10.31.21

[Meme] [Teaser] EPO Governance Crisis: One Country, One Vote

Posted in Europe, Patents at 3:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Akin to gerrymandering, but not quite the same

Monaco, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Iceland, and Malta: Less than a million citizens (all combined) = 5 votes
Monaco, San Marino, and Liechtenstein with a population of around 100,000 (all combined) have the same voting power as Germany, France, and the UK combined (Germany, France, and the UK have over 215 million citizens)

Summary: Germany, France, and the UK have only one vote; in some ‘microstates’ each constituent/citizen has over 2,200 times more in terms of voting power compared to Germany (Monaco’s population: 37,308; Liechtenstein’s population: 37,313) or 2,500 times more in terms of voting power compared to Germany (San Marino’s population: 32,742) and it’s a recipe for administrative disaster, which Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have been more than happy to exploit as EPO chiefs

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, October 30, 2021

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:51 am by Needs Sunlight

Also available via the Gemini protocol at:

Over HTTP:

HTML5 logs

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#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

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#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

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#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

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#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

Enter the IRC channels now


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 QmPJrFTfLnkFTHGaQEBrj7noXcwmeD1aTiSm3nnWTgUQnu IRC log for #techrights
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The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVIII: Benoît and António’s Loyal “Habibi”

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:24 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. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League – Romania
  25. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXV: The Balkan League – Fresh Blood or Same Old, Same Old?
  26. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVI: A Trojan Horse on the Budget and Finance Committee
  27. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVII: Cypriot Complicity
  28. YOU ARE HERE ☞ Benoît and António’s Loyal “Habibi”

Habip Asan
Head of the Turkish delegation in June 2013: Habip Asan

Summary: TürkPatent’s Habip Asan has consistently helped dictators seize and maintain power, even at the expense of basic laws

In June 2013, the head of the Turkish delegation was Habip Asan, Director-General of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office, known colloquially as TürkPatent.

According to information published by WIPO, between 1989 and 1993 Asan studied in the USA at Texas Tech University in Lubbock (Texas) where he acquired M.Sc. and Ph.D. qualifications in Mechanical Engineering.

“Asan then served as deputy director of the Turkish Patent Institute from December 2007 to October 2008 and he was appointed as Director-General in October 2008.”In 1994, he returned to Turkey where he was appointed Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Karadeniz Technical University in Trabazon. He became an Associate Professor in 2000. Between 2003 and 2005, he lectured at Ajman University of Science and Technology in Dubai. In 2005, he returned to Karadeniz Technical University where he was appointed Professor.

Asan then served as deputy director of the Turkish Patent Institute from December 2007 to October 2008 and he was appointed as Director-General in October 2008.

Turkish Patent and Trademark Office
Asan has been the Director-General of the Turkish Patent and Trademark Office since October 2008.

On the EPO‘s Administrative Council, Asan consistently showed himself to be Benoît Battistelli‘s loyal “Habibi”.

“According to EPO folklore, when Battistelli was planning to exile the Boards of Appeal to Haar some time later in the summer of 2016, a member of the Turkish delegation was overheard to remark that not even “Recep” [meaning the Turkish President Erdoğan] would dare to confront the Turkish judiciary in such an overbearing manner.”It was “business as usual” in June 2013 when he followed the lead of his Greek and Cypriot neighbours and cast his vote in favour of the “Strike Regulations”.

According to EPO folklore, when Battistelli was planning to exile the Boards of Appeal to Haar some time later in the summer of 2016, a member of the Turkish delegation was overheard to remark that not even “Recep” [meaning the Turkish President Erdoğan] would dare to confront the Turkish judiciary in such an overbearing manner.

It’s not clear whether the remark should be attributed to Asan or to his deputy.

And to this day, nobody is quite sure whether the remark was supposed to be an expression of admiration for Battistelli’s audacity or whether it was intended to convey a sense of shock at his contempt for judicial independence at the EPO. Indeed, it may well have contained an element of both!

“And to this day, nobody is quite sure whether the remark was supposed to be an expression of admiration for Battistelli’s audacity or whether it was intended to convey a sense of shock at his contempt for judicial independence at the EPO. Indeed, it may well have contained an element of both!”In any event, whoever uttered this remark appears to have missed the point that Battistelli could never have succeeded in doing what he did at the EPO without the complicity of the EPO’s Administrative Council, which had the ultimate responsibility for overseeing his actions.

Back home in Turkey, Asan has proven himself to be something of a survival artist. He managed to emerge unscathed from the “purges” of the Turkish civil service which followed the failed coup-d’état against Erdoğan in July 2016.

TurkPatent

Asan managed to survive the “purges” of the Turkish civil service which followed the failed coup-d’état against Erdoğan in July 2016 and he still remains in charge at “TürkPatent”.

To this day Asan remains at the head of TürkPatent, and on the EPO’s Administrative Council he continues to be a loyal “Habibi” to Battistelli’s successor, António Campinos.

Battistelli and Campinos with TurkPatent
On the EPO’s Administrative Council, TürkPatent Director-General Asan has been a consistently loyal “Habibi” to both Battistelli and his successor Campinos.

In the next part we will turn our attention to the EPO’s micro-states which, notwithstanding their small size, manage to exert a disproportionate influence on the affairs of the organisation.

10.30.21

Links 30/10/2021: End of Project Trident and GNU/Linux Easily Beats Vista 11

Posted in News Roundup at 5:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • What 30 Years of Linux Taught the Software Industry [Ed: How to rewrite history and pretend GNU never existed and does not exist]

        Linux has become the largest collaborative development project in the history of computing over the last 30 years. Reflecting on what made this possible and how its open source philosophy finally imposed itself in the industry can offer software vendors valuable lessons from this amazing success story.
        The web may not have reached full adulthood yet, but it has already crafted its own mythology.
        August 25, 1991: Linus Torvalds, a 21-year-old university student from Finland, writes a post to a Usenet group: “Hello everybody out there using minix — I’m doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won’t be big and professional like gnu) for 386 (486) AT clones […]”. A few weeks later, the project, which will eventually be known as Linux, is published for the first time.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa’s Radeon Vulkan Driver “RADV” Prepares Experimental Mesh Shaders – Phoronix

          Mesa’s Radeon Vulkan open-source driver “RADV” is preparing to introduce experimental support for mesh shaders.

          Patches on Friday were posted providing experimental support for mesh shaders as outlined via the NV_mesh_shader specification. Mesh shaders are working but task shaders are not yet implemented — though developers say that support should be coming soon. Mesh shaders provide a compute-like shader stage to replace the conventional vertex/geometry pipeline. More background information on mesh shaders can be found via this NVIDIA blog post back from when they introduced the capability with Turing GPUs.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux runs better than Windows 11

        2022 could be the year of Linux on the Desktop

        With Windows 11 out as stable and the initial round of updates coming out, benchmarks are starting to compare the new OS with what is out there.

        According to Phoronix, Linux benchmarks against Windows 11 Intel Core i9 11900K Rocket Lake system look rather good.

        The Windows 11 performance was being compared to all of the latest prominent Linux distributions, including: Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS, Ubuntu 21.10, Arch Linux (latest rolling), Fedora Workstation 35, Clear Linux 35150. All the testing was done on the same Intel Core i9 11900K test system at stock speeds (any frequency differences reported in the system table come down to how the information is exposed by the OS, i.e. base or turbo reporting) with 2 x 16GB DDR4-3200 memory, 2TB Corsair Force MP600 NVMe solid-state drive, and an AMD Radeon VII graphics card.

      • Linux Distros Beat Windows 11 in Phoronix Performance Testing – Slashdot

        Phoronix ran some fun performance tests this week. “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.”

    • Applications

      • Stargate Is The Newest Open-Source Digital Audio Workstation

        While Ardour is arguably the most well known open-source digital audio workstation (DAW) solution, there are also other offerings like Zrythm and others while now “Stargate” is the newest option available.

        Stargate is an open-source digital audio workstation with an aim to provide “everything you need to make music on a computer.” The free software project aims for a “unique and carefully curated experience”, function on older hardware while scaling to today’s modern multi-core systems, provide robust stability, and work across the vast open-source/Linux ecosystem.

      • Sebastian Pölsterl: scikit-survival 0.16 released

        I am proud to announce the release if version 0.16.0 of scikit-survival, The biggest improvement in this release is that you can now change the evaluation metric that is used in estimators’ score method. This is particular useful for hyper-parameter optimization using scikit-learn’s GridSearchCV. You can now use as_concordance_index_ipcw_scorer, as_cumulative_dynamic_auc_scorer, or as_integrated_brier_score_scorer to adjust the score method to your needs. The example below illustrates how to use these in practice.

      • OpenVDB 9.0 Released With NanoVDB GPU Support – Phoronix

        OpenVDB is the software open-sourced by DreamWorks Animations that is now part of the Academy Software Foundation as a sparse volume data structure and associating tooling with a particular focus on visual effects and animations for film production. OpenVDB 9.0 is out today as the latest major update to this library.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Ubuntu Server tips and tricks for installation and beyond

        Ubuntu Server is a GNU/Linux distribution developed by Canonical and offers economical technical scalability for your public or private data center. From deploying an OpenStack cloud to a 50,000-node render farm, Ubuntu Server can handle it all.

        TechRepublic contributor Jack Wallen said it best, “Ubuntu Server doesn’t just work well in the cloud, it rules the cloud. For small- to mid-size businesses looking for a cost-effective server solution, Ubuntu should be your first stop.”

      • How to install AppImages on Linux the easy way

        AppImages are helpful on Linux. With them, users are able to download Linux programs and run them without the need to install anything. However, AppImages don’t integrate within the Linux system like other programs.

        If you use a lot of AppImages on your Linux PC but don’t like to take the time to configure the AppImage manually, create a shortcut icon, and add it to the menu, you’ll love AppImageLauncher.

        What is AppImageLauncher? It’s an app that, once installed, can auto-detect when an AppImage is run on Linux, automatically create a shortcut, and add it to a folder on your computer. Here’s how to get it working on your Linux system.

      • How to Install and Configure Docker Compose on Ubuntu 20.04

        Docker Compose is a command-line tool for managing multiple Docker containers. It is a tool for building isolated containers through the YAML file to modify your application’s services.

        On the other hand, Ubuntu 20.04 feels more stable and easy to use, and as a result, users consider the operations running more smoothly, compared to some previous versions. Still, some users have issues while installing certain apps and software. Such is the case with Docker Compose.

        In the following tutorial, we will show you how to install Docker Compose on Ubuntu 20.04 server.

      • How to set up an Apache web server with Webmin on Ubuntu Server

        Apache is an excellent web server tool that works on Ubuntu. However, it’s not the easiest to set up. Thankfully, if you use Webmin on your Ubuntu Server system, you can set it up real easy right in the Webmin UI.

        This guide will show you how you can set up an Apache web server on Ubuntu Server with Webmin. We’ll also show you how you can manage it with the Webmin web UI interface.

      • How to Install Rocket.Chat Server for Team Communication | LinuxCloudVPS

        Communication is one of the most important pillars of every company. There are solutions for business needs or for corporate use, such as Rocket.Chat, Slack, Hangouts, Flock, as well as messengers for everyday communication, such as Skype, WhatsApp, Telegram, and others.

        Currently, Rocket.Chat is one of the most popular and widely used team communication apps available. How can you set things up and start using this tool for your team? In this article, we will deploy Rocket.Chat server in a Cloud PaaS environment. You’ll set up a custom domain, and we’ll secure our application with an SSL certificate.

      • How to run Mongodb with Docker and Docker-Compose – Citizix

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

      • How To Install Mantis Bug Tracker on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Mantis Bug Tracker on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Mantis Bug Tracker (MantisBT) is a free, open-source, and web-based bug tracking software written in PHP. It is simple, easy to use, user-friendly, and comes with a lot of tools that help you collaborate with teams to resolve bugs and issues quickly. It offers a rich set of features including, Notification via email, Role-based access control, Projects, sub-projects, and category support, Issue relationship graph, customizable dashboard, and many more.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the MantisBT free web-based bug tracking system on AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

      • How To Create and Manage Virtual Machines in KVM

        In Linux operating systems, there are many ways to create and manage virtual machines and hypervisors for running another operating system on your host computer. Using the KVM (Kernel-based Virtual machine) is one of the best ways for creating and managing virtual machines. Managing virtual machines are equally important as creating them on Linux. Because if you’re a professional Linux system admin or a person who needs to test and run applications on a different virtual machine, the chances are that you would mess with the hypervisor.

      • How to Install ImageMagick on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        ImageMagick is a free, open-source application installed as a binary distribution or as a source code. ImageMagick can convert, read, write and process raster images. ImageMagick is also available across all major platforms, including Android, BSD, Linux, Windows, Mac OSX, iOS, and many others.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install ImageMagick on Rocky Linux 8 using the DNF or Source installation method.

      • How to Install WordPress with LEMP (Nginx, MariaDB, and PHP) on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        WordPress is the most dominant content management system written in PHP, combined with MySQL or MariaDB database. You can create and maintain a site without any prior knowledge in web development or coding. The first version of WordPress was created in 2003 by Matt Mullenweg and Mike Little and is now used by 70% of the known web market, according to W3Tech. WordPress comes in two versions: the free open source WordPress.org and WordPress.com, a paid service that starts at $5 per month up to $59. Using this content management system is easy and often seen as a stepping stone for making a blog or similar featured site.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install self-hosted WordPress using the latest Nginx, MariaDB, and PHP versions available.

      • How to set up a PostgreSQL database server with Webmin on Ubuntu Server

        PostgreSQL is a lightweight, advanced databasing tool for Linux and other platforms. It is well supported on Ubuntu, but setting one up and managing it through the terminal can be pretty annoying.

        There’s a better way you can set up a PostgreSQL database server on Ubuntu. How? With Webmin, the modern admin interface for Unix systems. Here’s how to use Webmin to create a PostgreSQL database on your Ubuntu system.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Connect Is Finally Coming to iPhone

          If you’re looking for an easy way to make your iPhone play nice with your KDE desktop, today is your lucky day, as KDE Connect is finally available as an iPhone app (click the article titled “KDE Connect iOS Enters Public TestFlight Testing!”), albeit in beta form.

          To take advantage of KDE Connect on iPhone, you’ll need to jump through a couple of hoops. First, you’ll need to go to this TestFlight link to get set up to test the beta of the KDE Connect app. Additionally, you’ll need to be on iOS 15 for the app to run, so you’ll need to make sure your iPhone is updated.

          Before downloading the app, you can also check out the source repository of KDE Connect iOS to make sure everything looks good.

    • Distributions

      • Project Trident: Project Trident Sunset

        It is with great sadness that we are announcing that Project Trident will be entering is “sunset” period starting Nov 1 of 2021 and will be closing up shop in March of 2022. The core team of the project has come to this decision together. With changes and events over the past two years in life, jobs, family, etc; our individual priorities have changed as well.

        We will keep the Project Trident package repository and websites up and running until the EOL date of March 1, 2022, but we strongly encourage users to begin looking for alternative desktop OS solutions over the coming new year holiday.

        Thank you all for your support and encouragement! The project had a good run and we thoroughly enjoyed getting to know many of you over the years.

      • Void-Linux-Powered Project Trident To Cease Operations

        Project Trident had been an operating system originally based on TrueOS/FreeBSD before shifting to Void Linux as its base and worked on various innovations like OpenZFS-based root installations but now the developers behind the ambitious advanced desktop OS project have decided to call it quits.

      • elementary OS 6 Updates for October, 2021

        New OS 6 updates just dropped! This month features a heavy round of creature comforts, healed paper cuts, and paid off technical debt. Plus, a big win for cross-desktop compatibility.

      • BSD

        • iXsystems’ TrueNAS SCALE Now Available on TrueNAS M-Series, R-Series, and Minis

          TrueNAS SCALE reached an important milestone today when TrueNAS SCALE 22.02-RC1 was released after 12 months of Alpha and Beta testing by over 4,000 TrueNAS Community members. This release includes scale-out file and object (S3) storage services as well as a wide range of containerized applications, supported on a Kubernetes platform. TrueNAS SCALE is now available for ordering and shipping on a wide range of TrueNAS platforms, including the TrueNAS M-Series, R-Series, and even Minis.

      • Gentoo Family

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • A Proper Accounting Of The Power Business – IT Jungle [Ed: For over a decade this author has been paid by IBM to write these pro-IBM puff pieces]

          Big Blue might be preparing for the spinout of its Kyndryl managed services company, now slated for early November, and its new financial presentations, which we reviewed two weeks ago, but that task is not yet done and until it is we are still getting the same financial view of IBM in the third quarter of 2021 ended in June. It was not a particularly memorable quarter when it came to IBM Systems group.

        • 7 ways anyone can contribute to Open Practice Library [Ed: IBM/RedHat: help our openwashing nonsense by creating an account with Microsoft to participate in their attack on Software Freedom (GitHub is proprietary software)]

          The Open Practice Library is a community-driven collection of practices for teams to use in support of working together. A “practice” is a behavior or “trick” that teams use to improve how they achieve their goals. Sometimes those goals are technical, like programming and IT, but all teams can use help defining their practices. Whether you’re a teacher, event planner, salesperson, or artist, the process is important. When you’re a team, getting on the same page is vital, and that’s what the Open Practice Library can help you do.

