jurassic Park reference to go more in-depth on how Steam Deck uses a Linux operating system. OK, so it was a UNIX system in the movie, but close enough.

        The fold-out Linux section is illustrated with an image of two people looking at an old CRT computer monitor with a very familiar, very Hollywood-looking computer interface. It’s another Jurassic Park reference, but we need to go deeper. On the side of the screen is a picture of the G-Man from Half-Life looking smug and smoking a pipe, and there are some sticky notes above and below his picture.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • wlroots in KWinFT

          As already teasered in the last post about KWinFT in its second year a few months ago I started with an ambitious endeavour: to replace KWinFT’s own platform backends with a single one based on wlroots.

          Today the feature branch for this fundamental internal refactoring has been merged into KWinFT’s master branch. To celebrate this milestone let’s take a look at the new wlroots backend in more detail.

        • KWinFT Lands Code To Now Use WLROOTS For Wayland

          The KWinFT fork of KDE’s KWin compositor has landed its support for using the WLROOTS Wayland library.

          KWinFT started off over a year ago as a fork of KWin focused on providing better Wayland support. KWinFT has been rewriting much of the KWin code and making various improvements while most recently going through a big code refactoring. The latest major change is KWinFT now using WLROOTS.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Felix Häcker: Introducing “This Week in GNOME”

          I have been following the “This Week in Matrix” blog series with great interest for some time now, and wondered: “Why isn’t there something like this for GNOME?”
          To summarize the principle in a few words: A short, weekly summary in which maintainers briefly announce what they worked on for the past week.

    • Distributions

      • Fedora and IBM/Red Hat

        • Fedora Magazine: Apps for daily needs part 1: web browsers

          One of the important apps for daily needs is a web browser. That’s because surfing the internet is an activity most people do in front of the computer. This article will introduce some of the open source web browsers that you can use on Fedora Linux. You need to install the software mentioned. All the browsers mentioned in this article are already available in the official Fedora repository. If you are unfamiliar with how to add software packages in Fedora Linux, see my earlier article Things to do after installing Fedora 34 Workstation.

        • Fedora Community Blog: Friday’s Fedora Facts: 2021-28

          Here’s your weekly Fedora report. Read what happened this week and what’s coming up. Your contributions are welcome (see the end of the post)!

          The Nest With Fedora CfP is extended until 23 July. Registration is open now.

          Fedora Linux 35 mass rebuild begins Wednesday.

          I have weekly office hours on Wednesdays in the morning and afternoon (US/Eastern time) in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else. See the upcoming meetings for more information.

        • Red Hat renews FIPS 140-2 security validation for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2 [Ed: Sign that Red Hat targets military contracts]

          Red Hat announced the renewal of the Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 (FIPS 140-2) security validation for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.2. The second FIPS certification for the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 platform, this validation indicates Red Hat’s leadership and commitment to providing a more secure backbone for the innovation of open hybrid cloud.

        • Atos and IBM to build infrastructure for the Dutch Ministry of Defense

          Atos and IBM have been selected as vendors for the Dutch Ministry of Defense to build new IT infrastructure.

          The two companies will help the Dutch MoD to construct new data centers, safeguard its IT systems, and build a proprietary broadband mobile network for its classified government information.

        • IBM To Acquire Hybrid Data Firm Bluetab [Ed: IBM and Microsoft buy companies not because of a powerful position but a lack of long-term strategy]
        • Digital Acceleration with IBM | Workday

          Having a transparent, data-driven enterprise is more important than ever. Ensuring your tools and datasets are configured to provide agility in today’s dynamic times will allow organizations to move at today’s accelerated speed of business. Watch the video now!

        • Be Cautious on IBM Stock Until After Whitehurst’s Resignation Shakes Out | InvestorPlace

          After IBM President Jim Whitehurst resigned, investors should not buy IBM stock. A wait-and-see approach is preferable.

        • What Ever Happened to IBM’s Watson? – The New York Times

          IBM’s artificial intelligence was supposed to transform industries and generate riches for the company. Neither has panned out. Now, IBM has settled on a humbler vision for Watson.

        • Libre-SOC Releases First Non-IBM OpenPOWER Chip in Decade | Tom’s Hardware

          Libre-SOC developers sent the first test ASIC to TSMC’s manufacturing facilities.

      • Debian Family

        • Hitting the Bullseye: Upgrade Debian 10 Buster to 11 Bullseye

          Debian 11, codenamed Bullseye, is the latest release that comes with several crucial improvements over Debian 10. The developers are yet to roll out a stable version; however, users can expect significant differences over its predecessor.

          If you plan to upgrade from Debian 10 Buster to 11 Bullseye without breaking a sweat, then it’s time to hop on the bandwagon and carry out a simple upgrade.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Router board features WiFi 6 and five GbE ports

        Wallys’ “DR5018” router board is equipped with a Qualcomm IPQ5018 with dual Cortex-A53 cores and offers 5x GbE (or 1x GbE and 1x 2.5GbE) plus 802.11ax, BT 5.1, USB 3.0, and 2x M.2 E-key slots.

        Wallys (or Wally’s) Communications has announced another Linux-driven router board based on a Qualcomm reference design. The new DR5018 incorporates a Qualcomm IPQ5018 networking SoC.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Raspberry Pi add-on enables 120fps 3D sensing via an IR laser

          Magik Eye has launched a developer release of an “ILT Development Kit” (DK-ILT001) add-on for the Raspberry Pi that provides 3D sensing at up to 120fps by combining inputs from a CMOS sensor and a 3D IR laser.

          Stamford, Conn. based Magik Eye announced a “pre-launch” release of its Invertible Light Technology (ILT) Development Kit for the Raspberry Pi based on its MagikEye technology. This early version is aimed at a selected group of 3D sensing developers and will be followed by an official launch at $99.

          The ILT Development Kit, also known as the DK-ILT001, is designed for high volume, low latency 3D sensing applications that require a compact form factor. The kit can capture 3D point cloud data of targets for applications such as robotics.

        • Watch your music come to life on this single LED strip audio spectrum visualizer | Arduino Blog

          While thinking of an interesting project to create, Hackster user marcaubin started to imagine an audio spectrum visualizer, but not a traditional one that has a matrix of LEDs with columns corresponding to certain frequencies. Instead, his device would have just a single NeoPixel strip featuring 29 LEDs in total, with the bottom ones displaying the lower frequencies while the top pixels would indicate the higher frequencies.

          He built a small box that houses a few components, including an Arduino Nano Every for taking in sound data and controlling the LED strip, a jack for plugging in a sound source, and a series of potentiometers for carefully adjusting certain variables. Two of those potentiometers can change the color range of the LEDs, as the possible range of colors get divided amongst the pixels in between the two ends. There is a way to change both the saturation and max brightness of the LEDs as well.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Olivia Rodrigo, the cast of “The French Dispatch,” “Loki” and more are on this week’s Top Shelf

            At Mozilla, we believe part of making the internet we want is celebrating the best of the internet, and that can be as simple as sharing a tweet that made us pause in our feed. Twitter isn’t perfect, but there are individual tweets that come pretty close.

            Each week in Top Shelf, we will be sharing the tweets that made us laugh, think, Pocket them for later, text our friends, and want to continue the internet revolution each week.

      • FSF

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppArmadillo on CRAN: A New Upstream

          Armadillo is a powerful and expressive C++ template library for linear algebra aiming towards a good balance between speed and ease of use with a syntax deliberately close to a Matlab. RcppArmadillo integrates this library with the R environment and language–and is widely used by (currently) 882 other packages on CRAN.

          This new release gets us Armadillo 10.6.0 which was released yesterday. We did the usual reverse dependency checks (which came out spotless and clean), and had also just done even fuller checks for Rcpp 1.0.7.

        • Face and Motion Detection using Computer Vision – Linux Hint

          Opencv (Open Source Computer Vision Library) is a Python module used for computer vision. It is an immense module with exceptional capabilities. We can do a lot of things with computer vision, and some of the greatest are face recognition and motion detection.

          In this tutorial, you will be learning to write code to detect faces in images, videos, and motion.

          To avoid all sorts of errors and problems, we will download the opencv file from GitHub at https://github.com/opencv/opencv. We will be using some of the files within in order to complete the code.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

      • EU Heart Condition Warning For COVID-19 Vaccines Comirnaty And Spikevax [Ed: Finding side effects 'on the go'... whilst already administering to millions of people]

        All four coronavirus vaccines authorized for marketing in the EU/European Economic Area have had their safety information updated because of various adverse events including myocarditis, pericarditis and capillary leak syndrome.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • Linux Variant of HelloKitty Ransomware Targets VMware ESXi Servers [Ed: FUD sites led or preceded by Microsoft operatives elsewhere are still trying to blame on “Linux” something that is actually proprietary software and GPL violation (against Linux)]

              HelloKitty joins the growing list of ransomware bigwigs going after the juicy target of VMware ESXi, where one hit gets scads of VMs.

              For the first time, researchers have publicly spotted a Linux encryptor used by the HelloKitty ransomware gang: the outfit behind the February attack on videogame developer CD Projekt Red.

              On Wednesday, MalwareHunterTeam disclosed its discovery of numerous Linux ELF-64 versions of the HelloKitty ransomware targeting VMware ESXi servers and virtual machines (VMs) running on them.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Biden, Merkel stress friendship while agreeing to disagree on pipeline

        U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to disagree on Thursday about a Russian pipeline project that Washington opposes, while vowing to stand together against aggression from Moscow and anti-democratic action from Beijing.


        “We stand together and will continue to stand together to defend our eastern-flank allies at NATO against Russian aggression.”

        Merkel noted the differences of opinion but emphasized points of unity between the two countries. “We all share the same values; we all share the same determination to tackle the challenges of our times,” she said.

        Biden pledged to have a decision soon on whether to lift a pandemic-related ban on Europeans traveling to the United States that has irked Germany and other allies.

      • Biden to meet Merkel in latest signal he is renewing US-Europe alliance
    • Monopolies

      • Immediate and unconditional surrender is the only safe harbor for anti-antisuit defendants in Munich: IP Bridge v. Huawei decision published

        On Wikipedia you can find a list of Alcatraz escape attempts. At some point–though probably not on Wikipedia–someone may put together a similar list of defendants to standard-essential patent (SEP)

      • Patent Docs: NAI & IPO Release List of Top 100 Universities Receiving Patents in 2020 [Ed: Monopolies hoarded at the expense of taxpayers]

        Earlier this month, the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) published their annual list of the top 100 worldwide universities that received the most U.S. utility patents during the 2020 calendar year. The NAI is a member organization comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutions, with over 4,000 individual inventor members and Fellows spanning more than 250 institutions. The organization was founded in 2010 to recognize and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society. The joint effort by the NAI and IPO is based on data obtained from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. For their report, the NAI and IPO defined a university as an institution that grants undergraduate-level degrees, and when a patent is assigned to one or more entities, credit was given to the first named entity. The report indicates that the number of patents granted to a particular university does not necessarily indicate the value of a university’s technology, the effectiveness of its research, or whether its patents will be successfully licensed and/or brought to market. The top 25 universities on the NAI/IPO listing are as follows (click on table to expand):

      • Patents

        • Patent case: Parkventil f. Federspeicher-Feststellbremse, Germany [Ed: If the Federal Court of Justice of Germany is like FCC and EPO tribunals, then all those decisions are rigged by financial and political interests and accordingly stacked against the law itself]

          According to established case law, it is sufficient for the realization of a feature containing an indication of purpose if the device protected is suitable for use for the purpose mentioned due to its structural design. In the case of a feature that is claimed in a generalized form, the patent specification does not have to generally show the skilled person a feasible way to realize it for every conceivable embodiment.

        • Can a patent be granted to a machine? [Ed: Stephen Thaler has inadvertently exposed the total stupidity of today's patent system]

          There is a case quietly making its way through the Federal Court of Australia that could have profound implications for our conception of what it means to be an ‘inventor’, and whether this requires human creativity and ingenuity.

          The outcome could also affect the freedom of Australian innovators to develop and commercialise new technologies.

          In Stephen Thaler v Commissioner of Patents the court is being asked to resolve the question: can a patent be granted for an invention that was devised by a machine, or is a human inventor required?

          Dr Stephen Thaler is the US-based developer of a computer program he calls DABUS (‘Device for the Autonomous Bootstrapping of Unified Sentience’). Dr Thaler claims that DABUS is capable of independent invention and that it has devised several new inventions.

        • G 1/21: EPO oral proceedings by videoconference – Enlarged Board rejects further objections of suspected partiality [Ed: As EPO is technically above the law there's nobody left to stop these endless crimes. Time to abolish the entire thing. It's just organised crime at this stage, complete with control over the courts.]
        • G 1/21: EPO Oral Proceedings By Videoconference – Enlarged Board Rejects Further Objections Of Suspected Partiality [Ed: More evidence that today's EPO is run for and by criminals; even the courts are captured by the criminals.]

          The widely anticipated European Patent Office (EPO) decision in case G 1/21 has been delayed thus far by ongoing discussions in relation to partiality of the members of the Enlarged Board of Appeal, which has been the subject of two interlocutory decisions.

          Following the first of those decisions, the composition of the Board was changed by order of 20 May 2021. The appellant (opponent, Rohde & Schwarz GmbH & Co KG) made submissions raising further objections, including requests for replacement of additional members of the Enlarged Board and referencing for the first time the issue of “personal interest” of the members. In a non-public discussion during the originally scheduled (first) oral proceedings of 28 May 2021, the issue of suspected partiality was discussed. The (second) oral proceedings to decide on the referred question was postponed to 2 July 2021, in order that a decision could be issued on the further allegations of suspected partiality. That second interlocutory decision of the Board was issued on 28 June, the week of the oral proceedings, dismissing all of the appellant’s objections.

          While the delay of the discussion of the actual legal issue, referred by the Board of Appeal in T 1807/15, may appear frustrating to many, it has been widely accepted that it is essential for the public to have confidence that a fair and unconflicted decision will be reached by the members of the Board. As put by Siemens AG in their amicus curiae brief: “there is a conflict between a timely decision vs. . a high-quality decision”, and most of the nearly 50 parties who have submitted amicus curiae briefs appear to concur that the importance of a high-quality decision outweighs the desire for expedient certainty.

        • This week in IP: In-house revive UPC plans, Munich gets new patent chamber, UKIPO launches renewal service [Ed: Team UPC still at it. More fake UPC 'news' from their propaganda mill; the UPC faces many legal and constitutional barriers]

          In-house counsel told Managing IP this week that they were seriously considering their next steps to get ready for the Unified Patent Court, after Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court dismissed two complaints filed against the country’s ratification of the harmonised patent project.

          Sources say they are not only beginning to look at which patents they would like to opt in to the court, but are also reconsidering where they hire external counsel.

          The head of IP for a chemical company in the Netherlands said that although his company already had a plan for how to use the UPC, he was starting to think seriously about the court and how he would use it in the future because of the constitutional court’s announcement.

          “There is going to be some delay before this comes into force, but now we need to decide which of our existing patents we are going to opt out of the UPC and which are we going to use,” he said.

        • EBoA endorses conduct of oral proceedings by videoconference during pandemic [Ed: EPO celebrates crimes in its official site (on a Friday, when fewer people will notice or have time to respond]

          Today, the Enlarged Board of Appeal, the highest level of independent judicial authority at the European Patent Office (EPO), has decided on referral G 1/21 concerning the compliance of oral proceedings by videoconference (VICO) with the European Patent Convention (EPC). The decision was taken after a public hearing held before the Enlarged Board on 2 July 2021.

