05.21.22

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Links 21/05/2022: Security Blunders and Microsoft Posturing

Posted in News Roundup at 1:17 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Laptop MagazineSwitching to Linux OS isn’t as scary as you think — here’s why | Laptop Mag

      For long-time Windows and macOS users, the thought of switching to Linux instills fear. But when Linux is just as good (and honestly, a lot safer), why not make the switch?

      Linux operating systems are often the go-to option for the tech savvy or computer enthusiasts, consequently, it’s almost seen as exclusive to that niche. People might think, “If tech-savvy nerds gravitate toward Linux, it’s probably not for me.” However, that’s just not true.

      If you switch smartphone brands, there’s always a learning curve, but ultimately, you end up knowing that new phone like the back of your hand. It’s the same concept with an operating system on a laptop. There’s an adjustment period, but Linux operating systems are actually pretty intuitive.

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • The Register UKRepairability champ Framework’s modular laptop gets a speed boost

        Laptop vendor Framework Computer has launched new faster models. Unlike in the case of any other laptop maker, if you already have one, this is good news.

        Modern laptops tend to be promoted on the basis of thinness and lightness, and the Framework range is no different. The machines have 13.5-inch (8.89cm) screens, are just under 16mm thick (0.6 inch), and weigh 1.3kg (2lb 14oz).

        The new models have faster 12th-generation Intel Core CPUs.

        These aren’t gaming machines, and the company doesn’t yet offer any models with discrete GPUs, so some customers will welcome the extra performance.

      • The Register UKWill this be one of the world’s first RISC-V laptops? • The Register

        As Apple and Qualcomm push for more Arm adoption in the notebook space, we have come across a photo of what could become one of the world’s first laptops to use the open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture.

        In an interview with The Register, Calista Redmond, CEO of RISC-V International, signaled we will see a RISC-V laptop revealed sometime this year as the ISA’s governing body works to garner more financial and development support from large companies.

        It turns out Philipp Tomsich, chair of RISC-V International’s software committee, dangled a photo of what could likely be the laptop in question earlier this month in front of RISC-V Week attendees in Paris.

      • LiliputingHP Dev One laptop with Pop!_OS Linux coming soon for $1099 – Liliputing

        Most HP computers ship with Windows, but from time to time the company has dabbled in Linux by offering models with Ubuntu or Red Hat Enterprise Linux. HP’s next Linux laptop is a little different.

        The upcoming HP Dev One is a 14 inch laptop with an AMD Ryzen processor that will ship with Pop!_OS pre-installed.

    • Server

      • The Register UKOracle really does owe HPE $3b after Supreme Court snub • The Register

        The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Oracle’s appeal to overturn a ruling ordering the IT giant to pay $3 billion in damages for violating a decades-old contract agreement.

        In June 2011, back when HPE had not yet split from HP, the biz sued Oracle for refusing to add Itanium support to its database software. HP alleged Big Red had violated a contract agreement by not doing so, though Oracle claimed it explicitly refused requests to support Intel’s Itanium processors at the time.

      • The Register UKDigitalOcean tries to take sting out of price hike with $4 VM

        DigitalOcean attempted to lessen the sting of higher prices this week by announcing a cut-rate instance aimed at developers and hobbyists.

        The $4-a-month droplet — what the infrastructure-as-a-service outfit calls its virtual machines — pairs a single virtual CPU with 512 MB of memory, 10 GB of SSD storage, and 500 GB a month in network bandwidth.

        The launch comes as DigitalOcean plans a sweeping price hike across much of its product portfolio, effective July 1. On the low-end, most instances will see pricing increase between $1 and $16 a month, but on the high-end, some products will see increases of as much as $120 in the case of DigitalOceans’ top-tier storage-optimized virtual machines.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • Ubuntu PitTop 15 Best Linux Antivirus Programs in 2022 [Ed: Waste of money, waste of CPU, and likely more privacy breaches and security holes on your system (some AV companies get caught red-handed)]

        There are always errors and problems in the computer Operating System, especially intentionally made mistakes, which we call trojans, malware, and viruses. Linux OS is a much more efficient and secure OS, but still, there are possibilities to have these problems. To decrease these issues, many security specialists have developed a lot of antivirus for Linux already. These antiviruses aim to detect and remove all the threats before they harm the system. Well, if you are a Linux user and planning to try something for your system’s protection, I am sure you are on the right track.

