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Free Software Sentry – watching and reporting maneuvers of those threatened by software freedom
Updated: 2 hours 20 min ago

Links 11/4/2021: GnuPG 2.3.0, Linux 5.13 Additions

3 hours 43 min ago

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Desktop/Laptop
      • Linux As An Alternative To Windows & MacOS

        I downloaded Mandrake Linux and installed it onto my computer and tried it. It had a familiar-looking desktop, not exactly like windows but not too alien from it either. It contained some useful software including a web browser, email program, office suite, etc, and I loved trying something truly different. The problem I found though, it was too difficult to download new programs and to customise the user experience.

        It had a command-line interface meaning you needed to type computer code to download programs or change the system to your liking. Although it looked familiar, to use it on a day-to-day basis, a certain amount of coding knowledge was required. I wanted to use my computer to be productive rather than learning to code to use it. Although this experiment was enjoyable, at this stage Linux just wasn’t for me.

    • Audiocasts/Shows
      • This Week in Linux 146: Linux on M1 Mac, Google vs Oracle, PipeWire, Bottom Panel for GNOME Shell – TuxDigital

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got an update for Linux support on Apple’s M1 Mac hardware. KDE Announces a new patch-set for Qt 5. IBM Announced COBOL Compiler For Linux. Then later in the show we’re bringing back everyone’s favorite Legal News segment with Google v. Oracle reaching U.S. Supreme Court. We’ve also got new releases to talk about such as PipeWire 0.3.25 and JingOS v0.8 plus GNOME Designers are exploring the possibility of having a bottom panel. Then we’ll round out the show with some Humble Bundles about programming in Python. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • MineTest: I Am A Dwarf And I’m Digging A Hole

        People have been asking me to play MineTest for ages so I thought I should finally get around to it, if you’ve never heard of it MineTest is an open source Minecraft clone that surprisingly has a lot of community support

    • Kernel Space
      • Official Support For Linux On M1 Macs Could Be Coming Soon

        There has been work to try and bring Linux onto the M1 Macs, and it seems that the developers are confident that they could have something stable enough this June. This is according to a report from Phoronix in which they claim that the Linux 5.13 cycle could be when support for Apple Silicon could be introduced.

        However, it should be noted that it won’t necessarily provide the full Linux experience just yet. The initial port could see things like UART, interrupts, SMP, DeviceTree, and so on, so this port is more like a working proof of concept that an M1 compatible Linux is a possibility. If you plan to use Linux often, then maybe it might not be a good idea to rely on this port just yet.

        This development comes on the heels of an announcement earlier this year where Corellium was successful at porting Ubuntu onto M1 Macs, although it wasn’t necessarily the “core Linux kernel”.

      • You might be able to run Linux natively on Apple M1 Macs as early as June

        The new hardware from Apple runs on the ARM processor architecture and as a result, requires extra work to bring the same feature support as an Intel or AMD processor.

      • EXT4 With Linux 5.13 Looks Like It Will Support Casefolding With Encryption Enabled – Phoronix

        While EXT4 supports both case-folding for optional case insensitive filenames and does support file-system encryption, at the moment those features are mutually exclusive. But it looks like the upcoming Linux 5.13 kernel will allow casefolding and encryption to be active at the same time.

        Queued this week into the EXT4 file-system’s “dev” tree was ext4: handle casefolding with encryption.

      • SiFive FU740 PCIe Support Queued Ahead Of Linux 5.13 – Phoronix

        Arguably the most interesting RISC-V board announced to date is SiFive’s HiFive Unmatched with the FU740 RISC-V SoC that features four U74-MC cores and one S7 embedded core. The HiFive Unmatched also has 16GB of RAM, USB 3.2 Gen 1, one PCI Express x16 slot (operating at x8 speeds), an NVMe slot, and Gigabit Ethernet. The upstream kernel support for the HiFive Unmatched and the FU740 SoC continues.

        With the Linux 5.12 cycle there was the start of mainlining SiFive FU740 SoC support and that work is continuing for the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle.

    • Applications
      • GnuPG 2.3.0 Is Released With New Default Public Key Algorithms, A New Key Daemon And More

        GnuPG is the de-facto standard for encrypted e-mail, and to some degree encrypted instant messages, within the free software world. Most FOSS e-mail software has built-in support or plugins for it. It is also used to sign software releases, ISO images for GNU/Linux distributions and a whole lot more. Nobody outside the FOSS community uses it or cares about it, which is a bit sad.

        GnuPG 2.3.0 has quite a few improvements over previous versions. It now comes with a still experimental key database daemon that uses a SQLite database to store the keys. It can be enabled by adding use-keyboxd to $HOME/.gnupg/gpg.conf. There is a new separate configuration file for it called $HOME/.gnupg/gpgsm.conf. This daemon makes key look-ups much faster.

        There’s also a new tpm2d daemon for physically binding keys to a machine. You can read more about it in a blog post on gnupg.org titled Using a TPM with GnuPG 2.3. Most newer laptops in the upper price range come with a TPM module. Desktop computers tend to come with a empty motherboard header where one can be installed, so this is mostly useful if you have a fairly new high-end laptop or you are willing to buy a TPM module.

        New GnuPG keys are now, by default, created with the ed25519/cv25519 public key algorithms. Similarly, AES is now the new last resort cipher preference instead of 3DES.

      • Matrix: a decentralized open-source messaging platform for the future

        When you are looking at a secure and private instant messaging solution, there are certain issues that are important to consider which is metadata; metadata can be inferred just by knowing details like whose your contact, frequency, and length of the message; some platform collects contact info and phone numbers, email address, etc. In the general collection of identity information is a problem. In addition, the centralization problem which comes from creating and collecting contact lists and phone numbers; this is one of the worst things that you can do for privacy.

        In this article, we will discuss an instant messaging platform called Matrix. This platform is good for privacy, not just message encryption. Matrix does not take any personal information from the user. We will focus on it because it is open-source and has end-to-end encryption for groups and two-party conversations.

    • Instructionals/Technical
      • How to Install TeamSpeak Client on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux – Linux Shout

        TeamSpeak is a free voice conferencing software available to install on Linux, Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, and Android. It is the pioneer in its areas of other platforms such as Discord. TeamSpeak allows free of cost access to around 1000 public TeamSpeak servers or even your own private one. In parallel to online games, you can use the current TeamSpeak to communicate with friends via speech and text.

      • How To Install Robo 3T on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Robo 3T on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Robo3T formerly known as RobMongo is one of the best GUI tools for managing and querying MongoDB database. It provides GUI tools for managing & querying the MongoDB database. It embeds the actual mongo shell that allows for CLI as well as GUI access to the database.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of Robo 3T RobMongo on an Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa) server. You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • How to Install Java on Ubuntu Step by Step Guide for Beginners

        Some programs/tools/utility on Ubuntu required java/JVM, without java these programs are not working. Are you facing the same problem? Don’t worry!

        Today I am going to cover in this article how to install Java on Ubuntu. This article will cover the complete tutorial step by step.

        You can get java on Ubuntu via three packages JRE, OpenJDK and Oracle JDK.

        Java and Java’s Virtual Machine (JVM) are widely used and required to run much software.

      • “apt-get command not found” error in Ubuntu by Easy Way

        apt-get command is used to manage package in Ubuntu and other Debian based distribution. You can install, remove software in Ubuntu, You can update upgrade ubuntu and other operating systems with help of this command.

        If you want to install new software on the Linux operating system by apt-get command but you get the error “apt-get command not found“. This is really the biggest problem for the new user. Neither you can install new packages nor you can update and upgrade ubuntu.

        apt-get is not working, how will you install a new package? If the problem only of installing new packages then it can be solved. You can use dpkg command to install deb files in ubuntu and derivatives.

      • How to upgrade Linux Mint 19.3 (Tricia) to Mint 20.1 (Ulyssa) – Linux Shout

        Are you planning to upgrade your existing Linux Mint 19.3 (Tricia) PC or Laptop to Linux Mint 20.1 Ulyssa, then following the simple steps given in the tutorial…

        Linux Mint is one of the popular distros among users who want a Windows-like operating system but with the benefits of Linux and a user-friendly interface. As Mint is an Ubuntu derivative, thus not only we have the access to a large number of packages to install but also stability.

        The process of upgrading Mint is very easy, we can use GUI or command to do that. However, in this article, we will show you how to upgrade from Tricia (19.3) to Ulyssa (20.1) using CLI, thus first you have to make sure that your existing Mint 19.3 is on 64-bit because 20.1 doesn’t support 32-bit.

      • How to Install Node js in Ubuntu Step by Step Explanation for Beginners

        Node.js is an open source cross-platform JavaScript run-time environment that allows server-side execution of JavaScript code.

        In simple words you can run JavaScript code on your machine (server) as a standalone application, and access form any web browser.

        When you create a server side application you need Node.js, it is also help to create front-end and full-stack. npm (Node Package Manager) is a package manager for the JavaScript programming language, and default package manager for Node.js.

        This tutorial will cover step by step methods “how to install node js in ubuntu 19.04″.

        in case you need the latest Node.js and npm versions. If you are using Node.js for development purposes then your best option is to install Node.js using the NVM script.
        Although this tutorial is written for Ubuntu the same instructions apply for any Ubuntu-based distribution, including Kubuntu, Linux Mint and Elementary OS.

      • How to play Geometry Dash on Linux

        Geometry Dash is a music platformer game developed by Robert Topala. The game is available to play on iOS, Android, as well as Microsoft Windows via Steam. In the game, players control a character’s movement and navigate through a series of music-based levels while avoiding obstacles and hazards.

      • How To Set Up a Firewall with UFW in Ubuntu \ Debian

        The Linux kernel includes the Netfilter subsystem, which is used to manipulate or decide the fate of network traffic headed into or through your server. All modern Linux firewall solutions use this system for packet filtering.

        [...]

        The default behavior of the UFW Firewall is to block all incoming and forwarding traffic and allow all outbound traffic. This means that anyone trying to access your server will not be able to connect unless you specifically open the port. Applications and services running on your server will be able to access the outside world.

      • A Ceph war story

        It all started with the big bang! We nearly lost 33 of 36 disks on a Proxmox/Ceph Cluster; this is the story of how we recovered them.

        At the end of 2020, we eventually had a long outstanding maintenance window for taking care of system upgrades at a customer. During this maintenance window, which involved reboots of server systems, the involved Ceph cluster unexpectedly went into a critical state. What was planned to be a few hours of checklist work in the early evening turned out to be an emergency case; let’s call it a nightmare (not only because it included a big part of the night). Since we have learned a few things from our post mortem and RCA, it’s worth sharing those with others. But first things first, let’s step back and clarify what we had to deal with.

      • [Old] Create animated GIFs from MP4 with FFmpeg

        Animated GIFs are after all these years still pretty popular. FFmpeg is a good FLOSS tool to create these animated GIFs. FFmpeg is available for Windows, Linux and OSX. A word of warning FFmpeg is a command line tool that’s very versatile but it’s not for everybody. In fact suppose this post is more for users that like to tinker a lot with their animated GIFs. Below I will explain not only how to create a animated GIF from an mpeg4 movie but I also provide instructions to improve the quality.

        The basic command to create an animated GIF from a mpeg4 is:

        ffmpeg -i input.mp4 output.gif

      • [Old] How to make GIFs with FFMPEG

        In that light, I wrote this post to share and explain some of its functionality, especially as it relates to GIF transcoding. To follow along you’ll need FFmpeg installed. The easiest way to do that is to go here and find a static build for whatever platform you’re working on.

      • How To Install 7Zip on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install 7Zip on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, The 7Zip is open-source software available to compress and decompress files and folders into various formats. A 7Zip archive file usually ends in .7z extension.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the 7-Zip File Archiver on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa). You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

      • Getting Started With System Logging in Linux

        System logs in Linux provide you with great insight into core activities on your PC or server infrastructure. They’re critical for keeping your system stable and secure. System logs also provide you with an opportunity to audit various activities that have taken place in the past.

        This guide introduces you to the logging system in Linux. All the major activities carried out by core system applications and services are recorded in the form of logs and at the heart of all this is a system known as Syslog.

      • How to edit config files on Ubuntu | FOSS Linux

        The information needed to monitor the execution of a program is stored in configuration files. To maintain an Ubuntu server or desktop or any other Linux system, Linux users, especially Linux administrators, must edit configuration files.

        In fact, every Linux administrator must manually edit a configuration file at some stage. You can’t resist diving deep into the heart of one or more configuration files while setting up a web server, configuring a service to link to a database, modifying a bash script, or troubleshooting a network connection. Manually editing configuration files might seem like a nightmare to some people.

        Wading through what seems to be endless lines of choices and feedback can lead to a rapid loss of hair and sanity.

        Of course, this isn’t the case. Most Linux administrators, in reality, relish a good debugging or configuration challenge. It’s a lot of fun to sift through the details of how a server or piece of software works. This method, however, does not have to be a waste of time and resources. In reality, you have resources at your disposal that make editing config files a lot easier.

      • How to make a bootable Windows USB drive on Linux using Woeusb-ng?

        As a Linux user, you may need to make a bootable Windows USB drive for testing and education purposes or even to install it alongside your favourite distro. Whatever your reasons, you will be able to create a Microsoft OS bootable flash drive after reading this humble post. So power on your system and plug in your USB flash drive as you are only a few lines away from acquire this skill.

      • How To Install Emacs Editor on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Emacs Editor on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Emacs is a very useful plus feature-rich text editor that may be used across multiple various platforms. Because of its considerable support for writing code within different languages, it is favored by most programmers. If you’re thinking about switching to Emacs on your Linux, or you’ve just switched to it, you will find that Emacs is not that hard to use.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Emacs Editor on a CentOS 8.

      • Self host your web meetings with Jitsi and Raspberry PI – peppe8o

        Even if already used with smartphones, video meetings overwhelmingly raised with Covid pandemic. Between solutions discovered in this context, a great open source and web application to host your video meetings, Jitsi, can run on Raspberry PI

      • Shell Script – Remove Double Quote (“”) from a String – TecAdmin

        This tutorial will help you to remove start and ending double quote from string in shell script. Where the string is stored in a variable.

        [...]

        The result will be printed on the terminal. You can also save the result to variable and or redirect output to a file.

        The below commands will help you to remove double quote and store output to the same or different variable.

      • GNU Linux Debian 10 – dead boot partition stuck at grub prompt
    • Games
      • OpenTTD Went to Steam to Solve a Hard Problem – Boiling Steam

        OpenTTD, the free and open-source software recreation of Transport Tycoon Deluxe, has been a popular game for a long time, but recently something unusual happened. The team behind the project decided to release the game on Steam (still free as always) and this has changed everything. Let me explain why this matters.

        If you have ever played OpenTTD on Linux, let me venture that you have probably relied on your distro’s package manager to keep your game up-to-date. In theory, this is the BEST way to keep your packages up to date. Rely on maintainers. In practice however, it’s far from being something you can rely on, beyond security updates. Debian stable tends to have really old packages, sometimes years behind their latest versions. So on Debian stable you end up with OpenTTD 1.08 as the most recent version. That’s what shipped in April 2018. Just about 3 years old.

      • Portal Stories: Mel gets Vulkan support on Linux in a new Beta | GamingOnLinux

        Portal Stories: Mel, an extremely popular and highly rated mod for Portal 2 just had a new Beta pushed out which adds in Vulkan support for Linux. Much like the update for Portal 2 that recently added Vulkan support, it’s using a special native build of DXVK, the Vulkan-based translation layer for Direct3D 9/10/11.

        Compared with the Portal 2 update, in some of my own testing today it seems that Portal Stories: Mel seems to benefit from the Vulkan upgrade quite a bit more in some places. At times giving a full 100FPS increase! So for those on weaker cards, this will probably be an ideal upgrade. Another game to test with Vulkan is always great too.

    • Distributions
      • antiX
        • Firefox update

          Firefox 87.0 available

        • mtPaint upgrade

          mtPaint has been upgraded to latest git version (3.50-9)

        • antiX-17 kernel updates

          There have been various security patches applied upstream so users are strongly advised to update to the latest kernels via Package Installer, synaptic or cli-aptiX. Available for 64 and 32 bit.

          5.10.27
          4.19.184
          4.9.264
          4.4.264

      • BSD
        • The state of toolchains in NetBSD

          While FreeBSD and OpenBSD both switched to using LLVM/Clang as their base system compiler, NetBSD picked a different path and remained with GCC and binutils regardless of the license change to GPLv3. However, it doesn’t mean that the NetBSD project endorses this license, and the NetBSD Foundation’s has issued a statement about its position on the subject.

          Realistically, NetBSD is more or less tied to GCC, as it supports more architectures than the other BSDs, some of which will likely never be supported in LLVM.

          As of NetBSD 9.1, the latest released version, all supported platforms have recent versions of GCC (7.5.0) and binutils (2.31.1) in the base system. Newer (and older!) versions of GCC can be installed via Pkgsrc, and the following packages are available, going all the way back to GCC 3.3.6: [...]

        • Review: OpenBSD 6.8 on 8th Gen Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 13.3″

          10 days ago, I bought this X1 Carbon. I immediately installed OpenBSD on it. It took me a few days to settle in and make myself at home, but here are my impressions.

          This was the smoothest experience I’ve had getting OpenBSD set up the way I like it. The Toshiba NB305 in 2011 was a close second, but the Acer I used between these two laptops required a lot more tweaking of both hardware and kernel to get it to feel like home.

      • Arch Family
        • Reactions to Arch Linux’s New Guided Installer

          Tech Radar writes that previously Arch Linux had “a rather convoluted installation process, which has given rise to a stream of Arch-based distros that are easier to install,” adding that the new installer “was reportedly promoted as an official installation mechanism back in January, and was actively worked upon leading to its inclusion in the installation medium.”

        • Latest Arch Linux ISO Release Comes with the ArchInstall CLI Guided Installer

          Arch Linux 2021.04.01 is now available for download as the most up-to-date installation medium of this independently developed, flexible, lightweight, and rolling-release GNU/Linux distribution.

          While last month’s ISO release was the first to be powered by the latest and greatest Linux 5.11 kernel, Arch Linux’s ISO release for April 2021 includes the archinstall guided installer developed by Anton Hvornum.

      • Debian Family
        • Charles Plessy: Debian Bullseye: more open

          Debian Bullseye will provide the command /usr/bin/open for your greatest comfort at the command line. On a system with a graphical desktop environment, the command should have a similar result as when opening a document from a mouse-and-click file browser.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Going Against Google Analytics With Plausible’s Co-Founder [Interview]

        Plausible is a privacy-friendly alternative to Google Analytics. It also aims to be a simple and lightweight analytics solution.

        Above all, it is a completely open-source project that also gives you the ability to self-host.

        Right after an interview with Lutris creator, I reached to out to Marko Saric, who happens to be a Co-Founder of the project to provide some insights on his vision for this project and the future of Plausible.

      • Why Crate.io has returned to its pure open source roots

        The headline benefits of open source are widely known and well-articulated. Open source technologies provide enterprise-level scalability, performance, security, and reliability. Trust is there, and it’s deserved. But what’s less celebrated, other than by die-hard open source adherents, are the inner workings of the everyday community contributions building those macro benefits at the atomic level. For those offering open source technologies, it is the community’s constant user-driven testing and hardening that forges those technologies into robust and proven solutions. Those contributions don’t show up on the balance sheet, but they can be absolutely formative to an enterprise’s health and success.

        In 2013, I co-founded Crate.io with open source ideals and my belief in the power of the community. As a startup intent on bringing the simplicity and strength of open source to the realm of advanced SQL databases that could handle the growing volume of Internet of Things (IoT) and Industrial IoT data, we rooted our CrateDB database in 100% open source component technologies. And we were sure to play our role as active contributors to those technologies and nurtured our own community of CrateDB developers.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra
        • Dependencies for LibreOffice compiled in OE

          In the current release of EasyOS, LibreOffice (LO) was compiled in a running EasyOS, not in OE. During the build, LO automatically downloads any extra source packages that it needs, that are not available in the system.

          What I have done is compile many of those dependencies in OE, so they will be available as shared libraries for LO to link against, but other applications will also be able to use them.

          For example, LO uses ‘libcdr’, a CorelDraw import filter. By having this as a shared system library, Inkscape can optionally link against it, and also have CorelDraw import capability. Hmmm, does anyone still use CorelDraw?

      • FSF
        • In Support of Richard Stallman: Normalizing Truth, Reason, Dialogue

          False accusations were made against Richard Stallman in September 2019. Although others pointed out the mistakes, the stage had been set for a cascade of defamatory reactions that followed and spread like wildfire. This was fueled by misquotes and distortion of events in mainstream headlines, blogs, and social media, leading ultimately to Stallman’s resignation from his positions at MIT and the FSF.

          [...]

          Some published accurate articles, objectively and meticulously showcasing the facts. Many others wrote short comments in blogs and news websites pointing out the errors that were being swiftly propagated by copy paste “authors.” Still others sent letters of concern to the FSF.

          A petition[1] was launched to condemn bad press and demand apologies to Stallman from journalists who knowingly or incompetently spread false information. It was to no avail. Journalists never corrected their erroneous headlines, let alone apologize. The petition is now stale (and it requires JavaScript.) Better to sign the letter of support.

          We have become sadly familiar with the terms “misinformation and disinformation” and the need to critically examine the agendas and mindsets motivating these campaigns as well as check the facts behind their assertions. To our collective social woe, disinformation succeeds because so many people care deeply about injustice but do not take the time to study the facts before passing along or acting on disinformation.

      • Programming/Development
        • Jussi Pakkanen: Converting a project to Meson: the olc Pixel Game Engine

          Meson’s development has always been fairly practical focusing on solving real world problems people have. One simple way of doing that is taking existing projects, converting their build systems to Meson and seeing how long it takes, what pain points there are and whether there are missing features. Let’s look at one such conversion.

          We’ll use the One Lone Coder Pixel Game Engine. It is a simple but fairly well featured game engine that is especially suitable for beginners. It also has very informative YouTube channel teaching people how to write their own computer games. The engine is implemented as a single C++ header and the idea is that you can just copy it in your own project, #include it and start coding your game.

        • Python
          • Create a Hello World App Using Flask Framework

            This article will cover a guide on writing a simple hello world application using Python based “Flask” framework. Flask can be used to create minimal, extensible and advanced web applications using a set of libraries included in its module. All code samples in this tutorial are tested on Ubuntu 20.10 having Python version 3.8.6 and Flask version 1.1.2.

  • Leftovers
    • To Julia de Burgos

      Already people murmur I’m your enemy since they say that in verse I give the world to me.

      They lie, Julia de Burgos. They lie, Julia de Burgos. The one rising in my verses isn’t your voice: it is my voice since you are costumes and I, the essence; and the deepest abyss spreads between us.

    • Vishal Gupta: Sikkim 101 for Backpackers

      Host to Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest mountain peak and the endangered Red Panda, Sikkim is a state in northeastern India. Nestled between Nepal, Tibet (China), Bhutan and West Bengal (India), the state offers a smorgasbord of cultures and cuisines. That said, it’s hardly surprising that the old spice route meanders through western Sikkim, connecting Lhasa with the ports of Bengal. Although the latter could also be attributed to cardamom (kali elaichi), a perennial herb native to Sikkim, which the state is the second-largest producer of, globally. Lastly, having been to and lived in India, all my life, I can confidently say Sikkim is one of the cleanest & safest regions in India, making it ideal for first-time backpackers.

    • Integrity/Availability
      • Proprietary
        • Security
          • Privacy/Surveillance
            • Customs and Border Protection Plans Vast Expansion of Tech-Based Surveillance

              The United States government plans to expand a program for monitoring the Mexico border through cutting edge artificial intelligence technology.

            • Facebook spent $23 million for CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s security in 2020

              A new filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows that Facebook spent more than $23 million last year on security for CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook’s annual reviews of company security “identified specific threats to Mr. Zuckerberg,” according to a proxy statement filed Friday.

            • Leaked phone number of Mark Zuckerberg reveals he is on Signal
            • 5 of the Best Alternatives to WhatsApp that Actually Respect Your Privacy [Ed: Some of the items in this list are dubious]

              When social media giant Facebook purchased everyone’s favorite mobile messenger WhatsApp, users were promised their data would be private and that they wouldn’t be subject to the shady things that Mark Zuckerberg and crew are known for. As time has gone on, more and more privacy has been taken away from Whatsapp users in the name of “analytical data.”

              Gone are the days when you could trust this app to be totally private and not expect to get data mined for valuable information – information that could easily be sold to advertisers. Here we show you the best alternatives to WhatsApp that actually respect your privacy.

    • Defence/Aggression
      • Opinion | Hunting in Yemen

        “It’s not normal for people to live like this,” says Iman Saleh, now on her thirteenth day of a hunger strike demanding an end to war in Yemen.

        Since March 29 th, in Washington, D.C., Iman Saleh, age 26, has been on a hunger strike to demand an end to the war in Yemen. She is joined by five others from her group, The Yemeni Liberation Movement. The hunger strikers point out that enforcement of the Saudi Coalition-led blockade relies substantially on U.S. weaponry. 

      • Opinion | Yemen Is a Public Health Catastrophe

        The country’s civilians have been the unwilling participants in a proxy war that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and has left the public health system in shambles.

        The war in Yemen—the Arab world’s poorest country—has reached new heights of sickness and death by the spreading of the coronavirus pandemic in a vulnerable and fragile population. The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic could be greater than the combined toll of war, disease and hunger over the last five years, according to Lise Grande, the U.N.’s head of humanitarian operations in Yemen.

      • Opinion | Why Biden Must Reverse Trump Policy on Landmines Now

        We must renounce these indiscriminate weapons that will continue to kill decades after they were placed.

      • ‘Subclinical Psychopathy And The Cops’: A Quick But Alarming Way Into George Floyd Murder Trial

        If you’re trying to follow the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd – the 2020 killing that re-invigorated the #BlackLivesMatter movement and sparked worldwide protests against police violence – there’s unfortunately not a lot of interest in Australian media.

      • Torture Australian-Style: A New Secret Country

        It turns out it’s surprisingly easy to tolerate the torture of your citizens if you’re a country with a long record of it. Dr Lissa Johnson weighs in on the Australian Government’s silence on Julian Assange.

      • Convicted ISIS supporter tells Chicago judge he’s ‘just a normal guy’

        As ABC7′s I-Team first reported five years ago, both men had a jihadist scheme to attack Great Lakes Naval Base, the Navy’s sole basic training facility. They also expressed an interest in throwing people off the roof of the (former) Sears Tower skyscraper in Chicago. The violent scenarios were not serious threats, according to Schimenti’s attorney on Friday but were merely stated for “shock value.”

      • Rejecting Biden’s $715 Billion Proposal, Jayapal Says Congress Must Slash the ‘Bloated Pentagon Budget’

        “Don’t increase defense spending. Cut it,” said the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

        Joining fellow progressive lawmakers in rejecting President Joe Biden’s request for a $715 billion Pentagon budget, Rep. Pramila Jayapal on Saturday argued that Congress must slash military spending and “invest that money into our communities” as coronavirus infections rise across the U.S. and mass layoffs continue.

      • Opinion | Western Media Incite Anti-Asian Racism When They Join in Cold War Against China

        Western news outlets have deceptively omitted the centrality of media-promoted Sinophobia to this latest spike in hate crimes toward anyone perceived to be Chinese.

        Over the past few weeks, the subject of anti-Asian racism has received an unusual degree of Western media attention, ever since a video showing the January 28 killing of Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai immigrant in San Francisco, was widely shared on social media. Coverage intensified when gunman Robert Aaron Long targeted three Asian-owned spas on March 6, killing six Asian women among eight victims in Atlanta, Georgia. Local and national media centered the gunman’s professed motive of a “sex addiction” and police statements disputing whether the crime was racially motivated, even though gendered racism is still a factor when racist incidents don’t meet the narrow and arbitrary requirements of what constitutes a hate crime ( FAIR.org, 3/26/21).

    • Environment
    • Finance
      • Opinion | Stock Buybacks Stand in the Way of Biden’s Infrastructure Plan

        Hedge fund managers are pushing American firms to play Wall Street games instead of investing in technologies of the future. China doesn’t have that problem.

        President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure and climate proposal has a lot of people excited, and no wonder. Americans are sick of being stuck with frazzled electric grids, foul drinking water, falling bridges, far too many left out of prosperity, and feeling that the country’s global status is suffering.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • Corporations Criticize Georgia’s Racist Voting Bill After Giving Big to GOP

        Corporate America is clashing with GOP leaders over Georgia Republicans’ bill to overhaul voting laws, representing another break between the two forces that have long been closely aligned.

      • Republicans Ready Battle for State-Level Court Takeovers in Texas

        After a slate of 19 Black women swept judicial elections in Houston in 2018, some Republicans called for a constitutional amendment to end judicial elections. That effort has failed so far, but a new bill in the Texas legislature could slash the number of appellate courts, which include more Democrats now than they have in decades. The state’s 14 appellate courts have jurisdiction — sometimes overlapping — in civil and criminal cases appealed from trial courts.