        • Other Barks & Bites for Friday, July 16: Tiffany Cunningham Advances in 63-34 Cloture Vote, EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal OKs Remote Proceedings Without Consent During Emergencies, and Cotton and Tillis Revive Questions on ‘Disastrous’ TRIPS Waiver
        • G 1/21: EPO confirms video conferencing compatible with EPC [Ed: No, it has confirmed that EPO courts are in fact corrupt]

          For several weeks, the European patent attorney community has eagerly awaited the decision in case G 1/21. Now, following much discussion, the EPO Enlarged Board of Appeal has published its first communication regarding the outcome of the proceedings. A press communiqué confirms that compulsory video conferencing does not contravene Article 116 of the EPC.

        • Breaking: EPO backs mandatory VICO – only in emergencies [Ed: This is a catastrophe for EPO's legitimacy; the courts approve crimes]

          The EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal ruled today, July 16, that oral appeal proceedings by video conference can be held without the consent of parties – but only in states of emergency.

          In its decision in case G1/21, the EBoA found that the boards can, during periods of general emergency that impair parties’ ability to attend in-person proceedings, hold a VICO hearing by default without both parties’ consent.

          However, the EBoA did not address whether VICO proceedings can be held without the consent of the parties in the absence of a period of emergency. It also unclear who would decide this definition.

        • Breaking EPO News in G 1/21 – Video injured but apparently has not killed the in-person oral proceedings star

          On Friday, 16 July 2021 the Enlarged Board of Appeal (“the EBA”) of the European Patent Office (“the EPO”) issued a decision in the greatly…

        • Case G1/21: EBA gives no clarity about videoconferencing [Ed: EPO ‘court’ chickens out of stopping illegal EPO practices]

          In its much-awaited decision in case G 1/21, the Enlarged Board of Appeal (EBA) of the EPO has evaded to answer the high-profile question whether videoconferencing against the will of (one of) the parties is compatible with the right to oral proceedings.


          In today’s decision, the EBA circumvented the fundamental question of the compatibility of article 15a with article 116(1) EPC, and restricted itself to a decision concerning a situation of oral proceedings during a ‘general emergency’.


          The decision means the ‘hot potato’ and the uncertainty are still there. One wonders why the EBA, whose main task is to ensure the uniform application of the EPC, chose to restrict its judgment instead of grasping the opportunity to create clarity about this important issue. In its press release, the EBA said that the “reasons for the decision will be issued in writing in due course and will subsequently be publicly available in the decisions database of the Boards of Appeal”.

        • Volpara Health Grows Patent Collection with Recently Granted European Protection of Image Quantification [Ed: How many of these patents are not actually valid but granted nonetheless for the wrong reasons?]
        • Volpara Health Grows its Patent Collection [Ed: "Volpara has recently been granted another patent by the European Patent Office," but so many European Patents are nowadays invalid, say insiders]

          Volpara has recently been granted another patent by the European Patent Office, raising the total number of patents for the New Zealand-based health tech company to 98. This latest patent, effective across 25 European countries, outlines the Volpara method of image quantification, used in multiple instances across the Volpara Breast Health Platform product suite.

        • Patent Office Policies Drive Interest in Old Litigation Playbook [Ed: Bloomberg (oligarchy) continues its tradition of patent maximalists by hiring Bultman; lobbying in "news" clothing]

          Companies having trouble convincing a patent office tribunal to review a patent’s validity are dusting off an old playbook, and taking a renewed interest in reexaminations.

          Requests for ex parte reexaminations at the patent office plummeted following the 2012 introduction of inter partes review, falling as much as 80%, according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data. Patent examiners in a reexam look at the validity of claims in an issued patent, and can reject claims that are unpatentable.

        • Opinion: EPO complaints procedure in need of shake-up [Ed: After doing lots of EPO propaganda Max Walters decides to ‘upset’ his masters a little; SUEPO has taken note]

          If you raise a grievance at your workplace, you would rightly expect a final determination on the matter in a timely fashion.

          Exactly how long this should take is open to interpretation, but it is highly unlikely you would want to wait several years.

          However, this is the situation some staff members at the EPO have found themselves in.

          The Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization (ILO) last week published a final determination on several complaints raised by EPO staff members.

          The ILO, a UN agency, is the final arbiter of grievances raised by EPO staff, but only when internal measures have been exhausted.


          The strike actions gained considerable attention, so it is hardly a secret that the EPO’s recent past has not been free from controversy. And some of the ILO’s findings serve as a stark reminder of what has gone before.

          But the EPO has the opportunity to change.

          A new president, António Campinos, has been in place since 2018, and while we would not like to make any assertions that the office is in a state of pure harmony, it is at least attempting to make positive strides. When he took over the helm, Campinos said he wanted to engage with and listen to staff.

          But whether staff complaints amount to anything or not, waiting more than a decade for an answer is simply not good enough.

          The same could be said for the EPO itself. It is surely within its own interest to clear its name quickly, as it has in some of these cases.

          Campinos is three years into his five-year term. Irrespective of whether he opts for another, reforming internal appeal committees should be high on his agenda, if it’s not already.

        • Software Patents

          • China’s New Guidelines – Good News for Software Patents [Ed: Bad news for software developers, good news for those who attack/rob them]

            The Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) recently revised the Examination Guidelines for software patents including artificial intelligence (AI), big data and blockchain.

ZDNet as a News Source is a Hoax

Posted in Deception, GNU/Linux, IBM, Microsoft at 3:13 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 747e027bb04774a5570cc694124ba529

Summary: Today we examine how ZDNet covers “Linux” and what that should tell people who wrongly assume ZDNet is a legitimate news source

THE Web site ZDNet may look like a news site; once upon a time it probably was a news source. But nowadays it’s like a marketing agency disguised as “news agency” and we know who its clients are. They’re in the job of deceiving unsuspecting readers. The video above focuses on how ZDNet covers “Linux”, based on the latest examples.

Links 16/7/2021: OSI Post Mortem

Posted in News Roundup at 2:07 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Update Roulette | Self-Hosted 49

        Updates gone wrong, surprise hardware failures, and flooding out all our electronics in a single go. We’ve got a lot to catch you up on.

    • Kernel Space

      • Coreboot Making Progress On Running More Of It In 64-bit Mode

        Two weeks ago was a rework to its 64-bit build options for the enabling of the experimental support for building and running Coreboot in 64-bit mode rather than 32-bit. This is irrespective of the OS support but the 32-bit Coreboot builds have traditionally been the focus with more stability/maturity.

      • Graphics Driver Changes Begin Queuing For Linux 5.15 – Phoronix

        An early batch of “drm-misc-next” changes has been sent to DRM-Next for queuing to ultimately land with the Linux 5.15 kernel.

        Less than one week after the Linux 5.14 merge window closure, the initial batch of miscellaneous Direct Rendering Manager subsystem changes and work on the smaller DRM drivers has been sent in as a pull request to DRM-Next.

      • Amazon’s DAMON Might Finally Be Ready For Upstreaming Into The Linux Kernel

        At the start of 2020 Amazon engineers sent out a “request for comments” around DAMON as a new kernel feature to monitor data accesses and can be used for purposes like analyzing over-committed memory use, debugging, and other optimizations. DAMON has now seen thirty-four revisions to the patches but it looks like it could finally be in a state for mainlining in the Linux kernel.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux Gaming Performance With Radeon Vulkan NGG Culling

        The newest performance optimization merged this week for Mesa’s “RADV” Radeon Vulkan open-source driver is NGG culling for Navi 1x/2x graphics cards. NGG Culling “NGGC” isn’t enabled by default at this time but can be easily activated and depending upon the software under test can provide some minor performance gains on top of all the other optimizations seen in recent times for RADV.

    • Applications

      • The Best Microsoft Excel Alternatives for Linux

        It’s no secret that spreadsheets are essential for visualizing and analyzing data at all levels. They are especially in demand in the modern business world but casual users also need them from time to time for simple calculations.

        When it comes to creating and editing spreadsheets, Microsoft Excel is probably the most popular program that can make everything from household budget spreadsheets to management reports for large companies. However, the Microsoft software is not natively available for Linux and its cost might be a formidable obstacle for many users.

      • ALib adds Fallback Spread Adjustments, new interpolation and Ubuntu 20.04

        • Support has been added for Ubuntu 20.04. This continues ALib’s tradition of supporting the widest range of platforms and interfaces. Since ALib uses a single common codebase across all variants, we ensure both interoperability and consistency of results everywhere.

      • Tray icons in i3

        The i3 window manager delivers a lot of what I like: simplicity, speed, and configurability. Some things, like tray icons, magically appear in other window managers. These items require a bit more configuration within i3 to get them set up well.

        In this post, I’ll explain how I handle tray icons in i3.

      • Drawing and Coloring | Inkscape

        This is the fifth of Inkscape For Students the series after we learned about mastering text before, now we will learn about basics of drawing and coloring. It is easy peasy to practice like below. Let’s start.

      • pasta – stupid simple pastebin service

        Pushed pastes are called pastas and they automatically expire after 1 month (can be changed by the server config). Once submitted you get a modification token, which you can use to modify and delete accidentally submitted pastas.
        The pasta client runs out of the box against the default localhost URL. The pastad server only requires a simple configuration file and a data directory. No database or other dependencies are required. That’s why I call it stupid simple.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Add Fonts In Fedora Linux – OSTechNix

        The stock fonts in your Linux desktop may not look good or satisfy your requirements. You might want to add new fonts in your Linux distribution. In this brief guide, let me show you how to add fonts in Fedora Linux distribution.

      • How to install Solus 4.3

        In this video, I am going to show how to install Solus 4.3

      • Enable Windows 11 Style Start Menu in Ubuntu 20.04 & Higher via Arc Menu | UbuntuHandbook

        By releasing recent update, the popular Arc Menu Gnome Shell extension finally adds Gnome 40 and Windows 11 layout support.

        Arc Menu is a free open-source app menu extension for Gnome. It provides various menu layouts to choose from, as well as many options to customize the appearance. For users new to GNOME and looking for a Windows style start menu, this extension will be perfect for you!

        With the extension along with dash to panel, you can make Ubuntu just look like Windows 11.

      • How to Use the lp Command in Linux to Print Files From Terminal – Make Tech Easier

        Linux printing can be a bit of a challenge – especially to new users. In this tutorial, we introduce you to the lp command in Linux and show you how to use it to perform basic printing operations. We cover how to print in portrait and landscape mode, single and multiple copies, and more.

      • How to Add Drop Shadow to Text with GIMP? – Linux Hint

        GIMP is a free image manipulation tool. It has many advanced manipulation tools for pro-level editing such as alpha channel, layers, channels, GIMP text-shadow, etc. Text shadow is a long-prevailing method used by professionals to make text appear out of the surface that gives a 3D appearance to the text that goes easy on the eye. If you want to learn to add shadows, then read this tutorial completely, as we will give a brief on how to add a drop shadow to text with GIMP.

        Adding shadow is one of the most preferred and quick ways to beautify text in GIMP. A subtle and balanced stroke can dramatically enhance the text’s appearance. Though there are multiple ways to add shadow to the text, we will throw light on some most used methods to create a shadow.

      • All the Ways to Move Files in Linux for Beginners – Linux Hint

        Certain tasks are pretty easy to perform, but many users get stuck because they are unaware of their proper functionality. When a user shifts to a different platform, these minor operations become time-consuming, and one of those tasks is moving files/folders from one path to another.

        When you switch from Windows to Linux system, the question may arise in the beginners’ mind on “How can we move files?” In Linux, there are several routes to reach the same destination, and Linux distributions are designed to make the system easy to use for all types of users.

        Before getting started with moving files, let’s discuss what moving the files means? This might be helpful for the beginners confused with the move(mv) and copy(cp) command.

      • Install Redmine on Ubuntu 20.04 – RoseHosting

        Redmine is an open-source and one of the most popular project management and issue tracking systems written in the Ruby on Rails framework. It is a cross-platform and cross-database tool that allows you to manage multiple projects and sub-projects. It offers robust monitoring tools and has integrated support for news, document management, calendars, forum and file management.

        Redmine can be integrated with various version control systems and offers a repository browser.

      • LibreDNS DnsOverTLS no ads with systemd-resolved
      • How to Remove Broken Packages in Ubuntu Linux

        As a professional Linux user, I need to install, test, and remove tons of packages on my Ubuntu, Fedora, and Arch systems. Installing and removing packages are straightforward, but somehow, if you face a broken package issue on your Ubuntu machine, that is havoc. If you can not remove broken packages from your Ubuntu machine, you will probably face issues while installing it later. Moreover, broken packages also occupy some space in the Ubuntu file system.

      • How To Install Polr URL Shortener on Ubuntu 20.04

        Polr is a free and open-source URL shortener written in PHP. It provides a simple and user-friendly interface to create and manage links. You can host your own URL shortener, brand your URLs, and gain control over your data. It provides a ton of features including, robust API, URL forwarding, customize permissions, themes, and more.

        In this post, we will show you how to install Polr with Apache and Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • How to Install Prometheus System Monitoring Tool on Ubuntu 20.04

        In this tutorial, we will learn how to install Prometheus on Ubuntu 20.04. For those unfamiliar with Prometheus, it is a system monitoring tool that provides an overview of all your system’s metrics and performance information so you can identify any problems or bottlenecks. You might find it useful if you want to keep track of resources such as CPU usage, memory utilization, network IO wait time, etc… It has a web interface that allows for easy monitoring from any device with an internet connection and also supports alerting via email and SMS messages in case the metrics surpass a configured threshold.

      • How To Install DNS Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install DNS Server on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, DNS servers very important tool for your network because many IP addresses can’t remember so can remember DNS name. BIND or BIND 9 is an open-source implementation of DNS, available for almost all Linux distributions. BIND stands for Berkeley Internet Name Domain and it allows us to publish DNS information on the internet as well as allows us to resolve DNS queries for the users. BIND is by far the most used DNS software on the Internet.

        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 DNS Server (Bind9) 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 Deploy WVD Session Hosts using Terraform – buildVirtual

        Following on from this article covering how to deploy Windows Virtual Desktop resources, this article will show how you can also deploy WVD session hosts using Terraform. The previous article detailed how to use Terraform to deploy a AVD workspace, app group and host pool. This article will show how you can use Terraform to add session hosts to the empty host pool.

      • Nginx Optimization Tuning with Caching

        Nginx is a powerful web application software to host websites with. In time, Nginx has finally surpassed Apache in the most used web server software after its launch in the early 2000s, mainly due to performance plus the ability to be more than a traditional web server. One of the many things Nginx is used for is being deployed as a reverse proxy or load balancer.

        However, a key feature is missed most times when deployed as a front for back end servers. That is the ability Nginx has over HAProxy in catching static resources quite easy with writing to disk or if you have a beefy server with quite an abundance of RAM adding the cache to memory for ultimate performance.

      • Rsync (Remote Sync): Practical Examples of Rsync

        Rsync is a Linux-based tool that can be used to sync files between remote and local servers. Rsync has many options that can help you define the connections you make. From deciding the type of shell that should be used to files that should be excluded in a transfer, Rsync gives you the power to shape the transfer specifications.

      • How To Redirect Non-www to www with Nginx – LinuxCapable.com

        When you have a website or application up and running Nginx, it is desirable to allow visitors to access the domain using both www and non-www versions of your domain name. However, in today’s age of Search Engine Optimization and users wanting a fast and easy browsing experience, having two URL links can negatively affect the overall experience of your website. However, this doesn’t mean you should abandon one of the ways your visitors can access the site. Instead, setting up a simple redirection can improve the visitor’s experience to your website, increase backlink recognition easier and SEO rating.

        In the below guide, you will learn using how to redirect a www URL to non-www, e.g. (www.example.com) to (example.com) and vice versa with a redirect is called a Permanent Redirect, or “301 redirect”, This can be done on any operating system using Nginx, the examples are for the server blocks only. They do not explain how to set these up or how to install Nginx.

      • How to Install, Configure Tripwire IDS on Debian 10 – LinuxCapable.com

        Tripwire IDS is a reliable intrusion detection system that identifies changes made to specified files and directories. Tripwire IDS Detects intrusions by analyzing operating systems and applications, resource utilization, and other system activity.

