EPO Staff Committee Compares the Tactics of António Campinos to Benoît Battistelli’s

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 9:08 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

António Campinos and Benoît Battistell
António Campinos and Benoît Battistell, two Frenchmen who colluded to rig the process or game the system in order to seize power (and a lot of money)

Summary: The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO talks about EPO President António Campinos, arguing that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli…”

“We met with the President on 16 November 2021,” the CSC says in a new publication to staff (colleagues). So the representatives of staff have had the ‘privilege’ of speaking to Benoît Battistelli‘s heir in a webchat.

“Where’s the media, ignoring all this stuff (and staff) as usual, in favour of PR fluff?”“We addressed several topics,” they say, “amongst others the “New Ways of Working” [for António] (and the draft circular on teleworking), fixed-term contracts, the practical implementation of the reform of the education and childcare benefits… It was the last meeting of the year, which means time to look back at the consultation process in 2021.”

It seems odd that with 1.5 months left for the year this was the last such “meeting” (webchat). Can he not schedule a “meeting” with the representatives of staff every week? Is he really that busy? Is this guy truly a negotiator? Based on what? A bunch of fluff and puff pieces (maybe paid-for PR) in so-called “patent news sites”?

Anyway, displeasure ensued, as the headline suggests (an upfront give-away; “Not seeing the forest for the trees?”). Here’s the content of the publication as HTML:

Munich, 26/11/2021


Report on the meeting with the President on 16 November 2021

Not seeing the forest for the trees?

Dear Colleagues,

We asked to put several topics on the agenda for this last meeting in 2021, which the President gracefully accepted.

New Ways of Working – Draft circular on teleworking
We explained that we welcomed the increased flexibility as regards the place from where staff would be allowed to work. However, we criticised the combination with other legal provisions, which would decrease flexibility for some staff.

We announced a last-chance proposal for improving the issues of core time and flexi-hours. In the meantime, our proposal has been published. The President wants to abolish the concept of core time. While some staff favour this, others are concerned about the full managerial discretion, which will replace the constraints and limits currently in place (but suspended with the “Emergency teleworking guidelines”) by other constraints to be solely set at the discretion of their line management. As regards flexi-hours, staff working on the Office premises are concerned that the current framework1 would oblige them to work a minimum of six hours (maximum of ten hours) per day, with further constraints on the working week. The abolition of accrual of flexi-hours would remove any possibility for staff to deviate from this framework and arrange their working time so as to have a “compressed” working week typically comprising four 10-hour days and one leave day, for instance. Also, flex-time has been used by many staff member to prolong a weekend or holiday by up to four leave days. These options will no longer be possible in the future.2

The President stressed that flexibility would remain, and that line managers would agree to let “their” staff go to the doctor when needed, for instance. The agreement would be based

1 See Article 3 of the Guidelines on arrangement for working hours, PART 4j CODEX). In a letter to the CSC received after the meeting the administration announced possible changes to the Guidelines on arrangement for working hours.
2 Indeed, the flexi-time system is use by many colleagues. For example in 2019, the Office registered over 24000 absence days based on flexi-time (source Social Report 2020)

on trust, fairness and maturity (to be expected from staff). He criticised that we would see only the “tree” but overlook the “forest”. He rejected any change on these topics but announced a lengthening of the period of notice (Article 7(5)) and an extension of the transitional measures to include staff having a child in a creche (Article 17).

Fixed-term contracts – Draft Circular 405?
We updated the President on the status of the work in the working group. We voiced our disappointment that no progress whatsoever has been made since June 2021. The administration still has not provided us with an amended Circular 405, even though five months have now passed. Also the next scheduled working group meeting foreseen to take place on Monday 22 November has been postponed.

During the meeting we further reiterated our requests for the new circular to ensure that they were clear to the President. We also pointed to our publications and the video we produced for EPO TV on the topic. We pointed out that one of the only points that the administration and staff representation had seemed to agree upon in the first working group meetings was inexplicably omitted from the draft circular. In response the President stated that a maximum of one contract extension would be possible under the new guidelines.

Presidential social agenda 2021 – Time to look back
We reminded that our points of interest expressed in January 2021 were essentially the same as in 20203: staff health and the conditions of employment for staff recruited after 2009 (e.g. a fair career system). None of these were addressed in 2021, with the exception of dealing with a pandemic. As to social dialogue, preparatory documents and data necessary for meaningful discussions in the Working Groups have been often missing or given at the very last minute, even in cases where they were clearly available earlier.

We specifically addressed Diversity & Inclusion. In particular, we requested an update of the “Gender Awareness report” dated February 2018, complemented with an in-depth study on “Equality in career”, as discussed during the WG last few meetings. The President stresses his engagement in this matter. Please refer to our separate publication “Diversity & Inclusion: an update” for further details.

Health & Safety Services
We again pointed to the issue of externalisation / reorganisation of Health & Safety Services, which we see with a very critical eye. The administration announced that an additional COHSEC meeting would deal with this matter4.

Education and Childcare allowance – Practical implementation
During the GCC on 6 July we had made the administration aware of the enormous financial burden put on colleagues having to pay school bills in advance (under Article 120a ServRegs).

3 See our publication “Social Agenda 2020” of 3 February 2020
4 Scheduled on 16 December

We requested a viable solution such that colleagues are not faced with huge amounts to pay in advance. The administration agreed and informed us that they were looking for a solution together with the schools as of the academic year 2022/2023. Furthermore, the President and the administration confirmed that the parents would be supported, e.g. by receiving the amounts in advance from the Office5.

Salary Adjustment Procedure (SAP) – Salary erosion as of 1 January 2022
As time was short, we only spoke briefly on this important topic, stressing that the SAP has already yielded savings for the Office which are much higher than those initially projected. We also stressed the difference between the exception clause at the Office and the clause in the EU, which is essentially a delayed payment. Again, the President was unimpressed.

As to social dialogue, some (not all) meetings with the administration take place in a positive atmosphere. However, our proposals very rarely find their way into the documents prepared by the administration. This being said, we welcome the fact that the President was ready to make some changes in the Circular on “New Ways of Working”, albeit to a very limited extent and actually too late6. Still, we believe that social dialogue as a whole does not work properly: the general tactic[s] adopted by the administration seem to be to almost systematically block our proposals until the President makes some last-minute concessions. This is, in our view, a waste of time and energy and results in legislation of lower quality.

Sometimes the President still seems interested in getting a favourable opinion in the GCC on his changes to the conditions of employment of staff. However, he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli, that our opinions should be reduced to a ternary outcome, i.e. either “in favour”, “against” or abstaining7. We resist this simplistic approach: we see both the forest and the trees. We appreciate the advantages but also recognise the risks and disadvantages and we try to limit them. Our GCC opinions are drawn up accordingly.

The Central Staff Committee

5 In his own report on this meeting, the President announces that “[p]arents will pay their children’s direct education costs and request reimbursement from the Office” but he mentions in a later announcement that he is aware that “the single reimbursement procedure could potentially lead to a temporary financial strain for some parents during the interval – up to a few months – between paying fees to schools and receiving reimbursement from the Office.”
6 However, when changes are in favour of staff, we are ready not to insist on the time limit of 14 calendar days
set for submitting (amended) documents to the GCC.
7 See Article 38(3) ServRegs: “Following the consultation, the members of the General Consultative Committee shall express their opinion by voting at the meeting for or against each proposed measure or abstaining.”

So they say about Campinos that “he seems to subscribe to the Manichean view, introduced by Mr Battistelli, that our opinions should be reduced to ternary outcome, i.e. either “in favour”, “against” or abstaining” and “the general tactic[s] adopted by the administration seem to be to almost systematically block our proposals until the President makes some last-minute concessions. This is, in our view, a waste of time and energy and results in legislation of lower quality.”

Some master negotiator, eh? Where’s the media, ignoring all this stuff (and staff) as usual, in favour of PR fluff?

Prof. Thomas Jaeger in GRUR: Unified Patent Court (UPC) “Incompatible With EU Law“

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 8:12 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Prof. Dr. Thomas Jaeger
Prof. Dr. Thomas Jaeger

What news have we heard from the Unified Patent Court (UPC) lately? None, other than there is yet another holdup from yet another constitutional complaint in Germany? Or, none, other than the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has by now repeatedly indicated that the model is incompatible with EU law? True: ten years into the UPC Agreement, all is still on hold and functional, and legal challenges are as unresolved as ever. But no news in this case is good news, it allows time to ponder alternatives. One alternative is actually quite obvious: the Benelux Court of Justice, which just gained significant new powers in mid-2018. This article looks at the lessons to be learned from the Benelux Court and outlines a Benelux-plus Patent Court as a legally safe alternative to the UPC.

Summary: The truth remains unquestionable and the law remains unchanged; Team UPC is living in another universe, unable to accept that what it is scheming will inevitably face high-level legal challenges (shall that become necessary) and it will lose because the facts are all still the same

According to Team UPC (a fake news/propaganda mill which evades very simple questions): “The Unified Patent Court (UPC) will be a court common to the Contracting Member States and thus part of their judicial system.”

A fake “common” court? This official page tells lies.

“Maybe it would be a good idea to mirror Jaeger’s paper,” found here, according to a reader. “Jaeger argues that the UPC is not a common court as they pretend because it is not linked to National Courts, as (for example) the Benelux court.”

Here’s a copy of it; the public deserves access, which is imperative to rebuttal of lies.

“We don’t expect the UPC to get off the ground for a number of reasons we’ve enumerated and named here in the past.”The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) “could strike it down, as the design of the EU is “CJEU+national courts”.”

Prof. Thomas Jaeger thinks so. And he warned about it 5 years ago as well.

This is legal chaos and hackery.

We don’t expect the UPC to get off the ground for a number of reasons we’ve enumerated and named here in the past. Too many times before (to be worth repeating). Do not be misled by a high quantity of fake (worse than low-quality) self-serving lies.

As our reader notes, even if the UPC ever runs, there is hope of halting it very fast. It’s simply not compatible. As someone put it in comments the other day: “All aboard the Titanic!”

The next comment said: “Time for an appeal to the Austrian Constitutional Court?”

DXThomas then wrote:

It is amazing to see how UPC proponents want to push it through at any cost, and want to ignore the problem of Art 7(2) UPCA. When looking at Art 6(1) ECHR, how can it be justified that the crystal clear wording of Art 7(2) UPC is to be ignored? A first year law student would blush if he came up with the theory of the provisional allocation of the London duties to Paris/Munich.

How can such legally qualified people come up with such legal nonsense? What do the judges think who applied for a job at the UPC?

The UPC proponents act exactly like the Polish government by superbly ignoring the notion of of legally appointed judge.

How can a court be conform with Union law if one of its members can be removed from office without offering him any means of redress? See Art 10 of the statute of the court = Annex I to the UPCA.

The financial interests of the UPC proponents must be extremely high in order to persist in such a way that they ignore fundamental aspects of the legality of the judicial.

Team UPC is just being very loud because public comments keep correcting it, so it’s trying to compensate by sheer volume, believing that shouting down the truth will be worthwhile. FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT? Courts don’t work that way and the law is on the UPC opponents’ side. The “sceptics” know how constitutions and courts work. We may not have as many lobbyists and a generous “fake news” budget, but justice will prevail at the end, as it has for over a decade already.

Links 1/12/2021: LibrePlanet CFS Extended to December 15th and DB Comparer for PostgreSQL Reaches 5.0

Posted in News Roundup at 7:02 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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        Over the years, Raspberry Pi has dominated mainstream, third-party RPi cameras on price and features, with official models including the 8-megapixel, $25 v2 Raspberry Pi Camera and last year’s 12.3-megapixel, $50 High Quality Camera. Now, Arducam is coming after the HQ Camera with a 16MP model that adds autofocus capability and sells for less than half the price.

      • SMARC module for robotics taps Qualcomm’s octa-core QRB5165

        Adlink announced a “LEC-RB5” SMARC module for robots and drones that runs Linux on Qualcomm’s up to 2.42GHz, octa-core QRB5165 with 15W-TOPS NPU. Highlights include up to 8GB LPDDR4L and 256GB UFS plus 2x GbE, WiFi/BT, CAN, and 6x camera lanes.

        Adlink unveiled its most powerful Arm module to date. The LEC-RB5 runs Ubuntu or a Yocto based Linux stack on Qualcomm’s QRB5165, a robotics-oriented variant of the 7nm-fabricated, octa-core Snapdragon 865. The module can be used to power robots and drones in consumer, enterprise, defense, industrial, and logistics sectors.