      • As Amazon Election Spotlights Rigged System, Senate Dems Urged to Nuke Filibuster and Pass PRO Act

        “In most states, it is easier to buy an AR-15 than it is to join a union.”

        Amazon’s victory over an against-the-odds unionization effort at its warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama is intensifying pressure on Senate Democrats to swiftly eliminate the 60-vote legislative filibuster and pass the PRO Act, a proposed revamp of employer-friendly U.S. labor law that would ban many of the tactics the tech behemoth used to crush the organizing drive.

    • Misinformation/Disinformation
      • 4 Wikipedia Editing Scandals That Slipped Under Readers’ Radars

        Wikipedia is an invaluable resource for cheating at bar trivia, winning an argument with your dad about what year Bruce Willis’ R&B album came out, and reading a list of erotic video games at three in the morning after starting on the Battle of Lepanto five hours ago. But it’s not without its controversies, such as …

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press
    • Civil Rights/Policing
      • As Activists’ Hunger Strike Reaches Day 13, Calls Mount for Biden to End US Complicity in Starvation of Yemen

        “My pain cannot amount to that of Yemenis under siege,” said one hunger striker. “I am starving, but I am not being starved. I am suffering, but I can choose to end that suffering.”

        A hunger strike launched by Detroit-based anti-war activists in protest of the Saudi-led blockade of Yemen entered its 13th day on Saturday as calls grow for President Joe Biden to end all U.S. support for the kingdom’s deadly restrictions, which are preventing food, medicine, fuel, and other aid from reaching starving Yemenis.

      • “We Are Not Here or Funded to ‘Promote the Best Interest’ of the Children,” Wrote the Head of a Program for Brain-Damaged Infants

        Over two decades, Choi “Julie” Nguyen bounced from one low-paying job to the next: dishwasher, custodian, manicurist. As a single mom raising two daughters and a profoundly disabled son, Nguyen could never hold a job for long.

        Inevitably, the nurses Nguyen relied on to care for her son, Justin, would arrive late or not at all. Who would suction his mechanical airway, fill his feeding tube or turn him in bed to prevent pressure sores? Who was going to sleep on the couch at the hospital when Justin had surgery or fought life-threatening infections?

      • The Race To The Bottom In Our Return to the Moonlight State

        It’s 2021 and Australia is again reflecting on monstrous abuses by men in power. For some of us, it brings back memories of villains past. And it makes us wonder when it’s going to change. Mike Dowson thinks it won’t. Not finally. Not until we tackle the whole rotten post-colonial system in which it thrives.

      • New Zealand Law Granting Paid Leave for Miscarriage Sparks Organizing in US

        When New Zealand’s Parliament extended three days of paid leave to workers and their partners following a miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy or stillbirth, as well as to those whose plans to welcome a child through adoption or surrogacy become derailed, it cast a spotlight on how countries throughout the world treat the aftermath of pregnancy loss.

      • In Wake of Amazon Union Vote, Progressives Urge Action on Filibuster and PRO Act

        Amazon’s victory over an against-the-odds unionization effort at its warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama is intensifying pressure on Senate Democrats to swiftly eliminate the 60-vote legislative filibuster and pass the PRO Act, a proposed revamp of employer-friendly U.S. labor law that would ban many of the tactics the tech behemoth used to crush the organizing drive.

      • Opinion | The Message From the Amazon Union Defeat in Alabama Is Clear: Keep Organizing

        The union’s loss in Bessemer shows the urgent need for both labor law reform and organizing at a mass scale.

      • The woman who took on Google and won

        The Alphabet Workers Union was set up in January 2021 for Google workers. It is not recognised by the National Labor Relations Board, an independent government agency, and is sometimes referred to as a “minority union”. The vast majority of Google workers aren’t members, but Shannon was and the union took up her case.

        In February, they filed two cases on her behalf under unfair labour practice laws. One that she had been suspended illegally – for talking about supporting a union. The other that her managers had asked her, illegally, not to discuss her wages.

        [...]

        Well it didn’t admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement, and didn’t admit to being a “joint employer” of contract staff. The BBC put Shannon’s story to Google but it said it had nothing further to add. Adecco has not responded to a BBC request for comment.

      • [Old] “Fair” Doesn’t Mean “Equal”

        In all of these discussions, we quickly came to a common point: to be effective, you’d need to tailor the feedback, both content and form, to the particular needs of the person hearing it. If someone struggles with insecurity, I might choose to soften the tone and emphasizing available support. If they tend to process feedback out loud and want to talk things through, I might make it more of a conversation than a direct message. If they need time to process, I might send the feedback over chat or email and then set aside time for any follow-ups at our next one-on-one. What I wouldn’t do: use the same script for everyone.

        This brings me back to one of the earliest lessons I learned in my management career. It’s a realization that’s embarrassingly obvious in hindsight: treating people fairly doesn’t mean treating everyone the same.

      • Lawsuits seek to stop mining, construction on sacred sites

        Two disputes over sites that are sacred to Native Americans are on the docket at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. A group of Apache tribal members and their allies are fighting to stop the construction of a copper mine on a place in Arizona where Indigenous people have worshiped for centuries.

      • Mine Will Destroy Apache Sacred Site, Court Declines to Intervene

        Last week, a federal judge in Arizona denied to the Native American advocacy organization Apache Stronghold a preliminary injunction that would have blocked a land swap opening the way to the creation of one of the largest copper mines in the U.S. and indeed in the world. The mine, a $ 61-billion project, will employ 1,500 people.

        The problem, U.S. District Judge Steven Logan was told, is that the project implies the destruction of Oak Flat, called by the Apache Chi’chil Bildagoteel, and regarded by them as a sacred place of their religion. As such, they claim, it cannot be destroyed both for reasons of religious freedom and because of a treaty signed in 1852 between the Apache tribes and the U.S. government.

        The Apaches explained that Oak Flat is a natural “portal to the Creator God” in their religion, and its destruction will have devastating religious and cultural consequences.

      • [Old] Native Activists File Suit After Trump Officials Hand Sacred Land to Foreign Mining Firm

        According to Archeologist John R. Welch, there is indeed no evidence that the United States ever took legal possession of the territory of Oak Flat. In his lengthy 2017 analysis of the treaty, Welch thoroughly examines the only treaty executed between the Apache Indians and concludes that he found “no evidence, in the proceedings of the Indian Claims Commission or elsewhere, of any change or diminishment in the Apaches’ reserved treaty rights to the Western Apaches’ Treaty Territory.” Welch further states unequivocally that “Oak Flat is Apache land, as it has been for centuries and is not owned by the United States of America or any other entity or person.”

      • Cops Caught on Video Holding a Black Army Lieutenant at Gunpoint, Then Pepper-Spraying Him

        By the end of the incident, the cops would threaten Nazario, pepper-spray him in the face, and knee-strike him in the legs, according to body camera footage, Nazario’s cellphone video, and legal filings. Later, when Nazario was in tears and on the ground of a gas station parking lot as officers put him in handcuffs, he repeated, “This is fucked up, this is fucked up.”

        The officers allegedly told Nazario if he were to complain, they’d charge him with crimes like obstruction, eluding, and assault on a law enforcement officer—potentially destroying his military career.

    • Monopolies
      • Epic antitrust case versus Apple in Australia gets three-month stay

        An Australian judge has ruled that Epic’s lawsuit against Apple in Australia will be temporarily suspended as the two sides prepare for a trial in the US, Gizmodo Australia reported. Apple had asked for a permanent stay of the case in Australia, arguing that the US and Australia cases were very similar, and that the matter should be settled in the original jurisdiction of the United States.

        The two companies are fighting over Epic’s battle royale game Fortnite, and the fees Apple charges. In August, Epic set up its own in-game payments system, effectively circumventing Apple’s App Store payments and avoiding the 30 percent surcharge Apple collects on App Store purchases. Apple then removed Fortnite from its iOS App Store for violating its rules. Epic fired back with an antitrust lawsuit seeking to establish Apple’s App Store as a monopoly and tried to rally Fortnite fans with a protest video mocking Apple’s iconic “1984” ad.

      • Patents
        • Anixa Biosciences Announces Issuance and Publication of European Patent for Ovarian Cancer Vaccine Technology [Ed: EPO giving patent monopolies on cancer]

          “The ovarian cancer vaccine targets a protein (the Extracellular Domain of the Anti-Mullerian Hormone Receptor 2, AMHR2-ED) that is expressed only in the ovaries and only in pre-menopausal women. After menopause, the target protein disappears and is only seen again when ovarian cancer cells arise. Our vaccine targets the AMHR2-ED and trains the immune system to destroy these cancer cells as they arise,” said Dr. Vincent Tuohy of the Department of Inflammation and Immunity at Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute. “We are looking forward to our continued alliance with Anixa Biosciences to further develop this technology.”

        • PMI sees BAT e-cig patents invalidated at English High Court

          The UK high court has revoked two British American Tobacco (BAT) e-cigarette patents for obviousness, concluding they lack an “inventive step” over an existing Philip Morris International (PMI) patent.

          Justice Richard Meade ruled on March 9 that the BAT patents were invalid, therefore dismissing BAT’s claim that PMI had infringed the two ‘heat-not-burn’ patents with its IQOS product line.

          The two BAT patents are UK 3,398,460,B1 and UK 3,491,944,B1. The ‘460 patent relates to an “aerosol-generating device with housing and a cigarette”, whereas the ‘944 patent refers to a cigarette “for use with” an aerosol-generating device.

        • FCBA Remote Program on Appellate Perspectives [Ed: FCBA is a misnomer [1, 2] that borrows its name from something it is not]

          The Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA) will be offering a remote program entitled “Appellate Perspectives” on April 15, 2021 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (ET). Nicholas Groombridge of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP will moderate a panel consisting of Hon. Timothy Dyk, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; Hon. Kathleen O’Malley, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; Hon. Jimmie Reyna, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; Hon. Klaus Bacher, Presiding Judge, 10th Civil Senate, Bundesgerichtshof (Germon Federal Court of Justice, FCJ); and Hon. Peter Meier-Beck, Presiding Judge, Antitrust Senate, Bundesgerichtshof (Germon Federal Court of Justice, FCJ).

        • Webinar on Patenting Antibodies at the EPO [Ed: J A Kemp keeps pushing patents on life in Europe, benefiting from corrupt EPO management that never met a patent application it did not like]

          J A Kemp will be offering a webinar entitled “Patenting Antibody Pharmaceuticals at the EPO” on April 15, 2021 from 2:30 to 3:30 pm BST (British Summer Time). Vicki Allen and Andrew Bentham of J A Kemp will explore the basic principles of patenting of antibodies, and highlight recent trends in examination and strategies for drafting new cases and for addressing objections to existing applications.

        • GBT – 3D Chip and Memory Patent Enters the Regional Phase in Europe

          GBT Technologies Inc. (OTC PINK: GTCH) (“GBT” or the “Company”), is pleased to report a continuation to its prior release – www.otcmarkets.com/stock/GTCH/news/story?e&id=1829166 that the above-mentioned PCT application has entered the regional phase in Europe on March 16, 2021. The application has been allocated the number 19862631.9 and designates all EPC states (as of the PCT filing date).

          The Company filed its application on or around October 9, 2019. It is expected that the European Patent Office will shortly issue a communication under Rule 161 EPC. This will invite GBT to file a response to the WO (ISA)/IPRP as well as the opportunity to reduce the claims to avoid fees at that stage.

        • Software Patents
          • Patentability Of General AI: Is China Moving Away From Europe and Toward The United States? – Lexology [Ed: "Technically-applied AI inventions are generally patentable in Europe, China, and the U.S." according to this, but that's just a way of saying they grant bogus patents on software using buzzwords and hype as justification]

            Patenting an artificial intelligence (AI) invention can be a challenge that depends greatly on jurisdiction and the category of AI to which the invention belongs. Important jurisdictions for patent protection include Europe and China, and, of course, the United States. There are two important categories of AI pertinent to patentability that are termed herein as “technically-applied AI” and “generally-applicable AI”.

            Technically-applied AI involves applying AI to other technology areas. AI inventions in this category include, for example, autonomous vehicles and robots, facial recognition, and AI-controlled medical devices. Technically-applied AI inventions are generally patentable in Europe, China, and the U.S.

            Generally-applicable AI includes AI innovations that may be applied to any technology area. Obvious inclusions in this category are improvements to fundamental AI and machine learning algorithms, such as algorithms for neural networks and random forests. Patenting inventions directed only to these fundamental algorithms may be possible in the U.S. and also, shortly, in China, but is impossible in Europe except in rare circumstances. In fact, pundits most often cite improvements to such fundamental algorithms as the example of generally-applicable AI that is virtually unpatentable in Europe.

          • IPO Webinar on Protecting Medical Device Software [Ed: Same old trick for amassing bogus patents on software is to misportray these as “devices” and “medical”]

            The Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) will offer a one-hour webinar entitled “Protecting Software Related to a Medical Device: A Case Law Review & Strategy” on April 14, 2021 from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm (ET). Christopher George of Hanley, Flight & Zimmerman, LLC; John Kind of Fenwick & West LLP; Jonathan Kwok of Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Ishir Mehta of Cantor Colburn LLP; and Ryan Phelan of Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP will review recent case law relating to software-related medical patents and provide strategy tips for preparing and prosecuting patent applications involving such technologies.

      • Trademarks
        • Chinese court rules against trade mark squatter

          n 18 March 2021, the Minhang District (Shanghai) Court published on its website a judgment, rendered on 25 September 2020, which could become a precedent in the fight against trade mark squatting. Zhigang ZHU of the MARQUES China Team reports.

          This case concerned a form of trade mark squatting that targets the owner of a reputable trade mark. The squatter files large numbers of identical or similar marks, preferably in classes of goods or services where the targeted trade mark is not registered.

          This kind of behaviour forces the victim to file numerous oppositions or invalidation actions and therefore incur significant costs.

        • Phonetic similarity, even to a high degree, is not enough to cause confusion, the General Court says

          In the assessment of the similarity of signs, visual, phonetic and conceptual similarity are evaluated and it is not necessary that similarity exist in all three aspects, one can suffice. Nonetheless, in the global assessment of likelihood of confusion, visual, phonetic and conceptual similarity do not actually carry the same weight, and often the balancing of these factors brings results which may be found surprising.

          Case in point is the recent decision T‑117/20, of 10 February 2021, where the General Court (GC) held that despite a high aural similarity among two signs, conceptual and visual differences might neutralize this and preclude confusion. Some aspects of this case are worth further reflection.

          [...]

          Now it is interesting to note that, when the GC holds that “the earlier figurative marks are clearly associated with the concept of a black feline” at § 63, this finding is “clearly” predicated upon the visual evaluation, because at least in two EU languages, namely Finnish and Hungarian, PANTHER is, respectively PANTTERI. and PARDUC. Therefore, at least from a phonetical point of view, a good argument can be made that at least on Finnish and Hungarian consumers, the “clear and specific meaning” of PANTHER would be lost and thus the high aural similarity should be considered as carrying enough weight, if coupled with the identity of the goods and in light of the “interdependence principle”, to prevail over the visual differences.

          Finally, and not to poke (too much) at the somewhat inconsistent application of the GC’s own principles, we cannot but notice that in a quite recent case (here commented “Should different meanings outweigh the similarities of non-distinctive elements?”), the GC had not given much relevance to the conceptual differences, finding confusion based on the visual and aural similarity of the (descriptive components of the) marks in conjunction with the identity between the goods. Judge Bridlegoose, were those …. the little small dice or the large great ones?

      • Copyrights
        • Is Site-Blocking Reducing Piracy or Helping to Disperse it Elsewhere?

          A report from anti-piracy group Rights Alliance reveals that the volume of Danish visits to pirate sites remained steady in 2020 but the overall number of users of illegal services dropped by almost 18%. Rights Alliance attributes the decrease to several initiatives including site-blocking, but also a tendency for users to consume pirated content on legal platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.

        • Nigerian ‘Scam Artist’ Used Apple, Amazon and Tidal to Cash in on Pirated Music

          An aspiring Nigerian musician named Wisekid copied an album from one of Africa’s biggest artists Wizkid, reportedly passing it off as his own. By uploading the ‘pirated’ album to music services such as Apple Music, Amazon and Tidal, the scammer appears to have earned substantial revenue.

        • Around the IP Blogs

          Interest in eSports has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. With the rise of eSports, we also see new creative tools, and platforms for sharing them. Yet surprisingly, and despite being fundamentally underlain with a copyrighted work, relatively little research has been undertaken into the copyright context of eSports. Kluwer Copyright Blog explores copyright subsistence in eSports from a UK perspective

        • ‘All he has done is to play the game’: eSports players and copyright

          Interest in eSports (‘electronic sports’ or competitive video gaming) has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. With many traditional face-to-face sports suspended, eSports have become an attractive viable competitor for self-isolating new and existing fans alike. With no geographic discrimination, an all-digital medium and even ‘anyone allowed to play’ tournament models, eSports is now a nascent industry of considerable commercial value.

          With the rise of eSports, we also see new creative tools, and platforms for sharing them. Yet surprisingly, and despite being fundamentally underlain with a copyrighted work (a video game), relatively little research has been undertaken into the copyright context of eSports. In an attempt to remedy this, my latest article in JIPLP explores copyright subsistence in eSports from a UK perspective.

        • UK Court of Appeal will not depart from EU on Communication to the Public: TuneIn Radio

          As previously reported by the IPKat here in 2019 the High Court of England and Wales weighed in on communication to the public, in what the court called ‘a test case’ about infringement of copyright in sound recordings accessed via an online platform that connects users to radio stations around the world.

          Facts & first instance

          The claimants – Warner Music and Sony Music – own or hold the exclusive licences to copyright in sound recordings of music, together accounting for more than half the market for digital sales of recorded music in the UK and about 43% globally.

          The defendant – TuneIn – is a US technology company, that operates an online platform which enables their 75 million monthly active users to access over 100,000 radio stations around the world. TuneIn Radio is available via a website and app, its free for registered and unregistered users, and includes a paid for advert-free version (TuneIn Radio Pro). TuneIn has partnership deals that mean it is pre-installed on a number of devices such as Bose, Sonos and Sony PlayStation [yes, Sony] as well as connected TV and connected cars.

          [...]

          TuneIn contended that this reasoning confused the communication to the public right with the reproduction right. LJ Arnold agreed. The starting point is the stream simulcast or webcast by the foreign station. The act of communication is the provision by the Pro app of the link to that stream. That involves precisely the same technical means as the original communication. It makes no difference if the Pro app has the record function enabled. First, this cannot depend on whether the user activates the record function or not. Secondly, the mere potential for the user to record the stream does not affect the provision of the stream in any way. The communication remains the link to the stream.

          The Claimants contended that, even if there was no new technical means, there was a new public because the rightsholders would not have taken into account the possibility of users recording their repertoire. This argument was not accepted by the Court, as the presence or absence of the record function in the Pro app makes no difference to the public which was taken into account by the rights holders when they authorised the original communication by the category 1 stations: it remains the public in the UK. It is true that the rightholders did not grant a licence which extended to reproduction of sound recordings by users, but the consequence of this is that users who made recordings within the Claimants’ repertoire infringed the Claimants’ rights unless those users could rely upon a relevant exception or limitation.

All EPO Articles Are Available Over Gemini Protocol

8 hours 32 min ago


Graphics by Uoniss Evernou (apparently)

Summary: For lighter and more privacy-preserving access to Techrights use the Gemini capsule instead of the Web site

HAVING just done a quick tally, there are now 4,070 articles in the EPO wiki (this one included), with some of them being translations or items which only partly cover the EPO, so let’s say about 4,000 in total. We’ve posted a lot; published over 30,000 blog posts in total, so 4,000 is over 10%, not taking post length — or depth of coverage — into account.

“We’ve posted a lot; published over 30,000 blog posts in total, so 4,000 is over 10%, not taking post length — or depth of coverage — into account.”All the EPO posts are in Gemini, with a simple URL substitution enabling access to them.

For http://techrights.org/2021/04/11/juri-poem/ (just published), for instance, use gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2021/04/11/juri-poem/ in a Gemini client of choice or a Web proxy.

Bombadillo on the right may seem retro and “Brutalist”; but some Gemini clients are almost indistinguishable from a Web browser and they render pages very neatly while adding neat navigation effects, sometimes even images.

Lagrange has plenty of features and Moonlander is promising (still alpha stage). I’ve recorded my very first experience with the former just to show how simple it is to wrap one’s head around everything. The Gemini (gemini://) protocol is vastly simpler than HTTP/HTML/WWW, so the learning curve isn’t steep.

Judge and JURI

9 hours 32 min ago


Supranational ought not mean “above the law…”

Summary: The Committee on Legal Affairs, a.k.a JURI, meets the EPO tomorrow (in 24 hours); will abuses by António Campinos and Benoît Battistelli be brought up?

THE LEGAL beset

Insert the cassette
Don’t be upset
Roll the film, let’s get set

“By all means serendipity!”The house has spoken
The EPO is broken
Bribery of token
Regulators awoken

Immunity!
Impunity!

By all means serendipity!

“I didn’t know!”
“Benoît didn’t tell me!”
“Whoa, Nelly!”

The rule of law applied
Arresting those who lied
Management brushed aside
Nowhere left to hide

House ban in CEIPI
Escorted out by the city
The jury declares “guilty!”
Without a sense of pity

The dust may settle
Turn on the kettle
Back comes Merpel
To expose and to grapple

Kangaroo courts dismantled
Their composition was all meddled
Mrs. Bergot manhandled
Dr. Ernst has back-paddled

EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 13: The Failed Promise of a “Good Governance” Guru…

11 hours 6 min ago

Series index:

  1. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 1: How the Bundestag Was (and Continues to be) Misled About EPO Affairs
  2. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 2: Lack of Parliamentary Oversight, Many Questions and Few Answers…
  3. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 3: A “Minor Interpellation” in the German Bundestag
  4. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 4: Parroting the GDPR-Compliance Myth
  5. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 5: The Federal Eagle’s Disconcerting Metamorphosis
  6. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 6: Dr Petri Starts the Ball Rolling…
  7. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 7: Ms Voßhoff Alerts the Bundestag…
  8. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 8: The EPO’s Tweedledum, Raimund Lutz
  9. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 9: A Veritable Virtuoso of Legal Sophistry
  10. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 10: A Faithful Lapdog Despised and Reviled by EPO Staff
  11. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Appendix (Benoît Battistelli’s Vichy Syndrome): Georges Henri Léon Battistelli and Charles Robert Battistelli
  12. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 11: The BMJV’s Tweedledee: Dr Christoph Ernst
  13. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 12: A Worthy Successor to His Mentor?
  14. You are here ☞ The Failed Promise of a “Good Governance” Guru…


Ernst was billed as one of the top speakers at a “Compliance Masters” conference in Berlin (2008). Original: Compliance Masters [PDF]

Summary: Before becoming an absent-minded Vice-President of António Campinos Christoph Ernst was posing as the very opposite of what he would become (see “Anti-Kurruption” above)

As we saw in the last part, Christoph Ernst’s career in the Justice Ministry started to gain traction following his appointment as head of a legislative reform project in the area of German accounting law, the Bilanzrechtsmodernisierungsgesetz or BilMoG.

It is worth noting here that – in addition to accounting regulations – the BilMoG also contains a series of provisions aimed at improving “corporate governance”.

“Because of his leading role in the BilMoG project, Ernst soon found himself in great demand as a guest speaker at various business networking events and as a guest contributor to corporate accountancy journals.”In particular, the BilMoG prescribes that the Supervisory Board of a company has to guarantee the effectiveness of the company’s internal control systems, check the internal audit function and evaluate the risk management system. To assist the Supervisory Board in this regard, an Audit Committee which reports to the Board is foreseen.

Because of his leading role in the BilMoG project, Ernst soon found himself in great demand as a guest speaker at various business networking events and as a guest contributor to corporate accountancy journals.

For example, at the end of 2007 he contributed an article [PDF] to the “Audit Committee Quarterly”, a newsletter published by the German branch of KMPG’s Audit Committee Institute. In this article he expounded on the topic of BilMoG – a milestone for the strengthening and efficiency of German accounting law”.


Dr Christoph Ernst, the “corporate governance” guru: Passionate about Audit Committees – as long as they remain outside the EPO!

In September 2008, he was billed as one of the top speakers at a “Compliance Masters” conference which took place in Berlin. On that occasion he was lined-up to speak on the topic of “The Challenge of the EU Audit Directive” in a presentation focused on “New Corporate Governance Requirements”.

“If Ernst had pressed for badly needed reforms and improvements to the governance and oversight structures of the EPO he could have made a valuable contribution in this area. Unfortunately his track record over the last decade shows that he failed to live up to that particular promise.”It would appear that back in those days Ernst greatly enjoyed basking in his public image as a “good governance” guru. He seems to have been keen to present himself at every available opportunity as an “audit committee expert” and “compliance master”.

Because of this it is reasonable to suppose that he could have put his knowledge of such matters to good use in the context of the EPO.

If Ernst had pressed for badly needed reforms and improvements to the governance and oversight structures of the EPO he could have made a valuable contribution in this area. Unfortunately his track record over the last decade shows that he failed to live up to that particular promise.

Amongst other things, he failed to bring any detectable level of passion and commitment to the EPO Audit Committee debate. This is in stark contrast to his apparent enthusiasm for the subject when dealing with accounting standards bodies such as KMPG’s Audit Committee Institute.

In the end it would appear that the only real talent which Ernst showed as a “compliance master” during his tenure as Chair of the Administrative Council was his ability to masterfully comply with the whims and vagaries of “Il Capo” Benoît Battistelli – the very person that he was supposed to supervise!

In this way Ernst effectively made himself an accessory to the vicious and cynical excesses of Battistelli’s managerialist “reign of terror” à la France Telecom.

“…the Council – under Ernst’s stewardship – was too timid and supine to enforce its authority over the rogue President (who had formerly been Chairman of the Council).”Ernst’s inability to face up to his own responsibility in this regard was revealed in an interview which he gave to the German law magazine JUVE in November 2017. (Local copy [PDF])

Referring between the lines to the intense social conflict inside the EPO, Ernst openly admitted that the verdict on the reforms which had been implemented during the preceding years would “certainly be clouded by the fact that President Battistelli has overseen a very rigid regime with a heavy-handed approach.”

He then went on to state that he “would have occasionally liked to see more compromise and more understanding for differing interests.”


Under Ernst’s stewardship the Council was too timid and supine to rein in the rogue President Battistelli.

“In the next part we shall look at how the notorious revolving door arrangement between the Administrative Council and the senior management of the European Patent Office may have contributed to this unfortunate state of affairs.”This is a piece of mealy-mouthed prevarication which deliberately glosses over the relevant facts. Namely, that Battistelli – in his capacity as EPO President – was subject to the authority of the Administrative Council which he apparently refused to obey. And that the Council – under Ernst’s stewardship – was too timid and supine to enforce its authority over the rogue President (who had formerly been Chairman of the Council).

In the next part we shall look at how the notorious revolving door arrangement between the Administrative Council and the senior management of the European Patent Office may have contributed to this unfortunate state of affairs.

Gemini Gateways for IPFS

11 hours 17 min ago

Video download link

http://techrights.org/videos/ipfs-gemini-gateway.webm

Summary: The World Wide Web is fine for a lot of things, but for controversial publications and publications that invoke the 'wrath' of corporations/states/plutocracy we must look beyond the traditional protocols, choosing decentralised means and self-hosted means of publication (instead or at the very least in conjunction)

A COUPLE of days ago we did a video and article about Gemini over IPFS (context here) and today we examine what Gemini gateways for IPFS look like. There are already many Web (WWW, https://) gateways for IPFS out there, so why not offer the same over gemini://?

“There are already many Web (WWW, https://) gateways for IPFS out there, so why not offer the same over gemini://?”The video above shows a triplet of Gemini clients and shows how we can, in principle, set up a local Gemini gateway for IPFS access, in effect serving the site’s objects in a decentralised fashion from a home connection (self-hosting). For the future of a censorship-averse Internet we need to look beyond the Web, beyond DNS, and beyond all sorts of other social control mechanisms, notably social control media (e.g. Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, where people’s accounts, channels and subscribers are as transient as monopolies wish them to be) and clown computing — a cleverly-marketed self-harming ploy that encourages companies and individuals to outsource hosting, data and much more to some third parties, typically parties that in the pockets of the Pentagon, companies that have questionable political ambitions.

Challenging Times for EPO Management

11 hours 52 min ago

Video download link

http://techrights.org/videos/epo-accountability.webm

Summary: A discussion of the status quo at Europe’s second-largest (but scarcely-understood) institution, subjected to a JURI hearing tomorrow afternoon

THE dictators of the EPO will come under growing levels of scrutiny. Benoît Battistelli was already pushed out for his abuses, albeit his successor and friend (António Campinos) had a ‘grace period’ for a while. His dialogue with the staff broke down earlier this year (more formally, as it had already been on the rocks for years) and as we pointed out yesterday [1, 2, 3] the uncomfortable-to-answer questions keep coming up and it’s possible that tomorrow the EU/EP will bring up those questions at a more official capacity. We certainly hope that the EPO can repair itself before it just completely collapses (the latter is almost guranteed to happen unless things change, according to longtime insiders).

