Links 26/10/2021: SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 and Multi-Distro Benchmarks

Posted in News Roundup at 5:38 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Intel AMX Support Appears Ready For Linux 5.16 – Phoronix

        It’s been over one year since Intel disclosed Advanced Matrix Extensions and began posting patches for bringing up AMX support under Linux in anticipation of Xeon Scalable “Sapphire Rapids” processors. While the compiler-side work to GCC and LLVM/Clang has been landing, finally with the forthcoming Linux 5.16 cycle that AMX support appears ready for landing.

        Merged today to tip/tip.git’s “x86/fpu” branch where kernel FPU changes are queued ahead of the next merge window, the last of the AMX enablement patches were queued up. Most notably, the work for actually enabling the AMX feature and being able to expose it to user-space via the new interface.

      • BLK-MQ Support For OpenZFS Pending As Latest Performance Optimization

        A new pull request is pending for implementing multi-queue block (blk-mq) support within OpenZFS’ Zvol code, which can lead to sizable performance benefits.

        Tony Hutter opened up the pull request at the end of last week for blk-mq support. Utilizing blk-mq allows for queuing and submitting I/O requests to block devices simultaneously. With modern multi-core CPUs and speedy storage devices, BLK-MQ can lead to very real benefits.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Linux Continues To Improve Power Management For Older NVIDIA Tegra SoCs To Avoid Overheating

          While the Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 SoCs are a decade old, the mainline Linux kernel continues working to improve the power management / thermal behavior for them in order to deal with heating issues for devices relying on these SoCs.

          We’ve seen improved thermal code for these hot and aging Tegra devices, among other work. Most recently though is now a set of Tegra power management patches revised for a 14th time that are seeking to be included with Linux 5.17 (not to be confused with the Linux 5.16 cycle kicking off in a week or two).

        • NVIDIA 495.44 stable driver is out for Linux, adds in GBM API support | GamingOnLinux

          Following on from the NVIDIA Beta 495.29.05 earlier this month, today NVIDIA has a fresh 495.44 stable driver release that builds upon it with some additional extras. This is the big one for Wayland fans, since it now works with the GBM API.

          With this API now hooked up, it should mean a better Wayland experience and it’s something that the KDE Plasma team are already working on supporting too.

          You will also find in this release an indicator (on supported desktops) for showing Resizable BAR and the minimum Kernel version got bumped from 2.6.32 to 3.10.

        • NVIDIA 495.44 Linux Driver Released With GBM Support

          Following the NVIDIA 495 beta Linux driver from earlier this month, NVIDIA 495.44 is out today for Linux users as the stable release.

          The NVIDIA 495.44 Linux driver is the stabilized version of the earlier beta, that most notably introduces Generic Buffer Manager (GBM) support for sharply improving the proprietary driver’s Wayland support.

        • AMDGPU DP 2.0 MST Support Sent In For DRM-Next – Phoronix

          AMDGPU changes already queued up in DRM-Next for Linux 5.16 brought initial code for DisplayPort 2.0 ahead of next-gen GPUs with this connectivity support. Sent out today as a separate pull request is wiring up the DisplayPort 2.0 Multi-Stream Transport (MST) capability for the AMDGPU kernel driver.

          Sent in as a late topic branch is the AMDGPU DP 2.0 MST support along with a necessary change to the DRM common DisplayPort MST helper code. Multi-Stream Transport allows for multiple independent displays to be driven from a single DisplayPort output, AMDGPU has supported DP MST for DisplayPort 1.x, but additional changes are needed for DP 2.0 compatibility.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel Core i9 11900K: Five Linux Distros Show Sizable Lead Over Windows 11

        Now that Windows 11 has been out as stable and the initial round of updates coming out, I’ve been running fresh Windows 11 vs. Linux benchmarks for seeing how Microsoft’s latest operating system release compares to the fresh batch of Linux distributions. First up is the fresh look at the Windows 11 vs. Linux performance on an Intel Core i9 11900K Rocket Lake system.

    • Applications

      • OVPN-Admin is a Simple Web UI to Manage OpenVPN Users

        OVPN-Admin makes the administration of OpenVPN users, their certificates and routes quickly and easily by using a convenient web-based UI.

        OpenVPN is one of the most popular VPN protocols among VPN users. It’s both – a VPN protocol and software that uses VPN techniques to secure point-to-point and site-to-site connections.

        OpenVPN is an open source and free VPN option for those looking to protect their privacy. It uses the TLS/SSL protocol for key exchange and can travel through firewalls and NATs (Network Address Translators).

        However, the administration of the OpenVPN users requires certain level of skills with the Linux command line.

      • Authelia: Open-source SSO Single Sign-on for enterprise

        Single Sign-on (SSO), is a technology that combines several app login screens into one single login.

        In contrast, it offers a session and user authentication service for a user to use a single login for many apps.

        Let us take Google as an example, soon as login into your Google Gmail account, you have access to all Google services like Google calendar, Google Drive, Developer account YouTube, and Google Play Store, and more other services.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install and Configure Postgres 14 on Fedora 34

        Postgresql is an open source object-relational database system with over 30 years of active development that has earned it a strong reputation for reliability, feature robustness, and performance. Postgres, is a free and open-source relational database management system emphasizing extensibility and SQL compliance.

        It was originally named POSTGRES, referring to its origins as a successor to the Ingres database developed at the University of California, Berkeley. PostgreSQL is used as the primary data store or data warehouse for many web, mobile, geospatial, and analytics applications. PostgreSQL can store structured and unstructured data in a single product.

      • Master-Slave replication with MariaDB

        This is how I configured Master-Slave replication with MariaDB. Since MariaDB is fork of MySQL, you should follow the same steps.

      • WAZUH Agent Installation – Unixcop

        The Wazuh agent is multi-platform and runs on the hosts that the user wants to monitor. It communicates with the Wazuh manager, sending data in near real time through an encrypted and authenticated channel.

        The agent developed considering the need to monitor a wide variety of different endpoints without impacting their performance. Therefore, it is supported on the most popular operating systems and only requires about 0.1 GB of RAM

      • Penetration Testing Tools for Beginners – blackMORE Ops

        Karkinos is a light-weight Beginner Friendly Penetration Testing Tool, which is basically a ‘Swiss Army Knife’ for pen-testing and/or hacking CTF’s.

      • Should you use Docker on your VPS server? – The Jerusalem Post

        Unlike other popular tools that can trace their roots back to the nineties or even earlier, Docker didn’t exist until 2013.

        Yet, in a very short period of time, it has managed to become something of a household name (assuming the household consists primarily of IT specialists).

        But what is Docker exactly? How did it manage to become so popular so quickly? And how can you deploy it on your VPS? Let’s find out.

      • Hacking tools: Set up the hacking stick with Kali Linux – Market Research Telecast

        Kali Linux is a useful helper in many situations: It contains a number of hacking tools that you can try out immediately. The often cumbersome setup of the programs is no longer necessary. This not only allows you to detect security problems, the tools supplied are also suitable for saving data and much more. With little effort you can create a bootable USB stick with which you can see for yourself.

      • Sending logs to Humio using the elasticsearch-http() destination of syslog-ng – Blog – syslog-ng Community – syslog-ng Community

        One of the most popular syslog-ng destinations is Elasticsearch. Humio, a log management provider, supports a broad range of ingest options and interfaces, including an Elasticsearch-compatible API. Last week, Humio announced Humio Community Edition, which provides the full Humio experience for free, with some limitations on daily ingestion and retention time. I tested the Community Edition, and it works perfectly well with syslog-ng.

        If you come from the Humio side, you might wonder what syslog-ng is. It is an application for high performance central log collection. Traditionally, syslog messages were collected centrally and saved to text files. Nowadays, syslog-ng acts more like a log management layer: collects log messages from hosts, saves them for long term storage, but also forwards them to multiple destinations, like SIEMs and other log analysis solutions. This way, it is enough to collect log messages only once, and syslog-ng delivers the right log messages to the right destinations in the right format, after some initial processing.

        Humio is available as a cloud service or self-hosted, where you can send all your logs for storage and analysis. It has an easy-to-use interface to query log messages which can be extended with further analytics possibilities from the Humio marketplace.

        From this blog, you can learn how to get started with Humio and syslog-ng. While Humio provides many other APIs for log ingestion, I focus on the elasticsearch-http() destination of syslog-ng, demonstrating that there is no vendor lock-in: the same driver works equally well for Elastic’s Elasticsearch, AWS’s OpenSearch and for Humio.

      • Mastering Linux Administration – Book Review

        People frequently inquire about the best ways to learn Linux. I’ve already done extensive research on the subject and written three articles on how to learn Linux online. Candidates that are serious about learning Linux can get started immediately by joining online communities or purchasing video courses. Books, on the other hand, have always been the best source of in-depth knowledge on any topic, including learning Linux.

        In this article, I’ll be discussing Mastering Linux Administration, a book that will undoubtedly help you get closer to your objective of learning Linux. Alexandru Calcatinge and Julian Balog wrote the book; both have over ten years of experience in programming or Linux system administration.

      • Deploy Quarkus applications to Kubernetes using a Helm chart | Opensource.com

        Serverless functions are driving the fast adoption of DevOps development and deployment practices today. Knative on Kubernetes is one of the most popular serverless platforms to adopt serverless function architectures successfully. But developers must understand how serverless capabilities are specified using a combination of Kubernetes APIs, Knative resources, and function-oriented programming. DevOps teams also need to standardize runtime stacks (that is, application runtime, builder image, deployment configuration, and health check) to execute the functions on Kubernetes. What if you, a developer, could set this up with familiar technology and practice?

        This article guides you on the way developers can get started with serverless function deployment with the Quarkus Helm chart on Kubernetes. Furthermore, developers can avoid the extra work of developing a function from scratch, optimizing the application, and deploying it to Kubernetes.

        If you haven’t experienced using Helm for cloud-native application deployments on Kubernetes, I will tell you what Helm is and what benefits you have with it. Helm is one of the most popular package managers for Kubernetes. Helm provides a chart that simplifies Kubernetes resources within a single package file for an application build and deployment. Developers can install the chart to Kubernetes using the Helm command-line interface or graphical dashboard.

      • How to Customize the Linux Terminal Splash Screen

        The terminal is like a virtual second home for many Linux users since they spend most of their working time typing commands in it. It’s important to personalize the terminal to your heart’s desire if you don’t want to bore yourself with the dull, black command-line screen.

        Linux offers you the choice to customize any facet of the terminal—its appearance, behaviour, color schemes, font, and splash screen.

        In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can customize your Linux terminal’s splash screen to jazz up your command-line sessions.

      • How to Install & Configure Postgres 14 on OpenSUSE Leap 15.3

        Postgresql is an open source object-relational database system with over 30 years of active development that has earned it a strong reputation for reliability, feature robustness, and performance. Postgres, is a free and open-source relational database management system emphasizing extensibility and SQL compliance.

        It was originally named POSTGRES, referring to its origins as a successor to the Ingres database developed at the University of California, Berkeley. PostgreSQL is used as the primary data store or data warehouse for many web, mobile, geospatial, and analytics applications. PostgreSQL can store structured and unstructured data in a single product.

      • How to run Redis 6 with Docker and Docker-Compose

        In this guide we are going to explore how to run Redis 6 locally with docker and docker compose. This can be helpful if you want to run Redis locally without installing it in your server or if you want to run multiple versions of Redis seamlessly.

      • Install OpenVPN Server on Debian 11/Debian 10 – kifarunix.com

        In this guide, we are going to learn how to install OpenVPN Server on Debian 11/Debian 10.

      • Some quick framework laptop power saving tips – Kevin’s musings

        Some of these may apply to all laptops and some may be frame.work specific, but I thought I would throw them out there to help folks out.

      • How To Install Nginx with Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Nginx with Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Let’s Encrypt is a Certificate Authority (CA) that provides an easy way to obtain and install free TLS/SSL certificates, thereby enabling encrypted HTTPS on web servers. This guide will tell you about installing the Nginx web server, installing the Certbot, generating an SSL certificate with Certbot, and creating additional SSL configuration to get the A+ from the SSL test SSL Labs.

        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 Nginx with free SSL 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 SpeedCrunch on Linux

        Are you in need of a scientific calculator for your Linux PC? Can’t find anything good to use? Check out SpeedCrunch! It’s a high-precision, scientific calculator that sports tons of features and a speedy keyboard-driven interface. Here’s how to set it up on your system.

      • How to install OBS Studio on Elementary OS 6.0 – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to install OBS Studio on Elementary OS 6.0. Enjoy!

      • How to Enable Nautilus Typeahead Search in Ubuntu – OMG! Ubuntu!

        In this post I show you how to get the Nautilus typeahead feature back on all supported versions of Ubuntu.

        Nautilus’ type ahead functionality was retired way back in 2013. Ubuntu devs continued to patch the feature back in until 2017 when they switched to a more ‘vanilla’ GNOME desktop experience.

        So chances are you’ve adapted to life with out it.

        Thankfully in the world of open source: if you have an itch, you can scratch it — and fans of Nautilus typeahead search have done just that.

      • How to install the Skeuos GTK theme on Linux

        Skeuos is a GTK3/4 theme for Gnome Shell, as well as other GTK-based desktop environments on Linux. It comes in several different color variants and sports a clean, slick design that is sure to spice up your Linux setup. Here’s how to install the Skeuos GTK theme on your system.

    • Games

      • Yuzu (Switch Emulator): Introducing Project ART – Boiling Steam

        Shortly after the interview with GDKChan — creator of the Ryujinx Switch emulator — was published, one of the developers of Yuzu, the competing Switch emulator, contacted me and asked if I would be willing to take a look at his pull request for Yuzu. This pull request is called Project ART (Advanced Rendering Techniques, or Aristotle’s Right Testicle…yuck) and was developed in collaboration with a few other developers. In a nutshell, this PR adds the following features to the emulator:

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.23.2, Bugfix Release for October

          Today KDE releases a bugfix update to KDE Plasma 5, versioned 5.23.2.

          Plasma 5.23 was released in October 2021 with many feature refinements and new modules to complete the desktop experience.

          This release adds a week’s worth of new translations and fixes from KDE’s contributors. The bugfixes are typically small but important and include…

        • PCLinuxOS KDE Plasma Update

          The KDE Plasma pkgs were updated to 5.23.2 today. This is a bug fix release update to KDE Plasma 5.

        • KDE Connect iOS Enters Public TestFlight Testing!

          After being picked up again earlier this year, the KDE Connect iOS project is now moving towards public beta testing with TestFlight to collect more user feedback and problem reports as the project inches further towards a full release sometime in the (near?) future.

        • Linux Application Ecosystem 2021 Changsha

          Since I started discussing with Aniqa about organizing some events in China to promote KDE in China in April this year, after half a year of hard work and attempts, I helped KDE Network China and Ubuntu Kylin first event to be successfully held on October 23rd at Central South University.

          The name of this event is Linux Application Ecosystem Salon, 2021 Changsha marked it as one event in Changsha in 2021. Our goal is to promote the development of FOSS/FLOSS software within Chinese universities and to make it easier for students to understand the development of open source in China nowadays by popularizing KDE software and open-source activities in the other communities.

    • Distributions

      • We’re not in Ubuntu Anymore: The Linux Distros You’ve (Probably) Never Heard About Before

        Unlike Windows and macOS, there is a world of Linux versions, known as distributions, for users to experience. However, those switching to Linux on the desktop usually get pointed in the direction of Ubuntu due to its popularity and large community.

        That’s a fair suggestion since Ubuntu is frequently updated and supports a lot of hardware. But when there are so many other Linux distros out there, users may be curious about what else might work for them. Fortunately, there is a quick guide…


        If you want to get away from Ubuntu entirely, there are a few more options that stand out:

        The emergence of Manjaro has been a pleasant surprise in the Linux community as it’s closely related to Arch, which is a bleeding-edge distro with tons of new features but can be cumbersome to use, especially for Linux newcomers. It has an easy-to-use interface and is available with a wide variety of desktop environments including Xfce, KDE, and Gnome. Manjaro also offers a version for Arm systems like the Raspberry Pi, Odroid, and Pine products.

