EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

05.01.16

Links 1/5/2016: Wine 1.9.9, Devuan Jessie 1.0 Beta

Posted in News Roundup at 12:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • Open Source Elections System: Update from City & County of San Francisco, California USA

    The OSI has has voiced our support to recent efforts by the City and County of San Francisco’s Department of Elections to develop an open source voting system. The following is an update provided to the OSI from Commissioner and Vice President of the Elections Commission, Chris Jerdonek.

  • Events

    • LinuxFest NorthWest 2016

      I was at LinuxFest NorthWest 2016 last weekend. I’ve been going to LFNW for several years now, and I look forward to it every year – it’s just a great conference, which has managed to grow to nearly 2000 registrations this year while keeping its community/grassroots feel. The talks are always widely varied and interesting, and there’s a great feeling that you could run into anyone doing anything – I spent an hour or two at the social event talking to a group of college students who run a college radio station entirely on F/OSS, which was awesome.

    • foss-north – Schedule available

      Just a short update on foss-north – the schedule is up. We have a whole list of speakers that I’m super excited about and tickets are selling well. I still don’t know what to expect, but more than 1/3 of the tickets are gone and the sales numbers are actually even better for the full priced tickets than the early birds.

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Chrome 51 Beta Brings Lower Overhead For Offscreen Rendering, Up To 30% Power Savings

        A day after Mozilla released the Firefox 47 Beta, Google has released their beta of the Chrome/Chromium 51 web-browser.

        Chrome 51 Beta brings a Credential Management API, lower overhead for offscreen rendering, ServiceWorker improvements, HTML5 canvas improvements, Chrome on Android now uses the same media pipeline as desktop Chrome, and various other enhancements.

    • Mozilla

      • WebExtensions in Firefox 48
      • Mozilla’s WebExtensions API Is In Good Shape For Firefox 48

        Mozilla has announced that for Firefox 48 their WebExtensions API is considered to be in a stable state. They encourage developers looking to develop browser add-ons to begin using this new API.

        WebExtensions is an API for implementing new browser add-ons/extensions that makes it easier to port to/from other browsers, is compatible with Firefox’s Electroloysis, and should be easier to work with than the current APIs. In particular, Google designed portions of the WebExtensions API around Google’s Blink extension API.

      • Mozilla a Step Closer to Thunderbird Decision

        The good news is that the folks at Mozilla seem to be determined to find Thunderbird a good home where it will be able to grow and find newfound success. This isn’t surprising. As Surman pointed out in his post, the project is quite popular among those associated with the foundation — but that popularity is also contributing to the problem Mozilla has with keeping the project in-house.

      • Firefox 46: Find out what is new

        Firefox 46.0 was released on April 26, 2016 to the stable channel. The new version of the web browser is offered as an update or as a separate download from the Mozilla website.

      • WebExtensions in Firefox 48
  • SaaS/Back End

    • OpenStack Summit Returns to Austin With Much Fanfare

      Back in July 2010, 75 developers gathered at the Omni hotel here for the very first OpenStack Summit. At the time, OpenStack was in the earliest stages of development. In April 2016, OpenStack returned to Austin in triumph as the de facto standard for private cloud deployment and the platform of choice for a significant share of the Fortune 100 companies. About 7,500 people from companies of all sizes from all over the world attended the 2016 OpenStack Summit in Austin from April 25 to April 29. In 2010, there were no users, because there wasn’t much code running, but in 2016, that has changed. Among the many OpenStack users speaking at the summit were executives from Verizon and Volkswagen Group. While the genesis of OpenStack was a joint effort between NASA and Rackspace, the 2016 summit was sponsored by some of the biggest names in technology today—including IBM, Cisco, Dell, EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. In this slide show, eWEEK takes a look at some highlights of the 2016 OpenStack Summit.

    • A Look Into IBM’s OpenStack Meritocracy

      Angel Diaz, IBM vice president of Cloud Architecture and Technology, discusses how Big Blue has earned its place in the OpenStack community.

    • OpenStack cloud’s “killer use case”: Telcos and NFV

      Today, 114 petabytes of data traverse AT&T’s network daily, and the carrier predicts a 10x increase in traffic by 2020.

      To help manage this, AT&T is transitioning from purpose-built appliances to white boxes running open source software. And according to AT&T Senior Vice President of Software Development and Engineering Sarabh Saxena, OpenStack has been a key part of this shift.

  • Oracle/Java/LibreOffice

    • Book review: Designing with LibreOffice

      Being a book that discusses the style of (among other things) books, it seems unavoidable that the metrics given in DWL should be used to measure the book itself. On the whole it passes with flying colors, being pleasant to read and possessing a visual style that is distinctive without being distracting.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • 3D Printer Crowdfunding projects

      Like every Kickstarter project, there is a risk. But I think that Trinus appears to be a good project, we need to wait to the launch and review a real machine to know if it worth it. Also, the Youtube Channel Maker’s Muse, made a review of the project and the company Konama, creators of Trinus, sent him a the 3d printer and he currently makes the review of this printer that pledged more then 1 million dollars on KickStarter.

