05.19.22

Links 19/05/2022: Rust 1.61.0 and Lots of Security FUD

Posted in News Roundup at 7:05 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • OMG UbuntuYou Can Upgrade Framework, the Modular Laptop, with 12th Gen Intel CPUs

        So when I heard they’d announced an upgraded Framework laptop I was intrigued. Given the nature of the product, I wondered if the upgraded components provided would be backwards-compatible with the first generation device?

        To quench any intrigue you may have the answer is a big fat yes.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • ByteXDWhat Is Inkscape and What Can You Do With It?

        The first time I heard the word Inkscape, I thought it was Ink-escape, alluding to the ease of use of the software, just like an imaginary ink escaping from your mind to the software to bring forth the magnificent design ideas from your imagination.

        I was disappointed to know it wasn’t the idea behind the name, but fortunately the software is as easy to use as I imagined.
        And the name is combined from two words “ink” and “scape”; ink is used for final products in design, so suggesting the practical aspect of the software that it is used for creating ready-for-use illustrations and designs, and scape denoting a scene of a large number of objects, thus alludes to the object-oriented nature to vector graphics.

        Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics editor.

        What are vector graphics? Vector graphics, opposing to raster graphics, use mathematical equations to describe paths and objects instead of pixels, which leads to unlimited resolution, yes! No matter how you zoom in; these don’t pixelate.
        Inkscape is free of charge, meaning that you don’t pay a dime to download and use Inkscape.

        Now you may think that most open-source applications are counter-productive; because they don’t have enough features. But I am telling you, that is not the case with Inkscape.

      • MedevelDocspell is a machine learning powered document management system (DMS)

        Docspell is a personal document organizer. Or sometimes called a “Document Management System” (DMS). You’ll need a scanner to convert your papers into files. Docspell can then assist in organizing the resulting mess .

        It can unify your files from scanners, emails and other sources. It is targeted for home use, i.e. families, households and also for smaller groups/companies.

        To summarize, Docspell assists you in organizing your piles of documents, resulting from scanners, e-mails and other sources with miminal effort.

        [...]

        Docspell is free software, distributed under the AGPLv3 or later.

      • MedevelOrganize is an open-source file management automation tool

        Organize is a unique and amazing software package that helps you organize your messy desktop, downloads, documents, and keep track of all of your important files.

        It is built with the Python programming language and runs smoothly on Windows, Linux, and macOS.

        Organize allows you to setup automated rules that works to copy and organize your files in a snap. As an example, let’s say you are taking many screenshots by day, Organize will copy and mark the screenshots in certain directly according to the rule you set.

        Organize is created by Thomas Feldmann a software engineer from Germany.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • Install VeraCrypt on Debian 11 – kifarunix.com

        In this guide, we are going to learn how to install VeraCrypt on Debian 11. VeraCrypt, a fork of TrueCrypt, is a free and open source on-the-fly disk encryption (OTFE) tool.

      • Make Use OfUnderstanding Linux System Calls With the strace Command

        Every process running on your desktop uses system calls to communicate with the OS. Using strace, you can track such system calls easily.

      • GNU Linux (Debian) – how to shrink-resize lvm2 luks encrypted root partition – how to enlarge SWAP space
      • Linux Made SimpleHow to install FL Studio 20.9.2.2907 on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install FL Studio 20.9.2.2907 on a Chromebook. Please follow the video/audio guide as a tutorial where we explain the process step by step and use the commands below.

      • How to install WineHQ on Ubuntu 22.04 | Mark Ai Code

        Learn how to install WineHQ on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS using the steps below. JellyFish Jammy If you’re unfamiliar with Wine, it stands for Wine Is Not an Emulator and is a tool that enables us to utilize Windows applications on Linux. Wine does not need a Windows installation on your computer to run applications written for Windows.

      • AddictiveTipsHow to play The Long Dark on Linux

        The Long Dark is an FPS survival video game developed and published by Hinterland Studios. The game was released on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. Here’s how to play it on your Linux desktop or laptop.

      • AddictiveTipsHow to manage your Debian install with Smxi

        The Smxi script is an excellent tool for Debian users. Users can automatically install GPU drivers (and patches), install desktop environments, software, system-clean up, and more with ease.

        If you’re looking to simplify the maintenance on your Debian Linux workstation, personal computer, or home server, this app is for you. Follow this guide to learn how to manage your Debian install with Smxi.

      • GNU Linux (Debian 11) – Brother HL-5450DN reliable Black and White Laser printer – that works out of the box with cups – filter those laser printers
      • AddictiveTipsHow to play Don’t Starve Together on Linux

        Don’t Starve Together is a free multiplayer expansion to the survival game “Don’t Starve.” Players work together to survive in the game so they “don’t starve.” Here’s how to play Don’t Starve Together on your Linux PC.

      • How to Add Comments to IPTables Rules

        Most distro’s have made firewalld, UFW, or some other fancy program their default firewalls. However, in my opinion IPTables/Netfilter still reigns supreme. I find it to be the best tool for the job on 90% of systems I work on. Although a firewall configuration with a lot of rules can still be difficult to read. Just like a long script, it is helpful to put comments. These comments allow others to easily identify what the rules do, especially if you are using specific source IP addresses. So in this Linux quick tip we will show you how to easily add comments to IPTables rules.

        If you are unfamiliar with IPTables, you can read “Basics of IPTables”.

      • Install and Setup VeraCrypt on Rocky Linux

        In this guide, we are going to learn how to install and setup VeraCrypt on Rocky Linux. VeraCrypt, a fork of TrueCrypt, is a free and open source on-the-fly disk encryption (OTFE) tool.

      • LinuxiacHow to Install Google Chrome on AlmaLinux / Rocky Linux

        This tutorial will cover installing the Google Chrome web browser on AlmaLinux / Rocky Linux in a few easy-to-follow steps.

        Google Chrome is a modern web browser that is fast, simple, and safe. However, because it is not an open-source browser, it is rarely included by default on any Linux distribution and is usually not available for installation from official repositories.

        This is also true for AlmaLinux and Rocky Linux. If you have either distribution installed, you will not find the Google Chrome browser in their official repositories.

      • ByteXDLinux Tail Command (With Examples) – ByteXD

        The tail command is native to Unix-like operating systems, BSD and FreeDOS. It is even now ported to Windows as a part of the unxutils package.

        In Linux, it is shipped as a part of the package GNU coreutils.

        The tail command outputs the “tail” (end) of a file or piped data.
        By default, it prints out the last ten lines of what gets passed to it. You can use other options instead of the default behavior.

        This article will explain how to use tail command, both the default behavior of tail and the options.
        Why tail in the first place? Many programs write their recent status at the end of what’s called a log file, so it is great to have a shortcut to view the end of the file instead of scrolling down a huge file.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Programming/Development

      • Daniel Stenbergcase insensitive string comparisons in C

        Back in 2008, I had a revelation when it dawned on me that the POSIX function called strcasecmp() compares strings case insensitively, but locale dependent. Because of this, “file” and “FILE” is not actually a case insensitive match in Turkish but is a match in most other locales. curl would sometimes fail in mysterious ways due to this. Mysterious to the users, now we know why.

        Of course this behavior was no secret. The knowledge about this problem was widespread already then. It was just me who hadn’t realized this yet.

      • Perl / Raku

      • Rust

        • Joerg Jaspert: Rust? Munin? munin-plugin…

          Sooo, some time ago I had to rewrite a munin plugin from Shell to Rust, due to the shell version going crazy after some runtime and using up a CPU all for its own. Sure, it only did that on Systems with Oracle Database installed, so that monster seems to be bad (who would have guessed?), but somehow I had to fixup this plugin and wasn’t allowed to drop that wannabe-database.

          A while later I wrote a plugin to graph Fibre Channel Host data, and then Network interface statistics, all with a one-second resolution for the graphs, to allow one to zoom in and see every spike. Not have RRD round of the interesting parts.

          As one can imagine, that turns out to be a lot of very similar code – after all, most of the difference is in the graph config statements and actual data gathering, but the rest of code is just the same.

