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Links 23/1/2022: First RC of Linux 5.17 and Sway 1.7 Released

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

    • Server

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.17-rc1
        I've tagged the rc1 release a couple of hours earlier than usual, and
        in a timezone 10 hours before the usual one, so this merge window was
        technically a bit shorter than usual. But if somebody didn't get their
        pull request in in time, they shouldn't have left it so late - and
        there's always 5.18. Never fear - we'll not run out of numbers.

        I was nervous that this merge window would be more painful than usual due to my family-related travels, but I have to give thanks to people: a lot of you sent your pull requests early in the merge window, and while there were a couple of hiccups I hit early on, that was all before switching my main workstation to a laptop. Everything seems to have gone fairly smoothly.

        Knock wood.

        5.17 doesn't seem to be slated to be a huge release, and everything looks fairly normal. We've got a bit more activity than usual in a couple of corners of the kernel (random number generator and the fscache rewrite stand out), but even with those things, the big picture view looks very much normal: the bulk is various driver updates, with architectures updates, documentation, and tooling being the bulk of the rest. Even with a total rewrite, that fscache diff looks more like a blip in the big picture.

        And hey, it may not be a huge release, but the full shortlog would still be much too big to post - or scan through. So as is traditional, I'm just appending my mergelog as a highlevel view of what's been going on.

        Please give it all a test,

      • Linux 5.17-rc1 Released A Little Bit Early But With Shiny New Features

        Linux 5.17 also bring a lot of new hardware support, prompt support for Qualcomm's latest SoC, a new real-time analysis tool, x86 straight line mitigation handling, noteworthy network optimizations, and much more. I'll have out my usual Linux 5.17 feature overview later today.

        I've already been running benchmarks of Linux 5.17 Git the past few days and it's been looking good so far with no scary regressions detected yet. More Linux 5.17 benchmarks on the way.

      • AMD Preps for Zen 4: Different Types of Cores Now Supported in Linux | Tom's Hardware

        Tech sleuths are following AMD as it prepares its new Zen 4-based architecture. As the prepares its next-gen CPU, some eagle-eyed individuals have found details about the next-gen parts on Linux and other platforms.

        AMD has quietly uploaded temperature sensor driver support for Zen 4 and Zen 4C cores, reports Phoronix. While these two cores share the same microarchitecture, they are different and will power AMD's 96-core Genoa and 128-core Bergamo processors, respectively, so it is not surprising to see separate drivers. The CPUs are marked as AMD Family 19h Models 10h-1Fh and A0h-AFh.

        Perhaps, a more intriguing innovation is a new Scalable Machine Check Architecture (SMCA) of some future AMD platforms that could use different types of SMCA and therefore cores.

      • Graphics Stack

        • Sway 1.7 Released With VR Headset DRM Leasing, Renames "--my-next-gpu-wont-be-nvidia"

          After working its way through the release candidate process, Sway 1.7 is out this weekend as the newest feature release for this i3-inspired, lightweight Wayland compositor.

          Sway 1.7 is notable in that it offers better zero-copy direct scanout support thanks to making use of the DMA-BUF feedback protocol. Other Wayland desktop compositors have also been quick in supporting the DMA-BUF feedback extension as well. The enhanced zero-copy direct scanout support for full-screen windows is easily one of the best features of Sway 1.7.

    • Applications

      • Cloud Hypervisor 21.0 Offers More Efficient Local Live Migration: 3s Down To 50ms - Phoronix

        Cloud-Hypervisor 21.0 was released this past week as its first feature release since this open-source Intel project moved to the Linux Foundation with backing from Microsoft and Arm. Cloud-Hypervisor 21.0 brings new features and fixes to this Rust-written hypervisor.

      • How I use Linux accessibility settings |

        When I started using Linux in the 1990s, I was in my mid-40s and accessibility was not something I gave much thought to. Now, however, as I'm pushing 70, my needs have changed. A few years ago, I purchased a brand new Darter Pro from System76, and its default resolution is 1920x1080, and it's high DPI, too. The system came with Pop_OS!, which I found that I had to modify to be able to see the icons and text on the display. Thank goodness that Linux on the desktop has become much more accessible than in the 1990s.

        I need assistive technology for seeing and hearing in particular. There are other areas that I do not use but are useful to folks who need help typing, pointing, clicking, and gesturing.

        Various systems, like Gnome, KDE, LXDE, XFCE, and others, handle these assistive technologies differently. These assistive tweaks are mostly available through the Settings dialog box or from keyboard shortcuts.

      • Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Base SAS

        AS Institute Inc. (“SAS”) is an American multinational developer of analytics software based in Cary, North Carolina. The company has around 14,000 employees.

        SAS started as a project at North Carolina State University to create a statistical analysis system used mainly by agricultural departments at universities in the late 1960s.

        SAS is the name of their software suite that can mine, alter, manage and retrieve data from a variety of sources and perform statistical analysis on it. It has more than 200 components covering areas including statistical analysis, econometrics and time series analysis, an interactive matrix language, data mining and much more.

    • Instructionals/Technical

      • How to create, show and drop Collections in MongoDB | FOSS Linux

        MongoDB is an open-source NoSQL database which means that, unlike relational databases, it does not accept input values in table format. Data is stored in collections and documents since MongoDB is a document-oriented database. Rows in an SQL table have been replaced with documents in MongoDB.