      • How to Install Mono on Debian 10 Buster – LinuxCapable.com

        Mono is a free, open-source development platform based on the .NET Framework. Mono’s .NET implementation is based on the ECMA/ISO standards for C# and the Common Language Infrastructure.

      • How to Install and Configure PostgreSQL on Ubuntu 20.04 – LinuxCapable.com

        PostgreSQL, also often referred to as Postgres, is a powerful, open-source object-relational database system. PostgreSQL has built a strong reputation for reliability, feature robustness, and performance amongst developers.

        You will know how to install PostgreSQL on your Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Focal Fossa operating system in the following guide. The same principle will work for the newer version Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo).

      • GNU Linux how to vim install VimPlug
      • 5 Linux commands I’m going to start using | Enable Sysadmin

        Linux system administration is best described as automating Linux system administration. Sometimes these tools are yours and yours alone. Other times, utilities are shared with others on your team, shipped, or offered as a service. This comes from the most casual understanding of the UNIX philosophy: Using small, purpose-built tools, and joining them in new, powerful, and unexpected ways. These can be complex commands, which become one-line scripts, which become multiple-line scripts. Some scripts you will keep and share, some you will forget about at your next coffee break.

        I can’t throw around phrases like UNIX philosophy without remembering back to a time where not everything was Linux, or even when all Linux systems one might be responsible for were the same distro. The only confidence I have in the future is that it will be different. Therefore, some historic tricks for portability—forward and backward—are due, especially when they don’t cost you anything.

    • Games

      • Awesome survival game Vintage Story sees the Homesteading update out now | GamingOnLinux

        After multiple Release Candidates, the Homesteading update (which is huge) is out now for Vintage Story, one of the best survival games available for Linux.

        With a huge open world, it’s very much a sandbox survival game in the spirit (and style) of Minecraft. However, it’s deep. The mechanics have a huge amount of thought put into them, and I’ll never get over how cool it actually is to craft items with you needing to chip away at tiny little blocks in their shape – it’s fantastic.

      • Grab your broom as Clunky Hero has a new trailer and a Steam page | GamingOnLinux

        The upcoming metroidvania platformer Clunky Hero from Chaosmonger Studio (ENCODYA) has a brand new trailer to show off all the development, along with a Steam page. Funded on both Kickstarter and IndieGoGo, Clunky Hero is a story-driven platformer metroidvania with a touch of RPG and tons of humour.

        While it has no release date yet, the developer did mention in June that they were finalizing the Alpha version so it’s starting to get closer. Clunky Hero also pulls in elements of other genres to make it a bit more than another platformer. There’s some RPG elements, a proper comedy storyline to follow, quests and more.

      • Klei address some long-term concerns in Oxygen Not Included in the latest update | GamingOnLinux

        While Klei has been busy expanding the Oxygen Not Included expansion Spaced Out, they’ve now come back to the main game to improve it for everyone.

        A lot of the work on Spaced Out mechanically has improved the base game, with Klei mentioning that the two were actually on different codebases but that’s no longer the case. They went back and unified them so that everyone who doesn’t own the DLC can see some improvements. What the Breath Of Fresh Air update brings is a focus on some “long-term concerns” along with a new Modding API and an upgraded version of the Unity engine.

      • Jupiter Hell shows off a fancy new trailer ahead of the full release on August 5

        Currently in Early Access, the awesome and brutal roguelike Jupiter Hell is getting set to leave Early Access on August 5 and they have a surprisingly great new trailer. Acting as a successor to DRL (formerly DoomRL), Jupiter Hell is a shiny and tough proper roguelike that’s so slick with the movement it often feels real-time but it’s not.

        The new trailer (below) doesn’t have a lot of gameplay in it (there’s some towards the end) but we still love it. A good animated trailer always ends up suckering me in, not that I needed it considering that Jupiter Hell is just fantastic overall and thanks to the Vulkan support it runs blisteringly fast on Linux with the native build.

      • Steam Deck – The future of Linux gaming has never looked brighter
      • Steam Deck Supports Ray Tracing, VRS, and Other Stores; Programmer Compares It to Xbox Series X in Performance per Pixel

        Following earlier rumors of a handheld system in the works at Valve, the Steam Deck was officially announced yesterday alongside a December 2021 release window.

        The Steam Deck is powered by AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture, so it’s not surprising to hear straight from Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais that the hardware support DirectX 12 Ultimate features like variable rate shading (VRS) and acceleration for ray tracing, but it’s always good to get confirmation.

      • I cannot get over Valve’s aggressive pricing for the Steam Deck

        Valve has a new handheld, and I’m shocked by its price more than anything else. The Steam Deck is launching this December starting at $400. And that price gets you the 64GB model and a Nintendo Switch-like handheld running modern AMD hardware. This includes the following list of specs for the Steam Deck, which runs the Arch Linux-based SteamOS 3.0…


        But then, how is this machine only $400. Even if you go a step up to the faster NVME SSD storage at $529 (256GB) and $649 (512GB), the Steam Deck is still incredibly affordable compared to similar devices.

        The Aya Neo is a similar device that costs about $900, and yet it only has Vega 6 graphics. That is fine, but Vega 6 is multiple generations behind RDNA 2. And the $1,140 GPD Win 3 uses Intel Irix Xe graphics, which are impressive compared to older integrated Core GPUs, but it isn’t in the same league as RDNA 2.

      • Steam Deck: Valve shows mobile Linux console as a switch alternative [Ed: From German media]

        Valve announced a mobile game console called Steam Deck. The model of the Linux system is obviously the Nintendo Switch. Like the hybrid console from Nintendo, the Steam Deck can also be used on the go or connected to the television via a docking station. Because the Steam Deck has a USB-C connection, it can also be plugged directly into an HDMI input using a suitable cable.

        Valve sells the Steam Deck with 64 GB of eMMC storage space for 420 euros. If you want an SSD with 256 GB of storage space, you pay 550 euros, the most expensive variant costs 680 euros and has 512 GB of NVMe storage space. The rest of the hardware does not differ between the models: All three models are powered by an AMD APU with a four-core Zen-2 CPU and RDNA2 graphics, the RAM has a large 16 GB LPDDR5 memory. The steam deck measures 298 x 117 x 49 millimeters and weighs 670 grams.

      • The Valve Steam Deck, lots of excitement and plenty to think about for Linux gaming

        Now that Valve has actually revealed the Steam Deck, we finally know what all their recent Linux work has been for over the last few years. We have some thoughts to share on it both positive and negative.

        It’s probably the most exciting thing to happen for Linux gaming in a very long time, in fact, probably the most interesting since Valve originally announced Steam Play Proton back in August of 2018. With SteamOS 3 being based upon Arch Linux, along with KDE Plasma for the desktop mode, it’s a fantastic sounding device overall.

      • Here’s how to pre-order your Steam Deck (it’s a bit complicated)

        Earlier today, Steam parent company Valve surprised us all with the announcement of a new handheld gaming PC console. The Steam Deck looks like a Nintendo Switch but packs way more power under the hood — enough to play most AAA titles.

        At first, Valve said that pre-orders would start tomorrow, July 16, with shipments happening sometime in December. However, the company provided no other details. Now, though, we have the full procedure for Steam Deck pre-orders, and they’re a bit complicated.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Distributions

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2021/28

          Dear Tumbleweed users and hackers,

          This week I can’t but hope everybody is safe – at least here in Europe, water keeps falling from the sky. That bad weather has a positive side effect on Tumbleweed though: I prefer hiding inside, doing some Tumbleweed stuff instead of going outside. This has been visible during this week with a full 7 snapshots being published (0708…0714)

      • Slackware Family

        • Kernel 5.13 went into Slackware-current; new Live ISOs to celebrate

          This week, the Linux 5.13 kernel finally landed in the core distro of Slackware-current after having lived in ‘./testing‘ for a while. Actually it’s the 5.13.2 kernel which had some 800 patches applied compared to 5.13.1.

          And with that new 5.13.x kernel series, it looks like a Slackware 15 release is again closer on the horizon.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Could ‘culture-as-a-service’ be part of the future of work?

          How will company culture evolve with the future of work? Red Hat’s Jan Wildeboer discusses how a culture-as-a-service model could become the norm.

          Company culture is often spoken about when it comes to finding the ideal employer. But it’s also a very difficult concept to quantify.

          Is it the mission statement on the company wall? Is it what the CEO says it is? Is it about how the company works or how employees feel?

          The truth is there are a lot of elements to it and sometimes it can be a combination of all of the above, but rarely is what the leader or the mission statement says enough to go on.

        • Building an Open Company Culture

          As organizations balance remote and hybrid work models and employees’ navigate shifting priorities, company culture is changing as well. “Company culture is often spoken about when it comes to finding the ideal employer. But it’s also a very difficult concept to quantify,” says Jenny Darmody in a recent article at SiliconRepublic.

        • How to secure Apache Kafka schemas with Red Hat Integration Service Registry 2.0 | Red Hat Developer

          This article covers the new features available in the Red Hat Integration Service Registry 2.0, which became generally available in June 2020. To illustrate one of the most valuable new features, I’ll show you how to secure your service registry using Red Hat’s single sign-on (SSO) technology. The security feature uses a newly available integration powered by the Quarkus OpenID Connect security extension.

        • What’s new in fabric8 Kubernetes client version 5.5.0

          The fabric8 Kubernetes client has been simplifying Java developers’ use of Kubernetes for several years. Although the parent fabric8 project has ended, the Kubernetes client continues to be popular, and the recent 5.5.0 release includes many new features and bug fixes.

        • Red Hat to nurture local tech talent through collaboration with Wake Tech

          Wake Technical Community College has announced a new workforce development training program created through a collaboration with Red Hat. Designed to give students a strong set of skills for entry into an IT career, this pilot program marks an initiative that will bring training opportunities to students in and around the Raleigh, N.C. area, home to Red Hat’s global headquarters.

          It is common practice within the IT industry to require or lend preference to certified candidates within the job applicant pool. The world of enterprise open source software is no exception, as verified expertise in Linux and related technologies proves valuable to organizations and individuals alike.

          With more than 90% of Fortune 500 companies relying upon Red Hat technologies in one form or another, Red Hat Enterprise Linux has solidified its position in the marketplace as a key platform to understand. Studies have shown that trained employees can help organizations reach their business goals, and individuals that successfully validate their understanding of RHEL and other open source technology by way of certification may find themselves at an advantage within the workforce.

        • Biometrics drives ATM emergence as an edge device

          A mainstay in everyday life, with more than 50 years since its widespread introduction, the Automated Teller Machine (ATM) is participating in the shift towards edge computing. ATMs have grown increasingly sophisticated in terms of access and functionality, and the edge’s inherent benefits of distributed processing and associated reduction in processing latency can help continue this enhancement trajectory.

          One of the new capabilities ATMs may offer banks and their customers is biometric authentication. Let’s see what this and other expanded ATM functionalities may mean for banks and their customers.

        • IBM Announces Its New Machine-Learning End-To-End Pipeline Starter Kit
      • Debian Family

        • 6 Ways to get Debian version information – VITUX

          We may need to know what version of the Debian operating system we have installed on our computer. It may be useful in a variety of situations, such as when we need to download a software build for a certain version of our current operating system, or when we need to obtain online support or engage with development environments. Whatever the cause, it’s always a good idea to double-check the OS version you’re using.

          In this post, we’ll show you how to figure out what version of Debian your computer is running. There are primarily two methods for accomplishing this. One is through a graphical user interface, while the other is through a command-line terminal. In this post, we’ll go through both options.

        • From Ikiwik to Hugo

          Back in the days of Etch, I converted this blog from Drupal to ikiwiki. I remember being very excited about this brand new concept of static web sites derived from content stored in a version control system.

          And now over a decade later I’ve moved to hugo.

          I feel some loyalty to ikiwiki and Joey Hess for opening my eyes to the static web site concept. But ultimately I grew tired of splitting my time and energy between learning ikiwiki and hugo, which has been my tool of choice for new projects. When I started getting strange emails that I suspect had something to do with spammers filling out ikiwiki’s commenting registration system, I choose to invest my time in switching to hugo over debugging and really understanding how ikiwiki handles user registration.

        • Thoughts about RAM and Storage Changes « etbe – Russell Coker

          My first Linux system in 1992 was a 386 with 4MB of RAM and a 120MB hard drive which (for some reason I forgot) only was supported by Linux for about 90MB. My first hard drive was 70MB and could do 500KB/s for contiguous IO, my first Linux hard drive was probably a bit faster, maybe 1MB/s. My current Linux workstation has 64G of RAM and 2*1TB NVMe devices that can sustain about 1.1GB/s. The laptop I’m using right now has 8GB of RAM and a 180GB SSD that can do 380MB/s.

          My laptop has 2000* the RAM of my first Linux system and maybe 400* the contiguous IO speed. Currently I don’t even run a VM with less than 4GB of RAM, NB I’m not saying that smaller VMs aren’t useful merely that I don’t happen to be using them now. Modern AMD64 CPUs support 2MB “huge pages”. As a proportion of system RAM if I used 2MB pages everywhere they would be a smaller portion of system RAM than the 4KB pages on my first Linux system!

        • Linux Release Roundup #21.29: Mozilla Firefox 90, Tails 4.20, Solus 4.3, and More New Releases

          Tails 4.20 is an interesting release that introduces a Tor connection assistant that makes it easy for anyone to setup a Tor connection.

          Along with that, several apps like OnionShare have been updated to its latest versions.

          You can learn more in their official news announcement.

        • Enve

          Flexible, user expandable 2D animation software for Linux and Windows. You can use enve to create vector animations, raster animations, and even use sound and video files. Enve was created with flexibility and expandability in mind.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • OSI Election Update: Investigative Reports and the Next Election [Ed: OSI is so defunct that months later it’s still unable to run an election]

        Effective self-governance is the bedrock of a healthy open source community. That includes an unwavering commitment to transparency, even when it’s difficult.

        Today, OSI released two reports about what went wrong with our initial 2021 Board of Directors election. These reports were first released to the Board, then to the candidates, and now to the general public. Commensurate with the sensitive nature of elections, these reports are both authored by independent bodies: a specialist who conducted a forensic investigation, and an Oversight Committee which reviewed the forensic results and conducted additional interviews.

        The results of this work paint a picture not uncommon among small nonprofits: technical and process debt accrued over time, and eventually creating an opening for things to go wrong.

        Ultimately, some people who should have received ballots didn’t, some people who shouldn’t have received ballots did, and one erroneously issued ballot was cast in the Individual Member election, which was the initial discovery that triggered the investigation.

      • The Apache News Round-up: week ending 16 July 2021

        The week has zipped by –it’s Friday already– and it’s time to take a look at what the Apache community has been up to over the past week…

      • Web Browsers

        • The universal VM we call browser

          There were many attempts at standardization for the sake of running the same application code on any machine. There’s clang and gcc trying to provide a common frontend for a variety of languages, standard libraries trying to abstract over machine-specific and os-specific functions, language-runtimes and fully-fledged VM’s (e.g. the JVM). Not to mention the POSIX standard, Windows including a Linux VM inside and containers.

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Reps Community: New Council Members – 2021 H1 Election

            We are happy to welcome two new fully onboarded members to the Reps Council!

            Hossain Al Ikram and Luis Sanchez join the other continuing members in leading the Reps Program. Tim Maks van den Broek was also re-elected and continues to contribute to the council.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Programming/Development

        • Why are APIs so important? [Ed: Lawyers see APIs (application programming interfaces) as a lawsuit opportunity]

          Lawyers are generally familiar with APIs (application programming interfaces). They’re sets of standardised requirements enabling data to be communicated efficiently between different pieces of software. At one end of the spectrum, an API is just a simple document that says if you follow these rules when you’re programming, your two pieces of software will be able to communicate. At the other end, they can be complex software development kits, software based routines, protocols and tools. There’s a wide range of things to consider and that’s an important concept to grasp.

