Links 10/2/2022: Epic Wants Rootkits in Linux and Serial GPL Violator VMware Launches Vicious FUD Attack on Linux

Posted in News Roundup at 8:27 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Chrome OS 98 Stable Channel arrives: What you need to know

      According to the official Chrome Release blog, the Chrome OS 98 Stable Channel was released on Monday night. All supported Chromebooks, Chromeboxes and Chrome OS tablets should see the update now, or in the coming days.

      As of Tuesday morning, the main Google site did not have any information as to what’s in this update. So here’s a rundown on the new features and functions found so far in the Chrome OS 98 Stable Channel. Many are experimental features.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Compulab’s Fitlet3 mini-PC offers Elkhart Lake and triple M.2

        Compulab has launched a highly customizable “Fitlet3” industrial mini-PC that starts at about $260 and runs Linux or Windows on Elkhart Lake. Standard features include 2x GbE, 6x USB, HDMI, mini-DP, FACET expansion, and M.2 M-, B- and E-key slots.

        Compulab has updated its five-year old, Apollo Lake based Fitlet2 mini-PC. The Fitlet3 advances to Intel’s 10nm Elkhart Lake. Aside from the much faster Atom x6000 processor, the Fitlet3 ships with up to 32GB, 3200MT/s DDR4. That is is twice the RAM of the Fitlet2, which is also available as the Linux Mint optimized MintBox Mini 2.

      • Fitlet3 is a compact, fanless Elkhart Lake mini PC for IoT and industrial applications

        Fitlet3 fanless mini PC based on a choice of three Atom or Celeron Elkhart Lake processors is an upgrade to the Compulab Fitlet2 mini PC introduced in 2017 with Apollo Lake processors.

        Designed to be used as a fanless industrial mini PC or an IoT gateway, Fitlet3 comes with up to 32GB RAM, supports SATA and NVMe storage, offers two 4K video outputs, up to four Gigabit Ethernet ports, optional WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, and/or 4G/5G cellular connectivity, as well as a wide range 7V to 42V power input.

      • Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, or Linux: Which Operating System Is Best?

        You don’t have a great many choices when it comes to your computer’s operating system, but the choice that you make can have wide-ranging consequences. The five OSes included here are your most viable options. That’s not a huge number, but these operating systems differ distinctly in strengths and weaknesses. Four come from gargantuan commercial tech giants, while one, the Linux-based Ubuntu, is a free, open-source option. Windows and macOS are generally the most powerful in terms of hardware and software selection as well as interface conveniences and utilities, while Chrome OS is more lightweight and runs on inexpensive hardware.

      • Best desktop Linux for pros 2022: Our top 5 choices | ZDNet

        You knew Fedora, Red Hat’s community Linux distribution, would be first on my list. It’s the mainstream distro that pushes Linux’s limits. It comes powered by the newest Linux kernel and with the latest open-source software.

        In particular, Fedora is the Linux of choice for programmers. No less a figure than Linus Torvalds uses Fedora for his development work. Need I say more?

        Sometimes, however, when you’re running a leading-edge distro, you can cut yourself. There’s a reason why Fedora’s also known as a bleeding-edge Linux.

        On the other hand, Fedora is easy to install and set up. You don’t need to be a Linux expert to get up and running with it.

        For programmers, Fedora also boasts an excellent Developer Portal. It features dedicated guides on developing command line, desktop, mobile, and web apps.

        The Fedora Developer Portal also comes with an excellent guide for developing hardware devices such as Arduino and Raspberry Pi. Last but not least, it comes with such development tools as the top-notch integrated development environment (IDE) Eclipse for Java, C/C++, and PHP and Vagrant, a tool for creating reproducible, portable container or virtual machine (VM)-based development environments.

        Unless you’re working on the Debian/Ubuntu family programs, Fedora should be your first choice for a development operating system. For developers in that group, I recommend the newest version of Ubuntu.

      • Best Linux distros for beginners in 2022: You can do this! | ZDNet

        Some people still insist that using Linux is hard. Sure, it was difficult — when I started with the Linux desktop back in the 1990s. But that was a long time ago. Today, the easiest desktop of all, Chrome OS, is simply Linux with the Chrome web browser on top of it. The more full-featured Linux desktop distributions are as easy to use in 2021 as Windows or macOS.

        Yes, you can get a lot more from Linux if you know how to do shell programming and the like. But that’s also true of Windows and PowerShell. With both operating systems, you don’t need to know the deep ins and outs of either one to get your work done.

    • Kernel Space

      • From Prototype to Post Deployment: Linux Decision Points

        There were four options given:

        1) Choose roll-your-own based on Yocto Project Linux, Debian, or something similar: 27 %

        2) Choose Linux provided through a semiconductor or board vendor: 17 %

        3) Choose Linux from a commercial open source provider: 10 %

        4) Continue evaluating whether you want to use Linux: 45 %

        It is interesting that the number of respondents choosing Linux from a commercial OS provider is not higher than 10%. Additionally, given recent trends around the migration to Linux for embedded development, it is surprising that 45% of the audience was still evaluating whether to use Linux at all.

      • Graphics Stack

    • Applications

      • DeskCut Helps You to Create Linux Desktop Shortcuts with Ease

        This article explains briefly how to create useful and standard-compliant desktop entries on Linux by using the DeskCut app.

        Have you ever installed a program in Linux from an outside source and wished that it had a convenient entry in your desktop environment’s menu? While most GUI programs automatically create their desktop shortcut during installation, some applications may require you to set up associated shortcuts manually.

        And this is where DeskCut comes on the scene. But before that, let’s explain what Linux shortcuts actually are.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How To Install Plex Media Server on Fedora 35 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Plex Media Server on Fedora 35. For those of you who didn’t know, Plex Media Server is a self-hosted media player system for storing your movies, shows, music, and photos. Over time Plex Media Server has grown much and now supports many platforms.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of the Plex Media Server on a Fedora 35.

      • How to Install Nginx on WHM/cPanel With Engintron – RoseHosting

        In this tutorial, we are going to explain how to Install Nginx with Engintron on a server with WHM/cPanel control panel installed.

        Engintron is a free WHM/cPanel plugin that can be used for installing the Nginx web server as a reverse proxy of the default Apache webserver. The reason for using the Nginx as a reverse proxy of Apache on our WHM/cPanel server is that the Apache will server the dynamic content such as PHP, Perl and etc, and the Nginx will be responsible for serving the static content like CSS, Javascript, and images.

        Installing Nginx with Engintron to your cPanel server can take a few minutes and is a very easy process. Let’s get to work!

      • How to install InfluxDB 2 on Debian 11 – NextGenTips

        InfluxDB is an open-source time-series database. It is used for storage and retrieval of time series data in fields such as operation monitoring, operations metrics, internet of things sensor data, and real-time analytics. In this tutorial, we are going to learn how to install InfluxDB on Debian 11.

        By default, InfluxDB uses the following network ports for communication.

      • How to install Google PageSpeed to improve NGINX performance – News Update

        Google PageSpeed is an open-source module, created by Google, to help make web pages load faster. This added speed is achieved by rewriting them for better latency and decreasing bandwidth. Although PageSpeed has been around for some time, it’s not often used. However, by adding it to your NGINX or Apache websites, you’ll find they perform considerably better.

        I’m going to show you how to install both NGINX and PageSpeed, so your users can enjoy a much-improved experience with your web pages. We are going to install everything from scratch, so you’ll want to do this on a non-production machine first. Once you’ve mastered this, move it to production and then migrate your sites to the new web server.

      • How to easily install minix 3.3.0

        This is an screen by screen guide on how to install minix 3.3.0.

      • Install and use WPscan (WordPress security scanner) in Linux

        WPScan is a free, for non-commercial use, black box WordPress security scanner written for security professionals and blog maintainers to test the security of their sites.

      • Install Metasploit Framework on Ubuntu 22.04/Ubuntu 20.04 – kifarunix.com

        In this tutorial, you will learn how to install Metasploit Framework on Ubuntu 22.04/Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. Metasploit Framework provides a platform and tools for performing deep system security auditing as well as penetration testing to unearth, exploit and validate every other would-be vulnerability.

      • How to install Peppermint OS 2022-02-02 – Invidious
      • How to install OpenVPN Client on Debian 11 Bullseye – Linux Shout

        Learn the steps to install OpenVPN client on Debian 11 Bullseye Linux to connect VPN server for establishing a secure connection. It was programmed by James Yonan and was first released in 2001 under the open-source license.

        OpenVPN is a popular open-source software freely available. It is available in a client-server architecture and can be installed on computers, servers, or network devices such as routers and supports operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, Solaris, OpenBSD, Android, and many more.

        It can be used to implement encrypted private networks between individual clients or entire networks. For the connection to be established, the OpenVPN software must be available and suitably configured on both sides. The software transmits the user data via TCP or UDP packets. The VPN software can also be used across NAT borders (NAT – Network Address Translation). The data exchanged in the VPN is via SSL/ TLSencrypted. The OpenSSL library is used for encryption.

      • Ubuntu Linux PC Won’t Boot? 5 Common Issues and Fixes

        You’ve switched on your computer, preparing to do some work, edit a document, mix a composition, or just play a game… but something goes wrong.

        Ubuntu won’t boot.

        Sadly, as reliable as Linux is in general, and as popular as Ubuntu is, sometimes it runs into problems, just like Windows 10 or macOS. In most cases, you’ll be able to work around this.

        Whether you’re using Ubuntu desktop or Ubuntu Server, here’s what to do if Ubuntu doesn’t boot.

      • What Is Log4Shell and How to Protect Your Linux System Against It

        The Log4Shell (CVE-2021-44228) vulnerability is described by many cybersecurity researchers and experts to be the most critical zero-day vulnerability of all time. It affects a widely-used Java utility by the name of Log4j, which has been around since 2001 for logging and communicating events, such as routine system operations and software errors. Here we show you how to protect your Linux system against it.

      • 100% easy Open-source VPN and Proxy with podman

        OpenConnect VPN is not officially supported by or associated in any way with Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks, Pulse Secure, Palo Alto Networks, F5, Fortinet, or any of the companies whose protocols we may support in the future. It just happens to interoperate with their equipment. Trademarks belong to their owners in a somewhat tautological and obvious fashion.

        An openconnect VPN server (ocserv), which implements an improved version of the Cisco AnyConnect protocol, was also written.

        OpenConnect VPN server is an SSL VPN server that is secure, small, fast, and configurable. It implements the OpenConnect SSL VPN protocol and has also (currently experimental) compatibility with clients using the AnyConnect SSL VPN protocol. The OpenConnect protocol provides a dual TCP/UDP VPN channel and uses the standard IETF security protocols to secure it. The OpenConnect client is multi-platform and available here. Alternatively, you can try connecting using the official Cisco AnyConnect client (Confirmed working on Android). For the HAproxy tutorial, you can try the link.

      • Failed to download metadata for repo
      • Bash Scripting: Check if file exists
      • Bash Scripting: Check if directory exists

        When writing a Bash script, it is common that you’ll run into the need to check for the existence of a directory. Based on the result, your Bash script can proceed with the appropriate action.

        This functionality can be written into a Bash script or used directly from the command line, without writing a script for it. In this tutorial, you will see how to check if a directory exists in Bash on Linux systems.

      • MySQL: Allow user access to database

        After installing MySQL on your Linux system and creating a new database, you will need to setup a new user to access that database, granting it permissions to read and/or write data to it.

        It is not recommended to use the root account, but rather create a new account and grant privileges as needed. In this tutorial, you will see how to allow a user to access a MySQL database on Linux.

      • MySQL: Allow access from specific IP address

        If you need to allow remote access to your MySQL server, a good security practice is to only allow access from one or more specific IP addresses. This way, you are not needlessly exposing an attack vector to the entire internet.

        In this tutorial, we will take you through the step by step instructions to allow remote connections to a MySQL server from a specific IP address on a Linux system. These instructions should work independently of whichever Linux distro you are using.

      • MySQL: Allow remote connections

        After installing a MySQL server on a Linux system, by default it will only accept incoming connections from itself (i.e. the loopback address

        This default configuration works perfectly fine if you are only trying to read or write information from the database on the same server. So users that host their website and MySQL server on the same box won’t need to do any extra configuration to allow remote connections.

        If you want to allow remote connections to your MySQL server, because you have other computers and/or users that need to access that data, you will need to bind the MySQL service to a public IP address on your server, and perhaps allow incoming MySQL connections through your system firewall.

        In this tutorial, we will take you through the step by step instructions to allow remote connections to a MySQL server on a Linux system. These instructions should work independently of whichever Linux distro you are using.

      • Building a Docker image in Jenkinsfile and publishing to ECR – Octopus Deploy

        In this post, you learn how to build and push the Octopus Deploy underwater app to Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) using Jenkins.

    • Games

      • Lilbits: Fortnite for Linux isn’t happening, Vivo NEX 5 specs leaked, MAME turns 25 – Liliputing

        While Valve’s game client has been able to run on Linux for years, as of last month just over 1% of Steam users were running Linux (and fewer than 3% were using macOS, with Windows holding a 96% share). It’ll be interesting to see if that starts to change once the Steam Deck hits the streets. And if it does, maybe we’ll see more game makers add support for Linux… but one of the most popular games around isn’t going to add Linux support anytime soon: Epic CEO Tim Sweeney says the company has no plans to port Fortnite to Linux.

        He says it’s because Epic doesn’t “have confidence that we’d be able to combat cheating at scale under a wide array of kernel configurations including custom ones,” but it’s an interesting take since Epic has already ported its anti-cheat software to support Mac and Linux devices including the Steam Deck.

        That means third-party games that use Epic’s Easy Anti-Cheat software should be compatible with the Steam Deck. But Epic’s own Fortnite won’t be one of those games.

        Then again, Fortnite also isn’t available in the Steam Store, so it’s not like it’s a huge surprise that the company doesn’t want to make it too easy for you to play its massively popular game on a device that may lock you into a rival’s ecosystem.

        But the Steam Deck is basically a PC, and while it will ship with Steam OS, it’s also capable of running Windows. And that could provide folks willing to install an alternate operating system a way to play Fortnite or any other games that may not be available or play well under Linux.

      • Fortnite Is Never Coming To The Steam Deck – Invidious

        With EAC and Battleye now being supported on Linux and by extension the Steam Deck someone asked Tim Sweeney if Fortnite is coming to the Steam Deck and he had a simple answer no, but his reasoning is interesting

      • Epic Is Worried About Fortnite Cheaters on Linux [Ed: Worried about the freedom of the platform, Epic wants to put rootkits in Linux]

        Epic Games makes Fortnite, which is one of the biggest video game phenomenons in recent history. Because the game is so popular, fans wondered whether it would make its way to Valve’s Steam Deck, but it appears Epic is too worried about cheaters on Linux to make it happen.

      • Tim Sweeney has a point about Fortnite EAC support | GamingOnLinux

        One of the big topics of discourse in the Linux gaming sphere recently has been Tim Sweeney’s statement on porting Fortnite to the Steam Deck, where Sweeney argues that Linux would be too difficult of a target and the market not big enough to warrant the amount of resources it would take to bring all of Fortnite on the platform.

        The central crux of the issue, from Sweeney’s point of view, is that making Easy Anti-Cheat, with all of its capabilities, run on Steam Deck (and thus on Linux) would be extremely difficult. He argues, that for a game of Fortnite’s size this would open the flood-gates to significant influx of cheaters.

        There have been some responses to this from the Linux side, with some accusing Sweeney of exaggerating the difficulty of such a port or that his statements are conflicting, because he simultaneously believes the Linux market is too small to be worthwhile but also would provide a way for too many cheaters. I will address some of these aspects a bit later, but for now let’s focus on the main technical blocker, which is Easy Anti-Cheat.