    • Refactoring the open-source photography community

      Generally speaking, most free-software communities tend to form around specific projects: a distribution, an application, a tightly linked suite of applications, and so on. Those are the functional units in which developers work, so it is a natural extension from there to focused mailing lists, web sites, IRC channels, and other forms of interaction with each other and users. But there are alternatives. At Libre Graphics Meeting 2016 in London, Pat David spoke about his recent experience bringing together a new online community centered around photographers who use open-source software. That community crosses over between several applications and libraries, and it has been successful enough that multiple photography-related projects have shut down their independent user forums and migrated to the new site, PIXLS.US.

    • DIY recycling, UCONN’s open source chemistry book, and more news
    • Design

  • Programming/Development

    • Updating POSIX

      To the first point, many people seem unaware that POSIX is an actual set of standards – IEEE 1003.1 in several variations, plus descendants. These standards cover a lot more than just operations on files, and technically “POSIX” only refers to systems that have passed a set of conformance tests covering all of those. Nonetheless, people often use “POSIX” to mean only the section dealing with file operations, and only in a loose sense of things that implement something like the standard without having been tested against it. Many systems, notably including Linux, pretty explicitly do not claim to comply with the actual standard.

    • Delete Your Dead Code!

      A few days ago, Ned Batchelder’s post on deleting code made the rounds on HN, even though it was originally written in 2002. Here I want to echo a few of Ned’s points, and take a stronger stance than he did: delete code as soon as you know you don’t need it any more, no questions asked. I’ll also offer some tips from the trenches for how to identify candidate dead code.

      This is the first in a series on eating your vegetables in software engineering, on good, healthy practices for a happy and successful codebase. I don’t (yet) know how long the series will be, so please stay tuned!

Leftovers

  • Brilliant Twitter Bot Replaces Every ‘God’ in Joel Osteen’s Tweets With Something Naughty

    The automated twitter account removes every reference to “God” and replaces it with the phrase “your d*ck.” The bot has been in existence since 2013 with hardly any of the notoriety it so richly deserves.

  • Science

    • Human Extinction Isn’t That Unlikely

      Nuclear war. Climate change. Pandemics that kill tens of millions.

      These are the most viable threats to globally organized civilization. They’re the stuff of nightmares and blockbusters—but unlike sea monsters or zombie viruses, they’re real, part of the calculus that political leaders consider everyday. And according to a new report from the U.K.-based Global Challenges Foundation, they’re much more likely than we might think.

      In its annual report on “global catastrophic risk,” the nonprofit debuted a startling statistic: Across the span of their lives, the average American is more than five times likelier to die during a human-extinction event than in a car crash.

    • Claude Shannon, the Father of the Information Age, Turns 1100100

      As is sometimes the case with encyclopedias, the crisply worded entry didn’t quite do justice to its subject’s legacy. That humdrum phrase—“channel capacity”—refers to the maximum rate at which data can travel through a given medium without losing integrity. The Shannon limit, as it came to be known, is different for telephone wires than for fibre-optic cables, and, like absolute zero or the speed of light, it is devilishly hard to reach in the real world. But providing a means to compute this limit was perhaps the lesser of Shannon’s great breakthroughs. First and foremost, he introduced the notion that information could be quantified at all. In “A Mathematical Theory of Communication,” his legendary paper from 1948, Shannon proposed that data should be measured in bits—discrete values of zero or one. (He gave credit for the word’s invention to his colleague John Tukey, at what was then Bell Telephone Laboratories, who coined it as a contraction of the phrase “binary digit.”)

    • Scientists Looking To Fix The Many Problems With Forensic Evidence

      Everything everyone saw in cop shows as evidence linking people to crimes — the hair left on someone’s clothing, the tire tracks leading out to the road, the shell casings at the scene, etc. — is all proving to be about as factual as the shows themselves.

      While much of it is not exactly junk science, much of it has limited worth. What appears to indicate guilt contains enough of a margin of error that it could very easily prove otherwise. Science Magazine is taking a look at the standbys of forensic science and what’s being done to ensure better presentations of evidence in the future.

    • My Earthquake in Japan

      It is the sound I remember as much as the shaking — a train roaring under the ground, a zipper larger than a river untangling itself, a tremendous noise made by the living rock underneath us shifting. The earth/the apartment building/the room/the bed began moving up and down, all adding to the sound. My wife, seven months pregnant with our second child, began screaming. I began screaming. I was thrown from my bed. At 5:46 in the morning on January 17, 1995, in Nishinomiya, Japan, outside Kobe, my world changed, what came to be known as the Great Hanshin earthquake.

    • Southerners Weren’t ‘Lazy,’ Just Infected With Hookworms

      Stereotypes are almost always the conclusions of lazy science—they’re just empirical generalizations that are stripped of their variances and encoded as fact into the collective consciousness of a general population. They’re the tools of propagandists, xenophobes, and oppressors, and tend to stick around through the ages like a bad smell.

      However, sometime a stereotype will reveal a hidden truth that provides an origin to the myth.