      • Raising the bar on smartphones in the EU – Fairphone

        We have already proven that it is possible to make a smartphone that is more sustainable and better for people and planet. But, you know us, we always aim to improve and encourage others in the industry to follow suit.

        What is the next thing we are planning, you ask? We want to influence the review of the EU Ecodesign Directive (2009/125/EC) for mobile phones, cordless phones and tablets – so that smartphones with less environmental impact will be a legal requirement for all manufacturers selling to the EU. As a result of this review, the European Commission has the opportunity to raise the bar and set new rules for the smartphone and tablet industry.

        Our mission is to change the electronics industry and influencing the Ecodesign Directive would be a big jump in the transformation we are striving for.


        However, there are some loopholes for manufacturers and missing points that need to be addressed before the above could happen. Loopholes, which allow manufacturers to focus on profit without considering the environmental impact of their smartphones and making it increasingly difficult and expensive for consumers to get their phones repaired. Therefore, we would like the European Working Group to close any loopholes and make repairs possible, affordable and accessible for everyone. There is no reason why ordering spare parts should be difficult and expensive. There is no reason why you, as a consumer, shouldn’t be able to repair your own phone.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Remembering Sanjay Mortimer, Pioneer And Visionary In 3D Printing | Hackaday

          Over the weekend, Sanjay Mortimer passed away. This is a tremendous blow to the many people who he touched directly and indirectly throughout his life. We will remember Sanjay as pioneer, hacker, and beloved spokesperson for the 3D printing community.

          If you’ve dabbled in 3D printing, you might recall Sanjay as the charismatic director and co-founder of the extrusion company E3D. He was always brimming with enthusiasm to showcase something that he and his company had been developing to push 3D printing further and further. But he was also thoughtful and a friend to many in the community.

          Let’s talk about some of his footprints.

        • Grafana Weather Dashboard on the reTerminal by Seeed Studio – The DIY Life

          Today we’re going to be taking a look at the reTerminal, by Seeed Studio. We’ll unbox the device to see what is included and we’ll then set up a weather dashboard on it using Grafana. We’re going to use weather data that is being recorded by an ESP32 microcontroller and is being posted to an InfluxDB database.

          The reTerminal is a compact HMI (human-machine interface) device that is powered by a Raspberry Pi compute module 4 (CM4). It has a 5″ capacitive touch display, along with four physical function buttons, some status LEDs, and a host of IO options.

        • The Medieval History Of Your Favourite Dev Board | Hackaday

          It’s become something of a trope in our community, that the simplest way to bestow a level of automation or smarts to a project is to reach for an Arduino. The genesis of the popular ecosystem of boards and associated bootloader and IDE combination is well known, coming from the work of a team at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, in Northern Italy. The name “Arduino” comes from their favourite watering hole, the Bar di Re Arduino, in turn named for Arduin of Ivrea, an early-mediaeval king.

          As far as we can see the bar no longer exists and has been replaced by a café, which appears on the left in this Google Street View link. The bar named for Arduin of Ivrea is always mentioned as a side note in the Arduino microcontroller story, but for the curious electronics enthusiast it spawns the question: who was Arduin, and why was there a bar named after him in the first place?

          The short answer is that Arduin was the Margrave of Ivrea, an Italian nobleman who became king of Italy in 1002 and abdicated in 1014. The longer answer requires a bit of background knowledge of European politics around the end of the first millennium, so if you’re ready we’ll take Hackaday into a rare tour of medieval history.

      • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • LibrePlanet 2022 will be held March 19-20, CFS extended to December 15th

        Have you submitted a talk for LibrePlanet 2022 yet? For those unsure if they could make it to the virtual event, we have now set the dates: March 19 and 20, 2022! We have also extended the Call for Sessions (CfS) until Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at 10:00 EST (15:00 UTC). This gives us time to get a little more organized, and more importantly, gives you the chance to make sure you’re a part of LibrePlanet 2022: Living Liberation!

      • Apache Month in Review: November 2021

        Welcome to the latest monthly overview of events from the Apache community. Here’s a summary of what happened in November…

      • Web Browsers

        • Chromium

          • Chromium Blog: Faster Chrome – Let The Compiler do the work

            Chrome is fast, but there’s always room for improvement. Often, that’s achieved by carefully crafting the algorithms that make up Chrome. But there’s a lot of Chrome, so why not let computers do at least some part of our work? In this installment of The Fast And the Curious, we’ll show you several changes in how we build Chrome to achieve a 25.8% higher score on Speedometer on Windows and a 22.0% increase in browser responsiveness.


            It turns out that the compiler can make even more use of that profile data for PGO. (Not a surprise – once you know where the slow spots are, exactly, you can do a lot to improve!). To make use of that, and enable further improvements, LLVM has something called the “new pass manager”. In a nutshell, it’s a new way to run optimizations within LLVM, and it helps a lot with PGO. For much more detail, I’d suggest reading the LLVM blog post.

        • Mozilla

          • Pocket’s state-by-state guide to the most popular articles in 2021

            We’re just going to say it: it feels a little bit weird to wrap up 2021 because this year feels like three years in one and an extension of 2020 simultaneously. At some point in the near future, 2020 and 2021 will be studied in history books. While we can’t predict what the history books will say, we can analyze what defined this year for us.

            We do just that in Pocket’s Best of 2021 — the most-saved, -read and -shared articles by Pocket readers, spanning culture, science, tech and more.

            As we analyzed the winning articles, we wondered what we might learn if we looked at the data state by state.

          • Celebrating Pocket’s Best of 2021

            We aren’t the only ones putting out Top 10 content lists or Year in Reviews, but we’d argue these lists are different from the rest — a cut above. Pocket readers are a discerning bunch: they gravitate to fascinating long reads that deeply immerse readers in a story or subject; explainers that demystify complex or poorly understood topics; big ideas that challenge us to think and maybe even act differently; and great advice for all facets of life. You’ll find must-read examples of all of these inside these eclectic Best of 2021 collections, from dozens of trustworthy and diverse publications.

            The stories people save most to Pocket often provide a fascinating window into what’s occupying our collective attention each year. In 2019, the most-saved article on Pocket examined how modern economic precarity has turned millennials into the burnout generation. In 2020, the most-read article was a probing and prescient examination of how the Covid-19 pandemic might end.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • Content Management Systems (CMS)

        • WordPress Co-founder, Matt Mullenweg, to Talk Open Source at ‘State of the Word’ – FOSS Force

          State of the Word, the annual keynote address from Matt Mullenweg, WordPress’s co-founder, is scheduled to take place this year on December 14, 2021, between 5 and 7 pm. Although it’s too late to attend the event in person (the deadline for requesting an in-person seat was November 28), the event will be livestreamed as Mullenweg pontificates from a podium in New York City — meaning everybody can participate.

          Like practically all other in-person events, last year the the event was moved entirely online (“for the first ever” says WordPress). Also like practically all other events, this year the folks at WordPress are hedging their bet, and are offering the event both livestreamed and in-person.

          “Every year, the event allows us to reflect on the project’s progress and the future of open source,” WordPress said in a statement. “This year will include that and more.”

          “Join Matt as he provides a retrospective of 2021, discusses the latest trends he’s seeing, celebrates the community’s amazing wins, and explores the future. Expect to hear about a range of topics, from WordPress 5.9 and Openverse to Web3 and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).”

      • FSF

      • Programming/Development

        • Anti-patterns You Should Avoid in Your Code

          Every developer wants to write structured, simply planned, and nicely commented code. There are even a myriad of design patterns that give us clear rules to follow, and a framework to keep in mind.

          But we can still find anti-patterns in software that was written some time go, or was written too quickly.

          A harmless basic hack to resolve an issue quickly can set a precedent in your codebase. It can be copied across multiple places and turn into an anti-pattern you need to address.

        • AsmREPL: Wing your way through x86-64 assembly language • The Register

          Ruby developer and internet japester Aaron Patterson has published a REPL for 64-bit x86 assembly language, enabling interactive coding in the lowest-level language of all.

          REPL stands for “read-evaluate-print loop”, and REPLs were first seen in Lisp development environments such as Lisp Machines. They allow incremental development: programmers can write code on the fly, entering expressions or blocks of code, having them evaluated – executed – immediately, and the results printed out. This was viable because of the way Lisp blurred the lines between interpreted and compiled languages; these days, they’re a standard feature of most scripting languages.

          Patterson has previously offered ground-breaking developer productivity enhancements such as an analogue terminal bell and performance-enhancing firmware for the Stack Overflow keyboard. This only has Ctrl, C, and V keys for extra-easy copy-pasting, but Patterson’s firmware removes the tedious need to hold control.

        • Wasmer 2.1 WebAssembly Implementation Adds Virtual Filesystem, Lisp + Crystal Support – Phoronix

          Wasmer as “the universal WebAssembly runtime” that focuses on being able to run WASM code on any platform is out with its next major release.

          Released this summer was Wasmer 2.0 as a step forward for this open-source WASM implementation. The project remains focused on trying to compile “everything” to WebAssembly and to then run that on any operating system / platform or embed it in other languages or run it in a web browser. Wasmer 2.1 was released today as the next major iteration of the platform.

        • What’s The Big Deal With Linux Capabilities? | Hacker Noon

          The prevalent perception is that Linux users benefit from and exercise privileges, however this is not the case. It’s the process or executable that runs in a certain user context and exercises rights (permission to carry out to perform the privileged operations guarded by Linux kernel).

        • Perl/Raku

          • Perl Weekly Challenge 141: Number Divisors and Like Numbers
          • Closures

            A casual remark about closures which I made in My Favorite Warnings: redefine touched off a long off-topic exchange with Aristotle that I thought ought to be promoted to a top-level blog entry. The big thing I learned was that any Perl subroutine can be a closure. The rest of this blog will try to make clear why I now believe this. The words are my own, as are any errors or misconceptions.

            The second sentence of Wikipedia’s definition of a closure says “Operationally, a closure is a record storing a function together with an environment.” This makes it sound a lot like an object, and therefore of little additional interest in an O-O environment.

            But I came to closures pragmatically through Perl, and to me they were a magic way to make data available somewhere else. All I had to do was get a code reference where it needed to be, and any external lexical variables got the values at the time the reference was taken. So much I understood up to the fatal blog post, and it sufficed for my simple needs.

        • Rust

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • 3D Printed Generator Build Highlights The Scientific Method | Hackaday

        Sometimes we build to innovate, and sometimes we build just to have the satisfaction of saying we made it ourselves. Yet there is another reason to construct something ourselves: To learn, just as [Fraens] has done with this 3D-printed generator. (Video, embedded below.)

        [Fraens] starts off with a jig for winding the individual coils, but then the jig itself snaps into a the stator ring. The stator ring is sandwiched by two rotors which rotate on a brass shaft suspended by needle bearings. With the exception of the hardware, all the structural parts are 3d printed.

      • Supersonic Projectile Exceeds Engineers Dreams: The Supersonic Trebuchet | Hackaday

        Have you ever sat down and thought “I wonder if a trebuchet could launch a projectile at supersonic speeds?” Neither have we. That’s what separates [David Eade] from the rest of us. He didn’t just ask the question, he answered it! And he documented the entire build in a YouTube video which you can see below the break.

        The trebuchet is a type of catapult that was popular for use as a siege engine before gunpowder became a thing. Trebuchets use a long arm to throw projectiles farther than traditional catapults. The focus has typically been on increasing throwing distance for the size of the projectile, or vice versa. But of course you’re here to read about the other thing that trebuchets can be used for: speed.

        How fast is fast? How about a whip-cracking, sonic-booming speed in excess of 450 meters per second! How’d he do it? Mostly wood and rubber with some metal bits thrown in for safety’s sake. [David]’s video explains in full all of the engineering that went into his trebuchet, and it’s a lot less than you’d think. There’s a very satisfying montage of full power trebuchet launches that make it audibly clear that the projectile being thrown is going well past the speed of sound, with a report quite similar to that of a small rifle.