      • OpenEmbedded/EasyOS

        • libcamera compiled in OpenEmbedded

          It is annoying: the latest version of libcamera requires ‘meson’ 0.55.0 to compile, whereas OE Dunfell release only has 0.53.0 [...] It’s annoying because one of the reasons developers are moving away from autools to build systems like meson, is because of version breakage.

        • LibreOffice fr de fully translated

          Users of EasyOS 3.0 and 3.1 reported that Libreoffice was not fully translated for the French and German builds.

          I found the problem. When compiled in OpenEmbedded, the translation tarball was not being included when compiling. Fixed.

          Note, I have done a complete OE recompile, this time with ‘pulseaudio’ and ‘jack’ packages. I did this once before, somewhat half-heartedly, then went back to a pure alsa system.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu 21.10 released

          Adding Wayland support for NVIDIA drivers is a big improvement, as is the addition of PipeWire. There’s also a big regression in that Ubuntu has moved its Firefox package from deb to a Snap package, something I’d sure manually fix if I were an Ubuntu user.

        • Ubuntu 22.04 – Release Schedule & Features

          Ubuntu 22.04 codename is Jammy Jellyfish. Which is the next LTS (Long Term Support) release of the Ubuntu versions. The development has been started for and the release date for Ubuntu 22.04 is set to April 21, 2022.

          Anyone can download the Ubuntu 22.04 daily build ISO image from its official download page.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Mastodon VS Twitter

        Our approach, for now I think about 2 years, has been to treat Mastodon as the key target network because of all its advantages. It’s FOSS, it’s part of ActivityPub… For those who are not familiar with it, ActivityPub is a decentralized social networking protocol (and an official W3C recommended standard), using a server/client structure communicating through a documented API interface, encouraging decentralization. It does what it claims, and there is anyway an audience on this side of the world too, especially when it comes to Linux users and gamers.

        Then again, there is no reason for us not to send the same content (or at least most of it) to Twitter as well. We can expand our reach to where our readers are. We certainly cannot expect everyone to be on Mastodon (or even know about it!), while we certainly always encourage people to move to more decentralized platforms when possible.

      • Events

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox Browser Is Tooting Its Horn as a Fast Company ‘Brand That Matters’

            Fast Company has put the open source browser Firefox alongside iconic brands such as McDonalds, Ford, Cosmopolitan Magazine, and IBM as a “brand that matters,” and mama Mozilla couldn’t be prouder.

            The monthly print and digital business magazine recently published Brands That Matter, a list of nearly 100 brands it says “have had an undeniable impact on business and culture, far beyond the products they sell.” In addition to Firefox and IBM, tech centered brands making the list include Adobe, Playstation, PayPal, Xbox, and LinkedIn. Other than Mozilla’s browser, no exclusively open source brands are included.

          • Mozilla GFX: Switching the Linux graphics stack from GLX to EGL

            In the upcoming Firefox 94 release we will enable the EGL backend for a big group of our Linux users. This will increase WebGL performance, reduce resource consumption and make our life as developers easier going forward.

          • TenFourFox Development: The current status of DIY TenFourFox

            Due to family and work issues my time has been curtailed for all kinds of things, but at this point, at least, there’s something for you to work with: as promised, the TenFourFox source code has been updated to use 91ESR for the certificate and security base and the roots pulled up accordingly. I’ve also got a few security updates loaded and backported a performance tweak intended for Monterey systems but also yields a small boost on any version of Mac OS X. The browser will now be forever “45.41.6″ (ESR32 SPR6) with the perpetual name “Rolling Release.” This version number will not be revved again without good reason.

            So now it’s time for you to make your first build (and, if you feel adventurous, find a problem and try to fix it, but let’s take baby steps). Officially, we have documentation for that already using MacPorts. A semi-frozen build of MacPorts what I use on my G5: I have three trees, one being the main testing debug tree which pulls from Github, and then two local subtrees that pull from the local debug tree (created with git clone –shared so that they are about 25% the size) which I use to make rolling G5-optimized (for my Quad) and 7450-optimized (for my iMac and iBook) builds. I do my work in the debug tree and make sure everything functions properly, then check it in and git pull and gmake -f client.mk build in the optimized subtrees to roll up the changes. When the subtrees are happy too, I’ll git push from the main debug tree into Github. I consider this as officially supported a solution as presently exists under the circumstances. The Quad runs TenFourFox directly from the G5 subtree now.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.3 Alpha 1 Tagged With More Open-Source Office Suite Improvements

          LibreOffice 7.3 Alpha 1 was tagged on Friday in the first step towards this next open-source office suite update due out early next year.

          Like usual, the next LibreOffice release should happen in February. LibreOffice 7.3 is working up many more changes as it continues to prove to be a very capable alternative to Microsoft Office. Some of the changes that have accumulated so far for LibreOffice 7.3 include…

      • CMS

        • People of WordPress: Ronald Gijsel

          For WordPress contributor Ronald Gijsel, open source is a lifeline and a perfect place for people with creative minds. It led him on a transformational journey from chef to WordPress e-commerce specialist. Originally from the Netherlands, where he trained in hospitality, he was to find a restorative and energizing power within the WordPress local and global community.

          Ten years ago, life took a sad turn for Ronald and his wife Nihan when their baby daughter passed away only a few days after she was born. At that time, Ronald was a restaurant owner in the UK, working hard in a challenging economic environment. Discovering open source was in many ways his lifeline and helped him and his wife through their considerable heartache. Through this community, a journey to understand the opportunities of the web and new career paths began.

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • Best Photo Editing Software – Subscription-free! [Ed: GIMP is mentioned last here]

            With features such as Layers, Masks, retouching tools and advanced brushes, the ‘GNU Image Manipulation Program’ can be used for all kinds of amazing edits and effects, and all for nothing. But Gimp is not just a free Photoshop alternative, it also represents the work of a wide community of generous coders and developers, who’ve honed it over the years from its beginnings as a simplistic image editor into the slick package available today, one that can hold its own against any of the other choices mentioned here.

            It’s not the easiest image editor to grasp, but the same could be said of Photoshop and Affinity Photo. What’s more, there’s a vast array of presets, helpful tutorials and plug-ins out there that will help you get up and running. Feature-rich, customisable and completely free, Gimp is unique.

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Trump’s Truth Social Platform Accused of Violating AGPL

            Recently, accusations appeared in the press that the “Truth Social” platform are violating the terms of the Affero GPL (AGPL), which applies to the Mastodon software used to run the platform. Truth Social is run by the The Trump Media and Technology Group, which recently announced a SPAC.

            AGPL is a network copyleft license that requires sharing of source code, where the licensed software allows users to interact with it via a network, and the code has been modified from its upstream source.

            On October 21, 2021, Mastadon’s head developer, Eugen Rochko, stated that the software used to run Truth Social is “absolutely is based on Mastodon.” The Verge later reported that “Mastodon has sent former President Donald Trump’s company a formal notification” of breach. Tech Crunch also reported that Mastodon had issued a “30-day ultimatum.”

      • Programming/Development

        • The Eclipse Foundation Partners with China’s OpenAtom on a New Operating System

          The Eclipse Foundation today announced the launch of a top-level project to develop a new open-source, vendor-neutral OS designed to provide an alternative to existing IoT and edge operating systems.

          Called Oniro, the new OS is an implementation of OpenHarmony, a distributed multi-kernel operating system developed by OpenAtom, China’s first open-source foundation. The purpose of Oniro is to provide the same operating system across a much wider range of devices, Mike Milinkovich, the executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, told me, such as a tiny leak sensor in a home and a Raspberry Pi.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppQuantuccia 0.1.0 on CRAN: Full QuantLib Business Calendar Support

          Another new release of RcppQuantuccia arrived on CRAN today, just a week after the previous release which brought full calendaring support. RcppQuantuccia started from the Quantuccia header-only subset / variant of QuantLib which it brings it to R.

          As of this release, the QuantLib code is only minimally modified. In other words we no longer follow the Quantuccia route of ‘header-izing’ the file but include both cpp and hpp directly. The minimal changes, documented in a diff file in the repo, consists chiefly of removing includes for headers we do not use (given the pure calendaring focus) and accomodating CRAN Policies (by eschewing #pragma directives). We do follow Quantuccia by not having any external linking requirement: the R package only depends on Rcpp (for the glue) and BH for the Boost headers (and system-level Boost headers can be used as drop-in).

        • Codasip Founder Karel Masařík Elected to RISC-V Technical Steering Committee

          Codasip, the leading supplier of customizable RISC-V processor IP, today announced that Dr Karel Masařík, company founder responsible for the development of Codasip’s core technology, has been elected to the RISC-V Technical Steering Committee (TSC) by RISC-V International Strategic members.

        • Codasip Boosts Studio Processor Design Tools with AXI Automation

          Codasip, the leading supplier of customizable RISC-V processor IP, today announced further enhancements to its Studio processor design toolset. New features in Studio 9.1 include an expanded bus support with full AXI for high-performance designs, as well as improved support for LLVM and improved code density.

          Studio is at the heart of Codasip’s offering to simplify the task of customizing designs, enabling companies of all sizes to differentiate their products at the core. Studio has been the market leader in democratizing processor design since it was launched in 2014. Simplifying processor customization, Studio walks designers through the steps necessary to create their ideal custom RISC-V processor from a Codasip embedded or application core design – ensuring the design achieves predictable results and the highest performance.

    • Standards/Consortia

  • Leftovers

    • Science

    • Hardware

      • Modified Toggle Switches Grace Hyper-Detailed Cockpit Simulator Panels | Hackaday

        In the world of the cockpit simulator hobby, no detail is too small to obsess over. Getting the look and feel of each and every cockpit control just right is important, and often means shelling out for cockpit-accurate parts. But not always, as these DIY magnetically captured toggle switches show.

        Chances are good you’ve seen [The Warthog Project]’s fantastically detailed A-10 Thunderbolt II cockpit simulator before; we’ve featured it recently, and videos from the ongoing build pop up regularly in our feeds. The sim addresses the tiniest of details, including the use of special toggle switches that lock into place automatically using electromagnets. They’re commercially available, but only for those with very deep pockets — depending on the supplier, up to several thousand dollars per unit!

      • Cheap Caliper Hack Keeps ‘Em Running Longer | Hackaday

        Many a hacker is a fan of the cheapest calipers on the market. Manufactured in China and priced low enough that they’re virtually disposable, they get a lot of jobs done in the world where clinical accuracy isn’t required. However, their batteries often die when left in a drawer for a long time. [Ben] was sick of that, and got to hacking.

        The result was a quick-and-dirty mod that allows the calipers to be powered by a AAA battery. The average AAA cell has 5-10 times the capacity of the typical LR44 coin cells used in these devices.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Let’s Encrypt explains last month’s outages caused by certificate expiration

        Dozens of websites and services reported issues late last month thanks to the expiration of a root certificate provided by Let’s Encrypt, one of the largest providers of HTTPS certificates.

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Local root vulnerability in PHP-FPM – itsfoss.net

            A critical vulnerability CVE-2021-21703 has been identified in PHP-FPM, the FastCGI process manager included in the main PHP distribution since branch 5.3 , which allows an unprivileged hosting user to execute code as root. The problem manifests itself on servers that use PHP-FPM, usually used in conjunction with Nginx, to organize the launch of PHP scripts. The researchers who identified the problem were able to prepare a working prototype of the exploit.

            The vulnerability is caused by storing pointers to a shared memory area (scoreboard) used to communicate between the child and parent PHP-FPM process. The main PHP-FPM process that coordinates the work is started as root and spawns several child processes that run under an unprivileged user (usually www-data or nobody) and are directly involved in executing PHP scripts. The essence of the problem is that a child process controlled by the user can access the shared memory of the controlling process and change the pointers used in the main process (pointers to the nested structure fpm_scoreboard_proc_s are stored in the scoreboard structure).

          • Intel develops HTTPA to complement HTTPS [Ed: Intel makes back doors for the NSA, so you know this is just crock, like putting all the certificates in one places that's connected to NSA-connected tech firms]

            Intel engineers have proposed a new protocol, HTTPA (HTTPS Attestable), extending HTTPS with additional guarantees of the security of the calculations performed. HTTPA helps ensure the integrity of the user’s request is processed on the server and make sure that the web-service is trustworthy and works in TEE -okruzhenii (Trusted Execution Environment) server code was not changed as a result of hacking or sabotage administrator.

          • How to Fix the Blue Screen of Death – Invidious [Ed: "Delete Windows" is an easy fix]
          • Microsoft: Windows KB5006674, KB5006670 updates break printing
          • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Finance

      • The Global Public Private Partnership with lain Davis

        Iain Davis of In This Together joins Whitney for an important conversation on the network of institutions, corporations and governments that are at the center of global decision-making. This global public-private partnership already exerts considerable control over our lives and our society and is quickly moving to control even more.

      • Impact of Covid-19 on Job Automation [Ed: IBM bigwig on using COVID-19 as pretext of firing loads of workers]

        “Why are there still so many jobs?,” asked MIT economist David Autor in a 2015 article on the history of workplace automation. Given that technologies have been automating human work for the past couple of centuries,“should we not be somewhat surprised that technological change hasn’t already wiped out employment for the vast majority of workers?”

        As Autor explained in the article, the answer is based on an economic reality that’s frequently overlooked. “Automation does indeed substitute for labor – as it is typically intended to do. However, automation also complements labor, raises output in ways that lead to higher demand for labor, and interacts with adjustments in labor supply. … journalists and even expert commentators tend to overstate the extent of machine substitution for human labor and ignore the strong complementarities between automation and labor that increase productivity, raise earnings, and augment demand for labor.”

        Professor Autor was co-chair of MIT’s Work of the Future Task Force, which was launched in the spring of 2018 to better understand the impact AI and automation on jobs. The Task Force released an interim report in September of 2019. Its overriding conclusion was that the likelihood that AI and automation would wipe out major workforce sectors in the near future was exaggerated.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ALEC Leader Indicted for Campaign Finance Conspiracy – EXPOSEDbyCMD

        On Oct. 25, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted Tennessee state Sen. Brian Kelsey, a state chair with the American Legislative Exchange Council, alleging that he broke multiple federal campaign finance laws.

        The alleged scheme involved illegal contributions to his 2016 congressional campaign passed through a state-level PAC and used by a political nonprofit to boost his election effort.

        The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a pay-to-play operation where legislators and corporate lobbyists meet behind closed doors to write model legislation that a radical right-wing, pro-corporate and pro-Republican agenda on everything from voter suppression and climate denial to crushing unions and undermining public education.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Algorithmic (in)justice in education: Why tech companies should require a license to operate in children’s education | Media@LSE [Ed: Richard Stallman notes: “The article argues that these companies should need to have licenses to operate. I am not against that, but I would go further. I say that the data acquired in a school about any student must not leave the school’s control: whatever computers it gets onto must belong to the school and run free software. That way the school district and/or parents can control what it does with those data.”]

        Algorithmic (in)justice in education: Why tech companies should require a license to operate in children’s education

      • How enlightened was the European Enlightenment? A CRT Lens Lesson

        The Alabama State Board of Education banned the teaching of Critical Race Theory in the state’s public schools. The resolution was so broad and censoring, it forbids teachers from presenting to students actions prohibited by law as “legitimate options for consideration,” that it would in effect outlaw teaching about the Boston Tea Party, the American Revolution, abolitionist opposition to slavery, the Underground Railroad, labor strikes, anti-war protests, and much of the Civil Rights movement. This directive is from a state that still has statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and James Marion Sims, a discredited gynecologist who experimented on enslaved African women without the benefit of anesthesia or antiseptics, in front of the State Capitol building.

        According to the King Center, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested and went to jail twenty-nine times. That’s it. No more Dr. King in the Alabama curriculum! Donald Trump was impeached by the United States House of Representatives TWICE. If only we could remove him from the Alabama curriculum and the American political scene.

        In an earlier post, I discussed Looking at History Through a Critical Race Theory Lens. This lesson on the European Enlightenment for the high school World History curriculum is part of a series of posts that explore what a critical perspective looks like in a social studies classroom. A Critical Race Theory lens is part of that critical perspective. My commitment as a teacher is to “Teach the Truth” by engaging students in an examination of uncomfortable questions, whatever Alabama says about the past.

    • Monopolies

[Meme] Not in Our Name…

Posted in Courtroom, Deception, Europe, Patents at 4:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

European companies and Team UPC

Summary: The UPC fanatics who waged a coup against the EPO (installing politicians like Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos instead of scientists and law/legal experts) are tying to further expand the scope of patents — beyond what is allowable by the EPC — by waging a similar coup against patent courts across the EU; what they claim about "SMEs" is the exact opposite of what is true, but the financial damage caused is the money they put in their own pockets

FFII on Manipulation and Recycling of the Unified Patent Court (UPC)’s Impact Assessment

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 4:02 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Original by Benjamin Henrion

Frohlinger in Korea
Margot Frohlinger, in “Korea Herald: Europe’s unitary patent system will bring benefits to Korean firms”, 7 April 2017, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20170407000524

Open Letter to the European Institutions, and Heads of State

Brussels, 30 October 2021.