      • Proton vs Native: Is There Really A Difference? – Boiling Steam

        The debate over emulation or translation and native games is at least as old as projects like Wine for Linux, and more generally as old as gaming platforms. More recently Proton and DXVK are the stars, but there have been other tools in the past, like VOGL (to translate DirectX 9 to OpenGL, used in CS:Go, for example). Rather than rehash the same debate here, what I would like to do is explore and pose some questions. Not questions like which is “better” (for whatever your definition of “better”), but to think a bit more deeply about another aspect of this debate. To me, much of the endless back and forth comes down to this: is there really a difference between native and tools like Proton?

        Hold your flames and passioned arguments please! I’m not here to make the case for one side or the other or throw my hands up to say “it doesn’t matter,” but to attempt to go beyond our surface arguments and see where that may lead us.

      • Valheim developers have another fireside chat filled with teasers | GamingOnLinux

        Ready for even more content to come to Valheim? Well, there’s still a bit of a wait and the developers teased biome updates previously but there’s more to see – and hear.

        In a fresh fireside chat, with a much upgraded seating area that’s no longer just a fire in a forest, three members of Iron Gate had a talk about the game now it’s one year on from the Early Access release. The fun thing is that this is clearly an unreleased build, as there’s multiple sneaky new things surrounding them. Their official Twitter account even teased “How many sneak peeks can you spot?”.

      • Godot Engine – Dev snapshot: Godot 4.0 alpha 2

        Two weeks ago we finally released Godot 4.0 alpha 1 ― the first official alpha build of our upcoming major milestone, enabling all interested users to try it out and report bugs, as well as provide feedback on the new features.

        We got lots of bug reports and many have been fixed already in these two weeks! To keep iterating on stabilizing the 4.0 branch, we’re going to release new alpha builds every other week, so that testers can always have a recent version to test the latest changes.

        So here’s Godot 4.0 alpha 2 with a great deal of fixes and new features!

        Be aware that during the alpha stage the engine is still not feature-complete or stable. There will likely be breaking changes between this release and the first beta release. Only the beta will mark the so-called “feature freeze”.

        As such, we do not recommend porting existing projects to this and other upcoming alpha releases unless you are prepared to do it again to fix future incompatibilities. However, if you can port some existing projects and demos to the new version, that may provide a lot of useful information about critical issues still left to fix.

        Most importantly: Make backups before opening any existing project in Godot 4.0 alpha builds. There is no easy way back once a project has been (partially) converted.

      • Wordle Reverse-Engineering And Automated Solving | Hackaday

        We don’t know about you, but we have mixed feelings about online puzzle fads. On one hand, they are great tool to help keep one sharp, but they’re just everywhere. The latest social-media driven fad, Wordle, may be a little bit too prevalent for our liking, with social media timelines stuffed with updates about the thing. [Ed Locard] was getting a bit miffed with friends’ constant posts about ‘Today’s Wordle’, and was hoping they’d get back to posting pictures of their dogs instead, so did what any self-respecting hacker would do, and wrote a python script to automate solving Wordle puzzles, in a likely futile attempt to get them to stop posting.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • Give Your Linux Mint and Xubuntu a Visual Uplift Using Twister UI

        Twister UI is the easiest way to give your Linxu Mint and XUbuntu a visual uplift using pre-loaded themes. Here’s how.

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Community releases Plasma 5.24: It’s eccentric, just like many old-timers

          The new release of KDE’s Plasma desktop brings a GNOME Shell-like instant overview and other improvements.

          KDE is fairly mature now. The FOSS community was founded in 1996, allowing it to call last year’s Plasma release, 5.23, the 25th Anniversary Edition. KDE 1.0 came out in 1998, making it the first FOSS desktop for Linux. It does also support FreeBSD, although not always the latest version.

        • Plasma Mobile Gear 22.02 is Out

          The Plasma Mobile team is happy to announce the Plasma Mobile updates for January to February 2022.

          Plasma 5.24 was released on February 8th, with many changes to the Plasma Mobile shell.

          The primary shell repository (and corresponding package name for distributions) has been renamed from plasma-phone-components to plasma-mobile. Devin Lin did a lot of work on the shell for this release.

        • KDE Neon vs Kubuntu vs KDE Plasma

          One of the best aspects of using a Linux system is that there are many popular desktop environments to choose from. If you do not like the style or behavior of yours, it is simple enough to install a different one.

          When it comes to the KDE Plasma desktop environment, there are a few different ways to experience it. KDE Plasma comes not only as a graphical user interface, but also includes a slew of applications (over 200; some installed by default and some not) that integrate into the desktop environment and give the user a more unified experience that flows together.

          If you are ready to try out KDE Plasma, you have a few choices. First of all, you can install it the same way you would any other desktop environment – right from your system’s package manager. But you can also choose from the KDE Neon and Kubuntu Linux distributions.

          So, which one should you choose? We will go over all the details in this article and help you make an informed decision.

        • More wlroots with KWinFT 5.24 – subdiff.org

          In the last year our development focus for KWinFT was on the integration with the wlroots library. In a single sentence our goal with this is to share underlying architecture, patterns and ideas across the Wayland ecosystem, instead of reimplementing things again and again for each and every big project while leaving smaller ones behind.

          Only a few months ago in October a first iteration of this integration was released with KWinFT 5.23. I talked about it here on this blog and at X.Org Developer Conference (XDC) 2021 in a talk including a primer on wlroots itself.

          If you’re interested in that first part of integration specifically or a wlroots primer in general check out my talk on YouTube.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • GNOME 42 Adds ’Dark Wallpaper’ Support

          Simply put: when the new standardised dark mode setting is enabled in GNOME 42 a ‘dark’ version of the default wallpaper is applied. When light mode is enabled, a ‘light’ version of the wallpaper is applied. If this all sounds a bit familiar it’s probably because I mentioned this was on the way last month when I wrote about the streamlining of wallpaper options in GNOME 42.

          Naturally, you are free to override this behaviour and set any image you like as the desktop background, regardless of whatever dark mode preference is active.

        • Turbocharging GNOME Nightly and GNOME OS infrastructure

          Mistakes were made¹, and after recent maintenance, Jordan asked Infrastructure Team if there is a chance GNOME Nightly (and its younger sibling GNOME OS) could be moved somewhere with faster network and more storage. After short discussion, we decided to move it to AWS (thanks to promotional credits for open source projects). The new server has three times more space, uses SSD instead of HDD, and should offer up to 10 Gbps of network bandwidth.

          It quickly became apparent we underestimated GNOME Nightly popularity by a large margin. On the second day, the new server transmitted almost 500 GB of data. As we wanted to limit potential egress costs, we reached out to CDN77, and they quickly agreed to help us. CDN77 team aren’t stranger to the open source world, helping other projects like KDE, Gentoo and Manjaro.

        • 7 New Features That Make GNOME 42 an Awesome Release – It’s FOSS News

          GNOME 42 will be an interesting release.

          It includes noticeable visual changes and improvements to the desktop experience. Of course, the changes in GNOME 41 compliments the new release as well.

          GNOME 42 is due on March 23, 2022, but it has almost reached beta (scheduled for February 12, 2022).

    • Distributions

      • Theme in EasyOS 3.3

        The snapshot was taken on a 1024×768 monitor, which is the smallest resolution that is practical to use with EasyOS. You can see the icons along the top, anything less than 1024 pixels, say 800 pixels, is going to be a problem.

        In a running Easy, you will see there is a file /root/.packages/default-theme. This is used in woofQ to set the theme, and is included in the release build so that users can see the choices made. Here is the file for Easy 3.3…

      • Icon-free desktop peach theme

        By using the ‘xdotool’ utility, the “Drives” menu will now automatically popup whenever a drive is plugged in.

        On a screen that is smaller than 1920 pixels wide, the app labels automatically do not display. Here is a snapshot on a 1024×768 screen…

      • Experimental icon-free desktop

        I have wanted to try this for a long time, a desktop completely free of icons. You could then have, say, a beautiful nature scene filling almost the entire screen, unmarred by icons. Also, you will no longer have to shove windows aside to get at underlying icons.
        ROX-Filer is not just a file manager, it also manages the desktop icons and wallpaper. However, it is possible for JWM window manager to display all of the icons, in one or more trays, and also be responsible for the wallpaper.

        One big problem is the drive partition icons, that will dynamically change as partitions are mounted and unmounted, and drives plugged in and removed. Implementing dynamic drive icons in a JWM tray is not feasible; however, it can be done as a menu.

      • BSD

        • Why you should read Section 8 of the Unix User’s Manual • The Register

          If, like me, you were a computer-science graduate student who cut your teeth on Berkeley Unix – complete with the first open-source implementation of TCP/IP – you know Section 8 as the cryptic System Maintenance Commands section of the Unix User’s Manual.

          It was obvious, to me, that this concluding section warranted a closer look because the introduction warned: “Information in this section is not of great interest to most users.” Judging by my taste in research problems over the years, reading Section 8 turned out to be a pretty good investment.

          But before getting to Section 8, you first learned about the rest of Unix, where you discovered how empowering it is to be able to build new internet applications. Anyone interested in how targeted investments in open-source software, coupled with affordable hardware, can spur innovation should study the role of the Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) in the success of the internet.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • 3 ideas for bringing innersource to your company | Opensource.com

          As workforces become more distributed and new tools and processes enable more effective asynchronous communication, innersource is very likely to keep changing the work culture as we know it.

        • Comparison of Fedora Flatpaks and Flathub remotes – Fedora Magazine

          In the previous article in this series, we looked at how to get started with Fedora Flatpaks and how to use it. This article compares and contrasts between the Fedora Flatpaks remote and the Flathub remote. Flathub is the de-facto standard Flatpak remote, whereas Fedora Flatpaks is the Fedora Project’s Flatpak remote. The things that differ between the remotes include but are not limited to their policies, their ways of distribution, and their implementation.

        • GitOps using Red Hat OpenShift console 4.9 and 4.10 | Red Hat Developer

          This article introduces new Red Hat OpenShift developer console features supporting GitOps processes for applications running in the cloud. Learn about improvements and updates to the OpenShift GitOps Operator, then watch a video showing how to manage cluster configurations and deliver cloud-native applications using Red Hat OpenShift GitOps in the developer console.


          OpenShift GitOps supports GitOps processes for cloud-native applications. It is built on top of Argo CD, a declarative GitOps continuous delivery tool for Kubernetes, and includes OpenShift’s GitOps Operator and Pipelines Operator, both available from the OpenShift OperatorHub. Figure 1 shows the development flow and tools OpenShift GitOps provides.

        • The State of Customer Experience at Red Hat: Where we’ve been and where we are going

          In the final part of our three-part blog series on the state of customer experience at Red Hat, we will cover enhancements that our marketing teams made in 2021 based on customer feedback. In addition, we will recap where we have been and will look ahead at the plans we have as an organization in 2022 to continue to advance and improve the customer experience.

        • Automating Content Management in Satellite 6.9 with Ansible Automation Platform: Part 2

          If you recall from part one of the Automating Content Management series, we are working to minimize the management effort of maintaining the Red Hat Satellite managed content for a large fleet of servers. We developed a simple plan that aligns with the guide to Building a Red Hat Enterprise Linux Standard Operating Environment (SOE) and allows us to automate our process.

          The simple model is: update the content, publish the content, validate the content, promote the content to the next life cycle environment, rinse and repeat.

        • Agile adoption: 6 strategic steps for IT leaders | The Enterprisers Project

          At Thales Group, our IT organization has been working on a transformation known as NextGen IT for a couple years. One of the key elements is to change from a waterfall delivery model to an agile one.

          As part of this enterprise initiative, my North America leadership team and I took on the challenge of reworking our entire operation to adopt agile principles for both product and service delivery. We knew what we wanted to achieve: squads, operating using agile methods, driven by user stories, and ultimately delivering incremental value.

          As we embarked on this journey, something dawned on us early on: The only way we could truly be effective in leading the organization through an agile transformation is if we transformed our leadership team first.

          We did this by adopting agile principles and adapting the agile process to our leadership team. Here’s what we learned.

      • Debian Family

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu Blog: Canonical and CoreSpace Announce Partnership To Offer Organizations ‘One-Stop Shopping’ for Private Clouds

          Canonical, the publisher of Ubuntu, and CoreSpace, a leading Infrastructure-as-a-Service provider, announced a partnership today that makes it easier and more economical for organizations to set up, customize, and manage private clouds.

          Hybrid or multi-cloud environments that allow organizations to run workloads where it makes the most sense have become common in the modern enterprise. Because private workloads remain essential for most companies, high-performing private clouds are playing a critical role in their containerisation, cloud, and digital transformation strategies.

          The Canonical-CoreSpace alliance enables organizations to adopt and get the most out of private clouds. It does this through an end-to-end solution that combines Canonical’s leadership in designing, building, operating, and supporting private clouds with CoreSpace’s infrastructure technology and expertise. With the announcement, CoreSpace becomes Canonical’s first cloud delivery partner in the United States.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • syslog-ng-future.blog? Is this a fork or what? – syslog-ng-future.blog

        I mentioned in the previous post that I would like to focus on syslog-ng and put it more into the spotlight. I also mentioned that Balabit, the company I was a founder of and the commercial sponsor behind syslog-ng, was acquired by One Identity ~4 years ago. How does this add up? Who owns the Intellectual Property (IP) for syslog-ng? Who am I or this blog affiliated with?

        I felt this post was important to set things straight and make it easier to understand my motivation. If you are not much into Free Software and Open Source licenses or not interested too much in administrative nuisances of FLOSS projects, feel free to skip this post.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 97.0 Released! Support New Overlay Scrollbars in Windows 11

            Mozilla Firefox web browser 97.0 was released a day ago with few new features and various bug-fixes.

            The release does not include any exciting new features for Linux, but only adds new minimal overlay scrollbar support for Windows 11. As well, system font loading on macOS has been improved to make opening and switching to new tabs faster in certain situations.

          • This Week in Glean: Migrating Legacy Telemetry Collections to Glean

            One of the things I’ve spent a fair amount of time helping with on the Glean Team are the migrations from legacy telemetry to Glean being performed by different Mozilla products. This includes everything from internal tools and libraries to the mobile browsers and even desktop Firefox. As it turns out, there were quite a few projects and products that needed to be migrated. While we have started migrating all of our active products, each of them are at different stages and have different timelines for completion. I thought it might be helpful to take a little narrative look through what the migration process looks like, and so here we go!

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Binutils 2.38 released

            Version 2.38 of the GNU Binutils tool set has been released. Changes include new hardware support (including for the LoongArch architecture), various Unicode-handling improvements, a new –thin option to ar for the creation of thin archives, and more.

      • Programming/Development

        • QtQuick3D Realtime Reflections

          Reflections enhance the realism of a rendered 3D scene and without it we can not have objects like mirrors or puddles of water that reflect the surrounding environment. Raster rendering pipelines like QtQuick3D can approximately calculate reflections using different methods to get good results, as opposed to Ray Tracing where reflections can be calculated accurately by following the light rays and checking where they bounce from. In this blog post, we are going to discuss two different techniques to do reflections in QtQuick3D.

        • Qt for MCUs 2.0.1 Released

          Qt for MCUs 2.0.1 has been released and is available for download. This is the first patch release made on top of the new Qt for MCUs 2.0 series. As a patch release, Qt for MCUs 2.0.1 provides bug fixes and other improvements, and maintains source compatibility with Qt for MCUs 2.0.0. It does not add any new functionality.

        • Qt for Android Automotive 6.2.3 released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt for Android Automotive 6.2.3!

          This release comes with several fixes that improve the stability and developer experience of QAA. Big thanks to our technology preview users for reporting the issues!

        • Raspberry Pi: This new feature could help you get started more easily

          The makers of Raspberry Pi computers have released a new boot loader that lets users install an operating system like the official OS directly on the compute board rather than via a separate computer.