      • 6 Reasons Why Experienced Linux Users Would Love elementary OS

        elementary OS has a reputation for being great for newcomers to Linux, but in a way, that’s selling the operating system short. There are ample reasons for experienced, committed Linux users to check out elementary OS as well. It is one of the most exciting free desktops around, and here are just a few reasons why it’s worth a look.

        1. A Consistent and Attractive Design

        Traditional desktop Linux attempts to build a functional desktop out of various components that all come from different developers and projects. Most options have come a long way since the early days, but even on the most popular Linux desktops, you can still find a wide variance in how apps look and function.

        On elementary OS, there’s a way app icons are supposed to look, a way to design app windows, and a proper way to use color. The project has a very detailed set of Human Interface Guidelines to guide developers and app designers.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • Digest of YaST Development Sprints 133 & 134

          Let us start by quoting our latest report: “regarding the management of users, we hope to report big improvements in the next blog post”. Time has indeed come and we can now announce we brought the revamped users management described in this monographic blog post to the last parts of YaST that were still not taking advantage of the new approach. The changes are receiving an extra round of testing with the help of the Quality Assurance team at SUSE before we submit them to openSUSE Tumbleweed. When that happens, both the interactive YaST module to manage users and groups and its corresponding command line interface (not to be confused with the ncurses-powered text mode) will start using useradd and friends to manage users, groups and the related configurations.

        • SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 is Generally Available

          Today, we are proud to announce the release of SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 – a lightweight and secure operating system built for containerized and virtualized workloads.


          SLE Micro can be used as a single-node container host, Kubernetes cluster node, single-node KVM virtualization host or in public cloud. Since its built to scale, customers can incorporate SLE Micro into their digital transformation plans – whether at the edge or supporting edge deployments with mainframes – in a way that allows them to transition workload designs from monolithic to microservices, at their own pace. They can start with container workloads or virtualize their current legacy workloads, then move to containerized workloads when they are ready, with no change in the underlying system platform.

        • SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1 Comes With Edge-Focused Security Features

          SUSE has announced the availability of SUSE Linux Enterprise (SLE) Micro 5.1, a lightweight and secure operating system built for containerized and virtualized workloads. SLE Micro 5.1 adds edge-focused security features such as secure device onboarding and live patching, and it enables the modernizing of workloads with support for IBM Z and LinuxONE.

        • SUSE Expands Computing Possibilities Beyond the Edge with SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1
        • SUSE Expands Computing Possibilities Beyond the Edge with SUSE Linux Enterprise Micro 5.1
        • Document formats – There is choice [Ed: Meike Chabowski on formats of documentation files in SUSE]

          For publishing large documentation projects, DocBook is the ideal framework. It consists of a language (DocBook XML) and a set of stylesheets to translate this language into different output formats such as HTML, PDF, and EPUB.
          The stylesheets define the layout you want to apply when transforming the XML sources into output formats. For SUSE documentation, we wrote our own XSLT stylesheets to ensure the corporate design is properly reflected.

          The language DocBook XML is based on the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and defines the content in a semantic way through elements like in HTML. DocBook itself is written as a schema that defines the element names and the content and where they can appear. The DocBook schema is used to fulfill two tasks: guided editing and validation.

          Guided editing is done via an XML editor (such as oXygen, Vim or Emacs). The editor reads in the DocBook schema and suggests which elements are allowed in the current context. Validation gives hints about structural errors in an XML document; this could, for example, be a missing element.

      • Slackware Family

        • liveslak-1.4.0 and new ISO images are available

          It’s that time again for a fresh batch of ISOs for Slackware Live Edition.
          The ISO files are based on Slackware-current of “Sat Oct 23 18:57:30 UTC 2021” and using the liveslak-1.4.0 scripts.

          The Slackware-current snapshot on which the Live ISOs are based contains a Linux 5.14.14 kernel.
          This is not yet the pre-emptive variant of 5.14.14 which you can find in “./testing” inside today’s Slackware-current mirrors. However, you can use liveslak’s “upslak.sh” script to easily upgrade the kernel on your persistent USB Live if you want.
          It’ll be interesting to see how it improves real-time performance on the DAW Live platform.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Fedora 34, A Review of Flatpak-Wayland Desktop Mix Part I

          Fedora already did a great job in Flatpak integration. They made their own Flatpak repository and made it easy to add Flathub.org. The initial experience is very poor, it is very slow and almost often freezing the system, although how to use it is already clear enough. Also, we think the incorrect licensing information displayed on Software is a deep issue they should fix as soon as possible.

          About the functionality? The apps and games we installed work well. OBS and Kooha can record screen (even camera) into videos. Those games can be played normally, with great visuals and audio, we could not tell that they use a different technology.

          On Flatpak, in general we want to say F34 works but with a very poor initial experience.

        • Do host firewalls matter in cloud deployments?

          Cloud deployments enable incredible amounts of network flexibility for any workload. Companies build, connect, and configure networks at a rapid pace via convenient application programming interfaces (APIs). However, these easily configurable interconnections lead to situations where dangerous network paths remain open due to misconfiguration or complexity.

          Someone asked me recently if host firewalls still matter in cloud deployments. In short: they do still matter. Host firewalls, such as iptables or nftables, play a key role in a defense-in-depth strategy, and they often close gaps in critical network infrastructure. Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) includes firewalld, a firewall management framework, that delivers reasonable defaults and makes rule management easy.

          This post covers some potential scenarios where a host firewall could reduce risk in a cloud deployment.

        • Saaf Water provides insights for safe water consumption

          Many of us take for granted that clean, safe drinking water will be instantly available when we turn on a tap in our home. But 2 billion people around the world lack access to safely managed drinking water, and in order for that to change by 2030, the current rate of progress would need to double in 129 countries. The issue is especially challenging for remote communities who have to gather their drinking water from unreliable sources. Helping these communities make informed decisions about their drinking water can greatly mitigate the risks.

          For the team in India behind Saaf Water (“saaf” is a Hindi word for “clean”), the inspiration to take on the issue of clean drinking water was personal. Team member Hrishikesh saw firsthand the danger of unsafe drinking water when his mother became ill by drinking from her village’s groundwater supply that was assumed to be safe. Even though the team members are all from different villages, they all have friends or family members impacted by contaminated water. They realized that communities need data and information about their local drinking water to be able to make safe decisions about purification and consumption.

        • Honestly leads consumers to more ethical purchases

          How can you really know the environmental impact of that pair of jeans you just ordered online? Household consumption of goods contributes to over 60% of the greenhouse gases that drive climate change. Now, e-commerce is causing an increasing share of the environmental damage created by consumer goods: The UN reports that during the COVID-19 pandemic, online sales jumped from 16% to 19% of all retail sales. Individual consumers want to do the right thing and are often willing to spend a bit more to make sustainable purchases. However, it can be overwhelming to try to fully understand the ethical practices of the businesses they buy from or the environmental footprint of the products they consume.

        • Top Call for Code Global Challenge University Teams

          In the fight against climate change, we know fresh thought and innovation can come from anywhere. Yet every year we’re continually inspired by the Call for Code submissions from universities. And this year is no different. The top five entrants cover a broad range of solutions, ranging from agriculture to waste management, and from sanitation to zero hunger. Check out the entries from across the globe and tune in to the 2021 Call for Code Awards on November 16 to learn who will be the winner of the University Edition of the Call for Code Global Challenge.

        • Plenti cuts kitchen waste to shrink carbon footprint [Ed: IBM pretends to care about carbon footprint; same as Microsoft]

          Did you know the average household throws away 1 in 5 bags of spoiled groceries? Beyond the economic impact on households, the environmental impact is exacerbated by the fact that food products create a considerable carbon footprint from the farm, to the store, and into your kitchen before getting dumped.

          The Plenti team are looking to change this and help us better manage our groceries. As a Top Five finalist in the 2021 Call for Code Global Challenge, Plenti was developed as a mobile app that alerts you before your food goes off.

        • Project Scavenger manages e-waste for a healthier world [Ed: IBM kicked off another greenwash campaign today]

          Once an anomaly, working remotely has become a common practice for many employees over the course of the past 20 months — and it shows no sign of receding. Gartner estimates that remote workers will represent 32% of all employees worldwide by the end of 2021. While there are wide-ranging opinions surrounding the work-from-home dynamic, one objective truth is that there has been a massive increase in home office set-ups, and demand for home office devices like keyboards, mice, CPUs and more. Manufacturers are trying to keep up with this rapid increase in demand. Combine those new devices with the thousands still residing in now abandoned on-site offices, and the result is an alarming amount of e-waste.

        • Green Farm supports sustainable community agriculture

          Agriculture accounts for about one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. While sustainable farming plays an important role in helping reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, it still only represents a small share of all agricultural production. Community supported agriculture (CSA) has increased in popularity during recent years as an answer to this global challenge, especially during the supply chain disruptions and day-to-day hurdles consumers have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the rapid growth of this type of farming model brings its own set of challenges. Small farmers struggle to ensure their planting methods are sustainable, eco-friendly, and transparent as they attempt to scale and reach new customers. It is difficult for them to experiment with alternative agricultural methods because of local volatility, both ecologically and in the market, brought on by climate change and the ongoing pandemic. Consumers, meanwhile, face uncertainty about the quality and availability of local produce.

        • Digital transformation: 7 in-demand technology skills

          The pandemic jolted businesses across the globe, forcing them to accelerate their digital initiatives – some achieved years’ worth of digital transformation initiatives in a matter of months. And with remote work in effect, organizations also had to invest in collaborative platforms for employees and self-service portals for customers to ensure business continuity.

          Organizations today continue to invest in digital transformation priorities, and the demand for those with skills in cloud, rapid application development (low code), and new-age technologies is growing. As companies compete to attract candidates who are proficient in emergent technologies, candidates with extensive experience in these areas are in a strong position to drive digital transformation initiatives, optimize costs, approach complex issues innovatively, and aid in the decision-making process.

        • How to put people at the center of digital transformation

          Many businesses saw the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly accelerate their digital transformation plans. Going digital is imperative in the new reality, characterized by hyper-connection and an ever-increasing consumption of online products and services. Even so, many still struggle to understand and apply the concept of going digital in real life.

          However, some organizations have failed in their digital transformation journey as they overlooked a fundamental aspect in these times of change ‒ the human factor.

          At first glance, it may seem odd that this is considered a factor. Still, digital transformation and innovation are related to profound human transformation. A Boston Consulting Group publication, “It’s Not a Digital Transformation without a Digital Culture,” argues that “like any major transformation, a digital transformation requires instilling a culture that supports the change while enabling the company’s overarching strategy.”

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Looking For Community Feedback As Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Development Begins

          With Ubuntu 22.04 LTS “Jammy Jellyfish” beginning development, Canonical is soliciting community feedback as they plot out more of the planned changes for this next major release and areas to focus on enhancing over the next six months.

          Monica Ayhens-Madon as the Ubuntu Community Representative at Canonical has begun collecting community feedback and input for Ubuntu 22.04 LTS. In particular, areas of the desktop to focus on heading into this next Long Term Support release. The feedback collected will help shape their road-map for this cycle.

        • Ubuntu Blog: In defence of pet servers

          We all know the drill by now: modern compute infrastructure needs to be deterministic, disposable, commoditised and repeatable. We’re all farmers now, and our server estates must be treated like cattle – ready for slaughter at a moment’s notice.

          However, we must remember that the driver behind the new design rationale is primarily the unreliable nature of modern cloud compute infrastructure and its associated feeble Service-level agreements (SLAs). Let’s just take a step back from the cattle over pets mantra for a moment, and evaluate if this is really always the right path to be going down.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla Open Policy & Advocacy Blog: Mozilla and Omidyar Network launch new Reimagine Open initiative: Powering Local Innovation in the Global South [Ed: Mozilla doing politics with notorious oligarchs now]

            Mozilla and the Omidyar Network are thrilled to launch the new global initiative, Powering Local Innovation, focused on deepening the conversation around “local innovation” within different regions in the Global South. Our organizational partners in the Africa region (AfriLabs, Lawyer’s Hub, African Union Development Agency, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Smart Africa), and in India (Hasgeek), will bring together entrepreneurs, technologists, activists, policymakers, private sector leaders and lawyers for creative dialogue around the present and future of user technology innovation in their regions.

          • Webcompat issues and the bots! [Ed: More Microsoft outsourcing]

            Recently, Ksenia (Mozilla Webcompat team) adjusted BugBug to make it work on GitHub.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • From ‘guix environment’ to ‘guix shell’

            There are times when what looked like the right design choice some years back comes out as an odd choice as time passes. The beloved guix environment tool is having that fate. Its command-line interface has become non-intuitive and annoying for the most common use cases. Since it could not be changed without breaking compatibility in fundamental ways, we devised a new command meant to progressively replace it; guix shell—that’s the name we unimaginatively ended up with—has just landed after a three-week review period, itself a followup to discussions and hesitations on the best course of action.

            This post introduces guix shell, how it differs from guix environment, the choices we made, and why we hope you will like it.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Trump’s Truth Social beta site violates open source license

            Ex-President Donald Trump and his associates have been accused of many crimes, but here’s a new one. The Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), a non-profit organization that promotes open source software and defends open source licenses such as the Gnu Affero GPL version 3 (AGPLv3) license, has accused the Trump Media and Technology Group of violating the AGPL by illegally copying the Mastodon social network source code for its Truth Social social network beta.

      • Programming/Development

        • Run your own CI pipeline with GStreamer’s new monorepo

          Recently, the GStreamer project merged all its git repositories into a single, unified repository, often called monorepo. You can read more about this change here.

          One benefit is it greatly simplifies maintaining custom, project specific, GStreamer patches. Previously, projects that needed to develop, or backport, some patches had to go through multiple steps to complete the task. Projects had to fork various git repositories (e.g. gst-plugins-good, gst-plugins-bad, etc), each repository would then have a new branch with the extra commits, and often, gst-build was used to pull all of these repositories together (and gst-build itself had to be patched beforehand to download forked repositories). Thankfully, all that will be a thing of the past.

        • GitOps: Best practices for the real world

          There is a common misunderstanding about how GitOps should be applied in real-world environments. Developers equate Infrastructure as Code (IaC) with GitOps in concept or believe that GitOps can only work with container-based applications — which is not true. In this blog, you will learn what GitOps is and how to apply its principles to real-world development and operations.

        • 5 Open Source tools for Documenting your React Component – DEV Community

          Documenting our code is of course not the easiest part of the development process and at times developers even avoid it saying that it’s really boring. In this article, we will take an overview of 5 tools whose purpose is to help us in documenting our React Components with bare minimum efforts thus, which have made documenting our React Components a piece of cake.

        • Meson version bumped to 0.59.2

          Meson is a source package build system. EasyOS has version 0.53.0, however, I wanted to compile the latest ‘pipewire’ package and it requires meson version 0.54.0 or later.

          So, have recompiled meson in OpenEmbedded, now version 0.59.2.

        • Perl/Raku

          • Reviving Net::Pcap

            … in which I look at how existing patches floating on the internet can be integrated into Net::Pcap to make it compile again.

            Net::Pcap is dear to me, as I have a module implementing an HTTP sniffer using its network capture. So I like it when the module compiles without too much manual work.

        • Python

          • Smart Flower Pot Build Is All About That Base | Hackaday

            This attractive beginner build is a Python-powered project that runs on a PyPortal Titano and has a speaker that anthropomorphizes the thing so it can berate you politely ask for water in English. But the real magic of this build is in the enclosure itself.

          • Best Plugins for PyCharm

            Plugins are add-ons that enable you to optimize your applications. For instance, if you want to live-stream a soccer match on a website, you may need to install a plugin because your browser doesn’t come with preinstalled streaming tools.

            You might want to think of plugins as an integral part of your computing and web browsing, making sure each activity you do is running smoothly, even if it is just about viewing a document or surfing a blog.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Duplicate records differing only in unique identifiers

            There’s a big data table with lots of fields and lots of records. Each record has one or more unique identifier field entries. How to check for records that are exactly the same, apart from those unique identifiers?

            I’ve been tinkering with this problem for years, and you can read my last, fairly clumsy effort in this BASHing data blog post from 2020. Here I present a much-improved solution, which has also gone into A Data Cleaner’s Cookbook as an update.

            In 2020, the fastest and most reliable method I used to extract these partial duplicates was with an AWK array and two passes through the table. In the first pass, an array “a” is built with the non-unique-identifier field entries as index string and the tally of each different entry as the value string. In the second pass through the table, AWK looks for records where the value string for the same index string is greater than one, and by default prints the record.