        This article assumes that you’ve already installed the MongoDB server on your computer and connected a shell to the server. If you have already done so, we can explore a few features of MongoDB but first, a few terminologies: If not, you can check out the article on how to install MongoDB on Ubuntu.

      • How to add missing ifconfig command on Debian | FOSS Linux

        In this article, we will be tackle how to add the missing ifconfig command on Debian. We will run all this on Debian version 11, “bullseye.” This Debian version ships with the new package ipp-usb, recommended by cups-daemon, and utilizes the vendor-neutral IPP-over-USB protocol reinforced by multiple modern printers. This, in turn, allows a USB device to be treated as a network device, expanding driverless printing to include USB-connected printers.

        The ifconfig (interface configuration) command is a vital utility to configure the kernel-resident network interfaces. It is used to initialize the interfaces as required during the boot time. On the flip side, it is also used when debugging or when you need system tuning. Furthermore, this command is used to assign the IP address and netmask to an interface or enable or disable a given interface. The command is available under the net-tools package.

      • What are Upstream and Downstream in Linux Terminology?

        The terms: upstream and downstream are rather ambiguous terms and, I think, not really used by the general public. If you are a Linux user and do not write or maintain software, chances are pretty good that these terms will mean nothing to you, but they can be instructive in how communication between groups within the Linux world works.

        The terms are used in networking, programming, kernel, and even in non-computer areas such as supply chains. When we talk about upstream and downstream then, context is important.

        In its simplest form, upstream and downstream is the direction of the flow of information.

        Since we are all reading this article while we’re connected to the Internet, let’s look at an upstream/downstream example as it applies to Internet Service Providers (ISP). Here, the ISP is concerned with traffic. Upstream traffic is data is coming in from a user from a different ISP. For example, if you have a website that offers a subscription to a newsletter, the information I send, to subscribe, is upstream data.

      • How to create desktop shortcut for an AppImage - Linux Shout

        Have you downloaded any AppImage and now want to create a Desktop entry? Then here is the command line tutorial to create a Desktop shortcut and Application launcher for an AppImage of some software.

        AppImage desktop integration is not going to happen automatically. It is because this is a kind of portable executable file meant to run on almost all Linux distros. Hence, using developers don’t need to write a single software, again and again, to make it compatible with various Linux systems.

      • 5 Great Kali Linux Books - buildVirtual

        If you’re new to Kali Linux, or looking to pick up some more skills then there are some great Kali Linux books available. The aim of this page is to show you some of the best Kali Linux books currently available to help you on your journey to become a Kali Linux expert! If you are looking to learn Kali Linux then each Kali Linux book listed here should help!

      • Running Ubuntu on Raspberry Pi 4? Here’s How to Boost Performance

        Raspberry Pi 4 is a tiny device packed with useful features like support for dual monitors and fast ethernet connection. If you are looking for a simple yet reliable solution for your next DIY project, a Raspberry Pi can be an excellent base for that. Moreover, you can now easily run Ubuntu desktop on your Raspberry Pi 4, even with 2GB of RAM.

        Read below to learn how to improve Ubuntu's performance on a Raspberry Pi 4 with only 2GB RAM. You can use this method to set up a full-fledged Ubuntu environment with access to a keyboard, mouse, and networking.

      • How to replace libinput with evdev for sane mouse control | Hund

        I try to be pragmatic and open to new things, but some things are just hard to embrace. Especially when they’re bad. One of these things are libinput.

        I tried giving libinput a chance, but I couldn’t come close to finding some sane mouse settings for it. I strongly dislike silly things like mouse acceleration. If I want to quickly move my mouse cursors across the screen, I’ll just quickly move my arm…

        Thankfully, it’s possible to go back to evdev, and it’s not that difficult either. You just have to install the package for it. In Fedora the package is named xorg-x11-drv-evdev.

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Enabling EAC Support on Linux Through Proton is Now Even Easier - Boiling Steam

        Going from this explanation, this is the probable reason why there’s been so few titles with EAC to work through Proton so far. But yesterday, Valve wrote a new post regarding EAC. The post said that the company has been working with Epic to make supporting EAC titles on the Steam Deck or through Proton even easier. Game binaries no longer have to be updated, neither does the developer need to opt-in to the latest SDK or use Epic Online Services.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • 10 Great Apps to Improve Your GNOME Experience [Part 3]

          We present the next set of great GNOME Apps that brings multitude of productivity boost while using your favorite GNOME desktop.

        • Daniel García Moreno: Twitch: GNOME live coding streaming

          This year I've started with something that I wanted to do since the first COVID lockdown, but never did. So as a first year resolution I decided to start streaming and I created my Twitch channel Abentogil.

          I've been thinking about streaming since lockdown, when a group of Spanish people created a nice initiative to teach kids how to code and other tech stuff. I never participated on that initiative, but it was the seed of this.

          This year I've seen other GNOME streamers doing live coding, like ebassi and Georges and, at the end, I pluck up the courage to start.