          Until now, Raspberry Pi owners needed the imager on a macOS, Windows or Ubuntu desktop to install the OS on a Pi device. It could also be done via another Pi device by connecting SD card readers on each of them. The new Raspberry Pi bootloader delivers network installation, cutting out the need for a second computer to install the OS.

        • Getting Started with C++ and InfluxDB [Ed: "InfluxData sponsored this post." The so-called 'media' or so-called 'news' sites on the Web have become nothing short of webspam]
        • Perl/Raku

          • gfldex: Fuzzy commands

            Reading can make one learned. Today I had a peak into lizmat´s new module shorten-sub-commands and learned about Parameter.constraint_list. We need this method to introspect a routines literal parameters.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

        • Rust

          • Dare to ask for more #rust2024

            Last year, we shipped Rust 2021 and I have found the changes to be a real improvement in usability. Even though the actual changes themselves were quite modest, the combination of precise capture closure and simpler formatting strings (println!(“{x:?}”) instead of println!(“{:?}”, x)) is making a real difference in my “day to day” life.1 Just like NLL and the new module system from Rust 2018, I’ve quickly adapted to these new conventions. When I go back to older code, with its clunky borrow checker workarounds and format strings, I die a little inside.2

            As we enter 2022, I am finding my thoughts turning more and more to the next Rust edition. What do I want from Rust, and the Rust community, over the next few years? To me, the theme that keeps coming to mind is dare to ask for more. Rust has gotten quite a bit nicer to use over the last few years, but I am not satisfied. I believe that there is room for Rust to be 22x more productive3 and easy to use than it is today, and I think we can do it without meaningfully sacrificing reliability, performance, or versatility.

        • Java

          • Java break and continue Statements

            The continue statement is used in the body of a while, do and for loop. The break statement is used in these loops, as well as in the switch statement. Iteration can be considered the execution of a loop’s body, over and over. The break statement stops the iteration. The continue statement skips one execution (rest of the statements below) of the body. This article explains the employment of the continue and break statements in Java. The while-loop compound statement will be used. For the break statement, the switch compound statement will also be used.

    • Standards/Consortia

      • MIPI CSI-2 v4.0 adds features for always-on, low power machine vision applications – CNX Software

        While MIPI CSI-2 standard was first introduced in 2005 as a high-speed protocol for the transmission of still and video images from image sensors to application processors, the standard has evolved over the years, and the latest MIPI CSI-2 v4.0 introduces features to better support always-on, low power machine vision applications, high-resolution sensors, and high-dynamic-range automotive image sensors.

        The main changes for v4.0 include support for a two-wire interface (MIPI I3C) to lower cost and complexity, multi-pixel compression for the latest generation of advanced image sensors, and RAW28 color depth for better image quality and an improved signal-to-noise (SNR) ratio.

  • Leftovers

    • Heart-Shaped Pizza History: Less Pizza for the Same Price

      It doesn’t matter that the heart symbol doesn’t look like an actual human heart, and never has. It nonetheless has become our general symbol for what we think of as love. The symbol is everywhere—on greeting cards, in emoji. But there’s one particular heart-shaped thing that I can’t stop thinking about right now: The heart-shaped pizza. It seems like the most crass of romantic gestures, to put tomato sauce and cheese on bread, but in a way, it’s genius. And seemingly every major chain that’s not Domino’s is offering a heart-shaped pizza. (Hey, if two people are sharing, it makes splitting it kind of easy, I guess.) I can’t stop thinking about the fact that lots of people are expected to buy cheap, rubbery Papa John’s pizza as a way to show off their love. (Papa John’s doesn’t even use heart-shaped pepperonis!) Today’s Tedium, in our first Valentine’s-themed post in our seven-year history, talks about our cultural tendency to make heart-shaped food. Especially pizza.

    • Hardware

      • China Loves Battery Swapping EVs, But Will They Ever Make It Here? | Hackaday

        Electric vehicles promise efficiency gains over their gas-fuelled predecessors, but the issue of recharging remains a hurdle for many eager to jump on board with the technology. The problem is only magnified for those that regularly street park their vehicles or live in apartments, without provision to charge a vehicle overnight at home.

        Battery swapping promises to solve that issue, letting drivers of EVs change out their empty battery for a freshly charged one in a matter of minutes. The technology has been widely panned and failed to gain traction in the US.

        However, as it turns out, battery swapping for EVs is actually thing in China, and it’s catching on at a rapid rate.

      • Build Your Own CRT TV | Hackaday

        There was a time following the Second World War when TV sets for the nascent broadcast medium were still very expensive, but there was an ample supply of war-surplus electronic parts including ex-radar CRTs. Thus it wasn’t uncommon at all for electronics enthusiasts of the day to build their own TV set, and magazines would publish designs to enable them. With a burgeoning consumer electronics industry the price of a new TV quickly dropped to the point of affordability so nobody would consider building one themselves today. Perhaps that should be amended to almost nobody, because [Retro Tech or Die] has assembled a small black-and-white CRT TV from a kit he found on AliExpress.

      • That Clock On The Wall Is Actually A Network Ping Display | Hackaday

        We’ve all been online from home a bit more than usual lately, in ways that often stretch the limits of what our ISP can muster. You know the signs — audio that drops out, video sessions that make you look like [Max Headroom], and during the off-hours, getting owned in CS:GO by pretty much everyone. All the bandwidth in the world won’t make up for high latency, and knowing where you stand on that score is the point of this ping-tracking clock.

      • It’s Always Floppy Time! | Hackaday

        On [Jan Derogee]’s desk is something that wouldn’t look out of place for many of us, a pile of computer magazines with a case of 3.5″ floppy disks on top of it. The causal observer would see nothing more than the detritus of a retrocomputer enthusiast’s existence, but stick around. In fact it’s a clock, and one of the most unusual ones we’ve seen in a long time.

      • A Guide To Milling PCBs At Home | Hackaday

        If you keep up with various retro vacuum tube projects, you probably have run across [UsagiElectric] aka [David]’s various PCBs that he makes on his own Bridgeport EZ-Track 3-axis milling machine — massively oversized for the job, as he puts it. In a recent video, [David] walks us through the steps of making a sample PCB, introducing the various tools and procedures of his workflow. He points out that these are the tools he uses, but the overall process should be similar no matter what tools you use.

      • Mystery Effect Causing LEDs To Glow During Reflow | Hackaday

        Sometimes you notice something small that nevertheless you can’t explain. [Greg Davill] found himself in just such a situation this week when he noticed some green LEDs glowing dimly when reflowing some boards. Naturally, [Greg] set out to investigate.

        The green LEDs were wired up as power indicators, and [Greg] suspected that the polymer caps on the board might be generating a small current somehow that was causing the LEDs to light up ever so slightly. A simple test hooked a polymer cap directly up to a multimeter. When warmed with a heat gun, the meter showed a small current “in the 5-10 uA range.”


        It’s a curious case, and has many speculating as to the causative mechanism on Twitter. Explanations from thermoelectric effects to chemical reactions inside the capacitor. If you’ve got the inside scoop on what’s going on here, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments. Meanwhile, check out some of [Greg]’s best work – a glowing D20 dice featuring a whopping 2400 LEDs.

      • Working Model Reveals Amazing Engineering Of Webb’s Mirror Actuators | Hackaday

        We end up covering a lot of space topics here on Hackaday, not because we’re huge space nerds — spoiler alert: we are — but because when you’ve got an effectively unlimited budget and a remit to make something that cannot fail, awe-inspiring engineering is often the result. The mirror actuators on the James Webb Space Telescope are a perfect example of this extreme engineering, and to understand how they work a little better, [Zachary Tong] built a working model of these amazing machines.

        The main mirror of the JWST is made of 18 separate hexagonal sections, the position of each which must be finely tuned to make a perfect reflector. Each mirror has seven actuators that move it through seven degrees of freedom — the usual six that a Stewart platform mechanism provides, plus the ability to deform the mirror’s curvature slightly. [Zach]’s model actuator is reverse-engineered from public information (PDF) made available by the mirror contractor, Ball Aerospace. While the OEM part is made from the usual space-rated alloys and materials, the model is 3D printed and powered by a cheap stepper motor.

      • A Tuning Fork Clock, With Discrete Logic | Hackaday

        [Willem Koopman aka Secretbatcave] was looking at a master clock he has in his collection which was quite a noisy device, but wanted to use the matching solenoid slave clock mechanism he had to hand. Willem is a fan of old-school ‘sector’ clocks, so proceeded to build his ideal time piece — Vibrmatic — exactly the way he wanted. Now, since most time keeping devices utilise a crystal oscillator — which is little more than a lump of vibrating quartz — why not scale it up a bit and use the same principle, except with a metal tuning fork? (some profanity, just to warn you!)

    • Integrity/Availability

    • Environment

      • Energy

        • The Environmental Costs of Cryptocurrency

          New Scientist defines Bitcoin as a digital currency that relies on peer-to-peer software and cryptography. A public ledger (or blockchain) records all Bitcoin transactions, and copies of those transactions are held on servers (or nodes) around the world. “Consensus on who owns which coins is reached cryptographically across these nodes rather than relying on a central source of trust like a bank.”

          To acquire Bitcoin, you can buy it, you can sell something and be paid in Bitcoin, or you can mine it. Each cryptocurrency transaction, however, involves an immense amount of processing power, with this article estimating that each Bitcoin transaction consumes more than $100 worth of electricity.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • #SocialMediaComplianceWatch: analysis of Social Media Compliance Reports of November, 2021

        Google (including YouTube), Facebook, Instagram, ShareChat, Snap, Twitter and WhatsApp released their reports in compliance with Rule 4(1)(d) of the IT Rules 2021 for the month of November, 2021. The reports were made available in January 2022 and they exhibit similar shortcomings. This outlines lack of effort on the part of the SSMIs and the government to further transparency and accountability in platform governance. The SSMIs have continued to not report on government requests, used misleading metrics, and not disclosed how they use algorithms for proactive monitoring. You can read our analysis of the previous reports here.

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • A Paper Archaeology: Piranesi’s Ruinous Fantasias – The Public Domain Review

          From the vast confines of his imaginary prisons to the billowy scenes that comprise his grotteschi, the early works of Giovanni Battista Piranesi wed the exacting details of first-hand observation with the farthest reaches of artistic imagination. Susan Stewart journeys through this 18th-century engraver-architect’s paper worlds.

[Meme] Drunk Driving, Like Son of António Campinos

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:47 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Benoît Battistelli is notorious for misusing EPO funds to build himself a pub; António Campinos received a lot of negative press after his son had gotten drunk, crashed the car, and wanted to borrow dad's diplomatic immunity (his grandpa Jorge did not live long enough to see such a disgrace; he died in a car accident in 1993)

ILOAT ruling no. 4430 and ILOAT ruling no. 4482

Summary: In the Netherlands, the drunk-on-power EPO may have gotten its way (an above-the-law status), but ILOAT keeps delivering much-belated rulings (4430, 4482, maybe more to come) which curtail the illegal actions of the EPO albeit without any consequences for the perpetrators

Staff Holding Management at the EPO Accountable

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:37 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 3e57c063cb4318309a3e810ef7b45ce7
Consequences for Rogues at the EPO
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: It seems possible that in months to come the administrative body of the EPO will finally acknowledge that “breaking point” has been reached and it’s time to reboot the Office

THE immunity and impunity of EPO management has been a theme of recent coverage here. We last wrote about it earlier today, focusing on what Benoît Battistelli had done in the Netherlands. After 3 years at the Office António Campinos is starting to see it all crumbling or falling down, starting with last summer’s ILOAT ruling no. 4430 and then ILOAT ruling no. 4482, which is still very fresh. But why did it take so long? As noted in the video above, many of the people wronged are already dead, unable to claim or collect compensation from the Office.

The EPO got infiltrated by white-collar criminals, who in effect fronted for international (non-European) or multinational corporations with their patent litigation staff (in-house) and/or outside law firms. The solution to such a dire crisis must come from the outside, but the EU too is infiltrated. The EPO conflict has exposed a rotting unregulated system, which extends to EUIPO and even some courts. It won’t be pretty, but “ordinary” EPO staff (such as patent examiners) are on the right side of history.

Links 9/2/2022: GNU Binutils 2.38 and Google Stadia Failing

Posted in News Roundup at 2:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Atlassian Trello

        Atlassian Corporation Plc is a software company founded in 2002 that develops products for software developers, project managers and other software development teams. It employs over 7,000 people and is headquartered in Sydney, Australia.

        Atlassian’s range of proprietary software includes software for collaboration, development, and issue tracking software for teams. Atlassian dominates several markets where it still has intense competition.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Checking out a Git branch further back than the head

        It’s possible to move a branch (including ‘main’) back to an older commit while staying on the branch. This avoids Git complaints about being in a detached HEAD state and makes ‘git status’ do useful things like report how many commits you are behind the upstream tip. As far as I know so far, the way you do this is: [...]

      • Ignore A Package From Being Upgraded In Arch Linux – OSTechNix [Ed: Updated after 5 years]

        Sometimes, you may want to ignore a package from being upgraded in your Arch Linux system. It is true that the outdated packages might be vulnerable and not safe to our system. Yes! We need to update the Arch Linux system regularly to get latest packages and make our system more secure. However, we need to hold a package or group of packages from being upgraded for certain reasons.

      • How to install WhatsApp on Linux

        WhatsApp is a telecommunications application to provide video, chat and voice communication between computers, tablets, and mobile devices over the Internet connection. All you need is a phone number to sign up, and then you can send messages from your Linux system.

        There is no official Linux client for WhatsApp, unfortunately. The good news is that it is still possible to download WhatsApp clients made by users, which will use WhatApp’s web interface to create a seamless experience. Using this method, we are able to have WhatsApp on Linux and have it resemble the same client you would get on a Windows PC.

      • How to install PHP on Ubuntu Linux

        PHP is one of the most used languages when it comes to programming dynamic web sites. If you are a web developer, or just hosting a website that requires PHP, you will need to install the software on your server in order for your website to make use of its PHP code.

        PHP is also required by various content management systems, including the most popular one in the world, WordPress. In this tutorial, we will take you through the step by step instructions to install PHP on Ubuntu Linux.

      • How to install Grub Customizer on Linux (all major distros)

        Grub Customizer is a software package that does exactly as the name would imply. It allows the user to customize different aspects of the grub boot menu – such as the order that entries appear in the list, how long grub waits before selecting a default system to boot to, etc.

        The good news is that you can use this application on all major Linux distros. In this tutorial, we will show you how to install the Grub Customizer package on all Linux systems.

      • How to fix Kubernetes namespaces stuck in the terminating state | Enable Sysadmin

        A Kubernetes namespace isolates specific system resources usually visible to all processes. Each namespace has its own services, pods, and deployments in the cluster. A namespace in Kubernetes is essentially the same as a project in OpenShift.

        These days, most products are containerized and can easily be deployed on Kubernetes or OpenShift. This requires continuous application deployment and testing. I recently worked on test automation that involves the creation of namespaces, resources, and data in the namespace, followed by running the test suite, and then removing the data and namespace once the tests are complete.

        While frequently creating and deleting namespaces in Kubernetes, I stumbled upon an issue where a namespace got stuck in the Terminating state and just refused to delete.

        I use minikube to run Kubernetes locally, but you can use the following steps and commands in any Kubernetes or OpenShift environment.

      • How to Fix “Unacceptable TLS certificate” Error in Linux?

        When it comes to SSL/TLS certificates, you may come across a variety of issues, some related to the browser or a problem in a website’s back-end.

        One such error is “Unacceptable TLS certificate” in Linux.

        Unfortunately, there’s no “one-solves-it-all’ answer to this. However, there are some potential solutions that you can try, and here, I plan to highlight those for you.