      The trope of the “lazy Southerner” dates back to America’s postbellum period following the end of the Civil War. No one really knew where it came from, but the image of a lethargic, filthy, drawling farmer has pervaded art, literature, and popular culture up until this very moment.

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Nestle Is Trying to Break Us: A Pennsylvania Town Fights Predatory Water Extraction

      Donna Diehl, a 55-year-old school bus driver from Kunkletown, Pennsylvania, a small historic town located on the edge of the Poconos, wanted to do three things this year: drive the bus, paint her bathroom and learn to crochet. Instead, Diehl, along with dozens of her neighbors, is spending her time trying to stop the largest food and beverage corporation in the world from taking her community’s water, putting it in bottles and selling it for a massive profit.

      Nestle Waters, the North American subsidiary of the Swiss-owned Nestle Corporation, had been active in Kunkletown for years, conducting well testing on a privately owned property adjacent to Diehl’s home. Last summer, residents noticed Nestle had rented an office in the local community center. Word spread, and with some investigation, Diehl and her neighbors found out that the transnational corporation had been active in the community as early as 2012, testing water quality and quantity with the ultimate goal of constructing and operating a bulk water extraction facility.

    • What Small Farms Need to Compete With Corporate Food

      Small farmers across the United States are fighting for food sovereignty — the freedom to produce and sell food without government regulation. Creating local ordinances is just one of the ways farmers and other activists are advocating for freedom from rules they say favor large farms. The cost and scale of licensing, proper facilities, and packaging make sense for large-scale farms, they argue, but not for farmers who want to sell their products to neighbors.

  • Security

    • 66% of USB Flash Drives infected – don’t trust a stray [Ed: Windows]

      The problem is that the OS will automatically run a program that can install malware from a USB stick.

    • Dental Assn Mails Malware to Members

      The domain is used by crooks to infect visitors with malware that lets the attackers gain full control of the infected Windows computer.

    • Slack bot token leakage exposing business critical information

      Developers are leaking access tokens for Slack widely on GitHub, in public repositories, support tickets and public gists. They are extremely easy to find due to their structure. It is clear that the knowledge about what these tokens can be used for with malicious intent is not on top of people’s minds…yet. The Detectify team shows the impact, with examples, and explains how this could be prevented.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • US Apocalypse in Mosul in the Guise of Bombing ISIS

      The illegal occupation and decimation of Iraq continued until December 2011. In June 2014 they returned to bomb again in the guise of combating ISIS. As the thirteenth anniversary of Bush’s ridiculous appearance with a vast “Mission Accomplished” banner behind him, Iraq is largely in ruins, Iraqis have fled the murderous “liberation” and its aftermath in millions, and there are over three million internally displaced.

      The nation is pinned between a tyrannical, corrupt US puppet government, a homicidal, head chopping, raping, organ eating, history erasing, US-spawned ISIS – and a renewed, relentless US bombardment. So much for the 2008 US-Iraq State of Forces agreement, which stated that by 31st December 2011 “all United States forces shall withdraw from all Iraqi territory.”

    • Armenians Demand Recognition of Genocide at Los Angeles Protest

      Last week, President Barack Obama broke his promise to Armenians for the eighth time.

      During his 2008 presidential campaign, Obama vowed to recognize as genocide the massacre of some 1.5 million Armenians at the beginning of the 20th century.

      Instead, in his April 22 annual statement on the events, the president referred to them, in Armenian, as mets yeghern, which means “a great calamity”—a lesser designation, and not what the Armenian community in Los Angeles expected.

    • ‘Us’ and ‘Them’

      Today’s Israeli reality means that there is not the slightest chance to remove the Right from power if it is not faced with a united and resolute Left which is based on Jewish-Arab partnership.

      There is the demographic reality. Arab citizens constitute about 20% of Israelis. In order to achieve a majority without the Arabs, the Jewish Left would need 60% of the Jewish public. A pipe dream.

    • Pentagon Claim That War Crimes Must Be “Intentional” Called “Flatly Wrong”

      The U.S. Department of Defense on Friday released its redacted report on the military’s deadly October 2015 airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which found that the bombing was a mistake—and thus, not a war crime—a conclusion which human rights groups called “an affront” to justice and accountability.

      The report follows an announcement on Thursday that the Pentagon would not file any criminal charges against 16 people it found associated with the bombing that killed 42 people.

      General Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), said during a press conference on Friday that the individuals responsible for the airstrike “were trying to do the right thing. They were trying to support their Afghan partners.”

    • Only One of Six Air Force F-35s Could Actually Take Off During Testing

      Five of six Air Force F-35 fighter jets were unable to take off during a recent exercise due to software bugs that continue to hamstring the world’s most sophisticated—and most expensive—warplane.

    • The Life and Death of Daniel Berrigan

      Rev. Daniel Berrigan, the renown anti-war activist, award-winning poet, author and Jesuit priest, who inspired religious opposition to the Vietnam war and later the U.S. nuclear weapons industry, died at age 94, just a week shy of his 95th birthday.

      He died of natural causes at the Jesuit infirmary at Murray-Weigel Hall in the Bronx. I had visited him just last week. He has long been in declining health.