    • Distributions

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora

        • Vanessa's Blog | Week7 Blog Post

          Week 1-2: Learn the Fedora package maintainer process, and improve existing packages via pull requests to practice the workflow.

          Week 3-5: Go over the NeuroFedora packaging queue and identify a list of tools for packaging

          Week 6-9: Follow the Fedora package maintaining process, and submit packages for review.

          Week 10: Follow the review process and make necessary improvements to submitted packages.

          Week 12: Submit packages for QA, test them, update documentation.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Ubuntu is the most popular distribution of 2021

          We finished with the review of our end-of-year survey with the result related to distributions, the cornerstone of this world in which we live, although as expected, Ubuntu is crowned one more year as the average user’s favorite. No surprises, right? Not completely, as we will see below delving a little into the data.

          In fact, there are some other surprises in the table and more specifically, in the top positions; and even in the place of honor occupied by Ubuntu since we did this survey, there are changes that are worth commenting on, because as is the case with Firefox, the parish’s unshakable totem, there are trends that are not declining, but quite the opposite.

    • Devices/Embedded

      • Experimental PineNote E-Reader Now Available for $399

        The 10.3-inch PineNote e-reader is now available to buy, but this isn't a device ready to compete with the Kindle just yet.

        Last year, Pine64 announced it was developing an e-reader that runs Linux called the PineNote. As Liliputing reports, an experimental version of the PineNote has now gone on sale for $399, but it's called "experimental" and the Developer Edition for a good reason.

        A note on the PineNote product page states, "The PineNote is an experimental device. PineNote software is still in it’s infancy and therefore it is ONLY suitable for experienced developers. At present time, there is no default OS for the PineNote."

      • PineNote E Ink tablet now on sale for all even as developers continue refining the product

        The PineNote tablet is now on sale, which means anyone having $399 to spare, can order the E Ink tablet right away. The company known for its PinePhone and PineBook devices had put on sale limited quantities of the PineNote device in December though that was limited to the developers only. However, the e-note is now available for all to buy, and barring the Chinese New Year celebrations in February, there isn’t likely to be any disruption in supplies in the foreseeable future, the company revealed via its Jan. 2022 update.

        That said, the PineNote is still very much a work-in-progress thing so that the device right now is shipping without any operating system installed. There is going to be just the bootloader, which means buyers have the liberty to install the OS of their choice. Here again, there aren’t very many options as well though developers have been able to run the Alpine and Debian Linux to run on the tablet. A NixOS port too is being readied and should be available sometime soon.

      • Open Hardware/Modding

        • Web-Centric Gabuino Has Compiler, Will Travel | Hackaday

          Arguably the biggest advantage of the Arduino platform is its ease of use, especially when compared to what microcontroller development looked like before the introduction of the open source board and its associated software development environment. All you need to do is download the IDE for your platform, plug in your Arduino, and you can have code running on the hardware with just a few clicks.

          But can it get even easier? [Gabriel Valky] certainly thinks so, which is why he’s developed the cloud-based Gabuino platform. As of right now it only supports the DS213 pocket oscilloscope and LA104 logic analyzer, but he says the code is lightweight enough that it should work with any STM32 board that has the appropriate bootloader. Using Gabuino requires no software to be installed on the computer, just plug in the board, and you’re already half way there.

        • Printing In Silicone | Hackaday

          When you think of making something out of silicone, you usually think of using a mold and injecting it with the material. Can you 3D print it? [Kimberly Beckett] answers that very question in a recent post. The short answer is yes, but you need specialized printing equipment.

          Most consumer or hobby printers use either filament deposition or photoresin. Neither of these processes are good for printing silicone. For one thing, silicone doesn’t melt and reform like a thermoplastic. After all, that is why we like making hotend socks and oven utensils with the material. If you do melt silicone, you get a gooey mess, not a nice fluid you can push through an extruder nozzle. As for resin printing, silicone is resistant to UV so the chances of coming up with UV curable silicone are pretty small.

          So how do you print silicone? There are a few methods. Aceo is a technique that is sort of like an inkjet. It deposits a solution of silicone and a binder that activates on exposure to UV. After placing a layer, a UV light activates the binder and you repeat for the next layer. There is also a technique for drawing a layer of silicone liquid and then curing it with a halogen lamp.

        • Another DPS5005 Alternative Firmware | Hackaday

          The firmware has some interesting features, such as programmable pre-sets intended for battery charging applications. In fact, there is a dedicated battery charge mode screen. We want to warn, however, that charging lithium ion batteries with this might not be at all wise, not in the least because of a lack of protection hardware in place. It would be very easy to destroy the unit or overheat a battery this way! However, if you must do this, there are a few features to help you out, such as a handy ‘counters’ screen showing approximate charge delivered.

          Remote programmability is, as usual, via the easily hacked in serial port, with firmware support for Bluetooth serial modules if wired USB serial doesn’t suit. For those who like to mount things differently, the screen can be rotated by holding a key on power-up, or if you hook up a MPU6050 accelerometer/gyro module it will even do it automatically!

        • Using 4G LTE wireless modems on a Raspberry Pi

          There doesn't seem to be any good central resource for "4G LTE and Linux" out there, just a thousand posts about the ABC's of getting an Internet connection working through a 4G modem—but with precious little explanation about why or how it works. (Or why someone should care about random terms like PPP, ECM, QMI, or MBIM, or why someone would choose qmi_wwan over cdc_ether, or ... I could go on).