Dear Commissioner Von Der Leyen,

Dear Commissioner Breton,

Dear Members of the European Parliament,

Dear Members of the Council,

Dear European Ombudsman,

FFII.org is a pan-European alliance of software companies and independent software developers, defending the rights to a free and competitive software creation since 1999. Over the years, more than 3,000 software companies accross Europe have supported our calls against software patenting [ref1][ref2].

We hereby call for an urgent investigation on the accusations regarding Mdme Frohlinger (European Commission official in charge of the file under Mr Barnier till 2012) and her near-successful attempt to recycle the impact assessment of the UPC.

We call for an urgent freeze of the untransparent and undemocratic law making work being done behind closed doors by the Preparatory Committee of the UPC as long as this verification has not been made.

Our first concern with the Unitary Patent Package is that the European Court of Justice (CJEU) won’t have a say on patent law, and on software patents in particular. In the context of Brexit difficulties, we are calling on reopening the negotiations on that precise point (ex art6-8), where the UK put their veto in 2012. It’s unthinkable to design a “European” system where the CJEU does not have the last word over patent law.

Our second concern is that the proposed UPC court fees of 20.000EUR are way too high for defending small companies, which are the majority in our sector. Those ‘SME-killer’ court fees are on average 100X more expensive than the national court systems, and will exclude small companies from defending themselves [ref3]. The goal to make the patent system cheaper has not been reached, quite the opposite. If SMEs don’t have access to ‘Justice’, this project is an economic suicide.

During the ratification of the Unitary Patent package by Germany, we noticed one strange thing when the German Ministry of Justice Christine Lambrecht (SPD) replied to a series of written questions by the Liberal Party FDP [ref4][ref5], about the lack of a proper Impact Assessment of the Unified Patent Court, justifying the Patent Package of 2011 with an old Impact Assessment made in 2009:

“Finally, it should be pointed out that the EU Commission carried out cost-benefit analysis of the European patent reform, which were incorporated into the deliberations on the reform ([…] Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D., Economic Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Unified and Integrated European Patent Litigation System, 2009. [ref6]”

[ref4] FDP: Ratifikation des Übereinkommens über ein Einheitliches Patentgericht, Ratifikation des Übereinkommens über ein Einheitliches Patentgericht https://dserver.bundestag.de/btd/19/236/1923651.pdf

In April 2021, we received a testimony from a whistleblower that this recycling of the UPC’s Impact Assessment was in fact intentional, he told to us that “Mdme Margot Fröhlingher did not want to redo the Impact Assessment of 2009 because otherwise it would have attracted critics”. Mdme Fröhlinger was in charge of the file at the European Commission till April 2012 before finishing her career at the European Patent Office (EPO).

In March 2021, a similar situation attracted our attention where the EU Ombudsman recognized  maladministation by the European Commission, in recycling an old Impact Assessment on the negotiations of the Mercosur trade agreement [ref7], although the “Better Regulation” rules were changed in 2014, and are specific to trade agreements (Sustainable Impact Assessments (SIAs) ).

In May 2011, the Commission approved a proposal in the form of a negotiating “non-paper” [ref8], which is a 180deg U-turn compared to their proposal of 2009:

“the Commission adopted the non-paper contained in Annex II on solutions for a unified patent litigation system and the way forward.”

[ref8] Solutions For A Unified Patent Litigation System – The Way Forward After The Opinion 1/09 Of The CJEU non-paper of the Commission Services https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-10630-2011-INIT/en/pdf

The Patent Package of 2011 consists of 2 regulations and 1 international agreement. In the 2 impact assessments attached to the 2 regulations of 2011, you still cannot find an updated impact assessment of the Court system [ref9]:

 “Finally, this IA does not address the unified patent litigation system that follows a parallel work stream and will be subject to different legal instrument.”

[ref9] Commission Working Paper Summary Of The Impact Assessment, {COM(2011) 215 final} {COM(2011) 216 final} {SEC(2011) 482 final}, Brussels, 13.4.2011 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=SEC:2011:0483:FIN:EN:PDF

The Impact Assessment study of 2009 was about the old Community Patent project, and not about the Unitary Patent Package of 2011, which differ significatively on many important aspects, and none of the proposed changes were assessed in an updated Impact Assessment:

 1. The project of 2009 was the Community Patent (or European Union Patent, Article 118 TFEU), not the Unitary Patent (which is in fact the classical EPO’s “European Patent” but with a Unitary effect);

2. The enhanced cooperation was used in December 2010 to bypass the blockage of Spain and Italy over the language issue, meaning the new Unitary Patent would not be covering all the Member States, but only in the participating ones, which creates some effects of market distorsion;

3. The EU should have joined the European Patent Convention (EPC) and the Unified Patent Litigation System (UPLS) with the 2009 project [ref20], while in the Unitary Patent Package of 2011 this was avoided, some associations of patent owners like IPO have argued it would have taken too much time to modify the EPC to accomodate the European Union as a member [ref10]; which has for the consequence that patent law is not part of EU law (“acquis communautaire”), and that the European Court of Justice (CJEU) does not have direct access to substantive patent law, including on software patents and its exclusion in the Art52.2 EPC; Patent law will evolve disconnected from other laws, and will evolve in its own bubble and can drift to ‘patent maximalism’, which is dangerous for society;

4. Another difference is that the participation of the European Union and its institutions is avoided. The European Parliament won’t be able to oversee the system and act as a counterpower. The European Parliament is the only democratic institution where citizens and companies could make their complaints heard in case of problems, like increasing patent trolls problems, and over the disfunctions of the European Patent Office (EPO) or the Unified Patent Court (UPC);

5. The financing of the 2009 Court system would have been done (at least partially) with EU funds, while the 2011 project is financed by contributing Member States and companies that litigate in front of the Court; the project of 2009 did not had a self-financed objective, which is a controversial topic as Courts should not have financial targets and it could endanger the integrity of Justice and promote patent maximalism decisions; due to that change in financing, the 2011 UPCA later was designed to have a self-financing goal; this can explain why the proposed court fees of 20.000EUR are unaffordable for SMEs, a reason why the business associations of Czech Republic, Spain, Portugal, and Hungary members of Business Europe could not endorse the recent call for ratifying the UPCA [ref16]. On the point of financing, in April 2012, some British members of the Scrutiny Committee of the British Parliament had already questioned the validity of the outdated impact assessment in their report [ref17]:

“Validity of the EU impact assessment – Vicki Salmon of CIPA expressed concerns about the EU’s impact assessment being “out of date” because: [U]p until the bringing in of the enhanced cooperation, the EU was going to be heavily involved in the Court and was therefore going to provide a lot of funding from central resources for the divisions of the Court and for the training of the judges. With the change of that, following the enhanced cooperation, the EU funding was then not going to be available anymore. […] “We share the concerns expressed by the professions that the UPC will be prohibitively expensive, and also take the view that the EU impact assessment needs to be urgently revisited.”

[ref17] House of Commons: The Unified Patent Court: help of hindrance? (2012) https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmeuleg/1799/1799.pdf

About Impact Assessments in general, we can understand that some DGs are relunctant to produce such assessments of their own policies [ref18]:

 “Internal resistance within a number of Commission Directorates-General to producing such time- and resource-consuming documents has meant that implementation of the system has been variable, at best.”

[ref18] European Policy Center: Assessing the assessors: Improving the quality of European Commission proposals https://www.epc.eu/en/Publications/Assessing-the-assessors-Improving-the-quality-of-European-Commission~1ba620

It’s our interpretation that this Impact Assessment is invalid and should be remade, and the whole Patent Package should be renegotiated in the light of Brexit.

National impact assessments carried out by some member states (Poland, Czech Republic) came back negative about the impact of such project for their economy (-19B EUR over 30 years according to the Polish study commissioned to Deloitte [ref19]). Individual numbers for each country of Europe do not exist, as there is no serious impact assessment of this important reform.

Let us hope “Better Law Making” are not just empty words.

References

[ref1] https://www.ffii.org

[ref2] https://www.stopsoftwarepatents.eu and signatories per country https://stopsoftwarepatents.eu/Stop%20Software%20Patents%20Petition%20stats.htm

[ref3] European Commission cheated Unitary Patent’s Impact Assessment to hide its high costs for SMEs https://ffii.org/european-commission-cheated-unified-patent-courts-impact-assessment-to-hide-the-high-costs-for-smes/

[ref4] FDP: Ratifikation des Übereinkommens über ein Einheitliches Patentgericht, Ratifikation des Übereinkommens über ein Einheitliches Patentgericht https://dserver.bundestag.de/btd/19/236/1923651.pdf

[ref5] BristowsUPC: German government responds to FDP’s questions on UPC https://www.bristowsupc.com/latest-news/german-government-responds-to-fdp-s-questions-on-upc/

[ref6] Prof. Dietmar Harhoff, Ph.D., Economic Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Unified and Integrated European Patent Litigation System, 2009 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267839173_Economic_Cost-Benefit_Analysis_of_a_Unified_and_Integrated_European_Patent_Litigation_System

[ref7] European Ombudsman: Decision in case 1026/2020/MAS concerning the failure by the European Commission to finalise an updated ‘sustainability impact assessment’ before concluding the EU-Mercosur trade negotiations https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/decision/en/139418

[ref8] Solutions For A Unified Patent Litigation System – The Way Forward After The Opinion 1/09 Of The CJEU non-paper of the Commission Services https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-10630-2011-INIT/en/pdf

[ref9] Commission Working Paper Summary Of The Impact Assessment, {COM(2011) 215 final} {COM(2011) 216 final} {SEC(2011) 482 final}, Brussels, 13.4.2011 https://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=SEC:2011:0483:FIN:EN:PDF

[ref10] Intellectual Property Owners Association: “No amendments to the European Patent Convention (EPC) needed or desired”, October 7, 2010 https://ipo.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/EPCLetteronEUPatent.pdf

[ref16] BusinessEurope: European Business Community calls for the rapid ratification and entry into operation of the Unitary Patent system – This paper and the positions reflected in it are not supported by the Spanish Confederation of Employers and Industries (CEOE), Confederação Empresarial de Portugal (CIP), the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic (SPCR) and BusinessHungary (MGYOSZ) https://www.businesseurope.eu/sites/buseur/files/media/position_papers/legal/2021-10-12_joint_business_statement_unitary_patent_unified_patent_court.pdf

[ref17] House of Commons: The Unified Patent Court: help of hindrance? (2012) https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmeuleg/1799/1799.pdf

[ref18] European Policy Center: Assessing the assessors: Improving the quality of European Commission proposals https://www.epc.eu/en/Publications/Assessing-the-assessors-Improving-the-quality-of-European-Commission~1ba620

[ref19] D Xenos, “The European Unified Patent Court: Assessment and Implications of the Federalisation of the Patent System in Europe”, (2013) 10:2 SCRIPTed 246 http://script-ed.org/?p=1071 or https://script-ed.org/article/european-unified-patent-court-assessment-implications-federalisation-patent-system-europe/

[ref20] Belgian delegation to Working Party on Intellectual Property (Patents), Institutional aspects of the EC’s accession to the European Patent Convention, 9 November 2001 https://data.consilium.europa.eu/doc/document/ST-13742-2001-INIT/en/pdf

[ref21] KluwerPatentBlog: Member States will sign Declaration to clear way for preparatory phase Unified Patent Court http://patentblog.kluweriplaw.com/2021/10/28/member-states-will-sign-declaration-to-clear-way-for-preparatory-phase-unified-patent-court/

Links 30/10/2021: Yocto Project 3.4 and Plans for KDE

Posted in News Roundup at 10:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Secure DevOps Platform with Sysdig and SUSE Rancher

        Sysdig Secure DevOps for SUSE Rancher can help you secure your build pipeline and manage your cloud native application landscape with confidence. SUSE is committed to delivering innovative, enterprise solutions with great partners, like Sysdig, that empower customers to overcome their technical challenges.

      • Learn Docker and Kubernetes With the Turing Pi

        ONCE UPON A TIME, if you wanted to install a piece of software, you just stuck an executable file on your hard drive somewhere and went on your merry way. But as computers became more complex, so did installation procedures, which led to problems like “dependency hell,” as different applications dueled over conflicting system configurations.

        One increasingly popular solution today is to add a container layer to the software stack, giving each application its own temporary, sandboxed environment without needing the resources required for a complete stand-alone virtual machine. And as a bonus, containers make it easier to deploy applications efficiently in a cloud or across a local computing cluster.

        The idea is straightforward, but the array of implementations is bewildering, especially if, like me, you’re not a seasoned system administrator. I wanted to get my feet wet with container technology without the risk of accidentally running up hefty cloud charges, so I decided to try out the Turing Pi, which lets you use up to seven Raspberry Pi compute modules as a cluster.

        The US $199 Turing Pi has the same dimensions as a mini ITX PC motherboard and has USB, HDMI, and Ethernet ports. But what looks like a row of slots for memory chips are slots for compute modules. The current version supports the Raspberry Pi Compute Module 1 and Compute Module 3: these are essentially just Raspberry Pi’s minus any input/output ports. (A version that supports the latest, Compute Module 4 has been announced but there is no word yet on pricing or a release date).

      • OpenStack vs AWS: which one is better for you?

        OpenStack vs AWS is a discussion that almost every organisation must conduct when adopting a cloud strategy. This is because OpenStack and AWS are undoubtedly some of the most popular cloud technologies in both public and private cloud space. While AWS is the most popular commercial cloud platform, OpenStack remains its most popular open source equivalent. Both have their own pros and cons.

        But which one is better for you? Or even more importantly, can you use both to reap their benefits at no extra cost? In the following blog post, we will try to answer these questions. But first, let’s start with exploring the differences between OpenStack and AWS.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Graphics Stack

        • Zink driver (OpenGL on top of Vulkan) has Bioshock Infinite working, close to OpenGL 4.6

          Zink is something quite wonderful. A Linux Mesa driver that creates an OpenGL implementation on top of Vulkan and it just keeps on getting more impressive.

          In another update blog post developer Mike Blumenkrantz has given what seems like their final blog post on Zink for 2021 and it’s all sounding very positive. Along side Valve developer Samuel Pitoiset, work progress on Zink plus the AMD RADV Vulkan driver, so that now there’s “only around 200 failures in the GL 4.6 conformance suite” meaning it’s getting really close to being an official conforming driver there.

        • X.Org Server 21.1 Available

          After three and a half years since the last significant release formed release the X.Org Server 21.1 . Starting with the presented branch, a new issue numbering scheme has been put into operation, allowing you to immediately see how long ago this or that version was published. By analogy with the Mesa project, the first number of the version reflects the year, the second number indicates the serial number of the significant release for the year, and the third number is used to flag corrective updates.

    • Applications

      • How to use Tor Tools to protect your Linux desktop privacy

        Tor Tools is an application indicator and GUI frontend for the Tor proxy client service and other technologies to make your Linux system totally private.

        The Tor Browser does a great job as a private browser but there are many other applications communicating with the internet on your system.

        Tor Tools was created to take advantage of the privacy offered by Tor for Linux.

      • Best DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) Available for Linux Desktops

        A Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) lets you record, mix, and make music. For commercial usage, there are several mainstream options to consider, which are often regarded as industry-standard.

        Full-fledged music DAWs like Steinberg’s Nuendo/Cubase, ProTools, Ableton Live, and FL Studio are the most popular (and expensive) solutions. However, they are not available for Linux.

        Hence, when it comes to Linux, you will have to make a different set of choices as per the available options. And, here, I aim to help you point out the best music DAWs for Linux.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Engineer onboarding: two perspectives

        I’ve been a support engineer for over 20 years, across Operations and System & Database Administration. I’ve always found something very rewarding about helping people solve problems, which rings true for most people who decide to go into Technical Support.

        In this post, I’ll share my experience as an end user of the access plane tech, going into detail on the significant impact it had on my onboarding experience, along with why I decided to join the team as an employee.

      • Migrating from Apache/WordPress to relayd/httpd/Hugo

        WordPress has served me well since 2010. But I finally got bored with managing the OAMP stack and having to deal with plugins updates, spam comments and general security warning because of the PHP backend.

        After reading a lot and testing a few Static Site Generator, I decided to go with Hugo to expose all my HTML stuff. And as PHP is not required anymore, I also decided to replace Apache with OpenBSD’s httpd(8) and relayd(8).

      • Find Files Based on Size in Linux – Linux Nightly

        Finding files based on their size can help you figure out which files are taking up the most space on your hard drive. Whether you need to free up storage, or just want to see which files are largest, there are plenty of Linux commands that can help.

        In this guide, we’ll go over the commands you can use to find files and directories based on their size in Linux. Check out some of the examples below to get started.

      • How to install NextCloud on Debain 11 Bullseye Linux – Linux Shout

        Create your own personal cloud storage by installing NextCloud on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux server using the command given here in this step-by-step tutorial.

      • How to Install Ksnip Screenshot Tool via PPA in Ubuntu 20.04, 21.10 | UbuntuHandbook

        For those prefer native DEB to Flatpak and Snap packages, here’s how to install the latest ksnip screenshot tool using PPA in Ubuntu 20.04 and Ubuntu 21.10.