          Historically, the developer used an API to ensure that an application written for one computer would run on another using the same operating system. It’s really an efficiency tool to enable one bit of work to be reused many times. The application calls on the OS through the API to use the OS’s functions through data transmission, exchange and access. Contrast APIs with drivers, which enable communication between the OS and the hardware it sits on; and compilers, which translate programs from human readable (source) code to machine readable or executable (object) code.

        • What’s the Biggest Software Package by Lines of Code?

          For the average user of any piece of software (or hardware for that matter), the code going on behind the scenes probably rarely enters their thoughts. Even if you have just a little bit of coding experience in coding, you likely appreciate the work that goes into making even the simplest task possible.

          When it comes to really complex pieces of software like operating systems, the amount of coding involved can seem overwhelming. In the world of coding, the size of some of these programs is downright mind-boggling.

        • What does the Open-Closed Principle mean for refactoring?

          Both of these deal with volatility in software. When, as is always the case, you need to make some change to a software module, the ripple effects can be disastrous. The root cause of disastrous ripple effects is tight coupling, so the Open-Closed Principle and Protected Variation Pattern teach us how to properly decouple various modules, components, functions, and so forth.

          Does the Open-Closed Principle preclude refactoring?

          If a module (i.e., a named block of code) must remain closed to any modifications, does that mean you’re not allowed to touch it once it gets deployed? And if yes, wouldn’t that eliminate any possibility of refactoring?

          Without the ability to refactor the code, you are forced to adopt the Finality Principle. This holds that rework is not allowed (why would stakeholders agree to pay you to work again on something they already paid for?) and you must carefully craft your code, because you will get only one chance to do it right. This is in total contradiction to the discipline of refactoring.

          If you are allowed to extend the deployed code but not change it, are you doomed to swim forever in the waterfall rivers? Being given only one shot at doing anything is a recipe for disaster.

        • Python

          • C++ versus Python solving one interesting problem from the field of number theory

            The version of C++ code here differs from the first one been posted at Lxer.com . Vector “v1″ been pushed back by 2D vector “vec” is supposed to be re-declared before every next push back by “vec” versus option of been cleaned up in previous version of compilation. I just believe that attempt to follow previous schema doesn’t work properly as did it before due to pushing back the same variable “j” by vector “v1″ in the loop preparing “v1″ to be pushed by “vec”.

  • Leftovers

    • Can a Novel Capture the Tensions of Recent Queer History?

      My last pre-pandemic outing to a Broadway show, in the fall of 2019, was to see Matthew Lopez’s play The Inheritance, a seven-hour spectacle that in its size and scope courted comparison to Angels in America. It was a polarizing play, one of those cultural events by which the queer men in my life felt either “seen” or misrepresented, so imposing was the show’s will to diagnose the particular pleasures and pathologies that constitute what might be called contemporary gay culture—at least as it exists among the dozen or so mostly white, New York City–based men who make up the play’s dramatis personae.

    • In the Image of Jonestown

      At first glance, there does seem to be something a bit out of touch, even menacing, about the scene. A small gathering of white people kneel before a Black man and woman seated on a park bench. Some of the white people appear to be washing the man’s and woman’s feet. A white woman in a red shirt strolls around with a megaphone intoning, “Repent on behalf of, uh, Caucasian people.” She then pulls over three people in what appear to be first-responder and police uniforms, who take a knee in what looks like an act of deep penitence. From the pavement, a man with a British accent leads the group through a prayer. “We stand here confessing…repenting for our aggression, repenting for our pride…for thinking we are better, that we are above.”1

    • In Utopia, I Never Have to Write About Immigration Again

      I have a dream, a total fantasy, of what it could mean to be an immigrant artist. In this dream, I am still me, nothing has changed, but I can write about literally anything other than immigration. I can write about the homoerotic relationships of male bison—in my own voice, not in some plummy British baritone fixatedly narrating stories about alpha males and dominance hierarchy. I could write about the hard work of rehabilitating German shepherds after careers spent working as traumatized and weaponized K-9s for problem police departments. Maybe I could write about bees.

    • Utopia Is Possible—Yes, Even Now, Especially Now—but We Have to Demand It

      The most influential utopian thinker in American history did not write futuristic novels or imagine perfect worlds in which evolved humans dined on honeydew. He was a gritty political agitator who responded to the news of his day with manuals designed to inspire politically and economically disenfranchised people to immediate action. Yet even now, more than two centuries after his death, there is no mistaking the utopian promise of Thomas Paine’s declaration that “We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”

    • Mark Zuckerberg Has Sold Facebook Stock Almost Every Weekday This Year

      Since Facebook went public in May 2012, Zuckerberg and CZI have sold more than 132 million shares of the social media giant, worth nearly $15 billion in total. Of that, he has personally pocketed around $2.1 billion after taxes, Forbes estimates. Zuckerberg began consistently selling Facebook stock in 2016, the year after he and his wife Priscilla Chan established CZI. At the time, the couple penned a letter to their unborn daughter, pledging to give 99% of their Facebook shares over their lifetimes toward areas such as education and curing diseases; the shares were worth $45 billion then. Zuckerberg and CZI’s sales reached a peak in 2018, when they offloaded $5.3 billion worth of shares—the vast majority through CZI.

    • Science

    • Hardware

      • Slot Insecurities

        I think the complexities of securing digital devices, where once-secure methods of protecting users bend and possibly break over time, will also eventually apply to many physical devices as well. You’re already seeing this with biometric padlocks and other types of locks that combine the physical and the digital. The problem is that, with the right information, even the best physical lock is fallible, even with a digital front door. That’s what folks like the LockPickingLawyer exist to underline.

        For something that most people don’t even think about, I’ve sure thought a lot about the Kensington security slot. I hope you do as well, because it represents a promise to secure your device in the physical realm.

        With all the talk of ransomware and data privacy these days, bad ol’ theft is a problem too.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • ‘Vaccine Apartheid Kills’: White House Die-In Targets Merkel for Blocking Patent Waiver

        When German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday for a White House summit to discuss “ending the Covid-19 pandemic,” she was greeted outside by a giant puppet of herself alongside dozens of body bags, symbolizing the victims of Germany’s ongoing obstruction of a proposed patent waiver that public health advocates say would boost the global production of sorely needed vaccines.

        “Every day Chancellor Merkel delays global action on Covid vaccines costs thousands of lives and increases the chances of a viral mutation that can evade current vaccines and start the pandemic all over for everyone.”—Arthur Stamoulis, Citizens Trade Campaign

      • How the Pandemic Fueled Global Hunger: 2.5 Billion Lack Nutritious Food, 1 in 5 Children Are Stunted

        The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled a sharp increase in the number of people going hungry worldwide, along with conflict and the impacts of climate change. A new report on the state of food security and nutrition in the world found about one-tenth of the global population were undernourished last year, more than 2.5 billion people did not have access to sufficiently nutritious food, and one in five children now face stunted growth. Saskia de Pee, the World Food Programme’s head of systems analysis for nutrition, describes how the impact is “going to be long-term.”

      • Pandemic Fuels Global Hunger as More Than 2.5 Billion Lack Nutritious Food
      • The Myth That Meat is Essential for Human Health Could Harm Us All

        Historically, Americans have been led to believe that eating meat and other animal products is necessary to be strong and healthy. This belief was ingrained in most Americans from the moment they were born. The food industry has continuously pushed consumption of these products through ad campaigns that proclaim, “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner,” and “Milk. It does a body good.” An article in Nourish by WebMD raves about chicken’s supposed health benefits, and poultry has appeared in every food guide by the United States Department of Agriculture since the 1940s. Americans have been led to believe that if they forgo these staples of the Westernized diet, they will dissolve into anemic zombies.

        In truth, not only is meat consumption not necessary for humans to stay healthy, but it’s also potentially quite harmful. Consider meat’s links to heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. Or the millions of people who fall sick from listeria, E. coli, and salmonella each year due to the consumption of contaminated meat. Or the more than 2.8 million Americans who contract antibiotic-resistant infections—which is a result of a nasty upshot of the rampant use of antibiotics on factory farms.

      • Fights over COVID-19 vaccines are spilling over to other types of shots

        It’s a strong signal that the politicization and backlash around the COVID-19 shots, driven by conservative politicians and right-wing commentators, is spilling over to other types of vaccinations. It’s not the first time politics has impacted unrelated public health work during the pandemic — over a dozen states have proposed limiting public health powers as part of backlash to pandemic-related restrictions. But it’s the first time the target has been standard vaccines.

      • The U.S. Surgeon General Is Calling COVID-19 Misinformation An ‘Urgent Threat’

        With about a third of adults in the U.S. still completely unvaccinated, and cases of COVID-19 on the rise, the U.S. Surgeon General is calling for a war against “health misinformation.”

        On Thursday, Dr. Vivek Murthy is releasing the first Surgeon General’s advisory of his time serving in the Biden administration, describing the “urgent threat” posed by the rise of false information around COVID-19 — one that continues to put “lives at risk” and prolong the pandemic.

        Murthy says Americans must do their part to fight misinformation.

      • Drug Overdoses Killed A Record Number Of Americans In 2020, Jumping By Nearly 30%

        The data is provisional as states are still reporting their tallies to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. But even with some data not yet complete, the numbers tell a dire story.

        Ten states are predicted to have at least a 40% rise in drug overdose deaths from the previous 12-month span, according to the CDC: Vermont, Kentucky, South Carolina, West Virginia, Louisiana, California, Tennessee, Nebraska, Arkansas and Virginia.

      • WHO experts warn ‘more dangerous’ variants could take hold

        But the committee warned that worse could lie ahead, pointing to “the strong likelihood for the emergence and global spread of new and possibly more dangerous variants of concern that may be even more challenging to control”.

        WHO declares variants as being “of concern” when they are seen as either more transmissible, more deadly or have the potential to get past some vaccine protections.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (firefox), Debian (firefox-esr), Fedora (linuxptp), Gentoo (commons-collections), Mageia (aom, firefox, python-django, thunderbird, and tpm2-tools), openSUSE (claws-mail, kernel, nodejs10, and nodejs14), Red Hat (nettle), Scientific Linux (firefox), SUSE (firefox, kernel, nodejs10, and nodejs14), and Ubuntu (libslirp and qemu).

          • Reproducible Builds (diffoscope): diffoscope 178 released

            The diffoscope maintainers are pleased to announce the release of diffoscope version 178. This version includes the following changes:

            [ Chris Lamb ]
            * Don't traceback on an broken symlink in a directory.
              (Closes: reproducible-builds/diffoscope#269)
            * Rewrite the calculation of a file's "fuzzy hash" to make the control
              flow cleaner.
            [ Balint Reczey ]
            * Support .deb package members compressed with the Zstandard algorithm.
              (LP: #1923845)
            [ Jean-Romain Garnier ]
            * Overhaul the Mach-O executable file comparator.
            * Implement tests for the Mach-O comparator.
            * Switch to new argument format for the LLVM compiler.
            * Fix test_libmix_differences in testsuite for the ELF format.
            * Improve macOS compatibility for the Mach-O comparator.
            * Add llvm-readobj and llvm-objdump to the internal EXTERNAL_TOOLS data
            [ Mattia Rizzolo ]
            * Invoke gzip(1) with the short option variants to support Busybox's gzip.

          • RPM with key issues [Ed: Older and machine-translated]

            The Linux package management tool RPM checks the digital signature of the packages to be installed, but not the PGP key with which they were created. In any case, it does not check whether this key has already been revoked and is therefore invalid. The developer Dmitry Antipov found this out and reported it a bug report the development team. He even supplemented it with a patch that was supposed to retrofit the required functionality.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Facebook – ‘Minot Whiners and Complainers’ Facebook page pulled amid growing tech censorship debate

              A popular Facebook page for those in the Minot area — where users vent on everything from traffic to fast food — was taken down recently after a user posted obscenities on the page. It brings to light the ongoing debate over social media censorship.

              The Minot Whiners and Complainers Facebook page, created back in 2014, has brought the community together through the internet.

              The page has garnered quite a following over the years, and posts range widely from complaining about parking to those looking for a little help.

            • Google Concludes FLoC Origin Trial, Does Not Intend to Share Feedback from Participants

              The controversial experiment has been met with opposition from privacy advocates like makers of the Brave browser and EFF who do not perceive FLoC to be a compelling alternative to the surveillance business model currently used by the advertising industry. Amazon, GitHub, Firefox, Vivaldi, Drupal, Joomla, DuckDuckGo, and other major tech companies and open source projects have already opted to block FLoC by default.

              So far, Twitter has been the first major online platform that appears to be on board with FLoC after references to it were recently discovered in the app’s source code.

            • Twitter adds captions to voice tweets more than a year after they first launched

              Now, when you make a voice tweet (something you can only do on the iOS app right now), captions will be automatically generated in supported languages, which are English, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Turkish, Arabic, Hindi, French, Indonesian, Korean, and Italian.

            • Exclusive: Neighbours ‘pinged’ through walls by NHS Covid app

              According to sources close to the Test and Trace app team, the Bluetooth signal used is known to be strong enough to penetrate walls.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • 100 Public Figures Oppose Trudeau’s $77 Billion Fighter Jet Purchase

        As wildfires blaze in western Canada amidst record breaking heat waves, the Liberal government is planning to spend tens of billions of dollars on unnecessary, dangerous, climate destroying fighter jets.

      • ‘Not a Single Dollar More to Pentagon’ in Infrastructure Package, Groups Demand

        Four dozen public interest groups on Wednesday demanded that Congress include “not a single dollar more to the Pentagon” in the forthcoming infrastructure and relief bills that are currently being negotiated, calling on lawmakers to reject adding to the military’s bloated budget as Americans face continued economic injustice, housing insecurity, and the climate crisis. 

        Organizations including Public Citizen, Win Without War, the Sunrise Movement, and Demand Progress wrote in a letter (pdf) to congressional leaders that despite President Joe Biden’s existing request for $753 billion in defense spending in his 2022 fiscal year budget proposal, lawmakers have made numerous requests to fund military projects with the American Jobs Plan.

      • On the Sentencing—and Courage—of Daniel Hale

        My next portrait for the Americans Who Tell the Truth project will be Daniel Hale, the former Air Force analyst and drone whistleblower who released classified documents showing that nearly 90% of the casualties of U.S. drone assassination missions are civilians—children, women, workers, farmers, and other people who show up as shadows on drone pilot computer screens and are subsequently rendered permanent shadows. Hale will be sentenced on July 27 in Alexandria, Virginia for the crime of truth telling. In all likelihood he will receive 10 years in prison—surely sufficient time to reflect on the error of his ways, which is, primarily, having an overactive conscience, believing that killing innocent civilians, no matter what the national security excuse, is murder. 

      • Guardian’s Putin Scoop Is Trumped By A History Of Bluff And Vicious Blunder

        The only thing bigger than the news out of Russia this morning that leaked documents reveal Vladimir Putin personally authorised an operation to assist Donald Trump into the White House in 2016 is the caveat that comes with the story.

      • Who Authorizes America’s Wars and Why Do They Never End?

        Sometimes, as I consider America’s never-ending wars of this century, I can’t help thinking of those lyrics from the Edwin Starr song, “(War, huh) Yeah! (What is it good for?) Absolutely nothing!” I mean, remind me, what good have those disastrous, failed, still largely ongoing conflicts done for this country?  Or for you?  Or for me?