          Hopefully you can learn something from my notes. Or point out places where I'm glaringly wrong :)

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Education

        • Moodle: Working together to strengthen education – our obligation to future generations

          At Moodle, we support open education as crucial to reimagining and renewing education for our collective benefit. At its core, this movement recognises that an empowered teacher or educator requires access to quality resources, skills and tools in order to facilitate the education of a group of people. This includes open methods in accessing resources, an equitable approach in how to use resources and tools effectively and an open ed tech infrastructure that is reliable and accessible to all. Moodle supports the open education movement in three key ways.

      • Programming/Development

        • Mold 1.0.2 Released For This High Performance Linker - Phoronix

          For those interested in compilers, Mold as the "Modern Linker" is one of the interesting projects to watch in 2022.

          Mold 1.0 came at the end of 2021 for this project developed by Rui Ueyama who is also known as the original developer of LLVM's LLD linker. Mold 1.0 is considered stable and production ready while delivering very promising results compared to LLVM's LLD or GNU's Gold linkers. Mold has been generating interest among developers and now Mold 1.0.2 is out this Sunday with fixes and minor updates.

          While Mold is working towards native link-time optimization (LTO) support, for the moment Mold 1.0.2 will now fall-back to using ld.bfd or ld.lld if GCC/LLVM LTO support is requested. This at least will not break builds and so should work out fine until Mold's LTO support is ready.

        • Wordle With Grep

          i Let us solve a Wordle with the Unix grep command and the Unix words file. The Wordle game published on 22 Jan 2022 is solved in this post. The output examples shown below are obtained using the words file /usr/share/dict/words, GNU grep 3.6, and GNU bash 5.1.4 on Debian GNU/Linux 11.2 (bullseye).

          In this post, we will solve the Wordle in a quick and dirty manner. We will not try to find the most optimal strategy. The focus is going to be on making constant progress and reaching the solution quickly with simple shell commands. The steps below show how to solve a Wordle in this manner.

        • New Professional Certificate Program Teaches Essentials of Open Source Software Development
  • Leftovers

    • Underwater Drone Films, Is In Film | Hackaday

      Having a drone that can follow you running or biking with a camera isn’t big news these days. But French firm Notilo Plus has an underwater drone that can follow and video an underwater diver. The Seasam has been around since 2019, but recently made an appearance in a French film, The Deep House about a couple exploring an underwater haunted house, as reported by New Atlas. You can see a video about the drone — and a trailer for the movie — in the videos below.

      To follow a diver, the robot uses an acoustic signal from the user’s control unit to find the approximate location of the user. This works even in dark conditions. Once close enough, computer vision zeros in on the diver while a sonar system allows safe navigation.

    • Science

    • Education

      • Infosec Skill Sets

        Everybody's career path into and within "Information Security" -- about as broad and ill-defined a field as any -- is different. We all come from different backgrounds with different experiences, and even if our job titles may be the same, in practice we are bound to perform different tasks.[1]

        But some skill sets tend to intersect. I've tried to compile a list of primarily technical "core competencies" before, but that only covered so-called "hard skills". "Soft skills", on the other hand, are actually a lot harder, but of course there's overlap here indicating a conceptual difficulty in categorizing "technical" and "non-technical" skills. Overlap, you say? To the Venn Diagramminator!

    • Hardware

      • Arm releases experimental CHERI-enabled Morello board as part of €£187M UKRI Digital Security by Design programme

        Professor Robert N. M. Watson (Cambridge), Professor Simon W. Moore (Cambridge), Professor Peter Sewell (Cambridge), Dr Jonathan Woodruff (Cambridge), Brooks Davis (SRI), and Dr Peter G. Neumann (SRI)

        After over a decade of research creating the CHERI protection model, hardware, software, and formal models and proofs, developed over three DARPA research programmes, we are at a truly exciting moment. Today, Arm announced first availability of its experimental CHERI-enabled Morello processor, System-on-Chip, and development board – an industrial quality and industrial scale demonstrator of CHERI merged into a high-performance processor design. Not only does Morello fully incorporate the features described in our CHERI ISAv8 specification to provide fine-grained memory protection and scalable software compartmentalisation, but it also implements an Instruction-Set Architecture (ISA) with formally verified security properties. The Arm Morello Program is supported by the €£187M UKRI Digital Security by Design (DSbD) research programme, a UK government and industry-funded effort to transition CHERI towards mainstream use.

      • ToolsGroup: Overcoming supply chain sustainability fears

        Though we’re hearing much about the circular economy today, the idea has been kicking around since 1976, when it was first introduced in a research report to the European Commission. Recently organisations, most notably, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, have reinvigorated the model and (if you’ll pardon the pun) “put wind in its sails”.

        The Ellen MacArthur Foundation states that the circular economy “is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems”.

        Supply chains, which manage every aspect of the goods production lifecycle, are arguably in the best position to make meaningful, measurable contributions to a sustainable circular economy. According to a report Gartner published last December “Supply Chain Executive Report: Close the Loop to Create Future-Fit Raw Material Strategies”, 51% of supply chain professionals expect the focus on their circular economy strategies to increase over the next two years.