        Ksnip is a free and open-source Qt-based screenshot tool with editing feature. I use the app regularly to add annotations (e.g., arrow, rectangle, border and drop shadow) to my images.

      • Get 500% faster download speeds on Linux with Xtreme Download Manager

        Want to speed up your downloads on Linux? Check out Xtreme Download Manager. It’s an impressive application that can speed up your downloads a whole lot. This guide will show you how to install and use the Xtreme Download Manager on Linux.

      • How to play The Witness on Linux

        The Witness is a 2016 puzzle-exploration game developed and published by Thekla Inc. In the game, the player explores an open island and solves puzzles hidden in the environment. Here’s how to play it on your Linux computer.

      • How to set up FirewallD the easy way on Ubuntu Server

        FirewallD is a complex firewall system for Linux operating systems. It ships by default on Fedora and many other Linux OSes, and for a good reason. It is powerful, highly configurable, and secure. But it isn’t great to set up by hand.

        If you don’t want to fuss around and want to get FirewallD up and running on your Ubuntu Server system so you can get on with your work, this guide is for you. Follow along as we show you how to set up FirewallD on Ubuntu Server the easy way!

      • How to install RawTherapee on a Chromebook

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

      • How to upgrade Devuan 3.1 to 4.0 Chimaera – Unixcop

        Recently, I’ve discovered Devuan, a Debian GNU/Linux fork free of systemd. Soon after I installed Devuan and wrote an article about, they released a new version. So this article is about how to upgrade Devuan 3.1 Beowulf to 4.0 Chimaera.

      • How to install & configure Redis 6 on Rocky Linux/Centos 8

        Redis is an in-memory data structure store, used as a distributed, in-memory key–value database, cache and message broker, with optional durability. Redis supports different kinds of abstract data structures, such as strings, lists, maps, sets, sorted sets, HyperLogLogs, bitmaps, streams, and spatial indices.

      • How To Fix Broken Ubuntu OS without Reinstalling the System

        Linux users often face issues with broken operating systems due to many reasons. This issue frequently occurs when turning on the system after a major software crush, update failure, or physical damage to the system. It’s not undeniable that getting a shake on the hardware (especially in laptops) might break your current operating system. Now, there is no hassle if you’ve been started using your Ubuntu fresh, but it would be havoc if you’ve been using Ubuntu professionally, and there are tons of files on your system. In that case, you might not want to erase the current operating system entirely and reinstall Ubuntu. There are ways that you can use to fix your broken Ubuntu OS without reinstalling it on your machine.

      • Date Command in Linux with Usage Examples

        The date command in Linux is used to display or set system date and time. It allows users to display time in various formats and calculates the past and future dates.

        In this tutorial, we learn about the date command in Linux with usage examples.

    • Games

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • 10 Best Linux Desktop Environments of 2021

        Linux desktop environment contains a bundle of applications created in a manner to work with one another and give a consistent User Experience(UX). A tremendous sum of Linux clients inclines toward to work on the OS through the terminal of the command-line, but you will also be able to use the graphical UI rather than using the terminal. Since there is no particular best Linux desktop environment as it depends upon distinctive components like simple to utilize, memory consumption, compatibility, and usefulness. Every user has their own requirements, so choose the best fit for your own.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.24 will support the fingerprint reader

          An important announcement was made by Nate Graham, developer of KDE, regarding the KDE Plasma 5.24 release of Plasma , the engine behind the popular desktop manager: support for the fingerprint reader has been added.

          All laptop owners, not just Thinkpads, who have an integrated fingerprint reader or owners of an external reader will be able to configure KDE so that you can authenticate with the tip of your finger.

        • This week in KDE: Accent-colored folders and more!

          Keep in mind that this blog only covers the tip of the iceberg! Tons of KDE apps whose development I don’t have time to follow aren’t represented here, and I also don’t mention backend refactoring, improved test coverage, and other changes that are generally not user-facing. If you’re hungry for more, check out https://planet.kde.org/, where you can find blog posts by other KDE contributors detailing the work they’re doing.

        • KDE Ends Out October With More Fixes, Continued Polishing To Plasma Wayland

          KDE Plasma 5.23 offers much better Plasma Wayland support than prior releases but still the journey of polished Wayland support on-par with X11 is not over. KDE developers ended out October working on more Wayland fixes along with other improvements to this open-source desktop.

          KDE developer Nate Graham is out with his usual weekly development summary for all of the happenings going on for this major free software project. Some of the KDE highlights for this week included…

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

    • Distributions

      • Yocto Project 3.4 (honister) is Released

        We are pleased to announce the Yocto Project 3.4 Release is now available for download.

      • Yocto Project 3.4 (Honister) released [LWN.net]

        Version 3.4 of The Yocto Project has been released. Yocto provides a system for building embedded Linux distributions. This release comes with “Linux kernel 5.14, glibc 2.34 and ~280 other recipe upgrades”, support for building and cross-compiling Rust code, tons of new recipes, a way to create a SPDX bill of materials (BoM), overlayfs and seccomp support, optimizations, bug fixes, and more. The full release notes have further information.

      • BSD

        • My FreeBSD laptop… without a GUI!?

          To take a step back, might lead you to fall off a cliff. I’m working on creating the ultimate “on call” FreeBSD laptop. It needs a few VPN clients, text editors, orchestration tools, QEMU for quick tests, git and rsync for keeping things current, and… that’s about it. When I realised that none of these require a graphical environment, I decided to see if I could live entirely within a tty, just like the old times.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Could “Unbreakable” Oracle Linux be the Logical Enterprise-Ready CentOS Replacement?

          The Oracle Linux team has created a simple script with instructions that you can use to switch your CentOS 8, 7 and 6 systems to Oracle Linux. The script has two main functions: it switches your yum configuration to use the Oracle Linux yum server to update some core packages and installs the latest Oracle Linux’s latest Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. It is not necessary to restart after switching, but we recommend you do to take advantage of UEK. Yes – it really is that easy!

        • How to Install & Configure Apache (HTTPD) with Let’s Encrypt TLS/SSL on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

          Apache, also known as Apache HTTP server, has been one of the most widely used web server applications globally for the past few decades. It is a free and open-source web application software maintained by the Apache Software Foundation. Apache provides some powerful features with dynamically loadable modules, easy integration with other software, and handling of static files, among other popular features.

          In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Apache Web Server on Rocky Linux 8.

        • How to install Crab Game by Dani on a Chromebook

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

          This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

        • How To Install GIMP on Debian 11 – idroot

          In this tutorial, we will show you how to install GIMP on Debian 11. For those of you who didn’t know, GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) is a free, open-source raster graphics editing software primarily used for image manipulation and image editing, transcoding between various image formats, free-form drawing, and many more specialized tasks.

          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 GIMP open-source image editor on a Debian 11 (Bullseye).

      • Debian Family

        • Tails: The Linux Distribution That Makes You Completely Anonymous Online

          Want to access the internet without leaving any traces? Check out Tails, a Linux distro that focuses on maintaining user privacy and anonymity.

          It’s no secret that many users finally make the switch from Windows to Linux because of a desire to make their own choices and take control of their computer and privacy. Although there are many Linux distros, each different from the next, security and privacy are the common threads running through all of them.

          One such distribution is Tails, a security-focused operating system that maintains your anonymity on the web.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Online 21.10 Released, Lets You Try Ubuntu Desktop in a Web Browser

          Inspired by the Ubuntu Online Tour project created by Canonical a few years ago, the Ubuntu Online project aims to give those with very limited resources the option to try the latest Ubuntu Desktop release in a web browser.

          Ubuntu Online works both online and offline, but for the best experience the files need to be hosted online, in a web server. This is great if you want, for example, to migrate a bunch of computers to Ubuntu/Linux but you want your users to see what the fuss is all about with an online demo.

        • Supporting ‘impish’ releases

          Now that Canonical has released Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri) you can use my latest release of ‘isorespin.sh‘ to respin Ubuntu ISOs:

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • 7 Best Free and Open Source JSON Tools

        JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is a standard, popular and lightweight data text-oriented format based on JavaScript object syntax to represent structured data. You can use JSON independently of JavaScript, but it strongly resembles JavaScript object literal syntax, and several programming environments can interpret (parse) and create JSON.

        JSON is often adopted in web services and APIs — enabling web applications to transfer and retrieve data with a common format. JSON can be used with many modern programming languages. JSON is considered one of the popular, easiest, and lightweight and formats used for interaction between services.

        JSON has attracted the attention of tool builders, who have created a variety of tools for reformatting, validating, and parsing JSON.

      • Events

        • CloudStack Collaboration Conference 2021 – 8-12 November 2021

          CloudStack Collaboration Conference 2021 – 8-12 November 2021

          For the 9th year running, the global Apache CloudStack community will be holding its major event —CloudStack Collaboration Conference— on 8-12 November 2021. Due to the pandemic, the event will take place virtually to enable even more people interested in CloudStack technology to learn about its latest features, capabilities, and integrations.

          Тhe 2021 edition of the CloudStack Collaboration Conference starts with a full hackathon day on 8 November. The next 4 days acome with numerous exciting technical talks, as well as 5 different workshops that will provide newcomers an in-depth overview of the power of CloudStack technology. A separate track focused on user success stories is expected to be an engaging draw, where attendees will learn about the CloudStack implementations in companies that include NTT Data, CloudOps, EWERK, Cloud.ca, and more.

          [...]

          Apache CloudStack originated in 2008 as a start-up project at Cloud.com, and rapidly evolved through the years to become a favored turnkey solution for Cloud builders, IaaS providers, telcos, and enterprises. CloudStack entered the Apache Incubator in 2012 and graduated as an Apache Top-Level Project in 2013, backed by a vibrant, diverse community of engineers, DevOps, Cloud architects, and C-level leaders united with the aim of advancing the Apache CloudStack project and its community.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 94 To Start Using EGL On Linux – Better Performance, Lower Power Use
          • Firefox 94 comes with EGL on X11

            Firefox 94 is coming out next week and brings awesome news. OpenGL EGL backend its enabled by default on Intel/AMD and recent Mesa for users on X11.

            Historically Linux comes with GLX (OpenGL X11 extension) but that era is finally ending and we’re moving forward to EGL which promises all the goodness you can expect from modern graphics subsystem…or you can create a texture over graphics memory at least.

            I’ll keep aside all EGL / GLX difference and focus to changes from user perspective. GLX is old, well debugged and tied closely to X11 which means seamless experience and wide support by gfx drivers (like proprietary NVIDIA ones). It’s used by most X11 applications and ‘just works’.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Amazon Opens the Code for Babelfish, Extensions to Replace MS SQL Server with PostgreSQL

          Amazon has opened the original texts of the draft ” Babelfish for PostgreSQL “, proposing an extension to the PostgreSQL database with the implementation of specific capabilities database Microsoft SQL Server. The key goal of the project is to provide the ability to run applications written for SQL Server on servers running PostgreSQL. The project code is open under Apache 2.0 and PostgreSQL License.

          Babelfish supports the network protocol used to connect clients to SQL Server, the T-SQL language and SQL Server-specific query language extensions, which allows you to translate running applications from Microsoft SQL Server to PostgreSQL without modifying their code or with minimal changes and without replacing drivers to the DBMS … For applications, Babelfish looks like a regular SQL Server. The project is already in use on Amazon Aurora.

        • A Puzzling Performance Problem

          During the troubleshooting phase; it was clear that the CPU queue was going high while it shouldn’t have! This was causing the poor system performance. The only fact that brought to mind the idea of enhancing CPU performance by setting the tuned profile to throughput-performance , thus forcing the CPUs to work at maximum performance, was https://github.com/redhat-performance/tuned/blob/master/profiles/throughput-performance/tuned.conf.

          After enabling this profile, the system performance improved, and the CPU queue became empty in a few seconds!

      • FSF

        • Licensing/Legal

          • Software Freedom Conservancy Takes On Vizio in Lawsuit Alleging GPL Violations

            The Software Freedom Conservancy announced that it is suing Vizio, an American TV manufacturer, for what it alleges are “repeated failures to fulfill even the basic requirements of the General Public License (GPL).”

            The 501(c)(3) charity organization is a non-profit that provides infrastructure support for free and open source software projects, defending users’ rights under copyleft licenses and the GPL. A few of its member projects include BusyBox, Git, Homebrew, OpenWrt, and phpMyAdmin. As part of its mission, the Conservancy assists member projects in enforcing the terms of FLOSS licenses, including through litigation.

          • Mastodon puts Trump’s social network on notice for improperly using its code

            Mastodon has sent former President Donald Trump’s company a formal notification that it’s breaking the rules by using Mastodon’s open-source code to build its social network, named Truth. This news comes from a blog post by Mastodon’s founder Eugen Rochko, but others have previously pointed out that the organization behind Truth, the Trump Media and Technology Group (or TMTG), was violating Mastodon’s software license by not providing the source code for the site built on top of it. Trump’s group has 30 days from when the letter was sent to comply with the license or stop using the software, or it could lose the right to do so.

          • Trump’s Truth Social Could Have Software License Revoked Unless Source Code Made Public

            Trump announced his new social media site, Truth Social, last week, touting the platform as a new beacon of free expression online. Truth Social’s terms of use claim that “all” its source code is its “proprietary property,” but users quickly noticed that the site clearly used Mastodon code.

            Mastodon is an open-source social media framework that aims to allow people to create online platforms without relying on big tech. However, its AGPLv3 license requires users to make the source code and any modifications public. In the Friday blog post, Mastodon’s founder, Eugen Rochko, said that his company had warned Truth Social that its license could be permanently revoked within a month if it does not comply with this requirement.

          • GPL Open Source Litigation Could Open the Door to Other Suits [Ed: Litigation lawyers like these ones are hostile towards sharing; they have spread this widely. So lawyers that hate Free software, love Microsoft, love software patents, and want lots of litigation… dislike the GPL. By means of reverse psychology we can deduce GPL is very effective against bad people.]

            In today’s digital age, the question isn’t whether there is open source software being used in a company’s products, but how it is being used and what license governs its use. Open source is ubiquitous. Despite its widespread use over the past decade, the provisions of open source licenses have been interpreted by only a handful of U.S. and foreign courts. Open source-related disputes do not usually reach court as open source advocacy groups that enforce open source license provisions often work out a resolution between the parties without litigation.

            However, one recent open source dispute has reached the courthouse. As discussed below, a new case filed in California state court could test the enforcement of one of the most common family of open source licenses, the GNU General Public Licenses or “GPL.” If the plaintiff is successful, the case could have the effect of expanding enforcement of GPL licenses under the rubric of consumer protection and allow a broad range of parties to bring claims under the GPL as third party beneficiaries of those licenses.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Open Access/Content

          • The Internet Archive Transforms Access to Books in a Digital World

            The Archive is a nonprofit digital library that has had one guiding mission for almost 25 years: to provide universal access to all knowledge. Democratizing access to books is a central part of that mission. That’s why the Archive has been working with other libraries for almost a decade to digitize and lend books via Controlled Digital Lending (CDL).

            This service has been especially crucial during the pandemic, but will be needed long afterwards.

            CDL allows people to check out digital copies of books for two weeks or less, and only permits patrons to check out as many digital copies as the Archive and its partner libraries physically own. Lending happens on an “own to loan” basis—if a digital copy is checked out to a patron, the physical copy is unavailable to other patrons as well. CDL does use DRM to enforce that limited access, but it is still true that anyone with an Internet connection can read digital versions of the great works of human history.

        • As Open Access Week 2021 Draws to a Close, the UK Prepares to Host COP26

          As International Open Access Week (25 – 31 October) draws to a close, the UK prepares to welcome the world to the COP26 summit (31 October – 12 November). Creative Commons CEO, Catherine Stihler, says the UK has the opportunity to unlock digital democracy if the government invests in and commits to open software, openly licensed content, research and data.

    • Programming/Development

      • Dirk Eddelbuettel: dang 0.0.15: Small Correction

        A bug-fix release of the dang package arrived at CRAN a little while ago. The dang package regroups a few functions of mine that had no other home as for example lsos() from a StackOverflow question from 2009 (!!), the overbought/oversold price band plotter from an older blog post, the market monitor from the last release as well the checkCRANStatus() function tweeted about by Tim Taylor.

      • Dirk Eddelbuettel: td 0.0.5 on CRAN: New Reference Accessors

        The td package for accessing the twelvedata API for financial data has been updated on CRAN to version 0.0.5.

        This is version is mostly the work of Kenneth who suggested to add accessors for reference data, and then did just that. So if you already use td, good news as you now have nine or so more functions getting data for you!

      • A simple CSS trick for dark mode

        You’re likely already familiar with media queries. They’re in widespread use for making websites responsive. The width and height properties contain the viewport’s dimensions. You then use CSS to render different layouts at different dimensions.

        The prefers-color-scheme media query works the same way. The user can configure their operating system to use a light or dark theme. Prefers-color-scheme contains that value. The value is either light or dark, though the W3C spec states that it might support future values like sepia. I specify different values of CSS variables for both modes and let the user’s OS decide.

      • Print a Halloween greeting with ASCII art on Linux | Opensource.com

        Full-color ASCII art used to be quite popular on DOS, which could leverage the extended ASCII character set and its collection of drawing elements. You can add a little visual interest to your next FreeDOS program by adding ASCII art as a cool “welcome” screen or as a colorful “exit” screen with more information about the program.

