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Links 29/7/2021: Mesa 21.2 RC3, FSF Responds to Microsoft’s ‘Hey Hi’ Attack on Copyleft

Posted in News Roundup at 4:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Desktop as a service: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow | ZDNet

        When I started using computers, my computer was an IBM 360 mainframe, and I worked with it using a 3270 terminal. I was very lucky. My alternative was to do all my work with 80-column IBM Hollerith-style punch cards. Then, CP/ M, Apple, and IBM PCs starting in the late 70s and early 80s, changed everything. Computing power moved from distant DEC PDP-11 and VAX mini-computers IBM Big Iron to your desktop. Forty years later, your IT work is moving more. This time, it’s moving from your PC to cloud-based Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offerings such as Windows 365 and Chrome OS.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Valve Doesn’t Care About Native Linux Gaming

        I’ve said it countless times but I really don’t care about Native Linux Gaming and Valve has been showing recently that they may not care either and that’s a good thing, I don’t think developers will start releasing Linux binaries anytime soon and translation layers like Proton work exceptionally well.

      • FLOSS Weekly 640: Open Source Past and Future – QR Code Tracking, Right to Repair

        Jonathan Bennett, Dan Lynch and Katherine Druckman join Doc Searls in a roundtable discussion of open source. QR codes are used as fishhooks for tracking. How can this be stopped? Then there’s the report of “death of open source” which is wrong (again), rights to make and repair, and much more. Great discussions on FLOSS Weekly.

      • BSDNow 413: BSD/Linux Chimera

        Updating GCC GNAT (Ada) in pkgsrc/NetBSD, AdvanceBSD thoughts 2/2, FreeBSD from a NetBSD user’s perspective, FPGA programming and DragonFly, Chimera Linux, EuroBSDcon 2021, and more.

      • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 916

        joels house, ihoumi, google outage, wordpress woes

    • Kernel Space

      • Descriptorless files for io_uring

        The lowly file descriptor is one of the fundamental objects in Linux systems. A file descriptor, which is a simple integer value, can refer to an open file — or to a network connection, a running process, a loaded BPF program, or a namespace. Over the years, the use of file descriptors to refer to transient objects has grown to the point that it can be difficult to justify an API that uses anything else. Interestingly, though, the io_uring subsystem looks as if it is moving toward its own number space separate from file descriptors.

        Io_uring was created to solve the asynchronous I/O problem; this is a functionality that Linux has never supported as well as users would have liked. User space can queue operations in a memory segment that is shared directly with the kernel, allowing those operations to be initiated, in many cases, without the need for an expensive system call. Similarly, another shared-memory segment contains the results of those operations once they complete. Initially, io_uring focused on simple operations (reading and writing, for example), but it has quickly gained support for many other system calls. It is evolving into the general asynchronous-operation API that Linux systems have always lacked.

      • NUMA policy and memory types

        Non-uniform memory access (NUMA) systems have an architecture that attaches memory to “nodes” within the system. CPUs, too, belong to nodes; memory that is attached to the same node as a CPU will be faster to access (from that CPU) than memory on other nodes. This aspect of performance has important implications for programs running on NUMA systems, and the kernel offers a number of ways for user space to optimize their behavior. The NUMA abstraction is now being extended, though, and that is driving a need for new ways of influencing memory allocation; the multi-preference memory policy patch set is an attempt to meet that need.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Intel’s Iris Gallium3D OpenGL Driver Now Supports Threaded Shader Compilation – Phoronix

          Intel’s open-source “Iris” Gallium3D driver for providing modern OpenGL driver support on their graphics hardware from Broadwell through all current Gen12 / Xe Graphics era hardware has been in great shape for some time and works wonderfully. But Intel’s not done furthering this Linux OpenGL driver and today they now have threaded shader compilation merged.

        • mesa 21.2.0-rc3
          Hi all,
          Now available is Mesa 21.2.0-rc3.  We've got a little bit of everything
          here, but not too much of anything. Things seem to be settling down a
          little bit already, and I like that.
        • Mesa 21.2-rc3 Offered For Testing, Mesa 21.1.6 Reaches Stable – Phoronix

          The Mesa release train continues at full speed ahead for these open-source Linux graphics driver components.

          Mesa 21.1.6 is out as the newest stable Mesa release. This bi-weekly point release brings with it a wide assortment of fixes including for its Meson build system, EGL code, Vulkan fixes, and a sprinkling of different driver fixes. Nothing particularly exciting with Mesa 21.1.6 unless you were affected by one of the many issues now resolved by this update.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Netcat – All you need to know

        Netcat is a really great tool for network related activities, I find it really useful during CTFs and sometimes use it during pentests. There’s several other options that we haven’t looked into feel free to explore them, but I think we’ve covered should be enough for most of your use cases.

        I haven’t explained the specific command line options -like -v -n because the help menu clearly explains them.

      • The tiny irritation of ZFS’s ‘zpool status’ nagging you about upgrades

        One of the tiny irritations of operating ZFS for a long time is that eventually, running ‘zpool status’ on your pools would produce a multi-line nag about upgrading them to the latest version of ZFS. I assume that this was added to ‘zpool status’ output so that you wouldn’t be unaware of it, but the size of the message was far too large for its actual importance. Back in the old days of Solaris 10, ‘zpool status -x’ even included pools that could be upgraded (this was one of our Solaris 10 update 6 gotchas), but fortunately people have gotten more sensible since then. Now it’s only a multi-line message.

      • How to upgrade to Pop_OS 21.04

        Pop_OS 21.04 is finally out! With this new release comes excellent new features such as “COSMIC” that allows users to customize their Pop desktop, new trackpad gestures for laptops, and more. In this guide, we’ll show you how to upgrade your system to the new Pop_OS release.

      • How to edit the Hosts file on Linux

        The Hosts file on Linux is responsible for mapping hostnames and IP addresses. It’s a plain text file named “Hosts.” If you’ve ever run servers on Linux, you’ll no doubt find yourself editing this file a lot.

        In this guide, we’ll show you how to access the Hosts file on Linux and how to back it up too. To start, ensure you have access to the root account. The Hosts file is a system-level file and cannot be accessed by a regular user.

      • How To Import and Export MySQL Databases in Linux

        Importing and exporting MySQL or MariaDB databases is a regular task in system administration. You can use data dumps to back up and restore your databases or migrate them to a new server.

      • Use df to check free disk space on Linux | Opensource.com

        Drive space isn’t quite as precious as it was in the early days of computing, but no matter how much space you have, there’s always the potential to run out. Computers need a little space just to operate, so it’s important to check occasionally to ensure you haven’t inadvertently used up literally all the space available on your drive. In the Linux terminal, you can do that with the df command.

        The df command displays the amount of disk space available on the file system.

      • How To Install CTparental on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install CTparental on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, CTparental is one of the best tools for filtering access to web content. It made from several components like dnsmasq, iptables, and inguardian privoxy that make CTparental a fully-fledged parental control solution. CTparental software has an elementary and easy-to-use web interface which is actuated by the Lighttpd web server. It supports several web browsers including Firefox, Midori, Chromium, and more.

        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 CTparental on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to install OpenTTD on Linux Lite 5.4

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

      • Debian on TrueNAS Core under bhyve

        I got myself a TrueNAS Mini X+ couple of months ago. I have it running TrueNAS Core based on FreeBSD. In that system you can run VMs under FreeBSD’s native hypervisor, bhyve. Since there are a couple of quirks around running Debian specifically, I decided to write up a quick article about setting up Debian-based VM there.

      • How to Install Apache CouchDB 3.1 on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        Apache CouchDB is a NoSQL open-source document-oriented database system written in Erlang, JavaScript, C, and C++. It uses JSON to store data. Documents can be accessed with your web browser. It is primary used for running queries and creating reports from documents files.

