Windows is Still Just a “Poorly Debugged Set of Device Drivers”

Posted in Deception, Microsoft, Windows at 10:35 pm by Guest Editorial Team

Guest post by Ryan, reprinted with permission from the original

Windows is still just a “poorly debugged set of device drivers”.

I noticed that someone was blogging about Microsoft feeling threatened by Netscape enough to stamp it out when Marc Andreessen said he would reduce Windows to a “poorly debugged set of device drivers”.

Well, the OS has to have a pile of device drivers. Linux has many. More than Windows. Including for some very weird hardware.

They’re not all exceptionally well written. I’m not going to lie and say they are. Most work fine. The less stable stuff goes off into a staging tree until it improves. If you don’t have the hardware, it wastes no resources because it’s not even loaded.

But it’s nice to plug hardware in and have it be recognized immediately, vs. Windows going off to find the driver that time forgot, which proceeds to malfunction.

If it can even manage that.

My last portable hard drive was a Western Digital.

I plugged it into Windows 10 when I got this laptop, and this laptop came out very late in Windows 10’s lifecycle. Just 10 months before Windows 11.

What does the latest release of Windows 10 do?

It connects to Microsoft, pulls in a driver that the hard drive didn’t even need in order to function, Called “WDSES_PreWIN8”.

And when I started having trouble with Windows, it was that driver that was causing it.

A driver I didn’t even want, or ask Windows to go find.

A driver the hard disk worked just as well without.

Meant for an OS that came out in 2012.

And what does it do when you load WDSES_PreWIN8?

Well, for starters, it’s not compatible with Windows 10’s “Virtualization Based Security” features, so Windows will quietly disable all of those, I suppose making you even more vulnerable to malware than you already are for using Windows in the first place

And the only reason you’d ever know it is if you go and look at the Windows Defender screen that talks about that feature and see why it’s not running, and then and only then does it point at that driver, and you then have to find out what the hell that thing even is (I never did, btw. WD didn’t seem to have any information on it. The only reason I knew it was Western Digital is because Windows told me.), and remove it, and blacklist it so it doesn’t come back!

Then who knows what happens if you have WDSES_PREWIN8 loaded and try to upgrade to Windows 11?

I didn’t stick around that long before skipping town and loading GNU/Linux on another laptop.

It’s just sloppy that Windows loads all these old drivers that Microsoft knows aren’t even compatible, and loads anyway.

23 years later, Windows is a “poorly debugged set of device drivers”, which is why it’s dying.

Other operating systems have the same Web browsers you can run on Windows, they have Office suites, and great strides have been made in gaming, allowing thousands of the best games to be played.

Everything from classic consoles, to newly released titles.

The biggest complaint I have with where GNU/Linux is at now is that Microsoft is still up to its usual tricks of figuring out who is the most corrupt major GNU/Linux vendor and “partnering” with it to sabotage the community.

Their previous deals haven’t quite panned out because when they ruin one company, there’s yet more distributions for the users to flee to than there were last time they managed to take one out.

Seemingly forever a pain-in-the-ass, Microsoft hasn’t gained much traction this way because the community will re-assemble itself.

Perhaps they should fix Windows so that it’s capable of competing by technical merit.

“That was a joke. Haha. Fat chance!” -GlaDOS

I really am eager to see what PornHub’s desktop OS trends are looking like for Windows this year.

They’ve been bleeding over the past two few years. Between 2019 and 2021, they went from over 70% to just 64%.

They’ve turned SJVN at ZDNet into “Backup Dr. Pizza”.

He’s been spewing the same type of anti-GNU/Linux and pro-Microsoft bullshit that Peter Bright was at Ars Technica, before Bright/Dr. Pizza got convicted for trying to rape two children under 10.

Although I’m certainly not accusing SJVN of being a perverted monster, I am accusing him of being where Microsoft went after Dr. Pizza to get their stuff published. I can’t imagine what SJVN’s job must be like.

It reminds me of Bob Arcter in A Scanner Darkly, being forced to read the DEA’s drug war propaganda, being fed his lines through an earpiece, and the agent tells him to “just say the shit”. Or Kevin Spacey’s character in American Beauty, bemoaning “being a whore for the advertising industry” while it sucks out his soul.

While Pizza/Bright was a willing co-conspirator of Microsoft’s due to being a very bad person, I think SJVN is just trying to make it to retirement. So it may not be fair to compare their reasons to collaborate with Microsoft, but the result is the same. Microsoft’s propaganda is still being published.

I used to read SJVN even when I didn’t read anything else because I felt informed about distribution reviews and the GNU/Linux articles, but then when it drifted to WSL and Microsoft SQL Server, I stopped paying any attention to him at all.

Does anyone read ZDNet anymore? I can’t remember the last time I did. It was going downhill so fast that I haven’t seen anything about them that Roy Schestowitz hasn’t highlighted about them in a while. Sad!

Links 18/07/2022: Archcraft July 2022 Release and Cutelyst Relicensed

Posted in News Roundup at 5:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • FOSSLifeTUXEDO Computers Releases Water Cooling System for Linux Laptops

        “Aquaris supports the conventional air cooling of the notebook, resulting in significantly reduced surface and CPU and GPU temperatures and overall lower system fan noise. Alternatively, the additional cooling capacity can be invested in maximum CPU and GPU performance for rendering at record speeds,” the announcement states.

        The unit weighs 1.39 kg with dimensions of 203x75x186 mm and is designed mainly for stationary use at the desk. The Aquaris additionally offers three fan speeds with control through a graphical user interface.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • GstVA H.264 encoder, compositor and JPEG decoder – Herostratus’ legacy

        There are, right now, three new GstVA elements merged in main: vah264enc, vacompositor and vajpegdec.

        Just to recap, GstVA is a GStreamer plugin in gst-plugins-bad (yes, we agree it’s not a great name anymore), to differentiate it from gstreamer-vaapi. Both plugins use libva to access stateless video processing operations; the main difference is, precisely, how stream’s state is handled: while GstVA uses GStreamer libraries shared by other hardware accelerated plugins (such as d3d11 and v4l2codecs), gstreamer-vaapi uses an internal, tightly coupled and convoluted library.

        Also, note that right now (release 1.20) GstVA elements are ranked NONE, while gstreamer-vaapi ones are mostly PRIMARY+1.

        Back to the three new elements in GstVA, the most complex one is vah264enc wrote almost completely by He Junyan, from Intel. For it, He had to write a H.264 bitwriter which is, until certain extend, the opposite for H.264 parser: construct the bitstream buffer from H.264 structures such as PPS, SPS, slice header, etc. This API is part of libgstcodecparsers, ready to be reused by other plugins or applications. Currently vah264enc is fairly complete and functional, dealing with profiles and rate controls, among other parameters. It still have rough spots, but we’re working on them. But He Junyan is restless and he already has in the pipeline an encoder common class along with a HEVC and AV1 encoders.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • RoseHostingHow to Install ownCloud on Ubuntu 22.04 – RoseHosting

        ownCloud is free and open-source software written in PHP that’s used for data synchronization and file sharing. ownCloud is very similar to DropBox and other cloud storage services such OneDrive, iCloud, and Google Drive.

        The main difference is that this is self-hosted, which means that your data really only belongs to you. This of course is preferable if you want your data to be more secure.

      • ZDNetLinux 101: How to create a zip file in Linux | ZDNet

        When was the last time you had to create a zip file? Personally, I have to interact with those types of files all the time (either receiving or sending them to various clients, family, and friends). For most people, the creation of zip files is second nature. And even on the Linux operating system, working with such files isn’t a challenge… once you know what you’re doing.

      • Pragmatic LinuxSingle window mode for the Lazarus IDE – PragmaticLinux

        Does the Lazarus IDE look a bit too old fashioned for your liking? Multiple windows all over your desktop. Don’t let this put you off. With just a few clicks you can reconfigure the Lazarus IDE for single window mode. Resulting in a sleek and modern looking developing environment for cross-platform rapid application development.