          • Excellent Free Tutorials to Learn Bash – LinuxLinks

            Bash (acronym for the ‘Bourne-Again-SHell’) is the GNU Project’s shell and programming language. It’s an sh-compatible shell that incorporates useful features from the Korn shell (ksh) and C shell (csh). Bash has become a de facto standard for shell scripting. It runs on almost all versions of Unix and a few other operating systems including Windows platforms.

            A Unix shell is both a command interpreter and a programming language. As a command interpreter, the shell provides the user interface to various utilities. The programming language features of Bash allow these utilities to be combined. Files containing commands can be developed, and become commands themselves. A shell script is therefore a quick way of prototyping a complex application. Shell scripting follows the classic Unix philosophy of breaking complex projects into simpler subtasks, of chaining together components and utilities.

            Like all Unix shells, Bash supports filename globbing (wildcard matching), piping, here documents, command substitution, variables and control structures for condition-testing and iteration. The keywords, syntax and other basic features of the language were all copied from sh.

            Here’s our recommended free tutorials to learn Bash.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • Classic 80s Text-To-Speech On Classic 80s Hardware | Hackaday

        Those of us who were around in the late 70s and into the 80s might remember the Speak & Spell, a children’s toy with a remarkable text-to-speech synthesizer. While it sounds dated by today’s standards, it was revolutionary for the time and was riding a wave of text-to-speech functionality that was starting to arrive to various computers of the era. While a lot of them used dedicated hardware to perform the speech synthesis, some computers were powerful enough to do this in software, but others were not quite able. The VIC-20 was one of the latter, but thanks to an ESP8266 it has been retroactively given this function.

        This project comes to us from [Jan Derogee], a connoisseur of this retrocomputer, and builds on the work by [Earle F. Philhower] who ported the retro speech synthesis software known as SAM from assembly to C which made it possible to run on the ESP8266. Audio playback is handled on the I2S port, but some work needed to be done to get this to work smoothly since this port also handles the communication with the VIC-20. Once this was sorted out, a patch was made to be able to hear the computer’s audio as well as the speech synthesizer’s. Finally, a serial command interface was designed by [Jan] which allows for control of the module.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • SuperSlicer Reviewed: Another 3DP Slicer? | Hackaday

          When you think of slicers for FDM 3D printing — especially free slicers — you probably think of Cura, Slic3r, or PrusaSlicer. There are fans of MatterControl and many people pay for Simplify3D. However, there are quite a few other slicers out there including the one [TeachingTech] has switched to: SuperSlicer. You can see his video review, below.

          Of course, just as PrusaSlicer is a fork of Slic3r, SuperSlicer is a fork of the Prusa software. According to the project’s home page, the slicer does everything Prusa does but adds custom calibration tests, ironing, better thin wall support, and several other features related to infill and top surfaces. The software runs on Windows, Linux, or Mac.

        • Axle.ai Launches Connectr 2021 Software For Windows, Mac and Linux
        • Axle.ai Launches Connectr 2021 software for Windows, Mac and Linux

          Axle.ai, the leader in bringing radical simplicity to video search and collaboration, is announcing availability of Connectr 2021, its revolutionary NoCode software for automating media workflows, for Windows, MacOS and Linux. The company is a Silver sponsor at the Adobe MAX virtual conference, starting today.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • When leading openly means leading with vulnerability

              In the second part of my interview with Sam Knuth, a fellow Open Organization Ambassador, we discussed how leaders can identify areas for coaching open management practices within their organization to ensure the managers they lead are letting open values guide their work teams and associates. It takes emotional intelligence—and effort.

              To wrap our time together, Sam and I discussed understanding and showing vulnerability with others in the workplace. Sam has authored articles on this important topic for Opensource.com, and his stories about life as an open leader showcase a passion for those (and other) open values. In this interview, we discuss the benefits of leaders showing vulnerability.

            • Intel hopes to burn newly open-sourced AI debug tech into chips [Ed: Shoddy openwashing by Intel with “hey hi” thrown into the mix for hype or good measure]

              Intel Labs has big plans for a software tool called ControlFlag that uses artificial intelligence to scan through code and pick out errors.

              One of those goals, perhaps way out in the future, is to bake it into chip packages as a last line of defense against faulty code. This could make the information flow on communications channels safer and efficient.

          • Privatisation/Privateering

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • GitHub stale bot considered harmful

              One of GitHub’s “recommended” marketplace features is the “stale” bot. The purpose of this bot is to automatically close GitHub issues after a period of inactivity, 60 days by default. You have probably encountered it yourself in the course of your work.

              This is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea.

        • Security

          • Open Source Community Shifts Left With OpenSSF, Google SLSA [Ed: Disclosure missing; LF pays them to write these puff pieces]

            Security is becoming an increasingly key piece of the open source puzzle amid industry-wide pushes to shift left and integrate security during early stages of application development.

            The Linux Foundation’s Open Source Security Foundation (OpenSSF) is one example of how the open source community is working to improve software security through an ecosystem approach, vying for proactive handling of security by default.

          • Lead Cloud-Native Security Analytics Engineer Shares Top Tips for Securing the Enterprise

            Cloud and container adoption is on the rise, as organizations are increasingly recognizing the potential for rapid growth and evolution that cloud-based infrastructure offers. That being said, along with these advantages comes significant security challenges.

            The modern cloud-native attack surface is complex and difficult to secure with many “moving pieces” including endpoints, servers, containers and cloud providers. This makes integrating Threat Intelligence data gathered from all of these surfaces and evaluating potential security and compliance risks and active threats no easy task. Not only is risk harder to identify and evaluate in cloud and container environments, security vulnerabilities, malware and other threats that are also easier to inadvertently inherit from common layers and shared components frequently used in container builds.

          • Released: MITRE ATT&CK v10 – Help Net Security

            MITRE Corporation has released the tenth version of ATT&CK, its globally accessible (and free!) knowledge base of cyber adversary tactics and techniques based on real-world observations.

            Version ten comes with new Data Source objects, new and changed techniques in its various matrices, key changes to facilitate hunting in ICS environments, and more.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • Being Green, It’s A Rich Man’s Game | Hackaday

        It’s an old saying with an apocryphal origin: “May you live in interesting times“. We Brits are certainly living in interesting times at the moment, as a perfect storm of the pandemic, rising energy prices, global supply chain issues, and arguably the post-Brexit departure of EU-national truck drivers has given us shortages of everything from fresh vegetables in the supermarket to carbon dioxide for the food industry. Of particular concern is a shortage of automotive fuels at the filling station, and amid sometimes-aggressive queues for the pumps it’s reported that there’s a record uptick in Brits searching online for information about electric cars.

      • Energy

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • What you need to know about the Facebook Papers – Access Now

        Facebook is now undergoing what may be the tech giant’s biggest crisis in its 17-year history. On Friday, The Washington Post reported that a second Facebook whistleblower came forward to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, alleging that the company prioritizes growth over combating hate speech, disinformation, and other threats to the public. The whistleblower’s testimony follows that of former Facebook employee Frances Haugen, whose legal counsel released what’s known as the Facebook Papers — a 10,000-page collection of internal reports, memos, and chat logs leaked to more than a dozen major news outlets.

        The documents paint a grim picture of how Facebook has repeatedly and knowingly put profit ahead of people’s safety. From Facebook’s role in the U.S. Capitol insurrection, to its system for sorting the world into “tiers,” to its disregard for clear evidence its platform was causing harm, here is just a snapshot of what we know from the Facebook Papers so far.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Vietnam: Immediately release Pham Doan Trang

        Today, ahead of Pham Doan Trang’s trial on November 4, Access Now and other human rights organizations are urgently calling on Vietnam’s government to immediately release the independent journalist and human rights defender. The coalition condemns the arbitrary detention of Doan Trang, and is pushing for all charges against her to be dropped.

        “The arrest and arbitrary detention of Doan Trang — a prominent civil society leader — is a signal to all that the authorities in Vietnam will quash any critical speech,” said Dhevy Sivaprakasam, Asia Pacific Policy Counsel at Access Now. “She should not have been arrested in the first place — the politically-motivated charges against her must be dropped.”

        Doan Trang was arrested in Ho Chi Minh City on October 7, 2020, and charged with “making, storing, distributing or disseminating information, documents and items against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.” She has been held in arbitrary detention and denied access to her family for over a year. She was also prevented from meeting with a lawyer until October 19, 2021. Her indictment — which was only made public on October 18, 2021 — confirms a charge of alleged dissemination of anti-State propaganda under article 88 of the 1999 Penal Code. A similar charge under article 117 of the 2015 Penal Code was dropped.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • On television streaming boxes and streaming disservices. – BaronHK’s Rants

        Returning the Comcast XFi box a couple of months ago reminded me of how many of these damned things there actually are out there.

        Back when people were crazy and just wanted things to work, we used discs or tapes.

        Now, we have boxes.

        Amazon has a box. Roku has a box. Comcast has a box. Apple has a box. There’s so many boxes that I’m sure I haven’t even started with all of the boxes.

        None of the boxes run all of the same apps.

        None of the apps have all of the shows.

        If you use the boxes and apps, your TV will turn into a Christmas tree of boxes hanging off of it, and your bills for the apps will be enormous.

        The boxes can’t run off the TV, so you’ll need to also find a way to plug them all into an outlet. They don’t power down properly, so they run up your power bill.

        On top of that, these things spy on you and sell that data to advertisers who know more about you now, and use that data to manipulate you to buy more products you don’t want that clutter your house and empty your bank account.

      • Digital rights champions nominated to lead U.S. FCC and NTIA – Access Now

        Today, U.S. President Joe Biden nominated Jessica Rosenworcel as the first permanent chairwoman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Gigi Sohn as the fifth commissioner of the FCC, and Alan Davidson as the head of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

        With these nominations, the FCC and NTIA have complete leadership for the first time since President Biden took office. After former FCC Chair Ajit Pai stepped down nine months ago, the FCC has been deadlocked at 2-2. The deadlock has prevented progress on critically important issues at the Commission, and affected programs like the Emergency Broadband Benefit and the Emergency Connectivity Fund. Similarly, the NTIA has lacked a permanent leader since January, which has impeded action from President Biden’s primary telecommunications advisory agency.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Software Patents

          • YADRO Joins the Open Invention Network Community

            Open Invention Network (OIN), the organization formed to safeguard open source software (OSS) and the largest patent non-aggression community in history, announced today that YADRO has joined as a community member. According to IDC, YADRO is the market leader in enterprise storage and high-performance servers in Russia and Eastern Europe. Offering a full range of high-performance servers, storage systems and industry specific services and tools, YADRO leverages OSS to deploy best-in-class systems. By joining OIN, YADRO is demonstrating its commitment to patent non-aggression in OSS.

      • Copyrights

Links 26/10/2021: Vulkan 1.1 Conformance for Raspberry Pi 4 and Tor Browser 10.5.10

Posted in News Roundup at 11:33 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • It’s time to boycott AWS

        I woke up this morning not planning to write anything on this blog, much less anything about AWS. But then, as I was eating breakfast, I read a horrifying story in Mother Jones about how an AWS employee was treated as he did his best to cope with his wife’s terminal cancer.

        In the free software community, Amazon (more specifically AWS) has been criticized for years for taking a largely exploitative position concerning FOSS projects. These conversations frequently result in proposals to use licensing as a weapon against AWS. In general, I believe that it would be difficult to target AWS with licensing, as statutory licenses must be fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory. But the issue of exploitation remains: AWS takes from the commons of FOSS projects and productizes that work, frequently without giving anything back.

        They are, of course, allowed to do this, but at the same time, in doing so, they have frequently undercut the efforts of developers to monetize the labor involved in software maintenance, which leads to projects adopting licenses like SSPL and Commons Clause, which are significantly problematic for the commons.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • Destination Linux 249: The Brave and the Bold

        This week’s episode of Destination Linux, we’re going to discuss whether you or your organization should be using Brave browser and it’s new search engine. Then we’re going to discuss a new data analysis predicting some explosive growth in Linux and what this means for innovation and jobs in the open-source world. Plus we’ve also got our famous tips, tricks and software picks. All of this and so much more this week on Destination Linux. So whether you’re brand new to Linux and open source or a guru of sudo. This is the podcast for you.

      • Late Night Linux – Episode 148

        Microsoft upsets the FOSS community, Moxie trolls NFT clowns, Trump’s people don’t seem to understand licences, a 1337 haxx0r tool, KDE Korner, and more.

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • Ferdi: A Free & Open-Source Alternative to Franz & Rambox

        A single application to help you manage multiple services comes in handy when you do not want to do everything on your browser. While technically, you can, it may not be the most organized way of doing things.

        Hence, options like Rambox and Franz are pretty popular cross-platform solutions to sign in to several services and access all of them at a glance.

        Even though they both are available for Linux (and we’ve covered them separately), they offer limited features for free.

        In contrast, Ferdi is a fork of Franz offering many premium functionalities for free while aiming to provide a better experience.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Python 3.10 in Ubuntu and Other Related Linux

        Planning to get the Python 3.10 installed for your work? Here’s how to install Python 3.10 in Ubuntu and related distributions.

      • [Old] ISO Compromise

        Engineering is about trade-offs and compromises. One of the most fundamental trade-offs to be made when designing a storage format is whether multi-byte numbers will be encoded as little or big endian numbers. But have you ever studied the data structures involved in ISO-9660, the standard filesystem format for optical discs? It seems that the committee tasked with developing this standard were unwilling to make this one tough decision and specified all multi-byte numbers as omni-endian. I just made that term up. Maybe it could be called bi-endian or multi-endian. The raw detail is that multi-byte numbers are stored in little endian format and then in big endian. For example, 0×11223344 is stored using 8 bytes: 0×44 0×33 0×22 0×11 0×11 0×22 0×33 0×44.

      • ISO-9660 Compromise, Part 2: Finding Root

        I recently discovered another bit of compromise in the ISO-9660 spec: It seems that there are 2 different methods for processing the directory structure. That means it’s incumbent upon ISO-9660 creation software to fill in the data structures to support both methods, because about some ISO-reading programs out there rely on one set of data structures while the rest prefer to read the other set.

      • Migrate CentOS 7 to 8 of AlmaLinux / CentOS Stream/ Rocky Linux / Oracle Linux

        Elevate is an open-source project developed by the AlmaLinux team that allows the migration of CentOS 7 to newer and major versions of RHEL-based distributions such as AlmaLinux 8, Rocky Linux 8, Oracle Linux 8, and CentOS Stream 8. It combines RedHat’s Leapp framework with a community-developed library to assist with the migration.

        This instructional guide provides you with the steps to upgrade/migrate CentOS 7 to AlmaLinux 8 using Elevate.

      • How to use Here Document in bash programming

        A block of code or text which can be redirected to the command script or interactive program is called here document or HereDoc. Different types of scripting languages like bash, sh, csh, ksh, etc., can take text input directly using here-document without using any text file. So when the coder needs less amount of text data, then using code and data in the same file is the better option, and it can be done easily by using here-document in the script. Without scripting language, here document can also be used in various high-level languages like php, perl, etc. How you can use here-document in the bash script is shown in this tutorial.

        To use here-document in any bash script, you have to use the symbol << followed by any delimiting identifier after any bash command and close the HereDoc by using the same delimiting identifier at the end of the text. The syntax of writing HereDoc is shown below.

      • How to use single and multiple line comments in BASH

        Using comments in any script or code is very important to make the script more readable. Comments work as documentation for the script. The reader can easily understand each step of the script if the author properly comments on it. Comments are ignored when the script executes. The single line can be commented on very easily in the bash script. But there are multiple ways to comment on multiple lines in the bash script. How you can use single and multiple lines comments in bash scripts is shown in this tutorial.

      • How to install Oracle Database 21C on CentOS 8 – Unixcop

        Oracle DBMS is a multi-model database management system Basically it’s a SQL DB System.

        It is a database commonly used for running online transaction processing (OLTP), data warehousing (DW) and mixed (OLTP & DW) database workloads. Oracle Database is available by several service providers on-prem, on-cloud, or as hybrid cloud installation. It may be run on third party servers as well as on Oracle hardware (Exadata on-prem, on Oracle Cloud or at Cloud at Customer.