      • How to Add Linux Host to Nagios Ubuntu Server – Part 2

        This article assumes that you already have Nagios installed on your Ubuntu system. If not, follow the Part 1 tutorial guide article which is succeeded by this one.

      • How To Install Podman on Linux Mint 20 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Podman on Linux Mint 20. For those of you who didn’t know, Podman (POD Manager) is a tool for managing OCI containers and pods. It’s an open-source project that can be used in most of the Linux distributions that use Demon-less container Engines. It exposes the same command-line interface as Docker but runs containers unprivileged by default.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you the step-by-step installation of a PHP 8.1 on a Linux Mint 20 (Ulyana).

      • Create a data stream with Amazon Kinesis | Red Hat Developer

        Streaming data is key to many modern applications. This tutorial walks you through setting up a data stream using Amazon Kinesis and Node.js.

      • Getting started with Arduino

        The Arduino is an advanced form of a microcontroller which is comparatively easier to work on. Similarly, it is a kind of plug and play device and is much easier for the beginners to learn how to make different projects related to embedded systems. Arduino has different types of microcontroller boards having different specifications and the most common Arduino board is the Arduino Uno board. All the Arduino boards can be configured using the Arduino IDE software. This discourse explains how to use the Arduino Uno board

      • seife’s assorted rants: dracut: fix hibernate after fresh install

        Just for fun, I finally installed a fresh Tumbleweed on one of my machines to actually find out if I’m missing out on new features that are masked by just always updating the old installation.

        One feature that I had missed was, that hibernation was no longer working. Or, to be more exact, hibernation was working, but resume was not. Investigating the issue, I found that dracut’s “resume” module was not included in the initramfs, which in turn lead to initramfs not even trying to resume.

        The dracut mechanism has some logic to actually find out if suspend and resume is configured, and when it decides it is not, it will just skip adding the “useless” resume module.

        Unfortunately, the check is faulty IMHO. It checks, if the resume device is configured in the kernel, and if it is, it adds the module to dracut. The problem is, that this kernel config is written by the resume code in the initrd… so during installation this is not the case, and as a result the module is not added to initrd, which leads to the config not being set on next reboot…

      • Install/Upgrade XanMod Kernel LTS on Rocky Linux 8 – LinuxCapable

        XanMod is a free, open-source general-purpose Linux Kernel alternative to the stock kernel that is on Rocky Linux. It features custom settings and new features and is built to provide a responsive and smooth desktop experience, especially for new hardware.

        Installing a third-party kernel may be for you for users seeking to have their system kernel up to date and not wanting to install kernels or use the testing/unstable repositories manually.

        Currently, the XanMod LTS kernel is supported and not the latest bleeding-edge using the rmnscnce/kernel-xanmod.

      • Install/Upgrade MakeMKV on Debian 11 Bullseye – LinuxCapable

        MakeMKV is a free, open-source tool that can convert video clips from DVDs and Blu-rays, which are usually encrypted. The output will have most information preserved but not changed in any way; it’s perfect for people who want their media without hassle or headache caused by software limitations like those found with some other transcoder apps.

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install or upgrade to the latest version of MakeMKV on Debian 11 Bullseye using a recommended repository by the MakeMKV team to provide the most up-to-date version.

      • Install Podman on Debian 11 – Unix / Linux the admins Tutorials

        Podman is an alternative to Docker that is backed by Red Hat and IBM. The open-source project has a great ease of use, which is a big draw among developers.

        Well, one of the differences is that it is not based on daemons (services in the *nix world). One of the advantages is that Docker has a single daemon that when it handles many containers grows and grows, becoming much heavier.

        This last point is where Podman wants to be a solid alternative to Docker and is where Podman bases its reason.

        As you would expect, Podman has great support for all the Linux distributions out there. This is also the case for Debian 11 where the installation is effortless.

      • Install Htop on Debian 11 Bullseye – LinuxCapable

        Htop is a free, open-source, cross-platform interactive process viewer. It is a text-mode application (for console or X terminals) and requires ncurses. The terminal UI is a great way to see what your system looks like inside, both in terms of processes and other info. It’s also completely customizable, so you can change colors or add different widgets for more visual representation!

        In the following tutorial, you will learn how to install Htop Interactive Process Viewer on Debian 11 Bullseye desktop or server.

      • 6 Linux metacharacters I love to use on the command line | Opensource.com

        Early in my Linux journey, I learned how to use the command line. It’s what sets Linux apart. I could lose the graphical user interface (GUI), but it was unnecessary to rebuild the machine completely. Many Linux computers run headless, and you can accomplish all the administrative tasks on the command line. It uses many basic commands that all are familiar with—like ls, ls-l, ls-l, cd, pwd, top, and many more.

    • Games

      • Google Stadia’s Failure Is Almost Complete

        While Google’s Stadia game streaming service arrived with a lot of promise, it generally landed with a disappointing thud. A limited catalog, deployment issues, and a quality that couldn’t match current gen game consoles meant the service just never saw the kind of traction Google (or a lot of other people) originally envisioned. In the years since, developers have been consistently abandoning the platform, and Google has consistently sidelined the service, even shutting down its own development efforts as a parade of executives headed for the exists.

      • How to Connect Xbox Controller with Raspberry Pi

        For those who want to enjoy a better gaming experience, they certainly need an Xbox controller in order to play games with great control. Getting a wireless Xbox controller is a bit expensive so most people stick with buying an affordable wired Xbox controller. So, if you are one of those people who have a wired Xbox USB controller and you want to play games with it on your Raspberry Pi OS then you certainly need help in configuring it on the device.

      • Wadjet Eye Games brings Shardlight over to Linux | GamingOnLinux

        Is there no stopping Wadjet Eye Games? Shardlight, another quality point and click adventure from 2016 has now been ported over to Linux. This adds to the list of titles that Wadjet Eye Games has recently upgraded and ported (or re-ported) to Linux including Resonance, Technobabylon, Unavowed, Gemini Rue, The Blackwell Bundle.

      • ChimeraOS 30 is out with big OneXPlayer improvements

        ChimeraOS continues to provide a full-screen console-like Linux experience for those that want it, and ChimeraOS 30 is now live with some great upgrades.

        First, the usual upgrades to the major parts like Linux Kernel 5.16.5, Mesa drivers 21.3.5, NVIDIA drivers 510.47.03 and upgrades to their own special compositor and Chimera software. Plus, a bump for RetroArch to version 1.10.0. The bigger changes come for those who have a OneXPlayer handheld device as it should work vastly better with ChimeraOS now thanks to controller detection fixes, screen orientation fixes, a fix for custom resolution support and a default resolution set properly to 1280×800. So out of the box, OneXPlayer devices should work nicely.

      • SimAirport getting some great upgrades ready for the Steam Deck | GamingOnLinux

        A little building and management on the go? SimAirport from LVGameDev LLC sounds like it might be a good choice, with the developer highlighting upcoming changes and improvements for the Steam Deck and it will help all platforms.

        You probably don’t need a big explanation to begin with on this one, the name SimAirport speaks for itself really. You construct and manage an Airport from a single plane to a massive international terminal filled to the brim with passengers, staff and it’s your job to keep everything flying smoothly.

      • WRAEK think they can change PC gaming with the Tactonic Pro | GamingOnLinux [Ed: Looks to me like paid-for spam; is Liam Dawe selling itself out like Phoronix?]

        What’s really great to see though, is how Linux has clearly been making more waves – enough for this hardware vendor to target it too. They said their software is fully compatible with Linux!

      • With You looks like a sweet co-op experience and it’s free | GamingOnLinux

        Need a new casual co-op game to play with a partner? With You recently released on Steam and itch.io and it looks adorable. It’s free to, so you’ve got nothing to lose but a few moments of your time, and perhaps a fun memory to gain from it.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Plasma 5.24 LTS Releases with Updated Breeze Theme and New Overview Effect

          We have been keeping an eye on KDE Plasma 5.24 for a while.

          From spotting the GNOME-Style overview effect to the addition of fingerprint support. If you have been following our coverages, you already know about the changes introduced with KDE Plasma 5.24.

          Now that KDE Plasma 5.24 stable release is finally here, let me highlight the key additions and improvements below.


          KDE Plasma 5.24 is a long-term support release that will receive updates until the final Plasma 5 release (and the transition to Plasma 6).

          With this release, you do not get to see massive visual changes, but you can find various functional improvements and subtle visual refinements.

        • KDE/Plasma 5.24 for Debian

          Yesterday, KDE released version 5.24 of the Plasma desktop with the usual long list of updates and improvements. This release will be considered a LTS release. And Plasma 5.24 is now available for all Debian releases. (And don’t forget KDE Gears/Apps 21.12!)

        • KDE Plasma 5.24 LTS desktop environment brings fingerprint support, performance and user interface improvements and more

          The developers of the open source KDE Plasma desktop environment for Linux distributions have released Plasma 5.24, which brings a number of performance improvements, visual tweaks, and new features.

          It’s also a long term support (LTS) release, which means it will continue to receive bug fixes and other updates until the next major update, which will be Plasma 6.

        • Plasma 5.24 available on Kubuntu 21.10

          We are pleased to announce that Plasma 5.24 is now available in our backports PPA for Kubuntu 21.10 (Impish Indri).

          The release announcement detailing the new features and improvements in Plasma 5.24 can be found here.

        • Plasma Mobile Gear 22.02 Is Out with Many Changes to the Plasma Mobile Shell and Apps

          Coming hot on the heels of the KDE Plasma 5.24 desktop environment, which is also available for mobile devices as Plasma Mobile, the Plasma Mobile Gear 22.02 software suite is here to update some of your favorite mobile apps, as well as the Plasma Mobile shell.

          In fact, Plasma Mobile Gear 22.02 is packed with great improvements for the Plasma Mobile shell, including a revamped Quick Settings panel with support for media and notifications widgets, as well as a new landscape format for tablets, a smoother gesture experience, a revamped task switcher to use a single row of thumbnails with gesture support, and a revamped app drawer open/close gesture.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Best Audio and Video Players for Gnome Desktop

          To take a break from our everyday routines, most unwind by watching movies, TV shows, listening to music, and indulging in other forms of entertainment. Aside from that, videos can be utilized for business information sharing, product advertisements, and a variety of other tasks in which digital media is at the center of business marketing.

          There are quite a number of video and audio players. They provide features like subtitle synchronization, support for a variety of video formats, and the ability to play YouTube videos directly without advertisements.

    • Distributions

      • VA Linux

        In 1999, one of the hottest IPOs was an open source company named VA Linux ($LNUX). The stock opened 10x in its first day of trading. The stock was offered at $30, opened at $300, and was $8.50 a year later. The company later launched SourceForge. In 2015, it become a subsidiary of Gamestop.

        VA Linux was the largest vendor of pre-installed Linux computers. Red Hat had just gone public earlier that year. The company had Intel and Sequoia as investors in its seed round, and the founder was classmates at Stanford with Yahoo founders Jerry Yang and David Filo.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Comparison of Fedora Flatpaks and Flathub remotes

          In the previous article in this series, we looked at how to get started with Fedora Flatpaks and how to use it. This article compares and contrasts between the Fedora Flatpaks remote and the Flathub remote. Flathub is the de-facto standard Flatpak remote, whereas Fedora Flatpaks is the Fedora Project’s Flatpak remote. The things that differ between the remotes include but are not limited to their policies, their ways of distribution, and their implementatio

      • Debian Family

        • Testing Slax 11.2 based on Debian Bullseye – Slax Linux

          I made my first attempt to build Slax based on Debian Bullseye (version 11.2). Here is a work in progress (well, it is mostly finished I guess so lets call it RC1). Some of the applications are no longer available, such as leafpad, wicd, and I replaced pcmanfm with tuxCommander.

          Please feel free to suggest a small simple GUI app (GTK-based) for network configuration.

          This version does not include chromium browser due to its size, but if you click the icon, it will install automatically before first use.

          Debian also no longer supports aufs, so it has been replaced by overlayfs in Slax. This is internal change which affects the use of ‘slax activate’ command (it will no longer work). I am investigating possibilities to make it work again but as far as I can see, there is no way to modify the existing overlay filesystem on the fly as it was possible with AUFS, this means it is no longer possible to add new modules on the fly while running Slax. You can of course still add modules to your ISO (or USB directory tree). Suggestions welcome.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • FSF

        • GNU Projects

          • GNU Binutils 2.38 has been released
            Hi Everyone,
            We are pleased to announce that version 2.38 of the GNU Binutils project
            sources have been released and are now available for download at:
            The SHA256 checksums are as follows:
              070ec71cf077a6a58e0b959f05a09a35015378c2d8a51e90f3aeabfe30590ef8  binutils-2.38.tar.bz2
              6e54170356709d401f1cb781f86bb59656b99b398412047f5c44f0fbc633fa4d  binutils-2.38.tar.bz2.sig
              b3f1dc5b17e75328f19bd88250bee2ef9f91fc8cbb7bd48bdb31390338636052  binutils-2.38.tar.gz
              864d330b71f2b40120d96e68ebed43a07c5286d9c28f3a3893ae4ae7ec25ede9  binutils-2.38.tar.gz.sig
              807ccfa77ccfc3e09b1f760cd73e13839180c6950a37843df1c1e7a58c777dc9  binutils-2.38.tar.lz
              49ee3c3b5803dea2acb15a3fa4c8ad0daebf142ba284a8b3d3524a52823a0ceb  binutils-2.38.tar.lz.sig
              e316477a914f567eccc34d5d29785b8b0f5a10208d36bbacedcc39048ecfe024  binutils-2.38.tar.xz
              41301d67da78df1ad6df04aefe9e7bea8235484b0323cee52caa8f7435385014  binutils-2.38.tar.xz.sig
            This release contains numerous bug fixes and improvements, along with
            the following new features:
                  * Add support for the LoongArch architecture.
                  * Add an option to control how multibyte characters are handled in
                    the assembler.  Using the option warnings can be generated when
                    such characters are encountered in symbol names, or anywhere in
                    the input source file(s).
                AArch64 and ARM:
                  * Add support for more system registers.
                  * Add support for Scalable Matrix Extension.
                  * Add support for Cortex-R52+, Cortex-A510, Cortex-A710,
                    Cortex-X2, Cortex-A710 cores.
                  * Add support for 'v8.7-a', 'v8.8-a', 'v9-a', 'v9.1-a',
                    'armv9.2-a' and 'armv9.3-a' architecture extensions.
                  * Add a command-line option to encode aligned vector move as
                    unaligned vector move. 
                  * Add support for Intel AVX512_FP16 instructions.
                  * The outputs of .ds.x directive and .tfloat directive with hex
                    input have been reduced from 12 bytes to 10 bytes to match the
                    output of .tfloat directive.
                * Add support for the LoongArch architecture.
                * Add -z pack-relative-relocs/-z no pack-relative-relocs to x86 ELF
                 linker to pack relative relocations in the DT_RELR section.
                * Add -z indirect-extern-access/-z noindirect-extern-access to x86
                  ELF linker to control canonical function pointers and copy
              Other Binary Tools:
                * elfedit: Add --output-abiversion option to update ABIVERSION.
                * Tools which display symbols or strings (readelf, strings, nm,
                  objdump) have a new command line option which controls how unicode
                  characters are handled.  By default they are treated as normal for
                  the tool.  Using --unicode=locale will display them according to
                  the current locale.  Using --unicode=hex will display them as hex
                  byte values, whilst --unicode=escape will display them as escape
                  sequences.  In addition using --unicode=highlight will display
                  them as unicode escape sequences highlighted in red (if supported
                  by the output device).
                * readelf -r dumps RELR relative relocations now.
                * Support for efi-app-aarch64, efi-rtdrv-aarch64 and
                  efi-bsdrv-aarch64 has been added to objcopy in order to enable
                  UEFI development using binutils. 
                * ar: Add --thin for creating thin archives. -T is a deprecated
                  alias without diagnostics. In many ar implementations -T has a
                  different meaning, as specified by X/Open System Interface.
            Our thanks go out to all of the binutils contributors, past and
            present, for helping to make this release possible.
              Nick Clifton
              GNU Binutils Chief Maintainer
      • Programming/Development

        • Sunsetting gzip substitutes availability

          Starting next month (2022/03/01), the build farm known as ci.guix.gnu.org will no longer offer gzip-compressed binary substitutes. The Guix daemon has known to use lzip for substitutes since 2019; unless you are running a very outdated daemon, you have no need to worry about this change.