      • WCCF TechRPCS3 Latest Updates Bring Major Performance Improvements for Metal Gear Solid 4, Red Dead Redemption and Persona 5

        RPCS3 is a multi-platform open-source Sony PlayStation 3 emulator and debugger written in C++ for Windows, Linux and BSD. It was founded by programmers DH and Hykem. Initially hosted on Google Code, the project was eventually migrated to GitHub later on in its development. RPCS3′s first successful boots were primarily composed of small homebrew projects and hardware tests. The emulator was later publicly released in June of 2012 and gained substantial attention from both the open-source community and PlayStation enthusiasts alike. Today, RPCS3 is primarily developed by its two lead developers; Nekotekina, kd-11 and backed by flourishing team of GitHub contributors.

      • The Motley FoolGnuCash Review [Ed: GNU software reviewed in Microsoft site]

        GnuCash is free, open-source software that offers both personal financial management and professional accounting capability. GnuCash is completely free, making it a great option for start-ups and micro-businesses with limited budgets.

      • Mimecast: The 5 Types of Email Encryption

        Email encryption is one of the most misunderstood and complex fields of data security, with many companies either using it incorrectly or not using it at all. However, it remains the most secure way to send data across the Internet, with various protocols securing data against cyberattackers and other threats.

      • The Motley FoolLibreOffice Review 2022: Features, Pricing & More [Ed: Microsoft site ranks LibreOffice only 3 our of 5. Conflict of interest not stated.]
      • Make Use OfStay Organized With These 7 Calendar Apps for Linux


        Keep track of time and events while working on your desktop using these must-have calendar apps for Linux.

        Calendar apps are a necessity for keeping track of events and your to-do tasks in this hectic modern work life. These apps can help you never forget anything again.

        The calendar apps available for Linux have a lot of handy productivity features that will help you remember stuff, suggest important dates, and help build good habits.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • ID RootHow To Install Lighttpd with PHP on Debian 11

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Lighttpd with PHP on Debian 11.

      • Tom’s HardwareHow To Manage Users in Linux | Tom’s Hardware

        User management may not sound like the most glamorous task, but nonetheless it is an essential part of a busy system administrator’s job. Creating new users, be they your family, friends or co-workers involves giving them the correct permissions, and managing what they can do. All of this can be done via the GUI and the terminal and in this how to we will show how.

      • How to install pgAdmin 4 on Ubuntu 22.04 – NextGenTips

        In this tutorial guide, I will be taking you through the installation of pgAdmin 4 version 6.9 on Ubuntu 22.04.

        pgAdmin 4 is a free and open-source management tool for Postgres. Its desktop runtime written in NWjs allows it to run standalone for individual users, or the web applications code may be directly deployed on a web server for use by the web browser.

        pgAdmin 4 is a complete rewrite of pgAdmin, built using Python and Java

      • Ubuntu HandbookHow to Install Inkscape 1.2 & Keep Updated via PPA in Ubuntu 22.04 | 20.04 | UbuntuHandbook

        Free open-source vector graphics editor Inkscape 1.2 was released a few days ago. Ubuntu, Linux Mint and their based systems can now install the new release via official PPA.

    • Games

      • Boiling Steam3000 Games On The Steam Deck! – Boiling Steam

        It took less than 4 months and here we are, with 3000 games on the Steam Deck! To be precise, there are now 3014 games at the time of writing working on the Steam Deck – in two categories as usual:

        Steam Deck Verified: 1527 titles
        Steam Deck Playable: 1487 titles

      • Zelda: Ocarina of Time’s PC port now supports 60fps, save states, Linux and more

        The fan-made PC port of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, ‘Ship of Harkinian’ now supports 60fps, Linux and more.

        As part of the fan development team’s latest “Ship of Harkinian Direct”, Habour Masters unveiled the frame-rate boost as well as a host of new features.

        In addition to 60fps, the port now runs on Linux, and new features such as save states, Gameshark-style cheats and accessibility features such as voice descriptions have been added to the game.