    • Daniel J. Berrigan, Defiant Priest Who Preached Pacifism, Dies at 94
    • Father Daniel Berrigan, Anti-War Activist & Poet, Dies at 94

      The legendary anti-war priest Father Daniel Berrigan died today at 94. He was a poet, pacifist, educator, social activist, playwright and lifelong resister to what he called “American military imperialism.” Along with his late brother, Phil, Dan Berrigan played an instrumental role in inspiring the anti-war and anti-draft movement during the late 1960s as well as the anti-nuclear movement.

    • Daniel Berrigan Dead at 94

      Daniel Berrigan—Jesuit priest, peace activist, poet, author, and inspiration to countless people—died on Saturday. He was 94 years old.

      When America magazine asked a then-88-year-old Berrigan if he had any regrets over the course of his long life, he replied, “I could have done sooner the things I did, like Catonsville.”

      In 1968, Berrigan and eight other Catholic activists, including his brother Philip, a group subsequently known as the Catonsville Nine, took hundreds of draft files and burned them outside a Selective Service office with homemade napalm.

    • Iraqi Protesters Storm Parliament, Break Through Green Zone

      Iraq’s political unrest continued on Saturday as hundreds of protesters waving Iraqi flags breached the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad and stormed the parliament.

      Iraqi military announced a state of emergency in Baghdad, though, according to reporting by BBC News, “there has been no serious violence so far.”

      The protesters were described in various media reports s being followers of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

    • ‘Unacceptable’: Kunduz Survivors Lambaste Pentagon Claim of No War Crime

      That’s the reaction from 27-year old Hamdullah to the Pentagon’s announcement Friday that the U.S. military’s deadly airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan did not amount to a war crime.

      His uncle was among the 42 people killed in the October 3, 2015 strike.

      “This was a deliberate bombardment by the American forces, and we are not satisfied that they have said this was not a war crime,” Hamdullah told Agence France-Presse. Those responsible, he said, “should be publicly put on trial.”

      Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French acronym, MSF, along with other human rights groups criticized the U.S. military’s assessment of the strike, and the fact that 16 individuals involved face no criminal charges for their roles in the attack.

    • Yemen troops killed as Aden police chief survives bombing

      A large explosion hit central Aden on Sunday,an Al Arabiya News Channel correspondent reported, adding that there were several casualties.

      The correspondent said the blast targeted the city’s governor and security chief.

      Four Yemeni guards were killed in a bombing that targeted the convoy of Aden’s police chief, officials said, the second such attack on him in the southern city this week.

      A bomb-laden car in Aden’s Mansura district exploded as General Shallal Shayae’s convoy passed, damaging military vehicles and prompting clashes between his guards and Al-Qaeda suspects in the area, the officials added.

    • The moat that preserves the castle. What are the elections in Iran for?

      As Frantz Fanon once argued, for colonial powers the most effective way to control a colonized people is to humiliate them. Reformist discourse in Iran functions in the same way.

    • Russia Rises From the Mat

      The U.S. government doesn’t want to admit that its heady “unipolar” days are over with Russia no longer the doormat of the 1990s, but Washington’s arrogance risks war, even nuclear annihilation, explains Gilbert Doctorow.

    • Escalating U.S. Air Strikes Kill Hundreds of Civilians in Mosul, Iraq

      USA Today revealed on April 19th that U.S. air forces have been operating under looser rules of engagement in Iraq and Syria since last fall. The war commander, Lt Gen McFarland, now orders air strikes that are expected to kill up to 10 civilians without prior approval from U.S. Central Command, and U.S. officials acknowledge that air strikes are killing more civilians under the new rules.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Redaction Failure In FTC/Amazon Decision Inadvertently Allows Public To See Stuff It Should Have Been Able To See Anyway

      A court has found that Amazon engaged in deceptive practices by not obtaining “informed consent” about in-app charges, especially with apps targeted at children. The finding is perhaps unsurprising, as the world of microtransactions relies greatly on a minimum number of steps between app makers (and app purveyors like Amazon) and users’ wallets.

    • Hillary Clinton’s Damning Emails

      A few weeks after leaving office, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may have breathed a sigh of relief and reassurance when Director of National Intelligence James Clapper denied reports of the National Security Agency eavesdropping on Americans. After all, Clinton had been handling official business at the State Department like many Americans do with their personal business, on an unsecured server.

      In sworn testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on March 12, 2013, Clapper said the NSA was not collecting, wittingly, “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans,” which presumably would have covered Clinton’s unsecured emails.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • This Chart Will Warm Your Heart If You Want America To Use Less Coal

      The report said that electricity sales either stayed flat or saw slow growth in most states, so there was little opportunity for coal to grow its share of powering the grid. Meanwhile other fuels, particularly natural gas as well as solar and wind, saw strong growth as their prices dropped precipitously.