        • The Rust Programming Language Blog: Announcing Rust 1.61.0

          The Rust team is happy to announce a new version of Rust, 1.61.0. Rust is a programming language empowering everyone to build reliable and efficient software.

        • LWNRust 1.61.0 released [LWN.net]

          Version 1.61.0 of the Rust language has been released. Changes this time around include more flexibility in main-program exit codes, a number of new features for const functions, a number of newly stabilized APIs, and more.

  • Leftovers

    • Pseudo-Open Source

    • Security

    • Finance

      • CNN stops bothering to hide that the economy has turned sour. – BaronHK’s Rants

        CNN was one of the last few holdouts insisting that we were in a “strong economy” with “robust growth” and “record job creation levels” and that high inflation would be “transitory” in America.

        Sometime around yesterday, they changed their minds and finally started reporting what investment magazines and CEOs were saying for months, that a dire recession is coming. (It’s already here, though.)

        I’ve said over the last few years, repeatedly, that we were in a “second tech bubble”, with the first big one of course being the Dotcom Bubble of the late 1990s and early 2000s where investors were willing to throw at and lose money on anything vaguely tech related that sounded like it might have a business plan, no matter how insane.

        But even I didn’t see what’s happening now coming. We’re in uncharted territory on gasoline prices (for the United States….Europe has always had very decadent and corrupt politicians who subscribed to this green new deal insanity, but it’s a pretty new concept here).

        There’s a shortage of baby formula, and the president of the United States refuses to do what current law authorizes him to, in order to get it under control. Because he doesn’t want to go too hard on the oligopoly that produces it all.

        [...]

        And streaming companies like Netflix are seeing record cancellations and the end to subscriber growth, and admit it will accelerate.

        Walmart has had its worst trading days since the 1980s this week, losing 19% of its share price in three days. Target and Amazon got hammered much worse.

        The whole thing is an epic disaster. And where is the news? Trying to tell people that “this millennial in their 20s just bought a $700,000 house….so why don’t you have one?”. (CNBC bullshit)

        I’m just so sick and tired and goddamned disgusted by it all. I’ve tuned out advertising completely. I don’t have any streaming disservices in my house. I watch movies and stuff on discs. Usually ones I borrowed at the library, which I have to pay taxes for whether I use it or not.

        I’ve blocked advertisements from appearing in my Web browser since 1998, when I got on the Web and found out there were ads and that they were slowing my browsing down a lot (images on a 56k modem….and now videos on my cable that I didn’t consent to watching).

        [...]

        The Democrat Party and the Republican Party that let laissez-faire Crapitalism dictate trade policy, who bankrupted us as a nation, who convinced us all we could “just go shopping” to cure what ails you, have no answers for how to fix anything, because they’re the ones who don’t really want to fix it.

        [...]

        I believe that economists will eventually call this the “app” or “smartphone” bubble, because it seems like everything involving those is shit hitting the fan, but there are lots of other bubbles too, like “cryptocurrencies”.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Re: The Disappearence of Sincere Conversations

        Trust, however, will not just appear out of the blue. Trust needs to be achieved somehow. Can algorithm suggested “friends” a la Linkedin, Xing, facebook etc. be trusted? Nope. Can members of smaller groups like the mailing list of a project be trusted? Maybe.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Re: A Call for a Gemini Without TLS

        Occasionally there have been arguments along the lines that tranport layer security (TLS) is too complicated and should be removed from gemini (and other sites, too).

        I disagree.

        One can definitely build a gemini server, which does not deal with TLS, like vger for example. However, vger is a filter: it accepts input on stdin and produces a response on stdout. It has no notion of the network. In order to make a running vger instance accessible from the network, one must add inetd to it, and configure it to route network requests to vger and back. This works nicely as I have detailed elsewhere, thanks to Solene for this interesting approach. If you need just that, by all means, use it.

      • This and That

        There is chit chat on gemini on several topics, so I’ll try to comment on the ones I find interesting. While writing it so happened that these fragments grew enough to deserve their own post. So this post just turns into shameless self advertisement, it seems.

EPO Eating Its Own (and Robbing Its Own)

Posted in Europe, Finance, Patents at 6:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 1c69d41dffdcfaffdea986ed5a95a130
Lying to EPO Staff About Deficit
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: António Campinos is lying to his staff and losing his temper when challenged about it; Like Benoît Battistelli, who ‘fixed’ this job for his banker buddy (despite a clear lack of qualifications and relevant experience), he’s just robbing the EPO’s staff (even pensioners!) and scrubbing the EPC for ill-gotten money, which is in turn illegally funneled into financialization schemes

The Central Staff Committee of the EPO has circulated the document shown in the video above or as text below.

This is important!

“The EPO does not serve the public interest; heck, it does not even serve the interest of its own staff!”Writing to colleagues, their elected representatives wrote: “The Office systematically presents the operating results (i.e., the difference between the operating income or revenue and the operating expenditure) by referring to the standardised operating results, in accordance with the IFRS accounting method. By reading these figures, one would get the impression that the operating results of the Office are close to zero and may also move into negative territory. However, the actual or real achieved operating results have been strongly positive in the last years and are forecast to remain strongly positive in the upcoming years. The difference between standardised operating results and actual operating results and the influence of the IFRS accounting method is worsening the picture of the financial situation of the Office as explained in the full publication…”

Here’s the full publication as HTML:

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich, 12/05/2022

sc22056cp

Office’s operating results and IFRS accounting
Is the financial situation of the EPO as critical as the management presents it?

Dear Colleagues,

The Office systematically presents the operating results (i.e., the difference between the operating income or revenue and the operating expenditure) by referring to the standardised operating results. By reading these figures, one would get the impression that the operating results of the Office are close to zero and may also move into negative territory.

However, the actual or real achieved operating results have been strongly positive in the last years and are forecast to remain strongly positive in the upcoming years.

Standardised operating results and actual operating results

When one reads the monthly Financial Status Reports, the monthly MAC (Management Advisory Committee) reports or the presentation on the financial situation of the Office given this year, one would get the impression that the total income (or revenue) and the total operating costs are substantially equal, i.e., that the operating result of the Office is close to zero. The example with the most recent data is the Financial status report December 20211, which reads:

“The standardised operating result for 2021 was €47.0m, which is €4.2m (9.8%) better than 2020”.

In this formulation the key word is standardised, which implies that the given figure has been subjected to some modification in order to comply with some standard. Indeed, the used standard is the IFRS accounting method, which comprises a set of international accounting standards, which state how particular types of transactions and other events should be reported in financial statements.

On the other hand, the yearly actual operating results tell a totally different story; the following is the sequence of the actual operating results of the last years:

2019 | EUR 391m (actual)2
2020 | EUR 376m (actual)3
2021 | EUR 332m (forecast)3
2022 | EUR 304m (budget)3

In particular, for 2020, the last year for which the actual figures are available, the operating income has been of EUR 2189m and the operating expenditure of EUR 1813m: the income is about 20% higher than the expenditure!

______
1 Financial status report December 2021
2 2021 Budget – CA/D 1/20 (p. 18/167)
3 2022 Budget – CA/D 1/21 (p. 21/185)


It is also to be pointed out that the operating expenditure comprises the expenditure for the Pension and Social Security Schemes (PSSS), which amounted to EUR 309m in 2020, is forecast at EUR 325m in 2021 and is budgeted at EUR 361m in 2022.

A further indication that said actual operating results represent the real numbers is given by the significant yearly cash transfers from the Office’s Treasury to the Pension Reserve Fund of the RFPSS (Reserve Funds for Pension and Social Security) and to the EPOTIF (EPO Treasury Investment Fund). In 2021 the cash transfer to the RFPSS amounted to EUR 150m4 and the cash transfer to the EPOTIF to at least EUR 250m5.

Is the IFRS accounting method suitable for depicting the financial situation of the Office?