    • Hardware

      • The 555 Timer Contest Returns! | Hackaday

        First a bit of history… “the 555 timer contest” that sticks out in our minds is the one conceived of by [Jeri Ellsworth] and assisted by [Chris Gammell] that took place a decade ago. It was a runaway freight train from the start, with numerous sponsors putting up prizes and a list of celebrity judges. Surely it is not the only contest based around the 555 timer in it’s long and glorious history, but there’s a fond place in our hearts for that one in particular. A lot of those entries have been lost to the annals of time — even the contest page itself is gone, save the Internet Archive version.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Privatisation/Privateering

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (rsync, rsyslog, and uriparser), Fedora (containerd, freeipa, golang-github-containerd-ttrpc, libdxfrw, libldb, librecad, mingw-speex, moby-engine, samba, and xen), Red Hat (kernel, kernel-rt, kpatch-patch, and samba), and Ubuntu (linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.11, linux-azure, linux-azure-5.11, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.11, linux-hwe-5.11, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.11, linux-raspi, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-gke, linux-gke-5.4, linux-gkeop, linux-gkeop-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-hwe, linux-azure, linux-azure-4.15, linux-dell300x, linux-gcp-4.15, linux-hwe, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-raspi2, linux-snapdragon, linux, linux-aws, linux-azure, linux-gcp, linux-kvm, linux-oem-5.13, linux-oracle, linux-raspi, and linux-oem-5.14).

          • CISA Adds Five Known Exploited Vulnerabilities to Catalog

            CISA has added five new vulnerabilities to its Known Exploited Vulnerabilities Catalog, based on evidence that threat actors are actively exploiting the vulnerabilities listed in the table below. These types of vulnerabilities are a frequent attack vector for malicious cyber actors of all types and pose significant risk to the federal enterprise.

          • Cybersecurity: Increase your protection by using the open-source tool YARA – TechRepublic

            A plethora of different tools exist to detect threats to the corporate network. Some of these detections are based on network signatures, while some others are based on files or behavior on the endpoints or on the servers of the company. Most of these solutions use existing rules to detect danger, which hopefully are updated often. But what happens when the security staff wants to add custom rules for detection or do their own incident response on endpoints using specific rules? This is where YARA comes into play.

          • Making Transparency Easy: Lumen Is Pleased To Announce a New Feature for Notice Submitters

            We’re thrilled to be rolling out the Lumen Submitter Widget, a tool that allows any online service provider (OSP) to automate reception of content removal requests in a coherent form and to facilitate transparency and research regarding those requests.

            The tool comes out of the many conversations we’ve had with potential data partners about obstacles that OSPs (and users) face in sending, receiving, and making sense of the takedown requests they receive.We hope that making sharing data with Lumen effortless and uncomplicated will encourage more OSPs to join Lumen in providing transparency and supporting analysis of the Web’s takedown landscape.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Korean Facial Recognition Project Faces Opposition | Hackaday

              It was discovered last month that a South Korean government project has been providing millions of facial images taken at Incheon International Airport to private industry without the consent of those photographed. Several civic groups called this a “shocking human rights disaster” in a 9 Nov press conference, and formally requested that the project be cancelled. In response, the government has only promised that “the project would be conducted at a minimum level to ensure personal information is not abused”. These groups are now planning a lawsuit to challenge the project.

EPO Cannot and Will Not Self-Regulate

Posted in Deception, Europe, Finance, Patents at 3:09 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Related (old): EPO Has Become an ‘Investment Bank’ | Battistelli is ‘Pulling a Lamy’ With a Lot More Money at Stake (and Examiners’ Future)

Summary: The term financialisation helps describe some of the activities of the EPO in recent years; see Wikipedia on financialisation below

“The EPO is wasting money on stock market gambling,” we noted the other day. One associate of ours dubbed this “financialisation”, explaining that “they start to bring in more money through gambling than through the normal work activities. At that point the normal work activities become a charade at best, so they can pretend that they are active in a particular field of endeavor. More often the normal work activities just get in the way of the gambling so in response any staff still involved in normal work activities get fired in one way or another.”

Wikipedia on financialisation

Self-regulate? Like Kratochvìl, Ernst and Kongstad protecting the abusers?

[Meme] Germany’s Licence to Break the Law

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They said I'm too drunk to fly, but my son tells me I'm not too drunk to drive because I have diplomatic immunity

Summary: Remember that the young Campinos asked dad for his immunity after he had gotten drunk and crashed the car; maybe the EPO should stop giving diplomatic immunity to people, seeing what criminals (e.g. Benoît Battistelli) this attracts; the German government is destroying its image (and the EU’s) by fostering such corruption, wrongly believing that it’s worth it because of Eurozone domination for patents/litigation

EPO Dislikes Science and Scientists

Posted in Europe, Patents at 12:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 7f07c1b45ff31eec6bd731d1a3e20d0b

Summary: The EPO’s management has become like a corrupt political party with blind faith in money and monopolies (or monopoly money); it has lost sight of its original goals and at this moment it serves to exacerbate an awful pandemic, as the video above explains

THE EPO‘s staff isn’t getting its way. Those who do virtually all the actual work get disparaged, driven out, leaving in the Office less experienced examiners who aren’t as capable of challenging utterly poor if not illegal policies.

You can't hire examiners this wayBenoît Battistelli and António Campinos want a bunch of obedient workers, not experienced and charismatic scientists who can properly assess not only patent applications but also the overall patent system. The video above concerns the letter we shared last night. With bureaucracy replacing actual science and with no evidence-based policy (just a bunch of patent profiteers and zealots steering the Office as if it was a for-profit corporation) we can only expect that in the coming years the EPO’s staffing crisis will deepen. Patents that are actually valid cannot be issued by people who barely understand them. Years ago staff representatives cautioned that examiners were assigned to study patents well outside their field of expertise. Imagine carpenters being expected to install windows or a politician being expected to run a patent office. Oh, wait, the latter is based on a true story…

Links 1/12/2021: LibreOffice 7.3 Beta, Krita 5.0, Julia 1.7

Posted in News Roundup at 11:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • JingPad Review: A Linux Tablet With Potential, But Rough Edges

      The Linux ecosystem in many ways found much of its momentum via hardware, rather than software. So it makes sense that there have been some fascinating efforts to reinvent the Linux ecosystem around hardware. The Raspberry Pi has of course built lasting excitement around computer hardware in contexts that fit neatly into the internet of things. But as desktop Linux distros have at times felt like wheel-spinning exercises (just ask Linus Tech Tips, and shout-out to Jason Evangelho), it feels like Linux hardware targeted at consumers is likely to push it over the edge at some point. I’ve already covered two of those efforts in the relatively recent past—the PineBook Pro and the PinePhone, both made by Pine64—but the JingPad represents something different: an attempt to make a piece of hardware that supports Linux from the ground up … that a non-Linux user might actually want to use. Today’s Tedium takes an up-close look at the JingPad A1, an experimental new tablet worth looking into.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • The (not) HIDDEN FEATURES in Manjaro’s package manager. – Invidious

        You guys. I can’t let this go! LTT got it wrong. The comments got it wrong. The fact that YOU don’t know where a setting is doesn’t mean it’s hidden. Hidden means “placed somewhere non-obvious” and, frankly, I’d expect AUR and Flatpak support to be tucked away in Pamac’s settings menu. Compare opening Pamac’s settings panel, typing in your password, and selecting the “Third Party” tab to literally any other settings menu and you’ll see that it’s virtually equivalent in almost every instance. The only difference is that most people haven’t used Manjaro before.

      • Endlessly Flat | LINUX Unplugged 434

        he Director of EndlessOS joins us to respond to recent Flatpak criticism.

        We take the opportunity to expand on the overall effort to solve Linux fragmentation.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.17 To Finally Enable Variable Rate Refresh For Intel Ice Lake – Phoronix

        An early batch of Intel kernel graphics driver feature updates intended for Linux 5.17 was sent out yesterday to DRM-Next for queuing until that next merge window opens around the start of the new year. Notable with this pull is Icelake “Gen11″ graphics finally seeing variable rate refresh enabled!

        With the Linux 5.16 merge window well past, the Intel open-source graphics driver developers have been turning their attention to material they want to see in Linux 5.17 for that kernel to be introduced in the early months of 2022. Sent out yesterday was the first of several PRs to DRM-Next of changes to be queued for that next kernel version.

    • Applications

      • YouTube downloader fixes

        The YouTube downloader GUI is a frontend for /usr/bin/youtube-dl, which is a python script. A problem is that YouTube move the goal posts, in an attempt to stop these downloaders from working. The youtube-dl developers respond by changing their script so that it works again.

      • Firefox version 94.0.2

        Have just downloaded English, French and German Firefox 94.0.2 tarballs, and it will be in the next release of EasyOS.

      • Python support arrives in Safeguard for Sudo

        Version 1.9 of sudo was released almost two years ago. One of the major new features was support for Python plugins. Previously, you could only extend sudo by coding in C to better suit your environment, which is not the easiest task to manage. Python makes both coding and distributing the results easier. Starting with Safeguard for Sudo 7.2, Python support is also available in a commercial sudo management solution.


        The approval plugin API was introduced in sudo 1.9 and lets you create additional policies. These are checked once a command has been accepted by the sudoers policy. You can create plugins either in C or Python. For example you can create additional restrictions based on time and limit your workers to execute commands only during regular working hours.

        Just like the approval plugin API, the audit plugin API was also introduced in sudo version 1.9. It allows you to access additional audit information. It can be used in many ways. For example implement custom logging to debug some hard to identify problems. Or you can send events from Safeguard for Sudo directly to Elasticsearch or send alerts to various instant messaging systems.

      • 15 Utilities, Scripts and Ways to Interrogate Your PC – LinuxLinks

        There are many ways of obtaining information about the hardware you are using. The simplest and most reliable source is your system itself.

        There are plenty of tools that delve deep to find everything you need to know. And if you need assistance from others, they will find the information invaluable. Here’s our guide to the commands that you should familiarise yourself with.

        Let’s start with a few of our favourites. We’ll then explore other useful tools that also gather hardware information.

      • Tesseract 5.0 Released For This Leading Open-Source OCR Engine

        The long-awaited Tesseract 5.0 is now available as a big update to this leading open-source, optical character recognition (OCR) engine that via neural networks offers great accuracy and supports more than 100 languages for turning images of text into actual text.

        Tesseract 5.0 had been available as alpha since the end of 2020 and the Tesseract beta was released in August. On Tuesday, Tesseract 5.0.0 was officially released. Tesseract 5.0 delivers on faster performance via “fast floats” to use floats instead of doubles now for its LSTM model training and text recognition. This should lead to much faster training and OCR performance while using less system memory.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Install Google Fonts on Fedora Desktop

        Google Fonts is a free interactive directory of over 1200 font families that Google has made available to developers and designers. The project was developed in 2010 to combat the licensing and compatibility issues that web developers faced when using proprietary fonts.

        Most of the fonts are published under the SIL Open Font License and others under Apache. This has enabled users to make use of fonts on their websites and in different projects without the need to upload them to their own servers.

      • Edit audio on Linux with Audacity | Opensource.com

        The Audacity sound editor is one of those open source applications that filled a niche that seemingly nobody else realized existed. Initially developed at Carnegie Mellon University at a time when many people still thought computers were just for office and schoolwork, and you required special DSP peripherals for serious multimedia work. Audacity recognized that, occasionally, the average computer user needed to edit audio. The Audacity team has consistently provided an open source application for recording and cleaning up sound in the two decades since.

        I use Audacity a lot, and being an editor by training, I’m used to significant and usually single-key keyboard shortcuts in my applications. By building shortcuts around single letters, you can have one hand on the mouse and one on the keyboard, so the delay between choosing a tool or an important function and clicking the mouse is mere milliseconds. Throughout this article, I’ll highlight the keyboard shortcut I use in Audacity if you want to optimize your own settings.

      • How to Install Telegram Desktop on ArchLinux – NextGenTips

        In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to install Telegram desktop on our ArchLinux.

        Telegram is a freeware, cross-platform, cloud-based instant messaging service. The service provides end-to-end encrypted video calling, VoIP, file sharing, etc.

      • How to Install Google Chrome on CentOS 9 Stream

        Google Chrome is the most used Internet Explorer software on the earth, with a recent update in 2021 that Chrome is currently the primary browser of more than 2.65 billion internet users. However, as you would know, after installing CentOS 9 Stream, only Mozilla Firefox is packaged with the distribution but luckily, installing Google Chrome is a straightforward task.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Google Chrome in three various ways in stable, beta, or unstable versions on CentOS 9 Stream.

      • How to Add User to Sudoers on CentOS Stream

        When installing CentOS Stream, the user account created during the initial setup has sudo rights if you selected the user to be an admin and create a root account. However, there may be a need to add additional sudo users or to remove the access. This is a straightforward process with a few commands.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn to add a user to the sudoers group on any CentOS Stream distribution.