        But this style of ASCII art isn’t limited just to FreeDOS applications. You can use the same method in a Linux terminal-mode program. While Linux uses ncurses to control the screen instead of DOS’s conio, the related concepts apply well to Linux programs. This article looks at how to generate colorful ASCII art from a C program.

      • Announcing marked-it v2: Transform your Markdown source into HTML5 output

        marked-it is an open source generator that transforms Markdown source into HTML5 output. Created by IBM, marked-it adds to the basic Markdown markup with extensions that make your content web-ready.

        In marked-it version 2.0, we refactored the code to make it easier for users to code, customize, and contribute their own enhancements to the project.

      • Commercial LTS Qt 5.15.7 Released

        We have released Qt 5.15.7 LTS for commercial license holders today. As a patch release, Qt 5.15.7 does not add any new functionality but provides bug fixes and other improvements.

      • Qt Creator 6 – CMake update

        Qt Creator 6 comes with bug fixes and new features that affect CMake projects.

      • RAII Footguns in Rust and C++

        RAII classes are often used to keep resources alive or hold locks for a given scope. There observable side-effects usually occur only in the constructor and destructor. However, it is quite easy in both languages to forget a tiny detail that will lead to the RAII object being destroyed too early

      • Perl/Raku

        • My Favorite Warnings: redefine

          Sooner or later any programmer, writing in any language, will run across something like this Perl warning: Subroutine foo redefined. This is telling you that somehow, somewhere, you tried to create two subroutines with the same name.

      • Python

        • Things to do in Python 3 when your Unix standard input is badly encoded

          Today I had a little adventure with Python 3. I have a program that takes standard input, reads and lightly processes a bunch of headers before writing them out, then just copies the body (of an email message, as it happens) from standard input to standard output. Normally it gets well formed input, with no illegally encoded UTF-8. Today, there were some stray bytes and the world blew up. Dealing with this was far harder than it should have been, partly because the documentation has issues.

      • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • Bash String Manipulation

          One thing that bash is excellent at is manipulating strings of text. If you’re at the command line or writing a small script, then knowing some bash string idioms can be a lot of help.

          So in this article, I’m going to go over techniques for working with strings in bash.

  • Leftovers

    • Cry the Beloved Country: The Roots Poetry of Tijan M. Sallah

      Since then The Gambia has had a stormy political life, some of which is reflected in the poetry of Tijan M. Sallah, who was born in The Gambia in 1958, a year after Ghana gained independence from Great Britain and Kwame Nkrumah became the first president of the independent nation. For a small nation, The Gambia has produced large number of exceptional poets such as bah momodoup (no capitals) and Marabi Amfaal Hydara who has been called “the humanitarian poet.”

      Sallah, who was educated in the U.S and who has a Ph.D from Virginia Polytechnic Institute, is the best known Gambian poet both inside and outside The Gambia. For two decades he was the lead operations officer at the World Bank. He has published five volumes of poetry, plus short stories, criticism, a biography of the famed Nigerian novelist, Chinua Achebe, and a work of ethnography about the Wolof people who live in Senegal, Mauritania and The Gambia. Now 63 years old and conscious of aging—see the poems “Growing Old” and “Meditation on White Hair” —Sallah, it seems, would like to be remembered as a writer as much if not more than for his work at the World Bank.

    • Do We Need Faith as the World Feels Like It’s Ending?

      I’m writing this while on the road with the Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants, a collective whose children were disappeared on the migrant trail by cartels, government agents, or traffickers. For these women, the world has already ended. It ends every time they wake up and confront life without their children. Subscribe to The Nation Subscribe now for as little as $2 a month! Get The Nation’s Weekly NewsletterFridays. The best of the week. By signing up, you confirm that you are over the age of 16 and agree to receive occasional promotional offers for programs that support The Nation’s journalism. You can read our Privacy Policy here.

    • Graying, Gen X and Generational Leapfrog

      It means more than you think.

      Girls can go gray as young as age 13. Teens who go prematurely silver are abandoning what would have been the standard shame-based response of the past, racing to buy hair dye. Now gray-haired teens and twentysomethings are joining their black- and red-haired, blonde and brunette brethren—and what would have prompted stares a decade ago suddenly seems normal.

    • No Time To Think: The Changing Geopolitics of International Blockbusters

      One effect of this narrative style is to put more emphasis on the story of Bond and less on the usual geopolitics and action we associate with Bond films. Now this is very interesting considering that if one was to ask oneself: which country would be the most likely target and villain of the latest Bond film as a cultural representative of the world’s imperialist and neo-colonial powers? It would have to be: China.

      Who’s bad?

    • My Surreal Encounter With Mort Sahl

      I first met Mort in a little jazz club (maybe, 60-70 people, max) in Hollywood, in 1985.  He was booked Thursday to Sunday.  We attended Thursday night, positively loved him, then tried to return on Friday, but Mort refused to perform unless a minimum of 20 people showed up, so we went to see him on Saturday.  Don Rickles gets 800 people in Las Vegas, but Mort Sahl can’t even get 20 people to show up!!?

      While he was waiting to do his act on Saturday, I took a chance.  With him sitting in a pantry among the canned goods and booze (this man, this comedy legend, didn’t even have his own goddamn dressing room!), I busted in on him…literally.  Not expecting him, Mort was visibly startled when I entered.

    • The Faintest Hint Of Regulatory Accountability Has Tesla Acting Like An Adult

      Coming from telecom, I’m painfully aware of the perils of the “deregulation is a panacea” mindset. For literally thirty straight years, the idea that deregulation results in some kind of miraculous Utopia informed U.S. telecom policy, resulting in a sector that was increasingly consolidated and uncompetitive. In short, the entirety of U.S. telecom policy (with the short lived sporadic exception) has been to kowtow to regional telecom monopolies. Efforts to do absolutely anything other than that (see: net neutrality, privacy, etc.) are met with immeasurable hyperventilation and predictions of imminent doom.

    • She’s On a Roll

      As we see, Prerna’s family is a member of the lower caste, part of a social order with an upper caste that rules the social roost. (In the view of author and scholar Oliver C. Cox, the Indian caste system and American racial stratification were so different that the former cannot explain the latter.)

      As Skater Girl opens, we discover that while Prerna does not attend the local school, her brother does. Male privilege can and does begin at an early age. Eventually, she does return to school. This part of the film speaks volumes about female equality and opportunity under patriarchy, or male dominance over females. This social order persists near and far, to the detriment of half of humanity.

    • Meadows’s Delay to Comply With Jan. 6 Subpoena May Lead to Contempt Charges
    • “A Pivotal Change”: Economist Darrick Hamilton on What the Build Back Better Act Could Accomplish

      Democrats in Washington remain divided over two key bills at the center of President Biden’s domestic agenda: a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $1.85 trillion Build Back Better plan, which has been cut down from $3.5 trillion. Even though Biden’s latest framework is almost half the size of the original proposal, conservative Democratic Senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona are still refusing to commit to its passage. The new proposal strips out several key provisions, including paid family leave, free community college, expanded Medicare coverage for dental and vision, and prescription drug reform. Key elements still in the framework include provisions to provide universal pre-K education, an expanded child tax credit for another year, affordable child care, affordable housing, free school meals, expanded Medicare for hearing services, as well as $555 billion in climate initiatives. Economist Darrick Hamilton, founding director of the Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy at The New School, says that despite the smaller size of the package, it would still transform the U.S. economy after decades of austerity and budget cuts. “This is a pivotal change,” he says.

    • Opinion | America’s Killer Diet

      My title is not hyperbole. I sure wish it were.

    • Help us Beat the Devil

      Yet, here I am, doing the very thing I despise the most.

      It’s interesting the things you will do when your back is against a wall, and that’s exactly the position CounterPunch finds itself in. We are in a financial pickle. In our case, we are talking about survival, and what the future of our modest, independent media operation will look like.

    • Forget Twitter Threads; Write A Blog Post Instead!

      All of the kool kids in Twitter land seem to be jumping on the bandwagon of a very annoying craze. Twitter threads. Please stop; write a blog post instead.

    • Seven Year Itch and the House of Seven Gables: A Halloween Tale

      Jeff and Laura stood in the graveyard with their Irish Setters, Ginger Rogers and Freud Austere, the bitches steaming after a long trot down, then back up Hathorne Hill, on a late autumn afternoon in Danvers, the dying trees full of majestic color exploded all around them, carping. Always carping and carrying on, scratching-and-sniffing at each other all day long, like they couldn’t wait to get to The Seven Year Itch, the anticipated scent of new feral moans seemingly driving them forward together and apart. They were in year six of their marriage, the same age as their twin daughters, Laura (I), named after her mother, and Anne, named after their Dad’s paternal grandmother. And therein was the Rub: Who would get the kids in the split up ahead? Laura wanted Jeff to take them; Jeff preferred the traditional alimony and child support route instead. They were discussing this situation now.

      “You’re so selfish sometimes, Jeff,” said Laura, haughty from the left. “Why can’t you take them? I’m so busy. You work from home. You can have the house if you keep the kids.”

    • Science

      • Plos One retracts article tied to MIT and Epstein

        Plos One, in a notice of retraction, cited a series of concerns about accuracy and replicability in the article by authors at MIT and the University of Texas at Austin who promised a breakthrough technology in cyber-agriculture.

    • Education

      • Florida Program to Aid Brain-Damaged Kids Often Told Families No. It’s Promising to Change.

        In what would mark a major reversal, Florida’s program for children born with severe brain damage is poised to drop a much-despised policy requiring parents seeking therapy and medicine for their kids to try to get it first from the state’s health care safety net for poor people.

        Under the existing policy, the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association, or NICA, will only provide services or supplies if Medicaid says no and then only after all appeals fail — a bureaucratic gantlet that can take months.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • It’s Time to End Murder by Spreadsheet

        There have been 13 deaths at Rikers Island this year already, while white-collar criminals rarely even get ankle bracelets as they await trial. This month, as the Chamber of Commerce amped up its campaign to stall legislation that would hold the Sackler family accountable for the deaths they caused and profited from by encouraging the over-prescribing of opioid drugs, a poor man in a wheelchair was killed by Covid. He’d been charged with gun possession and became the 13th Rikers’ death because he couldn’t afford $100,000 bail.

      • Progressives Say ‘It’s Not Too Late’ to Prevent Big Pharma From Destroying Democrats’ Drug Price Promise

        While expressing their frustration with the gutting of President Joe Biden’s agenda to tax corporations and the wealthy to fund expanded public benefits and climate action, healthcare advocates are stressing that there is still an opportunity for progressive lawmakers to fight for the inclusion of expanded Medicare benefits and lower drug prices in the Democratic Party’s not-yet-finalized reconciliation bill.

        “Democrats still have a huge opportunity to deliver on a promise they have been making for decades to lower drug prices.”

      • FDA Approves Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use in Kids Age 5 to 11
      • As Pharma Cash Rained Down, Sinema Killed Democrats’ Prescription Drug Plan
      • ‘End the Pandemic… Share the Vaccines!’: All-Night Vigil Held Outside House of Top Biden Covid-19 Official

        A group of social justice advocates staged an overnight vigil Thursday into Friday outside the home of top White House coronavirus official Jeff Zients urging the Biden administration to take greater actions to “vaccinate the world.”

        “We rallied today, we marched, we spoke, and we visited Jeff Zients to make it clear to this administration that this pandemic will not end until we take global action,” said Vinay Krishnan, Center for Popular Democracy Action’s national field organizer, in a statement.

      • America’s Food Safety System Failed to Stop a Salmonella Epidemic. It’s Still Making People Sick.

        In May 2018, a rare and virulent strain of salmonella caught the attention of America’s top disease detectives. In less than two months, the bacteria had sickened more than a dozen people, nearly all of them on the East Coast. Many said they’d eaten chicken, and federal food safety inspectors found the strain in chicken breasts, sausages and wings during routine sampling at poultry plants.

        But what seemed like a straightforward outbreak soon took a mystifying turn. Cases surfaced as far away as Texas and Missouri. A 1-year-old boy from Illinois and a 105-year-old woman from West Virginia fell ill. There was a teenager who’d just returned from a service trip in the Dominican Republic and a woman who’d traveled to Nicaragua. But there were also people who hadn’t traveled at all.

      • “They Deserve to Be Safe”: Candidates Call on Florida to Investigate the Health Effects of Sugar Cane Burning

        Florida Democrats running to represent the state’s largest sugar-growing region in Congress say that state officials need to examine whether the industry’s harvesting practices are harming the health of residents in Florida’s heartland. The primary election, which will be held Tuesday, will likely decide the ultimate winner, given the heavily Democratic district.

        The calls came in response to an investigation by The Palm Beach Post and ProPublica that found the Florida Department of Health ignored the recommendations of its own researchers to do such an assessment five years ago, despite mounting complaints from residents and multiple studies linking a practice known as cane burning to toxic pollution. Sugar companies are the largest employers in the region.

      • Food Contaminated With Drug-Resistant Salmonella Strain Continues to Be Sold
      • Documents reveal Facebook targeted children as young as 6 for consumer base

        In the internal blog post published April 9, the author wrote that the company planned to hire several positions as it expanded into offering its full range of products to children younger than its current threshold of 13 years old. Diagrams illustrate proposed new target age groups, ranging from kids 6 to 9 years old and tweens 10 to 12 years old — along with existing targets of early teens from 13 to 15 years old, late teens from 16 to 17 years old, and adults.

        “These five age groups can be used to define education, transparency, controls and defaults that will meet the needs of young users,” wrote the Facebook employee.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Ransomware Has Disrupted Almost 1,000 Schools in the US This Year [iophk: Windows TCO]

          But it is less often reported that, ransomware attacks have also ravaged U.S. schools. So far this year, almost 1,000 schools across the country have suffered from a ransomware attack, and in some cases had classes disrupted because of it, according to tallies by Emsisoft, a cybersecurity company that specializes in tracking and investigating ransomware attacks, and another cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.

        • “Public” Private Cobalt Strike Keys [iophk: Windows TCO]

          If you want to integrated these 6 keys in your own tools: be my guest. You can find these key pairs in 1768.json.

        • Cobalt Strike: Using Known Private Keys To Decrypt Traffic – Part 1 [iophk: Windows TCO]

          We found 6 private keys for rogue Cobalt Strike software, enabling C2 network traffic decryption.

        • Cobalt Strike: Using Known Private Keys To Decrypt Traffic – Part 2 [iophk: Windows TCO]

          In this blog post, we will analyze a Cobalt Strike infection by looking at a full packet capture that was taken during the infection. This analysis includes decryption of the C2 traffic.

        • Accenture lost ‘proprietary information’ in summer ransomware attack [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The SEC filing filed Friday provides additional detail on a breach the company first discovered on July 30 and disclosed in early August. The disclosure coincided with the ransomware gang LockBit 2.0 leaking information from the consulting giant after saying Accenture failed to pay a $50 million ransom by its deadline.

        • Africa sees increase in ransomware, botnet attacks – but online scams still pose biggest threat

          The study (PDF), published by Interpol yesterday (October 25), found that internet-enabled fraud was the biggest risk to African countries, which have reported a sharp increase in the number of online banking scams, including instances of banking and credit card fraud, in 2021.

        • Video: C Programming on System 6 – Amend Revision Control System

          It’s been almost a year since my last confessional video. A few weeks ago I started working on a small revision control system to handle my C projects developed on my Mac and it’s now at the point where I can at least manage commits to the tool itself.

        • Disabling ssh password auth on Monterey is different

          If you’re riding the bleeding edge of Mac software updates, you might have just installed Monterey, or you will soon. If you’re also running sshd so you can log in remotely, you should be aware that the typical “revert your config” shenanigans have happened, so you are once again accepting password authentication, and thus are subject to a brute-force attack.

        • Security

          • Hive ransomware now encrypts Linux and FreeBSD systems [Ed: Microsoft boosters trying to prop up this idea that UNIX is the ransomware target [1, 2, 3, 4]; Slashdot now helps these Microsoft boostesr.]

            The Hive ransomware gang now also encrypts Linux and FreeBSD using new malware variants specifically developed to target these platforms.

            However, as Slovak internet security firm ESET discovered, Hive’s new encryptors are still in development and still lack functionality.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Swiss Court Says ProtonMail Isn’t A Telecom, Isn’t Obligated To Retain Data On Users

              ProtonMail offers encrypted email, something that suggests it’s more privacy conscious than others operating in the same arena. But, being located in Switzerland, it’s subject to that country’s laws. That has caused some friction between its privacy protection claims and its obligations to the Swiss government, which, earlier this year, rubbed French activists the wrong way when their IP addresses were handed over to French authorities.

            • AOC calls Facebook a ‘cancer to democracy’ after Meta rebrand

              Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called Facebook a “cancer to democracy” in a tweet on Thursday shortly after the company announced that it was changing its corporate name to Meta to better represent its focus on building the metaverse.

              “Meta as in “we are a cancer to democracy metastasizing into a global surveillance and propaganda machine for boosting authoritarian regimes and destroying civil society… for profit!” said Ocasio-Cortez on Thursday.