The management argues that the actual operating results are not suitable for depicting the actual financial situation of the Office and that the IFRS accounting method provides on the contrary the correct picture. Such statement has for example been made in said presentation on the financial situation of the Office given this year. However, no substantial arguments in support of this statement are provided, apart from generic arguments such as “Allows comparability and consistency over time” and “Recognises accrued pension rights of current active employees”.

On the other hand, a panel of financial experts has stated that the IFRS accounting method does not provide a good picture of the real financial situation of the Office. These experts are the actuaries of the Actuarial Advisory Group (AAG)6, which have given their opinion on the IFRS accounting method in the Joint report of the Actuarial Advisory Group to the President of the Office – Actuarial valuation as at 31.12.20207.

According to the actuaries, the advantage of having a prescribed basis for all employers is that it helps financial analysts compare results across a wide range of schemes and employers. It is therefore particularly appropriate for employers’ accounts.

However, IFRS has some major disadvantages:

The discount rate may be very volatile from one balance sheet date to the next, generating volatility in the liability and pension cost accordingly;

The choice of the discount rate does not take account of the scheme’s actual investment strategy; and

The determination of the liability of the pension cost does not take into account the existence of funding assets held in a reserve fund at all.

There is therefore often a mismatch between the prescribed accounting basis and what the scheme expects to happen in real life. The result can show considerable volatility in the level of coverage shown in the accounting valuation and thus on the employers’ balance sheet. This is particularly true where the scheme invests predominantly in equities in order to obtain higher returns in the long term, as is common practice for funded plans and as is applicable for the Reserve Funds for Pensions and Social Security (RFPSS).

What the actuaries have stated for the RFPSS also applies to the EPOTIF, which also invests a significant part of its assets in equities.

______
4Summary of Conclusions of the 127th BFC meeting – CA/67/21 (p. 5/6)
5 EPOTIF Performance and Risk Report Q3 2021 – CA/F 31/21 (p. 3/62)
6 The AAG consists of three independent actuaries and advises the Office on the conditions to be met in order to ensure the equilibrium of its pension scheme; was established by the President of the Office in 1992.
7 CA/41/21 (p. 10/44)


Conclusion

It is recommendable to be very critical when considering the picture of the financial situation of the Office provided by the management, who acts in the opposite way to the managers of private or public companies, who usually try to give a favourable picture. An overly negative picture of the financial situation of the Office is intended mainly to justify the massive cuts to the employment conditions that have already been made in the last years and further future potential cuts, which are absolutely ungrounded when considering the real situation.
The real numbers of the operating results show on the other hand yearly surpluses between about 15% and 20% of the operating expenditure. This is also true at least on the medium term, as shown by the estimates for the years 2025 and 20263. And again, the operating expenditure also comprises the expenditure for the Pension and Social Security Schemes.

These are quite healthy figures for a non-profit organisation8.

The Central Staff Committee

______
8 According to Article 42 EPC, the budget of the Organisation shall be balanced.

As noted repeatedly in the video, many of the financial gains of the EPO (surplus) are due to violations of the law, like granting tons of bogus patents — not limited to software patents — and then charging “renewal” fees (to maintain ill-gotten monopolies that harm European individuals and businesses). The EPO does not serve the public interest; heck, it does not even serve the interest of its own staff!

[Meme] EPO Budget Tanking?

Posted in Europe, Finance, Patents at 5:42 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Public budget:

What EPO Wants you to think of budget for employees; The F-ing president; meme

Private budget (EPOTIF):

EPO panzer

Summary: While the EPO‘s António Campinos incites people (and politicians) to break the law he’s also attacking, robbing, and lying to his own staff; thankfully, his staff isn’t gullible enough and some MEPs are sympathetic; soon to follow is a video and publication about the EPO’s systematic plunder (ETA midnight GMT)

EPO.org (Official EPO Site) Continues to Promote Illegal Agenda and Exploit Ukraine for PR Stunts That Help Unaccountable Crooks

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 5:34 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum da64158bd76837fcd4970b41dd17d3ae
EPO Attention-Shifting
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: epo.org has been turned into a non-stop propaganda machine of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos because the EPO routinely breaks the law; it’s rather tasteless that while Ukrainians are dying the EPO’s mob exploits Ukraine for PR purposes

THERE is a crisis in EPOnia, but insiders can see that a lot better than outsiders because there’s a PR onslaught — pardon the pun — trying to pretend all is normal. Those with deep pockets (money unlawfully earned) can expend some ‘resources’ on Public Relations (PR). EPOnia is run by mobsters and they pocket a lot of money at everyone else’s expense. More on that will follow in the next post and video.

We’ve only just published this article and cartoon about the EPO’s connections to Belarus. The above video concerns the EPO’s noise-centric response (warning: epo.org link) to scandals, as explained in the annotated screenshot below.

EPO noise section: UPC is illegal; Pretending to care for science; Greenwashing; Just for a photo op or political stunt
The EPO’s noise section with annotation (and four faces of liars and frauds added)

The video ends with discussion about the UPC illegalities (kangaroo court for European software patents and more; even former EPO executives state that it's illegal, this new comment is one of many!) and reactions to inappropriate behaviour by Campinos (some say he should resign or be fired).

[Meme] EPO Applicants Unwittingly Fund the War on Ukraine

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:48 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Thank you, EPO, for sending your budget to Minsk

Summary: As we’ve just shown, António Campinos is desperately trying to hide a massive EPO scandal

EPO Virtue-Signalling on the Ukrainian Front

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:35 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Campinos, Putin, and Lukashenko
A fellow-traveller of the autocratic despots Putin and Lukashenko? The EPO’s virtue-signalling on the Ukrainian front distracts from the ugly reality of its controversial connections to the Belarus IT sector.

Summary: António Campinos persists in attention-shifting dross and photo ops; none of that can change the verifiable facts about the EPO’s connections to Lukashenko’s 'science park' in Minsk

The EPO’s efforts to engage in public displays of “solidarity” with the Ukraine continue apace as evidenced by a recent announcement (warning: epo.org link) that António Campinos met with Andrew Kudin at the EPO premises in Munich on 13 May 2022.

“If – as suspected by EPO insiders – the Chairman of the Administrative Council is relying on the Office Administration for his information, then there’s a fair chance that he is being given the “mushroom treatment” by Campinos and his cronies.”Kudin is the Director-General of the Ukrainian State Intellectual Property Institute (“Ukrpatent”).

According to the official press release, the EPO “decided to propose an enhanced package of support measures and cooperation activities to its Ukrainian partner”. Campinos and Kudin used the opportunity to sign a “Declaration of Intent” laying down the basis for future co-operation.

Campinos and Kudin
Munich Agreement: Campinos and Kudin sign a “Declaration of Intent” on 13 May 2022.

The EPO’s frantic virtue-signalling on the Ukrainian front appear to be designed to distract public attention from the ugly reality of the organisation’s connections with the Belarusian IT sector which were explored in a recent Techrights series.

The latest in-person meeting between Campinos and Kudin in Munich was preceded by an earlier online “e-meeting” (warning: epo.org link) in April – which Campinos opened with a dramatic statement informing his interlocutor that “In these difficult times, every one of us in the office [i.e., the EPO] feels Ukrainian”.

EPO on 'feel Ukrainian'
António Campinos claims to “feel Ukrainian” but evidently prefers to outsource EPO software development to Belarus.

Campinos may “feel Ukranian” – at least when it’s time for virtue-signalling via PR photo-ops – but when it comes to outsourcing software development at the EPO his true loyalties seem to lie with the Belarusian IT sector which is firmly under the control of the local autocrat, Putin’s ally Lukashenko.

The EPO’s governing body – the Administrative Council – is another enthusiatic participant in the latest wave of hypocritical virtue-signalling.

Back in March of this year, the Council held a symbolic minute of silence “in solidarity with Ukraine and as a mark of respect for victims of the Russian military aggression”.

EPO minute of silence
At its March 2022 “e-meeting”, the Administrative Council held a symbolic minute of silence “in solidarity with Ukraine”. The photo shows members of the EPO’s senior management – including Campinos (centre) – who participated in the online meeting from EPO premises in Munich.