        CouchDB comes with features such as on-the-fly document transformation, real-time change notifications, high availability, distributed scaling, partition tolerance, and more. It comes with a web administration interface.

        In this tutorial, we learn how to install CouchDB on Ubuntu 20.04 using the convenience binary packages.

      • How to install Miku Miku Dance on a Chromebook

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

        Please take note that it only works in separate windows mode, and it is a bit glitchy (in separate windows mode) but works.

    • Distributions

      • The 6 Best Linux Distros for Power Users in 2021

        A conventional operating system makes users use identical yet redundant versions. Linux has a little bit of something for different users, which are commonly known as Linux distributions. There are hundreds of Linux distributions catering to different uses like gaming, education, software development, etc.

        While most Linux distributions are similar to each other, a few distributions come with a unique user interface and distinct functionalities. These distributions provide more features than their Debian or Arch-based rivals, but only a power user should use them because of the steep learning curve that accompanies them.

        Let’s deviate from the usual run-of-the-mill distros and explore the lesser-known operating systems which deserve a mention.

      • 10 Most Secure Linux Distros for Security, Anonymity, Privacy 2021

        Want to stay anonymous? Want to add more privacy and security to your life? Then start by having a look at the Top 10 Most Secure Linux Distros for Security and Privacy 2021. You know, as the saying goes, “A private life is a happy life.” These Secure Linux Distros are great for Servers, Banking, Staying Anonymous, Security, Privacy, and Anonymity. We will also share a download link for the ISO file or installation setup.

        If you are a Linux user and are looking for the most secure Linux Distro, then you have dropped at the right place. The Linux distro is used to provide you with all the privacy for your Operating system. Before we begin, let us see why Linux Distro is too important to avoid? As we all know that the core software that allows you to communicate with the hardware and software of your computer system is the Operating System.

        If you are using a computer system that is not secure, then it becomes straightforward for the hackers out there to exploit the OS, see your files, the location from where they are being sent. For all this, Linux now brings for you the best and most secured Linux distros that will help you protect your system in the best possible way.

      • New Releases

        • Linux Lite 5.6 RC1 Released: Here’s What’s New

          Linux Lite 5.6’s first release candidate is now available to download. For those who don’t know, as the name suggests, Linux Lite is an Ubuntu-based distribution that falls under the category of lightweight Linux distros. The final release, however, is scheduled for September 1.

          In this article, let’s look at what are the new additions, changes, and improvements in the release, and in the end, we’ll have a download link for the same.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 5 reasons you should run your apps on WildFly

          WildFly, formerly known as JBoss Application Server, is an open source Java EE application server. Its primary goal is to provide a set of vital tools for enterprise Java applications.

          According to the Jakarta EE 2020/2021 survey, WildFly is head and shoulders above in the recent application servers and in the rating categories. Here are some of the reasons why:

        • Systemd/Microsoft Effort For A Global Counter On Block/Disk Changes Coming To Linux 5.15 – Phoronix

          Last month I wrote about a possible global counter for block/disk changes on Linux being discussed by Microsoft and systemd developers to better track changes via a system-wide monotonically increasing number as an alternative to the existing per-disk tracking. That functionality is now queued up as part of the block subsystem changes ahead of the Linux 5.15 merge window in a few weeks.

          This global counter for block device changes is sought after to better correlate events for devices that may end up re-using the same device, commonly for cases like /dev/sda or /dev/loop0 when a device is detached and then later reattached but not necessarily the same device. User-space software like systemd could thus benefit from such a system-wide numbering scheme to better handle events to avoid issues around device re-use confusion or events arriving to user-space out-of-order.

        • IT leadership: 5 ways for CIOs to embrace a coaching role | The Enterprisers Project

          At BNY Mellon, we have a deep commitment to our clients. The pandemic brought massive changes to the way we work. We also saw change in our clients’ needs for data and insights as well as an associated desire for an increased spectrum of new products and services.

          Our organization responded quickly to those needs during a time of immense external challenges. We are focused on delivering the right digital and technological infrastructure and solutions. This spotlight on the speed and strategy of our digital transformation required me to double down on my role as a coach and a multiplier to create an environment that facilitates our engineering-first (not engineering-only) culture to empower innovation across our organization.

        • 3 reasons CEOs need HR and IT to work closer now

          The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work and manage employees. Technology has become a lifeline as more of the workforce has gone remote. This abrupt shift to remote work has also accelerated the need for interdepartmental collaboration between HR and IT. We have seen that for an employee to flourish in a remote workforce, technology is a critical enabler.

          In 2021, CIOs are also tasked with improving the worker condition.

          Technology undeniably impacts the success of an organization and this has never been more evident than in the past year. In order to unpack the shifting priorities of the IT department in supporting a distributed workforce, WalkMe commissioned a survey by Constellation Research of 100 Fortune 500 CIOs,‘The CIO Outlook for 2021: Delivering Business ROI at Scale’. The survey found that in 2021, as well as prioritizing overall digital change and keeping the organization safe, CIOs are also tasked with improving the worker condition.

          This means that employee well-being is now a core component of IT’s forward strategy, allowing IT leaders to utilize newfound “political capital” to take a more strategic seat at the executive table. This is also good news for HR leaders. Working closely with their counterparts in the CIO’s office to deliver change management initiatives at scale will boost their likelihood of delivering successful HR tech deployments and continue to safeguard the well-being of the workforce.

        • CORS headers with gRPC-Gateway

          A few years ago, I wrote a blog post on managing CORS headers with Negroni. Lately, I’ve created a new API server that needed to be accessible from the browser, but this time I used a different technology, more precisely gRPC-Gateway.

          Few months after I wrote that blog post, I stopped writing new REST services by hand. I did not rewrite all the services that used the old paradigm just because they needed a fix or a new feature, but for all new services, I moved to gRPC with gRPC-Gateway.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Raspberry Pi makes your retro analogue camera digital
      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Recycle Your Unwanted Raspberry Pi and Get Money off at okdo

          The offer only applies to 3b, 3b+ and 4 boards in working order, and your £10 ($14) voucher has to be used within 30 days with a minimum spend of £15 ($21). Boards are returned to the Sony Technology Centre, the same location as where they are made for refurbishment. The refurbished boards will be given a second life in new projects, but at this time we do not know how this will be realised. okdo takes great pains to remind you to remove any memory cards from the device before you send it in.

        • OKdo program will recycle your old Pi and give you £10 voucher

          OKdo, Sony, and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have launched an “OKdo Renew” recycling program that will exchange your old RPi 3 and 4 boards and give you a £10 OKdo voucher. Meanwhile, RPi’s Eben Upton says the next Pi will likely be a RPi 4A due in 2022.

          The tech industry likes to talk a lot about the growing problem of electronic waste, but progress in establishing recycling programs has been slow. Globally, electronic waste reached a record high of 53.6 million metric tons in 2019 and only 17.4 percent of e-waste was recycled, according to Statista.

        • LUNA multitool for USB hacking, building and analyzing

          Developers looking for a versatile multitool for building, analyzing and hacking USB devices may be interested in LUNA. An all-in-one tool specifically designed for building, testing, monitoring, and experimenting with USB devices. LUNA is constructed around the FPGA-based architecture, and its digital hardware can be fully customized to suit the application at hand. LUNA is a fully reconfigurable test instrument that provides all the hardware, gateware, firmware, and software you will need to work with allowing you to master USB technology and comes with a full-featured, open-source USB protocol analyzer.