      • Scp Command In Linux Example : How To Use SCP Commands To Securely Transfer Files | Itsubuntu.com

        SCP is a protocol for securely transferring files between a local host and a remote host, or between two remote hosts. It is based on the Secure Shell (SSH) protocol. “SCP” refers to the Secure Copy Protocol. SCP or Secure copy protocol is easy to use and is included by default in most Linux and Unix distributions.

      • How To Use Guake Terminal Under Wayland (GNOME) – Linux Uprising Blog

        This article explains how to get Guake drop-down terminal to work properly under Wayland (GNOME). I’ve tested this using GNOME desktop running on Ubuntu 21.10 with a single monitor, because I currently don’t have access to multiple monitors.

        Guake is a Python-based drop-down terminal for the GNOME desktop which includes split terminal functionality, session save/restore (restores panes and tabs), support for transparency, and many other features.

        It’s inspired by the famous Quake console – the terminal stays hidden until you press a key (default is F12). Execute a command, then press the same key again to hide the terminal, going back to your previous task without breaking your workflow. You can also set Guake to automatically hide when it loses focus.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • How to run Windows software on Linux

        In this article you will learn how to run windows applications on Linux/Ubuntu 18.04 using Wine and other alternatives. Wine ( Wine Is Not an Emulator ), is an open source application which is provided as a compatibility layer in Linux . It is used to bridge the gap between Linux and windows worlds so that applications that are meant for Windows could run on Linux.
        An emulator or a virtual machine would simulate internal Windows logic whereas Wine would transform Windows logic into native UNIX/POSIX compliant logic.

        This is said, not all Windows based applications can run on Linux and even if they do run, their behavior will differ from that in their natural Windows environment. Wine has a database (AppDB) which lists all applications that have been properly tested and confirmed to work on Linux.

    • Games

      • Ubisoft Could Work on ‘Rainbow Six Siege’ Proton Support If More Linux Users Show Interest – It’s FOSS News

        Rainbow Six Siege is a popular multiplayer FPS game that utilizes the BattleEye anti-cheat engine.

        Primarily, it does not support Linux. However, now that anti-cheat engines like BattleEye and Easy Anti-Cheat have added official support for Proton, many Linux users hope to get support for popular multiplayer titles that did not work with Linux.

        Of course, you can always have Windows in dual-boot to play those titles. But, many users use Linux exclusively and cannot play Rainbow Six Siege even if they want to (or have it in their Steam library).

      • Collabora announced Venus, 3D accelerated Vulkan in QEMU | GamingOnLinux

        Well this is quite exciting. Collabora, the open source consulting firm that often works with Valve, has announced the experimental Venus driver for 3D acceleration of Vulkan applications in QEMU. For those not familiar, QEMU is a generic and open source machine emulator and virtualizer.

        “Running graphics applications in a Guest OS can be annoying as they are generally greedy of computing resources, and that can slow you down or give you a bad experience in terms of graphics performance. Being able to accelerate all this by offloading the workload to the hardware can be a great deal. The VirtIO-GPU virtual GPU device comes into play here, allowing a Guest OS to send graphics commands to it through OpenGL or Vulkan. While we are already there with OpenGL, we can not say the same for Vulkan. Well, until now.”

      • As GOG struggles, Steam hit a new high of 27M people online

        Recently we had news that DRM-free store GOG has been struggling with losses, and here’s Steam continuing to just smash through previous records.

        With the previous all-time high of 26,922,926 users online back in April 2021, on November 28 it yet again broke the record with 27,384,959 according to SteamDB. At the time the record hit, around 7.8 million were actually in-game and while it’s of course spread across so many, the winner continues to be Valve’s own free to play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with about 915,791 online playing.

      • Valve reportedly developing a Half-Life shooter-strategy hybrid | GamingOnLinux

        There’s been some reports circulating thanks to YouTuber Tyler McVicker (previously known as Valve News Network) that goes into some detail about what Valve is up to. Seems like we might get an RTS/FPS hybrid for the Steam Deck. It seems that Half-Life 3 continues to not be a thing too.

        Sounds like it will be called Citadel, or perhaps Half-Life: Citadel and will be “a co-operative, competitive, asymmetric, third-person, first-person, RTS, FPS, shooter-hybrid thing that takes place in the Half-Life universe” according to McVicker. Matches seem like they will be some sort of battle between NPCs, with you earning things to give to them using a wave-based system for the battling. The video states that Source 2 has been significantly upgraded with a new lighting system, and new NPC systems too. It’s a lot to take in and sounds pretty wild.

      • The Elder Scrolls: Arena reimplementation OpenTESArena gets a big upgrade | GamingOnLinux

        While it’s currently still in heavy development, OpenTESArena is another great example of what can be done with open source with it reimplementing The Elder Scrolls: Arena in a modern cross-platform game engine. It requires a copy of the original game for the data files, which you can get free officially.

        It’s not quite playable — yet, but it is showing massive promise and a new release is out now.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Xfce’s Apps Update for November 2021: New Releases of Mousepad, Ristretto, and Whisker Menu

        In November 2021, the Xfce developers managed to update the Whisker Menu plugin that provides an alternate menu for the Xfce desktop environment up to version 2.7.0. Whisker Menu 2.6.2 was released on mid-November to properly prevent interactive search in the treeview, as well as to fix menu toggling after pressing the Esc key and background shifting when showing the menu.

        Whisker Menu 2.7.0 was released later in November with lots of goodies, including support for rounded profile picture, the ability to show categories as icons on top or bottom, optional AccountsService support, Catfish search action, support for CSS classes for theming, improved search result relevance.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Krita 5.0 Arrives Just in Time for Christmas, New Beta Is Out Now for Public Testing

          The third beta of Krita 5.0 is here with lots of improvements and bug fixes to make the final release more stable and reliable. For example, it improves the alpha-mask PNG brush tips, adds support for loading the thumbnails for MYB mypaint brushes in a bundle, and fixes performance issues in the Magnetic Selection tool and textured brushes.

          It also fixes drag and drop of remote images, as well as copy/paste of images from the Google Chrome web browser, disables subpixel translation in the Transform tool, improves the styling of the tagging widget, updates the detection of the Intel GPU driver version, and makes the line tool’s preview faster.

    • Distributions

      • MX Linux MX-21 Xfce

        MX Linux MX-21 Xfce is the complete opposite of my MX-21 KDE review – that one was delightful. The Xfce one is the worst experience I had with this distro, probably ever. I didn’t really get to properly test anything due to the general sluggishness, the login freeze, the suspend & wake problems, the Firefox slowness, the kernel oops, and all the rest of it. But the visual customization did show me one important aspect – how much more advanced KDE is, and how fragile scaling is in Xfce.

        I really am not in the mood to manually tweak 20-30 separate Xfce elements just to have a nice, presentable desktop. That’s 2005, and it needs to stop. The Xfce version of MX-21 ain’t bad, but it’s fragile. Worse yet, the distro behaved far better in the past, so we also have a regression on our hands. All I can say, go for the KDE version, it’s amazing (among the best systems I ever tried). Whereas the Xfce one needs to go back to the workshop and get some serious rework. Alas, on that note, and with some mild paranoia swirling in my brain, we end this sad review.

      • New Releases

        • NixOS 21.11 “Porcupine” Released with GNOME 41, KDE Plasma on Wayland

          Dubbed “Porcupine” and coming six months after the NixOS 21.05 release, NixOS 21.11 is here with a lot of goodies, starting with the GNOME 41.1 desktop environment for its dedicated GNOME edition and continuing with Wayland support for the KDE Plasma 5.23 edition, as well as version 6 of elementary OS’ Pantheon desktop.

          This release ships with Nix 2.3.16 as default package manager, switches the iptables utility to the nf_tables backend, updates the Hadoop module and package to Hadoop 3 as default with new services like JournalNode, ZKFS and HTTPFS, and improves LXD support to build images directly from configurations.

        • NixOS 21.11 Released But Its Own Package Manager Is Left Behind Due To Regressions – Phoronix

          NixOS is an original Linux distribution built atop its own unique Nix package manager that is focused on being functional, reliable, and reproducible. The Nix package manager concept is great but somewhat ironic is the new NixOS 21.11 release not even shipping with the latest Nix package manager version due to known regressions.

          NixOS 21.11 released yesterday and rather than shipping with the latest-and-greatest Nix, it’s being held back to the latest Nix 2.3 point release by default rather than Nix 2.4. Holding up the default version of Nix was done as “Nix has not been updated to version 2.4 due to regressions in non-experimental behavior.”

        • NixOS 21.11 “Porcupine” Released with Many Improvements

          NixOS 21.11 “Porcupine” is here, but default Nix version remains at 2.3 point release rather than Nix 2.4.

          NixOS is a Linux distribution that is entirely different than what one can expect from a regular Linux distro. It’s a Linux distribution which takes a unique approach to package and configuration management, because it’s built around Nix tool. So let me first explain what the NIX tool is.

          NIX is a package manager and it could be used on any Linux distribution on top of the distribution package manager. To put things simple, NixOS is an operating system, and Nix is a package manager.

          Now, everything in NixOS down to the kernel, is built by the Nix package manager with a declarative functional build language. The whole system configuration: fstab, packages, users, services, firewall, etc., is configured from a global configuration file that defines the state of the system.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Writing and unit testing a Python application to query the RPM database | Enable Sysadmin

          When installing software on a Linux system, your package manager keeps track of what’s installed, what it’s dependent upon, what it provides, and much more.

          The usual way to look at that metadata is through your package manager. In the case of Fedora or Red Hat Enterprise Linux, it is the RPM database.

          The RPM database can be queried from the command line with the rpm command, which supports some very nice formatting options. For example, to get a list of all packages sorted by size, I can use a little bit of Bash glue to do the following:

        • How DevSecOps brings security into the development process

          DevSecOps is an extension of DevOps that emphasizes security automation and cooperation across the organization. More than just hype, DevSecOps is a crucial addition to your organization’s development and deployment processes, especially given the range of ransomware groups, industrial spies, identity thieves, and other attackers plaguing today’s cyberworld. In this article, you will learn how DevSecOps extends familiar DevOps tools and processes to help cross-functional teams work together on the design and implementation of security policies and procedures.

        • Kubernetes and OpenShift: The best of 2021

          2021 was a big year in the world of Kubernetes and Red Hat OpenShift, and over the past twelve months, we have aimed to provide content that will satisfy developer curiosity on how to best use these platforms, from info on the big release of OpenShift 4.8 to tutorials on deploying Helm charts and working with OpenShift Serverless Functions. Keep reading for these highlights and more.

        • Quarkus, containers, and Java: Tune in to Jconf.dev 2021

          The Jconf.dev community Java conference is going virtual for 2021, which means that developers worldwide will be able to stream sessions of interest wherever they are. The conference is on December 9, and a number of Red Hatters are presenting material that will be of interest to the developer community. Read on to learn more and find out when to tune in.

        • Our top 5 Harvard Business Review articles of 2021

          Each month, through our partnership with Harvard Business Review, we share five new HBR articles we believe CIOs and IT leaders will value highly. As 2021 comes to a close, we are taking a look back at the five most popular HBR articles from this past year. Here are the stories that resonated with you.

        • Use BespokeSynth on Fedora Linux – Fedora Magazine

          Sun Aug 14 10:36:37 2016, this is the birth date of BespokeSynth. Since that date, BespokeSynth has grown a lot; both in terms of its user base and the size of its codebase. BespokeSynth is an application for performing modular synthesis. Because it has been written by a newcomer to modular synthesis, it is quite different from the usual modular synthesizer. Note: I am the manager of the LinuxMAO / Audinux Copr repository.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • New Ubuntu Linux Kernel Security Patches Address 6 Vulnerabilities, Update Now

          Coming three weeks after the previous security updates, which addressed 13 vulnerabilities, the new Linux kernel security patches are available for Ubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri), Ubuntu 21.04 (Hirsute Hippo), Ubuntu 20.04 LTS (Focal Fossa), Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), as well as Ubuntu 16.04 ESM (Xenial Xerus) and Ubuntu 14.04 ESM (Trusty Tahr) releases to address up to six security vulnerabilities.

          For all supported Ubuntu releases, the new security updates fix CVE-2021-3744 and CVE-2021-3764, two security issues discovered in Linux kernel’s AMD Cryptographic Coprocessor (CCP) driver, which could allow a local attacker to cause a denial of service (memory exhaustion).