“The Fighters of Freedom”

13 hours 52 min ago

Summary: Some anime fans have made this video about recent events

IRC Proceedings: Saturday, April 10, 2021

15 hours 15 min ago

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

Enter the IRC channels now

IPFS Mirrors table#ipfs-table tr:nth-child(even) { background-color:#efefef; border-bottom: 2px solid #aaa; } CID Description Object type  QmYhMtNKiCTm4SXqGk2ztdg6vhJPDXuVLeAyakyaddMftY IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as HTML)  QmdnqjYitPg1P3DfQagcmBj6mvRPWRo87EnZgo36TdUV6P IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)  QmdcwsADicLKnkTYAU2X5u32hqeWrFe44ndTEnrYro2NXC IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as HTML)  QmUgkAcgkTeVUSz6zYtUnFuCGPLJ9yAAbFVRYb7WKpPJwg IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)  QmfKATzZ9XfwfBTo77KF8eWtyZ4WY2fJ9DW8M8tTonMTVp IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as HTML)  QmTsFp2Kgc7rgKPxLaQPDsrWnsC19V1Du9phK5PGdjcHXD IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)  QmbwkHMyuDWxAaL1niF6Pxn6BCXkv9NgvVFqATJJp9ocef IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as HTML)  QmfWPFoXrYSkXaJhkNe6YXVL7jt3nTtqQ29gppnbspY5VX IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)

Bulletin for Yesterday

Local copy | CID (IPFS): QmbTzTqQXooSZzCFQCVHrCZsbnA5SXB2JuVPyQgZfNkYW2

[Meme] Bundestagate Series Spoiler

Saturday 10th of April 2021 11:27:17 PM

Summary: The chain of command/s at the EPO typically leads to major tragedy

Breaking News: Campinos to Appear Before the Legals Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on Monday 12 April

Saturday 10th of April 2021 10:57:17 PM

From the original document: [PDF]

Summary: “Some MEPs have been briefed about ongoing governance deficits at the EPO, in particular the lack of GDPR compliance and the sell-out of "digital sovereignty" to Microsoft, but it remains to be seen whether or not they will dare to bring these issues up during the hearing.”

THE EPO President António Campinos is scheduled to appear before the Legals Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (known as the JURI Committee) on Monday 12 April.

The part of the session dealing with the EPO is scheduled to take place some time after 15:15 Central European Time (14:15 UK Time) and should be streamed live on the website of the European Parliament.

“…it is not clear what exactly this “exchange of views” is supposed to cover.”According to the draft agenda, the purpose of the hearing is an “Exchange of views with European Patent Office (EPO)”. However, it is not clear what exactly this “exchange of views” is supposed to cover.

The last time the JURI Committee of the European Parliament took an interest in the EPO was back in 2015 when the UPC project looked like it was ready to take off.

On that occasion, in May 2015, a delegation of MEPS from the JURI Committee went on a junket to visit the EPO headquarters in Munich where they were wined and dined by Benoît Battistelli and "Mrs UPC" Margot Fröhlinger.

Of course the MEPs didn’t make any effort to speak to EPO staff or to the Staff Union SUEPO so all they got was one-sided PR spin from Team Battistelli.

Some time later in June 2015, Battistelli appeared before the JURI Committee. (warning: epo.org link)

“Some MEPs have been briefed about ongoing governance deficits at the EPO, in particular the lack of GDPR compliance and the sell-out of “digital sovereignty” to Microsoft, but it remains to be seen whether or not they will dare to bring these issues up during the hearing.”Battistelli was given a very easy ride by the MEPs most of whom didn’t appear to have much of a clue about what was going on at the EPO.

The only critical question came from the Greek MEP, Kostas Chrysogonos, who asked about the state of labour relations at the EPO.

Battistelli just brushed this aside with his usual bluff and bluster. A recording of that hearing is available on the website of the European Parliament.

Battistelli appeared for a further hearing before the JURI Committee on 23 March 2017 [PDF] to report on “The Unitary Patent: state of play”. Once again Battistelli was given a very easy ride by the MEPs.

So it will be interesting to see what happens on Monday when Campinos appears before the JURI Committee. Will it be business as usual or is somebody finally going to start asking the questions that need to be asked?

Some MEPs have been briefed about ongoing governance deficits at the EPO, in particular the lack of GDPR compliance and the sell-out of "digital sovereignty" to Microsoft, but it remains to be seen whether or not they will dare to bring these issues up during the hearing.

Pro-FSF Petition (“An Open Letter in Support of Richard Matthew Stallman Being Reinstated by the Free Software Foundation”) Tops 6,200 Signatures

Saturday 10th of April 2021 10:30:51 PM

Summary: Monopolies and their media, along with their NGOs, have spoken and incited based on falsehoods; people now respond so the hate letter has a real crisis

Links 10/4/2021: osbuild 28, KDE Frameworks 5.81.0

Saturday 10th of April 2021 10:03:45 PM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Audiocasts/Shows
      • GNOME 40 is HERE | This Is The Future Of Desktop Linux Experience (NEW!)

        This is the all-new GNOME 40. The latest version of the popular GNOME desktop environment is now redesigned with major changes and improvements. GNOME 40 is the biggest update since GNOME jumped from version 2 to 3. And with this update, how things look, how things work, and how you interact with the system are reimagined for the better. GNOME is the most prevalent desktop environment, and all the Linux distros using it will be updating to GNOME 40 soon, giving you a fresh new experience. So let’s jump right in and see what’s new, what’s changed, the updated set of GNOME core apps, and We’ll also see why GNOME 40 is the next step in desktop interface standards for 2021 and beyond.

      • I’ve used KDE exclusively for a month, here’s my opinion – KDE Plasma Review

        I’ve been using Manjaro KDE on my new Slimbook desktop for a month now, so here are my conclusions. Become a channel member to get access to a weekly patroncast and vote on the next topics I’ll cover…

      • Privacy and Security in Technology

        Using a Secure Operating System

    • Kernel Space
    • Applications
      • Best Apps to Install on Linux Mint in 2021

        Linux Mint is a popular Linux distro alongside Ubuntu. There is not much difference between the functionalities and features of the two. Hence, the various app that is compatible with Ubuntu also works effortlessly on Linux Mint.

        The advantage of using Linux distros and apps is that most are free and open-source.

        As Linux Mint is an alternative to Ubuntu, you can find an alternative to every popular and widely used app. Thus, there is no scarcity of apps in each category. However, finding a reliable app is not an easy task because of so many options.

      • Best Text Editors for CentOS

        Based on RedHat Enterprise Linux, CentOS is an open-source Linux distribution. It is an ideal operating system platform for web hosting, thanks to active developer community support. It is completely free and a great platform for web application developers.

        Text editors are a very important tool in every operating system platform as they can be used for a variety of purposes from writing short notes to scripting big web applications and programs.

        Having a perfect text editor eases hectic tasks like programming and coding. Today, many text editors come with a variety of pre-defined functionalities that make the task of programming much easier and convenient.

      • Best Image Compression Apps for Linux

        This article will post a list of useful command line and graphical utilities that allow you to compress image files to save local or remote disk space. Some of these applications provide “lossless” options that reduce size of image files with no or minimal loss of quality. Note that image compression is not the same as resizing, rescaling or altering geometry of images to reduce size. Image compression involves manipulating quality of images using various compression algorithms. Usually, quality of colors, individual pixels and transparency is manipulated to compress images and save disk space.

      • Neovide Is A Graphical Neovim Client Written In Rust

        Neovide is a really cool GUI client for Neovim. Although it essentially functions like Neovim in the terminal, Neovide does add some nice graphical improvements such as cursor animations and smooth scrolling. It even has me thinking about making it my new “vim” alias.

    • Instructionals/Technical
      • How to try Elementary OS 6 early build on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or Linux Mint

        Do you want to try the new Pantheon Desktop without waiting for elementary OS 6 (Odin)? Then here is the solution to do that by installing it on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or Linux Mint.

        Elementary OS 6 is the up coming version from the developers of this operating system, however, even it will be based on Ubuntu 20.4, still taking quite some time to get released. In such a scenario if you don’t want to wait, we can access its early builds to install on some existing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS or Linux mint.

      • How to Use Gzip on Linux? – Linux Hint

        Gzip is a common compression algorithm that allows you to compress a file while keeping the original file format, ownership, and timeline.

        When you use the gzip command to compress a file or folder, it would have the same name as before, but with the extension.gz.

      • How Do You Make Chown Recursive? – Linux Hint

        You may sometimes find errors while using any Linux operating system such as denied while editing a file. This is because of fewer rights on that particular file. Chown is usually abbreviated as “change ownership”, which means that the Chown is an instruction for changing the owner of a group of files and folders on Linux. Moreover, you need to modify the owner of a folder that holds all of the documents in certain situations. You might have to consume recursive chown, which is one of the choices of the chown instruction. Recursive means chown will be done for all documents in the specified directory, and also files and folders inside all sub-directories. You’ll discover how to recursively modify the directory and file authorizations while using the chown instruction in this guide.

      • How Do You List Only Files Not Directories in Linux? – Linux Hint

        You must have prior knowledge on how to list all the directories and folders that are residing in Linux systems. You may have used the “ls’ command to do this while working on any distribution of the Linux operating system. In this tutorial, we will be covering the topic of the process of listing only the files from a specific directory or folder in a Linux system. If you want to learn about listing files, go through each step of this guide.

      • How Do I List Empty Directories in Linux? – Linux Hint

        Most of the time this question arises, how will you list the empty file and folders when you are working on the Linux-based operating system? Empty files and directories are those which have no data or sub-directories within them, respectively. If you want to learn how to do it, then this tutorial is meant for you. You have to go through each step defined in this tutorial to list the empty folders or files in the terminal. First, you must have sudo privileges of a Linux-based system to use it. After logging in from the system, you have to open the command terminal from the Applications. We will have a look at some of the examples for listing empty folders.

      • What is the difference: .bashrc and bash_profile? – Linux Hint

        If you spend most of your time on the terminal, you might think to personalize its appearance by changing the configuration files. If you notice that there are two configuration files of bash shell in Linux, one is “.bashrc,” and the second one is “bash_profile” or “.profile.”

        These files are hidden and cannot be displayed using “ls” only; therefore, use “ls -a” in the terminal to view these files.

      • 10 Awesome Awk Command Examples – Linux Hint

        Awk command is a powerful tool to process data. It gets input data, manipulates it, and gives results in standard output. Various operations can be performed on rows and columns of a file.
        Knowing the essentials of the “awk” command is very important when it comes to processing data efficiently, and this post covers the key features of the “awk” command.

      • How to install TeX Live on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS- A free typesetting system

        With TeX Live, the TeX Users Group has created the most extensive distribution of the TeX free typesetting system. Here we learn how to install Tex Live full distribution version on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Linux.

        Well, Tex Live has replaced the no longer maintained teTeX distribution and is most likely aimed at users who already have experience with DTP and the corresponding programming languages.

        It comes with lots of features, such as the TeX Live helps users to prepare and edit texts for typesetting and printing. A large number of typographical rules can be set for this. TeX Live specializes in texts with complex content – the program can also handle tables, for example, and TeX Live is the measure of all things, especially when it comes to setting mathematical formulas.

      • How To Install Miniconda In Linux – OSTechNix

        Miniconda is a minimal and stripped-down version of Anaconda distribution. As the name implies, Miniconda contains only Conda package manager, Python and a small number of useful packages such as pip, zlib including their dependencies.

        Miniconda is suitable for those who don’t mind to install each package individually. It saves you not only the disk space but also avoids dumping a lots of unnecessary applications that you don’t use often in your hard drive. For those wondering, Anaconda distribution automatically installs 1,500 packages that consumes around 3 GB disk space. If you use only a handful of applications, miniconda might be a good choice!

      • How to play Space Engineers on Linux

        Space Engineers is a voxel-based sandbox game that takes place in space. In it, the player can mine for resources, create bases, explore, etc. In this guide, we’ll show you how you can play the game on Linux.

      • How To Install Flectra on CentOS 8 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Flectra on CentOS 8. For those of you who didn’t know, Flectra is a free and open-source, CRM (customer relationship management) and ERP (enterprise resource planning) software system that provides a lot of flexibility and customization that lets you meet the unique needs of your business. In simple terms, Flectra gives you a comprehensive platform so that you can easily modify or configure it as per your requirements. Flectra provides a lot of features such as Accounting, E-Commerce, Inventory Management, Marketing, Project Management, CRM, Reporting, Leave Management, and many more.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step install of the Flectra open source ERP and CRM software on CentOS 8.

      • Linux Essentials – Understanding File & Directory Permissions

        Confused about permissions in Linux? In this tutorial, I go over the basics of permissions so that you can understand how it works. We’ll cover the permissions string and each element within it, what each individual section means, as well as how to change permissions.

      • How to Run “ls” Command in Linux? – Linux Hint

        “ls” is a basic command that any Linux user should know. The ls command displays basic information about files and folders inside the file system. It’s included in the GNU core utility kit which comes standard with all Linux distributions.

      • How to Use Linux Chrt Command? – Linux Hint

        While using Linux operating system, multiple programs wait to be converted into a process for execution. When a program changes into a process, a lot of attributes are set that can be manipulated. For this, the Linux system provides a helpful tool to set or fetch real-time attributes of a process.

        The “chrt” command is a part of a low-level Linux utility that is not only used to set attributes on runtime but also to change the scheduling policy of a process and set its priority. It uses the existing PID of any waiting program to set and retrieve a schedule of real-time attributes. Simply, the scheduler decides which process is executed by the CPU first when the “chrt” command changes its priority.

      • How to Use $IFS in Bash? – Linux Hint

        In scripting, we must break string data for a variety of reasons. Split is an integrated feature in many computer languages that divides every string of data into various pieces. However, bash lacks a built-in feature for splitting a string. To break any string value, there are many single and compound delimiters to be used. A variable IFS (Internal Field Separator) is being used to specify a particular delimiter for string division. In this guide, you will learn how to use various methods to illustrate the process of breaking a string value in bash using the $IFS.

      • How to Use Linux Chage Command? – Linux Hint

        Linux Operating system provides multiple tools to manage its system. One of the helpful tools in Linux is the “chage” command. From its name, the “chage” command is derived from the words “Change Age”, which is used to modify the information such as duration when to change password, make account status active or inactive, sets expiry date of the account, and sets a reminder to change the password through an alarm before user’s account will be inactive.

        It is important to enforce users to modify the password after a certain period due to security reasons. If you’re an admin, then modified and updated information will be visible to you.

      • Date command in Bash – Linux Hint

        Performing date operation in shell scripting is very common especially performing scheduling tasks. But dealing with “date” in bash scripting is a tangling job. Bash comes with the “date” command that displays the date in various formats.

      • How to Install deb File in Ubuntu – 4 Ways Explained

        How will you install packages which are not available in the software center?

        Basically there are are many software’s are available on Ubuntu software center, and you can install those very easily by using an apt and apt-get command as well as by graphical Interface.

        If the software does not exist on the software center and you want to install on your ubuntu operating system then you must download first from the official website of that particular software.

        if you want to install external you must download the executable file in .deb format for Debian and Ubuntu-based operating system.

        This tutorial will cover how to install Deb file in Ubuntu operating system using different methods. I will cover command-line methods as well as the graphical interface for installing deb files on ubuntu.

      • How to install Stringer RSS reader on Fedora Linux – Linux Hint

        Stringer is an RSS reader which is used to get the latest updates of blogs and websites. It can be hosted on your own server and accessed over the localhost. It is developed using the Ruby language. This app is based on Sinatra, ActiveRecord, PostgreSQL, Backbone.js, and DelayedJob. It can be run on Heroku, Linux-based VPS with Ruby, Docker, Openshift. One can use their own domain with a stringer by using a CNAME. It can also be used on mobile clients that support Fever.

      • Ubuntu How To Set A Static IP Via Terminal And GUI

        The default IP address of your computer – whatever it is, is probably “dynamic”. This is mostly convenient, as network administrators do not have to go through the hassle of creating individual IP addresses for each computer on their network. However, there are good reasons why you may want to set a static IP address in Ubuntu – from improved security to games, servers, faster Internet speeds and port forwarding.

        In this article we will show you how to set a static IP address in Ubuntu.

      • Hashcat Tutorial on Brute force & Mask Attack step by step guide

        Password cracking is a very interesting topic and loved by every hacker.

        There are multiple password cracking software exist in the market for cracking the password. but hashcat is unique.

        Hashcat is working well with GPU, or we can say it is only designed for using GPU. GPU has amazing calculation power to crack the password.

        In this article, I will cover the hashcat tutorial, hashcat feature, Combinator Attack, Dictionary Attack, hashcat mask attack example, hashcat Brute force attack, and more. This article covers the complete tutorial about hashcat.

        Hello friends, you reading articles on Password cracking under Penetration Testing this article will cover about another tool hashcat tutorial. It is the best password cracking tool. and give the best result with GPU Machine.

      • How to Use bc to Perform Advanced Arithmetic Operations in BASH – Linux Hint

        Basic Calculator, also known as ‘bc,’ is a Linux command-line utility used to perform advanced arithmetics and algebra in bash scripts. It provides many different mathematical functions like sine, cosine, tangent, natural logarithm in bash. Bash can’t perform advanced arithmetic operations, like comparing floats; that’s where bc comes in handy. The ‘bc’ command was preceded by ‘dc’ (Desk Calculator), a UNIX utility. In this tutorial, we will use the ‘bc’ command to perform advanced arithmetic operations.

      • Tcpdump command examples and tutorial – Linux Hint

        If your work mostly depends upon the internet, then having network issues is very common. Resolving and troubleshooting these network issues is a challenging task. In such a situation “tcpdump” tool gets into the game.
        The “tcpdump” is a packet analyzer and used to diagnose and analyze network issues. It captures the network traffic going through your device and looks over it. The “tcpdump” tool is a powerful tool to troubleshoot network issues. It comes with many options, which makes it a versatile command-line utility to fix network issues.

        This post is a detailed guide about the “tcpdump” utility that includes its installation, common features, and usage with different options.

      • Setting up PyQt5 in PyCharm 2021.1 on AlmaLinux 8.3

        PyQt5 is a comprehensive set of Python bindings for Qt v5. It is implemented as more than 35 extension modules and enables Python to be used as an alternative application development language to C++ on all supported platforms including iOS and Android. Following below is a brief description to enable PyCharm 2021.1 to execute python scripts been written with PyQT5 bindings involved on AlmaLinux 8.3.

      • Clusterssh – Administer multiple ssh or rsh shells simultaneously

        The command opens an administration console and an xterm to all specified hosts. Any text typed into the administration console is replicated to all windows. All windows may also be typed into directly.
        This tool is intended for (but not limited to) cluster administration where the same configuration or commands must be run on each node within the cluster. Performing these commands all at once via this tool ensures all nodes are kept in sync.

        Connections are opened using ssh which must be correctly installed and configured.

        Extra caution should be taken when editing files as lines may not necessarily be in the same order; assuming line 5 is the same across all servers and modifying that is dangerous. It’s better to search for the specific line to be changed and double-check all terminals are as expected before changes are committed.

    • Games
      • King of Seas: Preview on Linux (Proton)

        King of Seas is an upcoming Pirates!-like title to be released in May 2021 on PC. I had the opportunity to try a closed-demo version of the game back in December 2020, so here’s my first impressions. Playtime was limited to 45 minutes of continous gameplay, so suffice to say, I can only talk about the very beginning of the game, and I certainly can’t comment on the final quality of the game.

        It all starts with you… the heir to the throne of an island kingdom. And one day, as you were away on the seas to make your mark as a young captain, you find out as you return that the king has been killed and an usurper has taken power for himself. As you try to fight back, your ship is sunk and you are left for dead in the waters. Fortunately, you are rescued by a bunch of pirates, who decide to take you under their protection.

      • Our New Linux Gamer Survey for 2021 is Out!

        We are back with with a survey! To be fair, it’s been a while we did not conduct a new one. But it’s time. There’s been sufficient changes in the past few years to justify checking once again where we all are. So we are inviting all of you to participate in the Q2 2021 Linux Gamer Survey prepared by Boiling Steam.

      • Top 10 Games to Play on Ubuntu 20.04

        Windows platform has been one of the dominating platforms for gaming because of the huge percentage of games that are developing today to natively support Windows. Can anyone challenge Windows’ supremacy in terms of their operating system? The answer is, yes! It is Linux.

        Gaming library for Linux is expanding and is one of the popular platforms. Open-source developers have established a way to play most Windows games on Linux. If you are a dedicated gamer, then Linux would probably not on your first choice but you would rather stick with Windows or any gaming console. That’s not the concern anymore, since gaming on Linux has improved a lot. More and more developers are now looking at Linux as an alternative against Windows and releasing games that natively support Linux, it all thanks to Steam for Linux.

        This post is dedicated to list some of the best games that essentially support Linux/Ubuntu. There are a lot of games that can be played on Linux, all you need is a compatible machine and graphics card with drivers. Most of the drivers for Nvidia and AMD are easily accessible on Ubuntu. Players nowadays would like to play games in groups, so Linux provides an opportunity to players by helping them in building a game server.

        After playing games for years, we have developed a list that comprises the top ten best games which are mentioned below.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • KDE Frameworks 5.81 Released with KHamburgerMenu, Various Improvements

          The biggest new feature in the KDE Frameworks 5.81 release is the implementation of a new, custom hamburger menu called KHamburgerMenu, which will be shown on QWidgets-based apps whenever the main menubar is hidden.

          The KDE Project plans to adopt the KHamburgerMenu for all KDE apps as it offers several advantages, including an alternative app menu in case you hide the default menubar by accident, more freedom when you want to take full advantage of the maximum vertical space, more compact design with only relevant menu items, as well as support for relocating, renaming, removing, or even changing its icon.

        • KDE Ships Frameworks 5.81.0

          KDE today announces the release of KDE Frameworks 5.81.0.

          KDE Frameworks are 83 addon libraries to Qt which provide a wide variety of commonly needed functionality in mature, peer reviewed and well tested libraries with friendly licensing terms. For an introduction see the KDE Frameworks release announcement.

          This release is part of a series of planned monthly releases making improvements available to developers in a quick and predictable manner.

        • Activities Feature Working On Wayland

          It’s been another week of fixes and feature work for the KDE desktop as the march continues toward the Plasma 5.22 release this summer.

          Crash fixes and more Wayland improvements remain the common theme for KDE this year.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • Internet Radio App Shortwave 2.0.0 Released with Mini Player Mode

          Shortwave, free and open-source internet radio player for Gnome, released version 2.0.0 today.

          The new release introduces a mini player mode. It is a super compact window widget with a few control buttons, and displays the current radio station and playing song name.

          [...]

          The radio player is available in Ubuntu Software as Snap package, it is however not updated at the moment of writing.

          Besides building from source(impossible as it depends GTK4), so far the only way is installing the containerised Flatpak package.

        • Sam Thursfield: Calliope, slowly building steam

          There are some interesting complexities to this, and in 12 hours of hacking I didn’t solve them all. Firstly, Bandcamp artist and album names are not normalized. Some artist names have spurious “The”, some album names have “(EP)” or “(single)” appended, so they don’t match your tags. These details are of interest only to librarians, but how can software tell the difference?

          The simplest approach is use Musicbrainz, specifically cpe musicbrainz resolve-ids. By comparing ids where possible we get mostly good results. There are many albums not on Musicbrainz, though, which for now turn up as false positives. Resolving Musicbrainz IDs is a tricky process, too — how do we distinguish Multi-Love (album) from Multi-Love (single) if we only have an album name?

          If you want to try it out, great! It’s still aimed at hackers — you’ll have to install from source with Meson and probably fix some bugs along the way. Please share the fixes!

    • Distributions
      • Screenshots/Screencasts
      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva/OpenMandriva Family
        • Get involved with Mageia, become a Packager

          With Mageia 8 just released and development for Mageia 9 getting underway in Cauldron, the unstable branch of Mageia, now is a great time to get involved with packaging.

          We are starting to look at the features that we want to include for Mageia 9, and as it is so early in the development cycle, now is the time for major developments, or big updates to key pieces of software. This is a great time to join the project as you can propose features you would like to see, help to implement large changes or see how a distribution evolves through development, stabilisation and then is released.

          If there is an application that you are interested in, if you want to help maintain part of the distribution, or if you want to learn something new, there are many opportunities to do so with the packaging team.

      • IBM/Red Hat/Fedora
        • Release of osbuild 28

          We are happy to announce version 28 of osbuild. This time with a large set of fixes and minor additions to the different stages bundled with osbuild. Furthermore, Fedora 35 is now supported as host system.

          Below you can find the official changelog from the osbuild-28 sources. All users are recommended to upgrade!

        • Fedora Linux Download ISO 64-bit

          We can download Fedora Linux free of cost to install on PC, Laptop, or virtual machines. It is developed and maintained by the Fedora project community while sponsored by Red Hat. It came into existence when in 2003 Red Hat decided to turn its end-user Linux distribution into a community project, and so the Fedora distribution was born. Fedora uses and publishes software that are available under a free license. The project is led by the Fedora Project Board, which includes members of the community as well as Red Hat employees.

          The key goal of developing Fedora is to provide a new, versatile, and free ( open source ) operating system. And being an upstream source code of the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux distribution, it helps a lot in developing and providing stability to RHEL.

          Therefore, in short, it is a testing platform for many new technologies, and technologies that are considered available will eventually be added to Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

      • Debian Family
        • Google operates with a Debian developer to produce COVID-19 research simpler on Linux

          “The Bazel team jumped in to help Olek and the COVID-19 research community. Yun Peng, Software Engineer at Google with Olek Wojnar led the team of Bazel and Debian volunteers to move the project forward. The joint effort between Debian and Google has produced some great results, including packaging the Bazel bootstrap variant in 6 months’ time (Debian 11 — released in Late 2021; Ubuntu 21.04 — 22 April 2021),” clarifies Google.

          The search giant further says, “Bazel is now available as an easy to install package distributed on Debian and Ubuntu. The extended Google team continues to work with Debian towards the next step of packaging and distributing Tensorflow on Debian and other Linux distributions.”

          While Olek Wojnar deserves a lot of credit for this successful partnership, Google has clearly acquired significant praise as well. Not only has the search giant assisted amazingly in this case, yet it has for some time been a companion of both the open-source and Linux communities.

        • Kentaro Hayashi: Grow your ideas for Debian Project

          There may be some “If it could be …” ideas for Debian Project. If idea is concreate and worth to make things forward, it should make a proposal for Project Funding.

          [...]

          I’m not confident whether mechanism works, but Debian needs change.

    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • FSF
        • Kurt Roeckx & Debian, the character assassination equivalent of a lynching

          On 24 March 2021, Canonical/Ubuntu employee Steve Langasek formally requested support for a vote to publicly defame Dr Richard Stallman.

          The Debian Project Secretary, Kurt Roeckx went about processing the request as if nothing was wrong. He has acted like a robot.

          Imagine for a moment that the vote was about murdering somebody with physical force instead of character assassination. Imagine that such a motion was presented with the required number of supporters, as defined in the constitution. If Roeckx went about processing a request for such a vote, he could be prosecuted for crimes like conspiracy to murder and if the plot went ahead, accessory to murder.

          In such circumstances, the best thing to do is to resign. The resignation of the secretary at this point could invalidate the voting process. It would be a circuit breaker.

          Even now, volunteers have come to realise that they will face serious consequences for their abuse of the 68-year old Dr Stallman and previous acts of defamation against volunteers. These consequences can be avoided by abandoning the vote. The secretary can ensure that happens by resigning. This is the best course of action for the Debian Project today.

      • Programming/Development
        • Python
          • Create a JSON Response in Python

            JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) file is a very popular medium to interchange data between different formats. It contains data in text format that is supported by various languages such as Python, PHP, PERL, etc. The main purpose of the JSON file is to transfer data between the server and the client. The requests are generated by Python to retrieve the data from a particular resource URI. If the response of the request is returned in JSON format then the content of the response can be retrieved using the response.json() function. It returns the response by using a Python dictionary object. How this function can be used to parse JSON response using the Python request library will be shown in this tutorial.

          • Use of Django Request and Response Objects – Linux Hint

            The Request-response cycle is used to transfer the data between the client and server in all types of web APIs. The client-server architecture is used in the Django framework to implement the web application. The request and response are the two main components of the client-server application. An HttpRequest object is created in the Django application when a client requests any resource. A particular view function is used to handle the request and send the response using the HttpResponse object. The uses of different attributes and methods of HttpRequest and HttpResponse classes of the Django framework will be explained in this tutorial.

          • Form Validation in Django – Linux Hint

            Form validation is a very important task for any web application to enter valid data in the database. The users of the application will not be able to insert invalid data if the form data are validated before submitting. Django is called MVT (Model View Template) based framework where the task of the controller is done by this framework itself. The database-related tasks are done by Model and the data are presented to the template using View. The fields of a form are generated based on the particular model that will insert data into the Django database after validation. One type of validation is done by the browser-based on the field type that is defined in the model. Using the is_valid() function is another way to check the form data whether they are valid or not after submitting the form. This tutorial will show you how the data can be inserted into the Django database after validating the form.