    • Power sector coal demand has fallen in nearly every state since 2007

      Consumption of steam coal used for electricity generation in the U.S. electric power sector fell 29% from its peak of 1,045 million short tons (MMst) in 2007 to an estimated 739 MMst in 2015. Consumption fell in nearly every state, rising only in Nebraska and Alaska over that period. States with the largest declines were concentrated in the Midwest and Southeast, with six states in these regions accounting for nearly half of the national decline. Smaller declines in power sector coal consumption occurred in Wyoming, North Dakota, and Montana, all in the Rocky Mountain region.

    • Proposed Coal Terminal Would Be The Equivalent Of Adding 8 Million Cars To The Road

      Cowlitz County and the Washington State Department of Ecology have finally released the draft of their long-awaited Environmental Impact Statement regarding a proposed coal export terminal in Longview, Washington. Located just two hours north of Portland, Oregon, along the Columbia River, the proposed terminal would ship a maximum of 44 million metric tons of coal from the Western United States each year to markets overseas, making it, if built, the largest coal export terminal in the country.

    • How the car industry trumped banking for sociopathic corporate behaviour

      Since the financial crisis of 2008, we have had multiple scandals about banks and bankers behaving badly – from the misselling of payment protection insurance and interest-rate hedges, to the rigging of Libor and foreign exchange rates, and corporate collusion in money laundering. The banking industry has been singled out for its unhealthy internal culture. But the car emissions scandal shows that sociopathic corporate behaviour is widespread, and its effects are even worse elsewhere.

    • “These Kids Can’t Wait”: New Win in Youth Climate Lawsuit in Washington

      The young activists suing the U.S. government over its role in climate change scored another victory in court on Friday, as a judge in Seattle ordered the Washington Department of Ecology (DOE) to announce an emissions reduction rule by the end of the year and make recommendations to reach those targets to the state legislature in 2017.

      King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill also ordered the department to consult with the young plaintiffs on crafting those recommendations.

      “This is an urgent situation,” Hill said in issuing the order. “These kids can’t wait.”

      The DOE in February withdrew its proposal to cap emissions, following a landmark ruling in November 2015 which found that the state’s current standards fail to “preserve, protect, and enhance the air quality for the current and future generations.”

    • Greenland ice sheet melting has started early

      In a year of startling data pointing to a warming world, the thin blue line in the chart below of Greenland’s ice melt was initially dismissed as just too outlandish to be accurate.

      Greenland is home to the world’s second largest ice mass, containing enough water to lift average sea levels about seven metres if it all melted.

    • Six killed in Texas floods as severe weather lashes central US

      A woman and four of her grandchildren were among six people killed by floods in Texas caused by storms that unleashed tornadoes, damaging hail and torrential rains on several central US states.

      The family of flood victims in Palestine, Texas, 100 miles (160km) south–east of Dallas, escaped a house where flood waters had reached the roof line and were then swept away, police captain James Muniz said.

    • Can the climate movement break free from the ‘jobs vs. environment’ debate?

      For two weeks this May, organizers across 12 countries will participate in Break Free 2016, an open-source invitation to encourage “more action to keep fossil fuels in the ground and an acceleration in the just transition to 100 percent renewable energy.” Many of the month’s events — pulled together by 350.org and a slew of groups around the world — are set to take place within ongoing campaigns to shut down energy infrastructure, targeting “some of the most iconic and dangerous fossil fuel projects all over the world” with civil disobedience.

    • Brendan DeMelle on Exxon’s Climate Cover-Up

      Exxon knew decades ago that the increase in CO2 from burning fossil fuels posed a global threat. And it acted on that information–with a conscious and vigorous effort to sow uncertainty about climate science and to forestall regulation on its industry. This is all coming to light now thanks to environmental journalists at InsideClimate News and elsewhere, and state attorneys general are taking note. But it will take more work from the rest of the press to turn reporting into the action necessary to address the implications. DeSmog Blog has tracked this story for years, and they’ve unearthed more information that moves the story forward. We’ll talk about what Exxon knew and what it means with DeSmog‘s executive director and managing editor Brendan DeMelle.

  • Finance

    • Lawsuit Challenges State’s “Immoral, Unjust, Illegal” Law Banning Local Wage Increases

      Workers in Birmingham have launched a federal civil rights lawsuit charging that a fast tracked bill signed into law by Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley that blocked the city’s minimum wage increase is “tainted with racial animus” and violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

      Plaintiffs include fast-food workers, as well as the Alabama NAACP and Greater Birmingham Ministries.

      Among the plaintiffs is 23-year-old Marnika Lewis, a restaurant worker who is paid $7.75 an hour. “I can’t afford to feed my son or heat my home on the $270 I’m paid each week, so I have to rely on public assistance just to scrape by. If the legislature and governor hadn’t illegally stolen my raise, I would have had money to pay for my son’s child care,” she said in a press statement.

    • Venezuela Runs Out of Beer

      Venezuela’s largest privately-owned beer company has stopped producing beer after running out of malted barley (or, more specifically, running out of foreign currency with which to buy malted barley).

    • Brexit Bunkum

      Dispelling some prime nonsense from the campaign to leave the EU.