        • Fire foam balls from this Arduino-based wireless Nerf sentry turret | Arduino Blog

          Named the grand prize winner of Instructables’ Arduino Contest, a maker known as otjones99 has created an interesting take on the classic Nerf sentry turret design by building one that uses an FPV headset to see and fire at targets. The turret consists of a turntable for moving the assembly side-to-side, along with a simple servo mechanism for tilting the end up and down. Small foam balls are ejected from the turret by a pair of counter-rotating wheels that were taken from a couple of blower style fans.

          In order to control the rotating base and the loading/tilting mechanisms, a single Arduino Uno was positioned at the bottom and connected to the two servos and the ESCs for the spinning wheels. Commands for actuating the sentry are received by the onboard nRF24L01 wireless module that sends them to the Uno over the SPI bus.

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

        • Upcoming events about RISC-V, RT-Thread IoT OS, and Embedded Linux

          Three events about open/open-source technologies have been recently announced with namely the RT-Thread IoT OS Tech Conference, the jointly organized Open Source Summit and Embedded Linux Conference 2021, and the 2021 RISC-V Summit. Let’s have a quick look at what each will have to offer with the list in chronological order.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Brave vs. Firefox: Your Ultimate Browser Choice for Private Web Experience

            Web browsers have evolved over the years. From downloading files to accessing a full-fledged web application, we have come a long way.

            For a lot of users, the web browser is the only thing they need to get their work done these days.

            Hence, choosing the right browser becomes an important task that could help improve your workflow over the years.

      • FSF

        • GitHub is my copilot [Ed: Microsoft is attacking the GPL using the guise or excuse of "HEY HI" (plagiarism, copy-paste)]

          Your editor has worked in the computing field for rather longer than he cares to admit; for all of that time it has been said that a day will come when all that tedious programming work will no longer be necessary. Instead, we’ll just say what we want and the computer will figure it out. Arguably, the announcement of GitHub Copilot takes us another step in that direction. On the way, though, it raises some interesting questions about copyright and free-software licensing.

          Copilot is a machine-learning system that generates code. Given the beginning of a function or data-structure definition, it attempts to fill in the rest; it can also work from a comment describing the desired functionality. If one believes the testimonials on the Copilot site, it can do a miraculous job of figuring out the developer’s intent and providing the needed code. It promises to take some of the grunge work out of development and increase developer productivity. Of course, it can happily generate security vulnerabilities; it also uploads the code you’re working on and remembers if you took its suggestions, but that’s the world we’ve built for ourselves.

          Machine-learning systems, of course, must be trained on large amounts of data. Happily for GitHub, it just happens to be sitting on a massive pile of code, most of which is under free-software licenses. So the company duly used the code in the publicly available repositories it hosts to train this model; evidently private repositories were not used for this purpose. For now, the result is available as a restricted beta offering; the company plans to turn it into a commercial product going forward.

        • FSF-funded call for white papers on philosophical and legal questions around Copilot

          We already know that Copilot as it stands is unacceptable and unjust, from our perspective. It requires running software that is not free/libre (Visual Studio, or parts of Visual Studio Code), and Copilot is Service as a Software Substitute. These are settled questions as far as we are concerned.

        • FSF job opportunity: Operations assistant — Free Software Foundation

          The Free Software Foundation (FSF), a Massachusetts 501(c)(3) charity with a worldwide mission to protect and promote computer-user freedom, seeks a motivated and organized Boston-based individual to be our full-time operations assistant.

          Reporting to the executive director, this position works on the operations team to ensure all administrative, office, and retail functions of the FSF run smoothly and efficiently, preserving our 4-star Charity Navigator rating and boosting all areas of our work.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • 20 Popular Free Software with GNU GPL License

            This list collects popular computer applications which are free software (also known as libre software) licensed under GNU GPL license. You will find here Blender 3D, VLC, WordPress, GNU OS itself and The Penguin Kernel, among others, including how to install the apps on Ubuntu. Let’s share!

            The first and only free operating system developed to win user’s freedom in their computing. Its mascot is an African animal wildebeest (a gnu). GNU is often found in a combination with the kernel, Linux, as a unity called GNU/Linux. GNU OS is consisted of multiple components with various licenses and most of them are licensed under GNU GPL. The origin of GPL license is of course GNU just like the name suggest.

      • Programming/Development

        • Nearly a quarter-century later, why is C++ still so popular? [Ed: Can we quit promoting the mythology that newer is necessarily better? Some of us want to write code which we know will still be usable 40 years down the line.]

          Despite C++’s downward trend on the TIOBE Programming Community index since 2001, the language’s fall from the coveted top two slots in 2020, vociferous and persistent claims that C++ is “dead like COBOL,” and the inroads the Rust is making in developer circles – C++ is still as viable, vital and relevant as ever.

          There’s no arguing with the language’s ongoing popularity. The numbers are clear in the June 2021 TIOBE index – C++ is the fourth most popular programming language on the planet, grabbing almost 7.5% on the index, and nipping at the heels of C, Java and Python. While it’s true that this is a drop from the language’s TIOBE peak of nearly 18% in 2003, C++’s popularity remains undeniable.

        • Rust

          • Tor gets financial support for Arti development

            There is a lot of buzz around the Rust programming language these days—which strikes some folks as irritating, ridiculous, or both. But the idea of a low-level language that can replace C, with fewer built-in security pitfalls, is attractive for any number of projects. Recently, the Tor Project announced the Arti project as a complete Rust rewrite of Tor’s core protocols, which provide internet privacy and anonymity. In addition, Tor announced that Arti received a grant to support its development over the next year or so.

          • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 401
  • Leftovers

    • Check the Fine Print for That Remote Job

      An obscure Colorado labor law that passed in 2019 and went into effect earlier this year requires that all companies in the state include salary details in job postings. The idea is that when would-be employees, especially women and people of color, know how much an employer can offer, they won’t lowball themselves when negotiating their salary. Sounds straightforward enough, but a chunk of companies are doing everything they possibly can to avoid the mandate. When Batilo got wind of what was going on, in late May, he did what any remote-work-loving tech nerd would do: He made a crowdsourced website with all the jobs shutting out Coloradans. Head over to coloradoexcluded.com and you’ll find more than 400 job listings with these Colorado carve-outs—from mega-companies such as Nike, Cigna, and Oracle; nonprofits such as PETA; and … whatever exactly Marsh McLennan is. The site isn’t exhaustive. I went on the job board Indeed and searched for all listings that included the phrase except Colorado. I got 700 hits.

    • The Behavioral Economics Manifesto Gets Revised

      This version of the book is chock-full of new ideas. My favorite is probably the concept of “sludge.” One way to nudge people to do something is to make it easy to do. Sludge is like its sinister opposite: when institutions try to prevent people from doing something by making it hard to do. Think limiting the number of polling stations and causing big lines as a way to discourage voting. Sure, you can still vote, but good luck actually doing it.

      Thaler was inspired to develop the idea of sludge when his memoir, Misbehaving, was released a few years ago. His editor told him that the first review was published in a London newspaper, and Thaler wanted to read it. But the article was behind a paywall. To get past the paywall, there was a promotion. It cost 1 British pound to sign up for a one-month trial subscription. Then he started digging deeper and learned that to cancel his subscription, he’d have to give two weeks’ notice. And to do that, he’d have to actually call the newspaper’s headquarters — during London business hours! This is a company using sludge to make it harder for people to cancel their subscriptions.

    • Shamook: Star Wars effects company ILM hires Mandalorian deepfaker

      A YouTube artist so impressed the company behind the Star Wars franchise with their “deepfake” alterations of their work that they gave them a job.