          • How to Build a Basic Search for a Django Site? – Linux Hint

            A particular content of any site is normally retrieved by the users through Google search. However, if this search option is implemented on the website, then the users can easily find their desired content within the site without using Google search. . Another benefit of adding a search option within a website is that the developer can manage the searching output properly. That means he can control which content of the site will appear or not. This tutorial will show the process of implementing the basic search in the Django site.

  • Leftovers
    • Don’t hire top talent; hire for weaknesses.

      Often the language used by those hiring betrays their view of people as resources. Or, to use its current popular disguise: “talent”.

      “We hire top talent” “the candidate didn’t meet our bar”, “our hiring funnel selects for the best”. “we hire smart people and get out of their way”. We design “fair tests” that are an “objective assessment” of how closely people match our preconceptions of good.

      The starting point for the talent mindset is that we want to hire the smartest people in the “talent pool”. If only we can hire all the smartest people, that will give us a competitive advantage!

      If you focus on hiring brilliant people, and manage to find people who are slightly smarter on average than your competitors, will you win? Achievements in tech seldom stem solely from the brilliance of any one individual. Successes don’t have a single root cause any more than failures do.

    • How Many People Still Use Desktop Compared to Mobile

      Are you a desktop-user? Or do you prefer to use a mobile device while browsing the internet and playing games? The way we use technology is changing every year. More people than ever before are online- about 58.8% of the world’s total population. That is no small number.

      [...]

      A Statista study reviewed the amount of mobile users who make up organic search visits. During the last five years, they noticed a major increase in how many people used mobile devices to conduct internet searches.

      In 2013, 27% of organic search engine clicks came from mobile devices. It went up steadily that year to 33%. They would conduct the same research later, in 2019. During those six years, mobile device use continued to grow.

      In late 2018, 56% of search engine visits came from mobile users. That means that mobile traffic for search engines was consistently growing- and would likely continue to do so. Mobile traffic likely overtakes desktop traffic soon enough.

      [...]

      Still, with 96% of Americans owning some kind of cell phone, it makes sense that we see growth in the mobile device uses each year. You can continue this number to grow, although desktop use will likely stay the same or slightly decline- it is not likely to die out completely in the foreseeable future.

    • Finance
      • The Intriguing Nature of Non-Fungible Tokens

        The blockchain first came to light in 2008 as the digital ledger for bitcoin transactions. The blockchain creator’s original vision was limited to enabling peer-to-peer bitcoin transactions with no need for a bank or government agency to certify the validity of the transactions. But, like the Internet, electricity and other transformative technologies, blockchain soon transcended its original objectives.

        Over the years, blockchain technologies have evolved along two major lines. One continues to focus on blockchain as the underlying platform for bitcoin, as well as a wide variety of cryptoassets, such as digital tokens and cryptocurrencies. The other focuses on the use of blockchain in the business world, – a kind of Internet 2.0. The cryptocurrency camp is based mostly on public permissionless blockchains, which anyone can join and require some kind of proof-of-work or proof-of-stake systems. The business camp, – best characterized by Hyperledger, – is based on private or public permissioned blockchain networks to support transactions among institutions that need not know nor trust each other.

        Given my professional history with the Internet and e-business, I’ve been almost exclusively focused on the business camp for two major reasons. First, blockchain technologies can help us enhance the security of Internet transactions and data, by developing a layer with the required standard services and their open source implementations for secure communication, storage and data access. And second, blockchain technologies can significantly improve the efficiency, resilience, and management of supply chains, financial services, and other complex global applications involving multiple institutions across multiple countries.

        [...]

        Digital artist Mike Winkelmann offered answers to these questions in an interesting recent podcast interview with technology journalist Kara Swisher. “Very simply … a non-fungible token is really just, at its core, a proof of ownership,” he said. “It’s just proving you own something, and it can be attached to anything. It sort of points to a digital file and says, this is the thing you own.” He explained that owning a digital asset is somewhat similar to owning a master recording. A lot of people can have the mp3 and listen to the recording. “Everybody’s hearing the exact same thing. But one person owns the master recording of it. And that person can prove, O.K., I own it. And if you have a copy of the mp3, you don’t think you own it. You’re not going to convince anybody you own it, just because you have access to it.”

    • Monopolies
      • Patents
        • Power of Attorney

          If you are in-house patent attorney/agent prosecuting cases for your employer-client, do you still need to file a power of attorney? I’m finding that a good percentage of cases have a registered patent professional listed as the correspondence address within the Application Data Sheet, and that individual is being allowed by the USPTO to prosecute the case no behalf of its client. However, no power-of-attorney is on file with the USPTO.

        • EPO’s new examination guidelines: what you need to know [Ed: These guidelines are largely unlawful, but this sort of media is just a cheerleader for the same people who crushed lawfulness at the EPO]

          The updated rules included important changes involving amino or nucleic acid sequences and antibodies, as Clare Roskell and Samantha Moodie of Mathys & Squire explain.

          A new edition of the European Patent Office (EPO) Guidelines for Examination came into force on March 1, 2021. Relevant to life sciences, this edition includes a new subsection detailing EPO practice with respect to the interpretation of terms relating to amino or nucleic acid sequences, as well as a new section on the examination of claims to antibodies.

          [...]

          First, they confirm that when an amino acid or nucleic acid sequence is defined by using percentage sequence identity language, this is determined by the number of identical residues over a defined length in a given alignment. If no algorithm or calculation method for determining the percentage of identity is defined, the broadest interpretation will be applied using any reasonable method known at the relevant filing date.

      • Trademarks
        • European Patent Filings Indicate Mercedes-Benz Is Working On An Electric G-Class [Ed: European media cannot even tell the difference between patents and trademarks; stupidity out in the open]

          Mercedes-Benz seems to be developing an all-electric version of the ever-popular G-Class, as evidenced by patent applications recently made with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) on April 1, 2021.

          The German car brand filed to patent the names ‘EQG 580’ and ‘EQG 560’ and while no official details about these models have been confirmed, their names suggest that they could have the same powertrain configurations as the forthcoming EQS.

EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 12: A Worthy Successor to His Mentor?

Saturday 10th of April 2021 07:08:42 PM

Series index:

  1. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 1: How the Bundestag Was (and Continues to be) Misled About EPO Affairs
  2. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 2: Lack of Parliamentary Oversight, Many Questions and Few Answers…
  3. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 3: A “Minor Interpellation” in the German Bundestag
  4. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 4: Parroting the GDPR-Compliance Myth
  5. The EPO Bundestagate — Part 5: The Federal Eagle’s Disconcerting Metamorphosis
  6. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 6: Dr Petri Starts the Ball Rolling…
  7. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 7: Ms Voßhoff Alerts the Bundestag…
  8. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 8: The EPO’s Tweedledum, Raimund Lutz
  9. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 9: A Veritable Virtuoso of Legal Sophistry
  10. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 10: A Faithful Lapdog Despised and Reviled by EPO Staff
  11. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Appendix (Benoît Battistelli’s Vichy Syndrome): Georges Henri Léon Battistelli and Charles Robert Battistelli
  12. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Part 11: The BMJV’s Tweedledee: Dr Christoph Ernst
  13. You are here ☞ A Worthy Successor to His Mentor?


Ernst’s professional background is in taxation law and corporate accounting standards.

Summary: We examine the role of Christoph Ernst in EPO management, both in the Benoît Battistelli era and the António Campinos era (plenty to hide)

Christoph Ernst’s sudden rise to prominence in the governance circles of the European Patent Organisation is somewhat enigmatic in view of the fact that his professional background and expertise lies in the area of taxation law, corporate accounting and financial reporting standards.

“…there is no indication that he had any prior involvement with IP and patent law matters before 2011, when his name first crops up in the records of the Administrative Council as the new head of the German delegation following the appointment of Raimund Lutz as EPO Vice-President.”Puff pieces which have appeared the IP media have regularly claimed that Ernst has “extensive knowledge of intellectual property”. However, there is no indication that he had any prior involvement with IP and patent law matters before 2011, when his name first crops up in the records of the Administrative Council as the new head of the German delegation following the appointment of Raimund Lutz as EPO Vice-President.

We remind readers that during the first decade and a half of his career at the German Justice Ministry, Ernst had languished in relative obscurity as a humble Undersecretary (“Ministerialrat”) working in the area of financial reporting and accounting standards.

Back in those days his public profile was limited to occasional appearances as an guest speaker at the annual symposia of little-known academic discussion groups for economic policy wonks such as the Ulm Forum for Economic Studies (“Ulmer Forum für Wirtschaftswissenschaften”).


Ernst as a guest speaker at an obscure policy wonks’ symposium in 2006.

Ernst’s career at the Justice Ministry started to take off following his appointment as head of the BilMoG project. From 2007 onwards he was suddenly in great demand as a guest speaker at various corporate accounting events [PDF] sponsored by the likes of Handelsblatt and Price Waterhouse Coopers. His newly acquired popularity in these circles was due to his insider knowledge of the impending reform of corporate accounting law.


Due to his insider knowledge of the BilMog, Ernst was in great demand as a guest speaker at corporate accounting events sponsored by the likes of Handelsblatt and Price Waterhouse Coopers.

In May 2010 Ernst was promoted to the position of Deputy Director General (“Ministerialdirigent”) in the Justice Ministry´s Commercial and Intellectual Property Law Department.

In April 2011, shortly after Lutz had taken up his new post as EPO Vice-President, Ernst was appointed as his successor to head the German delegation on the EPO’s Administrative Council.

After that whenever Lutz turned up for a photo-op at some IP junket or EPO extravaganza, Ernst was almost certain to be seen in close proximity, grinning like the proverbial Cheshire Cat.

The pictures below show Lutz with Ernst at a junket organised by the German Federal Patent Court in 2011 and with Boards of Appeal President (Carl Josefsson) and the Mayor of Haar (Gabriele Müller) at the formal inauguration of the new Boards of Appeal premises in Haar in December 2017. (warning: epo.org link)


Ernst was frequently seen in the company of EPO Vice-President Lutz (these photos are from 2011 and 2017, left and right respectively).

For EPO staff, Ernst’s tenure as Chair of the Administrative Council was hugely disappointing because he turned out to be every bit as subservient to Battistelli as his predecessor, Kongstad.

Although Ernst was described as a “moderate critic” of Battistelli by JUVE in June 2017 (copy here [PDF]), it soon became clear that he was – as Techrights put it – "just a megaphone of Battistelli’s EPO" and – just like Kongstad – another one of "Battistelli's protectors".

Indeed it hardly seems to be an exaggeration to say that following Ernst’s appointment as Chairman of the Council, Battistelli ended up with not just one but two subservient German “Duckmäuser” at his disposal: one in-house, in charge of his Legal and International Affairs Department, and the other conveniently in charge of the Organisation’s governing body.

In June 2018 – as Battistelli’s departure from the EPO was imminent – Kluwer Patent Blog published a farewell article about the “tarnished reputation of an EPO President”.

At around the same time Techrights reported on calls for Ernst “to be forced by national politicians to step down with immediate effect”.

However, it would appear that the main concern of Ernst’s boss, Justice Minister Heiko Mass, was to preserve the German share of the “loot” from the EPO’s "Dukatenesel". Maas would never have dared to upset the apple cart by calling his “Ministerialdirigent” to account.

And Ernst, for his part, had no intention of falling on his own sword voluntarily.

Au contraire, as he approached the statutory retirement age in 2018, he allowed himself to be rewarded by his buddies on the Administrative Council with a cushy little sinecure [PDF] as the next EPO Vice-President for International and Legal Affairs.


In 2018, Ernst was rewarded by his buddies on the Council with a well-paid sinecure as EPO Vice-President.

Thus, in addition to his entitlement to a generous public sector pension for previous service in the Justice Ministry, Ernst is now in receipt of a juicy five-digit monthly tax-free salary as an EPO Vice-President.

Unfortunately, his track record as Vice-President so far has been every bit as disappointing as his earlier track record as Administrative Council Chairman – although cynics might be inclined to say that he is indeed a worthy successor to his mentor Raimund Lutz.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Ernst was rarely seen on EPO premises. During 2019, he seems to have spent most of his time on “duty missions” travelling to attend various IP junkets and boondoggles around the globe, particularly in the Far East.

He has also been implicated in the "Doyen for a Yen" scandal where the former Vice-President Željko Topić managed to become a European Patent Attorney without passing the European Qualifying Examination.

As reported by Techrights, Topić’s bogus application to be registered as a European Patent Attorney must have been rubber-stamped by EPO Directorate 5.2.3 which falls under the responsibility of Christoph Ernst as Vice President of DG5.

Furthermore, Ernst has conspicuously failed to press for the adoption of appropriate measures to ensure that the EPO’s data protection framework is truly fit for purpose for the twenty-first century.

Instead of doing what badly needs to be done in this regard, Ernst seems to be content to sit on his hands and continue peddling the untenable EPOnian myth of GDPR-compliance which he inherited from his mentor Lutz.

In the next part we will continue our review of Ernst’s role in EPO affairs by looking into the failed promise of a self-styled “good governance” guru.

USPTO for Monopolies, Keeping GNU/Linux in the Dark

Saturday 10th of April 2021 06:30:41 PM

Video download link

http://techrights.org/videos/uspto-monopolies.webm

Summary: Growing evidence of gross discrimination against GNU/Linux (or Free software, even BSD/UNIX) users at the USPTO is too hard to ignore; some people out there challenge the Office over this travesty

“On Wednesday,” one reader told us after we had published “Conflict of Interest: Microsoft and IBM Controlling the USPTO and Leaving GNU/Linux Users Shut Out (in the Cold),” action was taken. He shared letters with us, adding: “I mailed the report to people in Congress who might be able to do something, or at least might be interested. I also sent it to the Antitrust division of the Department of Justice, and to the Anticompetitive Practices Division of the Federal Trade Commission. Waste of time and money, because they won’t do anything, but did it anyway.”

“It will be interesting to see if they respond at all.”“Adobe is making millions and millions of the US government,” he added, “and forces Americans to use Microsoft or Apple.”

We’ve received and have decided to publish the two letters below; if there’s any follow-up or response, we’ll probably receive a copy and reproduce it at a later date.

April 6, 2021

Mr. Richard A. Powers
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Department of Justice, Antitrust Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001

Dear Mr. Powers:
Your webpage https://www.justice.gov/atr says this: “To view PDF files on this website you need the free Adobe Reader.” But, de facto, Adobe is not free, because it does not work with the free operating system: Linux. It requires proprietary software: either Microsoft Windows or the Apple operating system for laptops. See Attachment D in the enclosed 38-page report about the USPTO.

If you look at Attachment F in the report, you will see that the White House and various parts of the military and federal government use Linux; and, if you look at Attachment G, you might think it reasonable to believe that perhaps 7.5% of the computers in America run on Linux.

Adobe is making millions upon millions peddling stuff to the US government, and they discriminate against maybe 7.5% of computer users. And, something is extremely rotten at the USPTO, when IBM and Microsoft takes over and institutes an “Electronic Filing Incentive.”

Why don’t you demand that Adobe work with Linux? Why don’t you demand that the USPTO stop requiring inventors to use Microsoft? And, please don’t suggest they use the much more pricey Apple. If you want more information, you can contact me at ████████████, or at ██████████.

Best regards,

████████████████

The second letter:

April 6, 2021

Federal Trade Commission
Anticompetitive Practices Division
600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20580

To whom it may concern:
I would like to ask you why I am being punished by the USPTO for using the Linux operating system, and why this sorta-government, sorta-not-government agency – which had people from IBM and Microsoft in its leadership – is trying to force me to use Microsoft.

The issue of Linux and IBM and Microsoft begins at page fourteen in the enclosed report about the USPTO, which I am circulating in DC, so, maybe, somebody might ask you about it, so here’s your chance to read it, and make yourself look informed. And, why don’t you go ahead and act on it, and make yourself look smart and responsible?

I was born in the District of Columbia, and I studied accounting at George Washington University, and I am a self-taught inventor who was in the Patent Office in 1980 when it was in Crystal City, so I know what I am talking about.

If you want more information, please feel free to contact me at ████████████, or at ██████████.

Best regards,

████████████████

It will be interesting to see if they respond at all. I sent several letter to the Federal Trade Commission over the years, but all I got was a generic response saying they had received my complaints. Nothing more, or barely anything of substance (just saying they’re looking into it). No evidence of actual progress, just template-like acknowledgements.

Accessibility and Availability First

Saturday 10th of April 2021 06:16:28 PM

Video download link

http://techrights.org/videos/publication-lineup.webm

Summary: To make Techrights more widely accessible and more difficult to block/censor we’ve been making further changes, including self-hosting where possible

THE site or the “project” (so to speak) Techrights is making a lot of changes, even if most of them are not directly visible. We’re still working on a bunch of code. We also try to improve breadth of access, seeing the censorious atmosphere the Web rapidly becomes notorious for. Right now we have the IPFS index in Gemini (gemini://gemini.techrights.org/ipfs/), just in case something happens to the Web (as in World Wide Web) site. Thinking pessimistically isn’t irrational; you cannot do much about censorship after it happens, so preparation in advance (a priori) is essential, e.g. “insurance files”.

“We also try to improve breadth of access, seeing the censorious atmosphere the Web rapidly becomes notorious for.”In part 10's appendix and part 11 from last night we’re starting to show documents unearthed from the past. We suppose Benoît Battistelli is very unhappy about it and his friend António Campinos has been blocking us in every office he controls since day one (in all EPO facilities!).

The video above discusses some of the things happening behind the scenes and why it’s perfectly reasonable to publish what we publish. It’s “public interest” material.

Self-Hosting Videos With Free Formats and Animated Previews, Watermarks/Logos and Translucency

Saturday 10th of April 2021 04:13:11 PM

Summary: We examine the power of video editing with ffmpeg, chained with command-line scripting and HTML5 features

The Web is a powerful platform — to the point where it’s a little ‘too’ powerful if put in the hands of malicious actors. But we’re still using the Web by default; it’s just what most people use. Video functionality on the Web improved a lot over the years, putting aside DRM/EME. So let’s explore what we can accomplish with some command-line scripting and ffmpeg.

We’re always trying to encourage digital autonomy, which is why we adopt self-hosting whenever possible. This includes videos. For the sake of example, in this post we use an old video about Gemini proxies. It was picked at random, no special reason at all. None.

Extracting bits of the video with ffmpeg isn’t hard (check the official ffmpeg Web site; their documentation explains the pertinent options, which should be changed depending on the video):

ffmpeg -ss 600 -t 5 -i gemini-proxies.webm -vf "select=not(mod(n\,1)),fps=10,scale=480:-1:flags=lanczos,split[s0][s1];[s0]palettegen[p];[s1][p]paletteuse" -loop 0 roy-talks.gif

This gets us started:

http://techrights.org/videos/gemini-proxies.webm

To add the resultant preview (known as “poster”) to the video, consider using the following, based on the above example: poster="http://techrights.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/roy-talks.gif"

This attribute belongs in the <video> element as it is part of the standard.

Add the watermark/logo with ffmpeg:

ffmpeg -i roy-talks.gif -i mogz-video-poster-4-small.png -filter_complex "overlay=0:H-h--1" -codec:a copy roy-talks2.gif

We use artwork prepared by Mogz for us.

These two passes may be lossy and maybe possible to combine rather easily, but splitting it into two stages aids simplicity. Here it goes:

http://techrights.org/videos/gemini-proxies.webm

For center: overlay=(W-w)/2:(H-h)/2
Top left (with 5 pixels of padding): overlay=5:5
Top right: overlay=W-w-5:5
Bottom right: overlay=W-w-5:H-h-5
Bottom left: overlay=5:H-h-5

With improved quality and translucency:

ffmpeg -i roy-talks.gif -i mogz-video-poster-4-small.png -filter_complex "[1]format=rgba,colorchannelmixer=aa=0.7[logo];[0][logo]overlay=0:H-h--1:format=auto" -codec:a copy roy-talks2.gif

http://techrights.org/videos/gemini-proxies.webm

The above scripts are possible to chain together and variables can be used, too. Let’s change the time to one minute from the start (-ss 60) for a duration of 2 seconds (-t 2):

VIDEO_FILE='gemini-proxies'
ffmpeg -ss 60 -t 2 -i $VIDEO_FILE.webm -vf "select=not(mod(n\,1)),fps=10,scale=480:-1:flags=lanczos,split[s0][s1];[s0]palettegen[p];[s1][p]paletteuse" -loop 0 intermediate.gif
ffmpeg -i intermediate.gif -i mogz-video-poster-4-small.png -filter_complex "[1]format=rgba,colorchannelmixer=aa=0.7[logo];[0][logo]overlay=0:H-h--1:format=auto" -codec:a copy $VIDEO_FILE.gif

Of course it is also possible to use loops and batch-process many files in this way. Welcome to the power of GNU/Linux.

http://techrights.org/videos/gemini-proxies.webm

Voila. The translucency is easier to see because of the mug of coffee.

Links 10/4/2021: Linux on M1, Wine 6.6, ClamAV 0.103.2

Saturday 10th of April 2021 12:12:10 PM

Contents
  • GNU/Linux
    • Kernel Space
      • Work to make Linux run on M1 still in early days, says Torvalds

        Work towards making Linux run on Apple’s M1 platform is still in its early days and to make the hardware useful it needs more of a GPU driver than the basic frame buffer, Linux creator Linus Torvalds has said.

      • Linux 5.13 update expected to add Apple Silicon M1 support

        Although Linux has been already been run on Apple Silicon M1, it’s been through a series of patches designed to make a version boot on the new machines. Now Linux 5.13 is expected to gain preliminary support in its kernel.

        According to Phoronix, developer Hector Martin initial M1 support is in the running to be part of 5.13, which is expected to get a stable release around June 2021. Martin previously launched a Patreon crowd-funding effort to support his development work on the project.

        “This initial Apple M1 Linux port gets the UART, interrupts, SMP, and DeviceTree bits in place for offering basic functionality,” says Phoronix. “There is also a SimpleFB-based frame-buffer but getting working 3D/video acceleration will obviously be a daunting challenge.”

        Key areas of full M1 support have yet to be addressed. Specifically “getting the Apple M1 graphics systems fully working under Linux for day to day use is likely to take some time.”

      • Official support for Linux on the M1 Macs could come as soon as June

        While we’ve seen a variety of different efforts to bring Linux support to the M1 Macs, official support could be coming sooner than expected. As reported by Phoronix, the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle could be when preliminary support for the M1 Macs is added.

      • Asahi Linux devs merge effort to run Linux on Apple M1 silicon into kernel

        The Asahi Linux project, an effort to bring the Linux kernel to Apple’s M1 silicon, has merged its work and is on track to have it accepted in version 5.13 of the kernel.

        A merge from kernel hacker Arnd Bergmann of Linux-on-Arm outfit Linaro and a kernel mailing list post from Asahi Linux backer Hector Martin delivered the news.

        Martin also tweeted an alert, while also acknowledging that Linux overlord Linus Torvalds could banish the effort.

        [...]

        “This has been tested on an Apple M1 Mac Mini booting to a framebuffer and serial console, with SMP and KASLR, with an arm64 defconfig (+ CONFIG_FB_SIMPLE for the fb),” he wrote.

        Instructions on how to boot Linux on an M1 box can be found here.

        The code has been merged for the next version 5.13 of the Linux kernel. Linus Torvalds this week issued rc6 of version 5.12, and each release usually runs to eight weekly release candidates and then a two-week merge window. If all goes well, Asahi Linux could therefore be a reality in about 12 weeks.

      • Apple M1 hardware support merged into Linux 5.13

        Asahi is the Japanese name for what we know as the McIntosh Apple—the specific fruit cultivar that gave the Mac its name. Asahi Linux is a fledgling distribution founded with the specific goal of creating a workable daily-driver Linux experience on Apple M1 silicon.

        This is a daunting task. Apple does not offer any community documentation for Apple Silicon, so Martin and cohorts must reverse-engineer the hardware as well as write drivers for it. And this is especially difficult considering the M1 GPU—without first-class graphics support, Asahi cannot possibly offer a first-class Linux experience on M1 hardware such as the 2020 M1 Mac Mini, Macbook Air, and Macbook Pro.

        [...]

        As exciting as the news of Martin’s work landing upstream might be, don’t rush out to buy an Apple M1 device for Linux use just yet. It’s been five months since we tested the first Apple M1 hardware—and it’s taken every day of that time to get to a completely vanilla boot environment “just about suitable for debugging.”
        It’s impossible to guess how long it will take the Asahi developers to reverse-engineer the M1′s GPU and produce a quality open source driver. Even now it’s not impossible they’ll fail to do so entirely; or for some reason their work might not be accepted upstream.

        We’re cautiously excited about the idea of first-class Linux support on the M1, but we absolutely do not recommend buying M1 hardware for that purpose unless and until the Asahi project gets much, much farther down the road than it’s managed so far. This isn’t because we doubt Martin—his effort in getting the project as far as it’s gotten already is outstanding—it’s just far too early to assume success, let alone success within a concrete timeline.

      • Vulnerabilities In The Linux Kernels BPF Virtual Machine Lets Any Local User Run Kernel-Level Code

        A new Linux kernel vulnerability identified as CVE-2021-29154 allows regular unprivileged system users on any modern GNU/Linux users to run code in kernel-mode. Proof of concept exploit code exists. The vulnerability is present up to and including Linux 5.11.12, the Linux kernel developers have yet to release a safe version. A patch and workarounds do exist.

        The Linux kernel has a built-in virtual machine called the extended Berkeley Packet Filter (eBPF). It was primarily intended for firewall-related purposes, but it has become much more than that. It is, in essence, a simple general-purpose virtual machine within the Linux kernel.

        It turns out that the Linux kernels eBPF virtual machine can be tricked into running code it shouldn’t due to the way BPF JIT compilers for some architectures compute branch displacements when generating machine code. It is possible to create specially crafted machine code that is executed in kernel mode, thus allowing attackers to execute all sorts of malicious code in kernel mode.

      • Graphics Stack
        • Radeon Vulkan Driver Adds Option Of Rendering Less For ~30% Greater Performance – Phoronix

          If your current Vulkan-based Radeon Linux gaming performance isn’t cutting it and a new GPU is out of your budget or you have been unable to find a desired GPU upgrade in stock, the Mesa RADV driver has added an option likely of interest to you… Well, at least moving forward with this feature being limited to RDNA2 GPUs for now.

          RADV as Mesa’s Radeon Vulkan driver has added an option to allow Variable Rate Shading (VRS) via an environment variable override. This RADV addition is inspired by the likes of NVIDIA DLSS for trading rendering quality for better performance but in its current form is a “baby step” before being comparable to DLSS quality and functionality.

        • Bas Nieuwenhuizen: A First Foray into Rendering Less

          In RADV we just added an option to speed up rendering by rendering less pixels.

          These kinds of techniques have become more common over the past decade with techniques such as checkerboarding, TAA based upscaling and recently DLSS. Fundamentally all they do is trading off rendering quality for rendering cost and many of them include some amount of postprocessing to try to change the curve of that tradeoff. Most notably DLSS has been widly successful at that to the point many people claim it is barely a quality regression.

          Of course increasing GPU performance by up to 50% or so with barely any quality regression seems like must have and I think it would be pretty cool if we could have the same improvements on Linux. I think it has the potential to be a game changer, making games playable on APUs or playing with really high resolution or framerates on desktops.

          [...]

          VRS is by far the easiest thing to make work in almost all games. Most alternatives like checkerboarding, TAA and DLSS need modified render target size, significant shader fixups, or even a proprietary integration with games. Making changes that deeply is getting more complicated the more advanced the game is.

          If we want to reduce render resolution (which would be a key thing in e.g. checkerboarding or DLSS) it is very hard to confidently tie all resolution dependent things together. For example a big cost for some modern games is raytracing, but the information flow to the main render targets can be very hard to track automatically and hence such a thing would require a lot of investigation or a bunch of per game customizations.

    • Applications
      • Top 14 Terminal Emulators for Linux (With Extra Features or Amazing Looks) [Ed: Updated with 14 instead of 10 as before]

        By default, all Linux distributions already come pre-installed with a terminal application or terminal emulator (correct technical term). Of course, depending on the desktop environment, it will look and feel different.

        Here’s the thing about Linux. You are not restricted to what your distribution provides. You can opt for an alternative application of your choice. Terminal is no different. There are several impressive terminal emulators that offer unique features for a better user experience or for better looks.

        Here, I will be compiling a list of such interesting terminal applications that you can try on your Linux distribution.

    • Instructionals/Technical
      • How to Download, Install and Use ExpressVPN on Kali Linux

        It doesn’t come as a surprise to know that Kali Linux and VPNs are a match made in heaven. This Debian-based Linux distribution supports VPNs in many different ways – and we’ll focus on the most effective one. So, here’s how to set up and use ExpressVPN on Kali Linux.

      • How To Install Cinnamon on Debian 10 – idroot

        In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Cinnamon on Debian 10. For those of you who didn’t know, Cinnamon is a free and open-source desktop environment that provides advanced innovative features and a traditional user experience for the X Window System, derived from GNOME. It strives to be the best desktop environment for Linux by offering speed, flexibility, and a slew of features.