      • AddictiveTipsHow to download wallpapers to the Linux desktop with Wallpaper Downloader

        Wallpaper Downloader is a slick Linux wallpaper downloader and manager. It supports most Linux desktop environments and is very easy to use. This guide will show you how to download wallpapers to the Linux desktop with Wallpaper Downloader.

      • VideoHow to install Audacity on Pop!_OS 22.04 – Invidious

        In this video, we are looking at how to install Audacity on Pop!_OS 22.04. Enjoy!

      • Linux Made SimpleHow to install Dolphin Emulator on a Chromebook

        Today we are looking at how to install Dolphin Emulator 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.

      • LinuxiacHow to Install Pi-hole on a Raspberry Pi to Block Ads Network-Wide

        With Pi-hole, your Raspberry Pi can filter ads before they reach any of your devices across your network. Here’s how to do it!

        Ads on websites and applications are a common way of generating revenue. However, the truth is that many websites, including this one, would not exist without the income earned.

        But the big truth is that ads have always been an unwanted “addition” for end users and their user experience.

        Unfortunately, advertising is a necessary evil for the internet to exist in its current form. First, to be able to use all the resources it offers for free. To even be able to read this article.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Preprocessing for improving the quality of the output

          Based on the results of previous research, I realize that Tesseract does various processing internally before doing the actual OCR. However, some instances still exist where Tesseract can result in a signification reduction in accuracy.

          So in this post, I would like to introduce some pre-processing methods that apply directly before passing in Tesseract.

        • GSOC Update 1

          GSOC is in full swing and here is my first progress update! I’ve been spending time getting familiar with the Krita code base. The first step in my project was making SVG appear as an export option to test start testing the export code. While this may seem straight forward (I certainly thought it would be) there are a few things that we’ll need to do.

          First, how does Krita know what files it can import/export as? Well that is easy enough to answer, in a database. Specifically Krita has a class KisMimeDatabase that stores all available file formats Krita supports. Adding a new option to this database is fairly easy as there are plenty of examples in the KisMimeDatabase.cpp. We can mostly copy/paste how other options are added but replace that file name with svg. Neat :).

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Status update 18/07/2022 – Sam Thursfield

          Summer is here!

          All my creative energy has gone into wrapping up a difficult project at Codethink, and the rest of the time I’ve been enjoying sunshine and festivals. I was able to dedicate some time to learning the basics of async Rust but I don’t have much to share from the last month. Instead, let me focus on some projects I’m keeping an eye on.

          Firstly, in the Tracker search engine, Carlos Garnacho has landed some important features and refactors. The main one being stream-based serializers and deserializers.

          This allows more easily backing up and importing data in and out the tracker-store, and cleaning up some cruft like multiple different implementations of Turtle. It seems ideal having a totally stream-based codec so you can process an effectively infinite amount of data, but there is a tradeoff if you serialize data triple-by-triple – the serialized output is much less human-readable and in some cases larger than if you do some buffering and group related statements together. For this reason we didn’t yet land the JSON-LD support.

        • Pitivi GSoC: 2nd Update

          This is my second GSoC update blog, in the 2 weeks since my last update, and we have reached further in the port progress.


          In my last update, I said that we will move on to changing the version to GTK4 once the event controllers are implemented, but it didn’t go well, not all event controllers were backported and one of the most used ones had a different name in GTK3+ thus, for the time being, we have delayed event controller implementations and moved onto changing the dependencies to GTK4, officially starting the Breaking Phase.

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • New Releases

    • Rocky Linux / Fedora / Red Hat / IBM

      • TalospaceRocky Linux 9.0

        With new version 9.0 Rocky Linux joins the list of ppc64le-compatible CentOS clones, along with the already extant AlmaLinux 9 and Circle Linux based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 (itself based on Fedora 34). Rocky Linux explicitly requires a POWER9 CPU. Other than that, the big difference is the branding and the governance, but more choice is always good. Download ISOs are available.

      • VideoRocky Linux 9.0 overview | Enterprise Linux, the community way. – Invidious

        In this video, I am going to show an overview of Rocky Linux 9.0 and some of the applications pre-installed.

      • ZDNetRocky Linux optimized for Google Cloud arrives | ZDNet

        Rocky Linux is on a roll. A few days after Rocky Linux 9 arrived, Google Cloud recommended Rocky Linux as a replacement for CentOS 7.

        Now, CentOS 7, unlike CentOS 8, which got an abrupt end of life in December 2021, will still be supported until June 30, 2024. But that’s soon enough for big companies like Facebook, Disney, GoDaddy, RackSpace, Toyota, and Verizon, which had depended on CentOS, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) clone, to look at alternatives. And Rocky Linux is 100% compatible with RHEL.

      • CentOSCentOS Community Newsletter, July 2022

        CentOS is hosting an in-person Dojo at DevConf.US. Dojos are free mini-conferences with sessions on a range of topics in the Enterprise Linux ecosystem. This Dojo takes place on August 17 at Boston University. Registration is free but strongly recommended. We also have a room block at the nearby Residence Inn. See the event page for details.

      • NeuroFedoraNext Open NeuroFedora meeting: 18 July 1300 UTC | NeuroFedora: Blog

        Please join us at the next regular Open NeuroFedora team meeting on Monday 18 July at 1300 UTC The meeting is a public meeting, and open for everyone to attend.

      • Red Hat OfficialAnsibleFest 2022 registration is now open

        After two years of virtual gatherings, we’re excited to announce that AnsibleFest 2022 is returning to an in-person gathering, happening October 18 and 19 in Chicago, Illinois.

        AnsibleFest is one of our favorite events because it brings together our customers, partners, community members and Red Hatters to talk about the latest happenings and about what’s possible for the future of automation and open source technologies.

        This year’s event will have multiple content tracks covering topics for everyone from Ansible beginners to automation experts. It will also be a great opportunity to network with industry pros and to get expert answers for all of your automation questions.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • VideoPopOS is SPECIAL, and I’m moving to it, here’s why! – Invidious
      • ZDNetPop!_OS might have a complicated name but it makes using Linux so easy | ZDNet

        In the world of operating systems, the strangest name would have to go to System76′s in-house version of Linux, called Pop!_OS. This is the OS that ships with their desktop and laptop systems and make for remarkably seamless integration. In fact, I would go so far as to say that with Pop!_OS, System76 has done for Linux what Apple did for its operating system, only with the addition of making everything open-source. With Pop!_OS running on System76 hardware (such as my Thelio desktop machine — which is, hands down, my favorite desktop PC I’ve ever owned), it goes well beyond the “everything just works” mantra and into the realm of “everything works to perfection.”

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • ArduinoAn LED cube circuit sculpture shield for the UNO Mini LE | Arduino Blog

        Few devices are more iconic in the maker community than the Arduino Uno board. To celebrate the Uno’s history and beloved status, we released the UNO Mini Limited Edition in late 2021. This little board is a tiny replica of the standard Uno, but with a special black and gold color scheme. While the UNO Mini LE is collectible, it is also a fully functional development board. Hari Wiguna took advantage of that fact to create this LED cube circuit sculpture shield for it.

        The UNO Mini LE’s specs are almost identical to the standard Uno Rev3, since they share the same Microchip ATmega328P microcontroller (just in a different package). But the small size of the UNO Mini LE means that it isn’t compatible with normal Uno shields. Wiguna’s shield fits on the UNO Mini LE and provides a flashing circuit sculpture cube of LED goodness.

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Licensing / Legal

      • Cutelyst v3.5 relicensed as BSD-3-Clause – Dantti’s Blog

        Cutelyst the Qt Web framework just got a new license, the more permissive BSD-3-Clause. Back in 2013 when I started the project the LGPL was a perfectly fine license as software on servers can be closed as long they are not AGPL, thus it was permissive enough for the web and REST backends use-cases I had in mind.

        Fast-forward almost 10 years and I have used for a few of projects where it was embedded into another application, and I realized that there might be users with commercial Qt license that would like to use it but can’t due the current license.