Gestures of this kind – however well-intentioned they may be – ultimately ring hollow when they are accompanied by a refusal to address related matters of urgency such as the EPO’s Belarusian outsourcing arrangment and the risks which this poses for the organisation’s IT security.

EPO observers are waiting to see whether the Council will see fit to break its silence concerning this highly contentious affair at its forthcoming quarterly meeting next month.

This meeting which is due to be held in Munich on 29 and 30 June 2022 will be the first “in person” meeting of the Council in Munich since the declaration of the Covid pandemic in March 2020.

In the meantime, the Council Chairman – Czech delegate Josef Kratochvíl – seems to be "asleep at the wheel" as usual.

Despite being asked for comment by the Kluwer Patent Blog, Kratochvíl has so far failed to take a position on Campinos’ most recent display of execrable and "potty-mouthed" behaviour towards EPO staff representatives.

Against this background, it is hardly surprising that there is no indication that Kratochvíl has any intention to look into the EPO’s controversial Belarusian outsourcing arrangement.

As a matter of fact, it’s not even clear whether he is properly briefed about this affair.

If – as suspected by EPO insiders – the Chairman of the Administrative Council is relying on the Office Administration for his information, then there’s a fair chance that he is being given the “mushroom treatment” by Campinos and his cronies.

Links 19/05/2022: PostgreSQL 15 Beta 1 and Plasma 5.25 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 12:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • CNX SoftwareDeskMini UM350 Manjaro Edition is a Linux mini PC powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 3550H SoC

        Most mini PCs are offered with Windows 10 or 11 operating systems, but MinisForum DeskMini UM350 Manjaro Edition mini PC ships with Manjaro Linux, making it one of the rare mini PCs pre-loaded with a Linux distribution.

        The mini PC hardware is pretty standard with a 35W AMD Ryzen 5 3550H quad-core processor, support for up 64GB RAM, 2.5-inch SATA and M.2 2280 SSD storage, and the only real highlights are Linux support, and relatively affordable pricing.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Graphics Stack

      • Make Use OfWhat NVIDIA’s Open-Source Driver Means for Linux

        NVIDIA has recently open-sourced a Linux GPU driver. Does that change things for the Linux gaming community? What’s the next step?

        NVIDIA graphics cards are well-known for their performance. In the Linux world, they’re known for something else too—frustration with drivers. So much frustration that you may have come across a video or GIF of Linux founder Linus Torvalds referring to NVIDIA with a middle finger. That’s why it’s big news that NVIDIA has finally released an open-source kernel driver for their GPUs.

      • PC World[Older] Nvidia releases its first open-source Linux drivers

        Linux users are a self-sufficient bunch, but when it comes to hardware, they’re often at the mercy of enormous manufacturers to get working drivers. While Nvidia has offered proprietary drivers similar to its Windows offerings for years, the company is changing tack and will now publish open-source GPU drivers. The initial offerings are now live on Github as well as Nvidia’s self-hosted download pages.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • GNU Linux (distro independent) – how to set fixed ip (brute force overwrite) – temporarily (also possible for DNS)

        this is a quick bash hack, to set an additional fixed ip to the user’s interface, this will (brute force) OVERWRITE all mess done by network managers of various origins:

        (there should be only one config file to config network settings and it is: /etc/network/interfaces, instead of 10x entities inventing it’s own standard, confusing the heck out of users, just keep the standard that is already there?)

      • Ubuntu HandbookHow to Enable More Multi-Touch Gestures in Ubuntu 22.04 GNOME 42 | UbuntuHandbook

        This simple tutorial shows how to enable 3-finger & 4-finger multi-touch gestures in Ubuntu 22.04, Fedora 36 and other Linux with GNOME 40+, while the desktop by default supports only few gestures.

      • How to Install Open Source osTicket on Ubuntu 20.04

        A server can contain many important business applications. These applications can help us to deploy even a support ticket system to better manage the technical service of a company. Today, you will learn how to install osTicket on Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Make Use OfHow to Install and Use Bitwarden on Linux

        A password manager is an application that lets you generate new passwords and store existing ones securely. It eliminates the need to create and remember strong and complex passwords yourself for all your accounts.

        Depending on the device and operating system you’re using, you can find all kinds of password managers. Bitwarden is a free-to-use password manager that comes with all the essential password management features.

        Follow along to learn how to install and set up Bitwarden on Linux.

      • TechRepublicHow to install Borgmatic for easy Linux server backups | TechRepublic

        Do you have a reliable backup solution running on your Linux servers? If not, what’s your plan for disaster recovery? The word “disaster” alone should be enough to help you realize backups are an absolutely crucial part of your organization.

        If you’re in the market for a new Linux backup solution, there’s a lesser-known solution that does an outstanding job, and it’s fairly easy to install and configure. That solution is Borgmatic. This simple, configuration-driven backup solution protects your files (and even databases) with client-side encryption and even offers third-party integration for things like monitoring.

        I want to walk you through the process of installing Borgmatic on Ubuntu Server 22.04. When complete, you should feel confident your important data is regularly being backed up.

      • TechRepublicHow to install the Caddy web server on Ubuntu Server 22.04 | TechRepublic

        Caddy is a powerful open-source web server, written in Go, that can be used to host web applications in a production environment. Caddy features built-in automated TLS certificate renewals, OSCP stapling, static file serving, reverse proxy, Kubernetes ingress and much more. Caddy can be run as a stand-alone web server, an app server or even within containers.

        In this tutorial, I’m going to walk you through the steps of installing Caddy on Ubuntu Server 22.04 and then how to create a simple, static site.

      • Start XFCE Terminal with a Different Shell

        I have PowerShell set as the default shell when XFCE Terminal launches. I was not able to update the PowerShell snap package while PowerShell was running. And restarting my Terminal did not cause PowerShell to update. I needed to launch a different shell and trigger an update there.

        It is possible to launch an application with command-line options directly from XFCE’s Whisker Menu (Start Menu).

        I needed the command-line name for Terminal. And I needed the command-line option to launch an alternative shell. In my case, I can just use Bash as the alternative shell.

      • ID RootHow To Install Apache with Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Apache with Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, as well as some extra requirements by Apache

      • How To Install Wireshark 3.6.5 On Ubuntu / LinuxMint | Tips On UNIX

        Wireshark is an open-source Network Protocol analyzer application and the most widely used application across the world.

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install Wireshark 3.6.5 on Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 20.04, and LinuxMint 20.3.

      • ByteXDHow to Install Discord on Fedora – ByteXD

        Discord is a social-media platform whose users communicate with voice calls, video calls and text messages. Also, they can share media and files on both private chats and servers (Discord’s way of referring to communities), besides screen sharing, which is a good thing to be included in such a platform.

        Another useful feature of Discord is that you can organize your server with categories and channels, which makes the server very tidy and makes information within it very accessible.

        In this tutorial we’ll install Discord through a few methods on Fedora. This should work for any other RHEL based Linux distro, such as CentOS, Rocky Linux, AlmaLinux, and others.

      • Red Hat OfficialHow to install RHEL 9 | Enable Sysadmin

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 offers significant new features for hybrid cloud organizations. Here’s how to install it so you can start testing.

      • ByteXDHow to Install VLC Media Player on Ubuntu 22.04 / 20.04 – ByteXD

        VLC media player is an open-source, cross-platform media player and streaming server developed and maintained by the VideoLan project. VLC can play most media formats, as well as media CDs.

        It is available for most operating systems, both desktop and mobile phones.

        In this article we’re installing it on Ubuntu 20.04, but the mentioned methods work in many versions of Ubuntu, and should work on your Ubuntu 22.04 as well.

      • Enable Activate Linux Watermark Notification In Linux – OSTechNix

        In an attempt to stop piracy of Windows OS, the Microsoft developer team has come up with an idea to place a watermark in the corner until the users legally purchase a license and activate the Windows OS.