    • Science

      • France issues moratorium on prion research after fatal brain disease strikes two lab workers

        Five public research institutions in France have imposed a 3-month moratorium on the study of prions—a class of misfolding, infectious proteins that cause fatal brain diseases—after a retired lab worker who handled prions in the past was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), the most common prion disease in humans. An investigation is underway to find out whether the patient, who worked at a lab run by the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), contracted the disease on the job.

    • Education

      • Listening to Literature—What We Gain and Lose with Audiobooks

        I couldn’t get past the fact that I was unable to finish the paper version of Ulysses, but I listened to the abridged audio version repeatedly to the point of memorization. I remember one of my first ever creative writing classes. After leaving my band and the livelihood it provided, my wife and I moved to San Francisco, and I signed up for a writing workshop at UC Berkeley Extension taught by Lewis Buzbee. Lewis was a bookish man in his 40s, and he impressed me with his clear love of reading and writing, as well as his dedication to literary champions such as Chekhov, Woolf, and Flaubert.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Facebook’s Oculus Gave Thousands Of Customers Face Rashes And Hives

        Facebook, which owns the VR company, announced on Tuesday that it was recalling “about 4 million” headsets after thousands of customers — 45 of whom needed medical attention — reported various forms of irritation on their face including hives, rashes, and burning sensations while they were otherwise immersed in virtual reality.

      • Map: Covid cases are rising in the states with low vaccination rates

        Nationwide, the four-week Covid case count has more than doubled as of Monday from the previous four weeks, according to NBC News’ tally. While cases are rising everywhere because of higher transmission levels of the delta variant, the steepest increases have been in the South and Southeast, where Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina are dealing with the biggest outbreaks in the nation.

        All five of those states have rates of full vaccinations below the United States’ 49.2 percent, and two of them — Mississippi and Louisiana — are in the bottom five of the entire country.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Batesville School District blocks ransomware attack

          To avoid a similar attack in the future, Renihan said the district is discussing installing new firewalls to protect their system.

        • Judson ISD’s ransomware nightmare won’t be cheap [iophk: Windows TCO]

          So the district paid money to the [crackers], but accelerating previously planned upgrades actually recovered the e-mail and phones? Can someone explain what the money was for?

          The answer is no. In fact, the district won’t disclose the amount of ransom or whether the district’s insurance policy covers cyber attacks.

        • Since it’s the only way to differentiate in a Chromium-dominated market, Vivaldi 4.1 introduces ‘Accordion’ tabs

          Browser maker Vivaldi has introduced Accordion Tabs in version 4.1 – yet another way to deal with tab overload.

          The functionality joins Compact and Two-Level in the array of Tab Stack styles available to users needing help with their tab habit.

          The Accordion style is all about preserving vertical screen space since it allows a Tab Stack (a group of tabs) to be collapsed or expanded with a click. Two-Level stacking, which fires up a secondary row of tabs, is neat but also swallows up a bit of precious screen space.

          Thankfully, the asthmatic wheezing of the musical instrument is not heard as Vivaldi’s user interface does its stuff. And far be it for us to draw a link between the occasionally annoying drone of an accordion and the irritation of too many tabs in a browser.

        • Microsoft: You Can’t Get Around Windows 11 Requirements

          And to be fair to Microsoft, TPM 2.0 also isn’t exactly new. The company began requiring it on OEM laptops and desktops starting in 2016. It makes sense, then, that the big M would want to start utilizing the fruits of that decision. But given that many current standalone motherboards and chips don’t include it, requiring it is a move that favors pre-builts and risks leaving PC builders in the dust.

        • Security

          • [JumpCloud] Recent Linux Releases: Desktop MFA & Security Commands

            Operating system diversity is a defining characteristic of today’s IT environments. Windows may have dominated historically, but enterprise Mac management has evolved in a meaningful way and Linux distributions have become a critical part of IT infrastructure. Cross-OS device management is here to stay, and presents a unique challenge for IT admins.

            Linux in particular can be a complex beast to manage because unlike MacOS and Windows, it is not a proprietary OS and can be found across multiple distros. There are many benefits to this openness however, including cost, interoperability, and flexibility. These factors, and more, have led to a strong Linux following among its community of users.

            With an increasing number of employee workstations running a wide variety of Linux distros, administrators need a way to increase visibility into their fleets, and improve the management of not only Linux systems, but Mac and Windows as well. IT admins can use the JumpCloud Directory Platform to comprehensively accomplish these tasks, thanks to the recent Linux releases detailed in this article.

          • Mozilla Security Blog: Making Client Certificates Available By Default in Firefox 90

            Starting with version 90, Firefox will automatically find and offer to use client authentication certificates provided by the operating system on macOS and Windows. This security and usability improvement has been available in Firefox since version 75, but previously end users had to manually enable it.

            When a web browser negotiates a secure connection with a website, the web server sends a certificate to the browser to prove its identity. Some websites (most commonly corporate authentication systems) request that the browser sends a certificate back to it as well, so that the website visitor can prove their identity to the website (similar to logging in with a username and password). This is sometimes called “mutual authentication”.

          • The Sequoia seq_file vulnerability

            A local root hole in the Linux kernel, called Sequoia, was disclosed by Qualys on July 20. A full system compromise is possible until the kernel is patched (or mitigations that may not be fully effective are applied). At its core, the vulnerability relies on a path through the kernel where 64-bit size_t values are “converted” to signed integers, which effectively results in an overflow. The flaw was reported to Red Hat on June 9, along with a local systemd denial-of-service vulnerability, leading to a kernel crash, found at the same time. Systems with untrusted local users need updates for both problems applied as soon as they are available—out of an abundance of caution, other systems likely should be updated as well.

            Down in the guts of the kernel’s seq_file interface, which is used for handling virtual files in /proc and the like, buffers are needed to store each line of the file’s “contents”. To start, a page of memory is allocated for the buffer, but if that is not sufficient, a new buffer that is twice the size of the old one is allocated. This is all done using a size_t, which is an unsigned 64-bit quantity (on x86_64) that is large enough to hold the results, so “the system would run out of memory long before this multiplication overflows”.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • WhatsApp and the right to encrypt

              But his broader message for law enforcement is that encryption protects the internet. Just like in physical spaces, there should be a limit to how much law enforcement can do in cyberspace to solve crimes. For example, in an age of increasingly smart homes, police shouldn’t be able to get into your living room whenever they want; a warrant should be required, like it is in the physical world. Breaking encryption might help solve some crimes, but it will make us less safe overall.

            • De-anonymization Story

              Location data is not anonymous. It cannot be made anonymous. I hope stories like these will teach people that.

            • BREAKING: Austrian OGH asks CJEU if Facebook “undermines” GDPR since 2018

              In a long-standing civil case between Max Schrems and Facebook, the Austrian Supreme Court (Oberster Gerichtshof, or “OGH”) has accepted Mr Schrems’ request to refer a number of questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU, the highest Court in the EU). The four questions raise fundamental doubts over the legality of Facebook’s data use of all EU customers.

              In parallel, the Austrian Supreme Court also decided in a partial judgment that Mr Schrems will receive € 500 in symbolic emotional damages because Facebook did not give full access to Mr Schrems’ data, but instead staged an “egg hunt” for user data.

            • 2,5 years and still no decision on streaming complaints

              In January 2019 we filed complaints against eight streaming services for not responding properly to simple access requests. As one of the most basic rights under the GDPR, the right to access allows users to find out what data a company has on them and how it is being used.

              Exactly two and a half years after we first filed the complaints, the lack of GDPR compliance remains apparent: merely one of the eight complaints has been resolved. In the case that was resolved, noyb took the responsible authority to court. The remaining seven cases have still not been decided and one of them was literally lost by an authority.

            • Pornhub and XHamster set to be banned as country brings in strict child protection laws

              The age verifications that the KJM has been attempting to establish involve the uploading of a user’s identity documents proving they’re aged above 18, but the sites’ failure to implement this system has led to the recent and severe crackdown.