      • Permission to Sell FOSS in the Microsoft App Store Restored – Software Freedom Conservancy

        Software Freedom Conservancy congratulates Microsoft for changing the terms of their app store to again allow commercial distribution of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Microsoft deleted their previously proposed text (originally slated to go into effect over the weekend) which would have prohibited “profit[ing] from open-source … [when that] software … is otherwise generally available for free”.

        Last week, we explained the disaster that would ensue if the policy was enacted. While some argued that the policy was essential to avoid the problem of “clones” of FOSS programs on app stores, our Policy Fellow also explained how the FOSS community has long used trademark policies and enforcement to mitigate this problem in “app stores”. We remain open to discussing this in detail with app store policy-makers, including Microsoft.

    • Programming/Development

      • Drew DeVaultStatus update, July 2022

        Hello there! It’s been a hot July week in Amsterdam, and I expect hotter days are still to come. I wish air conditioning was more popular in Europe, but alas. This month of FOSS development enjoyed a lot of small improvements in a lot of different projects.

        For Hare, I have introduced a number of improvements. I wrote a new standard library module for string templates, strings::template, and a new third-party library for working with pixel buffers, pixbuf. The templating is pretty simple — as is typical for the standard library — but allows a fairly wide range of formatting options. We’ll be extending this a little bit more in the future, but it will not be a complete solution like you see in things like Jinja2. Nevertheless, it makes some use-cases, like code generation, a lot cleaner, without introducing a weighty or complex dependency.

        pixbuf is pretty neat, and is the first in a line of work I have planned for graphics on Hare. It’s similar to pixman, but with a much smaller scope — it only deals with pixel buffers, handling pixel format conversions and doing small operations like fill and copy. In the future I will add simple buffer compositing as well, and extending modules like hare-png to support loading data into these buffers. Later, I plan on writing a simple vector graphics library, capable at least of rendering TinyVG images and perhaps later TinySVG as well. I’m also working on hare-wayland again, to provide a place to display these buffers.

  • Leftovers

    • Jim NielsenWriting and Waiting – Jim Nielsen’s Blog

      This is a reflection on my inner desire for a “links” section on my blog. However, it applies more broadly to any of my writing.

      I go back and forth on having a “links” section on my blog separate from my “posts”. Instead of my monthly readingNotes, each of which is one blog post with a collection of links in it, I want split those out into individual links I can post at any moment.

      However, I enjoy my current process where I note stuff down and then come back to it at the end of the month and read it with fresh eyes. It requires an editing process to the whole thing. Sometimes I cut links out completely. Sometimes I end up commenting on the excerpt so much, I pull it out into its own blog post with additional commentary.

      What’s one to do? Write about it, of course! It helps me think.


      This results in a queue of thoughts, many of which never get published.

      The technologist in me wants to find a way to automate this.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

      • ‘My troubles begin after I get a good harvest’

        Farmers like Rajiv Kumar Ojha in Bihar face high volatility in crop prices, made worse by the absence of APMCs in the state. Their situation predicts the future when the new farm laws take full effect across India

    • Security

      • USCERTCISA Updates Advisory on Cyber Actors Continued Exploitation of Log4Shell in VMware Horizon Systems [Ed: When it is Windows CISA does not even name Windows or Microsoft. This is selective attention.]

        CISA has updated the joint CISA-United States Coast Guard Cyber Command (CGCYBER) Cybersecurity Advisory AA22-174A: Malicious Cyber Actors Continue to Exploit Log4Shell in VMware Horizon, originally released June 23, 2022. The advisory now includes IOCs provided in Malware Analysis Report (MAR)-10382580-2.

      • Ubuntu HandbookCPU-X – Gather PC Hardware Specs in Linux with CPU-Z Style User Interface | UbuntuHandbook

        For those want to check PC hardware specs in Linux, CPU-X is a good choice for user switching from Microsoft Windows.

        It’s a free open-source system profiling and monitoring application, that looks quite similar to CPU-Z for Windows. With it, you can check your CPU specification, vendor, codename, clocks, and L1/L2/L3 caches.

      • MITRE Engenuity ATT&CK: What endpoint security vendors learned after Evals | SC Media

        The Evals results can tell you, for example, whether a particular endpoint security product succeeded in blocking privilege escalation or failed to block password harvesting. Highly successful threat actors such as those emulated by the Engenuity tests use attacks involving dozens of steps, and the Evals results track the outcome of each step.

        Because the results and methodologies of the evaluations are freely posted on the MITRE website, organizations that are considering new endpoint security products and are also familiar with the MITRE ATT&CK framework can pore over the results to see how well specific offerings did, and which might be the best fit for their individual security postures.

    • Finance

      • DaemonFC (Ryan Farmer)GM is in very serious financial trouble and thinks that the solution is to force every new Buick and GMC owner into a $1500 three year OnStar subscription – BaronHK’s Rants

        GM is in very serious financial trouble, and thinks that the solution is to force every new Buick and GMC owner into a $1500 three year OnStar subscription.

        Buick and GMC fans are furious. General Motors is in bad fiscal trouble again after the stock collapsed over the past six months and analysts are warning about “earnings misses” and “recessions” this morning related to GM and large investors are dumping the stock.

        GM learned nothing the last time it went bankrupt and re-emerged. Some structural problems were fixed, such as having too many brands that were basically all the same car, and some were not.

        The biggest problems “New GM” faced were that the Obama Administration managed the bankruptcy and they had to agree to carry over many of their legacy problems into the new company, which continued to drain their coffers.

        While nobody should want retirees/pensioners and current workers to “take a bath” on their pay and benefits, at the same time, none of GM’s main rivals in the auto industry have to deal with anything like it.

        Then came the government mandates to build compliance and electric cars that nobody (at the time) wanted, because gas was cheap, so GM killed them off as soon as Obama was gone. Then gas got very expensive again, and it forced them to stop what they were doing and run a crash program to get efficient and electric vehicles to market.

        Obama allowed the GM bankruptcy to go through while allowing all of the people who ran them into bankruptcy to remain at their posts without punishment.

      • Michael West MediaPunching above our state: foreign missions abound, but where’s the agency for taxpayers? – Michael West

        The appointment of a former NSW deputy premier over a more qualified candidate to a plum overseas posting is rightly being lashed. But the John Barilaro saga is just one example of the energetic outreach to the world by our state governments. Public good or puffed-up parochialism? Mark Sawyer examines the reach of the program.

        For generations of Australians in London and missing home, it was a nice little perk. If it had been too long since you had heard about the goings-on back home, there was a place to go. Lob into the magnificent lobby of Australia House in The Strand, flash the passport and perhaps work that accent, and next you know, you’re in a comfortable armchair with an Australian newspaper on your lap. News from home, Aussie news, and only a week old!

        Simpler times – and maybe you had to be a news junkie. Anyway, in the past three decades, the need for such a service has, not surprisingly, subsided.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • Week 26/27/28: Photos

        Our hedgehog, Kino, was initially quite scared of us. He has grown more friendly and curious in recent months, but he still does not like to be touched. We take hin outside using a fabric bag called a “snuggle sack”, and a few nights ago he emerged from the sack into the darkness of the backyard.

      • Re: The Dutch Baby Incident

        I didn’t get what this was until I looked at the picture. In England, that would be called Yorkshire pudding, and it’s a savoury thing that you serve with a roast dinner. You’d normally make it in a baking tray instead of a pan with a handle, which might save burns.

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It’s like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

Links 18/07/2022: Alpine 3.16.1 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:59 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Applications

      • DebugPointTop 10 Free and Professional Video Editors in 2022

        We list the top 10 best and most free video editors for Linux and Windows. Have a look.

        Video editors are costly software, especially those that are more advanced such as Adobe Premiere Pro. However, there are plenty of known/unknown Video Editors available, which are free of cost and open source. Here we list ten free video editors which might be helpful for you and your use case.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • HowTo GeekHow to List the Installed Packages on Linux

        With thousands of free Linux applications, it’s easy to lose track of what you once installed but no longer use. Here’s how to list the installed applications on the major Linux families.