        Hello Guys ! We will discuss about Oracle DB today, surely, like every other tutorials, we will go through hands on ! But before that, some boring description about the Oracle DB, Hope you will get some important staffs from this.

        Oracle Database is the first database designed for enterprise grid computing, the most flexible and cost effective way to manage information and applications. Enterprise grid computing creates large pools of industry-standard, modular storage and servers. With this architecture, each new system can_be rapidly provisioned from the pool of components. There is no need for peak workloads, because capacity canbe easily added or reallocated from the resource pools as needed.

      • How to Install Nvidia 495.xx Beta Drivers on Debian 11 Bullseye – LinuxCapable

        Most modern Linux Desktop systems such as Debian come with an Nvidia driver pre-installed in the Nouveau open-source graphics device driver for Nvidia video cards. For the most part, this is acceptable; however, if you are using your Linux system for graphical design or gaming, you may get better drivers.

        Historically, the Nouveau proprietary drivers are slower than Nvidia’s proprietary drivers, along with lacking the newest features, software technology, and support for the latest graphics card hardware. In most situations, upgrading your Nvidia Drivers using the following guide is more beneficial than not doing it. In some cases, you may see some substantial improvements overall.

        The following tutorial will teach you to install the latest bleeding-edge Nvidia Beta Graphic drivers for Debian 11 Bullseye.

      • How to download and Play Sid Meier’s Civilization VI on Linux

        Civilization 6 is a modern take on the classic RTS concept introduced in games like Age of Empires, StarCraft, etc. games.
        The idea of RTS games is fairly simple; you start in the basic era where farming and agriculture are the biggest keys to survival, and your army is not well equipped to handle situations as well. Then as your base focuses on research, your knowledge advances, and with enough research, you could transition into a different era of civilization which would bring numerous wonders for your base and your people.

      • Guide to using Apple Music on Linux with/without ‘Hack’

        If you are a music freak, there is no way you haven’t heard of Apple Music. Known as one of the best music streaming services platforms developed by Apple Inc. 4 years ago, offers over 50 million songs for streaming over several connected devices. Users have an option to stream their favorite songs on-demand and listen to curated playlists from all across the world.

      • How To Install Prometheus on Debian 11 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Prometheus on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, Prometheus is an open-source monitoring system with a dimensional data model, flexible query language, efficient time-series database, and a modern alerting approach.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Prometheus monitoring system on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • How To Use Mkdir Command on Linux – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to use the mkdir command on Linux. For those of you who didn’t know, mkdir command stands for make directory allows the user to create an empty directory on Linux operating system. This command can also create multiple folders at once as well as set permissions for folders. It is important to note that the user executing this command must have enough permissions to create a directory in the parent directory, or he/she may receive a ‘permission denied error.

        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 use of mkdir (Make Directory Command) on Linux. You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • Guide to Installing Linux on a Mac

        In modern times, Linux-based distributions have become one of the most widely used operating systems, competing with the likes of Windows and macOS. If you’re someone working in the field of Networking or anything related to Information Technology, the chances are that your workspace system uses a Linux distribution.

        This is because Linux provides a plethora of advanced features related to security, networking, privacy, ease of access, and adaptability that aren’t readily available in its competitors.

        With advantages like these, no doubt you’d want to switch to Linux as your go-to operating system.

        This guide is meant to help you learn how to install Linux on a Mac PC. The tutorial will help you run a Linux-based operating system on your Mac. Bear in mind this will completely overwrite the original OS.

      • How to Add Multiple Time Zones in Linux

        Are you tired of keeping track of different time zones for your work? Have you experienced time mix-ups and missed committed online meetings because of the time difference? If the answer to the above questions is yes, this article will show you how you can set the multiple time zones right there on your desktop bar.

        Gnome-clocks is an extremely simple and easy-to-use utility that can help you set up multiple time zones with just a few clicks.

      • How to Beautify Dynamic HTML5 Web App Using Online Tools

        As I begin the last article in this series, it is my hope that you have been able to grasp the importance of HTML 5 and mobile-friendly / responsive web development.

        Regardless of your desktop distribution of choice, Netbeans is a powerful IDE and when used together with basic Linux command-line skills and the tools discussed in Part 3, can help you to create outstanding applications without much hassle.

      • Configure Linux system auditing with auditd | Enable Sysadmin

        Sysadmins use audits to discover security violations and track security-relevant information on their systems. Based on preconfigured rules and properties, the audit daemon (auditd) generates log entries to record information about the events happening on the system. Administrators use this information to analyze what went wrong with the security policies and improve them further by taking additional measures.

        This article covers how to install, configure, and manage the audit service. It also shows how to define audit rules, search audit logs, and create audit reports. If you are new to system auditing, this article helps you gain a basic understanding and usage of audits on your system.

      • Configuring Java applications to use Cryostat | Red Hat Developer

        Cryostat is a profiling and monitoring tool that leverages the JDK Flight Recorder (JFR) framework already present in your HotSpot JVM applications. Cryostat provides an in-cluster collection hub for easy and secure access to your JDK Flight Recorder data from outside of the cluster.

        This article follows our recent announcement of Cryostat 2.0. It is the first of several hands-on guides to using Cryostat 2.0 in your Java applications. In this article, we’ll explore how to set up and configure a Quarkus-based Java application to use Cryostat on Red Hat OpenShift.

      • How to Deploy HTML5 Website on a LAMP Server in Ubuntu

        In the previous two articles of this series, we explained how to set up Netbeans in a Linux desktop distribution as an IDE to develop web applications. We then proceeded to add two core components, jQuery and Bootstrap, in order to make your pages mobile-friendly and responsive.

        In this article, we will create a dynamic HTML5 web application using PHP/MySQL and jQuery in our development and deploy it to a remote web server in Ubuntu.

      • How to Install Bitwarden Password Manager on Debian 11

        Bitwarden is a free and open-source password manager that stores website credentials in an encrypted vault. It allows you to store all of your login credentials and keep them synced between all of your devices. It is designed for individuals, teams, and business organizations to manage their credentials from a centralized location. Bitwarden provides a client application for Desktop PC as well as, smartphones and tablets. It also provides a password generator for generating strong and secure passwords.

        In this post, we will show you how to install the Bitwarden password manager on Debian 11.

      • How to Install CyberPanel on Ubuntu 20.04 – VITUX

        CyberPanel is a control panel designed with the main purpose of being user-friendly for non-technical users. CyberPanel is very easy to learn because it uses a simple layout that most hosting companies are already familiar with. CyberPanel also has several features that most other control panels don’t have.

        CyberPanel offers an advanced interface that can be used instead of having to use FTP or SSH to upload files via the command line from your computer. CyberPanel also provides a service script installer so you can easily install scripts such as WordPress and Joomla without having to research how each script needs to be installed individually through FTP/ssh.

        CyberPanel has a fantastic feature called CSF Firewall which protects from brute force attacks, CyberPanel also allows you to manage the firewall through a dashboard along with many other management options CyberPanel offers a lot of different features that running your own control panel does not come with. CyberPanel also provides an API that can be used by hosting companies or developers for custom development projects. CyberPanel works on all major platforms such as Windows, Linux, BSD, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X.

      • How to Install NumPy on Ubuntu – Unixcop

        NumPy(Numerical Python) is a library for the Python programming language, adding support for large, multi-dimensional arrays and matrices, along with a large collection of high-levelmathematicalfunctions to operate on these arrays.

        The ancestor of NumPy, Numeric, was originally created by Jim Hugunin with contributions from several other developers. In 2005, Travis Oliphant created NumPy by incorporating features of the competing Numarray into Numeric, with extensive modifications. NumPy is open-source software and has many contributors. NumPy is a NumFOCUS fiscally sponsored project.

        Apart from its multi dimensional array object, it also provides high-level functioning tools for working with arrays.

      • How to Write a Mobile-Friendly App Using JQuery & Bootstrap

        In Part 1 of this series, we set up a basic HTML 5 project using Netbeans as our IDE, and we also presented a few elements that have been added in this new specification of the language.

        In a few words, you can think of jQuery as a cross-browser and cross-platform Javascript library that can greatly simplify client-side scripting in HTML pages. On the other hand, Bootstrap can be described as a complete framework that integrates HTML, CSS, and Javascript tools to create mobile-friendly and responsive web pages.

        In this article, we will introduce you to jQuery and Bootstrap, two priceless utilities to write HTML 5 code more easily. Both jQuery and Bootstrap are licensed under the MIT and Apache 2.0 licenses, which are compatible with the GPL and are thus free software.

      • How to install and configure Apache on Debian 11?

        Apache is one of the most popular web servers out there but it is also the subject of many questions. Today we will try to answer two how to install and configure Apache web server on Debian 11.

        We’ve already talked about the Apache web server on Debian 11, but it’s always good to remember that it’s a software-level web server from the Apache Foundation. That is, it is open source and we can use it in almost any circumstances.

        For this reason, any users want to know how to configure it to serve their websites. Although this varies greatly according to the site and its needs, at least have a gateway to Apache.

        In addition to this, Apache has a lot of documentation that will help us in case we have doubts in the process. This documentation should be read before working with the application.

      • How to use Cloudformation to create a VPC on AWS

        Using Cloudformation, we can create and manage AWS resources very easily. Cloudformation can be used to manage all AWS resources using a text file. Cloudformation allows us to create and model our infrastructure and applications without having to perform actions manually. Cloudformation helps us to manage our complete infrastructure in a text file, or template. Cloudformation template is a formatted text file in JSON or YAML language that describes our AWS infrastructure.

        In this article, we will see a Cloudformation to create a VPC with 2 Public and 2 Private Subnets.

      • How to use and install Rofi on Linux tutorial

        Rofi is a free and open source application typically used in the context of very minimal graphical environments on Linux (simple windows manager like i3, instead of full fledged desktop environments like GNOME or KDE). Rofi has multiple functions: it can work as a window switcher, an application launcher or a run dialog, and can be used as a replacement for dmenu. In this tutorial we see how to install it on some of the most used Linux distributions, and how to use it.

      • Gentoo Linux: Building/rebuilding a kernel and Intel CPU microcode in an installation without initramfs | Fitzcarraldo’s Blog

        In a 2016 post I explained how to update the Intel CPU microcode in a Gentoo Linux Stable Branch installation without an initramfs (I do not use sys-kernel/genkernel to build the kernel in the installation on my Clevo W230SS laptop). The behaviour of the tool sys-apps/iucode_tool for updating the Intel CPU microcode has changed since that post, hence this update.

        Although not essential I normally perform the microcode upgrade procedure when I either rebuild or upgrade the Linux kernel, therefore I explain both procedures contiguously here.

        These days the grub-mkconfig command edits the file /boot/grub/grub.cfg to add a line to the GRUB menu entries, to load the CPU microcode at boot, but nevertheless I prefer to follow a slightly different method that works reliably for me.

      • Bash Case Statement – OSTechNix

        In the previous article, we have seen how to work with conditional statements in bash to evaluate conditions and take decisions based on the results. Similarly, in this article, we will learn how to use case statement in Bash scripts, which is also used to evaluate conditions. You can use a Bash case statement instead of writing a long list of if..elif..else statement. If you have no idea about conditional statements, we have a detailed article on the topic. I suggest you take a look at it before reading this article.

      • File Searching on Kubuntu

        This tutorial explains how a user can search for files and folders on a Kubuntu computer. This tutorial applies to Dolphin, the file manager of Kubuntu, thus also applies to any other systems that use Dolphin like KaOS and openSUSE.

      • Tee Command in Linux with Examples – TecAdmin

        Whenever the user executes some command in the terminal, the output is displayed there in the terminal as an output. We can change this behavior through the use of the command “tee”.

        The Tee command in Linux is mostly used in combination with other commands, it reads the input and in response to that writes the output to one or more files. It does this so that the output can be displayed as well as saved to a file at the same time. In this article, we will learn more about the tee command, from its syntax to its use along with examples to help you understand better.

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • The ’90s mystery adventure Kathy Rain: Director’s Cut is out now | GamingOnLinux

        Kathy Rain: Director’s Cut is the definitive edition of the popular point and click mystery adventure from Clifftop Games and Raw Fury. It’s out now and it comes with native Linux support.

        Originally released in May 2016 where is gathered only a modest attention, but won over fans of the genre over time thanks to its compelling story, excellent voice acting, and clever puzzles. Kathy Rain eventually found its audience, achieving over 1.2 million users on Steam alone. The original wasn’t supported on Linux but this expanded and improved edition of it is.

      • Megaquarium: Architect’s Collection expansion announced for November 11 | GamingOnLinux

        Megaquarium: Architect’s Collection is the next expansion for the great aquarium building game from developer Twice Circled and it’s ready to release on November 11.

        This is the second expansion pack for Megaquarium. The first, Freshwater Frenzy, launched in 2020 and gave players freshwater habitats, the ability to develop hybrids, new campaigns and more. With Megaquarium: Architect’s Collection you get to focus a bit more on spaces outside of tanks with new architectural features such as bridges, archways, tunnels and more and of course it comes with some new creatures too.

      • Horizon Chase Turbo gets a DLC dedicated to the life of Ayrton Senna | GamingOnLinux

        Horizon Chase Turbo is a popular and well-reviewed retro arcade racer and the developer just released a DLC dedicated to the legend that is Ayrton Senna who died in 1994.

        Senna, hailed as one of the greatest F1 racers of all time, sadly died in an accident during the San Marino Grand Prix when colliding with a wall on a corner. For a first time in Horizon Chase Turbo, this new expansion gives you the ability to race in first-person. The aptly named Senna Forever DLC brings with it a new 5 chapter single-player career mode to race through.

      • Nintendo Switch emulator yuzu has a new Resolution Scaler, AMD FidelityFX Super Resolution

        yuzu, the free and open source Nintendo Switch emulator has advanced once again with the introduction of a brand new Resolution Scaler enabling you to play games at much higher resolutions. Now available in their Early Access builds, it will roll out for all users once it’s properly ready for the public.

      • New Feature Release – Resolution Scaler

        Hey there, yuz-ers! For those of you eager to go beyond the limits of Switch hardware and experience the full potential of Switch games, the wait has finally ended. Our most requested and anticipated feature — the Resolution Scaler — is finally here!

      • Fantastic roguelike Caves of Qud gets more accessible with new game modes, new regions | GamingOnLinux

        Caves of Qud is a roguelike we’ve been writing about for years now and it continues to be one of the best modern iterations on the classic gameplay style. A huge new stable update just went out making it better than ever, for all types of players. Some of the big changes have been available in a Beta on Steam for a while but now all players get it.


        Outside of that there’s the two new late-game regions, a new two-tiered settlement with many new NPCs, two new factions, a new side-quest, the Rainbow Wood was expanded and is now more dynamic, there’s new plans, new plant-like animals, tons of new items and the list just goes on forever.

      • Prepare your wallet for the next confirmed Steam Sale dates | GamingOnLinux

        You may want to set aside some money and fill up that Steam Wishlist, as the next couple of big sale events now have their dates confirmed.

      • How to Install and Play War Thunder on Ubuntu

        Ubuntu has become one of the most suited Linux-based distributions for gaming. This is because of the large community support and updates. It offers compatibility for a majority of gaming titles available on Steam.
        One of the popular free-to-play games on Steam is War Thunder. War Thunder brings a twist to the multiplayer shooter genre by providing advanced ground and aerial combat (in the form of tanks and airplanes).

        War Thunder provides a wide range of tanks and airplanes to choose from and customization options to improve the vehicle stats further. This ensures that no two vehicles are the same, and the combat experience feels fresh in every match.

        With features like these, we can see why you’d like to play War Thunder.

        This guide will cover how you can install War Thunder using Steam. Although there are other methods, you can use to proceed with the installation, working with Steam is the simplest as it gets rid of the process of working with packages.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • New Release: Tor Browser 10.5.10

            Tor Browser 10.5.10 is now available from the Tor Browser download page and also from our distribution directory.

            This version launches the Privacy is a Human Right fundraiser.