        If you’re running a pirated Windows copy in your system, you should have noticed the “Activate Windows” watermark notification in the lower bottom corner as shown in the below screenshot.

      • Ubuntu PitHow To Change Root Password in Kali Linux

        The Kali Linux is based on the Debian distribution. This operating system is famous mainly among young users, developers, and hackers. Many ethical hackers use the Kali Linux system for security and stability. The root password is the primary password that you use to install software, do repository updates, and perform other administrative tasks on the system. Usually, if you are the root user, it’s conventional that you will have access to change the root password, but most users, if they are new to Kali, face issues changing the password. There are very simple tips and tricks and methods that you can follow to change the root password in Kali Linux.

      • Install Inkscape 1.2 On Ubuntu / LinuxMint / Debian

        Inkscape is a free and Open Source professional vector graphics editor software that runs on Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows desktop computers.

        This tutorial will be helpful for beginners to install Inkscape 1.2 on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, Ubuntu 18.04, Debian, and LinuxMint 20.3

        It is suitable for web designers and it is an alternative to Adobe Illustrator. It supports many SVG features (markers, alpha blending, clones, etc..) and is easy to use.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • 9to5LinuxKDE Plasma 5.25 Beta Is Here with Floating Panels, New Customization Options, and More


          KDE Plasma 5.25 is packed with lots of new features, including full control of the Tablet Mode from both Wayland and X11 sessions, a smooth cross-fade effect when changing between old and new color schemes, a new “Crashed Processes Viewer” app, and new finger-following touchpad gestures for touch-friendly devices.

          Also new is a configuration window for KRunner, support for configuring all the buttons of Wacom ExpressKey Remote devices, as well as a new floating mode for the panel that detaches it from the bottom of the screen to look more like a dock.

        • Plasma 5.25 Beta

          Today we are bringing you the preview version of KDE’s Plasma 5.25 desktop release. Plasma 5.25 Beta is aimed at testers, developers, and bug-hunters.

          To help KDE developers iron out bugs and solve issues, install Plasma 5.25 Beta and test run the features listed below. Please report bugs to our bug tracker.

          We will be holding a Plasma 5.25 beta review day on May 26 (details will be published on our social media) and you can join us for a day of bug-hunting, triaging and solving alongside the Plasma devs!

        • GamingOnLinuxKDE Plasma 5.25 Beta is out now for testing

          Ready for even more improvements to come to the KDE Plasma desktop? I know I am and Plasma 5.25 Beta is now available.

          This is readying up for a full release for everyone on June 14th, and they will also be holding a special “beta review day” of May 26th where anyone can join in for a day of “bug-hunting, triaging and solving alongside the Plasma devs”.

        • KDE Plasma 5.25 Beta Arrives with Dynamic Accent Colour, Improved Discover

          Details about the KDE Plasma 5.25 beta release with feature highlights, download instructions and bug reporting.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Caolán McNamara: Dark Style Preference with GTK

          Added something to track the org.freedesktop.appearance.color-scheme property as used by the GNOME 42 Dark Style Preference setting. Screencast recorded with the new iteration of GNOME’s screen built-in recorder which is quite snazzy.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • LinuxInsiderDistro Delights, New Release Mania, Forking KDE, Windows in a Bottle

      If you are looking for a really cool Linux computing platform with lots of extras and a twist on traditional desktop design, check out Modicia OS Ultimate.

      Italy-based Modicia Web Design and Development Company recently released its latest upgrade — Modicia O.S. 22.

      You probably won’t stumble on this gem in hiding if you distro hop or browse through traditional outlets for Linux operating systems; but it is definitely a discovery worth finding. It is one of the easiest Linux offerings I have used.

      Modicia Ultimate installs without hassles and has no learning curve to get started. It is a great platform for personal and small business use as well. Get it here.

      The popular CentOS alternative, AlmaLinux, is now available on Oracle Cloud. AlmaLinux OS Foundation on May 5 announced its availability on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure marketplace, continuing AlmaLinux’s penetration into the cloud.

    • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • seidl – display current SUSE publiccloud images in your terminal – openQA bites

        seidl is a small pint query utility designed to easily list the current publiccloud images in the terminal. Pint (Public Cloud Information Tracker) is the SUSE service to provide data about the current state of publiccloud images across all supported public cloud service providers. The public-cloud-info-client is an already existing versitale client, however I find its usage a bit bulky if it comes to the task of displaying the current images. This is where seidl complements the existing client. See for yourself:

      • SUSE’s Corporate BlogSUSE Manager 4.3 Public RC is out!

        We are happy to announce our Public Release Candidate for SUSE Manager 4.3!

      • SUSE’s Corporate BlogJourney to the Edge at SUSECON Digital 22

        It is just a few short weeks until SUSECON Digital 2022, which goes live June 7-9, and I am thrilled to be delivering the Edge keynote at the show.
        In support of SUSE’s mission to become the most trusted and secure infrastructure stack in the market I’m going to be discussing why our Edge computing offering stands out in enabling business applications to run where they are best suited.

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • The Register UKRHEL 8.6 and cousins Rocky and Alma arrive • The Register

        Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.6, Alma Linux 8.6 and Rocky Linux 8.6 are all out now, for various platforms.

        RHEL version 8.6 – codenamed “Ootpa” – arrived on May 11, and is the latest update to 2019′s RHEL 8. RHEL point releases are relatively neat affairs compared to, say, Ubuntu’s short-term support releases.

        8.6 is a step up from last November’s RHEL 8.5. It’s still based on Fedora 28 and still uses the same kernel version. In this version, you get kernel 4.18-372, which has another six months’ worth of bugfixes, security updates and so on.

      • Downstream automation is here | Packit

        As the first step on our way to Fedora users, we need to get the new upstream release to the Fedora dist-git.

      • Enterprisers Project5 tips to prevent IT team burnout

        During the pandemic shutdown, the concept of 24/7 employee availability became normalized – especially for IT professionals, many of whom who found themselves within reach of their laptops at all times. This new normal led many IT folks to experience burnout, with stress and frustration negatively impacting the quality of their work, their personal relationships, and even their mental health.

        As a leader, you can help prevent your IT team from succumbing to burnout. Here are five tips to help ensure that your team stays happy, healthy, and productive.

      • Enterprisers ProjectHybrid work: 3 technology questions CIOs should be asking [Ed: More buzzwords (about working from home and centrralised office space)]

        Hybrid work is here to stay, as workers around the globe are now insisting on that flexibility. According to a Frost & Sullivan survey of global IT decision-makers, 93 percent of business leaders expect one-quarter or more of their employees to work from home moving forward, with most likely moving between home and the office.

        As we look to assess the impact of this new way of working, CIOs need to set guidelines for what their hybrid workplace will look like and determine how they can help employees and employers navigate new workflows effectively and productively. Here are some questions to help start that process.

      • OpenSource.comUse this open source screen reader on Windows [Ed: Red Hat promoting Microsoft Windows stuff]
      • OpenSource.comNear zero marginal cost societies and the impact on why we work

        I have read Jeremy Rifkin’s book The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, the Collaborative Commons, and the Eclipse of Capitalism, which has a strong connection to open organization principles, particularly community building. Rifkin also writes about the future of green energy generation and energy use in logistics. This is the second of three articles in this series. In my previous article, I examined the Collaborative Commons. In this article, I look at its impact on energy production and supply.

        Within the next 25 years, Rifkin believes most of our energy for home heating, running appliances, powering businesses, driving vehicles, and operating the whole economy will be nearly free with on-site power solar, wind and geothermal energy generation. This is starting already, through both individual and micropower plants. The payback is around two to eight years.

      • Red HatManage JMX credentials on Kubernetes with Cryostat 2.1

        Cryostat is a tool for managing JDK Flight Recorder data on Kubernetes. If you have Java Management Extensions (JMX) authentication enabled on your containerized Java Virtual Machines (JVMs), Cryostat will prompt you to enter your JMX credentials before it can access the JDK flight recordings on your target JVMs. On the Cryostat console, the Automated Rules, Recordings, and Events tabs will require you to enter your JMX credentials if you want to view existing flight recordings or perform a recording operation on a target with JMX authentication enabled. When monitoring multiple target JVMs with Cryostat features such as automatic rules, you may want Cryostat to remember and reuse your JMX credentials for each target connection.