      • Ubuntu Pit5 Best 3D Games for Linux To Play in 2022

        It is true that Linux doesn’t have a good name for the gaming sectors like Windows and macOS. But still, there are a lot of interesting games, including many 3D games available for Linux users. Indeed, the gaming companies are now getting interested in Linux, and so they are producing more games for this system. However, if you are a Linux user and want to enjoy some games in your free time, I can help. Today, we will discuss the best 3D games for Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • MiTubo 1.0: playlist support, new “website” | Mardy

          Expanding a bit on the points above, the first thing worth saying is that the choice of releasing this version as “1.0” does not mean that it’s more stable than the previous ones; it just means that I’m rather satisfied with the feature set, and that I believe that the program is ready for more widespread use.

          This is also the reason why I decided to prepare a web page for it: mardy.it/mitubo. I didn’t go for a completely separate website, unlike what I previously did for Mappero Geotagger, PhotoTeleport and Imaginario (which reminds me that I haven’t been working on the latter for a long time! I should try to correct this soon!), both because this way it’s simpler to publish news about it (I’ll continue doing that here, instead of cross-posting in two sites), and because having it in the same domain might be mutually beneficial for the SEO ranking of the blog and of MiTubo.

        • Adriaan de GrootAdriaan de Groot: Blue Systems Farewell

          Calamares serves the needs of several dozen Linux distributions, large and small. I’ve been running the Calamares project for five years now, sponsored by Blue Systems who have supported the Calamares project since its beginning and through two maintainers now. After these five years, I have decided to hand in my badge and move on to different things. This means that I’m no longer paid to spend three days a week on Calamares and my involvement is going to be dialed back to incidental-volunteer-contributor. This means that maybe I’ll finally ignore Linux distro’s and sit down to make it work for FreeBSD.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Brookings InstitutionStrengthening digital infrastructure: A policy agenda for free and open source software

      While there is little debate that digital forces are playing an increasingly crucial role in the economy, there is limited understanding of the importance of the digital infrastructure that underlies this role. Much of the discussion around digital infrastructure has focused on broadband availability (which is certainly important), but the role of free and open source software (FOSS or OSS) has gone underappreciated. FOSS—software whose source code is public, is often created by decentralized volunteers, and can be freely used and modified by anyone—has come to play a vital role in the modern economy. It is baked into technology we use every day (cars, phones, websites, etc.), as well as into various aspects of critical infrastructure including our finance and energy systems.

    • Web Browsers

      • Daniel AleksandersenImprove legibility and reduce layout shifts with x-height adjustments

        There’s more to setting the text size on your webpages than just the CSS font-size property. It only controls the size of majuscule (“uppercase”, e.g. “A”) letters, numbers, and punctuation. The size of minuscule (“lowercase”, e.g. “a”) letters is left up to the font.

        [...]

        Unfortunately, font-size-adjust is only supported in Firefox. It has been supported by this browser for over a decade already. It was implemented in Chrome for almost half a decade, but it has been left to rot behind the Experimental Web Platform features flag. It’s not implemented in Safari.

    • GNU Projects

      • The Register UKGCC 12.1 supports China’s LoongArch CPU family • The Register

        Version 12.1 of the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) was released this month, and among its many changes is support for China’s LoongArch processor architecture.

        The announcement of the release is here; the LoongArch port was accepted as recently as March.

        China’s Academy of Sciences developed a family of MIPS-compatible microprocessors in the early 2000s. In 2010 the tech was spun out into a company called Loongson Technology which today markets silicon under the brand “Godson”. The company bills itself as working to develop technology that secures China and underpins its ability to innovate, a reflection of Beijing’s belief that home-grown CPU architectures are critical to the nation’s future.

        LoongArch emerged from Loongson around about last year, and was described as a new RISC ISA that comes in 32-bit and 64-bit flavours.

      • Paper Published: Deep space reception of Tianwen-1 by AMSAT-DL using GNU radio

        A real-time GNU Radio decoder has been used to receive and store telemetry almost every day over the course of 10 months. Some of the telemetry variables, such as the trajectory information, have been successfully interpreted and used to track the progress of the mission.

    • Licensing / Legal

      • Venture BeatOnce frenemies, Elastic and AWS are now besties

        To cut a War and Peace-esque story short, Amazon had introduced its own managed Elasticsearch service called Amazon Elasticsearch Service way back in 2015, and in the intervening years the “confusion” this (among other shenanigans) caused in the cloud sphere ultimately led Elastic to transition Elasticsearch from open source to “free and open” (i.e., a less permissive license), exerting more control over how the cloud giants of the world could use the product and Elasticsearch name.