        This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of the Cinnamon Desktop Environment on a Debian 10 (Buster).

      • How To Set A Cron Job In TrueNAS – LateWeb.Info

        TrueNAS allows users to run specific commands or scripts on a regular schedule using cron. This can be helpful for running repetitive tasks.

      • How to Install, Run and Uninstall VMware Player on Fedora Linux

        Vmware Workstation player is one of the best options to run virtual machines on Windows and Linux operating systems. In my personal experience, the interaction with VMs installed on VMware player was better as compared to VirtualBox. So, if you don’t want to use VirtualBox on Fedora Linux to run virtual machines, then here are the steps to set up this free virtualization platform.

      • Virtualization Performance on an Intel NUC 11 Enthusiast Phantom Canyon NUC11PHKi7C

        I’ve previously looked at Windows and Linux performance on the NUC11PHKi7C Enthusiast Phantom Canyon which is Intel’s latest NUC 11 flagship product specifically targeting gamers as it includes an NVIDIA RTX 2060 GPU.

        One usage aspect I didn’t test was virtualization and this brief article looks at the performance running VirtualBox and WSL2 on the NUC11PHKi7C and comparing it to Intel’s previous NUC with a discrete GPU: the NUC 9 Extreme Ghost Canyon.

      • How To Install and Configure Apache SVN Server On Linux Desktop

        The Apache server is widely used for running servers and sites over the internet. If you own a distributed server where many administrators work together on the same project, you probably face problems keeping a record of who made the server changes. Here comes the Apache SVN server that you can install on your Linux machine to keep the log of your server’s activity and changes. It can maintain the login data, documentation data, source code, and other revisions.

        The Apache subversion system allows users and contributors to make changes, add features, revise and modify the repository with keeping the change records. You can also backup, revert, override, update your repository and delete revisions through the Apache SVN tool.

      • How to Create a Self-Signed SSL Certificate

        SSL certificates are used to facilitate authentication and encryption on the internet. Normally, these certificates are issued by trusted third-party certificate authorities such as Let’s Encrypt. A self-signed certificate is one that is obtained without going through any third-party certificate authority.

        TLS/SSL is a combination of a public certificate and a private key. The private key is stored securely on the server or on the load balancer, whereas the certificate is publicly accessible.

        In this tutorial, we explain how to create a self-signed SSL certificate by using the OpenSSL tool.

      • How to install and configure pCloud on Fedora | FOSS Linux

        You might have heard and used cloud services like DropBox, OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud, and many others. These have already integrated into various applications as an additional cloud storage option. However, one more cloud service seems to be taking the market by a storm due to its amazing features and plans. That’s the pCloud Service.

        pCloud is a cloud storage service from Switzerland and first launched in 2013. It is a cross-platform application with a desktop client available for Windows, Linux, macOS, IOS, and Android. When you first sign-up on pCloud, you are given 10GB of storage completely free. One of their amazing and competitive features is the security implemented on their systems. They even went ahead to hold a pCloud Crypto challenge that brought hackers worldwide to try and break their client-side encryption, but none of them succeeded.

        To ensure reliability in the availability of data, pCloud uses a distributed system architecture. All users’ data are distributed across five (5) servers stored in different locations. Therefore, when one server goes down, you are still assured of data availability. To ensure data security in transit (data being transmitted from your device to pCloud servers and vice versa), pCloud uses SSL/TLS protocols (Secure Socket Layer and Transport layer security. Like most cloud services available, pCloud comes with both free and paid plans. As you would expect, the latter comes with a lot more amazing features, including a lifetime plan.

      • How to create a user on Linux EC2 instance on AWS and add a public key to it using a shell script

        Creating a user and adding a public key to it can be very tedious. In this article, we will see how this process can be automated using a shell script which can help us avoid human errors that can arise if we do the task manually.

      • How to play Total War: ROME II on Linux

        Total War: ROME II is a strategy video game developed by Creative Assembly and published by Sega. It focuses on historical Roman society at a time of war. In this guide, we’ll show you how you can get Total War: ROME II working on your system.

      • How to Remove Files and Directories using the Linux Command Line – ByteXD

        In this tutorial we will go through how to remove files and directories in Linux using rm, unlink, and rmdir.

        These commands also work on macOS or other Unix-like operating systems.

        Deleting files using a desktop manager is easy and convenient, and you can usually recover them from the trash if you need them back.

        However, with the command line, it’s easier to delete multiple files, based on various patterns that you can set. However, when removing files and directories using the command line, they are not moved into the Trash, and will be more difficult to recover, if at all.

      • How to install Toontown Rewritten on a Chromebook – updated tutorial

        Today we are looking at how to install Toontown Rewritten 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.

        This tutorial will only work on Chromebooks with an Intel or AMD CPU (with Linux Apps Support) and not those with an ARM64 architecture CPU.

      • Scan from Raspberry PI terminal with SANE – peppe8o

        With more and more people going near to programming languages, the requirement to get common external devices running from terminal command can become useful for your personal apps. A case use can include driving a scanner from terminal console and getting results with a Raspberry PI and the tool we are going to install is SANE

      • Install Docker on AlmaLinux

        Docker is a tool that is used to run software in a container. It’s a great way for developers and users to worry less about compatibility with an operating system and dependencies because the contained software should run identically on any system.

        [...]

        In this guide, we’ll show you how to install Docker on AlmaLinux and get started with installing containerized software. After Docker is installed, you can use it to install software packages much the same way you would use your distro’s package manager to download an app. The difference of using Docker is that everything is more automated, with compatibility and dependencies no longer being potential issues.

    • Wine or Emulation
      • Wine 6.6 The Wine development release 6.6 is now available. What's new in this release (see below for details): - Mono engine updated to version 6.1.1, with upstream updates. - DWrite and DnsApi libraries converted to PE. - Plug & play driver support improvements. - Various bug fixes. The source is available from the following locations: https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/6.x/wine-6.6.tar.xz http://mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/6.x/wine-6.6.tar.xz Binary packages for various distributions will be available from: https://www.winehq.org/download You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation You can also get the current source directly from the git repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details. Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • Wine 6.6 Released With Better Plug & Play Driver Support

        Wine 6.6 is out as the open-source project’s first release of April for running Windows games and applications primarily on Linux and macOS platforms. With Wine 6.6 comes more feature work that will ultimately be incorporated into the Wine 7.0 release due out in early 2022.

        Wine 6.6 isn’t a particularly big release but it does update its Mono engine against v6.1.1, the DWrite and DNSAPI libraries have been converted to portable executable (PE) format, there is plug and play driver support improvements, and a variety of bug fixes. The plug and play work includes a number of improvements to NTOSKRNL and SETUPAPI around storing of root PnP devices and re-enumerating the root devices.

      • Wine 6.6 Is Released

        Wine 6.6 comes with Mono 6.1.1, DWrite and DnsApi libraries ported to portable executables, some plug and play driver improvements and 56 game and application-specific bug-fixes. The DirectX 11 support remains somewhat unimpressive compared to what DXVK offers in certain specific demo scene demos.

        [...]

        Wine 6.6 has fixes a Evil Twin demo crash, it adds ITextServices::TxDraw and ITextServices::TxGetNaturalSize implementations which allows quite a few programs such as Google Talk, WebLoad, XMPSetup, ICQ 6.x, Kugou Music, QQ, Wechat and PVSYST to run, there’s two fixes for software rendering in the Half Life games, there’s two fixes for Breath of Fire IV, a fix for Dune 2000, a crash fix for the ancient Word 97 official application, a fix that allows online multiplayer in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2 and a fix that prevents Solid Edge 15 from hanging when files are saved.

        The DWrite and DnsApi Wine libraries have been converted to portable executable (PE), the Mono engine has been updated to version 6.1.1 and some work has been done in the Plug & Play driver area.

        The Wine 6.6 release-notes do not mention any work on the DirectX9-11 to OpenGL translation layers, which is a shame because Wine is still a bit lacking in that area. The Windows PC demo Asahi by Futuris, which took forth place at in the demo competition at the Revision 2020 demo scene party, illustrates this in a rather clear manner. Just consider the following screenshots…

    • Games
      • Dota 2 version 7.29 is out with the new Dawnbreaker melee hero

        Valve has put out a major upgrade for their popular free to play MOBA with Dota 2 getting Dawnbreaker. This brand new hero is focused on melee, with a low-skill entry level so it should be suitable for a lot of players. You can see a dedicated hero page for Dawnbreaker here.

        “Dawnbreaker shines in the heart of battle, happily crushing enemies with her celestial hammer and healing nearby allies. She revels in hurling her hammer through multiple foes and then converging with it in a blazing wake, always waiting to tap her true cosmic power to fly to the aid of her teammates — eager to rout her enemies on the battlefield no matter where they are.”

      • Grape times ahead with the release of Wine 6.6 noting plenty of fixes

        No wine-ing about the puns please. Jokes aside, the tasty compatibility tech that is Wine has a new development release available today with Wine 6.6.

        For newer readers and Linux users here’s a refresher – Wine is a compatibility layer built for operating systems like Linux, macOS and BSD. The idea is to allow other platforms to run games and applications only built and supported for Windows. It’s also part of what makes up Steam Play Proton. Once a year or so, a new stable release is made.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs
      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt
        • This week in KDE: Activities on Wayland

          This week the Wayland train continued barreling on, full speed ahead! We picked up a bunch of nice fixes and a big feature…

          The “Activities” feature now mostly works on Wayland! There are a few remaining things to implement to make it 100% comparable to the X11 version, but that should get done in time for the next Major Plasma release (Kevin Ottens, Plasma 5.22)

          Sticky Note widgets now have an option to change the font size (Shantanu Tushar, Plasma 5.22)…

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK
        • GNOME’s Very Own “GNOME OS” is Not a Linux Distro for Everyone

          Few people know that GNOME has its very own Linux distribution aptly named GNOME OS. Curious? Here’s an overview of this distribution.

        • GNOME 41 Desktop Environment Slated for Release on September 22nd, 2021

          While some of you out there are still waiting for the GNOME 40 desktop environment to arrive in the stable software repositories of your favorite GNU/Linux distribution, the GNOME Project is already working on the next major version, GNOME 41.

          Development on the GNOME 41 release will kick out soon and it will stick to the same routine as in the GNOME 40 development cycle, meaning that public testers will be able to test drive only an Alpha, a Beta, and a Release Candidate.

    • Distributions
    • Devices/Embedded
    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software
      • Web Browsers
        • Chromium
          • Am I FLoCed? A New Site to Test Google’s Invasive Experiment

            FLoC is a terrible idea that should not be implemented. Google’s experimentation with FLoC is also deeply flawed . We hope that this site raises awareness about where the future of Chrome seems to be heading, and why it shouldn’t.

            FLoC takes most of your browsing history in Chrome, and analyzes it to assign you to a category or “cohort.” This identification is then sent to any website you visit that requests it, in essence telling them what kind of person Google thinks you are. For the time being, this ID changes every week, hence leaking new information about you as your browsing habits change. You can read a more detailed explanation here .

            Because this ID changes, you will want to visit https://amifloced.org often to see those changes.

          • The Brave browser basics: what it does, how it differs from rivals

            Boutique browsers try to scratch out a living by finding a niche underserved by the usual suspects. Brave is one of those browsers.

            Brave has gotten more attention than most alternate browsers, partly because a co-founder was one of those who kick-started Mozilla’s Firefox, partly because of its very unusual — some say parasitical — business model.

      • Programming/Development
        • Inkscape compiled in OpenEmbedded

          Cross-compiling can be a challenge with some packages, and some of the big ones, such as SeaMonkey, LibreOffice and Inkscape, I have compiled in a running EasyOS (with the “devx” SFS loaded).
          I have previously compiled LibreOffice in OE, see the Pyro series. But it was a lot of work.

        • Felix Häcker: New Shortwave release

          Ten months later, after 14.330 added and 8.634 deleted lines, Shortwave 2.0 is available! It sports new features, and comes with the well known improvements, and bugfixes as always.

          [...]

          Shortwave has always been designed to handle any screen size from the beginning. In version 2.0 we have been able to improve this even further. There is now a compact mini player for desktop screens. This still offers access to the most important functions in a tiny window.

        • 5 signs you’re a groff programmer

          I first discovered Unix systems in the early 1990s, when I was an undergraduate at university. I liked it so much that I replaced the MS-DOS system on my home computer with the Linux operating system.

          One thing that Linux didn’t have in the early to mid-1990s was a word processor. A standard office application on other desktop operating systems, a word processor lets you edit text easily. I often used a word processor on DOS to write my papers for class. I wouldn’t find a Linux-native word processor until the late 1990s. Until then, word processing was one of the rare reasons I maintained dual-boot on my first computer, so I could occasionally boot back into DOS to write papers.

          Then I discovered that Linux provided kind of a word processor. GNU troff, better known as groff, is a modern implementation of a classic text processing system called troff, short for “typesetter roff,” which is an improved version of the nroff system. And nroff was meant to be a new implementation of the original roff (which stood for “run off,” as in to “run off” a document).

        • Rust
          • AWS’s Shane Miller to head the newly created Rust Foundation

            Miller, who leads the Rust Platform team for AWS, has been a software engineer for almost 30 years. At AWS, Miller has been a leader in open-source strategic initiatives and software engineering and delivery. Miller’s Rust Platform team includes Rust language and compiler maintainers and contributors and developers on the Tokio runtime for writing reliable asynchronous applications with Rust. Under Miller’s leadership, the AWS Rust team is crafting optimizations and tools for the features that engineers will use to build and operate services which take full advantage of Rust’s performance and safety.

        • Java
  • Leftovers
    • Trapped at the Border: Their Fate is Our Fate

      Oh, what to do, what to do? All these people showing up at our back door, trying to get in. They want to take our jobs, drink our water. . . . And think about the dangers they pose for the new president.

      “For a relatively popular Biden administration,” the  New York Times pointed out the other day, “the recent surge of migrants at the southern border has emerged as a glaring vulnerability.”

    • Union Calls Foul Play as Amazon Unionization Vote Fails

      The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) began counting votes for the unionization effort at the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, on Thursday. With about two-thirds of the total counted, enough “no” votes have been tallied to thwart the union effort. Last-minute revelations about Amazon’s union-busting efforts, however, have the union alleging foul play.

    • Payments From Gaetz to Indicted Official Prompt Call for Resignation

      Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), currently embroiled in a scandal tying him to an indicted former official in Florida who has been charged with sex-trafficking crimes, reportedly paid that person in two transactions containing the same amount of money later sent to three women.

    • The Trumpet Shall Sound

      I live between a gorge and a graveyard. The gorge just to the south began forming some ten thousand years ago at the end of last Ice Age, and its northern rim is moving inexorably in the direction of our house.

      When the path that runs along the rim of the gorge was built a hundred years ago it stood well back from the edge. Now parts of the path are tipping into the abyss, sections of the guardrail crumbling away. Bits of asphalt tumble down the shale walls to be swept away by the spring-swollen creek below.

    • Fatuous Defence: Australia’s Guided Missile Plans

      The latest instalment in this pitiable train towards conflict was revealed in Canberra last month.  Australia, it seems, wants to make its own guided missiles.  In a joint statement, the Prime Minister and Ministers for Industry and Defence outlined the enterprise.  “The Morrison government will accelerate the creation of a (AU)$1 billion Sovereign Guided Weapons Enterprise, boosting skilled jobs and helping secure Australia’s sovereign defence capabilities.”

      Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined his views in a media release on March 31.  “Creating our own sovereign capability on Australian soil is essential to keep Australians safe, while also providing thousands of local jobs in business right across the defence supply chain.”

    • Letters From Minsk: Warsaw, Conrad and the Katyn Woods

      At the main Warsaw train station, I struggled to find a place to check my luggage (okay, saddle bags), coins for the locker, and a tourist office that might have a street map of the city (again, my phone was beyond its GPS affiliations). Once freed of my burdens, I rode into downtown Warsaw on a succession of bike lanes that were heavy with bus and car exhaust.

      At night, the bright lights of Warsaw make it look like Berlin or Stuttgart, but on a cloudy March day it can still feel as though it is a constituent part of a socialist republic.

    • Decolonizing Knowledge Production: a Practical Guide

      While the lecture engaged with the work of some key thinkers in decolonial thought, I tried to keep the focus on the practical side of the matter – how do we do it? I did so because I believe that the concept of “decolonizing” is being circulated, thrown around, and even abused by many individuals who hijacked it without having direct experience and connection to what many decolonial thinkers call the “colonial wound”. In doing so, the concept is at risk of being devoid of its effectiveness and deep meaning. To give a concrete example, I think it is absurd to have many privileged and institutionalized Western professors who have no firsthand experience with the colonial wound to give us lectures, workshops, or write about decolonizing this or that matter. Yet, not everyone who shouts “decolonize, decolonize” is genuine, good intentioned, or most importantly, qualified to do so. Furthermore, my choice to focus on the practical aspects of decolonizing knowledge production is because I seldom see any public writings that provide concrete and meaningful steps on how to decolonize the way we read, write, and engage with the slippery processes of knowledge production.

      As such, building on my own praxis with how I started and continue to decolonize my engagement with knowledge production (reading, writing, sensing, and doing), I would like to address what I see as the most critical components to consider to be able to engage with knowledge as equals not as submissive minds and souls who have nothing to contribute. Before addressing these critical components, I would like to be clear about two things. First, for me, to decolonize knowledge production does not mean to dismiss or never engage with Western knowledge. Rather, as many decolonial thinkers have repeatedly pointed out, it means that the terms of engagement must change. It means that we should not only engage with Western knowledge, but also deeply engage with knowledge from all over the world. It means that we must not use Western knowledge as a compass to measure the value of other forms of knowledge produced around the world. In other words, to decolonize knowledge production is to reject and dismantle the Western hegemony of knowledge production; the Western control on what counts and what does not count as knowledge. As Walter Mignolo has rightly and consistently pointed out in most of his works, decolonizing countries from the West never ended coloniality itself (1). It simply changed its face and manifestations. Furthermore, just because a country was not colonized, it does not mean that it has escaped coloniality. To put this in a concrete example, decolonizing knowledge does not mean that we should stop reading Shakespeare or Jane Austin. It means that they are not the only great writers out there. It means that we should be aware that equally great writers in every field (literature is just an example here) exist in many other countries outside the Western world, and we need to know about them, translate their works, read them, and engage with their work in the same ways the world has been doing with canonized Western knowledge for centuries. And if that has not been done adequately throughout the centuries, it is only because of the suffocating effects of the colonial matrix of power.

    • The Judicial Persecution of Steven Donziger

      The New York federal prosecutor declined to prosecute this case which is based, Donziger says, on lies, so in an astonishing move, Kaplan appointed Chevron’s attorneys. There will be no jury. Judge Preska will doubtless find Donziger guilty – of a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of 90 days – though he’s already been under house arrest for over 600 days. The message to the legal community is clear: don’t mess with a fossil fuel company, because if you do, they will find a judge who favors the company and they will destroy you.

      This unprecedented judicial persecution of a human rights attorney has its roots in the Amazon rain forest. Back in 2011, Donziger won a court case in Ecuador against oil giant Chevron. Worse yet for Donziger’s prospects, the Ecuadorian court awarded his indigenous clients $9.5 billion. These Ecuadorians charged that their health and livelihood had been destroyed by Texaco, now owned by Chevron, and its oil spills in the Amazon rainforest. In the face of this staggering penalty, Chevron took action, refusing to pay and, despite the fact that Chevron originally fought to have the trial in Ecuador, it then brought its case to a congenial judge in New York. Donziger’s fate was sealed.

    • A Great Tree Has Fallen: The Passing of Marshall Sahlins

      Marshall was a Chicago native. His brother Bernard founded the Second City comedy troop, helping form some of the 20 th century greatest comedians; and Marshall shared a flare for the comedic and had a lightning-fast wit. His academic path began as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, where he first encountered the cultural determinism and neo-evolutionary anthropology of cryptomarxist Leslie White. While Sahlins’ work departed from White’s cultural evolutionary themes, detectible elements of White’s atavistic notions of culture’s symbolic nature shaped elements of his work. He earned his doctorate in anthropology at Columbia University in 1954, studying Polynesian social stratification. He then taught at the University Michigan where he joined anti-war campaigns. In 1967 he went to Paris for two years, experiencing the student protests of 1968 firsthand and came to know Claude Levi-Strauss. Since 1973, the University of Chicago has been his academic home.

      His 1972 book, Stone Age Economics , established him as one of American anthropology’s most significant theorists; he argued that hunter-gatherers were not some primitive undeveloped representation of human potential but were in fact the original affluent society. Sahlins challenged anthropologists who used western economic models to study nonmarket economies, eventually insisting that materialism was nothing but a form of idealism. In the years that followed he wrote books cutting through the codes of history, culture, kinship, and mythos, frequently revealing culture at the core of what was otherwise was conceived in some other way; all this presented with frequent surges of brilliance.

    • Disruptions and threats plague Russia’s top documentary film festival

      Over the course of the past week, Artdocfest — the largest documentary film festival in Russia — has been disrupted by the police, Russia’s consumer protection agency, threats, and pro-Kremlin activists. In response, Artdocfest’s organizers have been forced to cancel screenings and pull films, and have done their best to see the festival through regardless. Meduza breaks down the chain of disruptions and threats that have plagued Artdocfest 2021.

    • Church-Based Cuckoldry Gone Wrong

      Apparently, this Unholy Trinity first assembled at the Super 8 Motel, where I’d imagine they had sex (there’s no room to do much else in a Super 8 Motel room), and which they continued doing on “more than one occasion.” Considering their mug shots, it looks like the classic stereotypical “interracial” cuckold arrangement, where the “bull” or “other lover” (in this case, a 20-years younger African American man) has sex with the (Caucasian) “hot wife” (or “ cuckoldress”) while the cuckold husband watches, and possibly the two men also have sex, depending on the trio’s preferences. The sex may have been in conjunction with various forms of kink, BDSM, domination, humiliation, penis size comparison, crossdressing, trust games and compersion (taking pleasure in your lover’s pleasure).

      As long as it’s all between consenting adults, there nothing wrong with any of this, even if some of it sounds a little *strange* to many people. Consensual cuckolding can be a pleasurable and meaningful experience for all. There are many reasons it excites some people, including the arousing phenomenon of “ sperm wars.” It’s surprisingly common, at least as a fantasy, and it’s becoming more popular for adventurous couples to explore as a reality. The “ interracial” aspect is particularly popular, especially in somewhat segregated cultures or areas, like the American Midwest. Though controversial and at heart, racist, or at least, connected to racism (otherwise, why call it that?), being intimate with people one usually thinks of as *different* can be a very positive and even healing experience for all.

    • The Last Time People Tried to Get Baseball to Move the All-Star Game

      In 2021, Major League Baseball defied decades of entrenched conservatism within its ruling ranks and moved the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta, Ga., to Denver, Colo. The GOP is still reeling from this decision, reduced to claiming—I kid thee not—that baseball is a part of a global communist conspiracy. But the question that lingers is why. Why has baseball defied its own culture to make such a move?

      One way to understand it is to look back a decade ago, to the last time there was a public push to move the MLB All-Star Game. Back then, all eyes were on Arizona. The state’s governor, Jan Brewer, signed SB 1070, the “papers please” bill, into law on April 23, 2010. The law in its worst form would have not only given law enforcement the right to ask anyone for their immigration papers; it would have criminalized citizens who had any knowledge of undocumented people in the midst but did not report them. It was brutal. It was ugly. And the sports world took note, both on and off the field.

    • On I, Claud: the Autobiography of Claud Cockburn

      Claud Cockburn was born in Peking (now Beijing) in 1904. His father, “a younger son of Lord Cockburn, the great Scottish advocate and judge who shone so brightly in the golden age of Edinburgh society,” had passed the necessary exam at age 19 and become British Vice-Consul in “the then-remote city of Chungking…

      Claud was educated in England with an interlude in Budapest, where his father was posted for three years. “The valley of the Danube was the first area in which I ever felt immediately and completely at home,” he writes. “Since then I have twice experienced the same sense of being immediately at home in an entirely strange place —once in New York and once in Oklahoma City.”

    • Why Do We Believe in Photographs?

      One of the more speculative tales surrounding the Shroud of Turin, which supposedly depicts the face of Jesus Christ, purports that the cloth was actually made by Leonardo da Vinci. The story goes that Leonardo passed off his own image as Christ’s, possibly as an act of hubris or to trick the Catholic Church. The theory has merits. According to traditional belief, Jesus imparted his image to his burial cloth when he was wrapped in it, but radiocarbon testing has dated the fabric to the Middle Ages. Yet dating the image’s genesis even to the 14th century is mystifying. The linen fiber is neither painted nor dyed—how was the image made?

      We know that Leonardo, who made his masterpieces in the late 15th century, experimented with aged cloth. We know that he encoded his own face within the Mona Lisa and Salvator Mundi. We know he was fascinated by the anatomical effects of crucifixion. We also know that the optical science underlying photography was more or less understood in Renaissance Europe and during the Arabic Golden Age—Ibn al-Haytham’s Book of Optics had been translated into Latin by the early 13th century—and that alchemists knew its basic chemistry. And really, who other than Leonardo would have been as capable of creating such an enigmatic and technically inexplicable image?

    • The Spook to Bellingcat Pipeline: How Bellingcat Launders National Security State Talking Points into the Press

      Investigative site Bellingcat is the toast of the popular press. In the past month alone, it has been described as “an intelligence agency for the people” ( ABC Australia ), a “transparent” and “innovative” ( New Yorker ) “independent news collective,” “transforming investigative journalism” ( Big Think ), and an unequivocal “force for good” ( South China Morning Post ). Indeed, outside of a few alternative news sites, it is very hard to hear a negative word against Bellingcat, such is the gushing praise for the outlet founded in 2014.

    • Florida Senate Advances ‘Dangerous’ Bill Critics Warn Criminalizes Peaceful Protest

      “H.B. 1 is a direct attack on the First Amendment. It is designed to stifle Floridians’ right to peacefully assemble and seek change in their democracy.”

      Civil rights and free speech advocates on Friday decried the advancement in the Florida Senate of a controversial bill that the ACLU says “aims to silence, criminalize, and penalize Floridians for exercising their First Amendment right to protest.”

    • Deceptive Checkboxes Should Not Open Our Checkbooks

      A pre-checked box to donate more than you intended is just one  example of a “ dark pattern ”—a term coined by user experience (UX) designer Harry Brignull to define tricks used in websites and apps that make you do things that you didn’t mean to, such as buying a service. Unfortunately, dark patterns are widespread. Moreover, the pre-checked box is a particularly common way to subvert our right to consent to serious decisions, or to withhold our consent. This ruse dupes us into “agreeing” to be signed up for a mailing list, having our data shared with third party advertisers, or paying recurring donations . Some examples are below.

      The National Republican Congressional Committee, which uses the same WinRed donation flow that the Trump campaign utilizes, displays two instances of the pre-checked boxes.

      The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s donation site, using ActBlue software, shows a pre-selected option for monthly donations. The placement is larger and the language is much clearer for what users should expect around monthly contributions. However, this may also require careful observation from users who intend to donate only once.

    • How John le Carré Became Irish

      Nicholas Cornwell said his father, best known for his Cold War thrillers, became an Irish citizen before his death, aged 89, in December. The reason for the change of heart? One word. Brexit. It infuriated le Carré. “This is without doubt the greatest catastrophe and the greatest idiocy that Britain has perpetrated since the invasion of Suez,” le Carré said of Brexit at the time. “Nobody is to blame but the Brits themselves – not the Irish, not the Europeans.”

      He thought it was a massive own goal. “The idea, to me, that at the moment we should imagine we can substitute access to the biggest trade union in the world with access to the American market is terrifying,” he said.

    • Variety Wins 20 Awards, Including Best Entertainment Website, at National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards

      Variety was nominated for a record 99 National Arts and Entertainment Journalism awards. Organizers noted that total submissions for the awards topped more than 1,000 for the first time.

    • Sysrv Botnet Expands and Gains Persistence

      The attack we’ve seen so far specifically targets port 8081, which affects a web based MongoDB admin interface known as “Mongo-Express”. Mongo-Express is a web-based admin interface used to manage MongoDB databases. Exploiting this interface could allow the attacker to gain access to the MongoDB databases. As of this writing, there are 847 public IPs in Shodan.io that are hosting this service.

    • Education
      • Alarm grows over cheating services in Australia

        Reports of essay mills mushroomed in Australia after parliament passed legislation to outlaw the provision and promotion of contract cheating services, according to a first-of-its-kind report from the higher education regulator.

        The Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (Teqsa) fielded 23 complaints about commercial cheating services in 2020 – more than four times the previous year’s tally. Most were lodged late in the year, following the regulator’s “outreach” to publicise its new Higher Education Integrity Unit.

      • University student ordered to undergo PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION & then suspended after questioning definition of ‘microaggressions’

        A student who was suspended by the University of Virginia for daring to ask questions during a presentation about ‘microaggressions’ has taken the institution to court, with his story sparking disbelief and anger on social media.