      • Red HatApproaches to implementing multi-tenancy in SaaS applications

        The SaaS architecture checklist is a series of articles that cover the software and deployment considerations for Software as a Service (SaaS) applications. This article discusses architectural approaches for separating and isolating SaaS tenants to provide multi-tenancy, the provisioning of services to multiple clients in different organizations. For the approaches, the type and level of isolation provided are compared, along with their tradeoffs.

        The approaches laid out in different sections of the article are not mutually exclusive and can be combined to provide the levels of separation and isolation necessary to satisfy the requirements of your SaaS customers and markets. We’ll also discuss how to incorporate existing single-tenant applications into a SaaS environment.

    • EasyOS

      • Barry Kauleriotop partly broken in Easy Dunfell and Bookworm

        Running iotop (from “System” menu), there is a message:

        CONFIG_TASK_DELAY_ACCT not enabled in kernel, cannot determine SWAPIN and IO

        This problem arrived with the 5.15 kernel. It is configured with CONFIG_TASK_DELAY_ACCT, but is not activated. It has to be activated with a kernel commandline parameter. Apparently, this change was made because this feature imposes a very slight performance overhead on I/O.

      • Barry KaulerZram with lz4 compression in kernel

        Oh man, I recompiled the kernel yet again!
        Having very recently become enamoured of lz4, I saw that zram only has lzo and lzo-rle compression enabled. So, have also enabled lz4.

      • Barry KaulerSimpler labels for desktop icons
      • Barry KaulerUsing EasyOS with Ventoy

        If you want to put EasyOS into Ventoy, it used to work — only just — now doesn’t.

        The Ventoy website has a tick alongside EasyOS, meaning it works. However, there is this problem…

        When Easy is on its own on a USB-stick, at first bootup, the ext4 working-partition is expanded to fill the drive, then it is populated. That population includes ‘vmlinuz’, ‘initrd’ and ‘easy.sfs’ copied from the boot-partition to the working-partition.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • I ditched Ubuntu for Pop_OS! and I haven’t looked back since


        After getting comfortable with Ubuntu and getting to a point where I could find my way around and install tools that I used, I felt like I was outgrowing the simplicity. I needed something a little more robust, something more feature-packed. And that led me down the rabbit hole many Linuxers know all too well.

        There are tons of distros and over the next few years, I hopped from one to another, just trying to have a feel of the developers’ mindset and goals when designing the operating systems. I dailied many of the popular ones from Manjaro, Fedora, PearOS, CutefishOS, Linux Mint, and many more.

        Linux can be exciting once you nail the basics and know a few tools that cut across these distros. This, aided by the robust community forums out here means that whatever issue you run into, you’re often times mere clicks away from a solution. Also, should you not tinker with the system too much, you might never break it at all. That’s just how stable some of these distros are.

      • Its FOSSFor the Love of Ubuntu: Here are the Mascots of All Ubuntu Releases

        This is a collection of the mascots of all the Ubuntu releases so far.

        You may have noticed that every Ubuntu release has a version name and codename. The codename is composed of two words that start with the same letter. The first word is an adjective, and the other one is (usually) an (endangered) species.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Linux Links10 Fun Free and Open Source Platform Games


      A platform game (sometimes known as platformer or jump ‘n’ run games) is a video game genre and subgenre of action games in which the core objective is to move the player character between points in a rendered environment.

      Platform games are characterized by their level design featuring uneven terrain and suspended platforms of varying height that requires use of the player character’s abilities, such as jumping and climbing, to navigate the player’s environment and reach their goal.

      Let’s explore the 10 games. For each game we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screen shot of the game in action together with links to relevant resources.

    • SaaS/Back End/Databases

      • PostgreSQLPostgreSQL: PostgreSQL 15 Beta 1 Released!

        The PostgreSQL Global Development Group announces that the first beta release of PostgreSQL 15 is now available for download. This release contains previews of all features that will be available when PostgreSQL 15 is made generally available, though some details of the release can change during the beta period.

    • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Interacting with the Pootle Bot on Gerrit

        Have you received “A polite ping, still working on this bug?” message on one of your Gerrit submissions? You can simply send an arbitrary reply to avoid the patch being abandoned within a month. Here we discuss more about Pootle bot, which is one of the QA (Quality Assurance) tools for the LibreOffice QA team to manage old submissions.

    • Content Management Systems (CMS)

      • Testing Webmentions on WordPress

        I decided to try installing Webmentions on my WordPress site. Ran into an issue that I set it up while my cache plugin was caching every page on site. Since I am not in a rush, I ran my tests with the pages that had not yet been cached when I was installing everything.

    • Programming/Development

      • QtOptimizing your QML application for compilation to C++

        This is the start of a series of posts where I’m going to share some insights on how to adjust a QML application to get the most out of qmlsc, the QML Script Compiler. In contrast to previous posts, I won’t talk about the abstract architecture or the high level picture.

      • QtCompiling QML to C++: Annotating JavaScript functions

        This is the second installment in the series on how to adjust your QML application to take the maximum advantage of qmlsc. In the first post we’ve set up the environment and taken an initial measurement. I highly recommend reading that one first.

      • PaloAlto init-cfg.txt Bootstrap Config file Layout with Examples

        When you install and configure the PaloAlto firewall, when the firewall boots up for the first time, it does the bootstrapping process. PaloAlto uses the settings defined in the bootstrap files, including the init-cfg.txt and bootstrap.xml under the config folder to configure the initial state of the firewall.

      • CNX Software$30 compact multi-sensor board works with any microcontroller with I2C (Crowdfunding) – CNX Software

        SENSE is a compact multi-sensor board supporting measurement of air quality, sound, light intensity, temperature, proximity, etc… and designed by Zack Seifert, a seventeen-year-old electronics enthusiast and president of his school’s robotics team.

      • I will just quickly do a blog post…

        I got ”inspired” by my writing of the previous blog post, and wrote in a channel about my experience some time ago. So why not also do a blog post about doing a blog post :)

        So… I was planning to use GitLab’s Pages feature via my Hugo fork as usual to push it through. So like, concentrate on writing and do a publish, right, like in good old times? I did so, but all I got both locally and in remote pipeline was stuff like…

      • Rust

        • Bunnie HuangRust: A Critical Retrospective

          Since I was unable to travel for a couple of years during the pandemic, I decided to take my new-found time and really lean into Rust. After writing over 100k lines of Rust code, I think I am starting to get a feel for the language and like every cranky engineer I have developed opinions and because this is the Internet I’m going to share them.

          The reason I learned Rust was to flesh out parts of the Xous OS written by Xobs. Xous is a microkernel message-passing OS written in pure Rust. Its closest relative is probably QNX. Xous is written for lightweight (IoT/embedded scale) security-first platforms like Precursor that support an MMU for hardware-enforced, page-level memory protection.

          In the past year, we’ve managed to add a lot of features to the OS: networking (TCP/UDP/DNS), middleware graphics abstractions for modals and multi-lingual text, storage (in the form of an encrypted, plausibly deniable database called the PDDB), trusted boot, and a key management library with self-provisioning and sealing properties.

          One of the reasons why we decided to write our own OS instead of using an existing implementation such as SeL4, Tock, QNX, or Linux, was we wanted to really understand what every line of code was doing in our device. For Linux in particular, its source code base is so huge and so dynamic that even though it is open source, you can’t possibly audit every line in the kernel. Code changes are happening at a pace faster than any individual can audit. Thus, in addition to being home-grown, Xous is also very narrowly scoped to support just our platform, to keep as much unnecessary complexity out of the kernel as possible.

        • LWNHuang: Rust: A Critical Retrospective

          Andrew ‘bunnie’ Huang has posted an extensive review of the Rust language derived from the experience of writing “over 100k lines” of code.