    • How Two Toxic Trade Deals Just Got a Litttle Bit Less Likely

      Though the fight continues, the prospects for both TTIP and CETA have taken new hits

    • When Bad Financial Advice Pushes Seniors into Poverty

      Fortunately, earlier this month at the Center for American Progress, the U.S. Department of Labor announced its final fiduciary rule that would require financial professionals who advise on how to invest retirement savings to act in their clients’ best interest. The fiduciary rule is much more than an obscure legal concept—it’s a commonsense action that closes 40-year-old loopholes in retirement security laws that were left open by Congress. It also returns at least $17 billion a year to American families.

    • Puerto Rico Governor Says Island Will Default on May 1
    • Talking to Nike’s Knight About ‘Entrepreneurial Edge,’ Worker Abuses Are Beyond the Pale

      Billionaires whose wealth was built on the work of people in less developed countries making cents an hour in notoriously abusive conditions—practices only curtailed after years of activism, much of it by students the company did its best to ignore—well, their concerns about the pessimism of today’s youth warrant a side-eye on any day.

    • Where Are the Other 10 Million Panama Papers?

      When I posted my scepticism that we would be given the full truth about the content of the Panama Papers by the mainstream media outlets who were controlling them, it went viral and became the first individual article to be read by half a million people on this blog alone, and a multiple of that as it was posted all round the web, translated into several languages.

      I also attracted some derision from establishment propagandists. I had contended that the fact the papers themselves were not made available, but we were rather fed selected information by the western and corporate state media, would limit and slant what the public was told. The initial concentration on Russia, Iran, Syria etc seemed to confirm this. But it was urged that more was to come, and I should wait, and it was suggested I would look foolish when they finished publishing. “Wait and see” tweeted the editor of the lead newspaper, the Suddeutsche Zeitung, in response to my post.

    • “Ponzi austerity” scheme imposed by E.U. and U.S. bleeds Greece dry on behalf of banks, says ex-finance minister

      “The problem is not that Germany has not paid enough. Germany has paid too much, in the case of the Greek bailout,” Varoufakis explained on Democracy Now. “We had the largest loan in human history. The question is, what happened to that money?”

      “It wasn’t money for Greece. It was money for the banks. And the Greek people took on the largest loan in human history on behalf of German and French bankers, under conditions that guaranteed that their income, our income in Greece, would shrink by one-third.”

      According to Varoufakis, 91 percent of the first bailout and 100 percent of the second bailout went to German and French banks. The money did not end up in taxpayers’ pockets; it ended up in bankers’ pockets.

    • Inequality Will Get Worse Until There’s a Revolution

      America’s wealth concentration has increased tenfold since Bill Clinton first ran for president.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Recent Discussions of Neoliberalism

      People seem to have trouble defining neoliberalism adequately, and especially when it comes to labeling Hillary Clinton as a neoliberal. In a recent article at Jacobin Corey Robins gives a short history of the neoliberal version of the Democratic Party, specifically aimed at the Clinton/DLC/Third Way. Billmon discussed this article in this storify piece, in which he describes three current factions in the practice of neoliberalism, There is the Neo-Keynesian version, as with Krugman; the Monetarist version, that of Milton Friedman and his many followers;, and the Supply Side version, like Paul Ryan and his economic advisors. Each of the factions has attached itself to a political ideology. Both of these pieces should be read by anyone seeking to clarify their thinking about neoliberalism.

    • KKK ‘Imperial Wizard’ Endorses Trump, Won’t Vote For Cruz Because He Was ‘Born In Canada’
    • KKK Grand Imperial Wizard Endorses Trump—’a Lot of What He Believes, We Believe’

      You won’t believe how seriously the Ku Klux Klan thinks its endorsement is a boon to candidates this election season.

    • How Bernie Sanders Can Squander—or Expand—His Victory

      Nobody should be surprised that he couldn’t beat Clinton, whose political durability is routinely underestimated by hostile media coverage. What did seem surprising, however briefly, was the mere possibility that a self-described Democratic socialist from a tiny New England state could win the nomination of a party he had never condescended to join.

    • Sanders-Warren ticket would sweep the nation

      For purposes of analysis, and to offer a hint to Team Clinton about the respect that should be shown to Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and his supporters between now and the Democratic convention, my bet would be that a ticket combining Sanders with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) would leave any Republican ticket with Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) ticket in the distant dust and win a landslide victory for Democrats in November.

    • Glenn Beck Mocks Donald Trump By Covering His Face With Crushed-Up Cheetos

      On his radio program yesterday, Glenn Beck and his co-hosts mocked Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump for looking like an “orange racoon” and wondered how he obtained his unnatural hue. In an attempt to figure it out, they planned an experiment for today in which they would smear crushed-up Cheetos on their faces “to see if we can get our face close to the face of Donald Trump.”

    • No, Donald Trump Didn’t Oppose the Iraq War

      Granted, the Post’s version is in an editorial, where writers have more freedom to say what they want. Still, straight news reporters have, obviously, an obligation to report the news straight. And the straight truth is that Donald Trump didn’t oppose the war in Iraq—not until well after it had already become a disaster, anyway. All the available evidence says so, and reporters shouldn’t enable Trump’s lies by repeating them unchallenged.