        The bizarre saga begins in October 2018, when Kieran Bhattacharya, a student at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine, attended a panel discussion on the subject of ‘microaggressions.’ During a Q&A session, Bhattacharya asked the presenter, an assistant dean at the university, to clarify what constitutes a mini form of aggression.

      • UVA Student Suspended For “Antagonizing” Questions During Social Justice Lecture

        Kieran Bhattacharya, a second-year medical student at the University of Virginia, was suspended for allegedly becoming “unnecessarily antagonistic and disrespectful” during a panel lecture on microaggressions.

        Bhattacharya asked a series of questions during the Q&A portion of the event that eventually led to his suspension.

        Published on SoundCloud, Bhattacharya has released audio recordings of both the classroom incident and the disciplinary hearing.

        As can be heard in the recording, beginning at the 28:44 minute mark, Bhattacharya’s questions call out one of the speakers for apparent contradictions.

      • Ex-UVA student can sue school after asking questions during a panel got him expelled: judge

        A former University of Virginia medical student can proceed with a lawsuit against the school over his expulsion — which stemmed from questions he asked about the nuance of microaggressions during a panel discussion that led to him being branded a threat, a federal judge has ruled.

      • Students are copying from the internet. And it’s because of how we teach

        Since the onset of COVID-19 last year, it’s not only the virus that has perfected the art of copying. Students across the globe are acing it. With an expansive, permanently available repository at their fingertips, copying is a breeze. In online exams, students have the choice of copying from each other, from the internet and from other resource material. Consequently, setting a question paper in these times has become more challenging than answering one.

        For most subjects, evaluation is a fundamentally problematic task anyway. When confronted with an answer, the evaluator has to convert the worth of the answer into a number. Even with a rubric at hand this is never straightforward. And it would be best to not talk about the reliability of these scores. Different evaluators at different times and the same evaluator at a different time would rarely give the exact same marks to an answer. It is such a fragile scoring system on which entire careers are built. The pandemic has compounded the difficulty of evaluation.

        Do I give more marks to an answer that is original but incomplete or even off-the-mark or to an answer that’s more comprehensive but is copied?

    • Health/Nutrition
      • Cuba’s Medical Investments Led to Lower Death Rates and Aid for Other Nations

        Since last year, approximately 440 Cubans have died from COVID-19, giving Cuba one of the lowest death rates per capita in the world. Cuba is also developing five COVID-19 vaccines, including two which have entered stage 3 trials. Cuba has heavily invested in its medical and pharmaceutical system for decades, in part because of the six-decade U.S. embargo that has made it harder for Cuba to import equipment and raw materials from other countries. That investment, coupled with the country’s free, universal healthcare system, has helped Cuba keep the virus under control and quickly develop vaccines against it, says Dr. Rolando Pérez Rodríguez, the director of science and innovation at BioCubaFarma, which oversees Cuba’s medicine development. “We have long experience with these kinds of technologies,” he says. We also speak with Reed Lindsay, journalist and founder of the independent, Cuba-focused media organization Belly of the Beast, who says U.S. sanctions on Cuba continue to cripple the country. “Cuba is going through an unbelievable economic crisis, and the sanctions have been absolutely devastating,” says Lindsay.

      • Florida Plans Audit of Program That Blocks Parents of Brain-Damaged Newborns From Suing

        Declaring that Florida leaders “can and will do better” for the families of catastrophically brain-damaged children, the state’s top financial regulator Thursday initiated an audit of the state program that oversees care for those injured in childbirth.

        Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said Thursday that the Office of Insurance Regulation, which he supervises, will examine the books of the state’s Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association, or NICA. Patronis’ office already has begun an “inspection” of the program, which was the subject of an investigative report published hours earlier by the Miami Herald and ProPublica.

      • She Can’t Sue Her Doctor Over Her Baby’s Death. When She Spoke Out, She Was Silenced Again.

        On the day Reggie Jacques was born, doctors at Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando told his parents that there was no hope, that his brain had gone too long without oxygen during his difficult birth. But Reggie refused to die.

        On his sixth day, said parents Jean and Ruth Jacques, doctors urged them to remove Reggie from his ventilator. They said he would surely stop breathing. The couple agreed a month later. But Reggie wouldn’t die.

      • Opinion | Arm Our Cities With Military-Grade Healthcare, Not Weapons

        It might not be perfect, but in contrast to the rest of our healthcare sector, instead of being fragmented, fractious, profit-driven, and poorly prepared, the VA is national, integrated, non-profit, and relatively effective.

        American police are armed to the teeth with military-grade weapons, and the results are in. The more combat gear, the more combat.

      • Yemen is a Public Health Catastrophe

        The country’s civilians have been the unwilling participants in a proxy war that has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and has left the public health system in shambles. Last December, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated that the conflict in Yemen has claimed over 233,000 lives over the last six years, either directly due to the conflict or for causes related to it, calling this number “unfortunate and unacceptable.”

        The conflict started in 2014 when Iranian-backed Houthi fighters seized Sana’a, Yemen’s capital, and much of the north of the country. The Houthis were confronted by a U.S.-backed Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a bid to bring back Yemeni President Abed Rabu Mansour Hadi (who had been forced to resign) to power, without success. Since 2017, Hadi has reportedly been living in Saudi Arabia.

      • How the Pandemic Laid Bare the Cruelties of Capitalism

        The medical staff, grocery clerks, janitors, sanitation workers, transportation services, delivery people, all of them have been the ones on the front lines, not only of potential exposure to a lethal pathogen, but to abuse from privileged customers, clients or patients who feel their rights have somehow been violated for being asked to simply wear a mask. There are countless videos of people (mostly white and middle to upper middle class) berating workers. And this often takes on a racist tone.

        Over the past year we have witnessed people throwing groceries at workers, spitting at them, calling them names. In various states, from California to Texas to Florida, there have been mobs that invaded stores like Target or Home Depot without masks and carrying anti-masker and “Covid is Hoax” signs, even physically attacking other customers and workers. And in one recent instance in British Columbia an older white male customer was asked to wear a mask in a pizza restaurant. He answered angrily: “are you f**king Middle Easter or where are you from?” Concluding with “I’m worth $50 million, you’re worth zero.” He and his companion then went on to assault a teenage customer outside tearing his mask from his face.

      • Amnesty Int’l: COVID-19 Exacerbates Inequality in Americas as U.S. Policy Drives Refugees to Border

        A new Amnesty International report lays out how the pandemic has significantly exacerbated inequality across the Americas over the past year. Over 1.3 million people have died in the region from COVID-19, making the Americas the hardest-hit area in the world. Women, refugees, migrants, underprotected health workers, Indigenous peoples, Black people and other groups historically excluded and neglected by governments have borne the brunt of the pandemic, according to the report, which also points out the rise in gender violence and lethal crackdown on human rights defenders. “It’s not a surprise that the Americas has been the region worst hit by the pandemic,” says Erika Guevara-Rosas, a human rights lawyer and Americas director for Amnesty International. “Growing inequality, corruption, violence, environmental degradation and impunity created a fertile ground for the Americas to become the epicenter.”

      • The Top Ten Things I’ll Miss When the Pandemic is Over

        On June 14, 2020, I bought the last four boxes of Kellogg’s Grape Nuts at my local Publix, leading to a nationwide panic and global shortage. I also stocked up on Marmite, smoked tempeh, dietary yeast, and fresh cranberries leading to a scarcity of those too. You can blame me.

        9. Crossing to the other side of the street when someone walks toward me.

      • Greta Thunberg Says She’ll Skip UN Climate Conference Over Covid-19 Vaccine Inequity

        “Of course I would love to attend the Glasgow #COP26,” she tweeted Friday. “But not unless everyone can take part on the same terms.”

        Drawing attention to the issue of global coronavirus vaccine inequity, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg said Friday that she plans to skip this November’s United Nations climate conference in Scotland because the uneven immunization rollout meant that countries cannot participate equally.

      • How Cuba Beat the Pandemic: From Developing New Vaccines to Sending Doctors Overseas to Help Others

        Since last year, approximately 440 Cubans have died from COVID-19, giving Cuba one of the lowest death rates per capita in the world. Cuba is also developing five COVID-19 vaccines, including two which have entered stage 3 trials. Cuba has heavily invested in its medical and pharmaceutical system for decades, in part because of the six-decade U.S. embargo that has made it harder for Cuba to import equipment and raw materials from other countries. That investment, coupled with the country’s free, universal healthcare system, has helped Cuba keep the virus under control and quickly develop vaccines against it, says Dr. Rolando Pérez Rodríguez, the director of science and innovation at BioCubaFarma, which oversees Cuba’s medicine development. “We have long experience with these kinds of technologies,” he says. We also speak with Reed Lindsay, journalist and founder of the independent, Cuba-focused media organization Belly of the Beast, who says U.S. sanctions on Cuba continue to cripple the country. “Cuba is going through an unbelievable economic crisis, and the sanctions have been absolutely devastating,” says Lindsay.

      • Protect Care Workers…You’ll Probably Need Us One Day

        Clients, especially elderly people, were suddenly uncomfortable with letting outside people into their homes for fear of contracting the virus. A lot of my work dried up. I feed my children only by the grace of God — and the help of food banks. But even food banks can’t pay our rent or utilities.

        I’m one of 2.5 million domestic workers in this country. We’re all fighting so our kids can have a roof over their heads and food in their bellies.

      • CDC Declares Racism a ‘Serious’ Public Health Threat

        Public health specialist and physician Dr. Camara Phyllis Jones explained to Scientific American in 2020 how racism, public health and the pandemic have intersected to cause these inequities. “Race doesn’t put you at higher risk. Racism puts you at higher risk,” Phyllis Jones said. “It does so through two mechanisms: People of color are more infected because we are more exposed and less protected. Then, once infected, we are more likely to die because we carry a greater burden of chronic diseases from living in disinvested communities with poor food options [and] poisoned air and because we have less access to health care.”

    • Integrity/Availability
      • Proprietary
        • LinkedIn denies data leak after two-thirds user base is compromised

          Personal data of 500 million LinkedIn users, two thirds of its user base, has been scraped and is for sale online, according to a report from Cyber News.

          The data up for sale on a popular hacker platform includes account IDs, full names, email addresses, workplace information and links to social media accounts of users hosted on the platform.

        • Linkedin data leak: Major breach exposes 500 million users on Microsoft platform [details]

          While people are yet to digest the huge Facebook data leak of 533 million users (including 6.1 million Indians), Microsoft-owned professional networking platform LinkedIn is now facing a massive data leak of 500 million users that is allegedly being sold online.

          An archive with data purportedly scraped from 500 million LinkedIn profiles has been put for sale on a popular [cracker] forum, with another 2 million records leaked as a proof-of-concept sample by people behind the [crack].

        • Pseudo-Open Source
        • Security
          • ClamAV 0.103.2 Is Released With Security Fixes For Four Vulnerabilities

            The free software anti-virus scanner ClamAV has, ironically, made a security release fixing four vulnerabilities. Two of them could cause it to crash, one could cause it to enter a endless loop and a Windows-specific vulnerability could lead to privilege escalation. ClamAV has 8,532,858 virus signatures it can scan for in its database.

          • Privacy/Surveillance
            • Oracle’s Projection: As It Accuses Google Of Snooping On You, It Has Built A Huge Data Operation That It Doesn’t Want Regulated

              Over the last decade or so, the fight between Oracle and Google has seemed incredibly personal — at least on the Oracle side. Of course, many have argued the main reason for Oracle’s attacks on Google were to pressure the company into settling its long-running fight over the Java API — and the Supreme Court just put an end to that — so it will be interesting to watch whether or not the attacks continue. But there’s an important point buried in all of this. Almost everything Oracle accuses Google of doing… it does itself. Often in much more nefarious ways. I mean, Oracle even copied an API without a license. But Oracle’s grand projection in blaming Google for the things that Oracle actually does (in much worse ways) goes way further than that.

            • What the Great Personal Data Leak of 2021 tells us about Facebook, the GDPR, and privacy

              For the latest Facebook leak, details include phone number, Facebook ID, full name, location, past location, birth date, email address (for some), account creation date, relationship status, and biography. As Gal points out, this is core information, and it will be used for identity theft, social engineering, scams and hacking. Much of this data can’t be changed, which means the loss of it is extremely serious. And yet Facebook’s official response is this:

            • EFF Challenges Surreptitious Collection of DNA at Iowa Supreme Court

              The case, State v. Burns , involves charges from a murder that occurred in 1979. The police had no leads in the case for years, even after modern technology allowed them to extract DNA from blood left at the crime scene and test it against DNA collected in government-run arrestee and offender DNA databases like CODIS . 

              In 2018, the police began working with a company called Parabon Nanolabs, which used the forensic DNA profile to predict the physical appearance of the alleged perpetrator and to generate an image that the Cedar Rapids Police Department released to the public. That image did not produce any new leads, so the police worked with Parabon to upload the DNA profile to a consumer genetic genealogy database called GEDMatch, which we’ve written about in the past. Through GEDMatch, the police linked the crime scene DNA to three brothers, including the defendant in this case, Jerry Burns. Police then surveilled Mr. Burns until they could collect something containing his DNA. The police found a straw he used and left behind at a restaurant, extracted a profile from DNA left on the straw, matched it to DNA found at the crime scene, and arrested Mr. Burns.

              The State claims that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply in this context because Mr. Burns abandoned his privacy interest in his DNA when he left it behind on the straw. However, we argue the Fourth Amendment creates a high bar against collecting DNA from free people, even if it’s found on items the person has voluntarily discarded. In 1978, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment does not protect the contents of people’s trash left for pickup because they have “abandoned” an expectation of privacy in the trash. But unlike a gum wrapper or a cigarette butt or the straw in this case, our DNA contains so much private information that the data contained in a DNA sample can never be “abandoned.” Even if police don’t need a warrant to rummage through your trash (and many states disagree on this point), Police should need a warrant to rummage through your DNA. 

    • Defence/Aggression
      • Why the U.S. Shouldn’t Play Games With Cyberwarfare as Its Power Declines

        In the SolarWinds hack, a backdoor in one of the components was downloaded to the systems of 18,000 organizations, including the U.S. Treasury and Commerce departments, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department.

        In the Microsoft Exchange Server hack, an estimated 250,000 machinesworldwide might have been affected by a vulnerability that allowed hackers to control the machines and even infect other systems in the internal network of the targeted companies. Four major vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange Server were reported to Microsoft in early January. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until early March that Microsoft released patches, according to ZDNet. These vulnerabilities were used by the hackers during the period that Microsoft had either not released the patches, or companies had not upgraded their systems and installed the patches.

      • Zelensky: NATO to stop Donbas War

        This is the parliament that in 2015 passed laws proclaiming two WWII paramilitaries—the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA)—”heroes of Ukraine” and making it a crime to argue otherwise. (These forces had cooperated with the Nazis in slaughtering over 70,000 Jews.) The U.S. media has never acknowledged the obvious—that the coup favored by Victoria Nuland in 2014 had a strong fascist element, indeed depended on its use of terrorist violence to topple the former democratically elected administration. In 2014 Nuland was the top State Department official dealing with Ukraine; she is returning now as Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs. (Recall she’s the one caught on tape in 2014 saying “Fuck the EU!” if the EU dared to contest Washington’s choices for Ukraine. And when asked at a House hearing about the role of neo-Nazis in the Maidan coup, Nuland acknowledged that “there were many colors of Ukraine involved including very ugly colors.” The problem is she’s comfortable with ugly colors.)

        Over 13,000 people, including military and civilians have been killed in the conflict provoked by the putsch, over half on the Donbas side. But since 2016 fewer than 400 have died in the conflict. Two peace plans have been imperfectly implemented but at least staved off all-out war. Moscow has for its part refused requests for annexation by the Peoples Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk and proposed a federal system in Ukraine.

      • More Than Two-Thirds of Students Want Police Out of Schools

        A new survey of more than 600 middle and high school students across four states finds that 41 percent feel “very unsafe” or “unsafe” when they see police officers at their public schools. One-third said they feel targeted by police based on an aspect of their identity, such as race, primary language, sexual orientation or gender identity, and students reported bullying and sexual harassment by police at multiple public schools.

      • Congress Urged to Reject Biden’s Pentagon Budget Increase

        President Joe Biden on Friday is reportedly expected to request a $715 billion budget for the Pentagon for fiscal year 2022, a slight increase from the previous year and a far cry from the substantial reduction that progressive lawmakers and advocacy groups are demanding.

      • Back to the Future at the Pentagon

        Sure, there’s been progress of a sort in the heavens. Elon Musk’s Space X may keep going down in flames, but the Chinese now have their very own moon rocks. As the old-timey, unmanned Voyager probe continues to glide beyond our solar system, Mars is a subject for research by new probes hailing from the United Arab Emirates, China, and the U.S. Meanwhile, the International Space Station continues conducting research in low-earth orbit.

        As with space exploration, so, too, with America’s military. What amazes me most in 2021 is how much of its structure and strategy resembles what held sway in 1981 when I joined the Air Force as a college student in ROTC. Instead of futuristic starship troopers flying around with jetpacks and firing lasers, the U.S. military is still essentially building the same kinds of weaponry we were then. They’re newer, of course, glitzier, if often less effective, but this country still has a Navy built around aircraft carriers, an Air Force centered on fighter jets and stealth bombers, and an Army based on tanks, helicopters, and heavy brigades. Admittedly, that Army may soon spend $20 billion on “ augmented reality goggles” for the troops. (Perhaps those goggles will be programmed so that “reality” always looks like we win.)

      • Film as Art and Weapon: Raoul Peck’s “Exterminate All the Brutes”

        We also see a savage attack on the Congolese people in 1892, during King Leopold’s reign. In this reenactment, a Catholic mission founded by the Swedish priest Edward Sjoblom witnesses a white rubber plantation owner storming into the modest church, gun in hand, and forcing a Black parishioner from his pew. As everyone gathers outside the church, the colonist fires a bullet into the man’s head and then forces a young parishioner to cut off his hand to be proof to the authorities that law and order was being upheld, just as white settlers often took Indian scalps in the USA.

        The source of these narrative set pieces is two books that are very close to my heart. The Seminole massacre is from Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s “’ An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States”, a book I reviewed for CounterPunch in 2017.

      • Khanna Criticizes Biden for Proposing Pentagon Budget Larger Than Trump’s

        “It’s disappointing that President Biden would propose a budget of $715 billion for the Pentagon.”

        Congressman Ro Khanna of California was the first House Democrat to speak out Friday against President Joe Biden’s request for a $715 billion Pentagon budget for Fiscal Year 2022, an increase from the current $704 billion level approved under former President Donald Trump.

      • Congress Urged to Reject Biden’s ‘Unconscionable’ $715 Billion Pentagon Budget

        “Throwing money at the Pentagon does not keep us safe from modern day threats.”

        President Joe Biden on Friday is reportedly expected to request a $715 billion budget for the Pentagon for fiscal year 2022, a slight increase from the previous year and a far cry from the substantial reduction that progressive lawmakers and advocacy groups are demanding.

      • Ratner for the Defense: the Legacy of a Lefty Lawyer

        American Lawyer David Cole, one of Ratner’s most diligent protégées, explained in an article titled “Michael Ratner’s Army” that “it says much about…his legacy that so many of the nearly eight hundred prisoners once housed at Guantánamo have been released, and that those remaining have forceful and dedicated advocates working on their behalf.” The National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Cole noted that while Bush and Obama deserve some recognition for the release of detainees, most of the credit belongs to “the hundreds of lawyers and thousands of activists” who advocated for the Guantánamo inmates. Cole added that many of these same lawyers and activists owe much of their inspiration to “one man: the human rights attorney Michael Ratner.”

        I suppose I was one of those inspired activists. In 1991 I joined a lawsuit charging Bush, Cheney and Powell with censoring the news about the war in the Persian Gulf,  and specifically the use of “press pools.” At the time I said, “This is a violation of constitutional guarantees.“ I added “It’s the first time in American history that journalists have been prevented from reporting freely about a major war.” That probably wasn’t true, but it sounded good and felt good to say it.

      • International Law Uncanceled: Biden Lifts Sanctions Against ICC, But It’s Not Enough

        And yet, time and again, it has been the loony right that has been so eager to hit the delete button.

        These supposed defenders of everyone’s right to voice opinions attempted to cancel an entire presidential election because it failed to produce their preferred result. They’ve spent decades trying to cancel voting rights (not to mention a wide variety of other rights). They’ve directed huge amounts of time and money to canceling social benefits for the least fortunate Americans. Throughout history, they’ve mounted campaigns to cancel specific individuals from Colin Kaepernick and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to the black lists of the McCarthy era. They’re also not above canceling entire groups of people, from the transgender community all the way back to the original sin of this country, namely the mass cancelation of Native Americans.

      • New Revelations on Germ Warfare: It’s Time for a Reckoning with Our History from the Korean War

        It’s been 70 years since the beginning of the Korean War. For young adults in their twenties today, that’s ancient history. It is as distant to them as the 1905 Russo-Japanese War was to me when I was 20 years old! But in both China and North Korea, the memory of the Korean War and charges of war crimes against America from that war remain a vivid part of the national consciousness, stoked at various times by the regimes in charge.

        The North Korean and Chinese allegations of American use of biological weapons during the Korean War made headlines at the time, and the controversy over U.S. Air Force officers admitting under enemy interrogation details of germ warfare attacks rocked the U.S. defense establishment. In 1998, scholars connected to the Cold War International History Project (CWIHP) at the Wilson Center published documents that they claimed showed the germ warfare charges were a hoax, “a grand piece of political theater,” as Milton Leitenberg, Senior Research Fellow at the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland,  notably put it.

      • Biden’s Empty Gesture: Houthis No Longer “Terrorists” but Yemen’s Suffering Only Grows

        In explaining a much-lauded move, President Joe Biden said that the reason the United States was removing Yemen’s Ansar Allah movement from the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list was to avoid exacerbating the humanitarian situation in the war-torn country and to allow much-needed aid to reach local residents. Yet images of children with jutting ribs, swelling bellies, and loose skin that have come to symbolize the war for the past six years can still be found all over Yemen.

      • Chip Gibbons on Drone Whistleblower Daniel Hale
      • Biden Calls U.S. Gun Violence an “International Embarrassment.” Will Congress Finally Act?

        President Joe Biden has ordered a series of executive actions on gun control in the wake of mass shootings in Georgia, Colorado and elsewhere, calling gun violence in the U.S. an “epidemic” and an “international embarrassment.” The most significant executive order aims to crack down on so-called ghost guns — easily assembled firearms bought over the internet without serial numbers, which account for about a third of guns recovered at crime scenes. Biden has also nominated gun control advocate David Chipman to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, but acknowledged this week that major new gun control measures, like an assault weapons ban and universal background checks, will require legislation from Congress. “We are calling on Congress to carry the torch here and pass additional laws to keep Americans safe and save American lives,” says Brian Lemek, executive director of Brady PAC.

      • Anti-war activist visited by police after posting embarrassing AOC video
      • The Origins of Nazi Violence

        In 2020, another German Neo-Nazi killed nine people, as well as his mother and himself in the western German city of Hanau. One of the more infamous political assassination by Germany’s right-wing extremists was of Regierungspräsident (region district president) Walter Lübcke in 2019. The worst excess of right-wing terrorism, however, occurred more than forty years ago in Munch in 1980. It became known as the “Octoberfest bombing” when Neo-Nazi Gundolf Köhler murdered thirteen people.

        Right-wing terrorism in Germany has a one-hundred year old history. Dating back to the end of the Great War (World War I), argues Florian Huber in his book Revenge of the Losers. The beginnings of right-wing terrorism in Germany date to the tumultuous years of what one of Germany’s most astute observers, Sebastian Haffner, once called “a failed revolution” in his seminal book, Failure of a Revolution. This was an era of private militias, militant gangs of trade unionists and communists, and various nationalist groups fighting during the anarchy that followed the end of the First Reich’s monarchy.

      • The Cold War Is Being Rebooted and Rebranded

        The future isn’t what it used to be. As a teenager in the 1970s, I watched a lot of TV science fiction shows, notably Space: 1999 and UFO , that imagined a near future of major moon bases and alien attacks on Earth. Movies of that era like Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey envisioned colossal spaceships and space stations featuring international crews on mind-blowing missions to Jupiter and beyond. Who’d have thought that, 20 years after Kubrick’s alternate reality of 2001, we humans would effectively be marooned on a warming “ sixth extinction” planet with no moon bases and, to the best of my knowledge, no alien attacks either.

        Sure, there’s been progress of a sort in the heavens. Elon Musk’s Space X may keep going down in flames, but the Chinese now have their very own moon rocks. As the old-timey, unmanned Voyager probe continues to glide beyond our solar system, Mars is a subject for research by new probes hailing from the United Arab Emirates, China, and the United States. Meanwhile, the International Space Station continues conducting research in low-earth orbit.

      • Remains of a dozen expats killed in Mozambique hotel attack found

        The Mozambique government has called for international support after the most serious terror attack since the start of the Islamic State insurgency four years ago.

        The remains of a dozen expats were discovered outside the Amarula Hotel in Mozambique as they attempted to flee jihadist militants who surrounded it as part of the attack.

      • In France there is a city with just one Jew

        They call it the “bunker”- a few windows, all screened, a flag on the roof. “It looks like a foreign embassy in a hostile country”. In July 2013, following a police check on a veiled woman, 400 residents stormed the building. The siege lasted several hours and required, from the police, 700 stun grenades and tear gas. A helicopter was mobilized.“It looked like a war scene,” a policeman said at the time.

        The attacks have continued since then. The latest dates back to Saturday 27 March. Eight mortar rounds with fireworks hit the front of the building.

        What building? It is the police station of Trappes, a French town of 35,000 inhabitants, at the center of a long investigation by the weekly Valeurs Actuelles.

        The “brigades” go around the city. Those so called are the followers of the Islamic fundamentalist movement Tabligh who, all dressed in white, enforce the religious prescriptions on the inhabitants. Sharia law, Islamic law. They intervene against those who drink, against a lightly veiled woman …

    • Environment
      • Rising Tides
      • Economists Warn Democrats ‘Going Too Small’ on Infrastructure Risks Economic and Climate Catastrophe

        “The costs of inaction outweigh the risks of borrowing to take action—by trillions of dollars.”

        Pointing to the nation’s tepid recovery from the 2009 financial collapse as a cautionary tale, economists are pressing Democratic lawmakers to dramatically expand President Joe Biden’s $2.3 trillion infrastructure proposal in order to equitably rebound from the coronavirus crisis, achieve full employment, and combat the existential climate emergency.

      • Climate Hacking Experiments Already Taking Place

        But I was off some (as were some sources I consulted  like this one).  It was actually the first test in the stratosphere, the higher layers of the atmosphere, and “the most formal geoengineering experiment to date,” reported James Temple in  MIT Technology Review.  So I changed the article to reflect that and published a correction. It turns out there have been some experiments which actually went further to spread sun-blocking materials at lower levels of the atmosphere. These experiments only serve to underscore the fundamental point I made in the piece, that any field testing of geoengineering technologies must take place under an international protocol that takes account of the risks.

      • Bernie Sanders Invites Oil Executives to Testify at Hearing on Climate Crisis

        Senate Budget Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has called on top oil and gas executives to testify at a hearing on “The Cost of Inaction on Climate Change” before the budget committee next Thursday.

      • ‘Lukewarmist’ Peer Set for Role Scrutinising Government Climate Policy – DeSmog
      • Despite Pledges on Tribal Relations and Climate, Biden Declines to Shut Down Dakota Access Pipeline

        “If Biden wants to be a climate leader on the world stage, he needs to start at home.”

        Indigenous leaders and climate campaigners on Friday blasted President Joe Biden’s refusal to shut down the Dakota Access pipeline during a court-ordered environmental review, which critics framed as a betrayal of his campaign promises to improve tribal relations and transition the country to clean energy.

      • The Environmental Impacts of “Green” Technology

        Solar panels, wind turbines, and electric cars have long been touted as solutions to the climate crisis.

        The “green” image attached to these technologies masks a dark reality; they are adding to the problem of environmental destruction, failing to reduce CO2 emissions, and accelerating the mass extinction of life on the planet.

      • Scientists Warn 4°C World Would Unleash ‘Unimaginable Amounts of Water’ as Ice Shelves Collapse

        “Limiting warming will not just be good for Antarctica—preserving ice shelves means less global sea level rise, and that’s good for us all.”

        A new study is shedding light on just how much ice could be lost around Antarctica if the international community fails to urgently rein in planet-heating emissions, bolstering arguments for bolder climate policies.

      • Carbon Dioxide Levels Reach 3.6 Million-Year High

        Because the COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive economic slowdown, experts had hoped that the decline in transportation and manufacturing might slow greenhouse gas emissions at least a little.