            • Pornhub and xHamster are being banned in Germany

              Basically, this would mean issuing a blocking order to Germany’s (and Europe’s) major web and tele providers; Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, O2 and 1&1, requesting that they block the accused websites for people trying to access it in Germany.

              From this, these German web and tele companies could potentially challenge such orders by approaching the country’s legal system, resulting in the age verification legal battle extending for years.

            • [Old] Germany is about to block one of the world’s biggest porn sites

              The regulators have been trying to force pornographic websites to introduce age verification checks – which can involve the uploading of identity documents – since September 2019. Much of this has been pushed by one state regulator, Tobias Schmid of the State Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia, who has been criticised for his views on sex, but the matter is now also being handled by the KJM.

            • Pornhub and XHamster set to be BLOCKED in sex-mad Germany under new child protection laws

              German web companies could challenge blocking orders through the country’s legal systems, meaning the battle over age verification could be dragged out for years to come. It wasn’t the first time the internet providers were asked, and refused to block the sites voluntarily.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Revisiting “The Year of the Spy”

        I started covering Chinese espionage back in 1985 in what was dubbed “the year of the spy.” Over a remarkable period of months, U.S. authorities arrested a former National Security Agency employee, two members of the U.S. Navy, a civilian Navy analyst and a former analyst for the Central Intelligence Agency.

        Larry Wu-Tai Chin, the retired CIA analyst, was by far the most intriguing member of this rogues’ gallery. He labored in an obscure corner of the agency, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, whose main job was to translate “open source” stories from foreign press outlets for use by the public and others in the government. CIA officials decided to give translators like Chin access to the agency’s much larger cache of classified reports obtained through espionage so they could understand the government-controlled press in full context.

      • Democrats Must Control the Crime Narrative Before It Controls Them

        There’s no denying it: Homicides and gun violence are spiking across America. FBI data estimates a 25 percent increase in homicides from 2019 to 2020, with preliminary 2021 data showing further increases. And there are some increasingly audible whispers among some liberal strategists that this could cost Democrats elections in 2022 and beyond.

      • These companies still donate to Jan. 6 seditionists in Congress

        Well, ha. It didn’t take long for major businesses to forget about the rule of law and get back to the business of paying for access to legislators. Today’s hearing, the first of several designed to probe the events of that day and dispel lies about what happened, is a good opportunity to highlight some of the recidivist firms who have no problem backing politicians willing to strip away Americans’ right to vote.

        Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) keeps track of which businesses are donating to members of the “sedition caucus,” the 147 senators and members of congress who voted to reject voters in Arizona and Georgia. No evidence was brought then or now to suggest the results of the votes in those states were compromised.

      • China’s Panchen Lama Ignored by Tibetans Told to Show Devotion

        “The only people who came to see him were those whose attendance had been specifically arranged by the Chinese,” the source said.

      • Chinese President’s Visit to Tibet Sends a Message to India, Experts Say

        “I think that is very significant, because what has really happened with the construction of these rail lines is that the distance to Lhasa from [Sichuan’s capital] Chengdu, which is the headquarters of the local military region, has decreased to just 13 hours,” Katoch said.

        “This gives China the ability to move large numbers of troops in a very short time into the Tibet region in the event of hostilities,” he said.

      • Drone war whistleblower Daniel Hale sentenced to 45 months in prison

        Hale’s exposures also contained an analysis of the drone warfare program that showed—far from Obama’s claim of the surgical precision of the unmanned aerial vehicle attacks—nearly 90 percent of the people killed in the missile strikes were not the intended targets. Hale also revealed the criteria which the Obama White House used for placing an individual on the terrorism watch list and then authorizing them to be assassinated by military personnel from remote-controlled operations thousands of miles away.

      • Former Air Force analyst who leaked drone info sentenced to 45 months

        Daniel Hale, 33, told a federal judge he felt compelled to leak information to a journalist out of guilt over his own participation in a program that he believed was indiscriminately killing civilians in Afghanistan far from the battlefield.

      • Iran’s Lame Cyber Aspirations Revealed

        This reports are clearly first stage fact-finding and brainstorming, the very earliest stage of capability development. They reveal only initial cursory preliminary analysis of potential vulnerabilities to exploit for cyber effects operations. Comprehensive actual hands-on testing of the target devices is necessary for real vulnerability research reports.

        There are a number of things that stand out in this report that make me think this is not a particularly impressive cyber team. The main issue is that the research appears to be open source document analysis, without either domain expert interviews or hardware analysis.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Slovak public TV fired journalist for criticising fake story about Covid vaccine

        This is not the first time that RTVS employees have suffered reprisals for disagreeing with the management. In 2018, at a time of political tension following journalist Ján Kuciak’s murder, several reporters were sanctioned after signing an open letter denouncing threats to editorial independence. The letter’s target was the director-general, Jaroslav Rezník, who is still in charge. A total of approximately 30 journalists have been forced to leave RTVS since then.

    • Environment

      • Here’s What Climate Change Will Mean for Bats
      • Climate tipping points are now imminent, scientists warn

        Thousands of scientists reiterated calls for immediate action over the climate crisis in an article published Wednesday in the journal BioScience.

        “The extreme climate events and patterns that we’ve witnessed over the last several years — not to mention the last several weeks — highlight the heightened urgency with which we must address the climate crisis,” said Philip Duffy, co-author of the study and executive director of the Woodwell Climate Research Center in the US state of Massachusetts.

      • The Only Way to Stop Global Warming

        One way exists to stop global warming, but the mutual feedback cycles that are now accelerating global warming might already have achieved enough speed of increasing temperature so as to prevent even that one way from working, and therefore the planet might already be doomed. Since the only way to stop global warming hasn’t yet even been proposed (much less tried), I shall now publicly propose it here, in accord with the adage “Better late than never.”

        The way to stop global warming (if it still can be stopped) is to ban purchases of stocks and of bonds — i.e., of all forms of investment securities (corporate shares and even loans being made to the corporation) — of enterprises that extract from the ground (land or else underwater) fossil fuels: coal, oil, and/or gas.

      • Energy

        • Toyota Led on Clean Cars. Now Critics Say It Works to Delay Them.

          Together with other automakers, Toyota also sided with the Trump administration in a battle with California over the Clean Air Act and sued Mexico over fuel efficiency rules. In Japan, Toyota officials argued against carbon taxes.

          “Toyota has gone from a leading position to an industry laggard” in clean-car policy even as other automakers push ahead with ambitious electric vehicle plans, said Danny Magill, an analyst at InfluenceMap, a London-based think tank that tracks corporate climate lobbying. InfluenceMap gives Toyota a “D-” grade, the worst among automakers, saying it exerts policy influence to undermine public climate goals.

        • Mexico’s methane leak rate twice as high as that of US, study finds

          A group of researchers found that Mexico’s methane leak rate is more than double that of the United States, the world’s largest oil producer. A report on their findings is scheduled to be released on Wednesday.

          Daniel Zavala, a senior scientist at the United States-based non-profit Environmental Defense Fund who specializes in methane emissions from oil and gas operations, told the news agency Reuters that satellite data shows that approximately 4.7% of methane produced in Mexico as a byproduct of oil and gas production leaks into the atmosphere. The rate is considered very high by global standards.

      • Overpopulation

        • Water disputes will compound instability in the Middle East

          The Middle East is one of the driest regions in the world. The scarcity of water has often been touted as a source of national and interstate disputes in the area. Some scholars have predicted for some time the possibility of deadly national altercations and regional clashes over the distribution of water resources in parts of the region. Although no full-blown war has erupted so far, two current episodes illustrate this point: public protests in the Iranian province of Khuzestan and the growing discord between Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan over water dispensation from the Nile River. With climate change causing more droughts, the potential for conflict over water cannot be underestimated.