      • Losing Finders: How the US Government Worked to the Keep CIA Connection Secret

        The Finders Scandal — events that took place several decades ago, which I have explored in the two previous parts of this series — might be perceived as very much in the rear-view mirror. It is of great contemporary relevance, however, because it raises questions of ongoing significance — particularly in an era where American-style kompromat is seen by many to have an undiminished, if not augmented, role in our politics — about the rogue, untouchable nature of the intelligence community and its assets. The connection between the CIA and the Finders cult is one of the most explosive and significant aspects of the whole Finders scandal because, if substantiated, it would constitute not simply an outlandish and perhaps criminal group purported to be abusing and trafficking children, but one sanctioned by the most powerful government on earth.

      • What’s behind the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse?
      • US Concern for Cuba, Latin America Is Spin For Intervention

        The US government says it is going to help Central America fight corruption, will combat the “root causes” of migration in Mexico and Central America, and it wants to help the Cuban people with freedom too.

      • Howard Zinn – The Myth of American Exceptionalism
      • Reckoning and Reparations in Afghanistan

        Earlier this week, 100 Afghan families from Bamiyan, a rural province of central Afghanistan mainly populated by the Hazara ethnic minority, fled to Kabul. They feared Taliban militants would attack them in Bamiyan.

      • US Courts Central Asian Dictators in Pursuit of Post-Afghan War Objectives

        As it did while attempting to build a natural gas pipeline through the region in the 1990s and during the early years of the so-called War on Terror, the U.S. government is once again courting Central Asian dictatorships in a bid to secure a military staging area from which it could launch strikes against resurgent Islamist militants in the post-Afghan War era.

        The Associated Press reports U.S. diplomats are mounting a “charm offensive” in a bid to woo leaders of nations including Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan into agreeing to provide U.S. military forces with bases close to the Afghan border that could be used for the type of “over-the-horizon” operations that President Joe Biden and Pentagon brass say may continue after the withdrawal, as well as temporary relocation sites for thousands of Afghan translators and other collaborators with the nearly 20-year invasion and occupation of Afghanistan.

      • Guantánamo Memoir Film Skewers George W. Bush, But Exonerates Barack Obama
      • Flags March
      • Afghan Activist: George W. Bush’s Claim U.S. War in Afghanistan Protected Women Is a “Shameless Lie”

        As the United States continues to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan after 20 years of war and occupation, the Taliban say they now control most Afghan territory, surrounding major population centers and holding more than two-thirds of Afghanistan’s border with Tajikistan. Former President George W. Bush made a rare criticism of U.S. policy, saying, “I’m afraid Afghan women and girls are going to suffer unspeakable harm.” But a leading Afghan women’s rights activist says the plight of women in the country has always served as a “very good excuse” for U.S. military goals, while conditions in the country have barely improved. “Unfortunately, they pushed us from the frying pan into the fire as they replaced the barbaric regime of the Taliban with the misogynist warlords,” says Malalai Joya, who in 2005 became the youngest person ever elected to the Afghan Parliament. She says the decades of U.S. occupation have accomplished little for the people of Afghanistan. “No nation can donate liberation to another nation,” she says.

      • After 20 Years and $2.26 Trillion, the US has Lost Its Longest War in Afghanistan

        The US actually began its war on the people of Afghanistan back during the presidency of Jimmy Carter, who foolishly followed the advice of his Russia-hating, rabidly anti-Communist Polish emigre National Security Director Zbigniew Brzezinski.

        Brzezinski, in mid-1979, successfully convinced the gullible Carter to launch Operation Cyclone, a $20-billion, 10-year CIA effort to fund and train the Islamic Mujahideen– largely ethnic Pashtun fighters based in neighboring Pakistan — to undermine the Soviet-backed Communist government in Afghanistan.

      • The Lesson of Afghanistan is the Lesson of Vietnam We Forgot

        For those of my generation who grew up during or served in the Vietnam War a thousand images cross our mind.  A naked girl scurrying away from Napalm, the execution of Nguy n Văn Lém, American flags draped on caskets in rows,  a woman next to a dead body at Kent State University. But for many it is helicopters evacuating the US embassy in Saigon in 1975 as the city and South Vietnam fell to the Vietcong.  The domino we fought so hard to prevent from falling, costing America 58,200 lost military lives hundreds of thousands wounded, and tens of billions of dollars, fell, nonetheless.

        In college we read Francis FitzGerald’s Fire in the Lake  and supposedly learned that we never were going to win the Vietnam War with guns alone.  Napalming a nation to death was not going to win over the hearts and minds of a people from a different culture we never understood.  David Halberstram’s The Best and the Brightest pointed to the arrogance of the Kennedy Administration in failing to understand that Vietnam was more about colonial independence than it was about communism and Cold War rivalry. And the Pentagon Papers documented the mistakes, misinformation, and lies surrounding the US involvement there, with the realization we could not win, no matter what the North Vietnamese body count was that week as announced by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.  We stayed up late at night after watching Apocalypse Now, haunted by Richard Wagner’s Ride Of The Valkyries accompanying helicopters at dawn attacking a village, or the appearance of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness in a scene after Captain Willard travels up the Nung River enroute to assignment to kill Captain Kurtz.  The message some of us took from the movie and War was that it was a seduction into evil—we as a country turned into what we most despised.

      • Is a War With China Inevitable?

        It’s the summer of 2026, five years after the Biden administration identified the People’s Republic of China as the principal threat to US security and Congress passed a raft of laws mandating a society-wide mobilization to ensure permanent US domination of the Asia-Pacific region. Although major armed conflict between the United States and China has not yet broken out, numerous crises have erupted in the Western Pacific and the two countries are constantly poised for war. International diplomacy has largely broken down, with talks over climate change, pandemic relief, and nuclear nonproliferation at a standstill. For most security analysts, it’s not a matter of if a US-China war will erupt, but when.

      • U.S.-China Near-War Status Report

        Does this sound fanciful? Not if you read the statements coming out of the Department of Defense (DoD) and the upper ranks of Congress these days.

        “China poses the greatest long-term challenge to the United States and strengthening deterrence against China will require DoD to work in concert with other instruments of national power,” the Pentagon’s 2022 Defense Budget Overview asserts. “A combat-credible Joint Force will underpin a whole-of-nation approach to competition and ensure the Nation leads from a position of strength.”

      • Democrats are finally paying attention to Trump’s Arizona audit: House opens probe into Cyber Ninjas

        In a Wednesday letter, Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney, the committee chair, and Rep. Jamie Raskin requested documents and communications from Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan stemming from the company’s invasive audit that rendered voting machines useless in the state. The letter cites Logan over his firm’s “lack of election audit experience,” their “reported mismanagement of the audit in Maricopa County,” and the CEO’s “own bias and history of embracing conspiracy theories related to the election.”

      • ‘They’re not going to f**king succeed’: Top generals feared Trump would attempt a coup after election, according to new book

        The top US military officer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, was so shaken that then-President Donald Trump and his allies might attempt a coup or take other dangerous or illegal measures after the November election that Milley and other top officials informally planned for different ways to stop Trump, according to excerpts of an upcoming book obtained by CNN.

      • Top generals mobilized on fears Trump wanted military post-election coup, book details

        The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, worried that then-President Donald Trump would try to use the military to attempt a coup after the 2020 election and vowed to prevent it.

        That’s according to a new book by Washington Post reporters Phil Rucker and Carol Leonnig, “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year,” which will be released next week. The book, excerpts of which were obtained by NBC News, attributes the accounts of private conversations between military and government officials to myriad unnamed sources, including aides to those involved.

      • Pentagon: US military trained Colombian soldiers arrested in assassination of Haitian president

        The Pentagon on Wednesday acknowledged that some of the former Colombian soldiers also received training from the U.S. military, though it’s unclear how many.

      • EU court allows conditional headscarves bans at work

        The court said “a prohibition on wearing any visible form of expression of political, philosophical or religious beliefs in the workplace may be justified by the employer’s need to present a neutral image towards customers or to prevent social disputes.

      • Top EU court says headscarves can be banned at work under certain conditions

        In a 2017 ruling, the EU court in Luxembourg had already said that companies may ban staff from wearing Islamic headscarves and other visible religious symbols under certain conditions. At the time, this had sparked a huge backlash among faith [sic] groups.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Targeted ads isolate and divide us even when they’re not political – new research

        These questions motivated our recent research. We found that online targeted advertising also divides and isolates us by preventing us from collectively flagging ads we object to. We do this in the physical world (perhaps when we see an advert at a bus stop or train station) by alerting regulators to harmful content. But online consumers are isolated because the information they see is limited to what is targeted at them.

        Until we address this flaw, preventing targeted adverts from isolating us from the feedback of others, regulators won’t be able to protect us from online adverts that could cause us harm.

    • Environment

      • New data on ‘forever chemicals’ prompts calls for more transparency

        Birnbaum spoke with The Hill on Tuesday, a day after The New York Times reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2011 approved the use of chemicals that can break down into toxic forever chemicals, known as PFAS, in fracking fluid.

        The article relied on internal EPA documents, obtained by the advocacy group Physicians for Social Responsibility, that were heavily redacted and did not reveal chemical names, due to confidentiality rules that allow companies to maintain trade secrets.

      • The Media’s Climate Blind Spot Is Geographic
      • Manchin—’Very, Very’ Disturbed by Climate Action—Made Nearly $500K Last Year From Coal: Report

        Sen. Joe Manchin on Wednesday night expressed concerns about the climate action proposed in the Democratic Party’s $3.5 trillion reconciliation package. What the conservative Democrat didn’t mention is that he profits—to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars annually—from selling coal to power plants in his home state of West Virginia.

        Moments after President Joe Biden met with Senate Democrats to discuss the party’s newly unveiled framework for infrastructure and social welfare spending, Manchin told CNN that he is “very, very disturbed” by the inclusion of climate provisions that he believes would spell the end for dirty energy extraction in the U.S.

      • Climate Coverage Must Stop Ignoring the World’s Poorest

        This article is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

      • ‘Time for a Revolution in Public Education’: Bowman Unveils Green New Deal for US Schools

        Democratic congressman and longtime educator Jamaal Bowman unveiled legislation Thursday morning that would invest $1.43 trillion over 10 years in transforming the nation’s public schools in line with what experts say is needed to combat the climate emergency and reverse the harm inflicted by decades of disinvestment.

        “What this comes down to is whether we’re willing to provide our kids with the resources they need to realize their brilliance and have a livable planet.”—Rep. Jamaal Bowman

      • A Losing Game: Letting Corporate Polluters Off the Hook
      • In ‘Critical Step’ for Climate, Biden to Restore Protections for Tongass National Forest

        Conservation and climate action groups on Thursday applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announcement of far-reaching new protections for Alaska’s Tongass National Forest as well as a restoration of a key rule that former President Donald Trump rescinded three months before leaving office in a bid to open millions of acres to industrial logging.

        Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the administration would put back in place the Roadless Area Conservation Rule, also known as the Roadless Rule, which Trump exempted Alaska from in a move that outraged Indigenous communities in the region as well as environmental advocates. 

      • Energy

        • 700+ Global Groups Urge Ireland to Introduce UN Resolution for Fracking Ban

          Hundreds of global groups on Thursday urged Ireland to introduce a United Nations resolution for a ban on hydraulic fracturing, arguing that the country is particularly well-positioned for the move, given its previous efforts to outlaw fracking and divest from fossil fuels.

          “We, the undersigned, support a call for a global ban on fracking being proposed by Ireland at the United Nations General Assembly on climate-mitigation, public-health, environmental-protection, and human-rights grounds,” says a statement now signed by more than 700 organizations, including over 100 from Ireland, and two dozen individuals.

        • You Can’t Drink Oil: Wasting Freshwater for Fracking and Drilling in California

          For a comparison of what that looks like, the nearly 2 billion gallons of water used to drill oil and gas wells in the state would fill about 2,732 Olympic-sized pools or supply local California households with over 72 million showers, according to the report. It also exceeds the amount of water that Californians are recommended to use on a daily, per capita basis during drought, 55 gallons/day.

          “The freshwater sucked up by the oil and gas industry since Governor Newsom’s election could have provided everyone in the city of Pasadena with the recommended amount of daily water for more than 7 months, or everyone in the city of Ventura for almost 10 months,” the report also found.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Large invasive, potentially hazardous fish seen on Danish shores

          The fish is covered with poisonous spikes that are painful to the touch to humans.

          “If you’re stung, it will be exceptionally agonising. Sometimes, swimmers in deep waters can get so shocked by the pain, they almost drown,” said Jeppesen.

          Since the fish often digs itself into the sand, it can be practically impossible to notice.

      • Overpopulation

        • MIT Predicted in 1972 That Society Will Collapse This Century. New Research Shows We’re on Schedule.

          In 1972, a team of MIT scientists got together to study the risks of civilizational collapse. Their system dynamics model published by the Club of Rome identified impending ‘limits to growth’ (LtG) that meant industrial civilization was on track to collapse sometime within the 21st century, due to overexploitation of planetary resources.

        • Limits to Growth

          With ESG top of mind for companies and stakeholders around the world these days, KPMG Director Gaya Herrington published research in the Yale Journal of Industrial Ecology comparing the World3 model created in the ‘70’s by MIT scientists with empirical data. What happens if humanity keeps pursuing economic growth without regard for environmental and social costs? In this day and age of data abundance, can we create an optimal scenario or are the impacts of the past few decades too late to change now? Read further to understand the if there is a window of opportunity and what we can do.

        • Update to limits to growth: Comparing the World3 model with empirical data

          In the 1972 bestseller Limits to Growth (LtG), the authors concluded that if humanity kept pursuing economic growth without regard for environmental and social costs, global society would experience a sharp decline (i.e., collapse) in economic, social, and environmental conditions within the twenty-first century. They used a model called World3 to study key interactions between variables for global population, birthrate, mortality, industrial output, food production, health and education services, non-renewable natural resources, and pollution. The LtG team generated different World3 scenarios by varying assumptions about technological development, amounts of non-renewable resources, and societal priorities. The few comparisons of empirical data with the scenarios since then, most recently from 2014 (Turner), indicated that the world was still following the “business as usual” (BAU) scenario. BAU showed a halt in the hither to continuous increase in welfare indicators around the present day and a sharp decline starting around 2030.

          This article describes the research into whether humanity was still following BAU and whether there seemed opportunity left to change course to become more aligned with another LtG scenario, perhaps one in which collapse is avoided. World3 scenarios were quantitatively compared with empirical data. The research thus constitutes an update to previous comparisons but also adds to them in several ways. Earlier data comparisons used scenarios from the 1972 LtG book. The scenarios in this research were created with the latest, revised and recalibrated, World3 version. This data comparison also included a scenario and two variables that had not been part of such research before, and benefited from better empirical proxies thanks to improved data availability.

    • Poverty

      • Jamaal Bowman Unveils $1.4 Trillion Green New Deal for Public Schools
      • The Emperor’s New Rocket: Last Words on Branson’s Big Ride

        Historians say that Cleopatra and Marc Antony once made a bet to see who could hold the most expensive feast. After Marc Antony served a lavish meal, Cleopatra crushed her most valuable pearl earring into a wine goblet filled with vinegar and drank it. Like that feast, the billionaire space race is a race to see who can squander the most money, but this time it’s the rest of us who will drink the dregs.

      • World’s Poorest Nations to the Wealthiest: ‘No More Excuses’ on Urgent Climate Action

        Ahead of a key climate summit later this year, over 100 developing nations on Thursday released a set of demands calling on richer countries to “take responsibility” for their disproportionate role in the global crisis by, among other policies, swiftly and transparently delivering a promised $100 billion in climate financing and “setting net zero targets with end-dates well before 2050.”

        “There can be no more excuses,” states the 18-page document, the product of a yearlong collaborative effort between think tanks, research groups, and government officials from the Global South.

      • Have You Had Trouble Renting an Apartment and Don’t Understand Why? It Might Be Your Tenant Screening Score.

        Have you had trouble renting an apartment and don’t understand why? It might be your tenant screening score, which landlords use to figure out whether to rent to you or how much to charge you for a security deposit. These are also sometimes called artificial intelligence, or AI, scores.