      • What sort of open source licence is your database?

        If vendors are changing the licence to make them more restrictive, does that make them any different to proprietary software? Zaitsev says no. He sees such a move as meaning a company and its products are no longer open source.

    • Programming/Development

      • The Register UKFastly buys Glitch web IDE • The Register

        Content delivery network Fastly is purchasing Glitch, the company behind the web-based IDE of the same name.

        Glitch is a full-stack platform that officially supports JavaScript, but allows coding in CSS, HTML, and other languages as well. It’s designed to operate much like other cloud platforms and is able to run full-stack apps on demand, with Glitch handling all of the hardware and devs allowed to focus on coding.

  • Leftovers

    • Science

      • Medical NewsApplications of Flow Cytometry in Oceanography

        The field of oceanography demands reliable, efficient, and high-throughput analytical methods. An eminently suitable analytical method that has become the focus of research is flow cytometry, which has also been used in numerous other fields in the life sciences.

      • The Register UKCars in driver-assist mode hit a third of cyclists, all oncoming cars in tests

        Autonomous cars may be further away than believed. Testing of three leading systems found they hit a third of cyclists, and failed to avoid any oncoming cars.

        The tests [PDF] performed by the American Automobile Association (AAA) looked at three vehicles: a 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe with Highway Driving Assist; a 2021 Subaru Forester with EyeSight; and a 2020 Tesla Model 3 with Autopilot.

        According to the AAA, all three systems represent the second of five autonomous driving levels, which require drivers to maintain alertness at all times to seize control from the computer when needed. There are no semi-autonomous cars generally available to the public that are able to operate above level two.

      • The Register UKBoeing’s Starliner CST-100 on its way to the ISS 2 years late

        Two and a half years after its first disastrous launch, Boeing has once again fired its CST-100 Starliner capsule at the International Space Station.

        This time it appeared to go well, launching at 18:54 ET from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral. The RD-180 main engine and twin solid rocket boosters of the Atlas V performed as planned before Starliner was pushed to near orbital velocity by the Centaur upper stage.

    • Hardware

      • The Register UKToshiba says it’s talking to 10 suitors about possible sale

        Ailing Japanese giant Toshiba has revealed it has 10 potential suitors for its possible sale.

        A Friday announcement revealed that Toshiba’s decision to consider a sale to a private buyer has progressed to the point at which discussions are under way with §0 parties who have expressed an interest in submitting a proposal to buy the company.

        Those talks have become sufficiently serious that Toshiba has appointed two sets of advisors – from Mizuho Securities and JP Morgan Securities – to offer financial advice and assist the special committee Toshiba assembled to consider offers.

      • The Register UKUS fears China may have ten exascale systems by 2025

        The US is racing to catch up with China in supercomputing performance amid fears that the country may widen its lead in exascale computers over the next decade, according to reports.

        The Frontier supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is expected to be the first exascale system in the US once it is fully operational, but China already has two exascale systems up and running since last year, as reported on our sister site The Next Platform.

      • The Register UKAmerica bucks global smartphone decline with help from Apple • The Register

        Smartphone markets the world over are in decline, but that news doesn’t appear to have reached North America, where the market grew by 4 percent in the first quarter of 2022.

        Tech market analytics firm Canalys reported that smartphone manufacturers shipped a total of 39m units in North America in Q1 2022, and most of it was driven by Apple, which saw 19 percent growth in Q1 to reach 51 percent of the smartphone market in the US, Canada and Mexico.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Proprietary

    • Pseudo-Open Source

    • Linux Foundation

    • Security

      • Naked SecurityApple patches zero-day kernel hole and much more – update now! [Ed: Apple did not patch this until it was publicly known that it had been exploited]

        The bug fixes for iPhones and iPads include remote code execution flaws (RCEs) in components from the kernel itself to Apple’s image rendering library, graphics drivers, video processing modules and more. Several of these bugs warn that “a malicious application may be able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges”. That’s the sort of security hole that could lead to a complete device takeover – what’s known in the jargon as a “jailbreak“, because it escapes from Apple’s strict lockdown and app restrictions.

      • The HinduCreating our own password manager

        We can manage a range of passwords by creating our own password manager using the bash commandline available in popular GNU/Linux operating systems. The GNU/Bash Shell is readily available in Ubuntu/Debian based Linux systems. They can be launched using the terminal application (with the shortcut Ctrl+Alt+T).