      • Running Methanol RC Engines On Gasoline | Hackaday

        Methanol is a popular fuel for small engines used in radio-controlled models, but comes at a higher price than gasoline. It’s also harder to source and can be a mite corrosive, too. Gasoline comes with some benefits, but running it in a methanol engine usually requires some mods. [David] and [Bert] worked together to build a mixture controller for just this purpose.

    • Health/Nutrition/Agriculture

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Zhengbang Pick & Places Your Confidential Data In The Bag, Slowly | Hackaday

          It didn’t end here! After installing the “clean” files, they also ran a few anti-malware tools, and all seemed fine. Then, they plugged the flash drive into another computer again… to encounter even more alerts than before. The machine was equipped with some sort of mechanism to infect every .exe touching it with the same aforementioned malware, and the “clean” files were nothing more than a distraction – the infection got added to all .exe files on sight, even .exe‘s of the anti-malware tools they put on that USB drive. By this point, ZhengBang’s intentions are pretty clear – getting data from as many of your devices as possible. To add to that, all of these discoveries don’t count as violations of Aliexpress Terms and Conditions – so if you’d like to distribute a bunch of IoT malware on, say, wireless routers you bought in bulk, now you know of a platform that will help you!

        • I Broke My MacBook User Profile By Deleting A Single Folder

          The OS on my M1 MacBook Air was completely trashed when I tried to use it this morning. All because I deleted a single folder from my home directory.

        • Pseudo-Open Source

        • Security

          • Cyber conflict and mixed signals. Nation-state cyberespionage, privateering, and direct theft. [Ed: Ongoing efforts to shift attention away from Microsoft back doors to something else]

            Russo-Ukrainian tension has moved US authorities to issue an alert on the threat of Russian cyber operations. That alert came as the continuing effort to address Log4j vulnerabilities has raised concern about open-source software security.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Tracking corona infections: German Luca app in a downfall

              Five Länder no longer renew their contracts with culture4life, the company’s new business model could also run into turbulence

            • How to Use SSH Agent Safely

              The SSH agent (ssh-agent) is an SSH key manager that stores the SSH key in a process memory so that users can log into SSH servers without having to type the key’s passphrase every time they authenticate with the server. In addition to the key management feature, SSH agent supports agent forwarding, which helps to authenticate with servers that sit behind a bastion or jump server. As the agent works as a password manager for SSH keys, incorrect usage or faulty configuration can cause security risks.

              In this article, we’ll explore how to avoid potential SSH agent pitfalls and recommend best practices to keep your SSH agent secure.

            • Farewell, G Suite legacy free edition

              Today I saw the news that Google are pulling on the plug on the G Suite legacy free edition (a.k.a. Google Apps for custom domains). If you don’t recall the story - originally the service was free for up to 50 users (making it quite popular with small companies), then up to 10 users, then up to 5 users, and finally it was made paid for everyone. The people who started to use the service before the terms were changed were kept on what Google called “G Suite legacy free edition”. I am (was?) one of them.

            • China’s Olympics App Is Horribly Insecure

              China is mandating that athletes download and use a health and travel app when they attend the Winter Olympics next month. Citizen Lab examined the app and found it riddled with security holes.

            • Israeli police accused of using Pegasus malware to spy illegally on citizens

              Israeli police are under fire after a report accused them of using the NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware to access the devices of the public, it was reported today.

              The claims were made by the Israeli newspaper Calcalist, which contends that its investigation proves that the spyware was used on critics of the former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The technology, which has been called “the most powerful piece of spyware ever developed,” is said to have been used on activists, politicians and journalists around the world.

            • Government funds charity campaign to warn big tech over the risks of encryption to children [Ed: Well, the threat to children is the perpetrators of these policies]

              The government is funding a campaign that will put pressure on Facebook and other tech companies over their plans to introduce encrypted messaging services, warning that millions of cases of child abuse could go undetected.

              The Home Office-backed campaign, known as No Place to Hide, warns that social media sites are “willfully blindfolding” themselves to child sexual abuse by introducing end-to-end encryption on messaging services.

              The campaign, coordinated by M&C Saatchi, aims to bring together charities and experts to warn parents over the risks of end-to-end encryption.

    • Defence/Aggression

    • Environment

      • The “Doomsday Glacier” Is Irreversibly Melting, Researchers Say

        Just as the Thwaites may unleash inland ice into the ocean — much like a cork pulled from a bottle — others are dumping concerning amounts of fresh water near penguin populations. According to a new study published by researchers at Cambridge and the University of Leeds, iceberg A-68a was the world’s largest before it shattered into nearly a dozen mini-bergs.

      • Defend Chernobyl During an Invasion? Why Bother, Some Ukrainians Ask.

        The Chernobyl zone covers about 1,000 square miles straddling the shortest direct route from the Belarusian border to Kyiv. While it is not necessarily the most likely invasion route from the north, because it is swampy and densely forested, Ukraine has not ruled it out.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • A Mass Extinction Has Already Started, Scientists Say

          The team led by Robert Cowie, a research professor at the University of Hawaii, argues that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species was too focused on the loss of bird and mammal species — and not focused enough on invertebrates, a much larger group.