        • Thieves in California are stealing scarce water amid extreme drought, ‘devastating’ some communities

          More than 12 billion gallons of water are estimated to have been stolen across the state since 2013, impacting legitimate farming operations, drinking water sources, Native American tribes and small communities, Nores said.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • The bank account of the African Regional Internet Registry, AFRINIC, has been frozen

        In an email addressed to its members, the Chair of the AFRINIC Board of Directors, Subramanian Moonesamy, informed that AFRINIC was notified by one of its banks that its accounts have been temporarily frozen due to legal action by one of its resource members, Cloud Innovation Ltd.

        The past few weeks have been rough between Cloud Innovation Ltd and AFRINIC, each accusing the other of malpractice, misunderstanding terms of agreement and breach of the Registration Service Agreement (RSA).

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • News consumption in the UK

        Young people turn away from TV news to keep up to date online.

      • Young people shun TV news bulletins for online sources

        Nine in 10 young people get their news online, according to a report, as the under-25s turn away from scheduled television bulletins.

        Only 61 per cent of people aged 16-24 get their news from TV, compared with 89 per cent who follow events online.

      • The YouTubers who blew the whistle on an anti-vax plot

        Both Léo and Mirko were appalled by the false claims.

        They pretended to be interested in order to try to find out more and were provided with detailed instructions about what they should say in their videos.

      • Report: Parkland survivor’s dad, radicalized by MTG, now thinks shooting was a hoax

        The story in Vice News chronicles a former Parkland student identified only as “Bill,” who says his father was gradually radicalized during the coronavirus pandemic by conspiracy theories spread by QAnon believers and prominent far-right figures like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. Bill claims his father went from being an anti-masker to a full-blown conspiracy believer.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Freaking Out About Nazi Content On The Internet Archive Is Totally Missing The Point

        The moral panics around anyone finding “bad” content online are getting out of control. The latest is a truly silly article in the San Francisco Chronicle whining about the fact that there is Nazi content available on the Internet Archive, written by the executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, Steven Stalinsky, who is quite perturbed that his own personal content moderation desires are not how the Internet Archive moderates.

      • Roskomnadzor orders Twitter to block Lyubov Sobol’s account

        Russian opposition politician Lyubov Sobol says that the country’s federal censor , Roskomnadzor, sent a notice to Twitter ordering the social network to block her account.

      • Prosecutors in the ‘Sanitary Case’ seek two years restricted freedom for Lyubov Sobol

        The prosecution in the so-called “Sanitary Case” is seeking a two-year parole-like sentence for opposition politician Lyubov Sobol. 

      • Hong Kong gets to grips with security law’s ‘invisible red line’

        Experts told Times Higher Education that the city was entering a “new era”, where it could be more difficult to teach, research and debate controversial subjects. This leaves administrators stuck between a local culture that prizes open enquiry and authorities accustomed to higher levels of control.

        “The NSL has basically brought Hong Kong into line with a situation that mainland [Chinese] academics and students have known for decades: academic and intellectual censorship as the norm – the difference being that mainland [Chinese] have learned to navigate the whimsical nature of the system, while their counterparts in Hong Kong have not,” said Gregory Lee, founding professor of Chinese studies at the University of St Andrews, who previously held senior positions at Hong Kong universities.

      • Nobelists decry Chinese government’s censorship attempts at the Nobel Summit

        More than 100 Nobel laureates have signed a statement expressing outrage after the Chinese government intended to “bully the scientific community” earlier this year with attempts to censor two Nobel laureates during the Nobel Prize Summit, organized by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the Nobel Foundation in April.

        The statement alleges that staffers at the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C., phoned NAS officials in March, and again in early April before the summit, to insist that two scheduled speakers, the Dalai Lama and Yuan Lee—a Taiwanese chemist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1986 for his work on chemical kinetics—be disinvited and not allowed to speak. An email with the same demand was received by NAS on 25 April, 1 day before the start of the summit. On all three occasions, NAS said no.

      • Germany’s push for tighter tech regulation

        Under the German law, obviously illegal content must be removed within 24 hours, while the timeframe for more ambiguous content is within a week. “In the DSA, such deadlines for deletions have not been provided for so far, but they would be urgently necessary,” said Ballon.

        But the NetzDG’s very tight deadlines for deleting illegal hate postings are viewed critically by some at the EU level.

        Patrick Breyer, rapporteur of the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) rejects including deletion obligations in the DSA. This would make “global internet corporations like Facebook to be quick censors and judges of right and wrong”, Breyer told EURACTIV.

      • Tesla Is Reportedly Trying To Make People Delete Mean Posts About Elon Musk

        A team of nine was tasked with searching for negative posts abut Musk, according to Insider. The report aligns with a January job posting for a “customer support specialist,” who was tasked with addressing “social media escalations directed at the CEO.”

      • Will Instagram’s new ‘sensitive content’ filter censor Black users?

        “No one really knew it was placed on their account. It was a pre-emptive move,” Preston said of the filter. “I saw Instagram was ushering us into a new era in which they were allowed to be the ones who determined what was sensitive and unsafe and what was not. The problem with that is that our identities, experience and very being is going to be deemed sensitive and unsafe, because our experiences are unsafe.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Moscow court satisfies RT host’s lawsuit against Novaya Gazeta and politician Leonid Gozman

        The Moscow Arbitration Court has ordered the independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta to delete an article by politician Leonid Gozman, reports the human rights group Pravozashchita Otkrytki. The article in question alleges that the state-owned television network Russia Today (RT) obtained wiretapped records of a phone conversation between Gozman himself and journalist Igor Yakovenko.

      • Home of Another Investigative Journalist in Russia Raided

        Police in Russia raided the home of the chief editor of an investigative media outlet that was recently designated as a “foreign agent,” the latest move by authorities to raise pressure on independent media before the country’s September parliamentary election.

      • Urgent need to escape the surveillance technology jungle

        The “Pegasus Project” investigation has shown that the Pegasus spyware developed by the Israeli company NSO Group is systematically used for surveillance that violates the most fundamental human rights safeguards. Just the number of journalists targeted by this technology – nearly 200 – confirms the degree to which the surveillance technology sector is escaping regulation.

        The Wassenaar Arrangement – which is the main multilateral agreement for controlling the exportation of dual-use products and technology and which dates back to 1996 – has once again proved largely inadequate and inoperative.

      • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange stripped of Ecuadorian citizenship

        Ecuador’s justice system formally notified the Australian of the nullity of his naturalisation in a letter that came in response to a claim filed by the South American country’s Foreign Ministry.

        A naturalisation is considered damaging when it is granted based on the concealment of relevant facts, false documents or fraud.

        Ecuadorian authorities say Assange’s naturalisation letter had multiple inconsistencies, different signatures, the possible alteration of documents and unpaid fees, among other issues.

      • Ecuador strips Julian Assange of citizenship

        Assange’s lawyer, Carlos Poveda, told the Associated Press that the decision was made without due process and that Assange was not permitted to appear.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Protest Song Of The Week: ‘Why We March’ By AWKWORD & Jesse Jett

        Originally published at Ongoing History of Protest Music

        This hard-hitting collaboration between two politically minded hip-hop artists was released on July 24 to coincide with the Medicare For All marches that took place on that day across 50 cities.

      • The Trouble With ‘the LGBT Community’

        When I met a former independent Lebanese parliament member, she asked me, “How can we mobilize the LGBT vote in Lebanon?” She wanted to understand why the Lebanese “LGBT community” had not voted as a block in the 2018 parliamentary elections to oppose sectarian political parties.