      • Conti presses Costa Rica. Bluetooth LE proof-of-concept. Making initial access more difficult. Cyber phases of hybrid wars. [Ed: Costa Rica pays a huge price for being penetrated by Microsoft]

        Reuters reports that the number of Costa Rican organizations affected by Conti’s ransomware attack has now grown to twenty-seven. Recently elected President Rodrigo Chaves has said that nine institutions, most of them governmental, were heavily affected, and that the attacks were having an “enormous” impact on foreign trade and tax collection. The governments of Israel, the United States and Spain are all providing Costa Rica with assistance in recovery and remediation, but a lot of work remains to be done.

      • Fantastic Open Source Cybersecurity Tools and Where to Find Them [Ed: Ironically, one must run unsafe proprietary software just to open this article]
      • The Register UKVenezuelan cardiologist charged with ‘designing and selling ransomware’ [Ed: Microsoft Windows]

        The US Attorney’s Office has charged a 55-year-old cardiologist with creating and selling ransomware and profiting from revenue-share agreements with criminals who deployed his product.

        A complaint [PDF] filed on May 16th in the US District Court, Eastern District of New York, alleges Moises Luis Zagala Gonzalez – aka “Nosophoros,” “Aesculapius” and “Nebuchadnezzar” – created a ransomware builder known as “Thanos”, and ransomware named “Jigsaw v. 2”.

        The self-taught coder and qualified cardiologist advertised the ransomware in dark corners of the web, then licensed it ransomware to crooks for either $500 or $800 a month, it is claimed. He also ran an affiliate network that offered the chance to run Thanos to build custom ransomware, in return for a share of profits, it is alleged.

      • Naked SecurityFirefox out-of-band update to 100.0.1 – just in time for Pwn2Own? [Ed: Bloated browsers beget impossible security?]
      • The Register UKHow crooks backdoor sites and scrape credit card info • The Register

        In a paper scheduled to appear at the Usenix ’22 security conference later this year, authors Asuman Senol (imec-COSIC, KU Leuven), Gunes Acar (Radboud University), Mathias Humbert (University of Lausanne) and Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius, (Radboud University) described how they measured data handling in web forms on the top 100,000 websites, as ranked by research site Tranco. ®

      • The Register UKMeet Wizard Spider, the multimillion-dollar gang behind Conti, Ryuk malware [Ed: Microsoft Windows]

        There also is a custom hash-cracking system that “stores cracked hashes, updates threat actors on the cracking status and shows the results of cracking attempts on other servers,” the threat hunters wrote. The software claims it can crack a broad array of common hash types, including LM:NTLM hashes, cached domain credentials, Kerberos 5 TGS-REP/AS-REP tickets, KeePass files, and those used for MS Office 2013 documents.

      • The Register UKPentester pops open Tesla Model 3 using low-cost Bluetooth module

        Tesla Model 3 and Y owners, beware: the passive entry feature on your vehicle could potentially be hoodwinked by a relay attack, leading to the theft of the flash motor.

        Discovered and demonstrated by researchers at NCC Group, the technique involves relaying the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals from a smartphone that has been paired with a Tesla back to the vehicle. Far from simply unlocking the door, this hack lets a miscreant start the car and drive away, too.

      • NCC Group ResearchTechnical Advisory – Tesla BLE Phone-as-a-Key Passive Entry Vulnerable to Relay Attacks
      • The Register UKIndia slightly softens infosec incident reporting rules • The Register

        India has slightly softened its controversial new reporting requirements for information security incidents and made it plain they apply to multinational companies.

        The rules were announced with little advance warning in late April and quickly attracted criticism from industry on grounds including the requirement to report 22 different types of incident within six hours, a requirement to register personal details of individual VPN users, and retention of many log files for 180 days.

      • CSOHow to choose a certificate management tool

        Managing certificates that hold all your encryption secrets is impossible without the right tool. Here’s how to narrow the field.