      • MakeTech EasierHow to Set Up WordPress Using Docker in Ubuntu – Make Tech Easier

        Save your time and maintenance effort by running WordPress in Docker container.

      • HowTo ForgeHow to Install Joomla with Apache and Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 22.04

        Joomla is a free, open-source, and award-winning content management system that allows you to build websites and online web applications. It is written in PHP and uses MySQL as a database backend. In this post, we will show you how to install Joomla CMS with Apache and Let’s Encrypt SSL on Ubuntu 22.04.

      • H2S MediaHow to Install DaVinci Resolve on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy

        Get the steps to install DaVinci Resolve video editor on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Jammy JellyFish Linux using the command terminal.

        Professional software and special editing station hardware manufacturer for color correction and non-destructive video editing with an extensive powerful tool range Blackmagic Design offers a freemium tool known as DaVinci Resolve. The company’s solutions have been used in many film and television productions such as Solo Star Wars, Jurassic World, The Walking Dead…

        Although the offerings of Blackmagic design are paid, a few years ago, they started offering the basic version of the software for free. With each version number, the number of features increased, and mainly the editing functions, but also e.g. the audio and effect editing, grew in scope.

        The free edition is available for Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. Even if the origin of the program lies in color correction, many use it mainly as a non-destructive video editing program. This means that you can use it to cut and edit videos without changing the source material.

      • ZDNetHow I revived three ancient computers with ChromeOS Flex | ZDNet

        Linux is a great operating system. I’ve expounded its virtues for over 20 years. I was the founding Sr. Technology Editor of the now defunct Linux Magazine in 1999. I was a principal consultant for open source data center technology at Unisys and IBM.

        Today I work for the Linux Foundation as its Editorial Director of Research. So yes, I get Linux.

      • VituxHow to Install KDE Plasma Desktop on Debian

        KDE Plasma is the graphical workspace environment that is created by KDE for Linux systems. It is based on the Plasma framework and is open source. This contemporary desktop environment is highly customizable making it users’ top choice. In this

      • OSNoteHow to Install and Use NetworkManager (NMCLI) on Ubuntu – OSNote

        NetworkManager is a software application that manages network connections. It is included in the default installation of most Linux operating systems. An instance of NetworkManager runs for each network connection managed, which includes Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections, mobile broadband (GSM/3G), and others; NetworkManager will attempt to always maintain at least one active network connection available.

        If you are a system administrator and manage Ubuntu servers, you should hear about NetworkManager. In this tutorial, we will show you how to install and use the basic NMCLI commands on Ubuntu 22.04 and Ubuntu 20.04.

      • Linux HandbookFind Exec Command in Linux: 9 Useful Examples

        The find command in Linux is an excellent tool to find files and directories based on given criteria.

        You can take your findings to the next level by actually doing specific operations on the found files.

        For example, you found all the files with .jpeg extension. How about renaming them with .jpg extension?

        You cannot just pipe redirect the find command output to another command. It won’t work that simply.

      • Red Hat OfficialHow to encrypt sensitive data in playbooks with Ansible Vault | Enable Sysadmin

        Ansible Vault lets you keep sensitive data, such as passwords and keys, in encrypted files. Here’s how to use it in playbooks to improve automation workflow safety.

    • Games

  • Distributions and Operating Systems

    • Linux distro for Apple silicon Macs is already up and running on the brand-new M2

      Unlike Intel Macs, Apple silicon Macs were designed to run only Apple’s software. But the developers on the Asahi Linux team have been working to change that, painstakingly reverse-engineering support for Apple’s processors and other Mac hardware and releasing it as a work-in-progress distro that can actually boot up and run on bare metal, no virtualization required.

      The Asahi Linux team put out a new release today with plenty of additions and improvements. Most notably, the distro now supports the M1 Ultra and the Mac Studio and has added preliminary support for the M2 MacBook Pro (which has been tested firsthand by the team) and the M2 MacBook Air (which hasn’t been tested but ought to work).

    • LiliputingAsahi Linux adds support for Macs with M2 chips

      Apple began shipping Macs with Apple Silicon processors in late 2020 and while those laptop and desktop computer ship with macOS, it didn’t take longer for developers to begin porting Linux to work with Apple’s new hardware. Earlier this year the Asahi Linux project released the first public beta of a GNU/Linux distribution designed for Macs with M1 series chips.

      But M1 was just the beginning. The first Macs with M2 chips began shipping this summer, and the folks at the Asahi project have already managed to port their Linux-based operating system to work on computers powered by Apple’s new processor.

    • The Register UKDisentangling the Debian derivatives: Which should you use?

      There are probably more variants of Debian than any other Linux distro, which can make it confusing. To provide some clarity,The Reg has lined up the main suspects.

      Toy Story, the movie that saved Pixar (and Steve Jobs’ fortune), was released in 1995. Although Debian 0.01 appeared in 1993, you can date Debian from Toy Story, because all of its stable releases are codenamed after characters from that film.

      The first named release, “Buzz”, came out in 1996. Debian 2.1, “Slink”, appeared in March 1999, and delivered the Advanced Package Tool (APT), which brought automatic dependency resolution to Linux software management. (Arguably, FreeBSD’s ports system had something comparable earlier.)

    • New Releases

      • Alpine 3.16.1 released

        The Alpine Linux project is pleased to announce the immediate availability of version 3.16.1 of its Alpine Linux operating system.

        This release includes various security fixes, including…

    • Fedora Family / IBM

      • The Register UKRocky Linux 9 and its new build service enter the ring

        The Rocky Linux Project has released version 9 of its RHEL-compatible distro and debuted its new build service.

        Rocky Linux 9, codenamed “Blue Onyx”, is here at last, some two months after the upstream distro on whose source code it is based. Its progenitor, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9, was announced on May 10. The best-known other modern CentOS Linux replacement, AlmaLinux 9, went into beta in April, and shipped just over a fortnight after Red Hat.

    • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

      • CNX SoftwareLibre Computer ROC-RK3328-CC now supports Ubuntu 22.04 with Linux 5.18.2

        Libre Computer’s latest Ubuntu 22.04 desktop and server images for ROC-RK3328-CC board are based on Linux mainline, namely Linux 5.18.2, and other boards from the company, based on Allwinner H2+/H5 processor or Amlogic S905X, have gotten the same treatment.

        Some companies will churn out boards regularly but provide limited software support. Libre Computer seems to have taken a different approach, as they released most of their board in 2017 and 2018, starting with AML-S905X-CC “Le Potato” board based on the Amlogic S905X processor, followed by ALL-H3-CC “Tritium” SBC with Allwinner H2+, H3, or H5 processor, and finally ROC-RK3328-CC “Renegade” board, but still release updated OS images in 2022.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • The DIY LifeThe reTerminal E10-1, the First Expansion Board for the reTerminal – The DIY Life

        Last year Seeed Studios launched the reTerminal, a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 based touch display terminal with a pretty good list of features. One of the features that looked promising was their high-speed expansion interface on the back, which they said would be used to add plug-in modules to expand on the reTerminal’s functionality and IO.

      • Geeky GadgetsMixtile Edge 2 Kit IoT edge computer supports Linux & Android

        IoT hardware solution provider Mixtile has created a new IoT edge computer supporting both Linux and Android based embedded systems in the former the Edge 2 Kit. Designed to provide users with a ready to run IoT edge computer the compact computer features a 3.5-inch form factor, 6 Antenna ports, mini-PCIe and M.2 modules and comes preloaded with an Android 11 and Linux container.

        Features of the IoT edge computer include support for dual hard drives, dual network ports or Hi-Fi music decoding and other functions, meets the needs of a variety of application scenarios at a low cost. Reserved CAN, I2C, and UART internal interfaces for developers with hardware capability or customization needs together with an industry-standard interface RS-485 to meet the compatibility needs of other peripheral expansion. As well as Gigabit Ethernet ports and supports Wi-Fi 6 for faster IoT and wider accessibility.