          This idea was first discussed about a year ago, when it was found that gzip-compressed substitutes accounted for about only 1% of the downloaded substitutes. Since then, the daemon has gained support for zstd on top of gzip and lzip, and the build farm has happily generated compressed substitutes for all of these compression schemes.

        • I would like a job writing Haskell

          Perhaps someone out there wants to take a chance on a senior programmer with thirty years of experience who wants to make a move into Haskell.

        • Java

          • Hashset vs Hashmap in Java

            The Java programming language has two distinct yet similar types of data containers, HashMap and HashSet . Both use a hash table to store data. A table is a table of values ​​that uses a hash function to determine where to look and store data. This allowsquick access to data because a value does not have to be searched. Instead, the hash function can provide the exact location of the value. Despite so much use of hash tables, HashMap and HashSet are quite different from each other.

          • Java assert

            Assertion in Java is a statement based on the reserved word, assert, having a boolean expression and ending with a semicolon. It happens that certain conditions in a program may prevent it from working properly. The assert statement checks if such conditions exist in a program. Java assert is explained in this article.

          • How do You write Comparable in Java?

            Examples of Java lists are; Vector, Stack, AttributeList, ArrayList, and LinkedList. The Java Collections class has overloaded methods to sort a list of predefined objects. The Java Arrays class has overloaded methods to sort an array of predefined objects.

            The predefined sort() methods are to sort predefined objects. What about user-defined objects? Java has an interface called Comparable. An interface is a kind of class whose methods are declarations without definitions (bodies). So, a class must be implemented from an interface for the methods to be defined (given bodies). From the implemented class, objects can be instantiated from a name given by the programmer.

            Java has a predefined Comparable class. The sort() methods in Collections and Arrays use the predefined comparable class to sort predefined objects. However, in order to sort a list or array of user-defined objects, the programmer has to implement (define) a user Comparable class from the Comparable interface. This user implemented (defined) class enables the sorting of user-defined objects in a list or array. So, a predefined Comparable class enables sorting of predefined objects, while a user-defined Comparable class enables sorting of user-defined objects. User-defined objects are not literals, so a class of user-defined objects needs its own user-defined Comparable implementation.

            This article illustrates how to write Comparable in Java.

          • Hashtable in Java

            A hash table is for key/value pairs. Internally, the values are stored in an array. Each key is converted into an index of the array. This conversion is known as hashing. It is done by a hash function internally. In other words, the keys do not have to be stored. All that is the hash-table, in java and in other computer languages. This article explains two constructors of the Java hastable and its commonly used methods.

          • How AJAX works

            AJAX comprises a set of useful web development techniques utilized to develop dynamic and speedy web pages. Behind the scenes, it shares small chunks of the data, permitting the web pages to be updated asynchronously. This states that by using AJAX, HTML page elements will be updated without reloading.

            This write-up will discuss the components of AJAX and how AJAX works. We will talk about the working of AJAX in some top web-based applications. Moreover, a comparison between the conventional and AJAX model will be provided. So, let’s start!

    • Standards/Consortia

      • Gemini Isn’t The Solution To The Broken Web

        I’m not sure if you heard, but The Web Is F*cked and techies everywhere are touting the Gemini protocol as its saviour. I disagree. A lot.

        When I wrote The Web Is F*cked, I had a number of people reach out asking why I didn’t mention Gemini, as it’s the saviour of the web…apparently.

        Well, I didn’t mention Gemini because I think it actually does more harm than good when it comes to the web. Let me explain…

  • Leftovers

    • Todd Gitlin Told His Truth Everywhere He Went

      I met Todd Gitlin on October 23, 1987. It was the beginning of what would become a decades-long “beautiful friendship.” (We shared a favorite movie in Casablanca.) I can pin down the date because our meeting took place at the ridiculous Second Thoughts conference in which apostate liberals and New Leftists were gathered to denounce their former selves and embrace the new right. It took place at the Grand Hyatt hotel in Washington, D.C., and was organized by left-wing Stalinists turned right-wing Stalinists David Horowitz and Peter Collier, with funding from a Christian conservative foundation led by the son of the far-right Alabama Senator Jeremiah Denton, together with the Bradley and Olin foundations. Funnily enough, it took place just days after Ronald Reagan’s Iran/Contra plot was revealed and the largest single drop in the stock market since 1929. These week’s events signaled the long-awaited end to the Reaganite hegemony these folks had gathered to celebrate.

    • Everyday Specters

      Last fall, I was in the English countryside on a research trip and decided to visit Blo’ Norton Hall, the moated, 16th-century manor house in Norfolk where a prince I was writing about had once lived. It was almost dusk when I arrived, but there were several people my age walking the grounds: guests, I assumed, of the bed-and-breakfast to which the house had been converted after the prince’s death. I tried to maintain a friendly distance.

      As I walked around the house’s rear, the four young men, holding glasses of beer, strolled directly past me, and I smiled at them—but none appeared to see me. Moments later, I realized that this was not, in fact, a bed-and-breakfast through which I was welcome to perambulate but a single, large holiday home, and I was trespassing on some friends’ private vacation. Mortified, I ran back to my car, reversed for several minutes down the long gravel driveway, and hightailed it home. It felt like a close call. The occupants could have interrogated me or even called the police. But one more chilling possibility also struck me: Had those men seen me at all? Or had I been somehow invisible to them—perhaps as an interloper from another realm, or perceived as the type of grounds staff some are trained not to see? Was I, in other words, a sort of ghost passing through their domain?

    • Anatomy of a Cancellation

      Again with no ill will towards anyone in the DSA, I’m hoping this might be a teachable moment.  In order for it to be one, we need to do some unpacking.  There is a diverse cast of characters involved.

      I’ll just assume everyone knows who the Democratic Socialists of America are.  If not, you can look them up easily enough, but they probably represent the biggest organized political group to the left of the Democratic Party today (or on the left of the Democratic Party, depending).  As any sensible democratic socialist organization would do, they are actively supporting the Portland city workers in their contract negotiations with the city, and their plan for an imminent strike.

    • CNN Could Face a Reset Once Under Discovery Control

      One prominent Discovery shareholder, John Malone, has already been vocal. “I would like to see CNN evolve back to the kind of journalism that it started with, and actually have journalists, which would be unique and refreshing,” the entrepreneurial media investor told CNBC in November. Malone will serve on the Discovery board, but no longer has a commanding block of super-voting shares as he once did, leaving Zaslav at the helm.

    • Joe Rogan Calls Backlash Over His Use of N-Word a ‘Political Hit Job’

      “That video had always been out there. It’s like, this is a political hit job,” Rogan said. He continued, “And so they’re taking all this stuff I’ve ever said that’s wrong and smushing it all together.”

    • ViacomCBS Elevates Alex Berkett to Chief Corporate Development and Strategy Officer Role

      ViacomCBS has promoted veteran dealmaker Alex Berkett to the role of chief corporate development and strategy officer.

      His previous title was executive vp, corporate development & strategy. Berkett will continue to report to ViacomCBS CFO Naveen Chopra and to serve on the company’s senior leadership team and global inclusion advisory committee.

    • Education

    • Hardware

      • CR+LF has a long history…

        There is one exception: carriage return [CR]. The carriage is released within the 100ms time, but the carriage is on a spring, and does not get back to the left within 100ms if it is too far over to the right. The usual fix is to send another non printing character, such as a line feed [LF], as the next character, where CR and LF are used for each new line. The paper advances whilst the carriage is returning so giving the carriage a whole 200ms to complete the return. This allows enough time to get to the left, but can leave the carriage still bouncing and mean the first printable character is not well aligned. The fact that 200ms is enough is usually fine, unless you are particularly fussy. The fix to this is to send another non printing character, such as a NULL, another CR, or even a rub out [RO]. The standard HEREIS drum coding even specifies CR, LF and RO at the start.

      • Nvidia Deal to Buy Arm From SoftBank Is Off After Setbacks

        Nvidia, a fast-growing company whose chips are best known for rendering images in video games, in September 2020 offered cash and stock then valued at $40 billion for Arm, making it the most expensive deal ever among chip companies. Nvidia made the offer to buy Arm from SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate that has owned the British company since 2016. Nvidia’s rising stock price later sent the transaction’s value much higher, settling at about $60 billion on Monday.

        But the blockbuster deal encountered setbacks that included a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit in December to block the acquisition, as well opposition from regulators in Britain.

        Nvidia and SoftBank said early Tuesday they agreed to terminate the planned deal because of “significant regulatory challenges.”

      • SoftBank dumps sale of Arm over regulatory hurdles, to IPO instead

        On a company earnings call on Tuesday, SoftBank CEO Son, who had said the company initially considered listing Arm but opted to sell it instead due to the pandemic, sought to put a positive spin on the scrapped sale.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Windows 11 – six months later, still totally meh

          Early in July 2021, I reviewed the Dev Build of Windows 11. I was underwhelmed on so many levels. The new operating system, if it can be called that, was raw, unfinished, and came with a slew of bugs and ergonomic annoyances. But that was then. Since, this thing has been officially released, and it even received a handful of big, critical patches, designed to help resolve some of the early problems.

        • Vivaldi 5.1 Introduces Horizontal Scrollable Tabs and a New Reading List

          Vivaldi is a pretty good option for Linux users. They focus on Linux as one of the first-party platforms, which is impressive.

          With Vivaldi 5.0 release, it proved to be a versatile Chromium-based option for many Linux users. Now, Vivaldi 5.1 is finally here!

        • Microsoft Patch Tuesday, February 2022 Edition
        • How a Texas [crack] changed the ransomware business forever [iophk: Windows TCO]

          Last year, a security analyst named Dmitry Smilyanets had a long online chat with someone who claimed to be a member of REvil’s management team. He went by the online handle ‘Unknown.’

          “Unknown was not a hacker. He was the operator. He was the manager,” Smilyanets said. “His job was to control the infrastructure, make sure it all works. Make sure that communication lines with victims were up and that payments go through.”

        • Protecting your business in the age of ransomware [iophk: Windows TCO]

          The GDPI survey uncovered that 64% of leaders are concerned they’ll experience a disruptive event, such as data loss or downtime, in the next year. With the frequency of ransomware attacks on the rise, all businesses should expect an attack. Whether or not you should be fearful depends on how prepared you are.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Wednesday [LWN.net]

            Security updates have been issued by CentOS (aide), Debian (connman), Fedora (perl-App-cpanminus and rust-afterburn), Mageia (glibc), Red Hat (.NET 5.0, .NET 6.0, aide, log4j, ovirt-engine, and samba), SUSE (elasticsearch, elasticsearch-kit, kafka, kafka-kit, logstash, openstack-monasca-agent, openstack-monasca-log-metrics, openstack-monasca-log-persister, openstack-monasca-log-transformer, openstack-monasca-persister-java, openstack-monasca-persister-java-kit, openstack-monasca-thresh, openstack-monasca-thresh-kit, spark, spark-kit, venv-openstack-monasca, zookeeper, zookeeper-kit and elasticsearch, elasticsearch-kit, kafka, kafka-kit, logstash, openstack-monasca-agent, openstack-monasca-persister-java, openstack-monasca-persister-java-kit, openstack-monasca-thresh, openstack-monasca-thresh-kit, spark, spark-kit, storm, storm-kit, venv-openstack-monasca, zookeeper, zookeeper-kit), and Ubuntu (bluez, linux, linux-aws, linux-aws-5.4, linux-gcp, linux-gcp-5.4, linux-hwe-5.4, linux-ibm, linux-kvm, linux-oracle, linux-oracle-5.4, nvidia-graphics-drivers-450-server, nvidia-graphics-drivers-470, nvidia-graphics-drivers-470-server, nvidia-graphics-drivers-510, python2.7, and util-linux).

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • ‘Party of Union Busters’: McCarthy Opposes Congressional Staff Union

              The sincerity of the GOP’s attempt to rebrand as a party of workers was called into further question Monday when Rep. Kevin McCarthy—the Republican leader in the U.S. House—spoke out against congressional staffers’ nascent unionization push, which has won the enthusiastic support of progressive lawmakers and Democratic leaders.

              “I don’t think it would be productive for the government,” McCarthy (R-Calif.), a top ally of former President Donald Trump, told Punchbowl News of the unionization effort by Capitol Hill aides, many of whom are paid annual salaries in the low $20,000 range and struggle to afford basic necessities in one of the nation’s most expensive cities.

            • Interview With Eugene Shablygin – WWPass

              Eugene Shablygin: My background is in fundamental physics, but at some point, I realized I wasn’t really a good physicist. In my opinion, I was not on par with good physicists like Einstein, and I didn’t feel the essence of physics. However, I felt that I understood how data flows through different computers.

            • Faith Leaders Denounce Zuckerberg’s Instagram-for-Children Scheme

              Saying that “children’s wellbeing must come first” above profit, dozens of faith leaders on Tuesday told Facebook chief Mark Zuckeberg to permanently end any plans for a version of the photo- and video-sharing app Instagram for kids under 13.

              “Childhood should be all movement, play, messiness, and wriggle—life-affirming against the sleek, flat, rapacious world of screens.”

            • Private Internet Access Releases Updated Transparency Report in Q1 2022

              The requests were as follows:

            • UK Government Refreshes Its Terrible ‘Online Safety Bill,’ Adds Even More Content For Platforms To Police

              The UK’s internet censorship bill rebranded from “Online Harms” to “Online Safety” last spring. The name change did nothing to limit the breadth of the bill, despite supposedly shifting the focus from “harm” to “safety.” Whatever the name, it’s still being touted by supporters as a fix for anything anyone doesn’t like about the internet.

            • If EARN IT Passes, What Happens On Your iPhone Won’t Stay On Your iPhone

              Now, Congress wants to force Apple’s hand—along with essentially every company that allows users to store or share messages or content—and essentially mandate such scanning. 

              While Apple’s plan would have put the privacy and security of its users at risk, the EARN IT Act compromises security and free speech for everyone. The bill would create serious legal risk for business that hosts content—messages, photos stored in the cloud, online backups—and, potentially, even cloud-hosting sites like those using Amazon Web Services, unless they use government-approved scanning tools. 

            • Ohio: Don’t Give Big Tech a Pass On Privacy

              The OPPA would enshrine privacy violating practices from Big Tech and other companies, and place the responsibility for managing privacy entirely on individuals—without actually improving protections for the people of Ohio or offering them a way to stand up for their own privacy. If it is not substantially improved before it is enacted, it risks locking in industry-friendly provisions that would directly benefit tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon. In many ways, passing this bill would be worse for the everyday consumer than passing nothing at all.

            • Send Surveillance Robot Dogs to the Pound, Not the Border

              The dogs are not yet in the field, but having been pushed through early stages of testing, they are undergoing evaluation in El Paso, Texas. The robot dogs would eventually be expected to walk miles through the remote terrain at the border, all the while filming and scanning.

              People who live along the border are some of the most heavily surveilled people in the United States. A massive amalgamation of federal, state, and local law enforcement and national security agencies are flying drones, putting up cameras, and just generally attempting to negate civil liberties—capturing the general goings-on of people who live and work in proximity to the border. But the civil liberties of these communities are of no concern to a government with nearly limitless resources to throw at putting entire regions of the United States under surveillance.