      • OpenSSF Helping to Secure Open Source Software [Ed: No, it is mostly a marketing (openwashing) facade for proprietary software companies that actively insert back doors into things and strive to centralise everything around themselves under the guise of "security"]
      • Sigstore Sets Out to Secure Cloud-Native Supply Chain [Ed: No, this is about outsourcing trust and centralising it around Pentagon-connected companies in the name of so-called 'security' (it's censorship of software)]
      • The New StackSBOM Everywhere: The OpenSSF Plan for SBOMs [Ed: Missing disclosure here about LF paying for puff pieces about its programs and schemes]
      • The Register UKPatch your VMware gear now – or yank it out, Uncle Sam tells federal agencies [Ed: When VMWare points the finger at Linux it’s a deflection tactic]
      • Bleeping ComputerMalicious PyPI package opens backdoors on Windows, Linux, and Macs [Ed: It's not an OS issue but an issue of people installing malware on their OS]
      • Privacy/Surveillance

        • The Register UKFTC signals crackdown on ed-tech harvesting kid’s data

          The US Federal Trade Commission on Thursday said it intends to take action against educational technology companies that unlawfully collect data from children using online educational services.

          In a policy statement, the agency said, “Children should not have to needlessly hand over their data and forfeit their privacy in order to do their schoolwork or participate in remote learning, especially given the wide and increasing adoption of ed tech tools.”

          The agency says it will scrutinize educational service providers to ensure that they are meeting their legal obligations under COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.

        • The Register UKLawmakers launch bill to break up tech giants’ ad dominance
        • The Register UKUK tech pros warn EU ‘data adequacy’ ruling at risk • The Register

          BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, has warned that proposed changes to Britain’s data protection rules must not put the flow of data between the EU and the UK at risk.

          The professional body said the supposed benefits of a leaner data protection regime – something the government promised last week – should not come at the expense of the UK’s current “data adequacy” arrangement with the EU.

        • FBI Provides Chicago Police With Fake Social Media Identities

          Internal documents also reveal that police can take over informants’ social media accounts and pose as them online.

        • Ottawa Hospitals Let You See Health Records From iPhone & It’s Among The First In Canada [Ed: Privacy nightmare marketed with 'gadget fascism']

          Your health is now in the palm of your hands, Ottawa! As of May 12, patients at multiple Ottawa hospitals are now able to view their medication lists, test results, and vaccination records all from their iPhones.

          Carleton Place, District Memorial Hospital, Glengarry Memorial Hospital, Montfort and Queensway Carleton Hospital, Arnprior Regional Health, and Bruyère are among some of the first hospitals in Canada now using Apple’s Health Records for iPhone.

        • The Register UKYour snoozing iOS 15 iPhone may actually be sleeping with one antenna open

          Some research into the potentially exploitable low-power state of iPhones has sparked headlines this week.

          While pretty much no one is going to utilize the study’s findings to attack Apple users in any meaningful way, and only the most high-profile targets may find themselves troubled by all this, it at least provides some insight into what exactly your iOS handheld is up to when it’s seemingly off or asleep. Or none of this is news to you. We’ll see.

      • Confidentiality

        • The Register UKGoogle’s first report on Privacy Sandbox hits UK watchdog’s inbox

          As Google’s self-imposed “late 2023″ deadline to kill all third party cookies in its Chrome browser looms, the giant has handed in its first quarterly Privacy Sandbox report to the UK’s competition regulator.

          As a reminder, the Competition Market’s Authority (CMA) took exception to Google’s Privacy Sandbox cookie cull amid worries on several fronts that the project might shut out competing ad companies in favor of the search giant.

        • The Register UKDid ID.me hoodwink Americans with IRS facial-recognition tech? [Ed: Totally insane and utterly misguided pseudo-futurism]

          Democrat senators want the FTC to investigate “evidence of deceptive statements” made by ID.me regarding the facial-recognition technology it controversially built for Uncle Sam.

          ID.me made headlines this year when the IRS said US taxpayers would have to enroll in the startup’s facial-recognition system to access their tax records in the future. After a public backlash, the IRS reconsidered its plans, and said taxpayers could choose non-biometric methods to verify their identity with the agency online.

          Just before the IRS controversy, ID.me said it uses one-to-one face comparisons. “Our one-to-one face match is comparable to taking a selfie to unlock a smartphone. ID.me does not use one-to-many facial recognition, which is more complex and problematic. Further, privacy is core to our mission and we do not sell the personal information of our users,” it said in January.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • The Register UKIntel shareholders revolt against Pat Gelsinger’s pay package
      • VoxFrom bitcoin to stablecoins to NFTs, what is the point of crypto? – Vox

        The claims proponents have long made about cryptocurrency — that it’s an inflation hedge, that it’s digital gold — appear increasingly dubious. Well before the current downturn, a lot of what was going on was fishy. Hackers have stolen tens of millions of dollars in crypto, and the sector is rife with stories about various scams. One big trend in the space might pretty blatantly be a Ponzi scheme.