    • Mobile Systems/Mobile Applications

  • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

    • Its FOSSAppFlowy: An Open-Source Alternative to Notion

      So, what about an alternative that is more transparent, private, and available for Linux?

      That’s where AppFlowy shines!

      Build with Rust and Flutter, AppFlowy follows a minimal approach to simplify things yet with enough room for tweaks.

      AppFlowy is fairly new. We reported its development status last year after its initial launch.

      It is an open-source project that aims to overcome some limitations of Notion in terms of security and privacy. It helps you manage tasks, add to-do lists, add due dates, track the events, add pages, and format text for your notes/tasks.

    • Web Browsers

      • Mozilla

    • GNU Projects

    • Programming/Development

      • Ubuntu Pit15 Free Coding Games To Learn Programming for Beginners

        Have you ever read sci-fi books that envisioned the world becoming a digital utopia around this decade? The reality isn’t quite as glamourized – however, we are getting there as machine learning and AI technology is advancing like no other. In retrospect, learning to program is the trend now, and there are tons of free coding games that make it a fun experience.

        Let’s be honest – programming as a beginner can be daunting. While it’s thrilling to see your first program run successfully, many people struggle to apply programming concepts to real problems. That said, there’s an abundance of resources to learn programming on your own from scratch and challenge yourself in several ways to grow skills.

      • gem-compare’s new contributors

        gem-compare v1.2.0, new contributors, and 200+ GitHub starts.

        My little RubyGems plugin got some new contributions. Read the v1.0 announcement to know what’s the gem about.

      • LWNConill: How efficient can cat(1) be?

        Ariadne Conill explores ways to make the Unix cat utility more efficient on Linux.

      • Perl / Raku

        • Rakulang2022.29 Hot – Rakudo Weekly News

          It is hot. It will keep getting hotter in the coming years. Enjoy the coolest summer you’ll ever have. Not much else to say.

  • Leftovers

    • Hardware

      • The Next PlatformKAIST Shows Off DirectCXL Disaggregated Memory Prototype

        The hyperscalers and cloud builders are not the only ones having fun with the CXL protocol and its ability to create tiered, disaggregated, and composable main memory for systems. HPC centers are getting in on the action, too, and in this case, we are specifically talking about the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

        Researchers at KAIST’s CAMELab have joined the ranks of Meta Platforms (Facebook), with its Transparent Page Placement protocol and Chameleon memory tracking, and Microsoft with its zNUMA memory project, is creating actual hardware and software to do memory disaggregation and composition using the CXL 2.0 protocol atop the PCI-Express bus and a PCI-Express switching complex in what amounts to a memory server that it calls DirectCXL. The DirectCXL proof of concept was talked about it in a paper that was presented at the USENIX Annual Technical Conference last week, in a brochure that you can browse through here, and in a short video you can watch here. (This sure looks like startup potential to us.)

    • Security

      • Hacker NewsJuniper Releases Patches for Critical Flaws in Junos OS and Contrail Networking [Ed: As per revelations amid Snowden's NSA leaks, security is not their goal]

        Juniper Networks has pushed security updates to address several vulnerabilities affecting multiple products, some of which could be exploited to seize control of affected systems.

        The most critical of the flaws affect Junos Space and Contrail Networking, with the tech company urging customers to release versions 22.1R1 and 21.4.0, respectively.

      • LWNSecurity updates for Monday [LWN.net]

        Security updates have been issued by Debian (mat2 and xen), Fedora (butane, caddy, clash, direnv, geoipupdate, gitjacker, golang-bug-serial-1, golang-github-a8m-envsubst, golang-github-apache-beam-2, golang-github-aws-lambda, golang-github-cespare-xxhash, golang-github-chromedp, golang-github-cloudflare, golang-github-cloudflare-redoctober, golang-github-cockroachdb-pebble, golang-github-cucumber-godog, golang-github-dreamacro-shadowsocks2, golang-github-dustinkirkland-petname, golang-github-etcd-io-gofail, golang-github-facebookincubator-contest, golang-github-facebookincubator-dhcplb, golang-github-facebookincubator-go2chef, golang-github-facebookincubator-ntp, golang-github-facebookincubator-nvdtools, golang-github-goccy-yaml, golang-github-gojuno-minimock, golang-github-google-wire, golang-github-hexdigest-gowrap, golang-github-intel-goresctrl, golang-github-j-keck-arping, golang-github-jamesclonk-vultr, golang-github-liamg-scout, golang-github-liamg-tml, golang-github-mattn-colorable, golang-github-mdlayher-ethernet, golang-github-moby-buildkit, golang-github-mock, golang-github-niklasfasching-org, golang-github-nxadm-tail, golang-github-path-network-mmproxy, golang-github-rakyll-statik, golang-github-shopify-toxiproxy, golang-github-shulhan-bindata, golang-github-skynetservices-skydns, golang-github-sophaskins-efs2tar, golang-github-spf13-cobra, golang-github-spyzhov-ajson, golang-github-task, golang-github-temoto-robotstxt, golang-github-theoapp-theo-agent, golang-github-tinylib-msgp, golang-github-tklauser-numcpus, golang-github-valyala-fasthttp, golang-google-protobuf, golang-honnef-tools, golang-k8s-kube-openapi, golang-k8s-pod-security-admission, golang-k8s-sample-cli-plugin, golang-mvdan-sh-3, golang-storj-drpc, golang-x-tools, gopass, harfbuzz, hcloud, manifest-tool, moby-engine, mqttcli, nex, php-laminas-diactoros2, podman-tui, seamonkey, snapd, tinygo, vgrep, vultr, vultr-cli, weldr-client, xen, and yubihsm-connector), Mageia (golang and java), Oracle (grub2, kernel, kernel-container, and squid), and SUSE (crash, kernel, nodejs12, nodejs14, and nodejs16).

      • MakeTech EasierInternal Roblox Documents Hacked and Posted Online

        It seems like if you’re a company with a popular online presence that you
        should expect to be hacked at some point. The latest to be hacked is the gaming platform Roblox. A cybercriminal connected with the right person in Roblox and posted internal employee documents online in what appears to be an extortion attempt.

      • LinuxSecurityHacker’s Corner: Complete Guide to Anti-Debugging in Linux – Part 3

        A breakpoint is intentional “pause” in normal execution of a program, generally used to inspect the internals of said process in more detail. This is the *most* used feature of any debugger.

        On x86 CPUs, there are two types of breakpoints: hardware breakpoints and software breakpoints. While they overlap to a certain degree they are not exactly the same.

        In most of debugging cases, you will be using software breakpoints, which do not need any special hardware support. These are implemented using same interrupt mechanism which is used by pretty much everything else. On x86, 3rd interrupt is used to implement a breakpoint. When you set a breakpoint, your debugger overwrites target address (where you want to put the breakpoint) with INT 3 (0xCC in hex). When this instruction gets executed, debugger gets the control back from target process, and can inspect its state (registers, memory etc). To resume the execution, debugger will silently remove breakpoint, execute the instruction, and set the breakpoint again before letting the process resume (until it terminates, or breaks). Features like step over, step out are also implemented using “transparent” software breakpoints, which are set and removed automatically by debugger. Generally, you can set any number of software breakpoints; however these cannot be set on non-code address (i.e. these can break the program only when target address content is executed; but not if the address is read from or write to).

        Hardware breakpoints, on the other hand, are much more powerful and flexible than software breakpoints. These can be set to break not only on execution, but also on memory access (read and write both), I/O port access etc. These debuggers are set by writing into special “debug registers” which are largely platform specific (and not all platforms will have support for hardware breakpoints). On x86, registers DR0-3 and DR6-7 are used to set these breakpoints (DR4-5 are reserved as of now). If you have ever used “watchpoints” which let you break when certain memory address is accessed, you have used hardware breakpoints.