          The organization’s Red List, founded in 1964, is the world’s most comprehensive inventory of endangered species and their extinction risk. It has been used by other researchers to argue that we are not in fact facing a sixth mass extinction event.

        • Untangling the roots of plant genomes| EurekAlert!

          The article, “Green Plant Genomes: What We Know in an Era of Rapidly Expanding Opportunities” underscores the significance of this massive endeavor. “Nearly half a million species of plants inhabit the Earth today and the secrets to understanding nearly everything about them is hidden in the sequences of their DNA (the plant genome),” said Dr. W. John Kress, senior author of the paper and Curator Emeritus at the Smithsonian. “Plants are the foundation of environments across the planet and deciphering their genomes will be a game changer for understanding nearly all aspects of our own lives, from improving foods and medicines to inspiring artists and enhancing ecosystem stability.”

        • Ecological niche divergence between extant and glacial land snail populations explained | Scientific Reports

          The presence of Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) biotic communities without modern counterparts is well known. It is particularly evident in central European fossil LGM land snails whose assemblages represent an odd mix of species that are currently limited to either xeric or wetland habitats. Here we document a genetically verified discovery of the modern calcareous wetland species Pupilla alpicola on Iceland, where it is limited to dry grasslands. This species also represents a common European LGM fossil, and its new records from Iceland help explain puzzling shifts of some glacial land snails of xeric grassland habitats to open wetlands today. Similarities between the climates of modern Iceland and LGM Eurasia suggest that this species did not become limited to wetlands in continental Europe until after the Late Pleistocene–Holocene climate transition. These results are a strong reminder that assumptions of ecological uniformity must be questioned and that the quality and robustness of palaeoecological reconstructions is dependent upon adequate knowledge of the full autecological range of species over time.

    • Finance

      • Islamism meets inflation and Turkey teeters

        While ErdoÄŸan and his government make these terrible mistakes, many in the West are making a related mistake. Our experts and opinion leaders are far too accustomed to looking at leaders around the world as so-called rational actors. Possibly evil, possibly ignorant, but still rational. History shows something different. Plenty of world leaders are irrational and willing to follow irrational ideologies right over a cliff, taking their own and possibly other countries with them. Case in point: Venezuela. The more wreckage the policies of the Hugo Chavez and Nicolás Maduro governments created, the more those leaders kept and keep pursuing the same policies. ErdoÄŸan may be such a one.

      • Holes in the Social Safety Net Leave Millions Without Access to Needed Benefits

        The pandemic has shone a bright light on our country's social safety net. Record numbers of Americans applied for unemployment. The federal government issued hundreds of billions of dollars in stimulus checks. Federal and state programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), mortgage relief, rental assistance, even free vaccine delivery—all of which had trouble gaining bipartisan support in previous years—were quickly implemented as the crisis unfolded and millions of Americans lost jobs, fell ill or were sidelined at home caring for children whose schools and day care facilities were closed due to COVID.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Biden signs memorandum to secure sensitive national security systems

        The order specifies how national security systems, the most sensitive information technology systems within the government, should comply with a May 2021 executive order designed to improve cybersecurity across the federal government.

        While that executive order laid out a broad set of tasks for managers of national security systems, the new memorandum establishes specific timelines and guidance for implementation. This includes requiring multifactor authentication and encryption.

        The memorandum also requires agencies to develop a plan to implement zero trust architectures, a move considered critical to protecting systems and information from both inside and outside threats.

      • The European Commission Timidly Commits to Opening it's Source Codes and Contributing to Free Software

        Following its "Open Source Software Strategy 2020 – 2023", published in October 2020, the European Commission formalizes its goals and practices in its decision "on the open source licensing and reuse of Commission software" – an important document, as the Commission can be held accountable for it. Like the above-mentioned strategy, this decision doesn't demonstrate much political ambition, nonetheless it sets a useful baseline and confirms the Commission's will to amplify its use of free software, and contribute more to it.

      • [Old] COMMISSION DECISION of 8.12.2021 on the open source licensing and reuse of Commission software

        This Decision determines the conditions for the reuse and licensing of software produced by the Commission or on its behalf, and for which the Commission holds the intellectual property [sic] rights [sic].

      • Howie Hawkins Blasts “Bipartisan Biden” on Inauguration Anniversary

        The 2020 Green Party Presidential Candidate Calls for Independent Progressive Politics

        Howie Hawkins, the Green Party’s 2020 candidate for President, issued the following statement on the first anniversary of President Joe Biden’s inauguration. It is being published on the CounterPunch website today as “Bipartisan Biden Builds Back Bupkis: Reflections on Biden’s Inauguration Anniversary.”

        It is not surprising that President Biden is failing on his Build Back Better and voting rights agendas. It is not surprising because Biden campaigned as the candidate who could work with the ultra-conservative, Trump-infatuated Republicans to build unity and “restore the soul of America.” Biden continued to pursue bipartisanship even after the anti-democratic Republicans tried to overthrow his election.