        For a while, the drumbeat for getting into it felt too loud to ignore; the Larry David commercial in the Super Bowl for crypto trading platform FTX warned viewers “don’t miss out” on the next big thing — but what that big thing is isn’t clearly spelled out. Many people in crypto don’t want to outright say the point of the entire endeavor is to try to make money, which, thus far, has pretty much been the thing. (That and some crimes.)

      • Tech CentralForging the future is better than forging coins

        My interlocutor was Michele Neylon, founder of data centre operator and ISP Blacknight, which, while hardly without competition, has weathered many a storm including the early days of the post-dotcom crash tech spending slump, the effects of Ireland’s once severely lagging network infrastructure, and the devastating financial crisis that laid waste to much of the national economy.

      • The Register UKIT staffing, recruitment biz settles claims it discriminated against Americans

        Amtex Systems Incorporated, an IT staffing and recruiting firm based in New York City, has agreed to settle claims it discriminated against American workers because company clients wanted workers with temporary visas.

        The US Department of Justice on Wednesday announced the agreement, which followed from a US citizen filing a discrimination complaint with the DoJ’s Civil Rights Division’s Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER).

        “IT staffing agencies cannot unlawfully exclude applicants or impose additional burdens because of someone’s citizenship or immigration status,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, in a statement. “The Civil Rights Division is committed to enforcing the law to ensure that job applicants, including US workers, are protected from unlawful discrimination.”

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Ella Project Presents Free Zoom Webinar On Music Copyrights And Royalties [Ed: Totally the wrong platform for this kind of thing, but then again these are copyright zealots working for the monopolists while pretending to know something about art and music]

          The Ella Project will present a free Zoom webinar on copyright and royalties for the music community on Wednesday, May 18, from 2–4 p.m. Central. Holland Gormley and John Riley will lead a discussion about intellectual property rights, how to access royalty streams and specifically mechanical royalties from the Music Modernization Act.

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  4. Links 24/06/2022: GNU PSPP 1.6.1

    Links for the day



  5. [Meme] EPO All Backwards: Are National Delegates and the Administrative Council Just Puppets of the Office They're Meant to Govern?

    Next week the overseeing body of the EPO has a chance to prove it’s no longer subservient to the people it was supposed to regulate and control; it’s all backwards at the EPO, so crime is encouraged (for profit) and never punished for



  6. 2,120 EPO Workers Sign Petition to the National Delegates, Who Can Put an End to EPO Abuses (But Repeatedly Fail to Do So)

    There’s a considerable amount of pushback against António Campinos with his ludicrous policies; staff does not want him or his policies



  7. [Meme] You Cannot Protest Because...

    Mr. ‘social dialogue’ ‘very nice guy’ António Campinos failed to fulfill the peace mission or attain the calm he was assigned to deliver 4 years ago; the EPO is still in a state of crisis, but will national representatives care? Will they bag more bribes for not caring?



  8. EPO Staff at The Hague Complains of New Pressure Tactics and Survey Shows Less than 10% Think Office Policies Serve the EPO's Interests

    With only a few days left before national representatives meet in Munich to discuss the future of the Office it's important to understand that they totally ignore the interests of Europe, the EPO's staff, and science/technology; today we examine the sentiments of people based in The Netherlands, who are exceedingly unhappy about the direction their employer (EPO) has taken



  9. Links 24/06/2022: SLE 15 SP4 and Darkbar 1.0.1

    Links for the day



  10. Links 24/06/2022: Mostly Political Catchup

    Links for the day



  11. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, June 23, 2022

    IRC logs for Thursday, June 23, 2022



  12. Links 24/06/2022: FidelityFX Free Software and a Look at PetaPi

    Links for the day



  13. [Meme] Council Says...