      • Implementing Zero-Trust on Kubernetes – Container Journal

        As a cornerstone of the cloud-native community, Kubernetes empowers enterprises to deploy and manage containers in production environments more efficiently. Although Kubernetes was initially designed with basic security capabilities, broad and rapid adoption and an increasingly sophisticated threat landscape have made Kubernetes more vulnerable to attacks. Developers and security experts are now tasked with extending Kubernetes’ built-in security to effectively protect against cyberattacks that are more complex, volatile and frequent.

        The previous “trust but verify” approach has proven ineffective for the complex distributed nature of cloud computing, so Kubernetes must move to the “never trust, always verify” ideology of the zero-trust model to provide greater protection to businesses.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • HaaretzIsraeli Pegasus Spyware Was Used Against Thai Pro-democracy Activists, Report Says

        After years of concerns that Thailand was purchasing Israeli-made cyberoffense surveillance technologies, rights groups have found the first forensic evidence linking the NSO Group’s infamous Pegasus spyware to the Southeast Asian kingdom.

        A new report by Citizen Lab, published Monday together with two Thai civil society groups, says digital forensic evidence indicates that at least 30 cellphones belonging to activists in Thailand were targeted with Pegasus.

        “We can now officially add Thailand to the growing list of countries where people peacefully calling for change, expressing an opinion or discussing government policies may trigger invasive surveillance with a profound toll on an individual’s freedom of expression, privacy and sense of security,” said Etienne Maynier, a technologist at Amnesty International, who peer reviewed the report and its methodologies.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Public KnowledgePublic Knowledge Urges Congress To Swiftly Move New Net Neutrality Bill Forward – Public Knowledge

        Today, reports indicate that Senators Ed Markey (D-MA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), along with Rep. Matsui (D-CA) and other co-sponsors, will soon introduce a bill to reinstate net neutrality and the Federal Communications Commission’s authority over broadband service. The “Net Neutrality and Broadband Justice Act” would codify the FCC’s authority to classify broadband as a “Title II” communications service and regulate it as such.

        The bill effectively reverses the unprecedented abdication of authority over broadband that FCC Chairman Pai instigated in the agency’s 2017 repeal of its 2015 Open Internet Order that established the net neutrality rules under Chairman Tom Wheeler. Those rules prevented broadband providers from blocking websites, throttling web traffic, or creating “fast lanes” only for those able to pay for prioritization. Prior to Chairman Pai’s abdication, Republican and Democratic Commissions had agreed the FCC had authority over broadband – the question was just under which title of its statute. The bill also prevents a future-FCC from backtracking on other broadband consumer protections – fundamental in an increasingly online world. Public Knowledge urges Congress to swiftly pass this bill once introduced.

  • Gemini* and Gopher

    • Personal

      • SpellBinding: CELNTXY Wordo: IMPEL
      • a game in my head

        One thing that I’ve never told anyone is that I freated a game that I’ve been playing for more than 10 years.

        The concept of the game is really weird, as it’s about floor patterns, the position of the feet, and breathing. There are floor patterns that requires me to put my left foot and right foot in a certain position, some that may require me to stop breathing once I stepped on it, some are non rewaeding, some are very rewarding. It’s quite a mess, it’s also quite dangerous as I have to look at thr floor for most of the time, but it’s fun for me, and I somehow survived playing it.

      • Deus Ex

        I’ve been a pseudo conspiracy junkie since I was very young. Not in that I believe in any, but that I’ve always found them interesting. Belief in such phenomena is very quaint; not in a negative way, but in that it harkens back to a very “early human” mindset. Which makes it ironic then, that I became such a big Deus Ex fan without knowing how central it played a part in the originals. I got enthralled by HR, but only ever really gave IW a decent try; always failing to struggle through the OG.

      • Spooky Anime #1

        A while back I stumbled across a well-put-together thread on /x/ about weird/spooky anime. The OP of that thread created these beautiful collages for each one and really piqued my interest in checking them out. I finally got around to watching some of them and decided to finally make use of my page here to talk about them as I go through them. My main motivation for this right now is to have a personal record of these shows and movies that I can look back on. But I also hope that I can spread some enjoyment to others out there should any of these interest you :D

      • Kink aesthetics

        i recently had an excellent conversation with a fellow kinkster about kink aesthetics, during which we discussed the pervasive idea that a kink event must (apparently) have a medieval-industrial vibe: a ‘dungeon’ flooded with industrial music[a]. Not only that, but there is a relative homogeneity to the sort of outfits seen as appropriate for such an event: leather, for example, is expected in a way that brightly-coloured drag gear is …. not. Still, and much to my delight, they were planning to attend just such a kink event in just such gear.

    • Technical

* Gemini (Primer) links can be opened using Gemini software. It’s like the World Wide Web but a lot lighter.

[Meme] EPO Management Coming Out of the Closet

Posted in Europe, Patents at 2:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Skeletons in the closet, that is…

Welcome to EPO

Statement from the management: No, the EPO is not violating fundamental human rights; Yes, you do in countless ways, affirm the judges
They actually said that!!!

Summary: As rulings against the EPO pile up (violations of fundamental rights) the EPO’s Web site, basically a barrage of lies, won’t age well… like a human locked up inside a closet

Debian Takes Money From Microsoft — an Epic Mistake

Posted in Debian, Microsoft at 2:33 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Very disappointing, especially as I use 2 Debian PCs and my wife also uses 2 Debian PCs. Last night we span 2 new machines for Tux Machines and Techrights (new sites). They use Alpine.

DebConf22 welcomes its sponsors!
As per today’s announcement from The Debian Publicity Team, which wrote promotional fluff for the criminal company that’s attacking us all. Will the money from Microsoft be used to pay lawyers to attack Debian volunteers?

Summary: Debian has resumed taking bribes from Microsoft after a year or two without that; that does not inspire much confidence in the direction or the judgment of the leaders, who are unable to recognise a company that attacks GNU/Linux more viciously than any other company (right now it’s trying to prevent laptops from even booting Debian)

Razik Alex Menidjel: Software Patents Guru or Career-Climbing Poser Who Never Wrote Code?

Posted in Europe, Patents at 11:11 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 8a56aacc67638b3def912d524e30efbf
The COO Coup
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The EPO‘s most notorious French dictator promoted a compatriot, Razik Menidjel, who was later promoted by another Frenchman, António Campinos, the “f***ing president” (in his own words) who expects to be in the Office for a decade, promoting European software patents in violation of the EPC

THE ongoing series shows how the EPO’s management plots to slow down the bursting of a patennt bubble long in the making. In Part V and Part VI we explained the role of Razik Menidjel, who was put in charge of disciplines he does not understand and has zero experience in.

The EPO is out of control. With the pseudoscience of ‘economics’ on its side (another Frenchman put there by Battistelli to just mindlessly parrot buzzwords like “4IR”– a codeword/buzzword/acronym for software patents) we can expect more lobbying in the direction of unprecedented divergence from the EPC (i.e. breaking the law) and the granting of hundreds of thousands of Invalid Patents (IPs) instead of European Patents (EPs).

Freedom of Speech Cannot Coexist With Crime at the EPO

Posted in Europe, Patents at 10:50 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link | md5sum 0cd6204c8f5ec04fa0f5e613e5b4dd6a
Free Speech Issues at EPO
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The corruption in Europe’s second-largest institution and largest patent office has become so profound that the only way to sustain this corruption is to silence and/or intimidate those who speak about it

THE post we've just published shares a 5-page document about how Monopoly Tony (António Campinos) and his EPO appointer Benoît Battistelli (Campinos lacks prior history at the EPO) illegally suppressed communication at the Office for nearly 10 years.

“Freedom of expression scares tyrants the most because they tend to have the most to hide.”This suppression is perhaps expected. When you routinely break the law you don’t want your staff and your clients/customers (that’s how today’s EPO views applicants) to find out. The video above points out that an honest, law-abiding patent office does not need to worry about people speaking to one another openly; moreover, the importance of circulation information becomes ever more apparent when management goes rogue and does everything wrong. When there’s diplomatic immunity it is essential.

Freedom of expression scares tyrants the most because they tend to have the most to hide.