              Even if you live hundreds of miles from the border, don’t think these “innovations” can’t or won’t affect you. As we saw when Customs and Border Protection drones flew over a protest in Minneapolis, the $68 billion border surveillance industry won’t stop expanding if there’s money to be made further inland.

            • More Fallout For NSO And Israel: Gov’t Police Illegally Deployed Malware Against Person Involved In Netanyahu Bribery Trial

              More troubling developments for both NSO Group and the country it calls home.

            • Apple says a ‘small portion’ of iPhones recorded interactions with Siri even if you opted out

              Apple’s release of iOS 15.4 beta 2 fixes a bug that may have recorded interactions with Siri on some devices, regardless of whether you opted out, according to a report from ZDNet. The bug, which was first introduced in iOS 15, automatically enabled the Improve Siri & Dictation setting that gives Apple permission to record, store, and review your conversations with Siri.

            • How to delete your Instagram account

              If you’ve made the decision to delete Instagram, whether because you’ve outgrown the need for a certain finsta or because its parent company Meta is courting controversy again, doing so isn’t as quick or easy as it should be. Up until recently, it couldn’t even be done from within the Instagram app.

              Go ahead and take a moment to make an obligatory “I’m deleting Instagram” post if you’d like. After that, you have two ways you can go about it.

            • Companies Should Mandate Two-Factor Authentication, Says Head of National Cybersecurity Alliance

              The interim executive director of a non-profit that has on its board members from Lenovo, Facebook, Microsoft and a number of other prominent tech firms said that companies should mandate two-factor authentication.

              Lisa Plaggemier of the National Cybersecurity Alliance, which advocates for cybersecurity across the country, made the comment at an event hosted by Axios Media on Tuesday.

            • A safer Internet starts with more encryption

              The Internet has been vital to help parents balance work and parenting through a lingering pandemic, yet it’s hard to ignore the societal issues increasingly amplified online. And with children increasingly learning and socializing online, the reality is we can’t always be there to hold their hand.

              What’s even more frightening is when government proposals undermine people’s best efforts to keep kids safe online by ignoring a simple truth: security is crucial to a safer Internet.

              It might seem like an obvious statement, but it’s not.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Internal Investigation Confirms Border Patrol Failures Leading Up to a 16-Year-Old’s Death on the Floor of His Cell

        A government investigation into the 2019 death of a Guatemalan teenager in Border Patrol custody has found serious problems with the agency’s handling of sick detainees.

        The report, obtained by ProPublica through a public records request, concludes that Border Patrol agents did not check on 16-year-old Carlos Hernandez Vasquez, who died of the flu after writhing on the floor of his cell in Weslaco, Texas. The report also found that the case reflected broader problems with care in a detainee system that at the time was overwhelmed with migrants, many of whom were ill.

      • Wave of Coups Disrupts Africa as U.S.-Trained Soldiers Play Key Role in Overthrowing Governments

        The African Union is condemning a wave of coups in Africa, where military forces have seized power over the past 18 months in Mali, Chad, Guinea, Sudan and, most recently, in January, Burkina Faso. Several were led by U.S.-trained officers as part of a growing U.S. military presence in the region under the guise of counterterrorism, which is a new imperial influence that supplements the history of French colonialism, says Brittany Meché, assistant professor at Williams College. Some coups have been met with celebration in the streets, signaling armed revolt has become the last resort for people dissatisfied with unresponsive governments. “Between the U.S.-led war on terror and the wider international community’s fixation on ‘security,’ this is a context that centers, if not privileges, military solutions to political problems,” adds Samar Al-Bulushi, contributing editor for Africa Is a Country.

      • The Nightmare Continues

        We Own the World

        The United States Department State Department continued in its QAnon-like claim that Russia is planning to fabricate a mass casualty event as a pretext to invade Ukraine – an allegation for which “State” provided no, um, evidence. It was vaguely reminiscent of the George W. Bush administration’s unsubstantiated Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and al-Qaeda alliance claims against Iraq before the criminal, mass-murderous US petro-imperialist invasion of that country.

      • US Sanctions Caused Mass Civilian Deaths in Iraq. Afghan Civilians Are Up Next.
      • Israeli Policies Satisfy the Definition of Apartheid Under International Law
      • Policing on Trial: Attorney Ben Crump on Fed Case Against Three Cops Involved in George Floyd Murder

        The Minneapolis judge who signed the no-knock warrant that led to the fatal police shooting of 22-year-old Black man Amir Locke also presided over the trial of Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer convicted for the murder of George Floyd. The trial of three officers facing lesser charges — Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — is currently underway after being delayed when one of the defendants tested positive for COVID. The trial will show the importance of accountability even from police who are bystanders to murder, says Benjamin Crump, part of the legal team for George Floyd’s family.

      • Cover-Up in Minneapolis? Police “Executed” Amir Locke in “No-Knock” Raid, Say His Parents, Activists

        Protests are continuing in Minneapolis after police fatally shot 22-year-old Amir Locke during an early-morning “no-knock” raid on February 2. Bodycam video shows that Locke appeared to be asleep on the couch and wrapped in a blanket when a SWAT team entered the apartment. Locke held a gun he was legally licensed to carry, and was not named in the warrant. Minneapolis interim city Police Chief Amelia Huffman claimed Locke pointed his weapon in the direction of the officers, and suggested he could have been connected to crime, despite not being a suspect in their investigation. “It was very jarring for many people in our community to see Amir painted almost like a criminal,” says attorney and police accountability activist Nekima Levy Armstrong. No-knock warrants, which Mayor Jacob Frey promised to eliminate but never did, “have deadly consequences for innocent Black people like Amir Locke and Breonna Taylor and so many others,” says civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, part of the legal team for Amir Locke’s family. This week the Biden administration responded to the raid saying it may consider a federal policy that limits the use of no-knock warrants.

      • Mass Student Walkouts Over Police Killing of Amir Locke

        Demanding accountability from local leaders, hundreds of high school students in Minneapolis and St. Paul walked out of their classes on Tuesday at noon in protest of the fatal police shooting of Amir Locke during a no-knock raid.

        The youth-led group MN Teen Activists organized the walkout, which included students at St. Paul Central High School and Capitol Hill Magnet School in St. Paul and Southwest, Roosevelt, and Washburn high schools in Minneapolis, as well as other schools in the surrounding suburbs.

      • Opinion | America’s Strategic Blunders of the Past That Created This Crisis Over Ukraine

        Understandably enough, commentaries on the crisis between Russia and the West tend to dwell on Ukraine. After all, more than 100,000 Russian soldiers and a fearsome array of weaponry have now been emplaced around the Ukrainian border. Still, such a narrow perspective deflects attention from an American strategic blunder that dates to the 1990s and is still reverberating.

      • Opinion | Memo to Congress: Diplomacy for Ukraine Is Spelled M-I-N-S-K

        While the Biden administration is sending more troops and weapons to inflame the Ukraine conflict and Congress is pouring more fuel on the fire, the American people are on a totally different track. 

      • ‘Beyond the War Paradigm’: Report Offers Alternative to 20 Years of Post-9/11 Failures

        After more than two decades of the widely condemned “global war on terror” launched by the United States government in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, a report released Tuesday offers 10 alternatives to the nation’s militarized approach to national security.

        “A reevaluation of the U.S. approach to counterterrorism is a moral and strategic imperative.”

      • ‘My task is to kill you’ Domestic violence victim who fled Dagestan describes family members’ thwarted attempt to kidnap her in Moscow

        Aishat Khiramagomedova fled her family home in Dagestan in October 2021, after reaching out to Krepost (Fortress), a charity organization that assists victims of domestic abuse. She made it to Moscow, where Krepost provided her with shelter and access to a psychologist. Within a few months she was starting to find her feet — she had a job and was looking for an apartment with her boyfriend. But on February 4, Aishat’s family tried to kidnap her and bring her back to Dagestan. 

      • Ukraine and the Threat of Nuclear War

        As the crisis in Ukraine deepens, it is appropriate to consider what the actual consequences of war there might be. An armed conventional conflict in Ukraine would be a terrible humanitarian disaster.

      • Behind the Olympic Curtain
      • China’s Olympic Battle for Legitimacy: the Prehistory of the 2022 Beijing Games

        In 1949, the Communist Party of China decisively prevailed over Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang (KMT) after 22 years of civil war, forcing the latter to flee to Taiwan. The founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) brought a definitive end to a “century of humiliation” inaugurated by the First Opium War, which had seen colonial powers reduce China to the “sick man of Asia.” This sickness had been a byword for the weakness, internal rupture, and forced narcotic dependency of the Chinese body politic—transposed inevitably onto the racialized Chinese body.

        Overcoming these scars, in all their physical and psychological manifestations, was the guiding principle for sports policy in the PRC. Only through this lens can we understand why it fought in such an obstinate, pugnacious, and unabashedly political way for a place in the Olympic movement on its own sovereign terms. China turned the Olympics into a battleground in its contest for legitimacy with the KMT regime on Taiwan and its imperialist backers, elevating the dispute to “the main burden of Olympism,” in the words of Otto Mayer, chancellor of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) from 1946 to 1964. And as with the parallel struggle for recognition by the United Nations, this one ended after three eventful decades in unqualified triumph. University of Hong Kong historian Xu Guoqi relates this fascinating saga in his 2008 book Olympic Dreams: China and Sports, 1895-2008.

      • Helsinki 2.0

        You might think that’s an overstatement. NATO is alive and well. The Organization for Security and Cooperation (OSCE) in Europe is still functioning at a high level.

        Of course, there’s the possibility of a major war breaking out between Russia and Ukraine. But would Russian President Vladimir Putin really take such an enormous risk? Moreover, periodic conflicts in that part of the world—in Ukraine since 2014, in Georgia in 2008, in Transnistria between 1990 and 1992—have not escalated into Europe-wide wars. Even the horrific bloodletting of Yugoslavia in the 1990s was largely contained within the borders of that benighted former country, and many of the Yugoslav successor states have joined both the European Union and NATO.

      • Bernie Sanders Says US War With Russia Over Ukraine Must Be Avoided at All Costs

        Warning of the potentially catastrophic consequences of what could be the deadliest European conflict since World War II, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday stressed the imperative for a diplomatic solution to the Russia-Ukraine crisis that’s brought the world’s two nuclear superpowers perilously close to war. 

        “Wars rarely turn out the way the experts tell us they will. Just ask the officials who provided rosy scenarios for the wars in Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq.”

      • Aid Groups Warn Biden Not to Revive Trump’s Terror Designation for Houthis in Yemen

        Twenty international aid groups on Tuesday urged U.S. President Joe Biden to refrain from restoring the Trump administration’s terrorist designation for the Houthis—warning that reinstating the label would have devastating impacts on civilians already struggling to survive amid a worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.

        Biden was praised last year by peace and anti-hunger advocates for rejecting former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s eleventh-hour designation of Ansar Allah—as the Houthi movement is officially called—as a “Foreign Terrorist Organization” (FTO) and a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” (SDGT).

      • Opinion | North Carolina’s New Education Bill Promotes Historical Erasure and White Supremacy

        In the state of North Carolina, the legislature saw fit to pass House Bill 324 in response to the Critical Race Theory madness set off by a FOX News interview. The bill outlaws teaching that includes the following:

      • Up to 90 more new tanks for police in Germany

        The Federal Police and the riot police of the federal states are paying € 81 million for armoured vehicles from Rheinmetall. Some procured them already for their special forces

      • Not another no-fly list

        In a letter first reported by Reuters and first published in full by The Points Guy, CEO Edward Bastian of Delta Air Lines has called on Attorney General Merrick Garland to “support our efforts with respect to… putting any person convicted of an on-board disruption on a national, comprehensive,… ‘no-fly’ list that  would bar that person from traveling on any commercial air carrier.”

        The latest letter from Delta steps up a lobbying campaign the airline began last fall, and which remains as misguided as ever. The letter highlights the urgent need for Congress to enact the Freedom to Travel Act (H.R. 6030) to make clear the rights of travelers, the duties of airlines and other common carriers, and the limitations on when, by what authority, on what grounds, and according to what procedures the right to travel can be restricted.

      • Baloch insurgency and continued tale of apathy and violence

        The province of Balochistan is once again in the vortex of turmoil and violence. On February 5, 2022, Pakistani military said it has killed at least 20 rebels in Balochistan after two army posts were attacked within hours of each other on February 2.[1] The attacks targeted paramilitary post in the town of Panjgur, about 450km (280 miles) south of the provincial capital, Quetta, and another one in Noshki, about 330km (205 miles) north of the first attack spot. Following the twin attacks, in a statement emailed to the media, the ethnic Baloch separatist group Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) claimed responsibility for the attacks. Jeayand Baloch, the BLA’s spokesman, said the raids were carried out by attackers who were prepared to “self-sacrifice”.[2]

    • Environment

      • Montana Plaintiffs Announce First Children’s Climate Trial in History of US
      • Climate Expert Debunks Big Oil’s Lies About Carbon Capture, Nature-Based Solutions

        A world-renowned climatologist made clear to Congress on Tuesday that some of fossil fuel companies’ key proposals to reduce planet-heating emissions are talking points rather than “meaningful” solutions to the climate emergency the industry created.

        “The climate crisis… is real and it is here. In order to confront it, we need real solutions that are proven to work and to keep our planet safe.”

      • Climate Coalition Calls on Biden to Cease All Gulf of Mexico Drilling Operations

        A new legal petition filed Tuesday calls on the Biden administration to stop all fossil fuel exploration and extraction plans throughout the Gulf of Mexico, saying its ongoing approval of such activities violate federal requirements to properly assess climate impacts.

        The filing with the Interior Department, signed by a diverse collection of 310 groups, begins with a blunt assertion that “fossil fuels are killing us and killing our planet” and points to a federal judge’s ruling last month blocking the administration’s planned oil and gas lease sale of over 80 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico.

      • Energy

        • Footage of Offshore Oil Accident Highlights Risks of Deepwater Drilling

          Video footage obtained by DeSmog shows an offshore oil drilling incident in which heavy equipment fell from a drillship onto an oil and gas wellhead deep below the ocean’s surface. 

          The three short clips offer those on land an unusual window into the world of offshore drilling accidents. Two experts who reviewed the footage for DeSmog said that the videos appear to show a blowout preventer (BOP) —  a kind of heavy oilfield equipment that is used to control or seal the flow of oil and gas from wells — falling suddenly during a relatively routine procedure. An additional video appears to show the resulting underwater damage filmed from a remotely operated vehicle. Text displayed in one clip reads, in part, “Monitoring BOP Unlatch” and “Pontus,” and a second video of the incident bears the date November 20, 2021.

        • ‘Obscene’: BP Profits Hit 8-Year High Amid Climate Emergency

          Fueled by rising oil and gas prices that have left millions struggling to afford energy bills, British fossil fuel giant BP reported its highest yearly profits in nearly a decade on Tuesday while rejecting calls for a tax on its financial windfall.

          The company raked in $12.8 billion in profits in 2021—more than its annual income for the past eight years. The announcement comes a week after BP’s rival Shell reported $19.3 billion in profits last year.

        • PG&E is on the Loose Again

          What were the terms of probation he had been asked to oversee? In Judge Alsup’s statement, “Rehabilitation of a criminal offender remains the paramount goal of probation. During these five years of criminal probation, we have tried hard to rehabilitate PG&E. As the supervising district judge, however, I must acknowledge failure.”

          An ordinary citizen on probation is admonished not to break any laws, deal in guns, drugs, and so on. Probation officers supervise the probationers with weekly visits. At the discovery of a single violation, the probationer is remanded to prison, with an additional burden of time on their sentence.

        • Nornickel’s Potanin sees bright future for NFTs, not cryptocurrencies

          Risky cryptocurrencies, such as much-hyped Bitcoin, will give place to asset-backed digital financial assets like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the long-term due to the latter’s reliability, Vladimir Potanin, one of Russia’s richest men with assets in different industries and countries, including Finland, told Bloomberg in an interview.