        ProPublica is examining concerns about tenant screening. We spoke to one tenant who had an “excellent” credit score rating of 788 out of 850 with no criminal history or eviction records. A tenant screening company gave that same tenant a score of 685 out of 1,000 — about 68% or the equivalent of a D grade. Because of that score, the management at an apartment building wanted to charge the tenant an extra month of rent in their security deposit.

      • Top Biden Aide Under Fire for Blaming Poor for Not Receiving Relief Checks

        A top economic adviser to President Joe Biden faced backlash Thursday for suggesting that poor parents are at fault for not receiving previous rounds of federal relief payments, comments that came as the White House officially launched an expanded child tax credit program that critics say could exclude many of the most vulnerable families due to basic design flaws.

        “The hard news is this population of parents let three stimulus payments sit on the ground,” Gene Sperling, a senior adviser to Biden who previously served as head of the National Economic Council, told the Washington Post in an interview.

      • Sports Teams: the Everlasting Tax Shelter for Billionaires

        There’s a non-fiction equivalent, except it’s not for children — or anyone else — with “very little pocket money.” Or even average pocket money. Actually, it’s only for billionaires, or perhaps a centi-millionaire or two.

      • An Unapologetic ‘Tax the Rich’ Message Is the Key to Passing the Democratic Budget Plan

        Senate Democrats have reached an agreement on a $3.5 trillion budget proposal that would dramatically expand Medicare, provide for paid family leave, subsidize child care, make community college free, and fund meaningful—if still insufficiently—climate crisis initiatives. It’s not the $6 trillion plan that Budget Committee chair Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was angling for. But Sanders says that if this plan is enacted it will be “the most significant piece of legislation passed since the Great Depression.”

      • “Perfect Storm” of Pandemic, Poverty & Jailing Ex-President Unleashes Mass Protest in South Africa

        We go to South Africa, where more than 70 are dead and at least 3,000 people have been arrested since demonstrations erupted after former President Jacob Zuma began his 15-month jail sentence for refusing to testify in a corruption probe. Protesters also expressed frustration with entrenched poverty and inequity as South Africa battles a devastating wave of COVID-19. “This was really a perfect storm that has built up,” says Sithembile Mbete, a senior lecturer in political sciences at the University of Pretoria in Johannesburg. “The protests and the unrest has stopped being about former President Zuma and has become more about the socioeconomic conditions that people find themselves in and the problems of hunger.”

      • As Child Tax Credit Payments Get Sent Today, Dems Look to Make Them Permanent
    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The powerful and unpopular: Why the sudden resignation of Ukraine’s top police official is an important political event

        On July 13, Ukraine’s top police official, Interior Minister Arsen Avakov, filed a letter of resignation. On July 15, the Ukrainian parliament supported his decision to step down. Avakov assumed office seven years ago, immediately after the end of the Euromaidan Revolution in February 2014. He remained interior minister throughout President Petro Poroshenko’s entire term (2014–2019) despite repeated shuffles in the cabinet. Avakov held on to his position even under President Volodymyr Zelensky, who initiated a radical renewal of government personnel. Although Avakov is extremely unpopular in Ukraine, Zelensky has still said that “there’s no better minister.” Meduza explains why.

      • What’s a Left Wing to Do?

        This same country has never sustained a very large Left movement. That movement has been effective on occasion, but those historical moments are rare. This has become even truer in the last thirty-forty years as the more liberal-leaning political party moved further and further right. In large part, this move to the right is the result of economic changes popularly known as neoliberalism. A more accurate description of these economics would be neoliberal capitalism. Its essence is the commodification and privatization of everything, even drinking water. The hoarding of wealth is accompanied by a hatred of those who work for a living and an even greater hatred of those without work or money. Selfishness has been redefined as freedom and the most selfish reject any sense of obligation to the rest of humanity. False consciousness among many of those exploited by this economy is the order of the day—all too many working people support the very humans who spit on their lives. The aforementioned Left shakes their fists and rants on corporate-owned internet platforms designed to cull data and sell it to other corporate entities.

        Even on those occasions when the Left moves beyond its frustrated hand-wringing and brings protesters into the streets, the lack of coherent organization combined with a brutal police state means the protesters demands usually dissipate into the air. In response, the right pushes through harsher laws against protest while the liberals mouth platitudes that change nothing. Left-leaning politicians are ignored or shuffled off to speak for the liberal parties, re-directing their supporters to another ineffective attempt at change.

      • Michigan GOP Touts Scheme to Ram Through Voting Restrictions Over Whitmer’s Veto
      • Breyer Says His Health, Not Politics, Will Drive Decision on SCOTUS Retirement
      • Targeting Dark Money Attacking Democracy, Watchdog Files FEC Complaint Against 23 Super PACs

        A complaint filed Thursday with the Federal Election Commission accuses 18 super PACs—which dumped over $200 million into races from 2017 to 2020—of deliberately misleading voters by concealing their connections to the major party political action committees that financed them.

        “Voters have a right to know when big money is flowing into their elections from D.C.-based groups hiding their agendas and funding behind fake names,” said Adav Noti, senior director of trial litigation and chief of staff at Campaign Legal Center (CLC) Action, and former associate general counsel of the FEC, in a statement.

      • State Attorneys General Push Federal Government to Follow the Law and Finally Create Side-Impact Tests for Kids’ Car Seats

        A group of 18 attorneys general is criticizing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for failing to mandate tests for children’s car seats that mimic the forces in side-impact crashes, despite a law more than two decades ago requiring the agency to protect kids in such collisions.

        “The failure to promulgate side-impact testing standards unnecessarily endangers children on the road and does a huge disservice to families,” the attorneys general representing 17 states and the District of Columbia wrote in a letter on Tuesday to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, whose office oversees NHTSA.

      • Groups Demand Biden Administration End Child Detention at ‘Contaminated and Unsafe’ Fort Bliss

        Environmental and immigrant rights advocates on Thursday sent a letter to the Biden administration urging an immediate end to the detention of children at Fort Bliss, a “contaminated and unsafe” Army base in the Texas desert where authorities have held thousands of unaccompanied minors in conditions one government whistleblower said are harming their “health and well-being.”

        “A detention center located on or directly adjacent to hazardous, toxic waste sites, potentially impacting the facility’s water and air quality, likely does not meet the legal and agency-required standards of care for minors and is unsafe and unsuitable for detaining children.”—Groups’ letter

      • On the Political Marriage of Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders

        So far, most of the Biden presidency has been predictable. Its foreign policy includes bloated Pentagon spending and timeworn declarations that the United States should again “lead the world” and “sit at the head of the table.” Many corporate influence peddlers have settled into jobs in upper reaches of the executive branch. The new administration has taken only baby steps toward student debt relief or progressive taxation. On health care, the White House keeps protecting the interests of insurance companies while rebuffing public opinion that favors Medicare for All.

      • ‘Shame on Us,’ Says Warnock, If Senate Dems Let Filibuster Kill Voting Rights

        Senator Raphael Warnock of Georgia applauded Texas Democrats on Wednesday for leaving their state in an effort to thwart a GOP attack on the franchise and said federal lawmakers must make the exodus worthwhile by passing robust voting rights legislation—even if it means overhauling Senate rules to do so.

        “Voting rights is not just a political issue, this is a moral issue. Because the vote, in essence, is really about your voice—and your voice is about your humanity,” Warnock told reporters after meeting with Texas state Democrats who traveled to D.C. to demand action from members of Congress.

      • Sanders Confirms Inclusion of Provisions of PRO Act in Reconciliation Bill
      • Still miles apart: Americans and the state of U.S. democracy half a year into the Biden presidency

        As the country turns 245 years old, Americans have reasons to worry about the state of their democracy. In June 2021, we surveyed a rep­re­sen­ta­tive sample of Americans and an expert sample of political sci­en­tists on the per­for­mance of U.S. democracy, the threats it faces, and how their political rep­re­sen­ta­tives should address these matters.1 We find deep partisan polar­iza­tion in per­cep­tions of what is right and wrong with American democracy and the steps that should be taken to fix it. In addition, experts express reser­va­tions about current changes to election law at the state level. Still, we find some signs that Americans regard partisan attacks on election admin­is­tra­tion with skepticism.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Surgeon general says social media companies have ‘enabled misinformation’ on vaccines

        “They’ve allowed people to intentionally spread misinformation, what we call disinformation, to have extraordinary reach,” he said of modern technology. “They design product features, such as ‘like’ buttons, that reward us for sharing emotionally charged content, not accurate content. And their algorithms tend to give us more of what we click on, pulling us deeper and deeper into a well of misinformation.”

        In his advisory, Murthy calls on technology platforms to beef up their monitoring of misinformation and to redesign their algorithms to avoid amplifying misinformation

        The advisory also suggests companies impose “clear consequences” for accounts that violate platform policies.

      • New Anthony Bourdain documentary deepfakes his voice

        The deepfaked voice was discovered when the New Yorker’s Helen Rosner asked how the filmmaker got a clip of Bourdain’s voice reading an email he had sent to a friend. Neville said he had contacted an AI company and supplied it with a dozen hours of Bourdain speaking.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Wisconsin Senator’s Social Media Bill Aims To Save The First Amendment By Violating The First Amendment

        Grandstands and bandwagons: that’s what’s headed to Social Media Town. Professional victims — far too many of them earning public money — have produced a steady stream of stupid legislation targeting social media platforms for supposedly “censoring” the kind of the content they really like: “conservative views.” Convinced by failed-businessman-turned-failed-president Donald Trump (and his herd of Capitol Hill toadies) that social media has it in for anyone but the leftiest leftists, a bunch of legislators have hacked up “anti-censorship” bills that aim to protect free speech by trampling on free speech.

      • Exactly Right: ‘You’re Not Entitled To A Platform, Boomer.’

        The Washington Examiner is popular among conservatives, so it’s good to see them publish a wonderful article by Hannah Cox completely dismantling the various arguments made by so many Republicans these days, that the government should force websites to carry all speech. In particular, she targets Donald Trump’s pathetic lawsuits against Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube with the brilliant title: “You’re not entitled to a platform, boomer.” Of course, if only it were true that it were just clueless boomers making this argument, but the point stands.

      • Afghan Man Gets Life for March Stabbing Rampage in Sweden

        Three of the victims survived life-threatening injuries, two were seriously injured, two others were moderately injured and one individual was slightly hurt. Police initially said the attacker used an ax but it later turned out that Sultani was armed with a knife.

        In its verdict, the district court said Sultani used a kitchen knife that he had picked up at his apartment “because he was so upset” about something blasphemous done to his god “and wanted to kill that person.”

      • On Free Speech

        The freenode digital territory stands for freedom, and that includes free speech.


        The combination of association with these seedy individuals and the new tactics of deploying state control over the largest social media platform in the world and influencers for hire has brought me to a pause. Mr. President, my friend, I urge you to reexamine the long term consequences of these decisions. Some dogs see a bone hidden behind a fence and try to get to it directly. Smarter dogs walk around the fence and easily get to the bone, while the other dogs are still clawing at the fence. The answer is not always a direct path. Facebook already backtracked on previous bans, because understandings evolve as more information becomes evident. Censorship is not the answer.

        The internet belongs to the people, and the people deserve the freedom of thought, discussion and expression. People deserve access to information, from any source, and they deserve to be able to make their own independent, educated decisions. Anything short of that is disrespect. Mark Zuckerberg, your users are not dumbfucks.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Rosneft wins lawsuit against IStories for ‘Pirelli’ article

        The Moscow Arbitration Court has fully satisfied Rosneft’s claim against the investigative outlet IStories and journalist Roman Shleynov. This was confirmed by the case card on the court’s website on July 15.

      • Julian Assange’s father and brother travel to Washington to oppose US extradition
      • Outlaw journalism Legally speaking, this is what Proekt’s ‘undesirable’ designation means for Russia’s news media and readers

        The Russian Attorney General’s Office has designated the investigative news outlet Proekt as an “undesirable” organization, outlawing its operations in Russia. Just as the decision was announced, Justice Ministry officials added five of Proekt’s journalists (as well as another three reporters from other news organizations) to Russia’s “foreign agents” registry. Meduza breaks down what this means for Proekt, its audience, and the country’s news media broadly.

      • Russia bans investigative outlet Proekt as ‘undesirable,’ adds journalists to ‘foreign agent’ list

        The Russian authorities have banned the investigative outlet Proekt as an “undesirable organization” and blacklisted its journalists as “foreign agents.”

      • ‘Just peace and quiet’: Journalists identify the man whose complaint apparently led Russian officials to outlaw a top investigative news outlet

        The Russian Attorney General’s Office decided to ban the investigative news outlet Proekt after receiving a complaint from a concerned citizen named Vitaly Borodin, according to the website Baza, which published a copy of the letter to Attorney General Igor Krasnov. In his complaint, Borodin cites an article published by Russia Today that claims Proekt is supposedly “funded” by the U.S. Congress and under its “control.” He also listed the names of nine Proekt reporters “on the take” in America and asked why they weren’t already designated as “foreign agents.” Meduza explains who this man is.

      • Attempt to Seize Post Reporters’ Email Data Came Day Before Barr Left Office

        The Biden Justice Department had disclosed the effort — which also included seizing the reporters’ phone records — last month, leading to the unsealing of the Post docket. The files shed new light on what happened, including listing the day prosecutors applied for the email records order and identifying three Post articles that were the subject of a leak investigation.

      • The Journalist Iran Allegedly Sought To Kidnap Says She Would Have Been Killed

        The indictment – which doesn’t name Alinejad — says Iranian intelligence agents spied on her New York City home, tried to pay her family to lure her out of the country and even researched speedboats and maritime routes to slip her out.

        Alinejad fled Iran in 2009 and now reports on Iranian human rights abuses.

        “It’s just obvious that they were going to execute me,” Alinejad tells NPR’s Morning Edition. “They announced that several times.”

      • A Dutch Reporter Who Covered Gangsters Dies After Being Shot In Amsterdam

        The shooting happened after De Vries made one of his regular appearances on a current affairs television show. He had recently been an adviser and confidant for a witness in the trial of the alleged leader and other members of a crime gang that police described as an “oiled killing machine.”

        The suspected gangland leader, Ridouan Taghi, was extradited to the Netherlands from Dubai in 2019. He remains jailed while standing trial along with 16 other suspects.

      • [Old] Shooting of star Dutch reporter raises European concern

        European leaders expressed dismay, media rights advocates demanded justice and the Netherlands reeled in shock Wednesday after a veteran Dutch crime reporter was shot in the head in downtown Amsterdam following a TV appearance.

      • Cuba Must Respect Journalists’ Right to Report

        A brief and as yet incomplete list of journalists repressed while reporting started with the beating of Associated Press photo-reporter Ramon Espinosa, from Spain, whose face was bleeding profusely when another camera snapped a photo at the very moment of his being attacked by police.

        Cuban Independent journalists are cordoned-off at their homes and cannot even go out to the streets. When they attempt to go out they are usually abucted. Camila Acosta, the brave ABC daily’s reporter, is missing, while Henry Constantin was arrested in the city of Camagüey on Sunday afternoon. His mother reported that Henry’s house was ransacked and he is being kept prisoner without being formally charged. Camila Acosta’s father has also denounced similar procedures against his daughter.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Skating Rink Boots Black Teen Misidentified by Facial Recognition System

        In what civil rights advocates on Thursday framed as yet another example of the need for reforms by companies and governments alike, a roller skating rink in Michigan turned away a Black teenager after its facial recognition system misidentified her as someone no longer allowed in the building.

        Lamya Robinson had her face scanned at the Riverside Arena in Livonia, Michigan and was mistaken for someone who was involved in an altercation there earlier this year. She took a photo of the scan, which her mother Juliea Robinson later posted to Facebook.