        • This Week In Rust: This Week in Rust 443
  • Leftovers

    • Anime Series In Need of Sequels

      I came across an article on SoraNews24 titled “Japanese netizens vote for the top 20 anime they want an on-air sequel to.”

    • W-Series is fun

      The cars are identical, so it’s mostly a test of ability. They nominally have teams, but no one takes any notice of that, so again it’s focussed on drivers and what they can do.

    • Hardware

    • Linux Foundation

    • Entrapment

      • Barbara Marx Hubbard: Godmother of Transhumanism and Synthetic Spirituality

        In 2016, the Global Future Councils of the World Economic Forum (WEF) posted a video entitled “8 Predictions for the World in 2030,” which infamously forecasted a technocratic New World Order in which “[y]ou’ll own nothing. And you’ll be happy.” It doesn’t take a stretch of the imagination to ponder how WEF oligarchs plan to roll out “sustainable development” policies which will ration consumer goods in a global “sharing economy” that employs transient “gig” workers who will be rendered into propertyless serfs under a techno-communitarian rendition of neo-feudalism. But how will the globalist technocrats of the WEF sway the virtual peasant class to be happy with their permanent state of digitally indentured servitude?

    • Security

      • LWNSecurity updates for Thursday [LWN.net]

        Security updates have been issued by Fedora (microcode_ctl, rubygem-nokogiri, and vim), Mageia (htmldoc, python-django, and python-oslo-utils), Red Hat (container-tools:2.0, kernel, kernel-rt, kpatch-patch, and pcs), SUSE (ardana-barbican, grafana, openstack-barbican, openstack-cinder, openstack-heat-gbp, openstack-horizon-plugin-gbp-ui, openstack-ironic, openstack-keystone, openstack-neutron-gbp, python-lxml, release-notes-suse-openstack-cloud, autotrace, curl, firefox, libslirp, php7, poppler, slurm_20_11, and ucode-intel), and Ubuntu (bind9, gnome-control-center, and libxrandr).

      • ForbesApple Safari, Microsoft Windows 11 & Teams, Hacked During $800,000 0-Day Fest [Ed: Microsoft puts back doors in its things, so security is never the goal, nor is it accomplished]
      • The Register UKRed Hat Kubernetes security report finds people are the problem

        Kubernetes, despite being widely regarded as an important technology by IT leaders, continues to pose problems for those deploying it. And the problem, apparently, is us.

        The open source container orchestration software, being used or evaluated by 96 per cent of organizations surveyed [PDF] last year by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, has a reputation for complexity.

        Witness the sarcasm: “Kubernetes is so easy to use that a company devoted solely to troubleshooting issues with it has raised $67 million,” quipped Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at IT consultancy The Duckbill Group, in a Twitter post on Monday referencing investment in a startup called Komodor. And the consequences of the software’s complication can be seen in the difficulties reported by those using it.

      • CISACISA Releases Analysis of FY21 Risk and Vulnerability Assessments | CISA

        CISA has released an analysis and infographic detailing the findings from the 112 Risk and Vulnerability Assessments (RVAs) conducted across multiple sectors in Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21).

      • USCERTISC Releases Security Advisory for BIND

        The Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) has released a security advisory that addresses a vulnerability affecting version 9.18.0 of ISC Berkeley Internet Name Domain (BIND). A remote attacker could exploit this vulnerability to cause a denial-of-service condition.

      • CVE-2022-1183: Destroying a TLS session early causes assertion failure

        An assertion failure can be triggered if a TLS connection to a configured http TLS listener with a defined endpoint is destroyed too early.

    • Finance

      • New Job! How Was Unemployment?

        I’m starting a new job on June 1st! By that time I’ll have been unemployed for a little less than two months. It’s the longest period I have ever involuntarily gone without a job, but also the first time I’ve been unemployed and only looking for high skill jobs.

        Aside from the slight hassle with the unemployment agency described earlier it’s been a generally rewarding experience. I’ve had the opportunity to rest, for one. I’ve done a lot of programming, especially in the first couple of weeks. The kind of projects that had been bottled up and waiting for some free time to be realised.

      • Capital One decides in favor of Batteries Plus Bulbs in my credit card dispute. It isn’t safe to depend on the bank to rule correctly. – BaronHK’s Rants

        Capital One decided in favor of Batteries Plus Bulbs in my credit card dispute. It isn’t safe to depend on the bank to rule correctly.

        I supplied a mountain of evidence to prove that I was cheated by the owner of the Batteries Plus Bulbs location in Gurnee, Illinois when he sold me a defective car key and deprogrammed my car’s remote control when he failed to fix it, and that he then proceeded to threaten to call the police on me when I asked for my money back, forcing me to spend even more of my money taking my car to a Buick dealer to get the job right.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Toxic partisanship and failure of democracy: How political parties became threats to the United States, and why democracy’s days are counted

        As I observe the results of the 2022 primary elections in several U.S. states, it seems that the Overton Windows continue to move to both extremes. Not long ago, the Overton Window of the Democrats and that of the Republicans largely overlapped. Now it seems that these windows have moved farther apart, with no overlap in the middle. This trend began during the Obama era, with the beginning of the Tea Party movement on one side, and the Occupy Wall Street movement on the other, as they both increasingly demanded more radical solutions. At first, they were laughed off by the establishment politicians as fringe elements. Soon, many of their ideas have become mainstream. Now both sides of the aisle are digging in their heels and refusing to compromise. Those who do, such as Liz Cheney and Joe Manchin, are swiftly condemned as “traitors” — not to their country but to their party.

        For most of the U.S. history, the politics have been dominated by a bipartisan paradigm. Federalists and Anti-Federalists. Whigs and Democrats. Republicans and Democrats. The modern concept of political parties, however, is thought to have originated in Great Britain. In the Westminster parliamentary systems, the executive branch is chosen from among the majority and the minority party is called the “Queen’s loyal opposition.” In the U.S., the presidency is semi-directly elected by the voters (technically, elected by the electors of state electoral colleges) regardless of the Congressional majority. This sets the government up for confrontational and adversarial relationship with Congress, if the party of the president is not in majority in either chamber of Congress (most of the Obama presidency was marked by the Tea Party Republican obstructionism).

      • older blog posts

        I might revise and republish some or all of these here, but the problem is that my thoughts and opinions often tend to evolve or shift over time. So for now I am preserving these Tumblr sites for the sake of historicity.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Citizen LabBada Bing, Bada Boom

        Some companies such as Facebook and Twitter do not presently comply with Chinese regulations, and their platforms are blocked by China’s national firewall. Other companies operate their platforms in China but fragment their user bases. For instance, Chinese tech giant ByteDance operates Douyin inside of China and TikTok outside of China, subjecting Douyin users to Chinese laws and regulations, while TikTok is blocked by the national firewall. Users of one fragment of the platform are not able to interact with users in the other. Finally, companies can combine user bases but only subject some communications to censorship and surveillance. Tencent’s WeChat implements censorship policies only on accounts registered to mainland Chinese phone numbers, and, until 2013, Microsoft’s Skype partnered with Hong Kong-based TOM Group to provide a version of Skype for the Chinese market that included censorship and surveillance of text messages. Platforms with combined user bases often provide users with limited transparency over whether their communications have been subjected to censorship and surveillance due to Chinese regulations.

        Previous research has demonstrated a growing number of companies that have either accidentally or intentionally enabled censorship and surveillance capacities designed for China-based services on users outside of China. Our analysis of Apple’s filtering of product engravings, for instance, shows that Apple censors political content in mainland China and that this censorship is also present for users in Hong Kong and Taiwan despite there existing no written legal requirement for Apple to do so. While WeChat only implements censorship on mainland Chinese users, we found that communications made on the platform entirely among non-Chinese accounts were subject to content surveillance which was used to train and build up WeChat’s political censorship system in China. TikTok has reportedly censored content posted by American users which was critical of the Chinese government. Zoom (an American-owned company based in California) worked with the Chinese government to terminate the accounts of US-based users and disrupt video calls about the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre.