4 Years of Monopoly Tony (Mr. Campinos) Violating the Rights of Free Association/Expression/Speech as EPO President

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 9:30 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The ‘anti-Jorge‘ Campinos or Jorge’s archenemy

ILOAT Judgment 4551 “You’ve Got Mail”
ILOAT Judgment 4551, as explained here last week

Summary: Communicating with colleagues is a right; what the EPO did for nearly a decade was a violation of rights; Campinos violated these rights for 4 years and even showed his teeth (along with Barking Bergot, the Battistelli Bulldog he inherited and kept) just months after his term had started, so we know we’re dealing with merely Battistelli the Second (he’s still not complying with the ILOAT judgment and messages remain blocked) with a second term one year away

The Central Staff Committee (CSC) of the EPO has circulated material which is applicable to many institutions where management tries to interfere with staff communications. What’s interesting is that after Benoît Battistelli‘s term we have seen his compatriot António Campinos doing nothing at all to improve things. As we showed years ago, he actively interfered with correspondence between staff representatives and their colleagues. He had no intention of fixing this.

“The Tribunal’s ruling is, as usual, coming far too late to have a truly meaningful effect.”As it turns out, based on a ruling nearly a decade late, this was all along unlawful.

The CSC notes that “[o]n 6 July 2022, the Tribunal ruled in Judgment 4551 that the EPO Communiqué of 31 May 2013 restraining the use of email to no more than 50 recipients without prior authorisation breached the fundamental right to freedom of association. The Tribunal considered that the true reason was to exercise prior censorship on the content of communications (consideration 11, p. 15, last §).”

“It also confirmed that the mass emails of the staff representation and unions at the material time did not exceed the limits to freedom of opinion and speech, and hence did not justify a mechanism of a prior authorisation (consideration 11, p. 16, last § – p. 17, last §).”

“After 9 years of breach of freedom of communication (including 4 years during the mandate of Mr Campinos), the Tribunal has declared the ban of mass emails unlawful. Mr Campinos must now lift the technical restrictions imposed on staff and their representation. It is yet another judgment confirming his lack of willingness to restore fundamental rights at the EPO on his own initiative.”

Much of the same can be seen in the abstract below. “Since 2012,” the CSC notes (yes, an entire decade!), “the EPO has been consistently testing the limits of Employment Law and feels only governed by the Tribunal’s ruling.”

The Tribunal’s ruling is, as usual, coming far too late to have a truly meaningful effect. This enormous delay is being exploited by gutsy abusers, who treat laws, constitutions and treaties no better than toilet tissue.

For an HTML version (along with text and GemText later today) we’ve converted the whole publication and left it intact, verbatim, with no annotation added:

Zentraler Personalausschuss
Central Staff Committee
Le Comité Central du Personnel

Munich, 14/07/2022
sc22099cp – 0.2.1/0.3.2/5.1

ILOAT Judgment 4551

“You’ve Got Mail”

On 6 July 2022, the Tribunal ruled in Judgment 4551 that the EPO Communiqué of 31 May 2013 restraining the use of email to no more than 50 recipients without prior authorisation breached the fundamental right to freedom of association. The Tribunal considered that the true reason was to exercise prior censorship on the content of communications1. It also confirmed that the mass emails of the staff representation and unions at the material time did not exceed the limits to freedom of opinion and speech, and hence did not justify a mechanism of a prior authorisation2.

After 9 years of breach of freedom of communication (including 4 years during the mandate of Mr Campinos), the Tribunal has declared the ban of mass emails unlawful. Mr Campinos must now lift the technical restrictions imposed on staff and their representation3. It is yet another judgment confirming his lack of willingness to restore fundamental rights at the EPO on his own initiative. Since 2012, the EPO has been consistently testing the limits of Employment Law and feels only governed by the Tribunal’s ruling.

I. Changing his own rules during the game

Beginning of 2013, the use of email communication was governed by Communiqué No. 10 of 29 March 2006 and the announcement “Communication means for CSC and LSC” of Mr Battistelli dated 28 December 2011 allowing staff committee members to have recourse to mass emails. However, the social atmosphere at the EPO had started to deteriorate with the introduction in 2012 of the Investigation Guidelines severely criticised4 by the union as an authoritarian drift.

On 30 January 2013, Mr Battistelli appointed5 as Principal Director Human Resources the wife of his closest advisor, thereby raising the suspicion of nepotism at the EPO. Management then started to express6 disturbing intentions in the working groups on “performance management” and “well-being”. The deterioration continued with Communiqué No. 20 in which Mr Battistelli accused staff representatives of making unfounded personal attacks thereby triggering a rebuttal7 from those accused. During this period, staff representatives made use of mass-emails to timely inform all staff of the chain of events and the consequently planned industrial actions.

On 13 May 2013, Mr Battistelli issued Communiqué No. 26 entitled “When enough is enough – The use of mass emails within the Office” announcing the setting of new rules on mass communication.

1 Judgment 4551 cons. 11, p.15, last §
2 Judgment 4551 cons. 11, p.16, last § – p.17, first §
3 From a technical point of view this task should require only a few minutes from BIT services. Indeed, more than decade before the issuance of the President’s Communiqué of 2013, staff committees and unions were already sending mass emails to all EPO staff without any hindrance from the Administration.
4 “Investigation Guidelines = EPO becoming a Police State”, SUEPO Munich paper of 15.11.2012 (su12112mp)
5 “New Principal Director Human Resources as of 1 February 2013”, VP4 Communiqué of 30.01.2013
6 “Report on the CSC with the President on 20 November 2012 in Munich”, CSC paper of 26.11.2012 (sc12122cp)
7 “Story-telling by Mr Battistelli”, SUEPO paper of 27.02.2013 (su13024cp)

Shortly after, on 15 May 2013, the union reacted8 with a “translation into plain English” containing a satirical cartoon.

The next day, on 16 May 2013, a meeting9 took place between Mr Battistelli and the Central Staff Committee (CSC) during which Mr Battistelli informed of his intention to ban mass emails which had not obtained the requisite authorisation (see his Communiqué 27).

On 31 May 2013, the Vice-President of DG4 (Mr Topic at the material time) issued a Communiqué entitled “Communication in the workplace” announcing that as from 3 June 2013 only authorised employees would be able to send emails to more than 50 recipients.

II. Judgment 4551: the ban on mass emails of more than 50 recipients is unlawful

On receivability
The complainants challenged the Communiqué No. 26 and the Communiqué of 31 May 2013. They were at the material time permanent EPO employees and also elected members of the staff committee and executive members of the SUEPO trade union.

In their capacity as staff representatives, they argued that the ban on the use of mass emails affected them in their daily work since they could not “maintain suitable contacts with the staff” nor provide “a channel for the expression of opinion by staff” (Article 34(1) ServRegs).

In their capacity as individual employees they alleged an infringement of their rights to freedom of association, communication and speech which are granted to EPO employees.

The Tribunal confirmed (cons. 3) that each staff member of an international organisation has a right to freely associate and the organisation has a corresponding duty to respect that right. This is a necessary element of their employment (see Judgment 4194, cons. 7; Judgment 911, cons. 3).

According to the Tribunal’s case law, a general decision cannot be challenged by a staff member unless and until an individual decision is taken, “[h]owever there are exceptions where the genera decision does not require an implementing decision and immediately and adversely affects individual rights.” (Judgment 3761, cons. 14). This is equally true regarding the right to associate freely (Judgment 496, cons. 6, and 3414, cons. 4).

The Tribunal considered that the Communiqué of 31 May 2013 immediately and directly affected the right of staff members to freely associate, by stating that as from 3 June 2013 emails sent to more than 50 recipients would be allowed only if authorised, and, if not, they would be automatically blocked and not dispatched. As to Communiqué No. 26 of 13 May 2013, it was the first step of the process; therefore, it was properly contested together with the final Communiqué of 31 May 2013.