      • Warnock: “Shame on Us” If We’re More Committed to Filibuster Than Voting Rights
      • What Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta Means for Charities…and Our Democracy
      • Palestinian Feminists Are Resisting Colonization by Fighting Sexual Violence
      • ‘Heroes of days gone by’ St. Petersburg police remove banner featuring journalists, politicians, and human rights activists killed in Russia

        Overnight on July 14–15, a banner featuring drawings of journalists, politicians, and human rights activists murdered in Russia from 2006 to 2015 appeared on the side of a transformer vault in St. Petersburg’s Pushkarsky Garden, reports the news site ZakS.ru. 

      • In Building Global Solidarity, Abolitionists Look For Links Between Struggles

        “Our histories never unfold in isolation,” Angela Davis wrote in Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement. “We cannot truly tell what we consider to be our own histories without knowing the other stories. And often we discover that those other stories are actually our own stories.” 

        With these words, Davis urges abolitionists to construct movements for freedom across borders. For decades, she has argued for a global fight against prisons, police, and the tyranny of capital, modelling this movement through her own support of struggles across the world, from Palestine to Brazil. 

      • How Nations Turn Evil

        Evil has no absolute definition. St. Augustine (354-430) viewed evil as the absence of good (privatio boni). However, evil is not an abstract moral failure but an activity that inflicts severe injury on others. Natural disasters, such as earthquakes and floods, are evil. Human disasters, such as war, genocide, enslavement, occupation, apartheid, persecution, and intense discrimination, are manifestations of evil. In short, whatever exposes populations to intense suffering is evil. Perhaps, human evil is preventable.

        Three traits of a nation-state are the combined triggers to carry out evil. First, the ruler and the people build a robust synergy to act as a synthetic duo — a phenomenon I call syntheticity. Second, the synthetic duo locates an enemy from within, primarily vulnerable domestic communities, to energize national solidarity. Third, suppose the nation is militarily powerful. In that case, the synthetic duo harvests a foreign enemy, perpetrating synthetic aggression for revenge, brutality, theft of land, cheap labor, natural resource exploitation, and hegemony, disrupting the international legal order.

      • Freedom-Loving as Denial Of Truth and Freedom

        That strident outrage at the state-imposed limitations on personal freedom in Cuba, without the least concern for the evident, inequitable, wide-ranging and deepening suppression of human rights and personal freedoms in the United States, is a testament to the profundity of the tribal fear in American White Supremacy, and is the root from which sprout expressions of hypocritical outrage over the limitations of freedom in Cuba, that small and luxuriant and resistant island nation so close by and that Gringo Supremacy would love make into the U.S.’s Gaza Strip.

        In the end, tragically, it all comes down to the Melian Debate in Thucydides.

      • Right-Wing Twisting of Critical Race Theory

        Blotting out history to protect reputations or to prevent perceived criticism of races may be a feel-good exercise for some. But it blurs reality and leads to nothing but ignorance. Nevertheless, rewriting history to exonerate White responsibility from racism is precisely what conservatives are trying to do with critical race theory (CRT).

        Give Republican conservatives something new and possibly controversial, and their first instinct is to ban it, like books. Then they twist it to use it to beat liberals and Democrats over the head with it, another wedge topic intended to secure Republican votes.

      • For Women Under Conservatorship, Forced Birth Control Is Routine

        In June, Britney Spears spoke publicly for the first time about her conservatorship. In a harrowing 24-minute testimony, Spears laid out the ways in which having almost no decision-making power has curtailed her ability to live her own life over the past 13 years. She told a Los Angeles judge she has been forced to perform, forced to take medication she did not want, and, perhaps most shocking to the general public, forced to use contraception. Spears told a Los Angeles judge, “I have an [IUD] inside of myself right now, so I don’t get pregnant. I wanted to take the [IUD] out, so I could start trying to have another baby, but this so-called team won’t let me go to the doctor to take it out, because they don’t want me to have children—any more children.” Last night, Spears reiterated many of the claims she made in June, adding that in addition to major abuses like being forced into a residential psychiatric facility, she was subjected to a number of petty ones. Her hair vitamins, coffee, and driver’s license were all taken away. “Ma’am, that’s not abuse, that’s just cruelty,” she told the judge.

      • Tenth Circuit: No Immunity For Cops Who Protected An Abusive Fellow Officer Right Up Until He Murdered His Ex-Wife

        Law enforcement officers have no legal obligation to protect and serve. The words look nice on badges and insignias, but courts have said this is only a nicety, not a guarantee.

      • Fifth Circuit Sends Anonymous Cop’s Lawsuit Againt Protest Organizer To The State’s Top Court, Suggests Getting Injured Is Part Of The Job

        A decision that created a chilling effect on protected First Amendment activity is headed to yet another court to get the details sorted out.

      • Case involving body camera footage from Colorado officer charged with felony assault is a test for new state law

        The two officers give Clark differing commands as he complains about the noise his neighbors were making, the affidavit says.

        Then Hanning uses his Taser.

      • From Judaism to Fascism: How Zionists Turned Their Backs on Their Own Culture

        In late June of this year, New Scientist blandly reported that the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) had “used a swarm of small drones to locate, identify and attack Hamas militants,” the first documented case of a drone swarm being used in so-called combat.

      • 4 Iranian nationals charged with alleged kidnapping plot of US journalist, court documents say

        The four were charged with conspiracies related to kidnapping, sanctions violations, bank and wire fraud and money laundering, according to the indictment. They are based in Iran and remain at large, authorities said.

      • Indian boarding school investigation faces hurdles in missing records, legal questions

        Over the four decades that the Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School operated in Michigan, thousands of Native American children from across the country were taken from their parents and sent there to be stripped of their languages and traditions.

        The U.S. documented five deaths of Indigenous children at the school from its opening in 1893 to its closure in 1934. But when the land where the school once sat was returned to the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan in 2010 by the state, the tribe’s researchers uncovered a more extensive history of the federal government’s violence: records confirming the deaths of 227 children while at Mount Pleasant. The search for their remains is still underway.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The Tower of Babel: How Public Interest Internet is Trying to Save Messaging and Banish Big Social Media

        How many messaging services do you use? Slack, Discord, WhatsApp, Apple iMessage, Signal, Facebook Messenger, Microsoft Teams, Instagram, TikTok, Google Hangouts, Twitter Direct Messages, Skype?  Our families, friends and co-workers are scattered across dozens of services, none of which talk to each other. Without even trying, you can easily amass 40 apps on your phone that let you send and receive messages. The numbers aren’t dropping.

        Companies like Google and Facebook – who once supported interoperable protocols, even using the same chat protocol -  now spurn them.

        This isn’t the first time we’ve been in this situation. Back in the 2000s, users were asked to choose between MSN, AOL, ICQ, IRC and Yahoo! Messenger, many of which would be embedded in other, larger services. Programs like Pidgin and Adium collected your contacts in one place, and allowed end-users some independence from being locked in by one service – or worse, having to choose which friends you care enough about to join yet another messaging service.

      • You Can Now Pay AT&T Extra To Adhere To The Dictionary Definition Of ‘Unlimited’

        For years, US wireless carriers have had a… somewhat nebulous relationship with the dictionary definition of “unlimited.” As in, for the better part of two decades they’ve sold wireless data plans professing to be “unlimited,” then included all manner of heavy handed limitations, often buried in mouse print. Verizon received wrist slaps for this way back in 2007. AT&T recently settled accusations that it lied to consumers about the throttling limitations in the company’s “unlimited” plans (impacted consumers got all of $22 for participating in the class action).

    • Monopolies

      • How Sketchy Data Scavengers Are Using Hatred Of ‘Big Tech’ To Attack Plans To Make The Web More Private

        We warned that this was likely back when Google announced plans to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome (something all the other major browser makers had already done): that this would be used to attack Google as being anti-competitive, even as it was pro-privacy. Privacy and competition do not need to be in conflict, but they can be. And what’s happening now is that more sketchy ad companies are abusing the constant drumbeat and fear over “Big Tech” to attack privacy protections — but that behind the scenes story is getting missed as people are more focused on more breaking news about how Google has decided to push back its move on 3rd party cookies for two more years.

      • Patents

        • Congressional Progressive Caucus Urges Merkel to Support Vaccine Patent Waiver

          As U.S. President Joe Biden prepared to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Thursday’s White House summit to discuss “ending the Covid-19 pandemic,” the Congressional Progressive Caucus urged Merkel to end Germany’s obstruction of a proposed patent waiver for coronavirus vaccines, which public health advocates say would make possible the increased global production of lifesaving shots.

          “After watching my family in India fight to survive the latest surge there, I feel personally how vital it is that the U.S. must do everything we can to ensure that no one else has to suffer from an artificial vaccine shortage in the fight against this virus.”—Rep. Pramila Jayapal

      • Trademarks

      • Copyrights

        • U.S. Govt. Should Pay $155m in Piracy Damages, Software Company Argues

          At the US Court of Federal Claims, software company Bitmanagement requests $155 million in copyright infringement damages from the US Government. The software vendor won its appeal earlier this year, which already concluded that the Navy used hundreds of thousands of software copies without permission.

        • Mass Bogus DMCA Takedowns Impersonate Reddit to Attack Downloading Tools

          Reddit downloader bot SaveVideo took itself offline this week following what appeared to be a copyright and trademark complaint from Reddit. However, it later transpired that the main document was an elaborate fake designed to sow confusion. We can now reveal that an additional batch of bogus DMCA notices has been filed with Google in Reddit’s name, targeting many functionally similar tools.

        • Article 17 Copyright Directive: The Court of Justice’s Advocate General Rejects Fundamental Rights Challenge But Defends Users Against Overblocking

          Today’s opinion, while milder than we had hoped, could help mitigate that risk. Briefly, the AG acknowledges that Article 17 interferes with users’ freedom of expression rights, as providers are required preventively to filter and block user content that unlawfully infringes copyrights. The AG found that users were not free to upload whatever content they wish—Article 17 had the “actual effect” of requiring platforms to filter their users’ content. However, the AG concludes that, thanks to safeguards contained in Article 17, the interference with free speech was not quite strong enough to be incompatible with the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights.Here’s the slightly more detailed version: The EU Copyright Directive recognizes the right to legitimate uses of copyright-protected material, including the right to rely on exceptions and limitations for content such as reviews or parody. The AG opinion acknowledges that these protections are enforceable and stresses the importance of out of court redress mechanisms and effective judicial remedies for users. The AG points out that Article 17 grants users ex ante protection, protection at the moment they upload content, which would limit permissible filtering and blocking measures. Hence, in contrast to several EU Member States that have ignored the fundamental rights perspective altogether, the AG interprets Article 17 as requiring content hosts to pay strong attention to user rights’ safeguards and legitimate uses.

          The AG reaffirms the “ban of mandated general monitoring” of user content, which is an important principle under EU law, and rejects an interpretation of Article 17 in which providers are “turned into judges of online legality, responsible for coming to decision on complex copyright issues.” To minimize the risk of overblocking legitimate user content, platform providers should only actively detect and block manifestly infringing content, meaning content that is “identical or equivalent” to the information provided by rightsholders, the AG opinion says. Such content could be presumed illegal. By contrast, in all ambiguous situations potentially covered by exceptions and limitations to copyright, such as transformative works or parody, priority must be given to freedom of expression and preventive blocking is not permitted.While the AG’s approach reduces the risk of overblocking, it unfortunately permits mandated upload filters in principle. The opinion fails to acknowledge the limits of technical solutions and could, in practical terms, make error-prone copyright matching tools, such as those used by YouTube, a legal standard. It’s also unfortunate that the AG considers the safeguards set out by Article 17 sufficient, trusting that a user-friendly implementation by national lawmakers or interpretation by courts will do the trick.These flaws aside, the opinion is a welcome clarification that there are limits to the use of upload filters. It should serve as a warning to Member States that, without sufficient user safeguards, national laws will undermine the “essence” of the right to freedom of expression. This is good news for users and bad news for States such as France or the Netherlands, whose laws implementing Article 17 offer far too little protections for legitimate uses of copyright.The decision is the result of a legal challenge by the Republic of Poland, questioning the compatibility of Article 17 with the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. The opinion now goes to the Court of Justice for final judgment.

Links 16/7/2021: First ‘New VAX’ in 30 Years, LF Against Crypto

Posted in News Roundup at 3:01 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • System76 Spotlight with Crystal Cooper

        In the previous System76 Spotlight, we interviewed Adam Balla (aka chzbacon), about his journey with Linux and becoming System76’s new Content Producer. Then, we put his content producing to the test, ensuring he could withstand the elements of a noisy factory. A slight drop in decibel detection later, he’s put together the second System76 Spotlight—this one for CNC Machinist Crystal Cooper!

      • Olive 0.2: Node Based Video Editing Is Bizarre

        I’ve been using the Olive video editor for quite a while and the new version while still being a very early work in progress does have some really awesome changes that I’ve wanted to talk about for quite a while, the main one being node based video editing.

      • Is The End Of Linux Near?

        Viewers have asked my opinion on whether Linux sucks or not, so I thought I would share my thoughts about Bryan Lunduke’s latest video in the “Linux Sucks” series.

    • Kernel Space

      • Core scheduling lands in 5.14

        The core scheduling feature has been under discussion for over three years. For those who need it, the wait is over at last; core scheduling was merged for the 5.14 kernel release. Now that this work has reached a (presumably) final form, a look at why this feature makes sense and how it works is warranted. Core scheduling is not for everybody, but it may prove to be quite useful for some user communities.

        Simultaneous multithreading (SMT, or “hyperthreading”) is a hardware feature that implements two or more threads of execution in a single processor, essentially causing one CPU to look like a set of “sibling” CPUs. When one sibling is executing, the other must wait. SMT is useful because CPUs often go idle while waiting for events — usually the arrival of data from memory. While one CPU waits, the other can be executing. SMT does not result in a performance gain for all workloads, but it is a significant improvement for most.

        SMT siblings share almost all of the hardware in the CPU, including the many caches that CPUs maintain. That opens up the possibility that one CPU could extract data from the other by watching for visible changes in the caches; the Spectre class of hardware vulnerabilities have made this problem far worse, and there is little to be done about it. About the only way to safely run processes that don’t trust each other (with current kernels) is to disable SMT entirely; that is a prospect that makes a lot of people, cloud-computing providers in particular, distinctly grumpy.

        While one might argue that cloud-computing providers are usually grumpy anyway, there is still value in anything that might improve their mood. One possibility would be a way to allow them to enable SMT on their systems without opening up the possibility that their customers may use it to attack each other; that could be done by ensuring that mutually distrusting processes do not run simultaneously in siblings of the same CPU core. Cloud customers often have numerous processes running; spamming Internet users at scale requires a lot of parallel activity, after all. If those processes can be segregated so that all siblings of any given core run processes from the same customer, we can be spared the gruesome prospect of one spammer stealing another’s target list — or somebody else’s private keys.

        Core scheduling can provide this segregation. In abstract terms, each process is assigned a “cookie” that identifies it in some way; one approach might be to give each user a unique cookie. The scheduler then enforces a regime where processes can share an SMT core only if they have the same cookie value — only if they trust each other, in other words.

      • The first half of the 5.14 merge window

        As of this writing, just under 5,000 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 5.14 development cycle. That is less than half of the patches that have been queued up in linux-next, so it is fair to say that this merge window is getting off to a bit of a slow start. Nonetheless, a fair number of significant changes have been merged.

      • Bye-bye bdflush()

        The addition of system calls to the Linux kernel is a routine affair; it happens during almost every merge window. The removal of system calls, instead, is much more uncommon. That appears likely to happen soon, though, as discussions proceed on the removal of bdflush(). Read on for a look at the purpose and history of this obscure system call and to learn whether you will miss it (you won’t).