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Trump Given 30 Days To Have His Social Media Site Comply With Open Source License

            Plenty of people have raised concerns that Donald Trump’s sketchy new social media site, Truth Social, is just a lightly reskinned Mastodon, which is violating Mastodon’s fairly strict AGPLv3 license. As we had previously discussed, the aggressive (and sloppy) terms of service for the site claim that the code is proprietary, and even claims that “all source code, databases, functionality, software, website designs, audio, video, text, photographs, and graphics on the Site (collectively, the “Content”) and the trademarks, service marks, and logos contained therein (the “Marks”) are owned or controlled by us or licensed to us…”

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Re-thinking electronic mail

        There are many problems with the existing Internet email system, such as spam, scam, surveillance, insecurity, centralization, and complexity. The problems are starting to outweigh the benefits of the system. Fixing the problems by evolving the current system seems overwhelmingly difficult. This essay examines some solutions to the problems on the assumption that a completely new, parallel email system can be built.

        This is not a proposal for a new system, but an exploration of the solution space, meant to provoke constructive discussion.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | Building the Ecomegacities of the Future

      Environmentalism is often experienced as a desire to return to rural nature: from the pastoral sunlit uplands to the ancient forest. Yet more than half of the world human population lives in cities today.

    • Science

      • Space Dildoing with William Shatner

        Giggles aside, the scandalous venture that is space tourism is a perfect example why harsh penalties might be levelled on certain capitalists who think that climate change and pandemics are the sort of things best left to other people.  You do not have to be puritanical to turn your nose up at this.

        Bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson have called their orbital ventures all manner of things: space utilisation, desperate innovation, new frontier fumbling, human beings finding themselves in adolescent rediscovery.  It is little different to the embarkations from Spain and Portugal in the late fifteenth century for what would be, inaccurately and disturbingly termed, the New World.

    • Education

      • 50 years ago, The Electric Company used comedy to boost kids’ reading skills

        The show’s cast included Academy Award winner Rita Moreno, Bill Cosby and a then unknown Morgan Freeman. Guest stars included Mel Brooks, Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder and Joan Rivers. The teen pop band Short Circus (get it?) included future star Irene Cara. The comedy writers were among the best in the business, and later went on to work on hit TV shows including MASH and Everybody Loves Raymond.

        So, with all that going for it, why did The Electric Company run out of juice? The answer shines a light on the fate of many a public media endeavor where making money is as important as the mission statement.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Kyrie Irving Needs to Say “Not In My Name”

        When strung together, four monosyllabic words make one of the most powerful sentences in the English language: “Not in my name.”

      • Even a pandemic doesn’t stop bad acupuncture studies

        Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, an unfortunately all-too-common topic for me was the proliferation of dubious acupuncture studies from practitioners of what I like to refer to as quackademic medicine. These studies ranged from basic science studies using animal models to clinical trials that were not even really designed to test whether acupuncture works but instead were practically designed to produce a “positive” result, even when the result was negative, while still other studies rebrand “electroacupuncture” as “acupuncture.”

      • Critics See Menendez Villainy Equal to Sinema’s on Medicare Drug Pricing Fight

        As U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema continues to take heat for opposing Medicare drug pricing reforms in the Build Back Better package, another Big Pharma-backed Senate Democrat has come under fire in recent days for rejecting the popular cost-cutting provisions included in the budget reconciliation bill. 

        “Lowering prescription drug prices for patients, seniors, working families, and employers through negotiations in Medicare is not a controversial issue.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Conti Ransom Gang Starts Selling Access to Victims

          The Conti ransomware affiliate program appears to have altered its business plan recently. Organizations infected with Conti’s malware who refuse to negotiate a ransom payment are added to Conti’s victim shaming blog, where confidential files stolen from victims may be published or sold. But sometime over the past 48 hours, the cybercriminal syndicate updated its victim shaming blog to indicate that it is now selling access to many of the organizations it has hacked.

        • Russia Challenges Biden Again With Broad Cybersurveillance Operation [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Russia’s premier intelligence agency has launched another campaign to pierce thousands of U.S. government, corporate and think-tank computer networks, Microsoft officials and cybersecurity experts warned on Sunday, only months after President Biden imposed sanctions on Moscow in response to a series of sophisticated spy operations it had conducted around the world.

        • Cyber attacks have doubled in past year, GCHQ director warns

          Mr Fleming, director of GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), told how attacks have doubled in the last year, with [attackers] using software to lock files on computers before stopping victims from accessing their own data, essentially holding it hostage and demanding money from them.

        • RIA: September’s 190 cyber attacks highest monthly total this year so far [iophk: Windows TCO]

          A total of 190 significant cyber attacks were reported in September, the highest figure for any month this year. Several attacks took advantage of the education sector at its busiest time.

        • Microsoft claims SolarWinds attackers targeting cloud providers, MSPs [iophk: Windows TCO]

          It said in a blog post that the claimed activity had been observed in the US and Europe since May.

          News of the SolarWinds attacks came to light in December 2020, with both FireEye and Microsoft describing the attack as a global one, with a trojan being implanted into a file which was part of updates for the product; the compromised file was given the name SUNBURST. SolarWinds’ Orion monitoring software, the target, runs on Windows.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Tuesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (php7.3 and php7.4), Mageia (kernel and kernel-linus), openSUSE (chromium and virtualbox), Oracle (xstream), Red Hat (kernel, rh-ruby30-ruby, and samba), and Ubuntu (binutils and mysql-5.7).

          • Hacking the World – Part 4: The Cost and Future of Hacking (Plus: Safety Tips)
          • New Investigation Shows A US Journalist Critical Of The Saudi Government Was Hit With NSO Spyware

            Malware merchant NSO Group’s year of embarrassment continues. Leaked data published in July appeared to show NSO malware (namely its phone-hijacking malware Pegasus) had been used to target dissidents, journalists, religious leaders, and prominent politicians.

          • New Report Again Shows Global Telecom Networks Aren’t Remotely Secure

            Last year, when everybody was freaking out over TikTok, we noted that TikTok was likely the least of the internet’s security and privacy issues. In part because TikTok wasn’t doing anything that wasn’t being done by thousands of other app makers, telecoms, data brokers, or adtech companies in a country that can’t be bothered to pass even a basic privacy law for the internet era. If we’re serious about security and privacy solutions, we need to take a much broader view.

          • WAZUH The Open Source Security Platform

            With all-in-one deployment, you install and configure the Wazuh server and Elastic Stack on the same host.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Privacy is a Human Right

              Every year, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit that builds and distributes the technology behind the Tor network and Tor Browser holds a fundraiser and we ask for your support. (If you’re a Tor fan, you probably know that by now!) And every year, we unveil new gifts and a slogan that highlight our values and the importance of Tor.

              This year, our message is simple: Privacy is a human right.

            • European Parliament Calls for Bans on AI-based Biometric Recognition in Public Spaces, Predictive Policing, and Social Scoring

              Although an useful statement, the joint opinion doesn’t put any direct pressure on the European Commission. However, that’s not true of a resolution passed by the European Parliament, demanding strong safeguards when AI tools are used in law enforcement. Even though the vote is advisory, it is nonetheless a clear signal of what the European Parliament expects to see in the new EU AI law, and the changes that it will want from the European Commission when it comes to drawing up and voting on a final text. Here are the main demands:

            • Facebook reports $9 billion profit on day documents highlight internal anger

              The company’s latest quarterly earnings report came on the day that it faced a deluge of news stories based on thousands of internal documents obtained by news organizations, including NBC News. The documents, originating with former Facebook product manager and whistleblower Frances Haugen, provided the deepest look yet at the internal workings of the company and revealed employee dissent over the platform’s policies.

            • Facebook whistleblower ‘shocked’ at focus on metaverse

              “I think there is a view inside the company that safety is a cost center, it’s not a growth center, which I think is very short-term in thinking because Facebook’s own research has shown that when people have worse integrity experiences on the site, they are less likely to retain,” Haugen said.

              Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced earlier this month that Facebook plans to bring on 10,000 workers over the next five years for its metaverse project in Europe.

            • Facebook whistleblower ‘shocked’ by company’s investment in metaverse

              Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen was “shocked” when she heard the company planned to hire 10,000 engineers in Europe to work on the “metaverse,” a version of the internet based on virtual and augmented reality, when its money would be better spent on safety, she told British lawmakers Monday.

              “I was shocked to hear that Facebook wants to double down on the metaverse and that they’re going to hire 10,000 engineers in Europe to work on the metaverse,” she said. “Because I was like, ‘Wow, do you know what we could have done with safety if we had 10,000 more engineers?’ It would have been amazing.”

            • Facebook Pledges $10 Billion to Metaverse Project, As Mark Zuckerberg Signals New Focus

              The company also revealed plans to significantly change how it reports earnings going forward. Beginning in Q4, Facebook will report Facebook Reality Labs (FRL) as its own segment, separate from what the company will call “Family of Apps,” including Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. FRL will include all virtual reality and augmented reality hardware, software, and content. The company says its investment in FRL will reduce its 2021 profits by $10 billion, and Zuckerberg added that it plans to increase that spending in future years.

            • Facebook acknowledges Apple privacy changes have hit its revenue

              Facebook has cited the privacy rule changes made by Apple in April for the uncertain outlook it faces in the fourth quarter, after the company released third-quarter results on Monday.

            • Facebook ad revenue seen feeling brunt of Apple privacy changes

              The Apple privacy updates, which began rolling out in April and prevent advertisers from tracking iPhone users without their consent, has had investors in digital ad companies on edge for fear that reduced access to data would upend the nearly $100 billion mobile ad market.

            • The EU Parliament Took a Stance Against AI Mass Surveillance: What are the Global Implications?

              The European Parliament’s resolution on artificial intelligence in criminal law and its use by the police and judicial authorities in criminal matters reflects the need for stronger regulation of AI technologies

              The resolution to ban the use of facial recognition in public spaces is an important step in fighting against mass surveillance

              This resolution provides an opportunity to reconsider the EU’s role in the development and sale of AI technologies used for law enforcement by third countries

            • I Was [Cracked]. The Spyware Used Against Me Makes Us All Vulnerable.

              As a New York Times correspondent who covers the Middle East, I often speak to people who take great risks to share information that their authoritarian rulers want to keep secret. I take many precautions to protect these sources because if they were caught they could end up in jail, or dead.

              But in a world where we store so much of our personal and professional lives in the devices we carry in our pockets, and where surveillance software continues to become ever more sophisticated, we are all increasingly vulnerable.

              As it turned out, I didn’t even have to click on a link for my phone to be infected.

              To try to determine what had happened, I worked with Citizen Lab, a research institute at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto that studies spyware.

            • noyb publishes the draft decision by the DPC in the case against Facebook

              The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) has sent a draft decision to EDRi’s member noyb – European Center for Digital Rights and informed noyb that the draft decision would be shared with the other European Data Protection Authorities for consultation. The case concerns Facebook’s reliance on contracts for serving advertising to its users – the legal trick Facebook applied in May 2018 to bypass the GDPR.

            • Facebook sues [programmer] who scraped the data of 178 million users

              The feature basically allows users to synchronize their mobile phone contacts with Messenger to see who has a Facebook account. This allows users to connect with those in their contact list via Facebook if they so wish.

              The [access] took place over a period of just over a year, between January 2018 and September 2019. Alexander Alexandrovich reportedly used an automated tool to feed Facebook’s servers random phone numbers.

            • FB sues programmer who allegedly scraped data for 178 mn users

              The attacker supposedly conducted the campaign between January 2018 and September 2019, when Facebook shut down the importer, and started selling it on a black market forum in December 2020.

            • ‘Facebook Papers’ turn up heat on embattled social media platform

              Several news outlets published stories Monday based on thousands of internal Facebook documents from whistleblower Frances Haugen, ratcheting up the pressure on a company already besieged by weeks of high-profile criticism.

              Together the reports paint a picture of a company that prioritizes profits to the point of ignoring clear internal warning signs, dismisses concerns outside of the United States and is desperate to cling onto an aging user base.

            • The VPN Empire Built By Intelligence Agents
    • Defence/Aggression

      • Cruel Britannia: Britain’s Real Role in the World, with Mark Curtis
      • Heart of Darkness: Che Guevara’s Congo

        Soon after news of his death was announced, Che became an overnight revolutionary icon, though he was already headed in that direction. I remember seeing his image everywhere, especially in buses and taxis, when I lived in Mexico in 1975.  Che is still an iconic figure, though his image has been tarnished in part by his all-too-honest account of the seven months in 1965 when he failed to foment a revolution in the Congo, not far from the shores of Lake Tanganyika, which, he explained, constantly “tempted” him and offer an escape route to friendly Tanzania. Doomed from the start, the expedition seems to have been the beginning of the end for Che who wrote, “During those last hours of our time in the Congo I felt alone.” He added “never have I felt myself so alone.”

        Call the Congo, Che’s “Heart of Darkness,” the place where he confronted his own inner demons and was undone by them. Too embarrassed to return to Cuba immediately after the military defeat of the guerrilla army he had assembled, he spent six months living clandestinely at the Cuban Embassy in Dar es Salaam and at a “safe house” in Prague, evading would-be assassins.

      • Disabled and Abandoned in New York State Prisons

        Philip Nelson uses a cane and, when permitted, a wheelchair to navigate Five Points Correctional Facility in upstate New York. At 54, he has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension, and asthma.

      • Ocasio-Cortez Calls to Expel Members Who Aided Jan. 6 Plot After Fiery Report
      • Explosive Report Says GOP Congress Members Helped Plan Jan. 6 Capitol Attack
      • Colin Powell and The Limited Dream of Progress

        Nearly two decades later, and with Colin Powell having now passed from complications with Covid-19, I now feel less confused, less uncertain obviously. After two decades of the War on Terror, after two decades of surveillance and rampant Islamophobia, after two decades of war, neoliberal decay, and the rise of Trump, due to the complicity of Republican leaders, some of whom Powell himself served (Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush), it is now evident to me that what Powell represents is a particular strand of “progress” for some and misery for nearly everyone else.

        “General Powell was an exemplary soldier and an exemplary patriot,” President Barack Obama stated. Enter your email to subscribe to the CNN Newsletter The Point with Chris Cillizza.

      • New US-Mexico Agreement Under Biden Leaves Failed Drug War Policies Intact
      • Hollywood’s Love of Guns Increases the Risk of Shootings – Both on and Off the Se

        It is too early to speculate what went wrong during the filming of the Western movie “Rust.” But the incident, in which the film’s director was also injured, highlights a simple fact: Guns are commonplace in Hollywood films.

        As scholars of mass communication and risk behavior, we have studied the growing prevalence of firearms on screen and believe that the more guns there are in movies, the more likely it is that a shooting will occur – both in the “reel” world and in the “real” world.

      • EXCLUSIVE: Jan. 6 Protest Organizers Say They Participated in ‘Dozens’ of Planning Meetings With Members of Congress and White House Staff

        The two sources, both of whom have been granted anonymity due to the ongoing investigation, describe participating in “dozens” of planning briefings ahead of that day when Trump supporters broke into the Capitol as his election loss to President Joe Biden was being certified.

      • Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled

        A Sunday story from Rolling Stone didn’t directly tie lawmakers to the violent assault, but two sources who spoke to the outlet instead detailed multiple meetings with members of Congress to coordinate contesting the election results and plan the rallies that preceded the attack.

      • Any Lawmaker Involved in Planning Jan. 6 Insurrection ‘Must Be Expelled,’ Says AOC

        In response to new reporting that several congressional Republicans and White House officials were “intimately involved” in planning the January 6 Capitol attack—part of former President Donald Trump’s far-reaching election subversion plot—Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Sunday night demanded the expulsion of any lawmaker who aided and abetted the violent assault on U.S. democracy.

        “Any member of Congress who helped plot a terrorist attack on our nation’s Capitol must be expelled,” tweeted Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). “This was a terror attack. 138 injured, almost 10 dead. Those responsible remain a danger to our democracy, our country, and human life in the vicinity of our Capitol and beyond.”

      • ‘A Danger to Our Democracy’: AOC, Others React to Bombshell Report That GOP Members Met With Jan. 6 Planners

        Rolling Stone‘s bomshell report that multiple Republican members of Congress met with organizers of the Stop the Steal event preceding the Capitol insurrection has elicited outrage across the nation — and through the halls of Congress. Lawmakers have responded to the story published Sunday night in droves, with some Democratic representatives going so far as to push for the expulsion of any members of Congress who were involved in planning the attack on the Capitol that occurred after the rally.