          Last week, Atomyze Russia, a fintech startup backed by Potanin’s conglomerate Interros, became the first in Russia to obtain the central bank’s license to issue digital financial assets.

        • How Much Electricity Does Bitcoin Mining Use?

          Researchers from Cambridge University estimates that the mining process devours 143 terawatt-hours (TWh) of electricity annually, which is more than the yearly electricity consumption of some countries. For instance, Norway consumes only 124 TWh, and Bangladesh consumes 71. Also, Bitcoin mining requires more energy than the largest technology companies like Google and Facebook.

        • ‘The Entire Cryptocurrency Market Is Basically a Ponzi Scheme’

          Janine Jackson interviewed Sohale Mortazavi about cryptocurrency for the February 4, 2022, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript.

        • Crossing the Wires of Energy and Cryptocurrency Policy: U.S. Congress Investigates the Environmental Impact of Crypto Mining

          There are currently two primary ways that network participants lend their processing power, which are framing part of the modern energy policy debates around cryptocurrency. The first form is “proof of work,” which is the original method that Bitcoin and Ethereum 1.0 employ. When a group of transactions (a block) needs to be verified, all of the “mining” computers race to solve a complex math puzzle, and whoever wins gets to add the block to the chain and is rewarded in coins. The competitive nature of proof of work consensus systems has led to substantial increases in computing power provided by institutional cryptocurrency mining operations and, with that, higher energy demands.

        • 7 countries where cryptocurrencies are banned

          Besides, the report found that the number of countries subjecting crypto to anti-money laundering and tax laws has surged 3 times since 2018. For example, all the members of the European Union, except Bulgaria, have currently put these regulations in place.

          Here are some countries that decided to say no to crypto and why.

        • A cringe rapper slash Forbes contributor allegedly found with billions in stolen Bitcoin

          The Department of Justice has finally found almost all of the billions worth of Bitcoin stolen during the 2016 hack of cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex — in the hands of a published Forbes and Inc. writer and rapper, who calls herself the “Crocodile of Wall Street,” and her startup founder husband.

          The DOJ says it seized about $3.6 billion worth of the cryptocurrency, allegedly held by Heather Morgan and her husband, Ilya Lichtenstein. The couple is accused of trying to cover their tracks by laundering the stolen funds through “a labyrinth of cryptocurrency transactions.” It’s the department’s “largest financial seizure ever,” according to a Tuesday press release.

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Opinion | Will US Turn Away From Fascism and Abandon This GOP Death Cult Before It’s Too Late?

        While Republican successes in blocking legislation, judges and even presidential nominations may seem like the Party is on a roll, the reality is that the GOP is in the midst of an existential crisis as severe as any party has seen since the Whigs died out in the early 19th century.

      • Manchin Says He’s Skeptical of Congressional Workers’ Union Drive
      • Palin Redux

        Refusing the vaccine means freedom, she says, And no one can ever negate hers. The shots would be o’er her dead body, she says. But what if the body’s the waiter’s?

      • ALEC Is Driving Laws to Blacklist Companies That Boycott the Oil Industry
      • Is Korea Heading Toward a Political Crossroads?

        The two candidates, who are currently running neck-and-neck in opinion polls, present a stark contrast. Lee Jae-myung of the ruling Democratic Party advocates South Korea taking the lead on inter-Korean relations, in contrast to President Moon Jae-in’s unwillingness to adopt any measure that would elicit Washington’s disapproval. “In succeeding the Moon Jae-in administration, the Lee Jae-myung government should act as a more independent and active mediator and problem solver,” Lee announced late last year. [1] That will come as a welcome change in direction if it comes to fruition.

        Lee is also disinclined to accede to U.S. demands to join the anti-China campaign, questioning why South Korea should be forced to choose between China, its leading trading partner, and the U.S., with whom it has a military alliance. “I think the situation is coming where we can make decisions independently, putting our national interests first. Any thinking that we have to choose between the two is a very disgraceful approach,” Lee argues. [2]

      • Biden Claims Credit for ISIS Leader’s Death, But It Will Do Little Damage to Terror Group

        Islamic State (IS) is much reduced from the all-conquering force it was for several years after 2014 when it had surprised the world by capturing the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. It went on to seize an area the size of Great Britain in western Iraq and eastern Syria, but lost all this territory between 2016 and 2019. The fact that al-Qurayshi was killed so far from previous IS strongholds may indicate that the movement no longer has any bases that it considers secure.

        But as a guerrilla group that no longer tries to hold territory, it has recently shown renewed strength with an attack on a prison in Hasakah, a Kurdish controlled city in north east Syria. IS leaders who had escaped the prison were at first believed by locals in Idlib to be the target of the US raid.

      • No Attack on Voting Rights Is Too Racist for This Supreme Court

        I honestly do not know what kind of attack a state would have to launch against the voting rights of its Black citizens to make the current Supreme Court step in and stop it. I do not know what form of voter-suppression law, intimidation tactic, or redistricting map would be so racist that this court would strike it down. We are back to the Jim Crow era, not just in terms of the laws that states are passing against the franchise but also in how the Supreme Court refuses to enforce the constitutional amendments prohibiting apartheid. We have literally been here before, when the Supreme Court remained inert as the 14th and 15th Amendments were violated with impunity by any state with enough aggrieved whites to do so. All that’s missing is the violent enforcement of these racist voting rules… but we’ll see what happens when Black people still try to vote this fall.

      • What America’s Voting Rights Activists Can Learn From Previous Civil Rights Movements

        Senate Democrats Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona joined Senate Republicans in blocking both the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. These bills would have combated voter suppression by creating a national automatic voter registration system, and they also would have banned partisan gerrymandering.

        In the wake of the vote, President Joe Biden said he was “profoundly disappointed that the United States Senate has failed to stand up for democracy.”

      • The Five (Rosa) Luxembergs

        Today, many know Rosa Luxemburg as Rosa Luxemburg but when she was born – 5th March 1871 – her real name was actually Róża Luksemburg. Rosa was also known as Rozalia Luksenburg. On 13th June, 1919, an unimaginably large funeral procession walked through Germany’s capital, Berlin almost five months after Rosa Luxemburg was murdered. Germany’s digital library shows thousands and thousands of workers have lined Berlin’s streets to pay tribute to Rosa Luxemburg.

        Yet, among one of the largest number of people ever seen at a Berlin rally were also four people with whom Rosa Luxemburg knew extremely well during the forty-eight years before her murder by right-wing death squads known as free corps. During the 1918/19 revolution, Germany’s majority social-democratic party, the SPD, had, what Rosa Luxemburg would call a choice between Socialism or Barbarity. It used Gustav Noske – known as the bloodhound – and the free corps to shoot a massive amount of workers and, thereby ending the revolution.

      • Peter Thiel to Exit Meta’s Board to Support Trump-Aligned Candidates

        Mr. Thiel has been on Meta’s board since 2005, when Facebook was a tiny start-up and he was one of its first institutional investors. But scrutiny of Mr. Thiel’s position on the board has steadily increased as the company was embroiled in political controversies, including barring Mr. Trump from the platform, and as the venture capitalist has become more politically active.

      • White House science adviser Lander quits over bullying claims

        Ms Wallace told Politico that Professor Lander “retaliated against staff for speaking out and asking questions by calling them names, disparaging them, embarrassing them in front of their peers, laughing at them, shunning them, taking away their duties, and replacing them or driving them out of the agency. Numerous women have been left in tears, traumatised, and feeling vulnerable and isolated.”

    • Misinformation/Disinformation

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Techdirt Podcast Episode 310: A Global History Of Free Speech

        We talk a lot about free speech in different countries, and about the history of free speech in the US — but what about the global history of this fundamental concept? A new book released today, Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media by Jacob Mchangama, tackles exactly this subject in great and insightful detail. This week, Jacob joins us on the podcast to discuss the sweeping story of free speech throughout the ages and around the world.

      • Book Bans Are on the Rise. But Librarians and Authors Are Fighting Back.

        The idea of banning books conjures images of piles of hardcovers in the street going up in flames. But over the past few decades in the United States, book banning has taken on a decidedly more genteel character. It has taken place in deliberative school board meetings and in quick after-school chats between librarians and concerned parents.

      • Israel Gets Georgia to Strip Free Speech Rights (Again)
      • Opinion | Divestment Is Wisdom, Not Censorship

        We live in a time when bribery, in the form of campaign donations, is construed by our nation’s Supreme Court as free speech, and divestment of the kind that helped pressure South Africa to dismantle its apartheid system is equated in the corporate media as censorship. These are signs that the culture in our democracy is unhealthy, diseased. 

      • Platform vs. Publishers

        How do you distinguish between a platform and a publisher? The debate has been reignited with the backlash against Joe Rogan’s Spotify podcast. Some have accused Rogan of spreading misinformation about COVID on Spotify. Spotify isn’t taking Rogan down and its important to note that Spotify has a $100mm+ exclusive deal with Rogan for his content. Is Spotify a neutral audio platform? Or is Spotify a publisher?

      • TikTok bans misgendering, deadnaming trans people

        In updated community guidelines, the company noted that it is “adding clarity on the types of hateful ideologies prohibited on our platform,” stating that it will ban deadnaming, or using a transgender person’s pre-transition name, and misgendering, using incorrect pronouns.

      • TikTok is banning misgendering, deadnaming, and content promoting disordered eating

        The company announced today it would begin removing videos that promote disordered eating symptoms like short-term fasting and overexercising. Content promoting eating disorders is already banned on the platform, but news reports have repeatedly shown users are exposed to videos featuring unhealthy eating habits. During an October congressional hearing, senators pressed TikTok representatives on further protecting young users.

      • [Updated:] EARN IT Act — an attack on free expression and privacy — is back

        A civil society coalition letter voicing opposition to the EARN It Act was delivered to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee leadership in advance of the Committee markup. Access Now is a signatory to the letter, signed by over 60 organizations and led by the Center for Democracy and Technology.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Russia’s Justice Ministry seeks dissolution of charitable foundation behind Russian LGBT Network

        The St. Petersburg branch of the Russian Justice Ministry has asked the courts to liquidate the charitable foundation Sfera, the operator of the Russian LGBT Network.

      • Sanders Unveils Bill to Boost Understaffed US Fire Departments

        Citing the “unprecedented challenges” in “recruiting and retaining” career and volunteer firefighters across the United States, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Monday introduced legislation aimed at tackling the staffing crisis in the essential profession. 

        “The difficulty in recruiting and retaining personnel is an absolute crisis.”

      • Religious Support for Democratic World Federation

        But some religious groups and leaders have rejected the idea that warfare is a necessary part of human nature and human history.

        In order to eliminate the war system and solve humanity’s many global problems–such as genocide, terrorism, violations of human rights, and environmental degradation due to global warming–they have advocated for the creation of a democratic world federal government that would create just world laws and prosecute individuals who violate them. Violent conflicts would be settled and global problems would be solved through a nonviolent democratic process.

      • The Black Migrant Trail of Tragedies

        Julliana Essengue arrived in Tapachula, Mexico, from São Paulo, Brazil, in March 2020. She was broke but determined to reach the United States. After nearly two months traversing rain forests, borders, and rivers by bus, car, boat, and foot, she needed money. At first, Essengue and her travel companions squatted. “We slept on the floor for two weeks in a hallway,” she told me. “There were Africans, Haitians—everybody was sleeping on the floor.”1This story was published with the support of a fellowship from Columbia University’s Ira A. Lipman Center for Journalism and Civil and Human Rights.

      • Ohio Supreme Court Rejects Republican-Drawn Congressional Maps – Again
      • Affirmative Action on the Block
      • Connecting the Dots and Rejecting the “Rule of Law” Hypocrisy

        Lindiwe Sisulu’s parents, Walter and Albertina Sisulu, were leading figures with Nelson Mandela in the African National Congress (ANC) movement that resisted the racist apartheid regime of South Africa. Their daughter’s opinion column shows that she inherited her parents’ zeal for justice.

        “Whose law is it anyway” bristles with truth about economic reparation, a subject that the beneficiaries of colonization always try to avoid. Consider the following excerpt:

      • ‘They Are Firing the Entire Committee!’ Memphis Workers Say Starbucks Targeting Union Organizers

        Workers at a Memphis Starbucks who were fired Tuesday after launching a unionization effort vowed to carry on their fight, with one employee invoking the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.—who was assassinated in the Tennessee city while campaigning for workers’ rights. 

        “Starbucks has been fighting desperately to silence us because we did not back down or let them shake us.”

      • Hunger-Striking Teachers Say Oakland Plan to Close Schools Will Hurt Black & Brown Communities

        We go to Oakland, where a group of teachers are on a hunger strike to protest a plan to close and merge over a dozen schools due to under-enrollment. This comes ahead of a critical school board vote Tuesday that will decide whether to proceed with the plan. Activists argue the move threatens to divert resources to charter schools and displace hundreds of Black and Brown children from their neighborhood schools. The hunger strike across multiple different schools has empowered many to speak up against longtime systemic racism, says Moses Omolade, one of the striking workers and a community schools manager at Westlake Middle School. “The school board is attempting to close predominantly Black and Brown schools without engaging with us at all.”

      • How a Cooperative Run by the Formerly Incarcerated is Reshaping Chicago’s Food Industry

        These school meals were supplied by megacorporations like PepsiCo Inc., Tyson Foods Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, Cherry Meat Packers Inc., Central Valley Meat Co. Inc., American Beef Packers Inc. and Jennie-O Turkey Store LLC. As detailed in a 2020 article by Jennifer E. Gaddis in the professional journal for educators Phi Delta Kappan, 95 percent of U.S. public schools participate in the government-subsidized National School Lunch Program, and this program is made up almost entirely of contracts by giant corporate food brands. Gaddis writes:

        It happened again in 2020 when the Trump administration proposed making the rules more flexible, Gaddis adds.

      • The student forced out after standing up for women

        Yet from the minute it was announced, it became a target for militant trans activists among the university students – who objected to Woman’s Place UK’s stance on gender recognition issues, and demanded the event be cancelled.

        Why? “The issue they had was with the meeting taking place at all,” Rosario Sanchez replies. “They didn’t want women to have these conversations.”

      • Why This Feminist Is Taking the University of Bristol to Court

        Next week, I am taking my university to court. To my knowledge, it is the first time an academic institution has been forced, at trial, to justify why it prioritises trans rights over women’s rights. The other party in the case is the University of Bristol, which one might suppose to be an unlikely defendant given its distinction as the first higher-education establishment in England to have admitted women on an equal basis to men. Unfortunately, the university has more recently become known as a hotbed for anti-feminist militancy.

      • LABOR After Amazon Tragedy, Workers Come Together to Demand Safe Working Conditions
    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Automakers Can’t Give Up The Idea Of Turning Everyday Features Into Subscription Services With Fees

        At the same time car companies are fighting the right to repair movement (and the state and federal legislation popping up everywhere), they’re continuing the quest to turn everyday features — like heated seats — into something users have to pay a recurring fee for.

      • What on Earth is going on with Peloton?

        In 2020, Peloton’s supply chain was struggling to keep up with the unexpected surge in demand created by people suddenly eager to work out at home. Facing months-long fulfillment delays, Peloton decided to heavily invest in building out its manufacturing capabilities. It dropped millions to expedite shipping and another $420 million buying Precor, one of the world’s largest commercial fitness equipment makers. It spent another $400 million on a factory in Ohio. The company was positioning itself to rapidly build bikes and treadmills for a market that couldn’t get enough.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

      • Trademarks

        • Apple Opposes Trademark For Indie Film ‘Apple-Man’ Claiming Potential Confusion

          When it comes to silly trademark disputes, Apple has come up for discussion many, many times. The mega-corporation is a jealous defender of all of its IP, but most of our stories have focused on its disputes with companies that created logos that involve any sort of apple or other fruit. Sometimes it’s not even companies that Apple is fighting with, but entire foreign political parties. The idea here is that when it comes to logos or trade dress, Apple appears to think that it owns all the apples.