      • Energy
      • Wildlife/Nature
        • Southern Africa’s Ivory Delusion
        • Reflections on  Forestry When Confronted With the First Timber Harvest Plan  of the Year in My Watershed

          The  minuet, made famous by Louis XIV of France, used to have meaning: it was metaphor for the serene, hierarchical  architecture of society, where every character played a discrete  part in time and place. In the modern world, however, timber harvest plans  are an oxymoronic  metaphor for chaos.  Outside the ballroom, chunks of Antarctica the size of  New York are falling into the sea. The Gulf Stream  vacillates uncertainly. Scientists grasp at fantastically expensive and risky schemes to sprinkle the stratosphere with sunlight-reflecting particles. And, as Earth warms, a quarter of  its people  face  dying  of thirst while others are swept away by floods or freezes.

          The skies are emptying, one third fewer birds now  than when the  California Forest Practice Rules were written  almost 50 years ago.  According to the World Wildlife Fund, taken together, mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians have  declined  70%. The insect  apocalypse is hurtling along  8 times faster.

        • Grazing and Climate Change: the Influence of Livestock on Soil Carbon Storage

          Allan Savory has generated a significant amount of response based upon his TED talk where he claimed that increasing livestock grazing could reverse climate change (Savory, A. 2013)/

          Though many question many of Savory’s assertions of successful livestock production and improvements in rangeland health (Wuerthner, George, 2002b; Jamus, Joseph et al., 2002; Briske, D. et al., 2013; Carter, J. et al. 2014; McGuire. Andrew 2018; Skovlin, Jon. 1987; Holechek, Jerry., 2000; Sundt, Peter. 2013).

        • Rich world’s demands fell poorer world’s forests

          The tropical forests maintain global climate and nurture the riches of nature. The rich world’s demands are destroying them.

    • Finance
      • Time to Get Government Off Our Lawns

        The lawn is such a familiar part of everyday American life that it might seem like the natural state of things.  In reality, it’s evolved over the last two centuries from an aristocratic plaything to what Washington Post columnist Christopher Ingraham rightly calls a “soul-crushing timesuck” that most of us would be better off without.

        More to the point, the lawn is effectively a regressive tax scheme that benefits the sellers of expensive equipment and  those who use that equipment in our stead if we can afford to hire them.

      • New York to Offer Undocumented Migrants Up to $15,600 in Pandemic Relief

        “Today, our work today has been recognized,” said one undocumented worker and organizer. “Our dignity has been recognized, and our dignity has been lifted by passing this fund.”

        Immigrant and worker rights advocates welcomed this week’s passage of a New York state budget package containing a provision authorizing payments of up to $15,600 to undocumented migrants who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

      • Global Just Recovery Gathering Kicks Off to Harness ‘Collective People Power’ and Create a ‘Better Future for All’

        The event is being called “an invitation for us all to build a movement that is massive and that shakes the foundations of power and money and greed that seem to hold all the cards right now.”

        A three-day event called the Global Just Recovery Gathering kicked off Friday and is aimed at being “a space to design new pathways for a better future for all.”

      • The End of Trickle-Down Economics

        1) “We don’t have the money.”

        The power elites tell us it would be nice to do the big-ticket reforms America needs, but the money just isn’t there. Then a pandemic slammed into America, and suddenly trillions of dollars gushed out of Washington for everything from subsidizing meatpackers to developing vaccines, revealing that the money is there.

      • Capitalism Versus Economic Democracy, Minimum Wage Edition

        The question of why elected officials are required to consider the consequences to the Federal budget of raising the minimum wage, which is paid by private employers, is simple: they created the process that way. First passed in 1990 and updated in 2010, PAYGO is the Congressional rule requiring that new legislation that impacts the Federal budget be offset by cuts to government spending elsewhere. The origin of PAYGO was Reaganite efforts to slash social spending using the pretext of a budget crisis. The method was to divert money into private coffers via military spending and then pretend that arbitrary budget rules required cuts to social expenditures.

        Raising the minimum wage would only impact the Federal budget indirectly— through changes in tax receipts that result from the legislation. Through PAYGO, legislators and the White House can claim that the hindrance to raising the minimum wage is a budget constraint that they created, rather than on the demands of their corporate benefactors. Great Depression-era economist John Maynard Keynes gave them an out through tying wages to consumer spending. Employers benefit from raising wages when circumstances are amenable. PAYGO is the legislative rejection of Keynes’ out.

      • Roaming Charges: Just a Shot Away

        + The Chinook settlement known as Middle Village (Lewis & Clark dubbed it Station Camp) was very close to where the Chinook River spills into the Columbia, just a few river miles southeast of the Pacific Ocean. This was one of the most prolific salmon runs in the world. Even though the Chinook River is only 8 miles long, tumbling out of the (now butchered) Willapa Hills, it ran thick with several species of salmon, steelhead and sea-run cutthroat trout. By the 1890s, the McGowan Cannery had been erected on the village itself and the hauls of fish were almost unimaginable. Even more unimaginable is that 50 years later many of those runs were nearing extinction…

        + Native households only have 8 cents of wealth for every dollar that the average white American household has.

      • The Daleys of Chicago Need Accountability in Ongoing Loan Scandal

        So, it’s worth asking now: will similar irregularities occur with the still-unfolding Washington Federal Bank for Savings loan scandal, since it directly involves both Alderman Patrick Daley Thompson and Cook County Commissioner John P. Daley, the two remaining Daley family members still in public office?

        As periodic reporting elaborates, a sleepy Chicago bank saw millions of dollars disappear and then its president John Gembara found dead of apparent suicide at a customer’s home, right before the feds closed it in December 2017. Investigations and indictments are ongoing.

      • Biden and the Jobs Revolution

        Led by a determined, ambitious, surprisingly energetic President Joe Biden backed up by a team of progressive Democrats, the United States finally is turning nation-building toward home after years of throwing American lives and treasure at fruitless, seemingly endless wars.

        Biden now proposes to spend $2.2 trillion on rebuilding 20,000 miles of the nation’s roads, repairing bridges, expanding high-speed broadband to rural areas, fixing other infrastructure like pipes and creating millions of jobs to get it all done. The idea is to finish it in eight years and pay for it over 15 years by raising corporate taxes from 21 percent to 28 percent.

      • Signal’s Massive Crypto Payments Mistake

        The Signal chat app has decided to develop a private payment system behind closed doors but rather than doing crypto payments with a well established privacy coin like Zcash or Monero they’ve instead gone with MobileCoin a coin that has onlt existed for 4 months publically.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics
      • The De-Humanization of Free and Fair Elections

        America has a critical illness that has nothing to do with Covid 19. The symptoms are the attempts by states in significant sectors of the country to rewrite election laws in detriment to black and brown voters. Leading the pack is the Georgia state legislature,

        What makes this organized effort particularly ironic is the renewed threat it poses to America’s already tarnished democratic image. Reactionary lawmakers in state capitals such as Atlanta, Des Moines and Phoenix seem to think that nobody is looking. But the entire world is following this latest assault on the Americans’ vaunted democracy.

      • ‘We Really Can’t Take Anything These Companies Say at Face Value’

        Janine Jackson interviewed Public Citizen’s Jane Chung about Big Tech lobbying for the April 2, 2021, episode of CounterSpin . This is a lightly edited transcript.

      • Putin appoints his Siberian envoy as the acting head of North Ossetia

        President Vladimir Putin has appointed Sergey Menyaylo as the new acting head of Russia’s North Ossetia, according to the Kremlin’s website.

      • Fatal Instincts
      • McConnell Has No Trouble With Corporate Speech—as Long as It Takes the Form of Bribery

        There has never been a politician more consistently cynical than Mitch McConnell. He’s the guy who wrote about how moved he was to witness the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965—as a young aide to Kentucky Senator John Sherman Cooper—and then blocked efforts to restore the Voting Rights Act after it was eviscerated by his conservative allies on the US Supreme Court. He’s the guy who blocked President Obama’s 2016 nomination of Merrick Garland to serve on the Supreme Court because, he said, the Senate shouldn’t confirm new justices in election years—and then rushed through the confirmation of right-wing Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the election year of 2020. And, of course, he’s the guy who this year condemned President Trump’s incitement of insurrection right after leading Senate Republicans in blocking accountability for, that’s right, President Trump’s incitement of insurrection.

        But the most jaw-droppingly cynical move McConnell has ever made came this week, when the Senate minority leader dragged himself up to the bully pulpit to tell corporate CEOs to keep quiet about political issues—unless they’re bribing him to do their bidding.

      • GOP: The Pretend Party

        They’re pretending that their four-plus years of overt racism and hatred of immigrants, science and minorities had not been broadcasted each and every night. That their explicit efforts to curtail the US democratic system was just a bad dream. That Trump’s Covid-related racism did not help fuel 3,800 incidents against largely East and Southeast Asian Americans, including a massacre in Georgia where a white guy blamed Asian American masseuses for his own ‘evil’ sexual urges. That when the GOP rails against the recent Covid relief package and Biden’s infrastructure plan that they, as supposed fiscal conservatives, care only about fiscal responsibility and the prevention of waste – despite increasing military spending by $100 billion under Trump and enlarging the national debt to $7.8 trillion, the third largest increase in US presidential history. (Even before the pandemic, the federal debt had skyrocketed in Trump’s America; he had been on track to leave it 50% higher than when he came into office).

        Through all this pretending, the GOP assumes, as they chastise Biden’s “ far-left spending spree,” that the American people not remember their tango with the Proud Boys or their support for a failed coup.

      • In Ecuador, a Presidential Election With Global Reach

        On Sunday April 11, Ecuadorians are scheduled to vote in a runoff election for president. The candidates are Guillermo Lasso, a 65-year-old elite banker, and Andrés Arauz, a 36-year-old progressive former central bank official. There is no doubt that the outcome will have a profound impact on the nation’s future; the candidates have sharply distinct visions for moving Ecuador out of the pandemic and an ongoing economic slump. But while the race has received scant international attention, it has global implications.

        It is easy for many in the United States to overlook Ecuador, a small Andean nation of less than 18 million tucked between Peru and Colombia. Beginning in 2016, however, the country took leadership in a global campaign against the use of offshore tax havens. The upcoming election will be key in determining if that leadership will continue.

      • Georgia’s Voter Suppression Is Sparking Boycotts. History Shows They Can Work.

        Georgia’s new voting law, signed by Gov. Brian Kemp on March 25, is part of a nationwide voter suppression effort involving hundreds of bills. No serious analyst buys the Republican claim that voter fraud is widespread: it’s virtually nonexistent. The real rationale for these bills is occasionally admitted, as when North Carolina Republicans said they outlawed Sunday voting because Sunday voters were “disproportionately black” and “disproportionately Democratic.”

      • ‘A declaration is another thing’: Journalists asked the Kremlin’s spokesman about Ramzan Kadyrov’s wealth. Here’s what he said.

        On Friday, April 9, journalists asked Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov to comment on the wealth of Chechnya’s leader Ramzan Kadyrov. This came after the investigative outlet Proekt published an investigation into the assets held by Kadyrov and his wives (both official and alleged). (The investigation is available in English here). Despite probing questions from the press, Peskov maintained that the asset declarations of all Russian officials are subject to anti-corruption inspections. He could not, however, confirm whether or not Proekt’s findings about Kadyrov’s wealth were reflected in official audits.

      • 100+ Groups to Schumer: Throw Filibuster ‘Into the Dustbin of History’

        In a letter to the Senate majority leader, the coalition says the rule is a “Jim Crow relic” standing in the way of progressive legislative proposals like the For the People Act.

        Nearly 150 progressive organizations put new pressure on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer Friday to abolish the filibuster, saying the Senate rule is blocking democracy-strengthening reforms and must be “tossed into the dustbin of history.”

      • Opinion | Trump Has Left White House, But What Has the Left Learn?

        Democrats often blame their election losses on gerrymandering and voter suppression, but progressive initiatives win all over the country. It is time to embrace a bold agenda and then fight like hell to to win it.

        The surreal presidency of Donald Trump was filled with confusion, contradictions, anxiety, and missed opportunities. His rhetoric inflamed political tensions in every facet of American life, from football to COVID-19. Corporate media split along party lines as never before and accentuated all the ugliest aspects of American society. It seemed like anything was possible, up to and including civil war.

      • The Rise of Right-wing Libertarianism Since the 1950s

        One of the useful functions of the latter book, in particular, is that it brings force and clarity to one’s prior knowledge of the dangers of right-wing libertarianism, or more generally anti-government and pro-“free market” thinking. In fact, this sort of thinking is an utter catastrophe that threatens to destroy everything beautiful in the world. I know that sounds like an absurd exaggeration, but it’s not. What with society and nature teetering on the brink, it’s the literal truth. I suppose the reason leftists don’t always take right-wing libertarianism as seriously as it deserves—despite their deep awareness of the evils of capitalism—is simply that it’s embarrassingly easy to refute. It’s a childish, simplistic, vulgar hyper-capitalist ideology that, once you examine it a little, quickly reveals itself as its opposite: authoritarianism. Or even totalitarianism, albeit privatized totalitarianism. Noam Chomsky, as usual, makes the point eloquently:

        “…Here [in the United States] the term ‘libertarian’ means the opposite of what it meant to everybody else all through history. What I was describing [earlier] was the real Adam Smith and the real Thomas Jefferson and so on, who were anti-capitalist and called for equality and thought that people shouldn’t be subjected to wage-labor because that’s destructive of their humanity… The U.S. sense [of ‘libertarian’] is quite different. Here, every word has taken on the opposite of its meaning elsewhere. So, here ‘libertarian’ means extreme advocate of total tyranny. It means power ought to be given into the hands of private unaccountable tyrannies, even worse than state tyrannies because there the public has some kind of role. The corporate system, especially as it’s evolved in the twentieth century, is pure tyranny. Completely unaccountable—you’re inside one of these institutions, you take orders from above, you hand them down below…there’s nothing you can say—tyrannies do what they feel like—they’re global in scale. I mean, this is the extreme opposite of what’s been called libertarian everywhere in the world since the Enlightenment…”

      • Biden Creates Commission to Study Supreme Court Expansion, Other Reforms

        “To restore our democracy, we must expand the Supreme Court,” said Rep. Mondaire Jones. 

        President Joe Biden won praise Friday for signing an executive order to create a 36-member commission that will analyze arguments for and against reforming the U.S. Supreme Court.

      • My Predictions for Biden’s Probably-Truncated Presidency

        “In a dictatorship,” I noted, “particularly where the despot is a megalomaniac in the vein of a Saddam Hussein or a Muammar Gaddafi, citizens obsess over the Great Leader’s every move.” Never have the American people obsessed for four exhausting years over a president as we did over Trump and his autocratic style.

        “People who have done time will tell you that it’s important to study the guards, particularly the sadistic ones.” Like prison inmates, we studied Trump and his tweets and his strange corrupt family incessantly in a vain attempt to isolate the methods to his multiple madnesses.

      • Support the Tropes

        In an earlier piece ( FAIR.org, 3/3/21), we explored some country case study examples of how the press helps to manufacture consent for regime change and other US actions abroad among left-leaning audiences, a traditionally conflict-skeptical group.

      • Voter Suppression is an Attack on Democracy…and My Faith

        The bill, formally SB 202, infamously makes it illegal to give people food or water while they’re waiting in line to cast their ballot. Providing food for the hungry and water for the thirsty are tenets of my Catholic faith.

        So is standing with the marginalized. People don’t like to bring race into the conversation, but we have to be honest about how this bill harms people of color.

      • African Cyber Experts Fellowship: lessons learnt report 2020

        Following the London 2018 Commonwealth Cyber Declaration, the UK government implemented a series of projects to help Commonwealth countries improve their cyber security capacity.

        The Cyber Experts’ Fellowship: Bridging the Cyber Skills Gap in Africa created a working network of African cyber security policy experts. They act as a hub for cascading best practice in important cybersecurity challenges across the continent through individual and joint projects.

        The Fellowship Network itself is the key output of the project, to be referred to as the Africa Cyber Experts Network.

    • Censorship/Free Speech
      • ‘Proekt’ hit with DDoS attacks after publishing investigation into Ramzan Kadyrov’s wives

        The website of the investigative outlet Proekt has been subjected to DDoS attacks for the past two days, its editor-in-chief Roman Badanin told Meduza on Friday, April 9.

      • Content Moderation Case Study: Dealing With Podcast Copycats (2020)

        Summary: Since the term was first coined in 2004, podcasts have obviously taken off, with reports saying that around 55% of Americans have listened to a podcast as of early 2021. Estimates on a total number of podcasts vary, but some sites estimate the total at 1.75 million podcasts, with about 850,000 of them described as “active.” Still, for many years, actually hosting a podcast remained somewhat complicated.

      • Russian state television channel deletes Chechen beauty pageant newsreel featuring Kadyrov’s ‘second wife’

        The Russian state television channel Perviy Kanal (Channel One) has removed a 2006 news report from its website about a beauty pageant in Chechnya, which included footage of Fatima Khazuyeva, the alleged second wife of Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov.

      • Khloe Kardashian Streisands A Photo She Wanted Taken Down By Issuing Takedowns

        The Kardashians are no strangers to Techdirt’s pages. Being comprised of family members who are by and large famous for being famous, the Kardashians have been notorious for a heavy-handed approach to policing their own images, often times through spurious claims on intellectual property or publicity rights. So, heading into this story, it should be noted that the default posture of this particular family tends to be the use of IP claims to police anything to do with the family’s image on the internet.

      • Muslim advocacy group calls on Valve to drop Six Days in Fallujah from Steam

        The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington DC-based civil rights and advocacy group for Muslims, is asking Valve, Microsoft, and Sony to refuse to distribute Six Days in Fallujah, an upcoming tactical FPS based on the Second Battle of Fallujah, one of the bloodiest battles of the Iraq War.

      • The cost of speaking up against China

        In conversations with the BBC over the past few weeks, 22 people who have left Xinjiang to live abroad described a pattern of threats, harassment, and public character attacks they said were designed to deter them from speaking out about alleged human rights abuses back home.

      • Sharing News About Tibet Is High Risk for All Involved

        Eight years after he was jailed for sharing news about protests in Tibet, Kunchok Jinpa died in a Lhasa hospital.

        Jinpa, who in 2013 was sentenced to 21 years in prison for “leaking state secrets,” had been transferred to a hospital without his family’s knowledge. The 51-year-old suffered a brain hemorrhage and was paralyzed, rights groups said.

        His experience sheds light on the dangers for Tibetans who share news about the region with outside sources.

      • World Must Stand With Tibet

        The gross human violations in Tibet is not a new story and is not hidden from anyone despite the media ban and propagandistic approach adopted by Chinese govt. to have the control of one’s destiny is the luxury Tibetans don’t have. The excruciating pain shivers the spine when you see that you are not even allowed to decide on the number of children you can have. The free and fair process of governance in Tibet is just a mirage and the reality, just the opposite. The dilapidated condition of Tibetans is mostly being ignored and not reported, however, the reports which come out as Tibetans flee from Tibet in search of a peaceful asylum are very disturbing. The missing list of people from Lhasa and adjoining areas is growing and no political rival is left unmonitored. The accounts of the torture being administered to politically active workers in Tibet has seen no parallel.

      • China’s ‘new’ border rules in Tibet point to same old dispute with India

        Carrying or disseminating newspapers, books or electronic products deemed to endanger national security is among the acts banned under the rules

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press
      • FSB agents search the home of ‘iStories’ chief editor Roman Anin

        FSB agents are carrying out a search at the home of Roman Anin, the editor-in-chief of the investigative outlet iStories Media.

      • Navalny’s lawyers file complaint over release of prison surveillance footage

        Alexey Navalny’s defense team has filed a complaint over the publication of a video of him filmed inside the penal colony where he is being held, said his lawyer Olga Mikhailova, as reported by RIA Novosti. 

      • The Loss of Fear: Russian Dissidents From Dostoevsky to Navalny

        Russia has a long history of dissenters and rebels who were sentenced, due to their attitude, to penal colonies in the 19th century and to the Gulag in the twentieth; both types of facility are forced labor camps. In 1825, a powerful group of revolutionaries called the Decembrists prepared a coup d’état against the Tsar, in an attempt to democratize a feudal Russia. The coup failed and the plotters who weren’t shot were sent to Siberia where they were forced to do hard labor. Dostoevsky wrote admiringly about the Decembrists and their wives, who had accompanied them into exile. He himself experienced Siberia personally. As a member of the Petrashevsky revolutionary circle, he was sentenced to death; at the last minute the Tsar changed his mind and sent the young writer and his companions to a penal colony in Siberia. Since then Dostoevsky, who was transformed by that experience, wrote several novels in which he analyzed the revolutionaries ( Demons) and the punishment to be meted out for any crime against humanity ( Crime And Punishment).

        After the 1917 Russian Revolution, the Bolsheviks set up forced labor camps, later known as Gulags, where they sent people opposed to the Soviet regime. During Stalin’s purges, between 1937 and 1948, eighteen million people ended up in the Siberian Gulags, which made it possible for Stalin to create a system of free labour when it came to the toughest jobs, such as felling trees, building railway lines or working in the mines. Solzhenitsyn was one of the first writers whose work on the Gulag reached the West, where many left-wing intellectuals, who had previously been followers of the doctrines of Soviet Communism, began to change their tune.

      • Disappear the System: A Critical Hegemonic Function of Capitalist Media

        This is just one example among many. A fundamental rule in corporate-crafted U.S. media-politics culture is that the systemic taproot of the people’s pain must be ignored and obscured. The nightly news gives a running record of inner-city bloodshed but never includes serious discussion of the savage race-class apartheid that generates misery and violence in deeply impoverished and hyper-segregated communities of color. What results is a decontextualized “ urban nightmare” horror show that feeds white racist “law and order” sentiments.

        CBS lets Charles Barkley observe (during the NCAA men’s basketball Final Four last weekend) that American politicians play the game of racial “divide-and-conquer” in order to “keep their grasp on money and power.” It was neat to see “Chuck” speak that basic truth. But the network would never bring on a W.E.B. DuBois scholar (or a radical NBA veteran like Craig Hodges, pushed out of the NBA because of his left politics) to explain how racial division and Machiavellian Othering are rooted in the nature of the national and world capitalist system.

      • China’s Propaganda Against Foreign Media Increases

        Both John Sudworth, a journalist with the BBC, and Vicky Xu, a researcher and reporter based in Australia, have refused to be silenced by what Sudworth has referred to as China’s “highly asymmetric battle for the control of ideas.” 

        Sudworth, who reported from Beijing for nearly nine years, relocated with his family to Taiwan last week after an increase in legal threats and other pressure from authorities. His is the latest in a series of sudden departures by foreign media. 

        In an article, he said that China’s “wolf-warrior” diplomats — a term referring to envoys using a more aggressive approach — have unleashed tweet-storms, lambasting foreign reporting including that of the BBC.  

    • Civil Rights/Policing
      • Striking Alabama Miners Push Back on Contract Settlement

        The 1,100 workers at Warrior Met Coal, Inc. in Brookwood, Alabama are entering their eighth day of a strike over working conditions and “unfair labor practices.” The stories the workers tell about their day-to-day lives in the mines — mandatory 12-hour shifts that make workers strangers to their children, injured miners forced back on the job, “healthcare” that leaves miners thousands of dollars in debt, and wages that are much lower than similar jobs in the area — paint a picture of enormous exploitation for workers who do some of the most dangerous jobs in the country. The workers, organized by the United Mine Workers (UMWA), have been in a fierce contract negotiation battle with Warrior Met since late last month after the company presented them with a contract that made cuts to their wages, healthcare, pensions, and protections.

      • ‘Sacrifice Zones’: How People of Color Are Targets of Environmental Racism

        Designated by corporations and policymakers, these areas are a product of environmental racism, the systemic social, economic and political structures—including weak laws, lack of enforcement, corporate negligence and less access to health care—that place disproportionate environmental health burdens on specific communities based on race and ethnicity. Because they live in sacrifice zones, people of color in the United States are more likely to breathe polluted air, drink polluted water and be exposed to a variety of toxic chemicals and particulate matter.

        The Center for Health, Environment & Justice, a nonprofit environmental activism group based in Falls Church, Virginia, asserts that “[d]ue to redlining, low property values, and other social factors, these communities have historically consisted of [low-income] and/or minority populations.” The group adds, “Current federal air policies regulate facility emissions one stack at a time and one chemical at a time. Impacted communities, however, are exposed to the cumulative impact of multiple pollutants released over an extended period of time from a cluster of facilities.”

      • Opinion | Poor Nation’s of the Earth Host Millions of Refugees as US Refuses to Host Just a Few Thousand

        The factors that drive displacement are often complex, but welcoming refugees isn’t.

        Thousands of desperate migrants, mostly from Central America, are stuck at the U.S.-Mexico border. Most are families and unaccompanied children.

      • How Corporate America Exploits Social Justice (in New & Fun Ways!)

        If you’ve been paying even a modicum of attention to the world at large, you’ve noticed that white supremacists constitute a bit of a problem in America. They led an insurrection at our Capitol recently. They’ve been involved in many mass shootings. I, along with many others, was nearly killed by one a few years ago in Charlottesville, Va.after he tried to murder as many peaceful protesters as possible. Our police forces are brimming with white supremacist assholes. And I think they had a popular TV show about ducks and beards not too long ago.

      • ‘Retire, Breyer’: Progressive Group Joins Growing Call for SCOTUS Justice to Step Down

        “We cannot afford to risk Democrats losing control of the Senate before a Biden nominee can be confirmed,” asserted Demand Justice director Brian Fallon. 

        A left-leaning advocacy group on Friday joined the growing chorus of calls for U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer to retire so that President Joe Biden can nominate a liberal replacement while Democrats control the Senate. 

      • Crime Rates Drop After The City Of Baltimore Decides It’s Not Going To Waste Resources Prosecuting Minor Offenses

        The argument against anything perceived as “defunding” cops or going just a bit lighter on suspected criminals (like decriminalization of drug possession or the elimination of cash bail) is that the criminals will win. Apparently all they’ve been waiting for is fewer laws so they can break more laws… or something.

      • Black Cowboys

        Based on the young adult novel Ghetto Cowboy by Greg Neri, director-writer Ricky Staub’s film fictionalizes the tale of Cole, a wayward youth from Detroit played by Caleb McLaughlin. After a school fight that spurs expulsion, Cole’s frustrated mom takes him to stay with his dad, Harp, who lives in North Philadelphia. Idris Elba, the British actor who rocked it in Molly’s Game, portrays Harp with aplomb.

        Like Detroit, Philadelphia is deindustrialized. Capital fled labor for reasons of profits and market share in both cities. That is how capitalism operates stateside and around the world.

      • New Immigration Policy Is Opening Doors for Mixed-Status Families

        Earlier this week, with little fanfare, the Biden administration announced in the Federal Register that it would be rolling back one of the cruelest of Trump’s anti-immigrant proposals: namely, denying all mixed-status families—households where some members are US citizens and others are undocumented immigrants— access to public and subsidized housing.

        Under Trump’s proposal, these families faced a Sophie’s Choice: Either kick out the undocumented member (usually a parent) and keep the home, or maintain the integrity of the family and end up on the streets.

      • Trapping: New Mexico Moves Forward, Montana Leaps Backward

        Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte is infamous for assaulting a journalist, attempting to undermine democracy, and violating his state’s hunting regulations (at least twice). News recently broke that Gianforte illegally trapped and killed a wolf that had ventured a few miles outside of the protections of Yellowstone National Park in February. This brazen and horrific act is par for the course for a man who continues to damage Montana’s reputation.

        In New Mexico, we have elected officials on both sides of the aisle who seem to genuinely care about accountability, integrity and our state’s future — and who represent their constituents with grace and humility.

      • Nonviolent Intervention and George Floyd

        On that terrible day—May 25, 2020—while Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck, and two rookie officers pinned down Floyd’s legs, several onlookers became concerned. Floyd was handcuffed and face-down on the ground. They heard him calling for help, groaning in agony, and saying, over and over, “Please, I can’t breathe!”

        A man named Donald Williams tried to shame Chauvin, calling him a “bum” and, sarcastically, a “tough guy” and a “real man.” Realizing the situation had become critical, Williams shifted to pleading, saying “He ain’t resisting” and “You’re stopping his breathing, man” and “You can get him off the ground” and “He’s human.”

      • Minneapolis Grieves for George Floyd

        Minneapolis, Minn.—Last week, the trial of Derek Chauvin began in the Hennepin County Government Center. 1

        Twenty-nine years after the officers who beat Rodney King were acquitted. 2

      • The Only Treatment is Freedom: Mumia Abu-Jamal and COVID

        Within two hours of that call, the movement to free Mumia mobilized hundreds of supporters to call the prison and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office to demand immediate medical care for Mumia and his immediate release.

        Tried and true, the call-to-action worked. The next day guards entered the imprisoned radio journalist’s cell and without notice, escorted him to the prison infirmary. On Monday, Mumia’s attorneys inquired about their client’s health with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections attorney who reported that Mumia had been tested for COVID over the weekend and the results were negative. None of us had heard from Mumia directly, however.

      • TSA posts video showing how you can fly without ID

        For years Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials and their state government collaborators have been repeating the big lie that all airline passengers must have government-issued ID credentials. That lie has been included in TSA and DHS press releases, airport signage, and Tweets from the official DHS and TSA accounts.