        Bipartisan Biden’s political strategy has been as reality-challenged as Trump’s 30,000 lies in office. It is not surprising that as Biden approached the January 20th anniversary of his inauguration a Quinnipiac Poll showed that Biden’s job approval is 33% and a 58% to 37% majority of Americans believe our democracy is in danger of collapsing.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • The sky is falling for Netflix

        Although price increases will probably help to offset its sluggish sign ups, they could also lead to more stagnation for Netflix.

        For some consumers, price increases — even small ones — are a lot to ask considering that so many competitors are at Netflix's gates. Rivals like Disney+, Peacock and HBO Max from CNN parent's company, WarnerMedia, are also vying for a share of consumer's streaming budget. A dollar here or there matters to consumer's wallets.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • AstraZeneca and Hoyng avert damages payment to health insurer Menzis [Ed: AstraZeneca is a bunch of monsters, but mouthpieces of AstraZeneca and the other patent profiteers (Amy Sandys in this case) frame this as a case of innocence ]

          The Court of Appeal of The Hague has found AstraZeneca not guilty of enforcing an invalid patent against generic drug companies in the Netherlands. Overturning a first-instance decision, the court ruled that it is not unlawful for a patent holder to maintain an invalid patent if unaware that a court could invalidate the patent. As such, AstraZeneca is no longer obliged to compensate third-party health insurer Menzis.

          For Menzis, the decision is a blow in its quest to gain damages from pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in the Netherlands. This is in contrast to a District Court of The Hague decision, which it handed down in 2020. It is also the first such claim made by a health insurance company.

        • Companies got fewer patents in 2021 – in-house explain why [Ed: Rani Mehta, de facto lobbyist for the patent cartel that sponsors her, treats this like bad news; as if monopolies are desirable and they're moaning about "patent eligibility challenges" (read: patent quality)]

          Counsel at Siemens, HPE, Honeywell and IBM say COVID and patent eligibility challenges are to blame for the drop in issuances last year and in the future

        • What are the challenges in developing information around mixing-and-matching COVID-19 vaccines and therapies?

          The FDA has now authorized three vaccines and several treatments (including both monoclonal antibodies and small-molecule drugs) for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. But the initial evidence supporting these products’ introduction into the market did not include information about how they might work together. Nevertheless, information about mixing-and-matching COVID-19 vaccines and therapies would be highly valuable not only to physicians and their patients, who must already make decisions about what treatment options to pursue under conditions of uncertainty (if the treatments are available), but also for policymakers, who want to know what products to prioritize for investment. Why is it so difficult to obtain this information? How can policymakers encourage its development?


          The CDC currently advises that vaccines are not interchangeable for the initial two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines, but that mix-and-match dosing (more formally known as “heterologous” dosing) is allowed for booster shots. People who received non-FDA-authorized vaccines can also receive a heterologous primary dose and booster. The agency cites preliminary results from a pre-Omicron study by the NIH-funded Mix and Match Team, which found that heterologous boosters resulted in similar or higher antibody responses in the first month after boosting. But short-term antibody responses may not indicate clinical outcomes, and the study authors caution that the study was not designed to compare different booster regimes (given the sample size and lack of controls for relevant variables). Last week, the Mix and Match Team posted very preliminary results that most booster combinations (heterologous or homologous) increase antibody response to the Omicron variant, but these results have similar limitations.

        • Medlab receives grant to develop NanoCelle nasal vaccine for Covid-19 [Ed: EPO thinks or wants us to believe that giving monopolies or patents on COVID-19 would help rather than exacerbate the crisis, ensuring it never ends because it's more profitable to keep the virus circulating]

          Furthermore, the platform provides a market-ready delivery solution with patent protection until 2036 in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and Europe.

        • Greenville entrepreneur helps police bring down $4.5M patent scam
        • [Older] Texas Patent Litigation Monthly Wrap-Up - October 2021 [Ed: When patent law is turned into "business" by judges, who disregard the actual law to attract lawsuits]

          Texas courts facing pushback on multiple fronts.

        • [Older] China to Revoke Patent Agencies’ Licenses for Filing Abnormal Patent Applications [Ed: Patent applications in China are of low quality, but to stuff WIPO they'll grant anyway]

          On November 10, 2021, the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) released the Notice of the CNIPA on Further Severely Cracking Down on Abnormal Patent Application Agency Acts (国家知识产权局关于进一步严厉打击非正常专利申请代理行为的通知). CNIPA will halt new business intake or even revoke licenses of patent agencies that file relatively large amounts of abnormal (also translated as irregular) patent applications. Previously, Chinese patent agencies have been warned and fined such as a Shenzhen firm that was recently fined 50,000 RMB for filing a total of 1,264 irregular applications and a Hangzhou firm was recently fined 20,000 RMB for filing a total of 1,192 abnormal patent application.

        • [Older] Federal Circuit Disinfects PTAB’s Obviousness Finding for MRSA Inactivation Patent

          The University of Strathclyde recently found relief at the Federal Circuit when a unanimous panel reversed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s (“the Board”) final determination that their method patent for photoinactivating MRSA bacteria was obvious. The Federal Circuit found that due to a lack of substantial evidence in the prior art, the patent was not shown to be obvious/unpatentable.