        Linux, like most operating systems, buffers filesystem I/O through memory; a write() call results in a memory copy into the kernel’s page cache, but does not immediately result in a write to the underlying block storage device. This buffering is necessary for writes of anything other than complete blocks; it is also important for filesystem performance. Deferring block writes can allow operations to be coalesced, provide opportunities for better on-disk file layout, and enables the batching of operations.

        Buffered file data cannot be allowed to live in memory forever, though; eventually the system must arrange for it to be flushed back to disk. Even the 0.01 Linux release included a version of the sync() system call, which forces all cached filesystem data to be written out. While the kernel would flush some buffers when the buffer cache (which preceded the page cache and was a fixed-size array at that time) filled up, there was no provision for regularly ensuring that all buffers were pushed out to disk. That task was, if your editor’s memory serves, handled by a user-space process that would occasionally wake up and call sync().

        There are advantages to handling this task in the kernel, though; it has a much better idea of the state of both the buffer cache and the underlying devices. As a step in that direction, the bdflush() system call was added to the 0.99.14y release on February 2, 1994. (This was a different era of kernel development; the preceding 0.99.14x release came out seven hours earlier, and 0.99.14z came out nine hours later). That implementation was not particularly useful, though; all it did was return a “not implemented” error. An actual bdflush() implementation was not added until the 1.1.3 development kernel in April 1994.

      • Rust for Linux redux

        On July 4, the Rust for Linux project posted another version of its patch set adding support for the language to the kernel. It would seem that the project feels that it is ready to be considered for merging into the mainline. Perhaps a bigger question lingers, though: is the kernel development community ready for Rust? That part still seems to be up in the air.

        Round 2

        Miguel Ojeda, who has been hired to work on the project full-time, posted the patch set; in the cover letter, he listed a number of changes and updates since the RFC patch set was posted back in April. In particular, the allocations that would call panic!() when they failed have been replaced. A modified version of the alloc crate has been created for the kernel project, though the plan is for the changes to work their way into the upstream project so that the customized version can eventually be dropped. Incidentally, the patch adding the modified crate was apparently too large for the lore archive, though it does show up in the LWN archive.

        There is more progress on Rust abstractions for kernel facilities, including “red-black trees, reference-counted objects, file descriptor creation, tasks, files, io vectors…”, he said, as well as additions for driver support. Beyond that, the Rust driver for the Android Binder interprocess communication mechanism has more features and there is ongoing work on a driver for the hardware random-number generator available on some Raspberry Pi models.

      • Apple Magic Mouse To Support High Resolution Scrolling With Linux 5.15 – Phoronix

        For those that find themselves using an Apple Magic Mouse, the finger-sliding scrolling experience should be improved come Linux 5.15.

        Just days after the end of the Linux 5.14 merge window, another one of the early features queuing in the respective “-next” branches for Linux 5.15 is the Magic Mouse driver supporting high resolution scrolling.

        HID-next has merged high resolution scrolling into the “magicmouse” driver for supporting high resolution scrolling on the Apple Magic Mouse Gen1/Gen2 mice.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Core i7 1185G7 Linux Performance

        For nearly one year already we’ve been delivering many Intel Tiger Lake Linux benchmarks using the Core i7 1165G7 while for those curious about the i7-1185G7 that is becoming more common with newer notebooks, here are some benchmarks of the Core i7 1185G7 Tiger Lake against various other notebooks/processors on hand for comparison.

        The Core i7 1185G7 was tested within a Dell XPS 13 9310, the same model as the Core i7 1165G7 being benchmarked over the past year. The i7-1165G7 and i7-1185G7 are quite close to each other but with the higher-end model having a 4.8GHz maximum turbo frequency compared to 4.7GHz and a configurable TDP-up frequency of 3.0GHz over 2.8GHz. Both Tiger Lake processors are still four cores / eight threads. The i7-1185G7 also has a slight advantage on the Iris Xe Graphics with a maximum dynamic frequency of 1.35GHz rather than 1.30GHz. Aside from the performance specs, the i7-1185G7 does support a few other extra features like Trusted Execution Technology, SIPP, and Total Memory Encryption.

    • Applications

      • NewsFlash – follow your favorite blogs and news sites

        A news aggregator is software which collect news, weblog posts, and other information from the web so that they can be read in a single location for easy viewing. With the range of news sources available on the internet, news aggregators play a useful role in helping users to quickly locate breaking news.

        There are a number of different file formats which information publishers use. Popular formats are RSS and Atom. RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication. It’s a defined standard based on XML with the specific purpose of delivering updates to web-based content. In other words, RSS is a Web content syndication format.

        For individuals that read lots of weblogs, a news aggregator makes keeping track of them effortless, and particularly useful if the weblogs are only updated occasionally. If you follow specific writers, publications and channels, an RSS reader app helps you see all new content that interests you in a central source.

        NewsFlash is a program designed to complement an already existing web-based RSS reader account.

      • Wireshark 3.4.7

        Wireshark is a network packet analyzer. A network packet analyzer will try to capture network packets and tries to display that packet data as detailed as possible. You could think of a network packet analyzer as a measuring device used to examine what’s going on inside a network cable, just like a voltmeter is used by an electrician to examine what’s going on inside an electric cable (but at a higher level, of course). In the past, such tools were either very expensive, proprietary, or both. However, with the advent of Wireshark, all that has changed. Wireshark is perhaps one of the best open source packet analyzers available today.

      • QOwnNotes 21.7.5

        QOwnNotes is a open source (GPL) plain-text file notepad with markdown support and todo list manager for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X and Windows, that (optionally) works together with the notes application of ownCloud (or Nextcloud). So you are able to write down your thoughts with QOwnNotes and edit or search for them later from your mobile device (like with CloudNotes) or the ownCloud web-service. The notes are stored as plain text files and you can sync them with your ownCloud sync client. Of course other software, like Dropbox, Syncthing, Seafile or BitTorrent Sync can be used too.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Fancy a handheld Linux PC that runs Windows apps, sports a custom AMD Zen APU and a touch screen?

        Gaming house Steam has just revealed a rather intriguing portable PC.

        The “Steam Deck” boasts an AMD “accelerated processing unit” (APU) that incorporates four Zen cores that run at between 2.4GHz and 3.5GHz, plus an AMD RDNA 2 GPU and a substantial 16GB of RAM.

        An RJ45 Ethernet socket, single USB-C and USB-A connectors, DisplayPort, and HDMI sockets connect the machine to the wired world. WiFi and Bluetooth handle the wireless side of things.

        The seven-inch touch screen offers 1280x800px resolution at 400 nits brightness. The included battery can hold 40 watt-hours of energy.

      • Valve officially announces Steam Deck, its handheld gaming PC releasing this December

        The Nintendo Switch (OLED model) wasn’t the “Pro” upgrade many expected it to be with 4K support and new internals but before its announcement, other handhelds aimed to take the role of the “Switch Pro”. The AYA NEO and GPD Win 3 are among those devices shooting for that nickname since they are able to run recent AAA PC games on the go, given that they are handheld gaming PCs. Their efforts and popularity, although niche, enticed companies like Lenovo and Tencent to make similar concepts or patents; indicating that these indie companies might have more serious competition in the future.

        It seems like this will indeed be the case and these handheld gaming PC manufacturers will need to brace themselves as Valve is itself entering this market with a Valve-branded handheld gaming PC. This news was actually reported back in May and today we have the official confirmation. In a Steam post today, Valve revealed the Steam Deck, an AMD-based handheld gaming PC that is expected to begin shipping in December 2021 in select regions.

      • Valve Steam Deck is a handheld gaming PC that runs SteamOS

        Valve has announced its own handheld gaming console. The Steam Deck is a compact gaming PC running a custom version of SteamOS and can play all of your Steam games while also functioning as a computer.

      • Steam Deck & Linux: Valve Working With BattlEye & EAC To Get Support For Proton

        Valve has announced Steam Deck, a handheld console that will compete with the likes of Nintendo Switch OLED. The announcement came as a surprise today as we didn’t witness any leaks for the device before. The console starts at $399 for the base 64GB storage variant and goes to $649 for the model with maxed-out specs.

        And, no, the 64GB variant isn’t great as per 2021 standards, but what’s great is that the console is powered by Arch-based SteamOS 3.0 and KDE Plasma on top.

      • Steam Deck is an AMD-powered handheld PC from Valve that runs KDE on Arch Linux

        Valve has taken the wraps off a portable PC it has called Steam Deck, which is set to begin shipping in the US, Canada, EU, and UK in December.

        Ostensibly a handheld gaming device that is in the same realm as the Nintendo Switch, under the hood, the Steam Deck runs SteamOS 3.0, a new version based on Arch Linux, with KDE Plasma used for desktop mode.

        While Valve has said the Linux system will use its Proton compatibility layer to run games designed for Windows, the company said users are free to replace it.

        “Steam Deck is a PC, and players will be able to install whatever they like, including other OSes,” it said.

      • Valve Announces Handheld Linux Gaming with The Steam Deck Launching in 2021

        Valve just announced a new handheld gaming device running Linux, the Steam Deck. Since I know the first question you’ll have, yes it is running Arch (SteamOS 3.0), with KDE Plasma and a custom Steam interface. It ships in December and starts at $399.

    • Distributions

      • BSD

        • First new vax in …30 years? :-)

          some time ago I ended up in an architectural discussion (risc vs cisc etc…) and started to think about vax. Even though the vax is considered the “ultimate cisc” I wondered if its cleanliness and nice instruction set still could be implemented efficient enough. Well, the only way to know would be to try to implement it :-) I had an 15-year-old demo board with a small low-end FPGA (Xilinx XC3S400), so I just had to learn Verilog and try to implement something. And it just passed EVKAA.EXE:

        • First ‘new VAX’ in 30 years, 64-bit extensions proposed

          It’s nice to see people still putting work and effort into what is nearly a half-century old, and otherwise obsolete, instruction set.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Oh SUSE Q2. Oh SUSE Q2. Pay IPO shares bread, it leaves you in the red, SUSE Q2

          Veteran Linux wrangler SUSE has swung into the red largely due to shares-based payments related to its lacklustre IPO in May.

          The business, sold by Micro Focus to private equity house EQT for $2.5bn in 2018, reported revenue of $133.2m for its Q2 ended 30 April [PDF], up a decent 17 per cent year-on-year.

          The double-digit rise, with trading “in line with expectations,” stands in contrast to SUSE’s flotation, which was set at €30 per share and struggled to make much ground during its first day of trading several months back.

          After an initial climb to the heady heights of over €35, the stock stood around the €33-€34 mark until the publication of these results, dropping – at the time of writing – to $31, with investors seemingly unimpressed.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Hybrid work: 3 tips to improve virtual meetings | The Enterprisers Project

          Checking your watch for the sixth time in as many minutes, you notice that most attendees are muted, and many have turned off their cameras. As the minutes tick by and another colleague goes off on a long-winded tangent, nobody even tries to get the discussion back on track.

          The meeting finally meanders to an end, but no overview or follow-up strategy is offered. Fretting over that day’s looming deadlines, you click out of the virtual meeting room – and your calendar notifies you that your next meeting starts in five minutes. Here we go again.

          We feel your pain. These days many of us find ourselves sitting through meetings for hours at a time, unable to get more productive work done. Worse, too few of these meetings are worth the time they take.

        • Red Hat Extends Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 As A Foundation For More Secure Computing With Second FIPS 140-2 Validation
        • Red Hat Bolsters Hybrid Cloud Automation with Latest Version of Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes 2.3, the latest version of the company’s enterprise-grade Kubernetes management offering. Designed to provide greater flexibility for managing and scaling hybrid and multicloud environments in a unified and automated way, IT teams can now accelerate the management, security features and automation of their hybrid clouds with the integration of Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform and Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for a more modern, hybrid cloud-ready environment.

        • How Quarkus helps developers in a cloud-native world – Episode 108

          In today’s podcast episode, we talk about Quarkus, a full-stack, Kubernetes-native Java framework that was created to help Java developers work in a more cloud-native world.

      • Debian Family

        • Tails 4.20: New gate assistant for monitored users

          The anonymizing operating system Tails was released in version 4.20. It now brings the major changes to the connection to the Tor network that were planned for Tails 4.19, but were then postponed.

          The Tails developers have introduced a wizard for setting up Tor connections. This is primarily intended to help those users whose Internet access is directly monitored, who are in heavily censored networks or who have poor network connections.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Dear Mozilla, Please Remove This Annoying ‘Feature’ from Firefox

            Despite its receding user base, Mozilla Firefox has remained my primary browser. Mozilla has revamped Firefox in the last couple of years and have added several features to it specially focused on protecting user privacy. I respect that.

            However, there is one ‘feature’ that annoys the hell out of me. This so-called feature relates to the auto-update of Firefox in the background.

            Auto-upgrade immediately remind of Windows updates. I mean, Windows is infamous for the forced restarts and updates, right?

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.2 release candidate reveals effort to be Microsoft-compatible

          The Document Foundation has released LibreOffice 7.2 RC1, including a large number of fixes intended to improve import and export compatibility with Microsoft Office.

          Version 7.2 of LibreOffice, the most popular free and open-source productivity suite, is set for full release in mid-August. New versions appear roughly every six months: 7.0 arrived in August 2020, and 7.1 in February 2021.

          The list of what’s new is extensive, though most new features are small tweaks or bug fixes. One of the more notable is the ability to have multiple columns in text boxes in LibreOffice documents including Writer, Calc, and Impress – these being word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation graphics.

          Writer is already multi-column capable in the main page, but this is for text boxes that you can float anywhere, in the manner of a desktop publishing application. At the moment, this feature is hard to find – you need to select text box, find Text Attributes in the Text box and shape menu – and seems a little buggy (on one text box we could not get it to work), but this is only RC1.

      • Programming/Development

        • Python

          • Python attributes, __slots__, and API design [LWN.net]

            A discussion on the python-ideas mailing list touched on a number of interesting topics, from the problems with misspelled attribute names through the design of security-sensitive interfaces and to the use of the __slots__ attribute of objects. The latter may not be all that well-known (or well-documented), but could potentially fix the problem at hand, though not in a backward-compatible way. The conversation revolves around the ssl module in the standard library, which has been targeted for upgrades, more than once, over the years—with luck, the maintainers may find time for some upgrades relatively soon.

  • Leftovers

    • Former SPH staff allegedly claims that it is wrong to use the term ‘talent’ to describe ‘foreign talents’ who come to Singapore

      The message claimed that those who came into SPH through the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) had no skills relating to the job and added: If they have zero work experience, then how can you label them as “talent”.

    • Hardware

      • Intel Is in Talks to Buy GlobalFoundries for About $30 Billion

        Intel Corp. is exploring a deal to buy GlobalFoundries Inc., according to people familiar with the matter, in a move that would turbocharge the semiconductor giant’s plans to make more chips for other tech companies and rate as its largest acquisition ever.

        A deal could value GlobalFoundries at around $30 billion, the people said. It isn’t guaranteed one will come together, and GlobalFoundries could proceed with a planned initial public offering. GlobalFoundries is owned by Mubadala Investment Co., an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, but based in the U.S.

        Any talks don’t appear to include GlobalFoundries executives, as a spokeswoman for the company said it isn’t in discussions with Intel.

      • Intel Reported To Be Looking At Acquiring GlobalFoundries – Phoronix

        The latest surprise news under Intel’s new leadership is that they are reported to be exploring a deal to acquire GlobalFoundries, the company ultimately formed when AMD decided in 2008 to spin off their semiconductor manufacturing business.

        According to a report this evening by the Wall Street Journal, Intel is in tentative talks to buy out GlobalFoundries for about $30 billion USD.

        The talks still appear to be early-stage and according to the WSJ might not include GlobalFoundries itself but rather a deal through one of its major stakeholders such as Mubadala Investment. The report notes that such an Intel + GloFo deal could still fall through.

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

IRC Proceedings: Thursday, July 15, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:10 am by Needs Sunlight

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