        “They tried to overthrow the government, they had a plan, they executed it, and they broke many laws along the way,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), tweeted shortly after the report was published Sunday night. “The problem won’t naturally fade away,” he added, noting that Trump appears to be gearing up for a 2024 run at the White House. “It must be confronted.”

      • Sudan’s military places civilian prime minister under house arrest

        Driving the news: Military units began arresting civilian officials and prominent political leaders, among them adversaries of General Burhan, early on Monday.

      • Hindu Genocide intolerable; UN should send Peace Keeping Force to Bangladesh: VHP

        Dr. Jain said that the UNO and all human rights organizations remain crippled. Islamic fundamentalists are bent on making Bangladesh a country totally devoid of Hindus. The Bangladesh government has become a mute spectator.

        Instead of controlling the radical Jihadis, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh is advising the Government of Bharat that it should not allow any such incident to happen in Bharat/India that would ‘inflame the Muslims’ in Bangladesh. After this statement of Sheikh Hasina, Muslim fundamentalists became more frenzied and the brutal atrocities on Hindus increased. The cycle of atrocities shows no sign of stopping yet.

        The Joint General Secretary of VHP said that Bangladesh is a declared Islamic country with Islam as its state religion. That is why, like Afghanistan and Pakistan, there have been heinous atrocities on Hindus in Bangladesh since the beginning, but the current developments have broken all the previous records.

      • Iskcon Kolkata devotees gather outside Bangladesh mission

        Iskcon has also written to the UN to step in and send a delegation. “Did the minorities of Bangladesh, who suffered the deadly Noakhali riots of 1946 and the massacre of 1971, stay back to see this day?” said the letter written by Iskcon Kolkata vice-president Radharaman Das to UN secretary general Antonio Guterres.

      • Biden faces test as Turkey prepares new attack on Syrian Kurds

        Biden may face within days his first major test in the Middle East. What is at issue, after all, has never been terrorism. The Turks are hard-pressed to back their accusations of cross-border Kurdish terrorism with evidence. Turkey’s currency, meanwhile, is in free fall, as is what remains of Erdogan’s popularity. True to form, the Turkish leader appears now to take a page out of the distraction playbook of Argentine military dictator Leopoldo Galtieri, who ordered the invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982, and Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who in 1990 ordered the invasion of Kuwait.

      • Dread among Tibetans as ‘butcher of Xinjiang’ named new Tibet party boss

        The newly appointed Chinese Communist Party (CCP) boss in Tibet, a hardline apparatchik under multiple international sanctions for severe human rights abuses in neighboring Xinjiang, is expected to apply to Tibet’s Buddhists the same harsh policies carried out against the Muslims in Xinjiang, Tibetans and experts said.

        Wang Junzheng, deputy CCP boss and security chief in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), has overseen atrocities against the Uyghurs and other Turkic minorities in the XUAR that have been labeled genocide in Western capitals.

        Tibet advocates greeted the announcement Monday of the promotio n of the 58-year-old Wang with concern that he will take the repression Tibetans have known for decades to a higher-level, and they called for the continuation of coordinated sanctions on him by Britain, Canada, the European Union and the U.S.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • How Did Adrian Lamo Die?

        To date, the authorities have not been able to figure out the mystery behind Adrian Lamo’s death, although they did find a sticker on his body during the subsequent investigation, which according to The Daily Mail, read, “Adrian Lamo Project Vigilant Assistant Director Threat Analysis/Investigation 70 Bates Street Northwest Washington DC 20001.” Determined to follow this lead, authorities questioned several people about Project Vigilant but did not receive a satisfactory answer. Although reports mention that Project Vigilant was a now-defunct secret government agency, most people who heard of it refused to speak about it because of non-disclosure agreements.

        Thus, even in the face of multiple speculations around Adrian’s death, the general consensus believes that the hacker died after ingesting a mixture of different chemicals and drugs. However, it should be noted that such a belief is not official, and the police still maintain that the reason behind Adrian Lamo’s death is undetermined.

    • Environment

      • Plastic pollution on course to double by 2030

        Plastic pollution in oceans and other bodies of water continues to grow sharply and could more than double by 2030, according to an assessment released on Thursday by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

        The report highlights dire consequences for health, the economy, biodiversity and the climate. It also says a drastic reduction in unnecessary, avoidable and problematic plastic, is crucial to addressing the global pollution crisis overall.

      • Facing Prison, Steven Donziger Refuses to Be Silenced

        Donziger offered an additional explanation for the intensity of Chevron’s attacks against him, “There are individuals within Chevron who want to destroy my life, because they’re so angry at the role I’ve played in helping previously marginalized peoples to empower themselves to such an extent that they were actually able to win a legal case against Chevron. Those people in Chevron never expected that to happen,” he said. “They feel, ‘We’re in charge.’ Their view is very racist. They see the people in Ecuador as weak and dumb.”

      • ‘This Is an Emergency’: Oxfam Says Rich Nations’ $100 Billion Climate Pledge Not Good Enough

        Rich nations will likely be three years late in starting to fulfill their pledged $100 billion in annual funds to help developing nations tackle the climate emergency, according to a document out Monday, sparking outcry from advocates for climate justice.

        Developing countries have put up with accounting tricks, delays, and broken promises for far too long.

      • Opinion | The Path to a Livable Future

        This month will mark a critical juncture in the struggle to avoid climate catastrophe. At the COP26 global climate summit kicking off next week in Glasgow, Scotland, negotiators will be faced with the urgent need to get the world economy off the business-as-usual track that will take the Earth up to and beyond 3 degrees Celsius of excess heating before this century’s end, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Yet so far, the pledges of rich nations to cut greenhouse-gas emissions have been far too weak to rein in the temperature rise. Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s climate plans hang in the balance. If Congress fails to pass the reconciliation bill, the next opportunity for the United States to take effective climate action may not arise until it’s too late.   

      • Ahead of COP26, Top Biden Appointees Pushing Natural Gas Are Undermining His Climate Credibility

        In roughly two weeks, leaders from around the world will converge on Glasgow for COP26, the 26th United Nations Climate Change summit and U.S. President Joe Biden will be among them — setting the stage to further reclaim the United States’ position as an international climate leader and a willing participant in the global discourse about how to save the planet.

        Since officially taking over the White House in January, which formally marked the end of the Trump presidency, the Biden administration has been bold in its promise to usher in a new era where tackling climate change head-on would be put at the center of U.S. foreign policy and national security. On Inauguration Day, Biden hit the ground running and in the following days signed a flurry of executive orders aimed at doing just that.

      • Humanity ‘Way Off Track’: WMO Says Atmospheric Carbon at Level Unseen in 3 Million Years

        Carbon dioxide concentrations reached a new record high in 2020, with comparable levels not seen for roughly 3 million years, the United Nations weather agency said Monday.

        “There is no time to lose.”

      • Energy

        • Opinion | A Tale of Two Damages: Double Standard for Jessica Reznicek and Energy Transfer Partners

          Jessica Reznicek was sentenced to eight years in federal prison, ordered to pay millions in fines and labeled a terrorist by the government for her actions of civil disobedience that damaged the equipment of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) is owned by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) a $54 billion dollar corporation that also co-owns the Bayou Bridge Pipeline. When ETP intentionally and illegally damaged the private property of hundreds of people in Louisiana, the company received no criminal consequences at all.

        • Just months after bankruptcy, Hertz says it will buy 100,000 Teslas for new electric fleet

          Hertz will add 100,000 Teslas — primarily the Model 3 — to its fleet by the end of 2022, Fields said in a statement. It also will set up a network of 3,000 quick chargers in 65 markets by the end of next year. Customers will also have access to Tesla’s own Supercharger network.

          Tesla stock surged Monday, propelling the electric car maker’s valuation closer to $1 trillion.

          The deal is “non-exclusive,” Hertz spokesman Ray Day told NBC News, adding that the rental company “is open to working with all automakers.”

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Opinion | We Need to Tax the Billionaires Right Now

        We are in a historic (and potentially very brief!) political moment when progressives have a real shot at winning a path-breaking tax on the nation’s super-wealthy.

      • Phil Knight’s Billion-Dollar Philanthropy: Generosity or Self-Service?
      • Federal Reserve Officials Banned From Owning Individual Stock After Scandal
      • Rep. Ro Khanna Slams Conservative Democrats for Holding Back Build Back Better Plan

        U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said over the weekend that Democrats are close to reaching a deal on a pair of major budget bills that form the backbone of President Biden’s domestic agenda. Progressives in Congress have spent months defending provisions such as Medicare benefits, paid family leave and free community college, but conservative Democrats such as Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema have slashed them from the budget. Congressmember Ro Khanna draws a hard line on items such as climate provisions, as per President Joe Biden’s wishes ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference “to show American leadership” and aim for a “50% reduction by 2030” on greenhouse gas pollution.

      • Opinion | Don’t Believe the Corporate “Labor Shortage” Bullsh*t

        For the first time in years, American workers have enough bargaining leverage to demand better working conditions and higher wages—and are refusing to work until they get them.

      • Why the Super-Rich Are Flocking to South Dakota

        For the past 30 years, South Dakota has been a bastion of extreme wealth, a place for multimillionaires and billionaires around the world to stash their money in vehicles known as trusts. As the explosive Pandora Papers investigation has exposed, the world’s wealthy employ complex schemes in order to avoid taxation, and the use of trusts is an essential strategy.

      • The Social Security Disability Trust Fund Has Gotten Healthier: Have Workers?

        The program’s finances improved substantially the next year and have continued to improve in subsequent years. The most recent report projects the date of the Trust Fund’s depletion as 2057. The improvement in finances is due to a lower rate of allowances and, since 2010, fewer people applying. We trace this pattern in the discussion below.

        Figure 1 below shows the projected date of the DI trust fund’s exhaustion from the annual Trustees’ Reports.

      • Why Not a Financial Transactions Tax?

        Senators Warren & Sanders have also been talking for months about a ‘wealth tax’. That idea has been rejected outright by nearly all Democrats in Congress and Biden. The latest effort to come up with some wealth tax to pay for the Build Back Better bill is in current discussion in the tax committees in Congress. It proposes to tax just the 745 US billionaires whose wealth increased by $2.1T and 70% just since the Covid crisis began 18 months ago. The problem with this proposal is it taxes the level of wealth attained in stocks and bonds by the billionaires when the prices of those stocks and bonds rise. However, it leaves open the prospect of massive tax cuts on billionaires wealth when prices of stocks and bonds decline. Better is to tax the transactions that lead to that wealth accumulation instead of the level of the wealth. A financial transactions tax does just that. And prevents a subsequent massive tax cut later that a wealth tax on levels of wealth makes possible.

        All the phony positioning in Congress (Biden’s proposals, Warren’s, billionaire tax discussions, etc.) over the attempt to ‘claw back’ just some of Trump’s $4.5T 2017 tax cuts totally ignores the real solution to all of the financing of the fiscal stimulus bills: A Financial Transactions Tax.  The total cost of the $.55t new spending in the Infrastructure bill and the current $1.9T in the Build Back Better (human infrastructure) bill could be completely PAID FOR WITH A FINANCIAL TRANSACTION TAX!

      • Proposal to Rein in Mega IRAs Faces Lobbying Resistance From Retirement Industry

        The Democratic plan to crack down on individual retirement accounts worth hundreds of millions, even billions, of dollars and to tighten the rules governing IRA investments is facing intense opposition from several industry groups seeking to kill or soften the proposed reforms.

        Several retirement industry firms, including one backed by tech investor Peter Thiel, who amassed a multibillion-dollar IRA, have mounted a lobbying push against the plan, disclosure filings show. They have hired an array of former Capitol Hill staffers, a former congressman and at least one former U.S. senator to fight efforts to rein in and regulate the accounts.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Teamsters’ Election Will Determine Strike Power of North America’s Largest Union
      • Opinion | The Senate Must End the Filibuster

        On Nov. 3, 2020, Americans went to the polls in record numbers and voted to give Democrats control of the House, Senate, and the White House based on the promise that we would finally deliver on the most pressing issues facing our country, including voting and civil rights, health care, climate change, immigration and gun safety.

      • Bill McKibben and Akaya Windwood on Their New Initative, Third Act

        Bill McKibben popped up in the Zoom window on my laptop screen looking a little haggard, perhaps showing his 60 years, having just spent many hours in the custody of the D.C. police. Logging in from his Washington hotel room, he had been arrested that morning in front of the White House, just one of the hundreds engaging in mass civil disobedience as part of the Indigenous-led The People vs. Fossil Fuels week of actions.

      • Corporate Dems of US Senate Blamed as GOP Texas Governor Approves ‘Rigged’ Voting Maps

        Bolstering criticism of the few U.S. Senate Democrats who continue to impede key party priorities—including voting rights protections—by refusing to reform or abolish the filibuster, Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday signed “extremely gerrymandered” political maps that could help the GOP retain control of the state for another decade.

        “It is a monumentally bad idea to let politicians draw their own district maps.”

      • Joe Manchin’s Surefire Strategy to Ensure That Democrats Lose in 2022

        If Joe Manchin gets what he wants in negotiations with the Biden White House and his fellow Democratic senators regarding climate policy, which now seems likely, it could have a devastating impact on the planet—and on Democrats’ prospects in 2022.

      • ‘Fragile’ song pillorying China’s online troll army gets millions of views

        Pop culture expert Chuang Chia-ying, associate professor of Taiwanese Language and Literature of at National Taiwan Normal University, said the incident showed that music is politics.

      • What is the Relief You Seek?

        From company personnel officers to politicians, those who attend to official “complaints” say that people who present grievances and complaints almost never state the exact relief they seek. But agencies, legislators, and the entire American political process are organized to deal with people who seek specific solutions to specific problems. So being very specific about your goal helps everybody understand what you want—including your own volunteers.

        Identify the goal of your campaign and put it in writing and know and state the specific relief you seek.

      • Profits Before People: The Facebook Papers Expose Tech Giant Greed

        Internal documents dubbed “The Facebook Papers” were published widely Monday by an international consortium of news outlets who jointly obtained the redacted materials recently made available to the U.S. Congress by company whistleblower Frances Haugen.

        “It’s time for immediate action to hold the company accountable for the many harms it’s inflicted on our democracy.”

      • Facebook Wrestles With the Features It Used to Define Social Networking

        What researchers found was often far from positive. Time and again, they determined that people misused key features or that those features amplified toxic content, among other effects. In an August 2019 internal memo, several researchers said it was Facebook’s “core product mechanics” — meaning the basics of how the product functioned — that had let misinformation and hate speech flourish on the site.

        “The mechanics of our platform are not neutral,” they concluded.

      • The Facebook Papers Spur More Calls to ‘Break Them Up!’

        “The Facebook Papers” on Monday prompted longtime critics of Big Tech to renew demands for policymakers within and beyond the United States to crack down on and even break up the social media giant.

        A consortium of 17 American news outlets—along with a separate group of European newsrooms—on Friday began publishing articles on internal documents obtained by former employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen, though much of the reporting was released Monday.

      • Rep. Ro Khanna, Grandson of Activist Jailed with Gandhi Movement, Decries Facebook’s Role in India

        A consortium of 17 news outlets is examining the “Facebook Papers,” a trove of internal documents turned over to federal regulators by Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen that sheds new light on the social media giant’s role in spreading misinformation and polarizing content. The documents reveal most of Facebook’s efforts to combat online hate are focused on the United States, even though 90% of users are outside the country. A test account set up by Facebook managers to represent an average young adult user in India quickly became flooded with Hindu nationalist propaganda, anti-Muslim hate speech and incitements to violence. This is “deeply concerning,” says Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna, who represents Silicon Valley, and notes his grandfather was active in Gandhi’s independence movement and spent several years in jail for promoting human rights. Khanna says Facebook needs to take remedial action and acknowledge what’s wrong. “You need legal remedies.”

      • “The Facebook Papers” Expose Tech Giant’s Greed
      • Opinion | Media Outlets Flood the Zone With News of Facebook’s Failure

        If you decided to take a breather this weekend from the relentless stream of Facebook news, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do.

      • Rep. Ro Khanna Decries Facebook’s Role in India
      • MPs worry about ‘civil service leaks’ as ex-staff join Facebook

        “The problem is that DCMS [Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport] officials think it’s their job to work there for four years then get a job at Facebook,” the source said. “They don’t get scrutinised by Acoba [the advisory committee on business appointments, which vets the appointments of former crown servants] except at the most senior [...]