    The Administrative Council of the EPO must be kidding itself if it thought replacing Benoît Battistelli with his friend António Campinos (and his unqualified or unsuitably unqualified friends from Alicante) would set the EPO on a route to improvement



  14. Selected Slides From Technologia's EPO Staff Survey (2022 Compared to Prior Years)

    In spite of the lack of media coverage, EPO insiders (mostly people who have worked at the EPO for quite a while) see the downward spiral in patent quality and they do not trust the management



  15. EPO Staff Survey's Preliminary Results Published (Almost 2,000 Staff Surveyed), António Campinos Less Trustworthy Than Benoît Battistelli at Similar Points in Their Terms

    At long last, after a couple of months in the making, the staff survey of the EPO is out (not the one controlled by EPO management with push-polling and 'trick questions')



  16. Links 23/06/2022: EasyOS Improves Update Process

    Links for the day



  17. Links 23/06/2022: digiKam 7.7 and Tails 5.1.1

    Links for the day



  18. [Meme] Granting Patents Like Mad is Not Productivity (It's Also Illegal)

    Patent granting is down by a quarter at the EPO, so António Campinos — like Benoît Battistelli before him — resorts to terrorising staff



  19. EPO Management Behaves As If the Goal is to Shut Down and Outsource the Patent Office, Making a 'Monopolies Bank' Instead... or Having Rubber-Stamping With Kangaroo Courts Override the European Patent Convention (EPC)

    Flabbergasting strategy in Europe's second-largest institution makes one wonder if the goal is to drive out the workers or simply shut down the workplace



  20. Links 23/06/2022: Pango 1.90, First Beta for Krita 5.1 and Microsoft Bricks/Breaks Windows Server Again

    Links for the day



  21. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, June 22, 2022

    IRC logs for Wednesday, June 22, 2022



  22. Links 23/06/2022: Open Hardware and More LF 'Fluff'

    Links for the day



  23. Links 23/06/2022: 3,500 Games on Steam Deck Verified or Playable, Gemini on ESP32

    Links for the day



  24. The EPO is Ceasing to Be a Patent Office

    Patent offices are meant to carry out patent examination, but today's EPO is so focused on money (by granting a ton of legally-invalid monopolies) that it is willing to enlist incapable and inexperienced workers as 'machine operators'; this is done in violation of many EPC provisionsPatent offices are meant to carry out patent examination, but today's EPO is so focused on money (by granting a ton of legally-invalid monopolies) that it is willing to enlist incapable and inexperienced workers as 'machine operators'; this is done in violation of many EPC provisions



  25. EPO Abolishing Workers' Rights and Creating Second-Class Workers in Direct Violation of the European Patent Convention (EPC)

    The EPO‘s presidents Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos have demolished any remnant of EPC compliance; this institution must be reobooted immediately and all the managers sacked if not prosecuted



  26. [Meme] Trying to Circumvent the European Patent Convention is Like Playing With Fire

    The EPO‘s repeated violations of the European Patent Convention (EPC) will make António Campinos an asylum seeker like his father, seeking political shelter like Benoît Battistelli, who virtually went into hiding in 2018 (when his diplomatic immunity ended and his EPO crimes, like the Benalla affair, came to light)



  27. EPO Management Severely Harms the Health of Staff by Bullying Them

    EPO management that breaks the law wants the staff to blindly cooperate; failing to achieve full cooperation (in crimes), the managers are increasingly bullying the workers, causing some of them to get ill (in the past this led to a lot of suicides)



  28. [Meme] Executing the EPC (as in Killing It, Not Following It)

    Vichy Battistelli and his French friend have basically killed the EPC, i.e. they committed crimes to turn the EPO into a private bank instead of a patent office; who will hold them accountable and when?



  29. At the EPO, “Bringing Teams Together” or “New Management of Office Space” is Another Step Towards EPO Outsourcing

    The Local Staff Committee Munich (LSC Munich/LSCMN) and Central Staff Committee (CSC) raise awareness of a scheme that may result in only “33% of staff (at best) [having] a permanently allocated desk.” Shades of what the Office dictator Benoît Battistelli did to Judge Corcoran after he repeatedly won in court and his reinstatement was forced, whereupon he found himself back but without a desk



  30. [Meme] Battistelli the Second (Battistelli II)

    Benoît Battistelli‘s French buddy António Campinos is destroying what’s left of the EPO; as the 50th anniversary approaches it’s not clear if the EPO has any future at all (laws aren’t obeyed and new hires aren’t examiners but a disposable workforce, akin to scabs, that doesn’t meet the requirements explicitly specified in the EPC)


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