        This public relations lie has been disclaimed, over and over, in TSA and DHS court filings and sworn testimony. But now it has been contradicted on the TSA’s official Twitter feed.

        Tonight the TSA Tweeted a video showing some of the ways you can fly without “acceptable” ID or without any ID at all.

      • Dissenter Weekly: Amazon and Google’s Retaliation Against Whistleblowers

        In this edition of “Dissenter Weekly,” host and Shadowproof editor Kevin Gosztola highlights the turmoil at Google, which inspired a shareholder to demand the corporation adopt protections for whistleblowers. Amazon is in the midst of thwarting workers at a plant in Bessemer, Alabama, from forming a union. Kevin covers a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board, which concluded two Amazon employees were illegally fired for their whistleblowing. Later in the show, Kevin provides an update on the fallout from a scandal in Colorado involving the state’s air pollutions department, which falsified data to fast-track permits for companies. And we wish Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, who turned 90 on April 7, a happy birthday.

        Former Employee: Transocean Nearly Caused Oil Rig Catastrophe During Hurricane Zeta Colorado Groups Demand Governor Fire Air Pollution Control Director After Whistleblower Complaint National Labor Relations Board Says Amazon Illegally Fired Whistleblowers

      • Despite Defeat, Sanders Calls Those Behind Amazon Union Drive an ‘Inspiration to Workers’ Nationwide

        The senator also called for changes in federal law, declaring that “workers should not be intimidated or badgered by a company” for organizing.

        Although employees of an Amazon warehouse in Alabama ultimately voted against forming a union, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday called for reforming federal labor law as he applauded the efforts of organizers who took on the retail giant.

      • Medical examiner who ruled George Floyd’s death a homicide blames police pressure for his death

        Baker’s findings were at odds with those of other prosecution expert witnesses who were explicit in their assessments that Floyd died from asphyxia.

      • Opinion | Amazon Union Vote in Bessemer Shows Exactly Why We Need the PRO Act

        U.S. workers will continue to face a rigged system until lawmakers finally stand up to entrenched corporate power.

        The results of the election at the Amazon fulfillment center in Bessemer, Alabama reveal a broken union election system. It is clear that if policymakers do not reform our nation’s labor law system, then they are effectively denying workers a meaningful right to a union and collective bargaining. If they don’t take action, policymakers will be the architects of an economy marked by continued inequality and injustice. Further, policymakers will be sanctioning workplaces where workers are dehumanized and their health and safety is put at risk.

      • Blowout in Bessemer: A Postmortem on the Amazon Campaign

        The stories of horrific working conditions at Amazon are well-known. Long before the campaign at Bessemer, anyone paying even scant attention would be aware that workers toil at such a grueling pace that they resort to urinating in bottles so as not to get disciplined for taking too much time to use the facilities, which the company calls “time off task.” Christian Smalls was fired a year ago for speaking publicly about people not getting personal protective equipment in his Amazon facility, in bright-blue state New York. Jennifer Bates, the Amazon employee from the Bessemer warehouse, delivered testimony to Congress that would make your stomach turn. Workers at Amazon desperately need to unionize, in Alabama, Germany—and any other place where the high-tech, futuristic employer with medieval attitudes about employees sets up a job site of any kind. With conditions so bad, what explains the defeat in Bessemer?

        Three factors weigh heavily in any unionization election: the outrageously vicious behavior of employers—some of it illegal, most fully legal—including harassing and intimidating workers, and telling bold lies (which, outside of countries with openly repressive governments, is unique to the United States); the strategies and tactics used in the campaign by the organizers; and the broader social-political context in which the union election is being held.

      • Working Multiple Jobs Is a Financial Necessity for Many Young People

        By the fall she had landed a new full-time teaching position, but it paid less than her previous position. She had to keep up her tutoring side hustle to make up the difference. The new routine meant that some days started before dawn, with a 5 a.m. commute from New Jersey to New York City for a full day of teaching, and ended at 8 or 9 p.m., after four hours of tutoring students from her car.

        This kind of professional scramble is one of the narratives that the pandemic has clarified: Side hustles are generally not glamorous. Most people don’t particularly want to work multiple jobs to get by. A lucky few have been able to turn a hobby into a career during these strange, slow months, but many more, like Chavarria, have been left wondering if they could stay in their field of choice at all, cobbling together piecemeal work or several jobs to pay their bills. According to data from the Census Bureau, the percentage of workers in the United States with multiple jobs has been increasing over the past two decades.

      • ‘As if she had never existed’: The graveyards for murdered women

        There are cemeteries like this in several parts of the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, full of the unmarked graves of women and girls who have been murdered by male relatives in the name of “honour”.

        Since the 1991 uprising of the Kurdish region, which spans a number of different internationally-recognised countries, including Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq, more than 20,000 Kurdish women have been killed in so-called “honour crimes”.

      • Islamic Misogyny: Erdogan Humiliates EU President – Refuses To Let Her Sit With Men (Video)

        Turkish Dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan humiliated European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during an important meeting on Tuesday, April 6th. The Islamic Supremacist leader left only two armchairs for the meeting, one for himself, the other for Charles Michel, the President of the European Council.

        Despite public outcry, left-wing leaders and their media refuse to address the motive behind the supposed “”gaffe“”. The reality is that Erdogan’s treatment of the European Union’s president is merely an expression of classical Islamic doctrine, history and scripture.

        In a video of the awkward moment in Ankara, von der Leyen seems confused as to where to sit, she gestures with her right hand and says “ehm” as Erdoğan and European Council President Michel take their seats.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality
      • Wall Street Analysts Say Musk’s Starlink Poses No Real Threat To Traditional Broadband

        To be clear: Space X’s Starlink broadband service won’t be taking on traditional broadband providers in major metro areas. Instead, the company will be using thousands of low orbit satellites (with lower latency than traditional satellite broadband) to deliver marginally decent service to under-served rural Americans, assuming it winds up being profitable longer term. In a country where an estimated 42 million can’t get any broadband at all (during a raging pandemic, no less), any improvement helps.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)
      • Jessie Henderson Joins Apple as Features Executive

        Movie executive Jessie Henderson has joined Apple Studios in its features division.

        Henderson, who was previously at HBO Max where she held the title of exec VP, original feature films, will report to Apple Original Films’ head of features Matt Dentler and will be based in Los Angeles. She begins next week.

        Apple is in the midst of growing its film team and Henderson’s arrival comes on the heels of hiring of executive Lejo Pet, who recently joined Apple from Paramount Pictures.

    • Monopolies
      • Opinion | All Workers—Including Amazon’s Employees in Alabama—Deserve the PRO Act

        It’s time to change the power dynamics in America and give working people a real say in our future.

        In all of my years in Alabama’s labor movement—and at this point in my career, it’s been several decades—I have never witnessed the energy nor the momentum that we are seeing right now.

      • Union to File Charges Against Amazon Over ‘Blatantly Illegal Conduct’ in Bessemer Election

        “Amazon’s conduct has been despicable. We demand a comprehensive investigation over Amazon’s behavior in corrupting this election.”

        This is a developing news story… Check back for possible updates…

      • Apple refuses request to testify for Senate app store hearing

        Senate Judiciary Committee leaders are demanding that Apple provide a witness for an upcoming hearing on app stores and digital competition after the iPhone manufacturer has refused to participate, according to a new letter to the company released Friday.

        In the letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Mike Lee (R-UT) say the company “abruptly” decided not to provide a witness for an April hearing on digital markets focused on Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store.

      • FOSS Patents: Bipartisan senators’ letter to stonewalling Apple bookends week with public sentiment turning against App Store terms, policies, and practices

        There was a high density of significant–mostly regulatory–developments concerning Apple’s App Store policies during the first week of March. The week that is ending now is at least as important, but in a different way. It looks like the tide has turned against Apple, with more and more decision makers and opinion leaders starting to realize just how harmful Apple’s abuse of its App Store monopoly is.

        When Epic Games sued Apple last summer, I was glad about it in one way but skeptical in others. I was equally unconvinced of whether the subsequently founded Coalition for App Fairness could achieve its goals. By now I actually think it’s a question of when, not if, the App Store monopoly will fall. I’m looking forward to the day–whenever it may finally come–when I’ll be able to install apps from third-party app stores on an iPhone or iPad. Short of that option, Apple’s conduct is going to create too many problems for regulators to keep up with.

        Change is potentially coming from different directions. Apple (and Google, the sole ally it has in this) can put out some fires, or contain them for the time being, such as in the Arizona state legislature. But there’s already far more than just a crack in the shell. It won’t go quite as fast as Scrat’s continental crack in the Ice Age movie, yet jurisdiction by jurisdiction, #OpentheAppStore is going to become a reality.

        In the middle of the night from Wednesday to Thursday, Epic and Apple filed their proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law (see also my two other posts about those documents: redefinition of “commission”, full text of requested injunction).

      • Patents
        • VLSI v. Intel patent trial to go forward in Western District of Texas on Monday as judge denies Intel’s last-minute transfer motion

          Intel argues that it can’t get a fair trial in Waco so shortly after the big news that the early-March verdict made in the local media: “juror awareness of the prior enormous verdict would be highly prejudicial to Intel.”

          I guess Intel knew from the beginning that Judge Albright was going to go ahead with the second VLSI v. Intel trial no matter what. But if Intel lost and appealed, then it preserved certain arguments by way of this motion.

          Intel and Apple are challenging Fortress Investment’s aggregation of patents in an antitrust action in the Northern District of California, where they recently brought their second amended complaint after the original complaint and the first amended complaint had been dismissed. Meanwhile, Fortress-funded entities are pursuing infringement cases against Apple and Intel in different jurisdictions.

        • FOSS Patents: Amicus briefs in support of Ericsson against Samsung by Sen. Tillis, former Fed. Cir. CJ Michel, former USPTO Director Iancu, InterDigital, NYIPLA, and 13 professors

          After former NIST Director Dr. Copan (whose amicus brief I criticized harshly), some other “friends of the court” have made filings in support of Ericsson against Samsung. Other than noting that there are multiple references in those filings to Munich antisuit case law, I don’t intend to comment right now and will just publish those documents below.

        • Lithium Australia set to progress VSPC patents and LieNA pilot plant in the near-term

          The company’s ongoing strategy is to advance proprietary, downstream lithium and battery technologies and to deliver an ethical and sustainable supply of energy metals for batteries through innovative minerals processing and battery recycling techniques, creating an energy-metals loop.

        • A Pervasive Threat to Biodiversity and Human Security

          According to Prof. Wijesundara, in 1994, a multinational company, W.R. Grace and the U.S. Department of Agriculture were granted a patent by the European Patent Office (EPO) “Covering a (special) method for controlling fungi on plants by the aid of a hydrophobic extracted neem oil” that is diluted with a certain percentage of water was withdrawn in 2000. Lot of concern after 10-year battle, some patents on neem were squashed some still prevail. There are 65 patents so far only for neem. According to Prof. Kotagama, a US company wanted to produce insecticide from neem. They came with Azadariktin as a product. They obtain the patenting required to use and own neem. There is a law that if you are contesting patenting right it has to be in the country it is registered at. So the neem battle has to be fought in the US. With lot of money and help from the NGOs and help along with the Indian government they fought against this patenting. The company contested that they did not bring neem from Asia or India, they brought it from Africa because it grows in Africa. But it was identified that the seeds that had gone to Kenya had been coming from Sri Lanka according to the Registers of the forest department records from Sri Lank. Based on that evidence the patent was revoked. The neem campaign was consisting of a group of NGOs and individuals was initiated in 1993 in India. This was done to mobilize worldwide support to protect indigenous knowledge systems and resources of the Third World from piracy by the west particularly in light of emerging threats from intellectual property rights regimes under WTO and TRIPS. Neem patent became the first case to challenge European and US patents on the grounds of biopiracy.

        • Howard Dean Is Out Stumping For Big Pharma Patent Protection, No Matter How Many People In Poor Countries Die As A Result

          If ever there was a situation that called for a circumvention of the normal patent process and lifespan, surely it would be the COVID-10 pandemic. It seems obvious that a global pandemic is the perfect situation to go beyond the normal restrictive patent protections for things like therapeutics and vaccines and instead operate from a posture of information-sharing and collaboration so that the world can get back to something resembling normalcy. Instead, products of research that are often based on publicly-funded scientific campaigns are being locked up in patent offices, fought over among patent holders, and used for pure profiteering over a public health crises. It’s in that reality that we’ve had to witness some folks who absolutely know better, such as Senator Ben Sasse, advocate for longer patent protections for COVID-19 treatments, rather than the opposite.

        • Software Patents
          • $3,000 for Tekvoke prior art

            On April 9, 2021, Unified Patents added a new PATROLL contest, with a $3,000 cash prize, seeking prior art on at least claim 1 of U.S. Patent 6,687,343. The patent is owned by Tekvoke LLC, an entity of notorious NPE, IP Edge.

            The ’343 patent is directed to an Internet communication control apparatus selectively connected to communication terminals and a computer network and a method for controlling such an apparatus. This patent has been asserted against over 20 companies, including Cable One, Intrado Corporation, AireSpring, Block Communications, Brekeke Software, IDT Corporation, and Nextiva. Tekvoke is targeting web-based PBX (private box exchange) connected to telephones and smart device apps.

      • Trademarks
        • MSCHF Settles Upgraded Shoe Dispute With Nike And Promises (Wink, Wink) To Buy Back Satan Shoes

          There were actually a whole bunch of interesting legal questions raised by Nike’s trademark lawsuit against MSCHF the weird “structured chaos” organization that seems to basically sell publicity stunts as a business model. It had teamed up with the musician Lil Nas X to sell 666 pairs of upgrade Nike Air Max 97, complete with red ink (and, it claimed, a single drop of blood) inserted in the sole of the shoe. The lawsuit raised issues regarding first sale/resale rights, art, freedom of expression, trademark, ownership, property, dilution, confusion and more. And… all of it’s going nowhere, because a settlement has been reached.

      • Copyrights
        • Taylor Swift releases a ‘perfect replica’ of Fearless

          The backstory is complicated – but here’s a brief overview: Swift’s recording career started in 2005, when she signed a 12-year deal with Nashville’s Big Machine Recordings. Her first album went seven-times platinum in the US and after switching lanes to pop music on 2012′s Red, she became a global superstar in the process.

          In 2018, she signed a new deal with Universal Records, and Big Machine sold the rights to Swift’s first six albums to Scooter Braun – Kanye West’s former manager, whom Swift claimed had “bullied” her for years.

          Braun later sold the rights to an investment fund for an estimated $300m, although he reportedly retains a financial interest in the music.

          Swift was incensed that he would profit from her records, characterising the sale as an act of aggression that “stripped me of my life’s work”.

        • EU Parliament Wants Pirated Sports Streams Taken Down Within 30 Minutes

          The European Parliament is considering a draft resolution that requires online services to take pirated sports streams offline within 30 minutes. This includes a proposal to allow copyright holders to act as trusted flaggers. According to Pirate Party MEP Patrick Breyer, the plan is dangerous as it can cause massive collateral damage.

        • France’s New Strategy For Tackling Online Piracy Presented in New Bill

          France is set to take a fresh approach to online anti-piracy enforcement. A new bill presented to the Council of Ministers this week has several key goals including a pirate site ‘blacklist’, mechanisms to deal with mirror sites, and a new system to tackle live sports piracy. A new regulatory body will also be formed by merging Hadopi and the Higher Audiovisual Council.

Lunduke: On Mob Justice in the Tech Industry

Saturday 10th of April 2021 09:10:47 AM

Summary: A new video from the former Microsofter who fears the phenomenon that’s adopted by companies like IBM

IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 09, 2021

Saturday 10th of April 2021 07:45:06 AM

#techrights log as HTML5

#boycottnovell log as HTML5

#boycottnovell-social log as HTML5

#techbytes log as HTML5

#techrights log as text

#boycottnovell log as text

#boycottnovell-social log as text

#techbytes log as text

Enter the IRC channels now

IPFS Mirrors table#ipfs-table tr:nth-child(even) { background-color:#efefef; border-bottom: 2px solid #aaa; } CID Description Object type  QmbFZs3qebMKnABWw9UCaSXXjogEk5oFtGFH1JrcR8KFnV IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as HTML)  QmPgHP3LAKp5HmRDR1VecAEtEVtN8fCUke6EK9USBxB3DU IRC log for #boycottnovell
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)  QmQ2NzUNZCVT4KoK8vdnrwZZvkLV7uRcPQb3dYL5XFxed8 IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as HTML)  QmX6fJn4Y8JuapwY3nmURD1CtuGws23RUC46g86HDCqjxW IRC log for #boycottnovell-social
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)  Qmb9h2CPQTNCskz4WsyzZ73eiHaTzxBYtxERmGtWnYR6hH IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as HTML)  QmRas2mN6gtkLzaxpCvRKrgMeu5bVtBTDJcArUz7KziB71 IRC log for #techbytes
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)  QmfDqGMDHGv5MPh13zM2MtZdRrQrKphgjfJbUwxKbi1mbw IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as HTML)  QmNawxUa6a8mrpvXj3XwpRRaYLxUbrVhBKf5DzEjk49eaK IRC log for #techrights
(full IRC log as plain/ASCII text)

Bulletin for Yesterday

Local copy | CID (IPFS): QmZ1tmGugDNECc6HWK6RAXyor4DYe8kwbyrb8zp1iXVv6Q

EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag — Appendix (Benoît Battistelli’s Vichy Syndrome): Georges Henri Léon Battistelli and Charles Robert Battistelli

Friday 9th of April 2021 11:29:51 PM

Summary: Local copies with evidence of or something concrete about Benoît Battistelli’s connection to unsavoury — and by today’s standards outright fascistic — politics

FORMER EPO dictator Benoît Battistelli has an acute case of Vichy Syndrome, as we noted last night. But some readers took note of links not working, apparently for dependence on live session IDs or tokens. We have therefore made the decision to reproduce the documents/pages below, in full. These refer to Benoît Battistelli’s grandfather, Georges Henri Léon Battistelli, and his grand-uncle, Charles Robert Battistelli. Maybe we’ll get back to these some time in the future (after we’re done with the current series, of which part 11 was published a few hours ago).

Charles Robert Battistelli

Georges Henri Léon Battistelli

More in Tux Machines

Open Hardware: Crowbits, Raspberry Pi, and RISC-V

  • Crowbits Master Kit Tutorial - Part 2: ESP32 intrusion scanner and visual programming - CNX Software - Embedded Systems News

    I started Crowbits Master Kit review last month by checking out the content, user manual, and some of the possible projects for the ESP32 educational kit including a 2G phone and a portable game console. For the second part of the review, I’ll go through one of the lessons in detail, namely the intrusion scanner to show the whole process and how well (or not) it works. Let’s go to Lesson 5 directly, although I’d recommend going through the first lessons that provide details about the hardware and visual programming basics using Letscode program, which is basically a custom version of Scratch for Crowbits

  • RP2040-PICO-PC small computer made with the Raspberry Pi RP2040-PICO module first prototypes are ready

    It’s small base board for RP2040-PICO the $4 module with the Cortex-M0+ processor made by Raspberry Pi foundation.

    We were ready with the prototype for a long time but the RP2040-PICO modules were tricky to source

  • ESP32-C6 WiFI 6 and Bluetooth 5 LE RISC-V SoC for IoT devices coming soon - CNX Software - Embedded Systems News

    Espressif Systems introduced their first RISC-V wireless SoC last year with ESP32-C3 single-core 32-bit RISC-V SoC offering both 2.4GHz WiFi 4 and Bluetooth 5.0 LE connectivity, and while the company sent some engineering samples of ESP32-C3 boards months ago, general availability of ESP32-C3-DevKitM-1 and modules is expected shortly. But the company did not stop here, and just announced their second RISC-V processor with ESP32-C6 single-core 32-bit RISC-V microcontroller clocked at up to 160 MHz with both 2.4 GHz WiFi 6 (802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5 LE connectivity.

Linux, NetBSD, and OpenBSD

  • EXT4 With Linux 5.13 Looks Like It Will Support Casefolding With Encryption Enabled - Phoronix

    While EXT4 supports both case-folding for optional case insensitive filenames and does support file-system encryption, at the moment those features are mutually exclusive. But it looks like the upcoming Linux 5.13 kernel will allow casefolding and encryption to be active at the same time. Queued this week into the EXT4 file-system's "dev" tree was ext4: handle casefolding with encryption.

  • SiFive FU740 PCIe Support Queued Ahead Of Linux 5.13 - Phoronix

    Arguably the most interesting RISC-V board announced to date is SiFive's HiFive Unmatched with the FU740 RISC-V SoC that features four U74-MC cores and one S7 embedded core. The HiFive Unmatched also has 16GB of RAM, USB 3.2 Gen 1, one PCI Express x16 slot (operating at x8 speeds), an NVMe slot, and Gigabit Ethernet. The upstream kernel support for the HiFive Unmatched and the FU740 SoC continues. With the Linux 5.12 cycle there was the start of mainlining SiFive FU740 SoC support and that work is continuing for the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle.

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  • The state of toolchains in NetBSD
                     
                       

    While FreeBSD and OpenBSD both switched to using LLVM/Clang as their base system compiler, NetBSD picked a different path and remained with GCC and binutils regardless of the license change to GPLv3. However, it doesn't mean that the NetBSD project endorses this license, and the NetBSD Foundation's has issued a statement about its position on the subject.

                       

    Realistically, NetBSD is more or less tied to GCC, as it supports more architectures than the other BSDs, some of which will likely never be supported in LLVM.

                       

    As of NetBSD 9.1, the latest released version, all supported platforms have recent versions of GCC (7.5.0) and binutils (2.31.1) in the base system. Newer (and older!) versions of GCC can be installed via Pkgsrc, and the following packages are available, going all the way back to GCC 3.3.6: [...]

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  • Review: OpenBSD 6.8 on 8th Gen Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 13.3"
                     
                       

    10 days ago, I bought this X1 Carbon. I immediately installed OpenBSD on it. It took me a few days to settle in and make myself at home, but here are my impressions.

                       

    This was the smoothest experience I've had getting OpenBSD set up the way I like it. The Toshiba NB305 in 2011 was a close second, but the Acer I used between these two laptops required a lot more tweaking of both hardware and kernel to get it to feel like home.

Audio/Video and Games: This Week in Linux, MineTest, OpenTTD, and Portal Stories: Mel

  • This Week in Linux 146: Linux on M1 Mac, Google vs Oracle, PipeWire, Bottom Panel for GNOME Shell - TuxDigital

    On this episode of This Week in Linux, we’ve got an update for Linux support on Apple’s M1 Mac hardware. KDE Announces a new patch-set for Qt 5. IBM Announced COBOL Compiler For Linux. Then later in the show we’re bringing back everyone’s favorite Legal News segment with Google v. Oracle reaching U.S. Supreme Court. We’ve also got new releases to talk about such as PipeWire 0.3.25 and JingOS v0.8 plus GNOME Designers are exploring the possibility of having a bottom panel. Then we’ll round out the show with some Humble Bundles about programming in Python. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

  • MineTest: I Am A Dwarf And I'm Digging A Hole

    People have been asking me to play MineTest for ages so I thought I should finally get around to it, if you've never heard of it MineTest is an open source Minecraft clone that surprisingly has a lot of community support

  • OpenTTD Went to Steam to Solve a Hard Problem - Boiling Steam

    OpenTTD, the free and open-source software recreation of Transport Tycoon Deluxe, has been a popular game for a long time, but recently something unusual happened. The team behind the project decided to release the game on Steam (still free as always) and this has changed everything. Let me explain why this matters. If you have ever played OpenTTD on Linux, let me venture that you have probably relied on your distro’s package manager to keep your game up-to-date. In theory, this is the BEST way to keep your packages up to date. Rely on maintainers. In practice however, it’s far from being something you can rely on, beyond security updates. Debian stable tends to have really old packages, sometimes years behind their latest versions. So on Debian stable you end up with OpenTTD 1.08 as the most recent version. That’s what shipped in April 2018. Just about 3 years old.

  • Portal Stories: Mel gets Vulkan support on Linux in a new Beta | GamingOnLinux

    Portal Stories: Mel, an extremely popular and highly rated mod for Portal 2 just had a new Beta pushed out which adds in Vulkan support for Linux. Much like the update for Portal 2 that recently added Vulkan support, it's using a special native build of DXVK, the Vulkan-based translation layer for Direct3D 9/10/11. Compared with the Portal 2 update, in some of my own testing today it seems that Portal Stories: Mel seems to benefit from the Vulkan upgrade quite a bit more in some places. At times giving a full 100FPS increase! So for those on weaker cards, this will probably be an ideal upgrade. Another game to test with Vulkan is always great too.

today's howtos

  • How to Install TeamSpeak Client on Ubuntu 20.04 Linux - Linux Shout

    TeamSpeak is a free voice conferencing software available to install on Linux, Windows, macOS, FreeBSD, and Android. It is the pioneer in its areas of other platforms such as Discord. TeamSpeak allows free of cost access to around 1000 public TeamSpeak servers or even your own private one. In parallel to online games, you can use the current TeamSpeak to communicate with friends via speech and text.

  • How To Install Robo 3T on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - idroot

    In this tutorial, we will show you how to install Robo 3T on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. For those of you who didn’t know, Robo3T formerly known as RobMongo is one of the best GUI tools for managing and querying MongoDB database. It provides GUI tools for managing & querying the MongoDB database. It embeds the actual mongo shell that allows for CLI as well as GUI access to the database. This article assumes you have at least basic knowledge of Linux, know how to use the shell, and most importantly, you host your site on your own VPS. The installation is quite simple and assumes you are running in the root account, if not you may need to add ‘sudo‘ to the commands to get root privileges. I will show you through the step-by-step installation of Robo 3T RobMongo on an Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa) server. You can follow the same instructions for Ubuntu 18.04, 16.04, and any other Debian-based distribution like Linux Mint.

  • How to Install Java on Ubuntu Step by Step Guide for Beginners

    Some programs/tools/utility on Ubuntu required java/JVM, without java these programs are not working. Are you facing the same problem? Don’t worry! Today I am going to cover in this article how to install Java on Ubuntu. This article will cover the complete tutorial step by step. You can get java on Ubuntu via three packages JRE, OpenJDK and Oracle JDK. Java and Java’s Virtual Machine (JVM) are widely used and required to run much software.

  • "apt-get command not found" error in Ubuntu by Easy Way

    apt-get command is used to manage package in Ubuntu and other Debian based distribution. You can install, remove software in Ubuntu, You can update upgrade ubuntu and other operating systems with help of this command. If you want to install new software on the Linux operating system by apt-get command but you get the error “apt-get command not found“. This is really the biggest problem for the new user. Neither you can install new packages nor you can update and upgrade ubuntu. apt-get is not working, how will you install a new package? If the problem only of installing new packages then it can be solved. You can use dpkg command to install deb files in ubuntu and derivatives.

  • How to upgrade Linux Mint 19.3 (Tricia) to Mint 20.1 (Ulyssa) - Linux Shout

    Are you planning to upgrade your existing Linux Mint 19.3 (Tricia) PC or Laptop to Linux Mint 20.1 Ulyssa, then following the simple steps given in the tutorial… Linux Mint is one of the popular distros among users who want a Windows-like operating system but with the benefits of Linux and a user-friendly interface. As Mint is an Ubuntu derivative, thus not only we have the access to a large number of packages to install but also stability. The process of upgrading Mint is very easy, we can use GUI or command to do that. However, in this article, we will show you how to upgrade from Tricia (19.3) to Ulyssa (20.1) using CLI, thus first you have to make sure that your existing Mint 19.3 is on 64-bit because 20.1 doesn’t support 32-bit.

  • How to Install Node js in Ubuntu Step by Step Explanation for Beginners

    Node.js is an open source cross-platform JavaScript run-time environment that allows server-side execution of JavaScript code. In simple words you can run JavaScript code on your machine (server) as a standalone application, and access form any web browser. When you create a server side application you need Node.js, it is also help to create front-end and full-stack. npm (Node Package Manager) is a package manager for the JavaScript programming language, and default package manager for Node.js. This tutorial will cover step by step methods “how to install node js in ubuntu 19.04″. in case you need the latest Node.js and npm versions. If you are using Node.js for development purposes then your best option is to install Node.js using the NVM script. Although this tutorial is written for Ubuntu the same instructions apply for any Ubuntu-based distribution, including Kubuntu, Linux Mint and Elementary OS.

  • How to play Geometry Dash on Linux

    Geometry Dash is a music platformer game developed by Robert Topala. The game is available to play on iOS, Android, as well as Microsoft Windows via Steam. In the game, players control a character’s movement and navigate through a series of music-based levels while avoiding obstacles and hazards.

  • How To Set Up a Firewall with UFW in Ubuntu \ Debian

    The Linux kernel includes the Netfilter subsystem, which is used to manipulate or decide the fate of network traffic headed into or through your server. All modern Linux firewall solutions use this system for packet filtering. [...] The default behavior of the UFW Firewall is to block all incoming and forwarding traffic and allow all outbound traffic. This means that anyone trying to access your server will not be able to connect unless you specifically open the port. Applications and services running on your server will be able to access the outside world.