    • Donald Trump, the Emperor of Social Media

      This is usually taken to mean that Trump, like some political McLuhan, is a mastermind who understands social media the way his forebears understood their media. But I suspect that with him, it may be less a matter of his brilliance or even his intuition than of the accidental match of personality with medium. He is a man of his technological moment.

    • Campaign Reporters Fess Up: They Really Can’t Stand Hillary Clinton

      Last month Politico polled 80 campaign reporters about this year’s race. It turns out they hate Nevada and Ohio but love South Carolina—mainly because it has good food, apparently. They think Maggie Haberman is the best reporter covering the race, and Fox News has done the best job of hosting a debate. Donald Trump has gotten the softest coverage, probably because they all agree that “traffic, viewership, and clicks” drives their coverage.

    • Journalist Inundated With Antisemitic Vitriol After Publishing Profile of Melania Trump

      And that’s when it began. Trump supporters sent Ioffe a deluge of vicious anti-Semitic attacks on social media, some going as far as to call her cell phone and leave threatening voicemails. On Twitter, Ioffe began reposting some of the more, er, creative attacks sent to her by Trump supporters: a photo of a concentration camp prisoner superimposed with her head; fake movie posters reading “Back to the Oven”; and a cartoon caricature of a Jewish man getting shot in the head.

    • ‘Clinton Cash’ Has Been Made Into a Movie

      A year ago, before Donald Trump dubbed her “Crooked Hillary” and Bernie Sanders was assailing her secretive speeches to Wall Street banks, Hillary Clinton looked like a powerful presidential front-runner. Then, in May, HarperCollins published an investigative book about the Clintons by the conservative author Peter Schweizer that caught them off guard and took a prominent place in the political conversation for months. Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich became a surprise bestseller.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Corbyn was right to suspend Ken Livingstone and Naz Shah – but where was Boris Johnson’s suspension?

      “Dog whistle racism” is a phrase many have thrown around recently in reference to Tory tactics, not least in the case of Zac Goldsmith’s campaign for London Mayor. The Conservative candidate has released statements decrying Sadiq Khan for “giving platform and oxygen to extremists”, going as far as to suggest that he has provided “cover for extremists”. The Evening Standard ran the front page headline “ZAC BLASTS SADIQ OVER EXTREMISTS” a few weeks ago, which voiced concerns that Khan had met with a radical “extremist” imam. It subsequently emerged that Goldsmith had posed for a picture with the same imam, that the imam is in fact a Tory himself, and that he was invited to a meeting to help canvass for the party by Dan Watkins last year.

    • Ken Livingstone gets the history wrong on anti-semitism and Hitler

      The Nazis couldn’t frankly care less where the Jews went, so long as they left Germany, preferably with as few possessions as possible. Later on they conceived ideas such as the Madagascar Plan of July 1940 which would they hoped involve mass migration to places where the Jews would suffer and eventually die of disease and malnutrition, all long before the full-scale genocidal programme conceived at the Wannsee Conference in 1942. Jews were being killed in large numbers as soon as the war began, but especially after Hitler’s invasion of Russia in June 1941. The idea that Hitler ever wanted a fully-functioning successful Jewish state in Palestine – the dream of Zionists – is ludicrous, as Mr Livingstone undoubtedly knows.

      The sole reason Ken Livingstone brought up the Fuhrer in his interview was to be as vicious and loathsome as he possibly could to any Jews listening, rather than genuinely intending to make some valid historical point about the migration policies of the putative Third Reich in the 1930s. He must know perfectly well that the very insertion of the word “Hitler” in the context of a debate over anti-Semitism would create precisely the effect that it has. It was therefore a totally cold-blooded attempt to offend the maximum amount of Jews to the maximum extent, and was said to a Jewish interviewer Vanessa Feltz.

    • Will Russia implement its own ‘Great Firewall’?

      While Russia has occasionally mirrored Chinese internet censorship practices, notably the random shutting down of popular websites and criminal charges brought against bloggers, the Kremlin has never revealed its admiration for China’s web policies as blatantly as it has this week. Russian leaders joined Lu Wei, China’s head of cybersecurity and internet policy (also dubbed the country’s online czar or cyberczar), and Fang Binxing, attributed with creating China’s Great Firewall, at the Russia-China ICT Development & Security Forum at the 7th International Safe Internet Forum.

    • Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

      Russian authorities are seeking greater control of information on the internet, with some who favor tighter restrictions looking to China.

      Russia’s Safe Internet League, an influential lobby, hosted a first-ever forum Wednesday in Moscow with China’s top internet censors, including Fang Binxing, known as the “Father of the Great Firewall of China.”

      Comments from speakers at the event underscored the desire for authorities to further limit and control information online.

    • Meet the all-women group fighting internet censorship in Pakistan

      The irony couldn’t have been thicker.

      On April 13, Pakistan’s lower house of Parliament, the National Assembly, passed a controversial cybercrime bill that infringes on its citizens’ right to free speech. On the same day, a Pakistani group was honoured for its tireless work towards defending freedom of expression, whose centrepiece has been a campaign against the “draconian cybercrime legislation”.