            • Why has Facebook changed its name to Meta and what is the metaverse?

              It is important to note that Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram will all be keeping their names. But the company that produces and maintains them will now be called Meta – similar to Google’s 2015 corporate restructuring into a parent company called Alphabet. Facebook (the company) even changed the logo outside its building on 28 October.

            • Meta: Facebook’s new name ridiculed by Hebrew speakers

              Facebook’s announcement that it is changing its name to Meta has caused quite the stir in Israel where the word sounds like the Hebrew word for “dead”.

              To be precise, Meta is pronounced like the feminine form of the Hebrew word.

              A number of people have taken to Twitter to share their take on the name under the hashtag #FacebookDead.

            • Bias in FB algorithm a serious issue: Chandrasekhar

              Chandrasekhar said that the government is concerned about potential abuse and misuse of social media users, and wants that user safety be accorded primacy by internet giants such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, YouTube and others that operate across the online space in India. “The issue of bias in algorithms is a serious issue for governments, consumers and regulators all over the world. Our jurisprudence and laws and regulations must — sometime in the future — be able to address this issue,” Chandrasekhar told TOI, in the first official comment by the government following the global outrage over Haugen’s revelations that the Mark Zuckerbergled Facebook and his company Instagram had been cavalier about user safety as they chased profits and neglected algorithms that fuelled hate.

            • Facebook Is Now Meta. And It Wants to Monetize Your Whole Existence.

              On Thursday, Facebook changed its name to Meta, as part of a broader shift toward the so-called metaverse — a network of interconnected experiences partly accessed through virtual reality (VR) headsets and augmented reality (AR) devices. In Zuckerberg’s own words, “you can think about the metaverse as an embodied internet, where instead of just viewing content — you are in it.” The most recognizable examples of this in action are virtual office meetings with VR goggles, playing games in an expansive online universe, and accessing a digital layer on top of the real world through AR.

              As owner of Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and the virtual reality firm Oculus, the holding company now known as Meta plans to create an interconnected world in which our work, life, and leisure all take place on its infrastructure — monetizing all aspects of our lives. For now, this is still the stuff of fantasy. Yet it’s also the fantasy of one of the most powerful men in the world — and for this reason, it deserves our attention.

            • Facebook stops just short of rebranding to ‘The Web’

              By the time Meta figures out its metaverse business model, few people will use that word to describe any of this. It’ll sound strange in the same way “World Wide Web” does today.

              Meta would be like Microsoft changing its name to The Web in 1999 — only, somehow, even worse.

            • An Interview with Mark Zuckerberg about the Metaverse

              This interview was conducted on Tuesday, two days before the Facebook Connect keynote where Zuckerberg unveiled his vision for the metaverse, and announced his company’s new name: Meta. There were no limitations on the interview; it was my choice to focus on the company’s new vision and not the current controversies about Facebook.

              This interview is also available as a podcast; to listen in your podcast player register for a free Stratechery account and add your personal podcast feed.

            • Facebook and the Metaverse with Ryan Cristián

              Whitney and Ryan Cristian discuss the recent news of Facebook rebranding as a “metaverse” company and provide important background on what the metaverse is and what its ambitions really are.

            • No esKAPE from Kape? Don’t run from Five Eyes, they are your friends! -“Private” Internet Access

              Dodgy company KAPE has been on a VPN buying spree.

              ZeroHedge noticed this a while back and wrote an article about the people involved with the company.

              “The VPN Empire Built By Intelligence Agents”

              Now, Kape themselves have posted on one of their front companies, Private Internet Access, which was, I believe, the first to be quietly taken over, in 2019.

              They have a “Get the Facts” style campaign going about why there’s absolutely nothing to fear about US-based VPNs (after years of making it seem like they were based in the UK), and why Five Eyes is nothing to be concerned about.

              Which is, of course, bullshit.

              [...]

              After Roy Schestowitz brought my attention to this post, I double checked to make sure my PIA subscription was, in fact, canceled.

            • Reality 2.0 Episode 90: Can Facebook Be the Good Guy?

              New episode of the Reality 2.0 podcast is uploaded and out today: Reality 2.0 Episode 90: Can Facebook Be the Good Guy? Tune in to our new episode! Katherine Druckman and Doc Searls talk to Shawn Powers and Petros Koutoupis about Facebook’s metaverse focus and whistleblower problems.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Capitol Police Wrongly Worried About Leftist Counterprotesters on January 6
      • Every House Member Who Aided the January 6 Rioters Must Be Expelled

        Congress should identify, investigate, and expel members of the House and Senate who aided and abetted the insurrectionists who stormed the US Capitol in an effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election. That is the constitutionally appropriate and practically necessary response to a coup attempt that now appears to have involved not just violent right-wing extremists from across the country but also Republican representatives who swore an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

      • What Are the Prospects for Peace: an Interview With Dan Kovalik

        Dan Kovalik is the author of critically-acclaimed No More War: How the West Violates International Law by Using ‘Humanitarian’ Intervention to Advance Economic and Strategic Interests, The Plot to Scapegoat Russia, The Plot to Attack Iran, The Plot to Control the World, and The Plot to Overthrow Venezuela and has been a labor and human rights lawyer since graduating from Columbia Law School in 1993. He has represented plaintiffs in ATS cases arising out of egregious human rights abuses in Colombia. He received the David W. Mills Mentoring Fellowship from Stanford Law School, and has lectured throughout the world. His responses below are exactly as he provided.

        The questions here are not philosophical or abstract. They focus on the realities of the international power struggle unfolding in real time. They directly address the role of the U.S. in the escalating tensions and its capacity to reduce them. We also probe the role of everyday citizens in affecting the relationship the U.S. now has and will have with the rest of the world community.

      • Psychology of the Iraq War

        In 1895, Gustave Le Bon, a French social psychologist, published “La psychologie des foules,” a seminal book on crowd psychology that became a classic in its genre and a basic source for Sigmund Freud when he dealt with this subject. Pertinent to this day, Le Bon´s ideas laid the groundwork for hypotheses by later authors to explain tragic historical events such as the role of Nazi Germany in World War II.

        Although Le Bon wrote mainly about the psychology of crowds, his thoughts can also be applied to populations. Though different, both share some common characteristics. Crowds are transitory and tend to gather because they are homogeneous in their beliefs about specific subjects or events. Populations are groups of people with different ways of thinking, living in a place geographically defined but who, similar to crowds, can be swayed by mass media or by a leader.

      • How U.S. Interference in Cuba Creates a False Picture of Its Society

        A quick study of the Diario de Cuba website reveals that it regularly publishes news relating to Marco Rubio’s views against the Cuban government. According to the Diario de Cuba article shared by Rubio on the November 20 march, the initiative has been promoted by a group called Archipiélago that proposes to carry out such peaceful demonstrations throughout Cuba. Rubio has extended his support for the march and on September 29 tweeted about a request by the citizens of Guantánamo seeking similar permission to hold a march on November 20. In his tweet, he shared an article from the news site CiberCuba, which is operated from Florida and Spain. There are several other news sites reporting on Cuba that are funded by the United States government and by foundations like the Open Society and NED, including ADN Cuba, Cubanos por el Mundo, Cubita NOW, CubaNet, El Estornudo, Periodismo de Barrio, Tremenda Nota, El Toque, and YucaByte.

        A wide range of these U.S. government-funded websites and politicians such as Rubio have been leading the propaganda to support more protests in Cuba. On October 5, the U.S. administration of President Joe Biden also provided support to this agenda. The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Brian Nichols tweeted, “The fight for a free press and free expression continues in Cuba.” Meanwhile, during an event hosted by Georgetown Americas Institute, Juan Gonzalez, the senior director for the Western Hemisphere at the National Security Council, criticized the Cuban government for arresting artists and protesters. “[W]hen you put artists in jail for singing and for demanding freedom, there’s something wrong with you,” he said.

      • Fate Like a Sandstorm: Jordan and the Middle East

        As fate would have it, these past 12 months have seen so much chasing and adjusting for Jordan and the mother of all political sandstorms has run amok. Not only an alleged coup but aggressive scrutiny over the Pandora Papers. They say particles of sand vibrate in a sandstorm. Jordan has been royally convulsing.

        Every week King Abdullah of Jordan is under attack in the media from some quarter or another. Last week it was Quin Hillyer in the Washington Examiner, showing particular disdain for Jordan’s imprisonment of US citizen Bassem Awadallah, at the same time as pointing out the country is receiving $1.5 billion in aid from the US each year.

      • US Coalition Calls on Biden to Denounce Israel’s Crackdown on Palestinian Rights Groups

        A broad coalition of nearly 300 U.S.-based social justice groups on Friday urged the Biden administration to “immediately and unequivocally” condemn the Israeli government’s recent decision to classify a half-dozen Palestinian human rights groups as “terrorist organizations.”

        “Smearing the promotion and defense of human rights as ‘terrorist’ activity is a dangerous, well-worn tactic of authoritarian regimes.”

      • ‘This Sends the Wrong Message’: Biden Blasted for New Iran Sanctions Ahead of Nuclear Talks

        U.S. President Joe Biden faced criticism Friday for imposing fresh sanctions on Iran as he heads into weekend talks with European leaders prior to potential direct negotiations with Tehran over the nuclear deal ditched by his predecessor over three years ago.

        The U.S. Treasury Department announced the new sanctions—which target individuals and companies tied to Iran’s drone program—while the president was in Rome for a Group of 20 summit, during which he’s expected to discuss the Iranian nuclear program with European attendees, according to Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser.

      • Ethiopia: Assailed by Terrorists and Betrayed by the West

        Aided by mainstream western media – The Economist, BBC, The Guardian, New York Times, Al Jazeera, Facebook (who, according to former employer now whistleblower, Frances Haugen, is “fanning ethnic violence in Ethiopia”) and others – they have spread misinformation and lies about the situation inside Ethiopia. False accusations that Abiy’s government is deliberately “starving its own people”, “blocking humanitarian aid” from reaching displaced groups and carrying out atrocities in the region are widespread on such platforms.

        They receive their information not from Ethiopian journalists working on the ground, or well-informed local people, but, it seems, from statements issued by the US administration, UN agencies, external organizations and TPLF spokespeople. The same material is published or broadcast by each media outlet, more or less. It is consistently untrue and serves to undermine the Ethiopian government, create confusion and strengthen the TPLF’s campaign. What western governments don’t mention, and consistently fail to condemn, are the atrocities perpetrated by the TPLF.

      • Who’s Responsible for the Rust Shooting?

        Reportage generally describes the shooting as an “accident,” but it wasn’t. There are two kinds of firearms discharges: Intentional and negligent. This incident is no exception. But that doesn’t mean the intent or negligence was wholly Baldwin’s.

        Was the shooting intentional or negligent? And whose intent or negligence contributed to it? From afar, this looks like a complicated question.

    • Environment

      • The Centerpiece of the Build Back Better Climate Plan Has Been Stripped Out
      • Despite Cutbacks, ExxonMobil Continues to Fund Climate Science Denial

        “Did we aggressively fight against some of the science? Yes,” McCoy, then ExxonMobil’s senior director of federal relations, said during the interview. “Did we join some of these ‘shadow groups’ to work against some of the early efforts? Yes, that’s true. But there’s nothing illegal about that. We were looking out for our investments. We were looking out for our shareholders.”

        For all his candor, McCoy got at least one thing wrong. ExxonMobil did “join”—in other words, pay—denier groups to spread disinformation to blunt initial government attempts to curb carbon emissions. But McCoy inaccurately used the past tense. In fact, the company continues to fund them.

      • Rain Falls on California, but Water Is Still Scarce
      • In Their Own Words: The Dirty Dozen Documents of Big Oil’s Secret Climate Knowledge

        “Did we aggressively fight against some of the science? Yes,” said ExxonMobil lobbyist Keith McCoy. “Did we join some of these ‘shadow groups’ to work against some of the early efforts? Yes, that’s true. But there’s nothing illegal about that.”

      • What Big Oil Knew About Climate Change, in Its Own Words

        I pored over boxes of papers, thousands of pages. I began to recognize typewriter fonts from the 1960s and ‘70s and marveled at the legibility of past penmanship, and got used to squinting when it wasn’t so clear.

        What those papers revealed is now changing our understanding of how climate change became a crisis.

      • Energy

        • Fossil Fuel Interests Continue to Block Climate Action in Europe Ahead of COP26
        • Democrats Will Subpoena Big Oil to Force Disclosure of Climate Denial Campaigns
        • Ahead of COP 26, Worldwide Mobilizations Launched to Demand Big Banks End Fossil Fuel Destruction

          Friday marked the start of a suite of coordination global actions by climate activists demanding financial institutions stop backing fossil fuel projects.

          “Financial institutions who run our economies… must do their part by halting all of their funding of climate chaos.”

        • ‘The Supreme Court Could Destroy the Planet’: Review of EPA Power Triggers Alarm

          As U.S. President Joe Biden prepares for a consequential United Nations climate summit in Scotland, the Supreme Court on Friday provoked widespread alarm by agreeing to review the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to limit planet-heating pollution.

          “The Supreme Court could destroy the planet. Pass it on,” tweeted Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) in response to the decision.

        • Congress Grills ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron and the American Petroleum Institute on Their Roles in Spreading Climate Disinformation

          Top executives from ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, Chevron, and the American Petroleum Institute appeared virtually on Thursday to testify before the House of Representatives on climate change. The day-long hearing drew comparisons to hearings decades ago when big tobacco executives were similarly forced to answer questions in front of Congress about the addictiveness of their products and the risks faced by smokers.

          While some observers are already suggesting that this time around, Congress may have been “outmatched” by the oil executives, the day was nonetheless marked by a number of moments that could be consequential over the long run in holding Big Oil accountable for its role in the climate crisis. 

        • To Tackle Climate Change, Hold Fossil Fuel Conglomerates Accountable
        • North Sea Oil Industry ‘Voted’ on New ‘Climate Compatibility’ Drilling Policy, Minutes Show

          Oil and gas companies have been given the chance to “vote” on what a new climate test for North Sea drilling projects should look like, ahead of a public consultation on the scheme, official meeting minutes show.

          The opportunity arose through a collaborative forum between the industry and its regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority – evidence that the sector is being allowed to “mark its own homework”, according to the Scottish Green Party.

        • Democrats Add $775 Million Oil and Gas Subsidy to Bill After Lobbyist Campaign
        • The Divestment Movement’s Big Month
        • How Venture Capitalists Think [Cryptocurency] Will Reshape Commerce

          In first three quarters of 2021, venture capitalists poured a record $21.4 billion into cryptocurrency and blockchain-related companies, in 1,196 deals, according to Pitchbook, a market data provider. That is more than five times as much money compared to last year.

          No one is placing a bigger bet than Andreessen Horowitz, also known by the nickname A16Z, a Silicon Valley firm whose founders helped build and fund today’s internet. They say the “digital status quo is broken,” with giant tech gatekeepers profiting off everyone’s creativity and data.

        • Cuba’s communist regime is trying to control [cryptocurrency]

          Initially many of these transactions happened informally over social-messaging apps. As [cryptocurrency] became more common, people turned to specialist platforms, such as BitRemesas, founded in September 2020 by Erich García, a Cuban YouTube influencer who makes videos about the internet. BitRemesas matches [cryptocurrency] sellers outside the country with buyers on the island through auctions.

        • Blockchain Experts Debate Just How Much Internet Needs to Change

          The Senate introduced controversial language on cryptocurrency to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act last month that has spurred renewed discussion about the blockchain.

          That bill includes tax reporting requirements for wallet developers and cryptocurrency miners that blockchain enthusiasts criticize as overly burdensome. There are different opinions about whether these provisions will be addressed via amendment, or included in the measure when it is ultimately teed up for passage by the House.

          Panelists at the event reacted to this development by discussing whether proper groundwork is being laid to support future advancements in cryptocurrency.

        • How Practical is Harvesting Water from the Air?

          For those with solar panels and battery storage, the energy cost may not seem like a problem. However, for those stuck paying grid prices, such an installation in drought-struck California would cost on the order of $27-36 a day to run, given the current energy price of around 20 cents per kilowatt-hour. It’s a huge price to pay for water, given the average bill in California currently sits at just $65 a month.

          The key really is pairing such technology with solar power, in order to avoid contributing further to the climate change problem that causes hot weather and droughts in the first place. Bay Area man Don Johnson lives in the city of Benicia, and bought himself a Tsunami 500 in order to supply his garden’s water needs. However, he found that the machine was able to generate more than enough water to cover both his garden and his household usage. With the benefit of a large solar install on his roof, Johnson hasn’t had to deal with excessive power bills when running the system.

          [...]

          Given the huge cost, it’s unsurprising that this technology is not yet mainstream. Tsunami Products reportedly sold just 20 units in 18 months prior to coverage by AP News. Since then, the company has reported a torrent of interest, and hopes to close on 50 orders by year’s end. Given the anxieties created by drought, it’s perhaps unsurprising that those with the means are jumping at the chance to secure their own water supply.