On the merits
Freedom of association necessarily involves freedom of communication

The Tribunal recalled (cons. 9) that there can be no doubt that freedom of association is a well-recognised and acknowledged universal right which all workers should enjoy. It is recognised as a right by the Tribunal as well as by a large number of international conventions and declarations, as enshrined in Article 30 ServRegs providing that “Permanent employees shall enjoy freedom of association; they may in particular be members of trade unions or staff associations of European civil servants”.

The role of staff associations or unions is to represent the interests of members primarily in dealing

8 “Communiqué No. 26 – Translation into plain English”, SUEPO paper of 15.05.2013 (su13068cp)
9 “Note to staff on the Meeting with the President on 16 May 2013”, CSC paper of 22.05.2013 (sc13074cp)

with their employing organisation on issues concerning the staff. Staff associations or unions should be able to do so unhindered or uninfluenced by the Administration of the employing organisation. Were it otherwise, the role would be compromised (see Judgment 4482, consideration 8).

Freedom of association necessarily involves freedom of discussion and debate (cons. 9, p.12, last §), as well as freedom of communication, information and speech in all forms (cons. 10). Such rights are vested not only in their authors (usually the staff representatives), but also in the recipients. Every limitation to the right of staff representatives to send mass emails to the staff members, is also a limitation to the right of the staff members to receive mass emails.

Free communication, information, and speech also imply:

i. the right to the confidentiality of communication, information, and speech; and
ii. the right to freely choose the means by which the communications are sent, information is provided, and speeches are given.

Like any other freedom such freedom has its bounds

In the proceedings, the Administration abundantly cited Judgment 3516 in which the Tribunal held that, in specific cases, a prior authorisation for the dispatching of mass emails could be justified as “the right to freedom of speech does not encompass action that impairs the dignity of the international civil service, or gross abuse of this right and, in particular, damage to the individual interests of certain persons through allusions that are malicious, defamatory or which concern their private lives.”

The Tribunal noted (cons. 9) that an organisation acts unlawfully only if the conditions for implementing a mechanism in practice leads to a breach of that right, for example by an unjustified refusal to circulate a particular message (see Judgment 3156, considerations 15 and 16).

When considering the Communiqué No. 10 of 29 March 2006 and the announcement of 28 December 2011, the Tribunal concluded that the EPO had actually already reached a reasonable balance in the use of mass emails (cons. 11).

The Communiqué of 31 May 2013 is unlawful

The Tribunal considered (cons. 11) that the Communiqué of 31 May 2013 is unlawful because it sets out an indiscriminate limitation, without providing specific reasons for the prior authorisations, irrespective of technical difficulties for the dispatch, and moreover for an indefinite time. In the view of the Tribunal, the wording of the two impugned Communiqués revealed that the true reason for the requirement of the prior authorisation was to exercise a prior censorship on the content of the communications (cons. 11).

Contrary to Judgment 3156 (cons. 16), the Tribunal held that in the case of the EPO, prior authorisation was imposed as a general preventive measure, independent of specific violations without any time limit.

In the proceedings, the Administration filed as evidence several communications from the staff representation or the union, and focused in particular on the SUEPO paper10 of 15 May 2013 denouncing nepotism at the EPO with a satirical cartoon.

The Tribunal considered the evidence at hand and was satisfied that it did not exceed the limits of freedom of opinion and speech, and therefore did not justify the mechanism of prior authorisation. Staff representatives have the right to criticise the employer. In the present case, the measures taken by the EPO were disproportionate (cons. 11). The EPO is not allowed (cons. 12) to impose certain communication means (such as, in the present

10Communiqué No. 26 – Translation into plain English”, SUEPO paper of 15.05.2013 (su13068cp)

case, the dedicated intranet webpage) rather than others (the mass emails). This is particularly true where the means offered (or imposed) are more complicated and less viable than the other ones technically available, or are under the supervision of the EPO itself.

Finally (cons. 12), the ability of a body representing the staff to circulate emails to all staff members is not “a privilege”. Such body “has a legitimate right to avail itself of this facility, unless there is good cause for restricting it” (see Judgment 3156, consideration 14).


In view of the violations of the right to freedom of association, Communiqué of 31 May 2013 is set aside in part, and the former rules on mass emails in Communiqué No. 10 and in the announcement of 28 December 2011 reinstated.

III. Did Mr Campinos attempt to remedy the situation before the Judgment?

After joining the EPO, on 5 November 2018, Mr Campinos announced11 a pilot allowing staff committees to send mass email invitations for two of their respective general assemblies per year. Such invitations could only contain the place, date and time of the assembly and the agenda items. No other content was allowed. Even these invitations required prior approval of VP4 and could only be sent by the EPO services and not directly by the respective staff committee.

When the Covid-19 pandemic broke out in 2020, the Office premises were closed and teleworking became the rule. In order to maintain suitable contacts with staff in the new virtual environment, the CSC asked the ban on mass-emails to be lifted. Mr Campinos refused. Mr Campinos also turned down the requests for running Technologia surveys on @epo.org email addresses.

On 18 November 2020, a meeting took place between Mr Campinos and SUEPO. Mr Campinos addressed12 the topic of mass emails as follows: “In any case, if SUEPO wants back access to mass-emails, it would be only in the framework of a Memorandum of Understanding. SUEPO will lose in Geneva anyway.” Since then SUEPO never met with Mr Campinos again.

On 30 August 2021, Mr Campinos sent to the CSC a “Draft Agreement on the use of communication between the EPO and the CSC” and announced13 its aim at “focusing on the safeguards to maintain professional decency according to ILOAT standards in all communication”.

The proposal was actually below all standards and could not be considered as serious. Essentially, the document defined that mass emails would only be sent to staff members who had priorly opted in (like for RSS feeds). It also made reference to Judgment 3156, cons. 15 to justify that the President would still be allowed to suspend the sending of mass emails temporarily or permanently if they are not to his taste.

In the meantime, even the sending of Christmas wishes by the staff representation remained censored14 in December 2021, whereas the Administration did so.

The Administration actually used the above proposal in legal proceedings before the Tribunal to argue that the matter was on the verge to be settled.

11 “Communication means for Staff Representation Certain mass emails permitted”, President Communiqué of 05.11.2018
12 “Report on the SUEPO meeting with the President on 18 November 2020”, SUEPO paper of 01.12.2020(sc20037cp)
13 “Report on CSC meeting: Update on strike regulations, the New Normal and Social Agenda 2021”,
Communiqué of 17.09.2021
14 “Censorship of Christmas wishes”, LSCMN paper of 12.01.2022 (sc22001mp)

IV. Conclusion
After the illegal strike regulations15, the “Social Democracy” interference into staff representation elections16, the ruling of the Tribunal on the unlawful ban on mass emails17 is the third of the kind sanctioning an EPO breach of the fundamental right to freedom of association. The unlawful ban spanned over 9 years including 4 years during the mandate of Mr Campinos.

Since 2012, the EPO has been consistently testing the limits of Employment Law and feels only governed by the Tribunal’s rulings. Mr Campinos will be President of the EPO until 2028. It is high time for him to reconsider his choice of advisors who have placed him in the untenable position of Head of an International Organisation who has repeatedly violated fundamental rights. We also question his decision to have the contracts of these advisors and high managers very recently renewed for another 5 years until 2027/2028.

Following Judgment 4551 the CSC addressed Mr Campinos by letter on 7 July 2022 stating that “we count on the immediate removal of all barriers to sending of mass emails by the CSC (and the LSCs) to the respective staff population”. At the time of drafting the present paper, the free sending of mass emails by staff committees is still impossible.

We will keep you posted.

The Central Staff Committee

“A strange rumour has recently spread across Europe in some media, political circles and even with national judges: that the EPO has not been respecting fundamental human rights. What an accusation!” Management public statement18 of 18 March 2015

15 Judgments 4430-4435
16 Judgment 4482
17 Judgment 4551
18 https://www.epo.org/news-events/news/2015/20150318_de.html

Worse yet (than the above quote), the EPO went out of its way to bully bloggers who presented evidence of the abuse. In other words, the EPO’s dictators resorted to yet more abuses to cover up evidence of their abuses.

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