      • Inside the Big Facebook Leak

        She became one of the greatest sources of the century, turning over the tens of thousands of pages of internal documents she had collected. Starting Sept. 13, the Journal justified her confidence with a meticulous rollout that included 11 major articles by Horwitz and other reporters cleverly packaged under a catchy rubric, The Facebook Files.

        Key revelations included how Facebook executives handled politicized lies, including Donald Trump’s claims of election fraud. Often, the company chose to let misinformation spread widely, to keep more people logging on. The series also noted the lengths that Facebook went to in its desperation to hang on to its audience as young people drifted away from its platforms.

      • Legislation would allow Pennsylvanians to sue big tech companies for censorship

        Sens. Doug Mastriano, R-Gettysburg, and Scott Hutchinson, R-Oil City, said their Senate Bill 604, also called the Social Media Accountability Act, would create a private right of action to allow residents to sue social media companies like Facebook, Youtube and Twitter for banning or censoring their account due to sharing religious or political beliefs on the platform.

        A censored or banned user can seek up to $75,000 in statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, and other forms of relief, the senators said.

        One of the bill provisions requires the social media company to notify the user as to why their account was banned or disabled within 30 days and offer a course of action for reinstatement.

      • Turkey to declare 10 ambassadors ‘persona non grata’

        It concluded that Kavala’s arrest was based on political motives, without any reasonable evidence backing the accusations. However, Turkish officials did not implement the decision and said the ECHR’s judgment was not final.

        On September 17, the Council of Europe issued Turkey a final warning to release the 64-year-old entrepreneur.

        It warned that infringement proceedings against Ankara would start at the end of November, if Kavala was not freed by then.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Trump’s Broken Social Media Venture Is Valued At Billions Of Dollars And It’s Breaking Experts’ Brains

        Last week we wrote a bit about Trump’s new planned social media website, Truth Social (which forbids too many capital letters, so I will oblige by not capitalizing the entire “Truth” part of the name, as Trump’s branding apparently prefers). We mostly focused on the ridiculous terms of service (forbidding capital letters among other things), and the fact that it was already kicking people off the system (who only got on the system because Trump’s coders apparently failed to properly secure the site pre-launch). We also talked briefly about how it appeared to be a reskin of Mastodon, and that’s potentially an interesting legal issue, because it certainly appears to be violating the AGPLv3 license for Mastodon.

      • TikTok, Snapchat executives to make Capitol Hill debuts

        The senators should grill the companies — especially TikTok and YouTube, which are driven by sophisticated algorithms that recommend video content to users — about personalizing content in ways that lead to “excessive time” on platforms and exposure to potentially harmful content, Golin said.

      • Facebook says it’s refocusing company on ‘serving young adults’

        Zuckerberg expects the changes to take years. One of the more immediate shifts could be to Instagram, which he says will see “significant changes” to lean further into video and make Reels “a more central part of the experience.”

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Over 500 Scholars Launch Fightback Against Israel Lobby’s Antisemitism Smear of UK Academics

        Hundreds of international scholars have begun a fightback against pro-Israel lobbyists who have been scoring increasingly high-profile victories on UK campuses as they seek to curb academic freedoms under the guise of stamping out antisemitism. 

      • Internet disrupted in Sudan amid reports of coup attempt

        Network data from NetBlocks confirm a significant disruption to internet service in Sudan from the morning of Monday 25 October 2021 affecting cellular and some fixed-line connectivity on multiple providers. The incident is ongoing as of 8:30 a.m. UTC and comes amid reports that senior government officials have been detained in an apparent military coup attempt.

      • Pakistan: Deadly clashes as banned Islamist party continues protest

        TLP supporters had gathered on Friday to march to the capital, Islamabad. They are demanding the release of their detained leader Saad Rizvi and the expulsion of the French ambassador.

        Rizvi was arrested in 2020 during demonstrations against the publication in France of caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad.

      • Lawsuit Targets Massachusetts Public School System for Racial Segregation, Censoring Students

        The school system has held “multiple racially segregated events for students,” the Parents Defending Education lawsuit said, describing how the school district’s equity director lamented that the school did not keep a list of students sorted by race and ordered white students not to come to certain events.


        The school district’s Biased Speech Policy’s “overbroad, vague restrictions on student speech” empowered certain students to “punish classmates who express unpopular views,” the lawsuit said.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Jeff Mackler and Kevin Gosztola Discuss Julian Assange – The Project Censored Show

        Kevin Gosztola is the managing editor of the news web site Shadowproof.com. He has covered the Julian Assange legal proceedings in the UK from the beginning, as well as other press-freedom and whistleblower cases. Mickey’s conversation with Kevin Gosztola is a rebroadcast from a Project Censored Show of this past August.

      • Amnesty Australia to Prime Minister Scott Morrison – Must Intervene and Demand the US Drop the Charges Against Julian Assange

        Ahead of the US appeal hearing on the extradition of Julian Assange, Amnesty International has written to both Prime Scott Morrison and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne, urging the Australian Government to engage in a dialogue with the US and demand that all charges against Assange be dropped.

      • Free Julian Assange: Snowden, Varoufakis, Corbyn & Tariq Ali Speak Out Ahead of Extradition Hearing

        As jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange faces an extradition hearing Wednesday in London, supporters gathered Friday for the Belmarsh Tribunal, named for the Belmarsh maximum security prison where Assange is being held. The mock trial highlighted major WikiLeaks revelations of U.S. war crimes and demanded Assange’s freedom. Assange faces up to 175 years in prison in the U.S. under the Espionage Act for publishing classified documents exposing U.S. war crimes. Though a British judge blocked his extradition in January, the U.S. appealed the decision. We feature speakers from the tribunal, including writer Tariq Ali, Afghan political activist Selay Ghaffar, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis and former Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn. “Julian, far from being indicted, should actually be a hero,” said Ali. “He should never have been kept in prison for bail. He should not be in prison now awaiting a trial for extradition. He should be released.” We also hear from Srećko Horvat, philosopher and Belmarsh Tribunal chair; Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist; and Stella Morris, partner of Julian Assange.

      • Fate of Anti-War Journalism Lies in Upcoming Assange Hearings

        These hearings, taking place on October 27 and 28, are an attempt to appeal the decision that Judge Vanessa Baraitser made earlier this year to not extradite Assange to the United States because it is likely he will commit suicide if subjected to the inhumane conditions of the U.S. prison system. However, while this decision was focused on his health, these hearings are really about what the Assange case has always been about: the United States’ determination to silence anyone who exposes the crimes of the U.S. empire.

        Leading press freedom and human rights organizations have been clear about the implications of a potential Assange extradition and have called on President Biden to drop the case. If there were still any doubts that the Department of Justice’s focus on Assange was corrupt and politically motivated, those who remain skeptical should consider two major revelations about the U.S. campaign against Assange since the last hearing.

      • US To Begin UK Appeal Against Extradition Of Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange

        But the US case raised free speech issues, with Assange and his defenders maintaining that WikiLeaks enjoys the rights of any other media to publish secret materials in the public interest.

        Rebecca Vincent, of media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), said he had been “targeted for his contributions to public interest reporting” and urged President Joe Biden to drop the case.

      • Where is Julian Assange Now?

        Julian Assange started WikiLeaks in 2006 with the intent to reveal a plethora of “pertinent” information. Although he published numerous reports and documents from its inception, the publication of over half a million classified US government and army documents in 2010 threw him into the spotlight. It was later revealed that army analyst Chelsea Manning (Bradley Manning) was the one who leaked the documents. While Chelsea was prosecuted according to US laws, various agencies called out for Assange to be held responsible.

      • UK protest against extradition of Assange to US

        Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange gathered in centr al London on Saturday. Holding signs reading “Don’t extradite Assange”, they marched from the BBC’s New Broadcasting House building down a London street. (Oct. 23)

      • New questions on Assange and the CIA

        The extradition case depends on the promise of a fair trial and humane treatment if Assange faces US justice. These fresh revelations surely render that case laughable?

        They also make wholly unbelievable the USA’s insistence that its pursuit of Assange is not “political”.

        For Assange, who remains in HMP Belmarsh, this is a fresh crumb of hope. For those who believe in an unfettered media, however, a dark cloud remains.

      • Successful US Assange extradition appeal ‘unthinkable’ says WikiLeaks editor

        The briefing panel, which also included Mr Assange’s lawyer and partner Stella Moris and director of international campaigns at Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Rebecca Vincent, said the forthcoming hearing follows an investigation, published by Yahoo News, which alleged plots to abduct or kill Mr Assange

        A security firm, under investigation in Madrid, is also alleged to have spied on Mr Assange on behalf of the CIA while he was in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and been part of the alleged plot.

        Ms Moris said: “This is a game-changer going into the appeal because it shows the true nature, the true origins, the true criminality of the US actions against Julian and it completely taints any semblance of legality of this appeal going into it.”

      • China drops Caixin from list of news sources pre-approved to syndicate content

        China’s internet regulator has updated a whitelist of pre-approved media organizations whose copy may be freely used by websites behind the Great Firewall, omitting the cutting-edge, privately owned Caixin Media.

        In a move aimed at tightening control of the “master switch” of online news and information, the Cyberspace Administration of China said it had made the changes to “adapt to a new situation, recent changes and new demands” in the online information sector.

      • Three very sick journalists denied medical care in Egyptian prisons

        “We call on the authorities to display some humanity by releasing these journalists, whose state of health is incompatible with imprisonment,” said Sabrina Bennoui, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. “If the judicial system refuses to recognise the arbitrary nature of their detention, it should at least allow them to receive proper medical care.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Cultivated Meat and the Prayer of Saint Francis

        While the passage is frequently attributed to Saint Francis of Assisi, it actually appears to have been written by an anonymous author in the lead-up to the First World War. The misunderstanding can be traced back to a mass-produced prayer card featuring an image of the Italian friar with the relevant text.

        Whoever wrote it, the passage offers a great deal of timeless wisdom in a small number of densely-packed lines. The opening is particularly important: “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.” As someone who cares about our treatment of animals, especially those we use for food, I’ve thought about this quite a bit in recent months.

      • Collective Responsibility and Our Moral Compass

        While there is no scale of being shocked (outraged? appalled? offended? dismayed?) or a measurement of how out of alignment the traditional moral compass has become, what is one to think about people in a train who did nothing while witnessing a woman being sexually assaulted in the same railroad car? Eduardo Medina, in the New York Times, recently reported that: “As a woman was being raped while on a train near Philadelphia on Wednesday night, riders watched, failed to intervene and did not call 911, the authorities said.”

        The head of the local police department, Timothy Bernhardt, was not sure of how many people were in the car at the time, but he was quoted as saying: “Collectively, they could have gotten together and done something. Anybody that was on that train,” he warned, “has to look in the mirror and ask why they didn’t interfere or why they didn’t do something.”

      • Liberty University Discourages and Dismisses Students’ Reports of Sexual Assault

        When Elizabeth Axley first told Liberty University officials she had been raped, she was confident they’d do the right thing. After all, the evangelical Christian school invoked scripture to encourage students to report abuse.

      • Richard Powers’s Radical Parenting Lessons

        Being a successful parent is often a combination of skill and luck. It would be great if raising a child were more like an equation: Find the perfect algorithm for decisions, and your kid will have a happy childhood before becoming a responsible and compassionate adult. But most parents learn that no matter how much they want to mold their children into perfect human beings, kids have their own identity—their own spark, their own flaws, needs, idiosyncrasies, and desires.

      • Frontex and Europol: How refugees are tracked digitally

        EU agencies advise increased confiscation and extraction of asylum seekers‘ mobile phones and now provide a manual on how to do so. Apps to encrypt or disguise locations are disliked in the report as „countermeasures“ to surveillance.

      • Rights and Wrongs
      • Progressives Vow to ‘Push Very Hard’ to Keep Agenda From Being Gutted Beyond Recognition

        Reps. Ro Khanna,  Ilhan Omar, and other House progressives on Monday stressed that they will fight for the inclusion of dental, hearing, and vision benefits, along with a host of other popular measures, in the Build Back Better agenda put on the chopping block by corporate Democrats.

        Echoing Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) weekend remarks that a proposed expansion of Medicare benefits—one of the pending legislative package’s most popular provisions—is “not coming out” of the reconciliation bill to appease right-wing Democrats, Khanna (D-Calif.) told Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman that the Vermont Independent “is absolutely right.”

      • ‘An Act of Cowardice’: 21 Israel-Based Groups Condemn Terror Label for Palestine NGOs

        Twenty-one Israel-based civil society groups on Sunday joined Palestine defenders around the world in condemning the Israeli government’s labeling of six Palestinian advocacy groups as terrorist organizations, calling the move “an act of cowardice.”

        Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s “designation of prominent Palestinian civil society organizations, among them our colleagues in the Palestinian human rights community, as terrorist organizations is a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work,” the groups said in a statement.

      • After Taking A Couple Of Steps Towards Trimming Back Qualified Immunity, The Supreme Court Regresses To The Mean

        The Supreme Court spent decades making it all but impossible for citizens to successfully sue law enforcement officers for violating their rights. The Supreme Court created the doctrine of “qualified immunity” nearly 40 years ago and has spent most of the intervening years honing it into a nearly impenetrable shield for officers who violate rights.

      • Husband Of Detained Iranian-British Woman Announces Hunger Strike

        The initial court ruling against Zaghari-Ratcliffe was five years plus a one-year ban on traveling abroad. The extra year added to her sentence means Zaghari-Ratcliffe cannot leave Iran to join her husband and 7-year-old daughter in London for nearly two more years.

      • “Black box” Amazon: algorithm discriminates customers

        noyb filed another complaint against Amazon Europe today. The e-commerce giant offers customers the possibility to pay for products later via “Monthly Invoice”. A customer who was rejected for this payment method without any reasons given submitted an access request to Amazon in order to find out why he was rejected. The company refused to provide any information.

      • German Islamic State Convert Jailed for Death of Girl She Bought As Slave

        A German woman who joined the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for allowing a Yazidi girl she and her husband “purchased” as a slave to die of thirst.

        Jennifer Wenisch, 30, was sentenced at a court in Munich after being found guilty of two counts of crimes against humanity in the form of enslavement as well as aiding and abetting the 5-year-old victim’s killing by failing to help her, reported the Agency France-Presse news agency.

      • German Islamic State woman gets 10 years for war crime death of Yazidi girl

        Wenisch was found guilty of “two crimes against humanity in the form of enslavement,” as well as aiding and abetting the girl’s killing by failing to offer help, and membership of a terrorist organization.

        Wenisch and her IS husband “purchased” a Yazidi woman and child as household “slaves,” whom they held captive while living in then IS-occupied Mosul, Iraq, in 2015, the court found.

      • German Woman Who Joined ISIS Faces Trial Over “Slave” Girl’s Murder

        Germany has charged several German and foreign nationals with war crimes and crimes against humanity carried out abroad, using the legal principle of universal jurisdiction which allows crimes to be prosecuted even if they were committed in a foreign country.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Closing the Loopholes in EU’s Net Neutrality Framework

        The European net neutrality rules are being reformed to fix one of the biggest loopholes in the EU‘s framework: Zero-Rating. EDRi has been vocal about the dangers of Zero-Rating, a practice by which telecoms companies discriminate between online services by making some data traffic more expensive than other such traffic. Prompted by three judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Board of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) has acknowledged that their previous 2016 Guidelines on how to enforce the Net Neutrality Regulation have to be overhauled. The direction of the reform is looking to confirm the previous submissions of EDRi over the past six years and today we add another submission to BEREC with the hope of fixing the last loophole in Europe’s net neutrality framework.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • You Shall Not Pass! Wikimedia Foundation Denied Observer Status At WIPO

          China blocked the Wikimedia Foundation’s bid for observer status at WIPO. This is the second time this has happened after the Foundation’s initial application in 2020. Wikimedia’s exclusion sets a worrying precedent and should alert European lawmakers who are concerned about the democratic governance of intergovernmental organizations.