        • Design and Web team summary – 19 November 2021

          Hello! My name is Cristina, I’ve been a programme manager at Canonical for almost three years. I work across all the squads in our web and design team, helping with sprints planning and cross team collaboration.


          The Apps team develops the UI for the MAAS project and the JAAS dashboard for the Juju project.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Support.Mozilla.Org: What’s up with SUMO – November 2021

            November come with lots of rain, at least in my part of the world. It certainly creates a different vibe. I believe you also experience similar weather change lately, be it snow or rain. Whatever it is, I hope you all safe and healthy wherever you are. Oh, and happy thanksgiving for you who celebrate! Sorry for being late with the update this month (maybe it’s better to have it by the end of the month anyway), so let’s just dive into it!

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

        • LibreOffice 7.3 Beta1 is available for testing

          The LibreOffice Quality Assurance ( QA ) Team is happy to announce LibreOffice 7.3 Beta1 is available for testing!

          LibreOffice 7.3 will be released as final at the beginning of February, 2022 ( Check the Release Plan for more information ) being LibreOffice 7.3 Beta1 the second pre-release since the development of version 7.3 started in mid June, 2021. Since the previous release, LibreOffice 7.3 Alpha1, 1199 commits have been submitted to the code repository and 205 issues got fixed. Check the release notes to find the new features included in this version of LibreOffice.

        • LibreOffice 7.3 Beta Released With More Improvements For Microsoft Office Files

          The first beta of LibreOffice 7.3 is now available for testing as the next installment of this leading open-source, cross-platform office suite.

          LibreOffice 7.3 Beta is the latest test candidate and comes with more than one thousand commits over 7.3 Alpha 1 from just over one month ago.

      • Programming/Development

        • Julia 1.7 Highlights

          Jeff Bezanson, Jameson Nash, Ian Butterworth, Kristoffer Carlsson, Shuhei Kadowaki, Elliot Saba, Viral B Shah, Mosè Giordano, Simeon Schaub, Nicholas Bauer, Keno Fischer

          After 4 betas and 3 release candidates, Julia version 1.7 has finally been released. We would like to thank all the contributors to this release (more than 79 people) and all the testers that helped with finding regressions and issues in the pre-releases. Without you, this release would not have been possible.

          The full list of changes can be found in the NEWS file, but here we’ll give a more in-depth overview of some of the release highlights.

        • Julia 1.7 Released With Improved Threading Capabilities – Phoronix

          Version 1.7 of the Julia programming language implementation is now available, the open-source high-performance language that is general purpose but especially popular for computational science and numerical analysis.

          The Julia programming language is increasingly used for numerical computing/analysis use-cases and by all accounts remains on a terrific upward trajectory. Julia 1.7 is the latest feature release adding on new features and functionality.

        • Qt 6.2.2 Released

          We have released Qt 6.2.2 today. Along with close to 300 new bug fixes it brings security updates, an updated MinGW compiler and re-introduces two modules especially beneficial for automotive customers.

        • Tocuched by the Bar | Coder Radio 442

          Mike visits Pallet Town and comes back with some SQLAlchemy performance wisdom to share. Meanwhile, struggling with a lack of performance, Chris has kicked the tires of his new M1 Max MacBook Pro and is ready to share his counter-narrative take on the new hardware.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: digest 0.6.29 on CRAN: Package Maintenance

          Release 0.6.29 of the digest package arrived at CRAN earlier today, and will be uploaded Debian shortly.

          digest creates hash digests of arbitrary R objects (using the md5, sha-1, sha-256, sha-512, crc32, xxhash32, xxhash64, murmur32, spookyhash, and blake3 algorithms) permitting easy comparison of R language objects. It is a mature and widely-used as many tasks may involve caching of objects for which it provides convenient general-purpose hash key generation.

        • What’s New In PHP 8.1? – CloudSavvy IT

          PHP 8.1 was released in November 2021 as the latest minor version of the PHP language. It adds several new language features alongside some smaller improvements and performance enhancements. There are a few breaking changes to be aware of but most upgrades from PHP 8.0 should be straightforward.


          PHP 8.1 adds many new features that make the development experience easier and more streamlined. Enums have long been a missing piece of the type system while readonly properties and new in initializers will make it quicker to write new classes.

          Fibers help to make async PHP more approachable while first-class callables facilitate streamlined function references when practicing functional programming techniques. All these changes further mature PHP as a flexible language that offers strong safety guarantees for your code while still being simple to work with.

        • Turbo Rascal Is The Retro Pascal Compiler We Always Wanted | Hackaday

          Pascal is not one of the biggest programming languages these days; it’s fallen into the background as the world moved on to newfangled things like C#, Python and Java. However, the language has its fans, one of whom put together a new compiler which targets retro platforms – and it goes by the name Turbo Rascal.

          The list of supported platforms is extensive, with Turbo Rascal able to compile highly-optimized binaries for the C64, Amiga 500, BBC Micro, IBM PC, Atari ST, Game Boy, Amstrad, NES, ZX Spectrum, and more. There’s a usable IDE and even an included graphics editor for getting projects put together quickly. Also known by its full name of Turbo Rascal Syntax Error, or TRSE, it’s the work of one [Nicolaas Groeneboom].

        • Perl/Raku

          • Raku Advent Calendar: Batteries Included: Generating Thumbnails

            It was a cold wintry night in the North Pole and Santa was in a mood.

            “Naughty. Naughty. Naughty. Ni..aughty” he grumbled, checking his list. Then checking it again.

            “Everything ok?” chipped cheerful Sparkleface the elf, bouncing into the room. “Isn’t it nice to have some cold weather for a change?”

            Santa scowled at Sparkleface with an icy stare that froze all the water molecules in the room. He said nothing, gazing through Sparkleface into some distant place in another dimension.

            Undeterred, Sparkleface continued: “did you see all those wonderful images we’ve received from the children of the world who are looking forward to the holiday, and have been sending us pictures of what they want for Christmas? Isn’t it great that everyone has cell phones these days and can so easily send us high resolution images instead of writing out lists by hand like in the olden days?”

        • Python

          • How to build and run your Python scripts in a web browser • The Register

            Python, one of the world’s most popular programming languages, may soon become even more ubiquitous as it finds a home within web browsers.

            Ethan Smith, a Berkeley-based software developer, recently revealed a project that allows CPython, the default implementation of the Python programming language, to run within web browsers via WebAssembly, or WASM.

            WASM is a binary format that provides near-native performance within web browsers. It’s a compilation target for languages like C/C++, C# and Rust. It’s commonly used to create performance-sensitive code that JavaScript isn’t well-suited to handle; wedding Python to WASM though its Emscripten compiler is more about ease of use and distribution than performance, at least at this point.

  • Leftovers

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • There’s finally a reason to use Microsoft Edge instead of Chrome [Ed: Microsoft trying anti-competitive tactics again, in effect orchestrating the situation wherein rival Web browsers won't work with its other stuff]
        • Why Windows failed to display Microsoft and Xbox sign-in dialogs

          Whenever I clicked a button that was supposed to open these dialogs, I might see a brief white flash that hinted at the brief appearance of a dialog window. Most of the time, absolutely nothing happened.

          Deep-rooted problems with Windows are incredibly difficult to troubleshoot. When developing its software, Microsoft always assumes everything will work flawlessly all the time. Apps and system services rarely generate log files, report errors to the Events system, or even record diagnostics data about the problem. The Diagnostics Viewer reported to Microsoft that I’d opened the desired dialog for less than a millisecond and that everything was fine.

        • Microsoft under fire for baking “buy now, pay later” option into Edge browser • Eurogamer.net [Ed: Microsoft = debt]

          The option allows Edge to suggest a sponsored BNPL payment method when customers begin entering their card numbers into retail sites – even if specific sites do not offer it natively.

          Microsoft has signed a deal with third-party BNPL company Zip (previously Quadpay) to feature the sign-up option on retail checkout pages at browser level, for any purchase Edge detects between $35 to $1000.

        • Security

          • Yubikey – PIV vs Security Key

            At my day job, we’ve just purchased Yubikeys for my team to help in the neverending process of securing our infrastructure. While we’re looking at implementing MFA in a number of places, the starting point is securing our SSH connections to our servers. We use FreeIPA to manage authorization and authentication through SSH, so key management is pretty straightforward. The real question is how best to secure an SSH key using a Yubikey. There are two main options: setting up a PIV key on the Yubikey or creating an OpenSSH Security Key (SK) key that requires the Yubikey to login.

            I tried out the SK key first because the documentation made it look like it was easiest to set up, and (perhaps surprisingly) it was! Generating the key was a piece of cake. From a security point of view, I prefer it because the key is stored on my laptop and can be protected with a passphrase. Theft of the Yubikey alone isn’t enough to compromise the key. Using the key is simple too. I just need to have my Yubikey plugged into my laptop and tap on it after initiating the SSH session.

            The first problem that came up is that our servers run an in-house rpm-ostree distribution based off of AlmaLinux 8, and the latest release of OpenSSH there doesn’t support SK keys. This problem was easily resolved by taking Fedora’s OpenSSH builds and rebuilding them for our distribution.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Mass biometric surveillance in the EU: private sector opportunity or tightening restrictions? | Biometric Update

              The Council of the EU intends to simplify rules around the use of mass biometric surveillance by law enforcement and make it possible for private actors to provide such services to police forces, even expanding the scenarios under which systems can be used according to the proposed Artificial Intelligence Act, reports Statewatch.

              The monitoring organization noticed the changes in a progress report on the overall Artificial Intelligence Act. However, Slovenia, which holds the presidency of the Council of the EU in 2021, has circulated a compromise on the wording.
              Statewatch lays out the texts to highlight the changes, such as the bold type here:

              “Concerning the use of ‘real-time’ remote biometric identification systems in publicly accessible spaces by law enforcement authorities, it has been clarified that such systems could also be used by other actors, acting on behalf of law enforcement authorities…

              “…the objectives for which law enforcement should be allowed to use ‘real-time’ remote biometric identification, as well the related authorisation process, have been extended.”

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • The National Digital Education Architecture: An explainer

        In our latest explainer, we look at the National Digital Education Architecture that was introduced earlier this year. Here, we detail what this policy entails and explore its legislative and policy origins. We also discuss what people have been saying about the architecture and explore issues of a lack of internet access, low digital literacy, and an inadequate consent framework.

        What is NDEAR?

        The National Digital Education Architecture (NDEAR) is an architectural blueprint that aims to facilitate achieving the goals laid out in the National Education Policy, 2020 through a unified digital infrastructure in the education ecosystem. Simply put, the document states that under the NDEAR framework, the government will play the role of an enabler by providing a framework in which technology can be built by the government, society or market actors. Any NDEAR compliant technology will be able to interact with each other (for example, an educational app made using the NDEAR will easily interact with a particular school’s own digital ecosystem).

        NDEAR follows the National Open Digital Ecosystem (NODE) strategy which can be best explained through an analogy – in the physical infrastructure of a city, it is the responsibility of the government to build roads, parks, public transport etc., which form the public ‘commons’, and it is only above this ‘platform’ that public and private actors can build other things. Similarly, the NODE approach aims to create a ‘Digital Commons’ using open software, open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), open standards, open licences etc., while enabling interoperability so that these platforms can interact with each other; and public and private actors can build solutions on top of this platform.

      • #KeepItOn coalition to The Gambia: uphold democracy this election, keep people connected – Access Now

        The government of The Gambia shut down the internet on the eve of the 2016 presidential elections. But as the nation prepares for the next vote on December 4, Access Now and the #KeepItOn coalition have a clear message for authorities: uphold democracy and keep the nation connected.

        “The Gambia is on the #KeepItOn coalition’s radar,” said Marianne Díaz Hernández, #KeepItOn Fellow at Access Now. “We will not sit back and allow authorities to shut down the internet and plunge the nation into digital darkness during the 2021 presidential elections.”

        Although the current administration has not deliberately disrupted the internet, there have been frequent network disruptions attributed to undersea cable cuts that affected access approximately four times in 2021 alone.

        “The previous government shut down the internet in The Gambia, but we’re looking to the current government to set a higher standard,” said Felicia Anthonio, Campaigner and #KeepItOn Lead at Access Now. “By safeguarding internet connectivity to all before, during, and after the December 4 vote, it is an opportunity to prove to the nation, and the neighbours, that internet shutdowns have no place in democracy.”

    • Monopolies

Links 1/12/2021: NixOS 21.11 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 3:36 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to Find Default Gateway IP in Linux

        A gateway is a router that acts as an access point to pass network data from one network to another.