          It does, however, raise the idea that perhaps the technology could be used in a more sustainable fashion. Anyone that’s seen water dripping off an air conditioner unit will be familiar with the principles at play. There’s perhaps scope to investigate capturing condensation from large air conditioning units in commercial and industrial installations, where it could be purified for use on-site. This could potentially reduce water use without increasing power usage, as it relies on the existing air conditioning system as it’s already employed. It’s something unlikely to work on the smaller home scale, due to the lower amounts of water such a system would harvest. However, for larger installations, it could prove beneficial.

          Overall, however, water production from humid air remains an energy-intensive, and thus costly, exercise. While atmospheric water capture may find some applications in off-grid areas and with cashed-up homeowners, it’s in no way likely to serve as a widespread solution to the water woes of California and other drought-stricken areas. More traditional methods of saving and capturing water will have to be employed.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Opinion | The Battle Over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Is About More Than Just Oil

          Seventy percent of Americans are opposed to drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and millions have made their voices heard through public administrative comments, and yet for the last four years our government has failed to listen. That could all soon change, however, as Congress and the Biden administration continue to work toward legislation—the Build Back Better Act—that would undo the Arctic Refuge oil and gas program and buy back all current leases. The time to permanently protect the Arctic Refuge is here, and it is clearer than ever that its fate will greatly impact our collective future.

        • The ‘Lord God Bird’ Might be Extinct, But the Story of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Isn’t Over Yet

          In its most recent report to the U.S. government, the Fish and Wildlife Service identified 23 lost causes, including the Kauai O’o, Bachman’s warbler and seven freshwater mussel species. Few have caused as much outcry, though, as the iconic ivory-billed woodpecker.

        • The Latest Logging Industry Smokescreen

          In a sense, however, this is not the fault of the Forest Service; it’s fundamentally the fault of the U.S. Congress, which created the federal laws upon which this troubling system has been built, and it is the ultimate responsibility of Congress to pass new laws to get the Forest Service out of the commercial logging business.

          For years, hundreds of independent scientists from universities and non-governmental organizations have been producing research that has increasingly questioned the claims and assumptions used by the Forest Service to perpetuate its logging program. In response, the Forest Service has, over the past two decades, allocated tens of millions of dollars to pay a few dozen agency and university scientists to attack this much larger group of independent scientists, who are not funded by the Forest Service or any other logging entity. But the scientists and agencies whose funding is tied to logging keep ending up on the losing end of the scientific debate in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Recently, agencies and scientists affiliated with the logging industry have turned to whisper campaigns and character assassination, as well as social media and certain willing news outlets to personally attack independent forest, fire, and climate scientists, including myself, rather than try to debate us on the evidence.

    • Finance

      • ‘He Needs to Step Up’: Ocasio-Cortez Urges New Student Debt Relief From Biden

        “Now that his agenda is thinly sliced he needs to step up his executive action game and show his commitment to [delivering] for people.”

      • The Real Meaning of Squid Game

        It’s not a reality show. But this fictional drama does accurately reflect the reality of living in South Korean society these days.

        The commentary about Squid Game has emphasized the economic precariousness in which so many Koreans live. Household debt in South Korea is over 100 percent of the country’s GDP. Housing is expensive while secure jobs are scarce. A few years ago, young people started referring to their country as Hell Chosun, a place where they simply couldn’t get ahead. Competition is ruthless for spots at the top universities and choice positions in the leading conglomerates known as chaebols. The resulting inequality has become a major theme in Korean culture, which came to the attention of global audiences in 2019 with the popular movie Parasite.

      • Don’t Be Fooled Squid Game Fans, by Many Measures the US is More Unequal Than South Korea

        This is not the first time South Korea’s entertainment industry has focused on the dark side of contemporary capitalism. Squid Game appears a few years after the South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s popular and critically acclaimed movies Parasite and Snowpiercer critiqued class inequality. Squid Game’s dramatization of extreme economic hardship in South Korea might lead some to feel that conditions are better in the United States. However, the United States has more inequality than South Korea by several economic and social measures. We will discuss a few below, but we are not attempting a comprehensive review.

        When looking at the ratio of the average disposable income of the top 20 percent of households to the bottom 20 percent, the United States has more inequality than South Korea (Figure 1). In the United States, the richest 20 percent have an average income 8.4 times the lowest 20 percent; in South Korea the ratio is 6.5 times. The gap between rich and poor is larger in the United States.

      • Class War Heats Up

        U.S. billionaires pretty much have the run of Congress and the White House. Just to make that clear, corporate lobbyist heavy hitters from the Chamber of Commerce, Pfizer, ExxonMobil and the Business Roundtable brazenly and intensely assaulted BBB tax raises, which would have brought their taxes up to a mere 28 percent from 21 percent. They did this so defiantly and ostentatiously that back on September 9, 100 groups from the other side urged congress to stand up to this plutocratic bullying.

        These 100 opposing organizations, led by the Economic Policy Institute, denounced the tens of millions of dollars spent by wealthy corporations to attack “the most transformative and equitable budget proposed in a generation.” The EPI assemblage included the AFL-CIO, Americans for Tax Fairness, Center for American Progress, League of Conservation Voters and dozens more. Suffice it to say these signatories are pissed. They don’t like what corporate America is up to.

      • Subway’s Sandwich Mogul Meets — and Beats — the IRS
      • There’s a ‘Squid Game’ cryptocurrency – and it’s up nearly 2,400% in the last 24 hours
      • The Billionaires Tax Isn’t New

        Having stumbled in their attempts to raise taxes on the wealthy in the conventional way, Democrats in Congress moved to unconventional measures.

        The proposal was to tax billionaires on their so-called unrealized gains — the growth in the value of assets, such as stocks and real estate, that have not yet been sold. To understand why lawmakers might look to a group of more than 700 billionaires to underwrite a massive spending program, consider this statistic: Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, billionaires have seen a 70% increase in their wealth, from nearly $3 trillion to an almost incomprehensible $5 trillion, according to Forbes data analyzed by Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies Program on Inequality and the Common Good.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Efforts to Ban Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” Are at Center of Virginia Governor Race
      • Macedonian Ramble: Ohrid’s Divided Legacy

        The border guards at the Sveti Naum post (it’s named after the nearby medieval monastery) stamped me into the Republic of North Macedonia, and one of them said that occasionally a bus came out to the frontier, although he didn’t know the schedule.

        I found the bus stop by the roadside, but after waiting in the cold for fifteen minutes I decided that my best chance to connect with civilization would be to walk to the monastery, which was about a mile away.

      • Virginia Governor’s Race Tightens as Focus Grows on “Parents’ Rights,” Abortion & Trump

        We look at the Virginia gubernatorial race, where former Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe is facing Republican Glenn Youngkin, the former CEO of a private equity firm. President Joe Biden, who has campaigned with McAuliffe, warns Youngkin is an extremist in the vein of former President Trump. A major point of contention is Youngkin’s push for “parents’ rights” — a catch-all phrase adopted by right-wing opponents of vaccine and mask mandates, transgender rights and critical race theory. Julia Manchester, national politics reporter for The Hill, says that Youngkin has essentially portrayed elected school board officials as “political figures trying to influence Virginia students’ education.”

      • Opinion | The Path Toward a Just, Feminist Future in Haiti

        As Haiti experiences a surge of crises—political upheaval, an earthquake in August, tropical storms—we might ask ourselves what we can do to support people there whose lives have been upended. But the better question is: what does the world, and especially the US, owe to the Haitian people, as a matter of justice?

      • Who Goes Fascist? A Political Psychologist Explains.

        In April 2018, an audience packed the American Academy in Berlin to listen to the political scientist Kristen Renwick Monroe. The room crackled with energy. Donald Trump had been president for just over a year, and people desperately wanted insight into the tumultuous changes happening in the United States. The newspapers were filled with stories about the Muslim travel ban, a planned wall along the US-Mexican border, and White House attacks on the press.1

      • Opinion | What Seattle Can Teach the Country About Fixing Our Democracy

        Far from the dysfunctional tumult in Congress, Seattle has found two keys toward fixing problems that plague our democracy. The country should pay attention.

      • Prospects for Chile: New President, New Constitution, Continuing Turmoil

        But turmoil and volatility prevail, as evidenced in presidential elections taking place on November 21, continuing street demonstrations, and preparations for a new Constitution.

        Elections at hand

      • On Mass Political Inattention

        Speaking to Salon’s Chauncy de Vega about how the United States is mired in a crisis of democracy that shows parallels with Germany’s descent into Nazism during the 1930s, Norman Ornstein recently noted that “Most people don’t pay close attention, day to day, to what’s going on” in the political sphere.

        Speaking just anecdotally, my guess is that Ornstein is correct.  In my experience, most people I talk to outside of my pre-existing left circles have only the foggiest notion about the specifics and meaning of current events. “The news” holds little real interest and significance for everyday Americans. And the notion of doing the work to “pay close attention, day to day,” is simply beyond the pale of imaginable life activity for most ordinary citizens in the nation that absurdly claims to be the world’s greatest democracy.

      • Blame Manchin and Sinema for the Delay on the Infrastructure Vote

        All day Thursday, I found myself torn about whether the House Progressive Caucus should accept a “framework” for a pared-down “Build Back Better” bill in exchange for its members’ votes for the ballyhooed bipartisan infrastructure bill, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi brought up for a vote again yesterday. Together, the two bills would provide an almost $3 trillion investment in our future. And while lots of important priorities got cut from the BBB “framework,” what remained was indeed what Pelosi termed “transformative.” Universal pre-kindergarten, investments in child care and elder care, health care funding, a half-billion in climate change mitigation programs, an unexpectedly progressive tax plan, and more. I always thought that in the end, progressives would accept the “framework” of the BBB, rather than demand a vote on the bill, in order to proceed with a vote on infrastructure.

      • Should Andrew Cuomo Go To Jail for “Forcible Touching”?

        “Waaaah!” go the white men.

      • Opinion | US Policy Toward Venezuela Was Never About Promoting Democracy

        Last year, then Special Representative Elliott Abrams declared that the Trump Administration was “working hard” to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. Now Abrams (currently a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations), together with the Biden Administration, is urging the Venezuelan opposition to participate in the upcoming state and local elections this November.

      • ‘Hands Off,’ Varoufakis Tells Zuckerberg After Facebook Steals ‘Meta’ Name From Anti-Capitalist Think Tank

        As Facebook faces a firestorm for changing its corporate name to Meta amid heightened scrutiny over how the tech titan harms humanity, Greek economist and Progressive International co-founder Yanis Varoufakis on Friday called out the company for stealing the moniker of a global anti-capitalist think tank.

        Varoufakis, in a tweet, took aim at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who announced the new name at a conference Thursday, as the social media company contends with widespread criticism of its practices thanks to revelations from former-employees-turned-whistleblowers.

      • Roaming Charges: In the Time of Passive Non-Resistance

        Of course, Biden’s pledge to become the new FDR was always hollow, almost comically so for those who’d paid the slightest attention to his career in the US senate. When the “new Democrats” finally took power and Clinton began dismantling what remained of FDR’s political legacy, Biden ran interference for him on the Hill, helping to smother what little internal resistance the Democrat’s put up to Bubba’s drive to “end the Era of Big Government.” It takes a politician more gifted than Biden to authentically fake fury at the shriveling of policies that he never really believed in to begin with.

        + When fools rush in…

      • GOP Efforts to Ban Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” Now at Center of Virginia Governor’s Race

        Virginia’s Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin caused public uproar this week when he released a political ad featuring a white mother who advocated banning Toni Morrison’s novel “Beloved” from schools. The woman, Laura Murphy, describes the book as “some of the most explicit material you can imagine.” In 2013, Murphy fought to have the “Beloved bill” passed, which was eventually vetoed by Governor Terry McAuliffe, who is running again for governor against Youngkin in the current race. Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel tells the story of a family of former enslaved people set after the American Civil War. Dana Williams, professor of African American literature at Howard University, says the fight over “parents’ rights” has become a racist dog whistle. “Books like ‘Beloved’ really do force us to have real conversations about history,” she says.

      • Facebook Removed the News Feed Algorithm in an Experiment. Then It Gave Up.
      • Karen Dolan on Build Back Better, Tim Karr on Changing Facebook
      • A Livable Future Is Possible: An Interview With Noam Chomsky

        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 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.

      • Noam Chomsky: “It Doesn’t Have to Be This Way”

        In a new interview, Noam Chomsky argues that a livable future free of catastrophic climate change is possible — we just have to take on the billionaires standing in the way.

      • Meta and the Facebook Papers: Why Mark Zuckerberg has nothing to fear

        With great fanfare on Thursday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his company’s much-anticipated name change. While he sidestepped some of the more obvious possibilities — “The Borg” or “The Matrix” come to mind — the name that was eventually settled on, Meta, proved to be no less ominous. That was doubly so because Zuckerberg’s vision for the company’s future was to create a “metaverse,” which he has described as an “embodied internet” and “a persistent, synchronous environment.” Casey Newton at The Verge described it as “a more maximalist version of Facebook, spanning social presence, office work, and entertainment.” One does get the strong impression that Zuckerberg envisions a future where people never unplug from his metaverse, putting them under very non-stop corporate surveillance for profit.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • US Congress grills oil executives over climate disinformation in day-long hearing

        Top executives of ExxonMobil and other oil giants denied spreading disinformation about climate change as they sparred Thursday with congressional Democrats over allegations that the industry concealed evidence about the dangers of global warming.

      • “Fetal cells” in COVID-19 vaccines…again

        I realize that I probably sound a lot like one of those annoying scolds who keeps saying, “I told you so,” but, nearly two decades into my second “career” writing about pseudoscience and conspiracy theories like those promoted by the antivaccine movement, it’s hard to resist. The reason is that everything old is new again. The same claims that I’ve been discussing right here on this very blog since 2004 and then before that on Usenet and other discussion forums have not only resurfaced since the COVID-19 pandemic hit us in early 2020, but they’ve been turbocharged. Somewhat annoying to us relative old-timers, a lot of colleagues are now noticing antivaccine lies and conspiracy theories that we’ve known about and been warning about for years and years, such as the misuse of the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) database; claims that vaccines kill, cause infertility in girls, and the like; fear mongering over vaccines selecting for more deadly variants of the coronavirus; and minimization of COVID-19 as a disease that is not dangerous to the virtuous “healthy” people. (Just never mind those old people, who can’t help being old right now, because no one can control when they are born, and don’t get me started on the resurrection of old antivax conspiracy theories about the CDC.) So it is, yet again, with the claim that COVID-19 vaccines contain “aborted fetal tissue,” “fetal cells,” or “fetal DNA.” Just for yucks, I searched for the first time I ever wrote about this particular antivax trope, and it turned out to have been in 2005, when an antivaxxer claimed that the varicella vaccine contained “aborted fetal tissue.” (Hint: It didn’t and doesn’t.)

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • As Prudes Drive Social Media Takedowns, Museums Embrace… OnlyFans?

        Over the last few years, we’ve seen more and more focus on using content moderation efforts to stamp out anything even remotely upsetting to certain loud interest groups. In particular, we’ve seen NCOSE, formerly “Morality in Media,” spending the past few years whipping up a frenzy about “pornography” online. They were one of the key campaigners for FOSTA, which they flat out admitted was step one in their plan to ban all pornography online. Recently, we’ve discussed how MasterCard had put in place ridiculous new rules that were making life difficult for tons of websites. Some of the websites noted that Mastercard told them it was taking direction from… NCOSE. Perhaps not surprisingly, just recently, NCOSE gave MasterCard its “Corporate Leadership Award” and praised the company for cracking down on pornography (which NCOSE considers the same as sex trafficking or child sexual abuse).

      • China is destroying Hong Kong’s culture – just look at its film scene

        In Hong Kong cinema’s near three-decade heyday, elegant wuxia (ancient martial-arts tales) rubbed up against moody neon-drenched cops-and-gangsters thrillers, dizzying kung fu spectacles and achingly sexy art-house romances. It was a cultural powerhouse in East Asia and a cult sensation in the West. What’s more, unlike many other distinctive national cinemas, it thrived without a scrap of government subsidy. As the great critic and film historian David Bordwell once observed: “Hong Kong movies were made simply because millions of people wanted to watch them.”

        Yet this once vibrant industry is now facing extinction. On Wednesday, Hong Kong’s Legislative Council voted in swingeing new censorship laws that align with the political interests of the Chinese regime. The measures give politicians the power to ban any film which is deemed to “endorse, support, glorify, encourage [or] incite activities that might endanger national security” – terms loose enough to encompass anyone and anything China might take against.

      • Hong Kong Passes Film Censorship Law; ‘Will Impact the Film Industry and Diminish Creativity,’ Says Expert

        Dr Kwok-kwan Kenny Ng, Associate Professor at the Academy of Film at Hong Kong Baptist University, one of whose areas of research is film censorship, tells Silverscreen India that the clause initially said films “that endangered national security” should be prohibited, but the amendments in August changed it to “contrary to the interests of national security.”

        The new law also grants powers to the Film Censorship Authority to enter and search any premises without a warrant to prevent the unauthorised screening of films.

        It further rules out the usual appeal process through the Board of Review (Film Censorship) against any decisions made by censors on the grounds of national security. Filmmakers must now appeal to the courts for a judicial review instead.