        • ‘Free Download Manager’ Removes YouTube Support After Google Complaint

          “Free Download Manager” is an iconic download tool that’s been around for nearly two decades. In 2007, the software was one of the first applications to support YouTube downloads but that’s come to an end, for now. Following a complaint from YouTube parent Google, the functionality was suddenly removed a few days ago.

        • Hollywood & Netflix Win New High Court Injunction to Block Pirate Streaming Sites

          Columbia Pictures, Disney, Paramount, Universal, Warner and Netflix have obtained a new injunction from the High Court in London. It requires six major ISPs to block access to five pirate streaming portals with tens of millions of visitors. They appear to have been on the radar of the Motion Picture Association for some time.

        • The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 105: NDP MP Charlie Angus on Canada’s Failed Digital Policy and His Hopes for the Next Parliamentary Session

          CPAC, NDP MP Charlie Angus Calls for Stronger Regulation of Facebook

        • Creative Commons (CC) Certificate: available in Yorùbá, Burmese and Turkish!

          Today, Creative Commons proudly presents the latest translations of the CC Certificate course content. Thanks to CC Nigeria, CC Turkey, and the following individuals, our course content on open licensing and recommended practices for open sharing are available to over 140M Yorùbá, Burmese, Turkish language speakers around the world. 

        • Open Minds Podcast: Heather Joseph of SPARC

          Happy International Open Access Week! Open Access Week is a global, community-driven week of action to open up access to research, taking place from October 25-31 this year. In celebration of this, our guest on this episode is Heather Joseph, the Executive Director of SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). SPARC is a global advocacy organization working to make research and education open and equitable by design—for everyone. Heather is a United States-based advocate for open access and academic journal publishing reform. Under her stewardship, SPARC has become widely recognized as the leading international force for effective open access policies and practices.

[Meme] Sounds Legit

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:56 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

I got my Masters degree in the EPO's investigative unit and passed the EQE exam in a university

'Staff at the European Patent Office went on strike accusing the organization of corruption: specifically, stretching the standards for patents in order to make more money.' -Richard Stallman

Summary: When not cheating on the wife, the EPO‘s “doyen” cheats in the exams and makes it into the epi Council, in effect working “[t]owards a common understanding [sic] of quality” (warning: epo.org link) with “patent attorneys nominated as “assessors” by the EPO, epi and BusinessEurope” (notorious lobbyists for dictators [1, 2], litigation, and monopolies, neither business nor science)

[Meme] Mayoral Patent Office Chief

Posted in Europe, Patents at 9:35 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Signing by Goran Gerasimovski: in daytime I run a patent office; afterwards, or after work, I pursue political careers in municipalities; “dangerous cocktail”

Summary: As it turns out, political ‘double-dipping’ isn’t just a thing in North Macedonia, Austria, and EPOnia

Romania’s Patent Office (OSIM): Nine Different Chiefs in Just Eight Years

Posted in Europe, Fraud, Patents at 9:08 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 64c6fe24e7639654707f93b83b19ef5a

Summary: The Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM), being the equivalent of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in the sense that it covers both patents and trademarks, is a very flaky institution with no shortage of scandals; for our English-reading audiences we now have a summary of a decade’s worth of blunders and leadership changes

MOMENTS ago, a lot earlier than usual (around midday, not midnight like previous parts), we published the long part which concerns Romania's OSIM. We took stock of the people who were in charge between June 2013 and May 2021 (5 months ago). Judging by how long these people last, on average, Marian Cătălin Burcescu might have only a few months left. The video above focuses on some of the PDFs and background information about Romania (we wrote a lot about this country over the past 15 years). The people in charge of OSIM over the years are:

• Gábor Varga (until June 2013)
• Alexandru Cristian Ştrenc (ad interim);
• Ionel Muscalu (September 2013 to October 2014);
• Alexandru-Ioan Andrei (October 2014 to April 2016);
• Bucura Ionescu (May 2016 to March 2017);
• Adriana Aldescu (ad interim);
• Ionuţ Barbu (December 2017 to December 2019);
• Mitrita Hahue (ad interim); and,
• Marian Cătălin Burcescu (appointed May 2021).

“Tomorrow we’ll take stock and then proceed to other EPO member states, starting with Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey.”As I note repeatedly in the video, Romania has paradoxically low wages considering the number of talented engineers (especially in the field of software). This discrepancy between value proposition and reward causes ‘brain drain’ in the whole region (also Bulgaria and Hungary); there’s a disproportionate salary expectation. We saw the same thing in Baltic states, not just in the Balkan region. This generally makes countries in these regions easier to control (e.g. bribe) and manipulate as "voting fodder". Tomorrow we’ll take stock and then proceed to other EPO member states, starting with Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey. EPO governance is really messy; to better understand the reasons we must investigate who’s part of this governance.

The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League – Romania

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:20 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part I: Let the Sunshine In!
  2. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part II: A “Unanimous” Endorsement?
  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part III: Three Missing Votes
  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IV: The Founding States
  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part V: Germany Says “Ja”
  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VI: A Distinct Lack of Dutch Courage
  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VII: Luxembourgish Laxity
  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VIII: Perfidious Albion and Pusillanimous Hibernia
  9. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IX: More Holes Than Swiss Cheese
  10. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part X: Introducing the Controversial Christian Bock
  11. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XI: “General Bock” – Battistelli’s Swiss Apprentice?
  12. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection
  13. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Spain
  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Portugal
  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…
  16. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper
  17. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc
  18. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki’s Accord
  19. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States
  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group
  21. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”
  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League – North Macedonia and Albania
  23. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League – Bulgaria
  24. YOU ARE HERE ☞ The Balkan League – Romania

Gabor Varga
Head of the Romanian delegation in June 2013: Gábor Varga.

Summary: Romania’s patent office has been in flux this past decade, occasionally led by people with no relevant experience, but rather political connections (like EPO President António Campinos) and sometimes forged documents and fake degrees

In this part we take a look at the Romanian delegation, which in June 2013 was headed by Gábor Varga, Director-General of the Romanian State Office for Inventions and Trademarks (OSIM).

Varga was a longtime acquaintance of Benoît Battistelli and their connections go back at least as far as 2006 when the French INPI concluded a bilateral cooperation agreement with the Romanian OSIM.

Battistelli and Varga
Varga was a longtime acquaintance of Battistelli and their connections go back at least as far as 2006.
Source: OSIM Annual Report 2006.

Unfortunately for Varga, shortly after he had assisted in the rubber-stamping of Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations” in June 2013, he was dismissed as head of OSIM, following his conviction by a Romanian court on charges of “causing a EUR 300,000 damage to the state agency via an acquisition contract for IT services”, as reported in the Romanian media.

OSIM's Alexandru Ghinea
With the complicity of his boss Gábor Varga, OSIM employee Alexandru Ghinea reportedly managed to obtain additional income of over € 40,000 using a forged diploma.

At the same time Varga also came under investigation on separate charges of having assisted in concealing the discovery of forged documents in an employee’s file.

According to Romanian media reports, Alexandru Ghinea had been recruited at the OSIM on the basis of his secondary education qualification. Later, however, he produced “proof” that he had graduated from the Law School of the Romanian-American University. On the basis of this bogus diploma, he was promoted in 2009 to head of OSIM’s Human Resources department. Subsequently, he managed to obtain a secondment to the EU trademark agency in Alicante.

“At the same time Varga also came under investigation on separate charges of having assisted in concealing the discovery of forged documents in an employee’s file.”Investigators claimed that Ghinea had used the bogus diploma to obtain additional income of € 25,000 from OSIM between 2009 and 2012 and a further € 17,000 from OHIM, during the short time that he worked at the EU agency. When the forgery was exposed, Ghinea was forced to leave OHIM and return to Romania where he found himself facing charges of falsification of official documents.

OSIM Director-General Varga was accused of complicity in the affair because of his failure to report the forgery to the law enforcement authorities.

Since Varga’s departure in the summer of 2013, OSIM has gone through an impressive number of directors and “acting directors”, a total of eight in all:

• Alexandru Cristian Ştrenc (ad interim);
• Ionel Muscalu (September 2013 to October 2014);
• Alexandru-Ioan Andrei (October 2014 to April 2016);
• Bucura Ionescu (May 2016 to March 2017);
• Adriana Aldescu (ad interim);
• Ionuţ Barbu (December 2017 to December 2019);
• Mitrita Hahue (ad interim); and,
• Marian Cătălin Burcescu (appointed May 2021).

Four of these appointees, namely Alexandru Cristian Ştrenc [PDF], Bucura Ionescu, Adriana Aldescu and Mitrita Hahue were longtime career civil servants at the OSIM with credible qualifications in legal and/or administrative affairs.

However, the other four were openly political appointees – and in most cases the individuals in question have been affiliated with more than one party over the course of their careers.

Alexandru Cristian Strenc, Bucura Ionescu, Adriana Aldescu, and Mitrita Hahue
From l. to r.: Alexandru Cristian Ştrenc, Bucura Ionescu, Adriana Aldescu and Mitrita Hahue, all longtime career civil servants at the OSIM without political connections.

Ionel Muscalu, Alexandru-Ioan Andrei, Ionut Barbu, and Marian Catalin Burcescu
From l. to r.: Ionel Muscalu, Alexandru-Ioan Andrei, Ionuţ Barbu and Marian Cătălin Burcescu, all party political hacks who were rewarded with the top job at the OSIM.

No less than three of the aforementioned “political appointees” come from Giurgiu, a town in the south of Romania near the border with Bulgaria and each of them was strongly involved in local politics.

The individuals in question are Ionel Muscalu, Alexandru-Ioan Andrei and Ionuţ Barbu.

“However, the other four were openly political appointees – and in most cases the individuals in question have been affiliated with more than one party over the course of their careers.”In the case of Muscalu, his involvement in local politics began in 1997 with the Giurgiu branch of the National Liberal Party (PNL), the largest centre-right political party in Romania, variously described as “conservative-liberal” or “liberal-conservative”.

In 2014, Muscalu switched his political allegiance to the Alliance of Liberals & Democrats (ALDE), a minor liberal political party which brands itself as “social-liberal”.

Ionel Muscalu started his political career with the PNL but switched his allegiance to ALDE in 2014.

More recently, Muscalu has returned to his original political “home” in the PNL. In the December 2020 elections he was an unsuccessful PNL candidate for a seat in the Romanian Senate.

Ionel Muscalu
In December 2020, Muscalu was back on the PNL ticket in an unsuccessful bid to get elected to the Senate.

Like his predecessor Muscalu, Alexandru-Ioan Andrei started his political career with the Giurgiu youth branch of the PNL. However, around 2014 he switched his allegiance to the Social Democratic Party (PSD), the largest “post-communist” left-wing political party in Romania.

Andrei’s new-found PSD affiliations secured him the top job at the OSIM in October 2014 under the PSD-led government of Victor Ponta.

According to an article published by the satirical magazine Catavencii, Andrei lacked the necessary academic qualifications for the position and his tenure at the OSIM was characterised by cronyism, nepotism and extravagant spending for his own personal comfort and benefit.

“…Andrei lacked the necessary academic qualifications for the position and his tenure at the OSIM was characterised by cronyism, nepotism and extravagant spending for his own personal comfort and benefit.”Andrei left the OSIM in April 2016, apparently to focus on his political career and other interests. In December of the same year, he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies – the lower house of the Romanian Parliament – on the PSD ticket for Giurgiu.

In the Romanian media, Andrei has been described [PDF] in unflattering terms as a “Nabob” – or a “conspicuously wealthy” person – with an impressive real estate portfolio and diverse “business interests”, most of which involve lucrative contracts with county councils in the Giurgiu region.

Alexandru-Ioan Andrei
Party-hopper Alexandru-Ioan Andrei: In 2016 the message was “On Sunday vote for the PSD!”. A few years later in 2020, it was “Vote for the PNL”…

In February 2019, Andrei announced that he was resigning from the PSD. For some months thereafter he operated as an independent deputy before (re-)joining the PNL in June 2019.

Together with Muscalu, he stood as a candidate for the PNL in the December 2020 parliamentary elections. Muscalu was unsuccessful but Andrei managed to get elected to the Chamber of Deputies for a further term – this time on the PNL ticket.

Alexandru-Ioan Andrei in PNL
Andrei turned up on the PNL ticket for Giurgiu together with Muscalu in December 2020.

The next “political appointee” at the head of OSIM was Ionuţ Barbu who started his political career with the youth branch of the Giurgiu PSD.

“Andrei left the OSIM in April 2016, apparently to focus on his political career and other interests.”Barbu’s political connections helped him to secure the top job at the OSIM at the tender age of 28 in December 2017 under the short-lived PSD-led administration of Mihai Tudose.

Tudose was forced to resign soon afterwards when his own party, the PSD, retracted its support for the government. Two years later in October 2019, the next PSD-led government headed by Viorica Dăncilă also collapsed and the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis designated Ludovic Orban from the PNL as Prime Minister.

The new PNL-led government under Orban decided to embark on a purge of PSD appointees in senior civil service positions. Barbu who had remained loyal to the PSD was one of the victims of this purge. [PDF]

Ionut Barbu
PSD loyalist Ionuţ Barbu was “purged” by the PNL-led government of Ludovic Orban in December 2019.

Mitrita Hahue, a longtime career civil servant at the OSIM, took over on an ad interim basis pending the appointment of a successor to Barbu.

“Mitrita Hahue, a longtime career civil servant at the OSIM, took over on an ad interim basis pending the appointment of a successor to Barbu.”It was not until May of this year that a new Director-General was finally installed by the PNL-led government of Florin Cîțu. It’s no surprise that the new incumbent is another “political appointee”, this time from the PNL camp.

Marian Cătălin Burcescu is a native [PDF] of Drăgănești Vlașca, a commune in Teleorman County in the south of Romania beside Giurgiu County. He was 36 years old at the time of his appointment and, according to his curriculum vitae, he is a graduate of the Faculty of Cinematography [PDF] of the obscure “Media University of Bucharest”.

In the local media, Burcescu has been described as a “political turncoat” – which seems to be a rather common species in contemporary Romania.

“It’s no surprise that the new incumbent is another “political appointee”, this time from the PNL camp.”He began his political career with the Democratic Liberal Party (DLP), a liberal-conservative party which officially merged with the PNL in November 2014.

In 2016, he was elected as a county councillor on the PNL ticket. However, not long afterwards in June 2018 he resigned from the PNL and joined the smaller “social-liberal” party ALDE, a move which caused a lot of irritation and resentment among his former PNL colleagues.

Burcescu ran on the 2019 election ticket for ALDE where he stood as a candidate for the European Parliament. By a curious coincidence, Ionel Muscalu also appeared on same ALDE ticket as a candidate for the national parliament. Neither candidate was successful.

Marian Catalin Burcescu
Burcescu ran unsuccessfully on the ALDE ticket for the European Parliament in 2019.

Following the poor performance of ALDE in that election, both Muscalu and Burcescu appear to have decided that their political future would be more secure if they returned to the PNL fold, which they duly proceeded to do some time in 2020.

“Following the poor performance of ALDE in that election, both Muscalu and Burcescu appear to have decided that their political future would be more secure if they returned to the PNL fold, which they duly proceeded to do some time in 2020.”From Burcescu’s perspective, this turned out to have been a smart move because in May 2021 [PDF] he was awarded with the top job at the OSIM by the PNL-led government of Florin Cîțu.

His appointment was criticised, in particular due to his lack of appropriate academic qualifications and the fact that he had no prior experience in “IP”-related matters.

According to Romanian media reports, the Director-General of the OSIM is a senior civil service position which carries the same grade as a Secretary of State and comes with a gross monthly salary of 16,600 Romanian Leu – about € 3,350 at current exchange rates.

“His appointment was criticised, in particular due to his lack of appropriate academic qualifications and the fact that he had no prior experience in “IP”-related matters.”It’s not quite in the same league as the salary of an MEP or the head of an international “IP” Office like the EPO or EUIPO. Nevertheless, by Romanian standards, it’s a respectable income which is no doubt supplemented by various perks such as allowances for duty travel, for example to the WIPO in Geneva, the EPO in Munich and the EUIPO in Alicante.

In the next part we will conclude our examination of the EPO’s “Balkan League” states with some observations about the new delegates who have replaced the “old guard” that endorsed Battistelli’s “Strike Regulations” in June 2013.

IRC Proceedings: Monday, October 25, 2021

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