        The default gateway is your router’s IP address, which must be accessible from your device to communicate with the other device.

        Typically this is automatically detected by your operating system during installation, if not then you may need to change it.

        If your system is not able to ping self, it could be a gateway issue and you need to fix it. This might happen if there are multiple network adapters or routers in the network.ow

      • How to install Mcfly on Linux. – Unixcop the Unix / Linux the admins deams

        Hello, friends. Sysadmin and devops need a lot from the terminal. It is impossible to work in this area without knowing terminal tricks. Today I will help you with another one of these. In this post, you will learn how to install Mcfly on Linux. This utility allows you to examine your bash or zsh history at deep levels and is useful to know those commands you have forgotten or to examine what you have done with the terminal.

      • How to install and run Powershell on Fedora Linux | FOSS Linux [Ed: This would just be helping Microsoft monopoly though]

        PowerShell built upon the .NET Core framework is a powerful open-source command-line shell developed and maintained by Microsoft. It is a cross-platform (Windows, macOS, and Linux) automation and configuration tool that works well with your existing tools. It includes a command-line shell and an associated scripting language.

        PowerShell is syntactically verbose and intuitive for the user. The most recent version available, PowerShell 7 (.NET Core), was made open source in August 2018 and now supports Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems.

        The article guides you on installing PowerShell on your Fedora system using a package manager, snapcraft, and inside a container.

      • How To Install Etherpad on AlmaLinux 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Etherpad on AlmaLinux 8. For those of you who didn’t know, EtherPad is a real-time collaborative web-based text editor in which several people can conveniently work together online on a document. It is written in Node.js and can be self-hosted to work with various platforms like WordPress, Drupal, Odoo, Joomla, etc.

        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 Etherpad open-source online editor on an AlmaLinux 8. You can follow the same instructions for CentOS and Rocky Linux.

      • How To Install KDE Plasma Desktop on Parabola GNU/Linux

        This tutorial will explain how to have Parabola computer operating system with KDE Plasma Desktop in step by step. Let’s start!

      • How to Create and Execute Bash Scripts in Linux

        Shell scripts are a great way to automate repetitive tasks on Linux. You can write Bash scripts that perform system-related tasks such as installing software, adding new users, dynamically configuring the desktop, just to name a few.

        But what’s the prerequisite? You should have in-depth knowledge of the Bash shell and its commands, including how to wrap these commands in a script—and the most important—how to run the script.

        Here’s how you can create and execute Bash scripts on Linux.

      • How to Install Docker in Debian 11 (Bullseye)

        If you are an application developer that wishes to work under an open-source environment, then you will appreciate what docker has to offer in Debian 11 (Bullseye).

        Docker provides a flexible way of developing, shipping, and running application containers under a defined operating system environment. Docker makes software delivery faster because targeted applications and their preferred development infrastructures are independent of each other.

        Docker manages the software development and testing infrastructure while software developers manage running applications or one still under development.

        Docker’s methodology significantly reduces the timeline between writing useful code and getting it ready for production. It results in faster testing, shipping, and deployment of applications codes.

      • How to install and configure Grafana in Rocky Linux/Centos 8

        In this guide, we are going to learn how to install and set up Grafana in Rocky Linux/Alma Linux/Centos 8. This guide will also work on other RHEL 8 based derivatives.

        Grafana is a multi-platform open source analytics and interactive visualization web application. It provides charts, graphs, and alerts for the web when connected to supported data sources.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • NixOS – Blog → Announcements: NixOS 21.11 released

          Hey everyone, we’re Timothy DeHerrera and Tom Bereknyei, the release managers for 21.11. As promised, the latest stable release is here: NixOS 21.11 “Porcupine”.

        • NixOS 21.11 Available to Download

          NixOS is an independently developed GNU/Linux distribution that aims to improve the state of the art in system configuration management. In NixOS, the entire operating system, including the kernel, applications, system packages and configuration files, are built by the Nix package manager.

          The project’s latest release is NixOS 21.11 which includes the following highlights: “The default Nix version remains at 2.3.16. Nix has not been updated to version 2.4 due to regressions in non-experimental behavior. To upgrade to 2.4, use the nixos-unstable branch or set the nix.package option to either of nixFlakes or nix_2_4 packages. The nixUnstable attribute is a pre-release of Nix 2.5. Read the release notes for more information on upcoming changes. Please help us improve Nix by providing any breakage reports. iptables now uses nf_tables backend. PHP now defaults to PHP 8.0, updated from 7.4. kops now defaults to 1.21.1, which uses containerd as the default runtime. python3 now defaults to Python 3.9, updated from Python 3.8. PostgreSQL now defaults to major version 13.” Further information is available through the project’s release annoucement and in the release notes.

      • Debian Family

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • I wrote myself a static site generator

        Raising the issue, however, prompted Michiel to wonder whether Babashka could run markdown-clj directly from source. Amazingly, although there were a couple of minor issues stopping it from working initially, within less than day he had fixed the issues, got them merged in upstream and had written all about it! I now had all the tools I needed to recreate my site.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Acculturation Workshop

          YottaDB is a language-agnostic, hierarchical key-value, NoSQL database engine developed and released by YottaDB LLC. For historical reasons a key-value relationship such as ["^Population","Belgium",13670000] can be written as ^Population(“Belgium”)=13670000 and referred to as a global variable node, with ^Population referred to as a global variable. The caret (“^”) at the beginning of the variable name makes it a database reference, with the node accessible to all processes accessing the database file in which the node resides and persistent beyond the lifetime of any process. [Although not relevant to the Acculturation Workshop, omitting the caret makes the variable a local variable which is accessible only within a process and whose lifetime is the lifetime of the process.]

      • Programming/Development

        • Spell check your Erlang code with Sheldon

          So, let’s look at how rebar3_sheldon can be used and what we can expect from its output. To test the plugin on your project, follow the following steps: [...]

        • Advent of Code 2021

          The first puzzles will unlock on December 1st at midnight EST (UTC-5). See you then!

        • Rust

          • Can Rust save the planet? Why, and why not • The Register

            Here at a depleted AWS Re:invent in Las Vegas, Rust Foundation chairwoman Shane Miller and Tokio project lead Carl Lerche made the case for using Rust to minimize environmental impact, though said its steep learning curve made the task challenging.

            Miller is also a senior engineering manager for AWS, and Lerche a principal engineer at the cloud giant.

            How can Rust save the planet? The answer is that more efficient code requires fewer resources to run, which means lower energy usage in data centers and also in the environmental impact of manufacturing computing equipment and shipping it around the world.

  • Leftovers

    • Opinion | The “Shining City on a Hill” Is Ready to Ignite

      I’m beginning to think that when it comes to saving the United States and our fragile democracy, perhaps the only answer is to hit the off button and reboot.

    • Another Look at Christopher Hitchens? Why Ben Burgis, Why?

      He wasn’t, he was a constant plagiarist. His works on Kissinger lifted passages by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky. His Clinton book plagiarized Sam Husseini. His New Atheism book plagiarized Chapman Cohen. His 2004 book review of Isaac Deutscher’s biographical trilogy on Trotsky, The Prophet, published by The Atlantic, lifts from George Steiner. His nasty takedown of Edward Said, published as the man laid on his deathbed, plagiarized Orientalism in order to clumsily repudiate it.

      Plagiarism is a double crime. First you steal and profit off the labor of others, then you defraud your readers. If Burgis has bothered reading the outstanding polemic Unhitched: The Trials of Christopher Hitchens by Richard Seymour (Verso, 2012), he would have been aware of these issues and would perhaps come to his subject with a far more critical lens. It’s not that the plagiarism emerged simultaneous with the public allegiance to neoconservatism, it was there beforehand and probably is riddled throughout his writings as a nominal socialist.

    • Fly, Pelican, Fly

      What’s this all about? Let’s do a list. Die is last. Dawn is first. Underneath it all, the sea tries to say the sea is all there really is. Fly, pelican, fly. It’s not enough to love. Not even to die is enough. Shouldn’t we somehow learn to live with what sinks us? Here’s what works in the end: Spain, maybe. Flamenco. Friends at my side. Lorca, still alive.

    • Judy Collins Remembers Stephen Sondheim

      In 1973, I was feeling desperate, searching for the next songs that I could record and not sure that I was on the right track in my own career. One afternoon, I got a call from Nancy Bacal, a dear friend, who said, “I’m sending you over a record I want you to listen to.” The song, on the cast album of Little Night Music, was “Send in the Clowns.” Hearing it was an extraordinary experience. I was shaken to my very toes, weeping and laughing at the same time because this song said everything. Here on my turntable was the answer to my prayers. I called Hal Prince, Stephen Sondheim’s producer, and told him that I had heard “Clowns” and that it was a very good song. He said, “Yes, it’s a wonderful song! Two hundred people have already recorded it.” I said I didn’t care, that I just knew I had to record it.

    • Review: A World Without Email by Cal Newport

      A World Without Email is the latest book by computer science professor and productivity writer Cal Newport. After a detour to comment on the drawbacks of social media in Digital Minimalism, Newport is back to writing about focus and concentration in the vein of Deep Work. This time, though, the topic is workplace structure and collaborative process rather than personal decisions.

      This book is a bit hard for me to review because I spoiled myself for the contents by listening to a lot of Newport’s podcast, where he covers the same material. I therefore didn’t enjoy it as much as I otherwise would have because the ideas were familiar. I recommend the book over the podcast, though; it’s tighter, more coherent, and more comprehensive.

      The core contention of this book is that knowledge work (roughly, jobs where one spends significant time working on a computer processing information) has stumbled into a superficially tempting but inefficient and psychologically harmful structure that Newport calls the hyperactive hive mind. This way of organizing work is a local maxima: it feels productive, it’s flexible and very easy to deploy, and most minor changes away from it make overall productivity worse. However, the incentive structure is all wrong. It prioritizes quick responses and coordination overhead over deep thinking and difficult accomplishments.

    • Education

      • Even on U.S. Campuses, China Cracks Down on Students Who Speak Out

        On the bucolic campus of Purdue University in Indiana, deep in America’s heartland and 7,000 miles from his home in China, Zhihao Kong thought he could finally express himself.

        In a rush of adrenaline last year, the graduate student posted an open letter on a dissident website praising the heroism of the students killed in the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989.

      • Former Temple U. Dean Found Guilty of Faking Data for National Rankings

        The former dean, Moshe Porat, 74, was convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his role in a scheme to raise the ranking of the university’s Fox School of Business in Philadelphia, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania said in a statement on Monday. The school’s online M.B.A. program was ranked best in the country by U.S. News & World Report in the years that he falsified data.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • Foreseeable Risk: Omicron Makes its Viral Debut

        On November 26, the Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Evolution (TAG-VE) was convened to assess the threat posed by B.1.1.529.  Named Omicron, its emergence was reported by South Africa to the World Health Organization on November 24.  While the Delta variant had continued to remain dominant, instances of this new infection had been recorded, with the first specimen collected on November 9.

        Omicron’s debut brings with it a set of menacing questions.   It has, for instance, a “large number of mutations”.   Initial impressions point to a higher risk of re-infection relative to other variants of concern.  It may have a growth advantage and spread more quickly.

      • Problems With Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act

        The BCSA legislation would designate almost 80,000 wilderness, primarily high elevation basins and drainages along the edge of the existing Bob Marshall and Lincoln Scapegoat Wildernesses.  A small addition to the Mission Mountain Wilderness would preserve a critical wildlife migration corridor. These wilderness designations are welcome. Senator Tester should be commended for recognizing the ecological, philosophical, and economic value of wilderness preservation.

        Senator Tester represents his constituency whom surveys show that over 75% of all Montanans support the legislation. In that sense, Senator Daines is out of step with the majority of Montanans.

      • Congress ‘Asleep at the Switch’ as Biden Continues Trump-Era Ploy to Privatize Medicare

        A Trump-era pilot program that could result in the complete privatization of traditional Medicare in a matter of years is moving ahead under the Biden administration, a development that—despite its potentially massive implications for patients across the U.S.—has received scant attention from the national press or Congress.

        “If left unchecked, the Direct Contracting program will hand traditional Medicare off to Wall Street investors.”

      • Opinion | Travel Bans Are Not the Answer to the Omicron Variant

        Omicron, the new COVID-19 variant, is now on the march. While southern Africa appears to be its epicenter, countries including Britain, Canada, Australia, Israel and others now report cases. Dr. Anthony Fauci calls it “inevitable” that it will come to, or is already in, the U.S. We know the variant is very contagious, but still unknown is how severe it is or how resistant to vaccines it will be.