        • [Older] Chinese Patent Office Announces Record 1.04 Million RMB Fine for Unauthorized Practice of Patent Law

          On November 29, 2021, the Chinese National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) announced a record fine of 1.04 million RMB (~$163 thousand USD) against a Sichuan entity for engaging in the patent agency business without authorization. Per CNIPA, “The amount of fines and forfeiture is the most for an unqualified patent agency violation case that has been investigated and punished.”

        • Unified Patent Court and Unitary Patent Moving Ahead in Europe [Ed: Totally and intentionally ignoring the fact that this is illegal and many obstacles remain]

          Final preparations by sixteen EU member states for their Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent (UP) began on 19 January 2022, following Austria’s deposit on the previous day of its ratification of the Protocol on Provisional Application of the UPC Agreement (PPA). The PPA permits the organization of the UPC before it opens to accept cases, including establishment of its Administrative, Advisory and Budget Committees, hiring of judges and staff, etc. The new court is expected to open in late 2022 or early 2023.

          Poland and Spain have not signed the UPC Agreement and currently do not plan to participate in the UP and UPC. Croatia joined the EU after the Agreement was signed. Seven additional EU member states have signed the UPC Agreement, but have not yet ratified. Those states and Croatia may participate in the UP and UPC later.

        • The Unitary Patent and Unified Patent Court Move Forward [Ed: No, it is illegal and it will be stopped; but the lobbying tactic is to endlessly lie and make it "too late" to stop something illegal]

          The General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union yesterday declared that the Provisional Application Period (PAP) of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) has started, following deposit by Austria of its instrument of ratification. The Unified Patent Court will oversee the Unitary Patent (UP) which is intended to be a single patent right having effect in the territories of participating EU members and European patents granted in participating countries. The beginning of the PAP means that the UPC Preparatory Committee can begin work to establish the Court, which is expected to take at least eight months.

        • After almost 50 years, EU unitary patent edges closer to becoming reality [Ed: This publisher is promoting falsehoods; of course it's in the EPO's pocket, too; it's really bad when EPO puff piece factories are also producing UPC propaganda for lobbying purpose, peddling unlawful agenda and to make matters worse, the EPO's propaganda outlets also cherry-pick voices to help a patent cartel that kills millions of people for vaccine patent profits]
        • Intellectual property: Statement by Commissioner Breton [Ed: Thierry Breton openly and flagrantly promotes illegal agenda]
        • How John Quinn Built The World’s Largest Litigation Specialist [Ed: Why does Forbes champion thugs and bullies? They contribute nothing to the planet.]
      • Copyrights

        • Heuking embarks on mixed approach with patent attorney hire [Ed: This is truly ridiculous marketing spam from Christina Schulze, who used to do actual journalism. JUVE wants you to think that some firm hiring a relatively 'low-level' person is noteworthy "news" (follow the PR money)]

          Engineer and patent attorney Isabella Sommer-Zhang (31) has joined Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek‘s four-lawyer-strong patent litigation team in Düsseldorf. She previously worked for patent attorney firms Farago and Jostarndt in Aachen, passing her European patent attorney examination last year

          As part of her education and training in electrical engineering and information technology, Sommer-Zhang worked for clients such as OLEDWorks. She also gained experience with AI patents through work for technology company Komet, and 3D metal printing manufacturer Aixway.

        • [Guest post] The new German competition tool in action – Ensuring the effectiveness of the new press publisher’s neighbouring right against Google

          On 12 January 2022, the German Competition Authority (Bundeskartellamt) announced that it would hold consultations in the press publishing sector on the Google News Showcase online service (see press release here). Already in June 2021, the Bundekartellamt had initiated proceedings against Google following a complaint by Corint Media concerning Google’s licensing and presentation practices i.a. in the News Showcase service. Corint Media is the German Collective Rights Management Organisation (CMO) responsible for the management of the neighbouring rights of broadcasters and press publishers, including the German press publisher’s neighbouring right under Section 87g of the German Copyright Act.


          Google has now declared that it will not include the Showcase content in its general search results and has proposed further measures to respond to the competition concerns, such as to modify the Showcase contracts and to clearly separate them from the negotiations between Google and the press publishers or their CMOs with regard to their neighbouring rights. Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt stated: “Google has proposed measures to respond to our competition concerns relating to Google News Showcase. The company no longer plans to include Showcase content in the general search results. The conditions for participating in Google News Showcase are not intended to prevent publishers from enforcing their general ancillary copyright. Access to Google News Showcase is based on objective criteria. We rely on the assessment of the market players affected to ensure that the measures proposed by Google are effective. In view of the wide variety of interests the publishers may have we are thus conducting broader consultations in the sector.”

          Google’s proposed commitments are not publicly available, and it will be interesting to see the outcome of the Bundeskartellamt’s consultations in the sector. Certainly, as the consultation and negotiations progress, we will learn more details on what Google is offering exactly.

        • Pirate IPTV Reseller Ordered to Pay TV Companies $164,000 in Damages

          A 58-year-old man has been ordered to pay four Swedish TV companies more than $164,000 in damages after being found guilty of selling illegal IPTV service subscriptions. He claimed that a third party was responsible for the sales but a local court found him guilty of copyright infringement offenses, also handing down a four-month suspended prison sentence.

Recent Techrights' Posts

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