      • Chinese court sentences whistleblowing agricultural tycoon to 18 years in prison

        A Chinese court sentenced agricultural tycoon Sun Dawu to 18 years in jail on Wednesday for a catalogue of crimes including “provoking trouble” after the outspoken billionaire and grassroots rights supporter was tried in secret.

      • Hong Kong activist found guilty in first for new security law

        The widely anticipated ruling, much of which has hinged on the interpretation of the slogan, imposes new limits on free speech in the former British colony, activists say. Human rights groups have also criticized the decision to deny Mr. Tong bail and a jury trial, which have been key features of Hong Kong’s rule of law.

      • Court OKs 3rd-degree murder charges against 3-ex cops in Floyd death

        Prosecutors may file aiding and abetting third-degree murder charges against three former Minneapolis police officers in the death of George Floyd, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday.

        The appeals court sent the case back to Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill. He denied prosecutors’ motion to add the charges against former officers J Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao back in February during the runup to the separate trial of former Officer Derek Chauvin, whom Cahill sentenced on Friday to 22 1/2 years in prison for second-degree murder.

      • Court Ok’s 3rd-degree murder against 3-ex cops in Floyd death

        In affirming Noor’s conviction, the appeals court ruled that the act can be directed at a single person. Cahill then reinstated the third-degree murder charge against Chauvin on that basis, but deferred a ruling in the cases of the other three.

        The Minnesota Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Noor’s appeal three weeks ago, and its pending decision is expected to have repercussions for all five ex-officers, as well as the ability of prosecutors to charge other officers with third-degree murder,.

      • Toronto man charged after posting photo of Alberta judge taken during court hearing for COVID-19 rule breakers

        The contempt charges are for both taking and posting the photos and for allegedly recording the proceedings and posting non-certified transcriptions.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The FTC Is Driving Away Good Economists In Favor Of Political Henchmen

        Shut up and get in line — that’s the message Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan recently broadcasted to FTC staffers. Within her first month as a new commissioner, Khan ordered a stop to all public speaking for “an all-hands-on-deck moment.” Evidently, she wants the FTC speaking with only one voice — her own. The gag order is going to run out the top economists and harm the FTC’s long-term effectiveness.

      • GeoTech Commissioner Vint Cerf and others release the report, “Strategy Toward a Solar System Internet For Humanity”

        As part of the InterPlanetary Networking Special Interest Group (IPNSIG), GeoTech Commissioner Vint Cerf was one of the five authors that released a report that discussed the technical, operational and political challenges toward the development of a Solar System Internet (SSI). [...]

      • The anatomy of the internet: how does data get sent to your device?

        That isn’t always the most efficient way to deliver data – and the people behind the internet’s infrastructure know it. Which is why they have instigated new systems in the past 20 years to enable the better transfer of data.

        One of them is Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). Rather than letting an individual packet of data determine its own way around the globe, MPLS requires that it’s sent a certain way – so you know you have more reliability.

        One of the challenges, says Kaufmann, of keeping [I]nternet infrastructure up to date is that it requires building on top of what’s already there, rather than ripping up the infrastructure and starting again. We wouldn’t countenance turning the [I]nternet off for days, weeks or months to upgrade it from scratch.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • TRIPS COVID-19 Waiver, Patent Breaking and Investment Treaty Arbitration [Ed: So patents kill and more nations now recognise this. The patent maximalists panic as this realisation upsets their self-serving worldwiew]

          Almost ten months after India and South Africa sparked the debate on the protection of intellectual property rights with the TRIPS COVID-19 Waiver (IP/C/W/669), there is still no consensus at the TRIPS Council in favour of any action. Despite the support of numerous other WTO Members, including the United States, the TRIPS COVID-19 Waiver still faces the opposition of European governments. In June 2021, the European Union submitted a different proposal, which favoured the use of the existing compulsory licensing mechanism under the TRIPS Agreement (IP/C/W/681).


          But even if the TRIPS COVID-19 Waiver is finally approved, it is unlikely that it will be the end of the matter. On the contrary. The break of COVID-19 vaccines and medicines’ patents will likely open the gates to legal disputes worldwide. Patents, like (most) intellectual property rights, are territorial in nature. This means that, except for certain regional arrangements, patents are acquired and enforced under the laws of each State within its territory. Inventors do not enforce their right to have their inventions protected by patents pursuant to Article 27 of the TRIPS Agreement, nor do patent proprietors enforce their rights pursuant to Article 28 of the TRIPS Agreement. What the TRIPS Agreement does is to place on WTO Members the obligation to implement in their domestic legislations the right of inventors to have their inventions protected by patents and the rights conferred on patent proprietors. Because of its territorial nature, the patent and the rights conferred on its proprietor will not be directly affected by the TRIPS COVID-19 Waiver if the obligation to implement TRIPS provisions on patents had been correctly implemented in the domestic legal system of the State where the patent was acquired. The TRIPS COVID-19 Waiver will only have the effect of shielding WTO Members from being accused of not implementing the TRIPS Agreement. Patent proprietors will still be entitled to enforce their rights through different means, including through international treaties for the promotion and protection of foreign investments (‘investment treaties’).

      • Trademarks

        • Golden Globe statuette 2018 denied copyright protection in the US [Ed: Trademarks — not copyrights — should apply here]

          The Work (referred to in proceedings as the ‘Golden Globe statuette 2018’, pictured) is described as “a sculpture cast in a matte gold material, with the top of the globe wrapped by a cascading filmstrip. The globe is supported by an inverted cone-shaped base comprised of the letters HFPA. The base sits atop a trophy-style stand made of stacked circular and cylindrical shapes of varying sizes, including a gold cup or chalice- shaped base directly below the inverted base. The words “Hollywood Foreign Press Association” are etched into the bottom of the circular stand”.

          The Work was a derivative sculpture based on an earlier work (also pictured, below) which, in turn, was a derivative of earlier versions, with the Golden Globe Statuette existing since at least 1952.

      • Copyrights

        • Long Walk to Copyright Reform (Pt 3): What does/should South Africa want with its copyright exceptions? [Ed: Why can only South Africa give the finger to the copyright cartel?]

          The window for stakeholders and interested parties to make written submissions in response to the invitation of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry in South Africa regarding certain clauses of the Copyright Amendment Bill (CAB) closed earlier this month on 9 July 2021. As previously indicated here, South Africa’s President had returned the CAB to Parliament alleging inter alia reservations on the constitutionality of clauses 13 and 20 of the Bill. As part of the process to address the President’s reservations, the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry had invited written submissions.


          There is consensus on all sides that South Africa’s current position on the fair dealing ‘line’ is problematic. The point of debate is what to do about it. Should South Africa stay on the fair dealing line but move to a different point on that line? Should it leave the fair dealing line entirely and get on the fair use line? The current draft of the Copyright Amendment Bill has taken the later approach.

          For those in favour of retaining that line/approach, the copyright exceptions complies with the three-step test, which is concerned with the ‘legitimate interests’ of the copyright owner, not those of third parties. For them, South African courts under the fair dealing regime have had to deploy a process of reasoning to determine if a particular use falls within the enumerated activities. Within the proposed fair use regime, this process of reasoning would continue albeit based on the set of factors now statutorily indicated in the Bill.

          The fair use proponents also argue that the only departure that the CAB made from the fair dealing line of the current Copyright Act is that the fair use provision in Section 12A of the CAB uses the words “such as,” when enumerating the purposes for which a work may be used (as opposed to just providing a list of permitted uses). In their view, this allows the law sufficient room to develop naturally without the constant need for the legislator to intervene. For them, this is helpful because the current fair dealing arrangement is limited and does not address the digital space, evolving technologies, or the 4IR.