      • Amid Overdose Crisis, 260+ Public Health Groups Urge Congress to Pass Life-Saving Bills

        Two weeks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released sobering statistics showing a record-breaking number of drug overdoses in the U.S. in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 260 advocacy groups called on lawmakers Tuesday to urgently pass public health proposals to mitigate the crisis.

        “It is absolutely imperative that policymakers change course immediately and prioritize evidence-based public health alternatives that are proven to actually save lives.”

      • Uncontacted Tribe’s Land Invaded and Destroyed for Beef Production

        The land invasion now underway is in flagrant violation of a 6-month Land Protection Order issued in September which bans all outsiders from the Piripkura Indigenous Territory.

        Only two members of Brazil’s Piripkura tribe are known to live in the territory, though others are also believed to live there, having retreated to the depths of the forest. Many Piripkura have been killed in past massacres.

      • Number of Covid Boosters Given in US Exceeds Single Shots in 8 African Nations Combined

        An analysis released Monday shows that the number of Americans who have received a coronavirus booster shot to date exceeds the number of people who have gotten a single vaccine dose in eight countries in southern Africa combined, a finding that came as the international community grappled with the threat posed by Omicron.

        “If we do not vaccinate the world as quickly as possible, Covid will continue to threaten us all.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Thousands of Vulnerable People Harmed by Facebook and Instagram are Lost in Meta’s “Average User” Data

              Are these technologies – embraced by billions – killing people and eroding democracy? Or is this just another moral panic?

              According to Meta’s PR team and a handful of contrarian academics and journalists, there is evidence that social media does not cause harm and the overall picture is unclear. They cite apparently conflicting studies, imperfect access to data and the difficulty of establishing causality to support this position.

            • This is a United States-based action. If you did not reside in the United States or its territories at the time you used the Zoom Meetings application, you are not eligible to participate in this Settlement.

              If you used the Zoom Meetings application between March 30, 2016, and July 30, 2021, this proposed class-action settlement may affect your rights.

              Plaintiffs and Class Representatives (“Plaintiffs”) and Zoom Video Communications, Inc. (“Zoom”) have reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit (the “Action”) entitled In re: Zoom Video Communications, Inc. Privacy Litigation, N.D. Cal. Master Case No. 5:20-cv-02155-LHK (the “Settlement”).

              The lawsuit focuses on alleged privacy and security issues with the Zoom Meetings Application (“App”). The lawsuit alleges that Zoom (i) shared certain information with third parties, (ii) should have done more to prevent unwanted meeting disruptions by third parties, and (iii) advertised its Zoom Meetings App as being encrypted “end-to-end” when Plaintiffs contend it was not at that time.

            • Fragmented Reactions Hinder Global Fight Against Omicron Variant

              Israel, the first nation to block travel in response to Omicron, granted its intelligence service temporary permission to monitor the phone data of people with confirmed cases of the variant.

            • Confidentiality

              • Improve security and protect your privacy on Computer Security Day!

                Computers have been part of our Daily lives for almost two decades, but a lot has changed since the beige boxes of the 2000’s: they have come off our desks and into our pockets in the form of smartphones, and have become more and more important in our work and our social lives. But our smartphones and computers now collect more data on us than ever before, and when their security is at risk, so is our privacy. This short guide will take you through some basic changes you can make to improve your security and privacy, both on your phone and your computer.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • 47 Groups Urge Congress to Avert ‘Human Rights Failure’ by Blocking Biden’s Saudi Arms Sale

        Slamming the Saudi-led coalition’s war crimes in Yemen—which are often perpetrated with U.S.-supplied weaponry—47 advocacy groups on Monday published a joint letter to congressional lawmakers urging them to block the Biden administration’s “wrongful” planned $650 million arms sale to the repressive Middle Eastern monarchy.

        “U.S. involvement should have ended following Biden’s declaration to end U.S. support for the coalition.”

      • For Once, Hats Off to The New York Times

        Like a lot of journalists, I’ve long had a love/hate relationship with The New York Times. The paper’s enormous reach and influence, and the powerful lens it can train on people and events, so often seem wasted on the trivial and the transitory. Then there’s its longstanding role as cheerleader in chief for gentrification—not just in New York City, where the Times has been on the wrong side of nearly every fight dating back to the days of Robert Moses, but nationwide. There is nothing the Times likes better than a “rising housing prices” story—even if it has to go to Texas to find it.

      • As Build Back Better Is Gutted, Defense Act Is Deemed a “Must-Pass” Bill
      • Durbin Introduces Amendment to End ‘Legacy of Cruelty’ by Closing Guantánamo

        Recounting some of the “atrocities committed shamefully in the name of our nation” during the ongoing so-called War on Terror, Sen. Dick Durbin on Tuesday said he has introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would close the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba “once and for all.”

        “How can we claim credibility as a nation, how can we hold authoritarian dictators accountable, if they can point to our own legacy of cruelty?”

      • DOJ Asks Tenth Circuit Appeals Court To Firmly Establish A Right To Record Police Officers

        Earlier this year, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decided there was no right to record police officers. In a case involving a man who had his tablet seized and searched by Denver, Colorado police officers when they discovered he was recording them, the Appeals Court sided with the cops, awarding them qualified immunity. The judges did this despite the officers being specifically instructed that there was a presumed right to record police officers via training that had been in place for years prior to this incident.

      • Massive Turnout in Favor of Leftists in Honduras Repudiates US-Backed Coup
      • As NATO Weighs Expansion in Eastern Europe, Russia Amasses Military on Ukraine Border

        As U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives in Latvia for a meeting of NATO foreign secretaries, is war on the horizon? The meeting comes as tension continues to mount between Russia and Ukraine, while how to resolve the countries’ differences remains an open question. Russia has reportedly amassed 100,000 troops on its border with Ukraine, and aggressions have also recently intensified in eastern Ukraine between Moscow-backed separatists and government forces. “Russia is just trying to send a message of its absolutely inflexible opposition to NATO membership for Ukraine and is also trying to extract concessions from Ukraine and more importantly, Washington,” says Anatol Lieven, senior fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

      • “A Moment of Hope”: Xiomara Castro’s Likely Win in Honduran Election Ends Years of Right-Wing Rule After Coup

        We go to Honduras, where thousands took to the streets to celebrate the leftist presidential candidate Xiomara Castro’s lead in the polls ahead of the right-wing National Party candidate Nasry Asfura. The historic election saw a record voter turnout and could signal the end of the 12-year brutal regime under the conservative National Party, which rose to power after a coup backed by the U.S. in 2009 overthrew democratically-elected leftist President Manuel Zelaya. Castro, who is Zelaya’s wife, would become the first woman to serve as president of Honduras if her victory is confirmed. “It’s brought hope to the entire country,” says Faridd Sierra, a high-school teacher in Comayagua, Honduras. Years of corruption and conservative law-making “showed the Honduras people just how cruel the [National] Party was and … they voted in response,” adds Honduran scholar Suyapa Portillo. Castro’s likely win “is a testament to bottom-up organizing,” she says.

      • Trump’s Former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows Is Cooperating With Jan. 6 Committee
      • Vijay Prashad on the strange origins of the term “tankie”
      • Deleting Critical American History
      • Backed by AFRICOM, corporations plunder DR Congo for “climate-friendly” materials and blame China
      • Progressives Decry US Gun Control Failures After ‘Truly Sickening’ Michigan School Shooting

        Progressives on Tuesday once again blasted the lack of stricter U.S. firearm laws in the wake of a deadly school shooting—this one in Oxford, Michigan—with one left-wing congressional candidate accusing Congress of having the victims’ blood on its hands for failing to pass gun control legislation.

        “When do we decide that enough is enough? That kids are more important than guns?”

    • Environment

      • Research Reveals How PR Firms Have Spent Decades Fueling Climate Misinformation

        A pair of Brown University researchers on Tuesday exposed how public relations firms hired by the fossil fuel industry have significantly contributed to misinformation about the worsening climate emergency and impeded action to address it over the past few decades.

        “The hard truth is that advertising and public relations agencies are essential to the fossil fuel industry’s propaganda machine.”

      • The PR Industry Has Been a ‘Major’ But ‘Overlooked’ Influence in Climate Politics for Decades, Says Study

        From coining “clean coal” to “carbon footprint,” public relations firms have been instrumental in shaping the public discourse around climate and energy policy, and as a new study underlines, their powerful efforts have flown under the radar for too long.

        PR firms have played a key role in obstructing action on climate change over the past 30 years, engaging in PR campaigns on behalf of the fossil fuel industry to not only downplay the seriousness of climate change, but also to position industry-favored solutions as the preferred course of action. 

      • The Fog After the Storm
      • Opinion | Climate Warriors Need a New Battle Plan

        The well-known US climatologist Michael E. Mann is no pussyfooter. He likes to provoke, which makes his new book downright entertaining. In The New Climate War, Mann defies expectations. While it is unsurprising that he takes to task the decades-long machinations of large energy companies and their backers, other actors also attract his attention here.

      • Majority of World’s Oil and Gas Workers Want to Seek Employment in Renewable Energy Industry

        More than half of workers in the global oil and gas sector say they are interested in pursuing employment in the renewable energy industry—a promising development that comes as experts say the pace of the worldwide transition to clean power must speed up to stave off the worst consequences of the fossil fuel-driven climate crisis.

        That’s according to a report published Tuesday by the recruitment firm Brunel and Oilandgasjobsearch.com, which includes a survey showing that 56% of fossil fuel workers want to pursue employment in the renewable energy sector, up from 39% last year.

      • New Climate Study Predicting More Rain Than Snow in the Arctic ‘Rings Alarm Bells’

        Research published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications suggests rainfall will become more common in the Arctic than snowfall, and decades sooner than previously thought—findings that elicited fresh warnings about the necessity of ambitious climate action.

        “The new models couldn’t be clearer that unless global warming is stopped, the future Arctic will be wetter.”

      • Energy

        • ‘Extractive Industries Everywhere Are Watching’: 9 Democrats Urge DOJ to Free Steven Donziger

          Nine U.S. House Democrats on Monday urged the Justice Department to “take immediate action” to secure the release of Steven Donziger, a human rights attorney who helped thousands of Ecuadorians win a multibillion-dollar lawsuit against oil giant Chevron and is now incarcerated on a contempt of court charge that experts say is retaliatory—and which followed two years of pre-trial house arrest, a violation of international law.

          “The DOJ must intervene in this case to show polluting companies that the Chevron model for avoiding responsibility for environmental catastrophe will not be tolerated.”

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Fishery Biologist: Delta Smelt are Likely “Virtually Extinct in the Wild”

          None have been found in the first two months of the four-month survey this year either.

          On November 14, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance (CSPA) fishery biologist Tom Cannon in his California Fisheries Blog reported that two other surveys on the Delta have turned up similar results for the Delta smelt.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Strange New World, Same Old Blues

        They always have been. Trying to get at their thoughts (Abbie).  Trying to find out what makes them tick (MKULTRA). Trying to ease their way into the leadership like fascist sleeper cells (COINTELPRO.) Always smiling their grin-toothed benignity, but always, always in the service of turning them into gross domestic product meat puppets who buy, buy, buy the sugar. Always after the youth. It is the capitalist’s form of immortality.

        Well, they’re in trouble on the world population front.  Seemingly following some kind of Mooresian Law, the population is growing exponentially each year and is, really, out of control. We started the 20th century with 2.3 billion people and we are now starting the 21st approaching 8 billion.  In Planet of the Humans, a controversial Michael Moore film a couple of years back, one non-controversy was that the proverbial Elephant in the Crowded Room was the planet’s crowded room itself. Citing Project Drawdown, a climate research group, the Population Matters organization tells us that

      • It is 2023 and the GOP Cult is in Full Control of Our Government

        Since the 2022 election, the GOP controls pretty much everything but the presidency, and with Joe Biden’s approval ratings in the tank, Republicans seem poised to win that next year, as well as making even more gains in the U.S. Senate.

        Meanwhile, the second impeachment trial of President Joe Biden is in its second week in the U.S. Senate, while the destruction of American democracy and the planet goes forth unimpeded.