      • Praxics were a mistake

        Recently, there has been some discussion among the geminauts about meaningful conversation and technology. I think nomadpenguin (see references) has excellent points in that 1. ‘vapid conversation’ has always been a thing, 2. ‘vapid conversation’ is useful…

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • ATTENTION: Planned Antenna Downtime Tonight

        I’m going to change some router settings tonight at 18:00-18:30 UTC. It will hopefully take less than that. My domain warmedal.se will be unreachable for a little time. Please bear with me.

    • Monopolies

      • ReutersMicrosoft seeks to dodge EU cloud computing probe with changes

        Microsoft will revise its licensing deals and make it easier for cloud service providers to compete, its president Brad Smith said on Wednesday, as the U.S. software giant sought to dodge a lengthy EU antitrust probe into its cloud computing business.

      • Public KnowledgeIndependent, But Together: How Antitrust and Regulation Can Work Synergistically To Benefit Consumers [Ed: This leaves out Microsoft, but then against Public Knowledge's Board was infiltrated by a Microsoft employee]

        Today, Public Knowledge released my new paper, “A Lesson From the Landmark AT&T Breakup: Both a Sector-specific Regulator and Antitrust Enforcers Were Needed.” The paper traces how antitrust enforcers and a regulatory agency with jurisdiction over telecommunications, each working independently in pursuit of its own defined mission, produced a competitive telecommunications industry with the attendant benefits for competitors and consumers and society – lower priced and higher quality goods and services. A similar dual approach of a regulatory agency with jurisdiction over Big Tech and the vigorous application of existing and enhanced antitrust laws aimed at the industry can do the same for Big Tech.

        For the past several years, a number of macro-level public policy debates have been swirling around Big Tech. One debate has been about whether the antitrust laws, perhaps with some strengthening or new provisions specifically designed to reach Big Tech, are sufficient to address the dominance of companies such as Facebook (Meta), Google, Amazon, Apple, and some others. Indeed, whether Section 2 of the Sherman Act, antitrust’s main anti-monopolization law, can be effective for at least part of meeting this challenge is currently being tested in antitrust cases against Facebook (Meta) and Google.

      • Public KnowledgeNew Public Knowledge Paper Outlines How Regulation and Antitrust Law Can Work Synergistically To Rein In Big Tech [Ed: With Microsoft employee inside Public Knowledge's Board it is now using Microsoft lobbyist talking points like "Big Tech"]

        Today, we’re happy to announce our newest white paper, “A Lesson From the Landmark AT&T Breakup: Both a Sector-specific Regulator and Antitrust Enforcers Were Needed,” by Public Knowledge Senior Fellow Al Kramer.

        The paper discusses how the work of regulators and antitrust enforcers, working independently and with separate mandates, nevertheless complemented each other, to lead to the breakup of the AT&T Bell phone monopoly in 1984—marking a win for consumers and telephone competitors alike. The paper offers a deeper understanding of the history of the breakup, providing a blueprint for how both regulation and antitrust enforcement will be necessary to develop key remedies for curbing the problems Big Tech creates for consumers and innovation today. The paper also demonstrates how antitrust and regulation in the technology sector complement each other and proposes that regulation can lay the groundwork for both more effective antitrust enforcement and the advancement of other public interest benefits.

      • Public KnowledgePublic Knowledge Applauds Welch Digital Regulator Bill, Urges Commerce Committee Hearings

        Today, Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) introduced the “Digital Platform Commission Act.” The bill would create an independent agency to serve as a digital regulator for the technology sector in order to enhance competition, protect consumers, and promote civic discourse and democracy. The bill follows Sen. Michael Bennet’s (D-CO) nearly identical bill of the same name.

        The bill draws on regulatory concepts first articulated by Public Knowledge Senior Vice President Harold Feld in his 2019 book, “The Case for the Digital Platform Act,” as well as advocacy by Public Knowledge President and CEO Chris Lewis, Public Knowledge Policy Counsel Alex Petros, Competition Policy Director Charlotte Slaiman, and former Public Knowledge President Gene Kimmelman. Public Knowledge commends Rep. Welch for creating a digital regulator to be the “cop on the beat” to serve the public interest and foster a healthier, more competitive digital marketplace.

      • Software Patents

        • OSI to the European Commission: make space for patent-free standards too

          One of the biggest hidden challenges facing the software and technology world is the evolving conflict between old electronics vendors and the new software-defined universe. It’s arising because of patents embedded within international standards. We think it needs fixing because it especially affects Open Source.

          It may come as a surprise to find that some supposedly “open“ standards – including those ratified by standards development organizations (SDOs) like ISO, CEN and ETSI – can’t be implemented without going cap-in-hand to the world’s largest companies to buy a license. This is because both the SDOs and regulators allow so-called SEPs – “standard-essential patents” – to be tolerated due to the legacy approach of standards in hardware contexts.

      • Copyrights

        • Public Domain ReviewOf Angel and Puppet: Klee, Rilke, and the Test of Innocence – The Public Domain Review

          Built for his son from the scraps of daily life — matchboxes, beef bones, nutshells, and plaster — Paul Klee’s hand puppets harbour ghosts of human feelings, fragile communications from a world most adults have left behind. Kenneth Gross compares these enchanted objects to angelic figures, in Klee’s artworks and the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke, helping us dance as well as wrestle with their visions of innocence.

A Libera.Chat Anniversary and Happy Birthday (Maybe the Last) to ‘Leenode’

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 8:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 4361ab9745e44a014f5da4db97a203f3
One Year of Leenode
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: What became known as the so-called ‘Leenode’ is a cautionary tale, but maybe it is also a blessing in disguise because IRC as a whole seem to have become a lot more decentralised (as everything should be)

Joseon/Chosŏn/Freenode (or “Leenode” as some people jokingly call it because of Andrew Lee [1, 2, 3]) was little more than a relic by the end of last summer with few active channels left because of Libera.Chat and the exodus of long-serving Freenode staff. In the latest twist (there have been several, including the network reopening to unregistered users several months ago) Gustaf Erikson’s blog explains that “unmaintained project channels on Freenode automatically redirect to #freenode [as I noticed the same day]” and the night beforehand I saw that Freenode is down to 9 servers (ours is 1, but we’re not an IRC giant). It was almost 50 servers the same month but one year before. From up to 100,000 simultaneous (online) users it’s down to 10,000 and the vast majority are inactive/idle/bots.

“…IRC as a protocol is alive and well. Last year we demonstrated that the number of networks had grown.”So what’s the impact on the channel #freenode? With people being ‘funneled’ into it there seems to be only more confusion. Just over 24 hours’ logs (the past day) are quite telling. There are some mentions of Libera.Chat, the so-called ‘anniversaries’, many confused people, and lots of ins and outs (JOIN/QUIT). This was and probably still is the most active channel there and it’s in a state of disarray, just like the Freenode Web site, having attempted to reinvent itself (and recycle the brand) as a Reddit clone.

Freenode did not really survive the past year, except in purely technical terms. There are still servers there, the network is still accessible, but not much happens there. On the other hand, IRC as a protocol is alive and well. Last year we demonstrated that the number of networks had grown. Here are 500 active IRC network of significant size. We need to further decentralise IRC; throwing everything under Libera.Chat would lead to the same sort of disaster (or tragedy) Freenode became. With censorship being dictated centrally, the same fangers inherent in social control media get inherited.

Here are five articles published here last year about the importance of decentralising things (the last one is from late 2020):

  1. Self-Hosting Where Feasible, Decentralised (P2P) Where Practical, World Wide Web for the Rest
  2. The Decentralised Web/Internet is Constantly Under Attack and We Must Talk About That
  3. Gemini Over IPFS (Decentralised Web, Accessed Over Gemini Protocol)
  4. The Internet Was Made to be Decentralised and We Need to Re-decentralise It
  5. Regaining Control Over Infrastructure With Decentralisation and Trusted Encryption

We also published a number of articles specific to our efforts/attempts at decentralising IRC.

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