        • BlockCrushr drops lawsuit accusing ConsenSys of stealing its [Copyrights]

          BlockCrushr had received a $100,000 investment from ConsenSys and was admitted into its Tachyon accelerator program. The startup alleged that ConsenSys used trade secrets gleaned through the program to front-run its own product to market before BlockCrushr.

          BlockCrushr claimed that “every aspect of its marketing, financial, technical and regulatory strategy” was shared with ConsenSys during the Tachyon program, including “the source code and proprietary technical solution to its recurring payments platform.”

          While IP enforcement has been seen as antithetical to crypto’s core ethos of decentralized open-source development, intellectual property [sic] matters have emerged as an increasingly hot issue.

        • Bungie & Ubisoft Sue Destiny 2 Cheatmakers Ring-1 For Copyright Infringement

          Bungie and Ubisoft have filed a lawsuit against five individuals said to be behind Ring-1, the claimed creator and distributor of cheat software targeting Destiny and Rainbox Six Seige. Among other offenses the gaming companies allege copyright infringement and trafficking in circumvention devices, estimating damages in the millions of dollars.

        • GitHub to help developers with DMCA disputes [Ed: Microsoft spin]

          Leveraging its $1 million Developer Defense Fund founded late last year, the company on June 27 is unveiling its GitHub Developer Rights Fellowship at the Stanford Law School Juelsgaard Intellectual Property [sic] and Innovation Clinic.

          The goal of the fund and the new fellowship is to help developers navigate the requirements of Section 1201 of the DMCA, which makes it illegal to use source code that bypasses measures that control access to copyrighted material.

          GitHub noted that navigating digital rights under the DMCA can be extremely difficult for software developers, especially open source developers working in their spare time without the resources of a large company behind them. When faced with a DMCA takedown notice, it can often be easier and cheaper to just remove code from public view and out of the common good.

        • Cox Settles Lawsuit Over ‘Abusive’ DMCA Notice Campaign

          Internet provider Cox Communications has dropped its lawsuit against Rightscorp and BMG. The ISP accused the companies of sending abusive and unfair DMCA takedown notices to fabricate massive copyright infringement claims. Despite these strong words and harsh allegations, the parties managed to resolve the matter out of court.

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  3. IRC Proceedings: Friday, September 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, September 17, 2021

  4. Links 17/9/2021: Ubuntu 18.04.6 LTS, Manjaro 21.1.3, “2021 is the Year of Linux on the Desktop”

    Links for the day

  5. Links 17/9/2021: WSL Considered Harmful

    Links for the day

  6. [Meme] Microsoft Loves Linux Bug/Back Doors

    Microsoft is just cementing its status as little but an NSA stooge

  7. Lagrange Makes It Easier for Anybody to Use Gemini and Even Edit Pages (With GUI)

    Gemini protocol and/or Gemini space are easy for anyone to get started with or fully involved in (writing and creating, not just reading); today we take a look at the new version of Lagrange (it was first introduced here back in March and covered again in April), which I installed earlier today because it contains a lot of improvements, including the installation process (now it’s just a click-to-run AppImage)

  8. IBM is Imploding But It Uses Microsoft-Type Methods to Hide the Demise (Splits, Buybacks, and Rebranding Stunts)

    A combination of brain drain (exodus) and layoffs (a lack of budget combined with inability to retain talent or attract the necessary staff with sufficiently competitive salaries) dooms IBM; but the media won't be mentioning it, partly because a lot of it is still directly sponsored by IBM

  9. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, September 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, September 16, 2021

  10. [Meme] 70 Days of Non-Compliance

    António Campinos would rather fall on his sword than correct the errors or work to undo the damage caused by Team Battistelli, which is still at the EPO

  11. EPO “Board 28” Meeting: Imaginary Dialogue Between EPO President Campinos and the Chair of the Administrative Council, Josef Kratochvíl

    The EPO‘s chaotic state, which persists after Benoît Battistelli‘s departure, is a state of lawlessness and cover-up

  12. Links 16/9/2021: Linux Mint Has New Web Site, LibreOffice 7.2.1, KDE Plasma 5.23 Beta, and Sailfish OS Verla

    Links for the day

  13. If Git Can be Done Over the Command Line and E-mail, It Can Also be Done Over Gemini (Instead of Bloated Web Browsers)

    In order to keep Git lean and mean whilst at the same time enabling mouse (mousing and clicking) navigation we encourage people everywhere to explore gemini://

  14. Techrights Examines a Wide Array/Range of Gemini Clients/Browsers

    After spending many months examining an array of different types of software for Gemini (including but not limited to clients/browsers) we take stock of what exists, what's supported (it varies a bit), and which one might be suitable for use by geeks and non-geeks

  15. Links 16/9/2021: KStars 3.5.5 and Chafa 1.8

    Links for the day

  16. Trusting Microsoft With Security is a Clown Show

    A quick and spontaneous video about this morning's post regarding a major new revelation that reaffirms a longstanding trend; Microsoft conflates national security (back doors) with security

  17. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, September 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, September 15, 2021

  18. Microsoft Azure and Back/Bug Doors in GNU/Linux: Fool Me Once (Shame on You) / Fool Me Twice (Shame on Me)

    "Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me," goes the old saying...

  19. Deleted Post: “LibreOffice is Becoming Dominated by a Bunch of Corporates, and Has no Place for the Enthusiastic Amateur.”

    Chris Sherlock, an insider of LibreOffice, cautions about the direction of this very important and widely used project

  20. Links 16/9/2021: Unifont 14.0.01, LibreOffice on ODF 1.3, Mozilla Pushing Ads (Sponsored 'Firefox Suggest'), and Microsoft Pushes Proprietary Direct3D via Mesa

    Links for the day

  21. Links 15/9/2021: Another Azure Catastrophe and Darktable 3.6.1

    Links for the day

  22. Open Invention Network (OIN) Recognises a Risk Posed to Cryptocurrencies (Danger From Software Patents), But OIN Still Proposes the Wrong Solutions

    Square is joining OIN, but it's another example of banking/financial institutions choosing to coexist with software patents instead of putting an end to them

  23. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, September 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, September 14, 2021

  24. (Super)Free Software As a Right – The Manifesto

    "Software text has long been recognized as “speech”, and is covered under the very same copyright laws as conventional printed matter."

  25. Links 15/9/2021: Java 17 / JDK 17 Released and ExpressVPN Sold

    Links for the day

  26. Latest Public Talk (Over BigBlueButton) by Richard Stallman is Now Online

    This video has been released; it starts with an old talk and then proceeds to a new discussion (14 minutes from the start)

  27. Richard Stallman Is Not Surrendering His Free Speech

    The homepage of Dr. Stallman looked like this on Saturday, 20 years since the September 11 attacks in the US, noting that “[t]oday we commemorate the September 11 attacks, which killed President Allende of Chile and installed Pinochet’s murderous military dictatorship. More than 3,000 dissidents were killed or “disappeared” by the Pinochet regime. The USA operated a destabilization campaign in Chile, and the September 11, 1973, attacks were part of that campaign.”

  28. Twitter -- Like Google's YouTube -- is 'Hiding' Tweets From People Who Follow You

    So-called 'entertainment' platforms disguised as 'social' aren't the future of media; they need to be rejected

  29. How to Track the Development or Construction of the Techrights Web Site and Gemini Capsule

    Following some busy publication schedule (heavy lifting for weeks) we're stopping a bit or slowing down for the purpose of site (or capsule) 'construction'; here's a status update

  30. Links 14/9/2021: Libinput 1.19, Kali Linux 2021.3, and ExTiX Deepin 21.9

    Links for the day

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