      • Silly, Pandering Politicians Introduce Silly, Pandering ‘Cyber Grinch’ Law That Would Ban Buying Bots

        In December of 1983, I had just turned 9 years old, and all of my friends wanted Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. They were everywhere, and are remembered as one of the most well known holiday crazes in which scarcity of the toy, and overwhelming demand, resulted in parents absolutely losing their minds trying to find the dolls. My parents, instead, told me that the dolls were impossible to find, or super expensive if they could be found, and told me to expect something else instead. I never got a Cabbage Patch Kid, and I survived the experience (and learned a bit about supply and demand… and mass hysteria).

      • Omar Slams Boebert After “Unproductive” Call on Islamophobic Comments
      • Hero as Intern

        Following closely an intern’s routine, Kyle arrives early, stays late at the scene— Checking the congressman’s need for caffeine, Conquering quirks of the Xerox machine, Running some errands, and keeping things clean, All the while toting his AR-15.

      • Sudan is Backsliding Dangerously

        “The reason why I wake up every day is that I have a little hope that I can find justice for my son,” she confided. “This will not be only for him, but to prevent other parents from having to face the devastation of losing their children because of state violence.”

        In this period of uncertainty for Sudan, one thing is clear: It would be fundamentally wrong and dangerous to jettison justice for serious past and more recent abuses in the name of political expediency.

      • The Crisis of Being a Man: Is It Really That Bad?

        The Senator speaks about the left, first as though it is a monolithic, well-organized entity, which is absurd not only on its face, but also in the details. Much like the 26 Christian churches in my small town of 5,000 people who each alone have the right answer to the God question, the left of America is tiny, splintered, and distracted by doctrinal battles. Foremost among those disagreements is how much of the center/right can be supported when election time comes along in the famous “better of two evils” conundrum. Hawley states:

        Hawley clearly understands nothing of progressive/liberal impulses. The progressive movement is actually about inclusion, of weaving a vibrant web of culture, of experiencing different food, clothing, music and literature; each experience a different chapter in an evolving diary of a person’s life story; of opening to the world outside one’s own orbit. The ultimate community is multi-faceted. Shared culture, like all sharing is at least a two-way street. Could he be talking about “others” not adopting his culture as the only valid one, requiring them to drop their traditions in favor of his uniquely correct ones?

      • Biden’s Imaginary Leftism Is Not Why The Media Hates Him

        Framing Joe Biden as a tool of the left is a narrative used by the fascist right in their conspiracy to erode democracy but why would the supposedly liberal media be joining in? A “return to normal” as represented by the corporate bipartisan neoliberal management of the underclass into the end times is exactly what Mr. Biden represents, and exactly what the media claimed they wanted.

        The criticism of Donald Trump, much like the criticism of Joe Biden, frames him as a leftist. Mr. Biden is framed as a woke socialist while Mr. Trump is framed as a revolutionary populist. It is at least true that Mr. Trump wants to end bourgeois democracy. And it is true that Donald Trump used every opportunity to eliminate the free press. This was in theory at least the reason for and the limit of the media’s criticism of him.

      • Opinion | Democrats Are Losing Control of the Narrative

        Joe Biden responded to the court verdict clearing Kyle Rittenhouse of all charges with the statement “I stand by what the jury has to say. The jury system works.” While Biden was certainly right that the criminal legal system is working as it was intended—to dole out punishment based on the color of one’s skin—his statement signaled a surrender to the right’s co-optation of the uprisings in Kenosha. For months, conservatives had painted Rittenhouse as the only thing standing between law and order and chaos in the Wisconsin city. They created from whole cloth the image of Rittenhouse as a cultural hero, a symbol of Second Amendment virtue and the preservation of a long-standing racial hierarchy. No doubt Biden feared alienating a base of voters who viewed Rittenhouse’s actions as more or less justified. So he did what Democrats often do when the narrative thread slips away from them: wave the white flag.

      • Brittany Ramos DeBarros Took on the War Machine. Now She’s Running for Congress.

        As the war in Afghanistan drew to a long-overdue end, a veteran of that conflict campaigned to represent Staten Island and South Brooklyn in Congress. At a street fair in the Bay Ridge neighborhood in August, Brittany Ramos DeBarros, 32, wore a white skirt over dark leggings, light blue Asics, big hoop earrings, and a T-shirt adorned with her new campaign logo. She talked to her potential constituents about housing, Covid-19 relief, and registering to vote. Her staff ran a bubble machine and handed out candy to the kids.

      • Camila Saab Speaks Out: Wife of Venezuelan Diplomat “Kidnapped” by US Gov’t Talks to MintPress
      • Diego Sequera Discusses the Underpinnings of Venezuelan Election and Huge Maduro/Socialist Victory
      • Joint CEO Statement: Europe needs to translate its digital ambitions into concrete actions

        We now need concrete and immediate action to seize the opportunity and fuel further technological innovation and inclusivity. Europe’s global role cannot be limited to buying and regulating the technology built by others: we must create the conditions for homegrown digital infrastructure and services to thrive and set global standards that others can aspire to.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

      • Antivaccine “purebloods”

        One point I’ve long made about so-called “alternative” medicine is how many of its precepts are more religious than rational or scientific in nature. In particular, a huge part of alternative medicine relies on the concept that “contamination” (these days more frequently referred to as “toxins”) cause most, if not all, disease. Indeed, nearly five years ago, I was discussing how the various “detoxification” regimens that make up so much of alternative medicine (and, not coincidentally, the basis of many treatments for many conditions—like autism—that antivaxxers used to attribute to vaccines) have more in common with religious ritual purification rituals than they do with science or medicine. This concept of “purity” versus “contamination” (implied to be with evil) also has a lot to do with the idea that “natural immunity” to a disease (which in reality should be called post-infection immunity given that vaccine-induced immunity is natural) and has infected the discourse over COVID-19 vaccines, so much so that one of my go-to video clips when discussing this topic is of Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper from one of my favorite movies of all time, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb explaining how fluoridation is a Communist plot to “sap and impurify” the “precious bodily fluids” of real Americans, mainly because anti-fluoridation, antivaccine, and anti-GMO pseudoscience all tap into the alternative medicine fear of “contamination” as a cause of ill health and “purity of essence” (again, from Dr. Strangelove) as key to good health. Not coincidentally, concepts of “contamination” versus “purity” (or even “pureblood” or “purebloods”) are also behind the fear stoked by antivaxxers that mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines “permanently alter” your DNA, thus contaminating and corrupting it with evil (the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein).

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • The Bad Apples Control The Bunch: USA Today Report Details Law Enforcements Punishment Of Good Cops

        Plenty of people try to minimize police misconduct by claiming what we witness day after day after day is just the work of a few “bad apples.” That’s only half of the adage, though. The rest of it notes that bad apples spoil the whole bunch. Keep bad apples around long enough and you’re going to have to throw out the bunch eventually.

      • Women Are Changing the Look of Leadership

        We’re not supposed to talk about the way female politicians dress. After generations of mostly male journalists writing with breathless fascination about the fact that women don’t look like men, it’s a welcome reprieve. But something radical is happening.1

      • Opinion | The ‘F’ Word and the Media

        Just before Thanksgiving break, former President Donald Trump told Fox News that he had met with Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse at Mar-a-Lago, where the two smiled for a photo that was custom built for right-wing social media.

      • Tennessee Rejects “Moms for Liberty” Complaint Over Lessons on MLK
      • Two Trials: Slave Patrol Racism in Georgia and Racist Neofascism in Kenosha


        Both trials deliberated on events that included: murder by armed vigilantes claiming to have engaged in legitimate self-defense while claiming to protect private property not their own (used car dealerships in Kenosha and a house under construction in Brunswick); the use of guns against unarmed victims; efforts by victims to grab the killer’s gun; initial provocation by the killers.

      • With SCOTUS Set to Hear Abortion Case, Anti-Choice Groups Prepare to Enact ‘Post-Roe Strategy’

        With the U.S. Supreme Court set to hear opening arguments Wednesday in a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade and threaten abortion rights for millions of people across the country, right-wing anti-choice groups are preparing to ensure that anyone who becomes pregnant in the U.S. is forced to continue the pregnancy.

        The consideration of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban represents a moment the anti-choice movement has been waiting for since 1973, when Roe v. Wade affirmed that pregnant people have the right to obtain abortion care until 24 weeks of pregnancy.

      • Get Off Our Territory: Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders Condemn Canadian Police Raid on Pipeline Protest

        Canadian police continue to arrest Indigenous land defenders blocking construction of Coastal GasLink, a 400-mile pipeline that would carry natural gas through Wet’suwet’en land. Police arrested two people Monday for blockading an access road, less than two weeks after arresting more than 30 in a violent raid on Coyote Camp and elsewhere that ended a 56-day blockade of a drilling site. We get an update from Wet’suwet’en land defender Molly Wickham, also known as Sleydo’, just released from jail. “This is the third time they have come in and raided Wet’suwet’en territory,” says Wickham. “We’ve never signed any documents to cede our land.”

      • Wet’suwet’en Land Defenders Condemn Violent Police Raid Against Pipeline Protest
      • Should We Trust Thomas Bach About the Safety of Peng Shuai?

        Earlier this month, Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai vanished after accusing China’s former vice premier Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault. For weeks, the three-time Olympian’s whereabouts were unknown. After an international outcry, she magically resurfaced on November 21 for a 30-minute video call with—of all people!— the president of the International Olympic Committee, who was joined by the head of the IOC’s Athletes’ Commission and an IOC member from China.

      • Protests Against Sexual Violence Have Overtaken College Campuses

        Several hundred students gathered by Traditions Plaza on the University of Missouri campus on October 5 to protest their college’s lack of action to protect their students from sexual violence at the hands of fraternity members. Among them was a current Mizzou student, Jane, who will be referred to by a pseudonym to protect her privacy. She survived an alleged drugged rape at an off-campus party and found little support from her college. Jane stood tall next to her friend with a “Protect Your Students, Not Your Reputation” sign. This story was produced for Student Nation, a program of the Nation Fund for Independent Journalism, which is dedicated to highlighting the best of student journalism. For more Student Nation, check out our archive or learn more about the program here. StudentNation is made possible through generous funding from The Puffin Foundation. If you’re a student and you have an article idea, please send pitches and questions to [email protected].

      • The Christian Legal Army Behind the Ban on Abortion in Mississippi

        In January 2018, attorneys with the Alliance Defending Freedom outlined a plan to “eradicate Roe” that is now coming to fruition. Speaking at the Evangelicals for Life conference, ADF senior counsel Denise Burke announced that just that week, state lawmakers in Mississippi had introduced the nation’s first-ever 15-week abortion ban. Based on ADF’s model legislation, the bill was designed to provoke a challenge from abortion rights groups that, ADF hoped, would make its way to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and then on to the Supreme Court.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Opinion | The Federal Trade Commission Has the Power to Break Up Big Tech

        In a groundbreaking 2017 Yale Law Journal study, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” the legal scholar Lina Khan sized up the online giant.

      • Patents

      • Copyrights

        • Who Owns a Recipe? A Plagiarism Claim Has Cookbook Authors Asking.

          The law views a recipe merely as a factual list of ingredients and basic steps rather than as creative expression. The introductions, photography and design that accompany a recipe can be covered by a copyright, as can the cookbook as a whole, or a specific sequence of recipes, said Sara Hawkins, a business and intellectual property [sic] lawyer in Phoenix.

          If the instructions are written with enough literary flourish, she said, they may be sufficiently creative to be copyrightable.

        • Google Removes Pirate Bay Domains from Search Results Citing Dutch Court Order

          Google has removed The Pirate Bay and more than 100 related domains from its search results in the Netherlands. The search engine points to a local pirate site-blocking order that was forwarded by anti-piracy group BREIN. The order targets ISPs and doesn’t name Google but the company chose to voluntarily comply.

        • Pirate IPTV: Police Arrest Two & Send Warning Messages to Customers

          Police are reporting the arrest of two people following a raid on an alleged pirate IPTV supplier in the UK. The suspects were detained at an address in Leicestershire under suspicion of infringing copyright by communicating protected works to the public. The service was shut down and according to police, now displays a warning to customers.

        • Miramax Survives Copyright Dispute Over ‘Pulp Fiction’ Poster Initiated By Opportunistic Photographer

          The iconic film Pulp Fiction appears to be a hot topic of conversation lately. We recently discussed Miramax’s laughable lawsuit against Quentin Tarantino over his plan to offer NFTs for certain unreleased and unused portions of the film’s drafted scripts, alongside the director’s audio commentary revealing his thought processes and “secrets” surrounding the screenplay. While that whole thing is currently making Miramax look very confused as to intellectual property laws, there was recently a lawsuit ruled in Miramax’s favor over the film’s most iconic poster.

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