      • Social Media Companies Noncommittal on Bipartisan Calls for Changes to Content Regulation

        During the hearing, subcommittee chairman Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Connecticut, said his staff had created a TikTok account and while at first they were shown videos of dance trends that have been popularized on the app, it only took one week for the app’s algorithm to place videos encouraging suicidal ideation on their feed. Blumenthal also noted that through viewing fitness-related videos geared toward a male audience on social media, it only took one minute to find posts promoting illegal steroids.

      • The Week in Internet News: Snowden Warns of Anti-Encryption Efforts

        The power to censor: Meanwhile, the government of Russia has been taking several steps to censor Internet communications, the New York Times reports. In addition to demands from regulators going to Internet companies, the government has installed “black boxes” on the networks of telecom providers there, with the equipment “giving authorities startling new powers to block, filter and slow down websites that they did not want the Russian public to see.”

      • Germany: How does it deal with Chinese censorship?

        Talks on the biography Xi Jinping: der mächtigste Mann der Welt (Xi Jinping: The most powerful man in the world), written by German journalists Stefan Aust and Adrian Geiges, were supposed to be held at the Confucius Institutes in Hannover and Duisburg.

        But organizers were pressured into canceling the events, said Ulrich Radtke, rector of the University of Duisburg-Essen, at the beginning of an online presentation of the book held on Wednesday that was organized at short notice as an alternative to the canceled events.

        The circumstances leading to the cancelation are still being investigated, explained Radtke, who added: “This is not a random case for us; it touches on our academic freedom.”

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Biden’s DOJ Dismissed Suicide Risk for Assange in Appeal of Extradition Denial
      • The Most Important Battle for Press Freedom of Our Time

        Assange, with long white hair, appeared on screen the first day from the video conference room in HM Prison Belmarsh. He was wearing a white shirt with an untied tie around his neck. He looked gaunt and tired. He did not appear in court, the judges explained, because he was receiving a “high dose of medication.” On the second day he was apparently not present in the prison’s video conference room.

        Assange is being extradited because his organization WikiLeaks released the Iraq War Logs in October 2010, which documented numerous US war crimes — including video images of the gunning down of two Reuters journalists and 10 other unarmed civilians in the Collateral murder video, the routine torture of Iraqi prisoners, the covering up of thousands of civilian deaths and the killing of nearly 700 civilians that had approached too closely to US checkpoints. He is also being targeted by US authorities for other leaks, especially those that exposed  the hacking tools used by the CIA known as Vault 7, which enables the spy agency to compromise cars, smart TVs, web browsers and the operating systems of most smart phones, as well as operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, macOS and Linux.

      • Appeal Hearing: CIA’s War On Assange, Their ‘Most Prominent Critic,’ Takes Center Stage

        The Central Intelligence Agency’s record of retaliation against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, including reported plans to kidnap or assassinate him, was focused on during the second day of the United States government’s appeal hearing.

        It was part of the Assange legal team’s effort to convince the High Court of Justice in the United Kingdom of the gravity of the risks, which Assange would face if they overturn a district judge’s decision and allow extradition.

      • U.S., 17 Other Nations Condemn Russia’s ‘Intensifying Harassment’ Of Media, Journalists

        An 18-member group of nations, including the United States and United Kingdom, has expressed “deep concern” over what it calls the Russian government’s “intensifying harassment of independent journalists and media outlets” in the country.

        The statement, issued on October 28 under the name of the Media Freedom Coalition, was also signed by Ukraine and North Macedonia, along with Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

      • HS journalists face prosecution over intelligence centre story

        The Deputy State prosecutor has filed charges against three Helsingin Sanomat employees over an in-depth look at an intelligence facility located in Central Finland, published in 2017.

        The three have been charged with disclosure of state secrets or attempted disclosure of state secrets. The offences carry a maximum sentence of four years in prison; however it is unlikely that a non-suspended jail term would be imposed.

        The pre-trial investigation found that HS had not used illegal means to acquire the documents, so the charges relate to the publication of the information they contained.

      • Journalists at Helsingin Sanomat charged for publishing classified defence documents

        The pre-trial investigation found that the journalists employed no unlawful means to obtain the information.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Use and Disadvantage of Doctrine in the Classroom

        The BLM at School Movement seems to have been the first name it gave itself, but its enemies stole a march on the popular mind and rechristened it “the CRT curriculum.” The left-wing dodge was to say that conservative critics were simply confused, since critical race theory is an intricate program, excogitated by a few legal academics in the 1980s and ’90s, which could not possibly be conveyed to children still learning their ABCs. The deflection deserved to fail, and it did fail. No matter what you call it, something new is plainly happening to the way history and social studies are taught in grades K-12.

      • ‘A Human Experiment’: John Marion Grant Convulsed, Vomited at Oklahoma Execution

        “There should be no more executions in Oklahoma until we go trial in February to address the state’s problematic lethal injection protocol.”

        “Oklahoma knew full well that this was well within the realm of possible outcomes in a midazolam execution. It didn’t care… and the Supreme Court apparently didn’t either.”

      • Mexico, US Imperialism and the Border

        Over the course of the next two years, unions in all three countries organized opposition to NAFTA. By the time Bill Clinton was elected president in November 1992, most people had at least heard of the agreement. Many Democrats had come out in opposition to it and Clinton pretended he was one of them. As it turned out, he wasn’t and NAFTA passed into law in 1994. Most of what the opposition predicted would happen, did. Wages fell in the United States, small farmers in Mexico saw the value of their crops drop, US corporations moved into Mexico, and Mexicans who had lost their livelihoods began heading to the US in great numbers. These are but a few examples of how NAFTA changed the economies of North America.

        Of course, NAFTA is not the sole reason for the situation working people in North America find themselves in. Numerous other causes exist; some were foreseeable outgrowths of capitalism’s ongoing crisis while others—like COVID-19—were not. Likewise, not all workers in all three nations have experienced this crisis in the same ways. It seems fair to state that it is the Mexican working class and small farmers who have suffered the most. Forced to migrate to cities or the United States in order to find work, these people’s very lives end up criminalized. Sneaking across harsh terrain surveilled by high-tech machinery and often brutal police agencies, these migrants are also looked upon as prey by unscrupulous coyotes, drug traffickers and just plain criminals. Should they make their way across the US southern border alive, they often end up in detention camps filled with stories of abuse, neglect, and sickness. The brutality required to keep borders closed to human beings is both graphic and appalling beyond belief.

      • “Shadow Units”: How Secretive Border Patrol Teams Shield Agents from Accountability

        A human rights network of 60 organizations working along the U.S.-Mexico border released a letter to Congress on Wednesday urging them to investigate “shadow police units” that have helped cover up beatings and killings by Border Patrol agents for more than three decades. The shadow units, identified in the letter as “Border Patrol Critical Incident Teams,” are said to possibly be “the largest and longest standing shadow police unit that is operating today in the federal government.” New details came to light when attorneys investigating the 2010 Border Patrol killing of Mexican father Anastasio Hernández Rojas found a secretive special investigative unit tampered with and even destroyed evidence in the case to shield the agents involved. Investigative journalist John Carlos Frey, who reported on the case and helped uncover the shadow groups, says agents “tampered with evidence, they obstructed justice, and they violated the law,” adding that Border Patrol is being permitted to “investigate itself without any oversight.”

      • “If Black Women Were Free”: An Oral History of the Combahee River Collective

        Last year, fierce protests erupted across the US out of rage against austerity, a botched Covid-19 response, and the brutal murder of George Floyd. Demonstrators blocked traffic, occupied public spaces, and destroyed police property. At the same time, there was an upswell in mutual aid, rent strikes, and labor organizing.

      • Opinion | The Poisonous ‘Citizens United’ Decision Gave Corporations the Power to Slash and Burn Build Back Better

        If President Biden’s Build Back Better plan goes down in flames, you can blame the US Supreme Court. Their Citizens United decision, in fact, is destroying both American politics and the planet.

      • The Window to Act Is Closing Fast
      • Status Coup
      • The Supreme Court Wants to Make It Even Harder to Sue Abusive Cops

        Qualified immunity is a legal concept that sounds wonky but is not difficult to grasp. Put simply: Government workers, including members of law enforcement, cannot be sued in their capacity as private individuals for actions they take as part of their official responsibilities.

      • Oklahoma inmate dies vomiting and convulsing in first state execution since 2015

        Condemned Oklahoma prisoner John Grant convulsed and vomited before dying from a cocktail of drugs on Thursday as the state conducted its first execution in years despite questions about its lethal injection protocol, a witness to the death reported.

      • Doctors question sedative dose used in Oklahoma execution

        “Either they lied to the public and they can’t be trusted or they told the truth and the protocol can’t be trusted,” Denham said.

      • 118 days: No justice for those targeted by the “Sulli Deals” incident.

        On July 4, 2021, the news first broke about the “Sulli Deals” incident, in which Muslim women were specifically targeted due to their gender and religious identity. However, after much furore and backlash, there is still no end in sight for them. We wrote to the Delhi Police asking them to expeditiously investigate the incident to provide closure and support to those targeted.

        [...]

        The lack of progress made in the “Sulli Deals” incident signals a worrying trend for women and minorities in India who wish to safely access the internet. Social media platforms are the town halls of our modern times. Yet, the persistent incidents of sexual harassment have made these platforms highly unsafe and toxic for women, ultimately leading them to disengage from social media altogether after facing harassment.

        According to a study conducted by Plan International, one in every five young women have opted out of social media after being targeted or harassed. The abuses are further aggravated in cases of women who voice their opinions as well as those women who belong to minority communities on social media platforms and in turn, dissuade them from expressing themselves without any fear or inhibitions. Here, it is also important to note that some female journalists, who face constant harassment due to their gender and religion, were also targeted. This squarely violates the women’s right to freedom of speech and expression enshrined in Article 19(1) of the Indian Constitution.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • NY Times Continues Its Inability To Report Accurately On Section 230 And Content Moderation

        Daisuke Wakabayashi is a NY Times business reporter who seems to have a weird blind spot regarding Section 230 and online content moderation. Actually, perhaps “blind spot” isn’t the right term for it. Two years ago, he was responsible for the massive full page, front page of the Business Section article falsely claiming that Section 230 was responsible for hate speech online. That’s the one* where, infamously, the NY Times had to write a correction that completely undermined the headline of the article:

      • Everything You Know About Section 230 Is Wrong (But Why?)

        There are a few useful phrases that allow one instantly to classify a statement. For example, if any piece of popular health advice contains the word “toxins,” you can probably disregard it. Other than, “avoid ingesting them.” Another such heuristic is that if someone tells you “I just read something about §230…” the smart bet is to respond, “you were probably misinformed.” That heuristic can be wrong, of course. Yet in the case of §230 of the Communications Decency Act, which has been much in the news recently, the proportion of error to truth is so remarkable that it begs us to ask, “Why?” Why do reputable newspapers, columnists, smart op-ed writers, legally trained politicians, even law professors, spout such drivel about this short, simple law?

      • Tired Of Federal Apathy, Oakland Moves To Ban Anticompetitive Broadband Landlord Deals

        We’ve noted for years how corruption and apathy have resulted in the U.S. broadband sector being heavily monopolized, resulting in 83 million Americans having the choice of just one ISP. Tens of millions more Americans only have the choice of their local cable company or an apathetic local phone company that hasn’t meaningfully upgraded their aging DSL lines in twenty years. On top of that problem is another problem: ISPs routinely bribe or bully apartment, condo, and other real estate owners into providing them cozy exclusivity arrangements that block broadband competition on a block by block level as well.

      • IPv4 addresses are silly, inet_aton(3) doubly so.

        Now all of this is largely esoteric and not something that you can or should really rely on. inet_aton(3) has inherited this behavior from the early days due to classful networking, which we haven’t used in decades, and all of this only applies to IPv4, not IPv6. inet_pton(3), which you should be using anyway, does not encourage such shenanigans. However, because getaddrinfo(3) explicitly uses inet_aton(3) itself for AF_INET, citing RFC3493, you will encounter this behavior in various applications, and it may be used — besides as a party trick for very peculiar parties — as an obfuscation technique by e.g., malware, and thus is something that it’s good to be aware of.

      • European Union’s Network and Information Security Directive Threatens Internet with Fragmentation and Creates Security Risks

        The second iteration of the European Union’s Network and Information Security Directive, NIS 2, was written with good intentions. But many worry the cybersecurity rules could splinter the Internet and undermine security. Among those concerned are Internet Society chapters and members in Europe.

        While the directive’s goal is to improve security online, a newly-published Internet impact brief highlights how it could undermine the key qualities of the Internet. By regulating providers of Internet architecture, NIS 2 could impose a rigid top-down governance approach on existing community-led initiatives, stifling their long-proven effectiveness in innovating and adapting to new cybersecurity challenges.

      • Latency Into Your Network – As Seen From RIPE Atlas

        As RIPE Atlas is deployed worldwide, one can easily look for probes that are hosted in a particular network to get an idea of where a network is deployed. But that doesn’t give the full story. As probes perform a massive amount of traceroutes, we can also get an idea of how far from a particular network a probe is by looking at the IP address with the lowest latency for that particular network.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • [Old] castLabs assists Formuler to verify Widevine device integration as an authorized 3PL partner selected by Google

        “The rapid growth of over-the-top content delivery platforms and shifting consumer content consumption patterns requires secure end-to-end delivery of premium contents to any connected device. Widevine provides standardized, multi-platform, multi-format, industry-leading secure content protection trusted and used by all major OTT service providers and broadcasters. Formuler has chosen to implement Widevine Level 1 content protection in its products and castLabs, a Google 3PL partner, played an integral role in the Widevine certification process for Formuler OTT devices,” said Andrew Kim, General Manager at Formuler.

      • PC games using Valve’s CEG DRM now work with Proton

        For Linux users, the issue of games that make use of Valve’s own custom executable-generation (CEG) DRM not launching was reported via Github back in 2018.

        Earlier today (October 29), a post from GamingOnLinux reported that Linux users with the latest version of Proton Experimental using Steam Play can now play Windows games that use the old CEG DRM. Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais tweeted that this is “initial support”, encouraging others to “comment if you test any” via Github.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • DMCA Exceptions To Allow Router Firmware Replacement

          Human rights organizations Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have make amendments in the “Law on Copyright in the Digital Age” (DMCA, Digital Millennium Copyright Act ), adding firmware to the router in the list of exceptions, which are not subject to restrictions DMCA.

          Every three years, a special committee convenes at the US Library of Congress, which, during a public hearing, decides to revise the list of exemptions describing situations to which the DMCA law cannot apply. This list is formed to protect against possible abuse and unreasonable restrictions that can be promoted under the guise of the DMCA, without being the object of copyright infringement.

        • Feds Indict ‘Pirate’ Sports Streams Operator Who Settled with Hollywood

          Sports streaming service HeHeStreams shut down earlier this year after reaching a settlement with the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment. While saddened by his site’s demise, the operator felt that things could’ve been worse. They now are. The Department of Justice says that following a separate investigation, HeHeStreams’ founder has been charged with several crimes, including one under a brand new law.

        • Goodbye Hadopi: France Will Launch New ‘Arcom’ Anti-Piracy Agency in 2022

          After more than a decade of operations, France’s Hadopi agency will now complete its merger with the Higher Audiovisual Council to create a new and powerful regulator. Following the French parliament’s adoption of a new law last month, the Arcom body will launch in January 2022, tackling everything from illegal streaming and site blocking to the disruption of unlicensed sports broadcasts.

        • Copyright Regulator Eases Restrictions on Research, Education, and Repair

          Every three years, the DMCA requires the Copyright Office and Librarian of Congress to consider the public’s requests for exemptions to this terrible, restrictive law. Building on our previous successes protecting security research, remix culture, jailbreaking, and more, we again participated this cycle.

          The latest exemptions [PDF] are mostly an improvement over previous exemptions and represent a victory for security research, accessibility, education, preservation, and repair. While the exemptions do continue to contain unnecessary and harmful limitations, we’re pleased with the additional freedom to operate that the Librarian granted in this rulemaking, including new exemptions to jailbreak streaming video devices like Apple TV or the Fire Stick; to jailbreak routers; and to circumvent in order to identify violations of free, libre, and open-source licensing terms. The latter two exemptions were championed by our friends at the Software Freedom Conservancy.

          On the repair front, we achieved an important victory by expanding the scope of the exemption to cover all consumer electronics (with a couple of small carveouts for certain vehicle systems and parts of video game consoles). This means that manufacturers won’t be able to use the law to prevent independent repair. This was a joint effort between advocacy groups and repair organizations representing independent repair of everything from medical devices to boats.

[Meme] [Teaser] Germany (EPO) Assimilated to Turkish Culture/Dictatorship

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 8:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sultan Habip Asan: Strike Regulations? Not even 'Recep' went that far
When politicians just don’t give a damn as dictators attack judges and bloggers are threatened by corrupt corporate raiders we’ve become no better than a monarchy

Look, a patent! UPC fees; Autocracy normalised
Had Recep Tayyip Erdoğan asserted that the EPO (if not complicit elements in EU authorities) are as abusive as him, he’d possibly have a legitimate point at this stage

Summary: The EPO‘s Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have long been compared to Sultans; tomorrow we’ll see the role of Turkey in the unlawful “Strike Regulations”

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