      • Copyrights

        • Appeals Court Can Rule That DMCA’s Anti-Circumvention Rules Are Unconstitutional

          As you hopefully know, there are two main parts to the DMCA law that was passed in 1998. There’s DMCA 512, which is what you hear about most of the time. That’s the part that includes the rules for notice and takedown regimes for user uploaded content (among other things). It’s got problems, but in its current form has also enabled many important services to exist. The other part, which is much more problematic, is DMCA 1201, which is the anti-circumvention rules — or you could call it the “DRM” part of the law. This has no redeeming value whatsoever. Under 1201 basically any attempt to circumvent a “technological” protection measure, can be deemed infringing even if the underlying content is never infringed upon. This part of the law is not only not necessary, but it’s drafted in a manner that has been regularly abused — enabling everyone from printer manufacturers to garage door opener companies to argue that simple reverse engineering to create competition is “infringement.”

        • Do not feed the trolls

          Recently, there has been an increase in threatened and actual lawsuits involving CC licensed works, and in some cases, license enforcement has even become a business model. We have now learned that even long-time friend and contributor to Creative Commons, Cory Doctorow, has been targeted.

          Put simply, “license-enforcement-as-business model” is a perversion of the founding ideals of Creative Commons. We condemn this behavior. These aggressive enforcement actions lessen trust in open licensing, and they erode the good faith ecosystem that is the basis of the commons.

        • MPA & ACE Embed Staff at US Govt. IPR Center To Fight Movie & TV Show Piracy

          The Motion Picture Association and anti-piracy coalition Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment will embed their own personnel at the US Government’s National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center. Under the umbrella of the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, they hope to tackle movie and TV show piracy more effectively.

Despite Occasional Shutdowns, Geminispace Has a Net Gain of About 100 Working Capsules Per Month (It Has Accelerated Further in 2022)

Posted in Site News at 9:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

January 2021: ~400; June 2021: 1000; December 2021: 1500; January 2022: 1600; Today (Feb. 9th): Over 1700

1705 capsules

Summary: With almost 2,100 known Gemini capsules, about 82% of which are online and accessible, the growth continues unabated (net gain of about 100 in just 3 weeks or roughly 5 per day, on average)

[Meme] Team UPC and Team Battistelli Above the Law, Ignore the Law, Break the Law

Posted in Europe, Patents at 8:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Much can be said about how Team UPC too flagrantly breaks the law with the EPO's complicity

Law? Sorry, not applicable to us.

Summary: In the Netherlands, EPO management is effectively above the law, so Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos can ignore court rulings, gaslight an International Criminal Court (ICC) judge looking to rectify things at the EPO, and bribe Dutch media to defame actual judges with integrity

António Campinos fronting for Team UPC
Tony fronting for ‘Team UPC’ only 3 days after he became EPO President.

The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXVI: An Erosion of Fundamental Rights Protection?

Posted in Courtroom, Europe, Law, Patents at 8:40 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Series parts:

  1. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part I: Let the Sunshine In!
  2. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part II: A “Unanimous” Endorsement?
  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part III: Three Missing Votes
  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IV: The Founding States
  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part V: Germany Says “Ja”
  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VI: A Distinct Lack of Dutch Courage
  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VII: Luxembourgish Laxity
  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VIII: Perfidious Albion and Pusillanimous Hibernia
  9. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IX: More Holes Than Swiss Cheese
  10. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part X: Introducing the Controversial Christian Bock
  11. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XI: “General Bock” – Battistelli’s Swiss Apprentice?
  12. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection
  13. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Spain
  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli’s Iberian Facilitators – Portugal
  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…
  16. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper
  17. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc
  18. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki’s Accord
  19. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States
  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group
  21. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”
  22. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League – North Macedonia and Albania
  23. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIII: The Balkan League – Bulgaria
  24. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXIV: The Balkan League – Romania
  25. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXV: The Balkan League – Fresh Blood or Same Old, Same Old?
  26. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVI: A Trojan Horse on the Budget and Finance Committee
  27. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVII: Cypriot Complicity
  28. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXVIII: Benoît and António’s Loyal “Habibi”
  29. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXXX: The EPOnian Micro-States – Monaco and Malta
  30. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXX: San Marino and the Perfidious Betrayal of Liberty
  31. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXI: The Abstentionists
  32. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXII: “Plucky Little Belgium”?
  33. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXIII: Swedish Scepticism
  34. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXIV: An “Extremely Dubious” Proposal
  35. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXV: Slovakian Scruples
  36. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXVI: Serbian Sour Grapes
  37. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXVII: Stubbornly Independent Slovenia
  38. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXVIII: Ensnared in the Tentacles of the SAZAS Octopus
  39. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXIX: On the Slippery Slope to Capture
  40. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXX: The Idiosyncratic Italians
  41. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXI: Public Service or Self-Service?
  42. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXII: A Parcel of Rogues?
  43. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXIII: A Legal No-Man’s Land
  44. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXIV: Immunity = Impunity?
  45. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXXXV: In the Shadow of “Waite and Kennedy”
  46. YOU ARE HERE ☞ An Erosion of Fundamental Rights Protection?

Kicking Fundamental Rights
Recent judgments of the European Court of Human Rights appear to have eroded the obligation of ECHR states to protect fundamental rights in cases where the alleged violations involve an international organisation.

Summary: What the European Court of Human Rights means to EPO workers in light of more recent developments, especially 5 years ago (Supreme Court of the Netherlands)

In the last part we saw how the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) has ruled that states which are signatories of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) have a responsibility to ensure that their membership of international organisations does not lead to a breach of their ECHR obligations.

“…it has become evident that the overriding priority of the Court is to protect the autonomy of international organisations at the expense of the fundamental rights of their staff (and other individuals adversely affected by the acts of such organisations).”In other words, ECHR signatory states must ensure that adequate provision is made for an “equivalent protection” of fundamental rights inside any international organisation which they join.

This has implications for the internal justice systems of international organisations on which staff are obliged to rely for legal redress, because of their lack of access to national courts.

According to the “Waite and Kennedy v. Germany” judgment, such internal justice systems must provide staff of an international organisation with “reasonable alternative means to protect effectively their rights under the [European] Convention [on Human Rights]“.

However, following the delivery of ECtHR judgments in the cases of Klausecker v. Germany (application no. 415/07) and Perez v. Germany [PDF] (no. 15521/08) in January 2015, it has become evident that the overriding priority of the Court is to protect the autonomy of international organisations at the expense of the fundamental rights of their staff (and other individuals adversely affected by the acts of such organisations).

“There was now a distinct possibility that international organisations and their member states could get away with applying a different and less rigorous standard of human rights protection to the acts and omissions of an international organisation.”The Klausecker and Perez judgments prompted the legal scholar Anne-Marie Thévenot-Werner to express concern about an erosion of the obligation of states to protect the fundamental rights enshrined in the ECHR.

In an article published in the legal journal Revue de droit allemande in 2015 Thévenot-Werner acknowledged that the ECtHR had formally reaffirmed its case law requiring the provision of “reasonable alternative means” for the protection of fundamental rights inside international organisations.

However, at the same time the Court signalled that it would not hold a state to account for a breach of the ECHR involving an international organisation unless the protection available via the organisation’s internal justice system was shown to be “manifestly deficient”.

Thévenot-Werner warned that the approach taken by the Court in these cases risked creating a loophole with respect to the protection of fundamental rights enshrined in the ECHR.

“It deserves to be emphasised at this point that these are matters which are not merely of academic and theoretical interest.”There was now a distinct possibility that international organisations and their member states could get away with applying a different and less rigorous standard of human rights protection to the acts and omissions of an international organisation. In such situations, states would only be called to account if it could be established to the satisfaction of the Court that the level of protection available was “manifestly deficient”.

The risk of such an erosion of legal protection exists even in the case of organisations where all participating states are signatories to the ECHR (which is the case for the EPO).

It deserves to be emphasised at this point that these are matters which are not merely of academic and theoretical interest.

The saga of Benoît Battistelli‘s “Strike Regulations” at the EPO provides a striking illustration of their practical significance for the staff of international organisations.

“The Gerechtshof judgment showed that at least some judges in the Netherlands were serious about setting limits to the “immunity” enjoyed by an international organisation in order to prevent abuses involving clear-cut violations of fundamental rights.”As noted in an earlier part of this series, Battistelli’s controversial “Strike Regulations” were one of a long litany of grievances which the EPO staff union SUEPO attempted to litigate before the national justice system in the Netherlands.

During the litigation procedure, the Gerechtshof den Haag (Appeal Court of The Hague) decided that breaches of fundamental rights by EPO management were so severe that they justified lifting the organisation’s immunity from jurisdiction.

This lead to a judgment, delivered on 17 February 2015, in which the Gerechtshof ordered the EPO [PDF] to rescind several amendments to the organisation’s staff regulations, including the undue restrictions on industrial actions imposed by the impugned “Strike Regulations”.

In addition to this, the EPO was ordered by the court to uphold the rule-of-law and social dialogue standards in line with the European Convention on Human Rights and ILO Conventions No. 87, on the right to organise in trade unions, and No. 98 on the right to collective bargaining. [PDF]

The Gerechtshof judgment showed that at least some judges in the Netherlands were serious about setting limits to the “immunity” enjoyed by an international organisation in order to prevent abuses involving clear-cut violations of fundamental rights.

The European Public Service Union (EPSU) reported on the judgment under the headline “European Patent Office does not live in a Dutch no man’s land”.

“The problem with the Gerechtshof judgment was that it set a worrying precedent which had political ramifications going far beyond the EPO.”Unfortunately, both SUEPO’s legal victory and EPSU’s optimism turned out to be short-lived.

Less than two years later, the Gerechtshof judgment was set aside, thereby confirming what many had long suspected: the European Patent Office does indeed live in a Dutch no man’s land!

Gerechtshof den Haag
An independent judicial review of violations of fundamental rights by the EPO carried out by the Gerechtshof den Haag led to a short-lived lifting of the organisation’s immunity in February 2015. This was overruled in January 2017 when the Supreme Court proclaimed that Dutch courts had “no jurisdiction in the EPO dispute”.

The problem with the Gerechtshof judgment was that it set a worrying precedent which had political ramifications going far beyond the EPO.

“The Hoge Raad attempted to justify its findings on the basis that the fundamental rights of EPO staff “were sufficiently protected by the internal dispute settlement procedure provided for by EPOrg”.”It was a veritable thorn in the flesh not only for Battistelli and his clique at the EPO, but also for the Dutch government which reaps significant economic benefits from the country’s status as a host to a large number of international organisations.

This led to the Dutch government joining forces with Team Battistelli in support of an application for “cassation” of the judgment.

Finally, on January 2017, the Hoge Raad (Supreme Court of the Netherlands) issued a ruling to the effect that Dutch courts had no jurisdiction in the EPO dispute:

“According to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), granting jurisdictional immunity to an international organisation constitutes a limitation of the right of access to a court as referred to in article 6 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedom Rights (ECHR). This limitation is acceptable provided that litigants have a reasonable alternative means of protecting their rights effectively.

The Supreme Court found that such alternative means exist. The rights of VEOB [the Netherlands branch of SUEPO] and SUEPO are sufficiently protected by the internal dispute settlement procedure provided for by EPOrg, under which individual employees and staff representatives can ultimately take their complaint to the Administrative Tribunal of the International Labour Organization in Geneva. According to the Supreme Court, this means that the essence of their right of access to a court has not been impaired.”

The Hoge Raad attempted to justify its findings on the basis that the fundamental rights of EPO staff “were sufficiently protected by the internal dispute settlement procedure provided for by EPOrg”.

But is this really the case?

“In the upcoming parts, we will take a closer look at the EPO’s internal justice system and the role which it played in “Strike Regulations” affair.”Not everybody would agree. Indeed, many would argue that the facts tell a very different story and that the judgment delivered by the Hoge Raad in January 2017 was driven by political expediency and a misplaced desire to tell the Dutch government and the EPO what they wanted to hear rather than what they needed to hear.

In the upcoming parts, we will take a closer look at the EPO’s internal justice system and the role which it played in “Strike Regulations” affair.

In particular, we will see how a former judge of the European Court of Human Rights played a bizarre and incongruous role in prolonging the suppression of the fundamental right to “freedom of association” at the EPO.

Response to Gemini Misconceptions and Mythology (It’s Not Ugly or Just for Geeks)

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, FUD, Protocol, Standard at 7:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 420621d8ea77533494fdde5e187ca23a
Gemini Misconceptions
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: Another gemini:// FUD response; this time we deal with this new article, a polite article, which nevertheless makes Gemini as a whole seem crude and ugly; in reality, depending how it’s presented, Gemini can be beautiful, expressive, and feature-rich (depending on the creativity of pertinent capsules)

THE RISE of Gemini isn’t a subjective thing. It is measurable. It’s objective.

1700 Gemini capsules approachedAs shown in the image to the right, Gemini is growing fast. On January 16th we wrote about 1,600 active capsule and now we’re flirting with 1,700. Almost 100 active capsules in net gain in 3.5 weeks is nothing to sneeze at (not the same as 100 new capsules as it’s possible that 10 of the existing ones shut down while 110 new ones emerged).

“Almost 100 active capsules in net gain in 3.5 weeks is nothing to sneeze at (not the same as 100 new capsules as it’s possible that 10 of the existing ones shut down while 110 new ones emerged).”Over the past few months I’ve seen a number of Gemini-bashing posts that were mostly based on misunderstandings. Sometimes there’s almost outdated information or misinformation. “I had a discussion with someone about Gemini,” one person told me this morning, “a couple of years ago.” That’s like the time Gemini was only months old. A lot has changed since then. The number of capsules grew from a couple hundred to over 2,000, with probably around a million pages in them (Lupa alone has retrieved and analysed almost half a million pages).

That same person then asked me and another Gemini proponent: “What are the advantages you two see in Gemini?”

“The number of capsules grew from a couple hundred to over 2,000, with probably around a million pages in them (Lupa alone has retrieved and analysed almost half a million pages).”“Speaking for myself,” I replied, “self-hosting is one. The Web became far too bloated, so it’s difficult to host from one’s residential perimeter, hence people move to centralised platforms and datacentres.”

“But people’s connections have gotten faster, it’s just the Web that changed. Why can’t people take back control of the Internet? In his talks about Freedombox, Eben Moglen raised this point.”

The person then asked: “Does Gemini use HTML? Could we post the same pages HTML pages we have now on a gemini server, or would they need to be modified and adapted?”

Some people wrongly believe that Gemini Protocol is only for transmission or only for ‘markup’. It’s actually both. HTML is very complicated for a lot of people. Setting up a Web server is also hard compared to Gemini. So lesser technical people cannot easily participate, unless they create some accounts in Blogspot (Gulag) or Facebook…

“There are already dozens of Gemini clients (like Web browsers) and over a dozen Gemini server implementations.”Gemini uses GemText, which is simple enough to teach to 6 year olds. It’s also a lot simpler to program with, owing to this simplicity.

There are many good HTML→GemText (and vice verse) converters. Anyone with basic coding skills can write one in a few hours, as many people have. “XSLT might also be an option for HTML→GemText,” an associate of ours notes.

There are already dozens of Gemini clients (like Web browsers) and over a dozen Gemini server implementations.

Our hope is that better understanding of Gemini, owing to media coverage (the mainstream media is paid to push ads and lies, so it won’t help Gemini grow), can help without it resembling “advocacy”/”evangelism” (religious term) or “marketing”. As it turns out, some mainstream media already embraces Gemini and it has become big enough for Microsoft to attempt to hijack/undermine it.

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