      “Many times in our struggles we get disillusioned because there are no visible results or quick victories,” said Farieha Aziz, co-founder of Bolo Bhi. “(But) that shouldn’t be our benchmark. What’s important is the process, and that we keep at it.”

    • Campaign launched against UK media censorship

      London has hosted the launch of a new initiative expressing solidarity with television channels that have been taken off the air in the UK. Bringing together legal, media, and rights organizations, the newly formed Journalist Support Committee set out the vision for the Campaign for Journalism and Broadcasting Freedom. The UK’s inability to protect freedom of opinion and expression under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was called into question. Amina Taylor attended the launch and filed this report.

    • Speaker to discuss importance of free speech, danger of campus censorship

      A leading advocate of free speech and religious liberty will be in New Orleans this week to speak about the importance of free speech and what he says are the dangers of campus censorship.

      Greg Lukianoff, a Stanford law school graduate and president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, is the author of “Unlearning Liberty: Campus Censorship and the End of American Debate.”

      Last year he also co-wrote with Jonathan Haidt an article in The Atlantic, “The Coddling of the American Mind.”

      In the article, Lukianoff and Haidt condemned what they said is overuse of “trigger warnings,” or alerts that professors issue if something in a course might cause a strong emotional response, such as racism or sexual violence in a written work. Students can then choose to avoid that subject.

    • Video Uses “Man Boobs” To Demonstrate How To Do A Breast Self Exam
    • A breast cancer charity is using “man boobs” to avoid censorship on female nipples
    • Best breast-checking video you will ever see
    • How To Check For Breast Cancer: Censorship Forces MACMA To Use Man Boobs
    • Man boobs are the perfect solution to pesky female nudity
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Google AI gains access to 1.2m confidential NHS patient records

      Google has been given access to huge swatches of confidential patient information in the UK, raising fears yet again over how NHS managers view and handle data under their control.

      In an agreement uncovered by the New Scientist, Google and its DeepMind artificial intelligence wing have been granted access to current and historic patient data at three London hospitals run by the Royal Free NHS Trust, covering 1.6 million individuals.

    • Supreme Court Quietly Approves Rule to Give FBI ‘Sprawling’ Hacking Powers

      The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday quietly approved a rule change that would allow a federal magistrate judge to issue a search and seizure warrant for any target using anonymity software like Tor to browse the internet.

      Absent action by U.S. Congress, the rule change (pdf) will go into effect in December. The FBI would then be able to search computers remotely—even if the bureau doesn’t know where that computer is located—if a user has anonymity software installed on it.

    • Can you say ‘rubber stamp?’ FBI and NSA requests never denied by secret court

      You likely don’t know much about the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Though it keeps a low profile, this is the court the Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency go to when they want permission to put someone under surveillance. And they don’t get turned down, according to Reuters, citing a Justice Department memo. In 2015 the court received and approved 1,457 requests from the FBI and NSA. There were a bit fewer requests in 2014, but all of those were approved as well.

    • US surveillance court reportedly rejected zero spying requests last year
    • US surveillance court didn’t reject a single spy order last year
    • US spy court approved all 1457 govt surveillance orders in 2015 – report
    • US spy court didn’t reject a single government surveillance request in 2015
    • US foreign intelligence court did not deny any surveillance requests last year
    • Rubber Stamp Court Gave NSA, FBI Permission for all Electronic Surveillance
    • US Surveillance Court A Bigger Rubber Stamp Than Chicago City Council
    • With Rule 41, Little-Known Committee Proposes to Grant New Hacking Powers to the Government

      The first part of this change would grant authority to practically any judge to issue a search warrant to remotely access, seize, or copy data relevant to a crime when a computer was using privacy-protective tools to safeguard one’s location. Many different commonly used tools might fall into this category. For example, people who use Tor, folks running a Tor node, or people using a VPN would certainly be implicated. It might also extend to people who deny access to location data for smartphone apps because they don’t feel like sharing their location with ad networks. It could even include individuals who change the country setting in an online service, like folks who change the country settings of their Twitter profile in order to read uncensored Tweets.

    • SCOTUS Approves Broader Hacking Powers For FBI. What Could Go Wrong?

      While conversations surrounding decryption dominate the tech news cycle, the FBI is on the cusp of drastically increasing its hacking powers.

      On Thursday, the Supreme Court quietly signed off on changes to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 41 that one expert calls “possibly the broadest expansion of extraterritorial surveillance power since the FBI’s expansion.”

    • How a federal spy case turned into a child pornography prosecution

      FBI agents entered Keith Gartenlaub’s home in Southern California while he and his wife were visiting her relatives in Shanghai. Agents wearing gloves went through boxes, snapped pictures of documents and made copies of three computer hard drives before leaving as quietly as they had entered.

    • FBI Used FISA Warrant To Prosecute Boeing Employee For Child Porn Possession

      Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post has the disturbing story of former Boeing employee Keith Gartenlaub, whose home was searched for evidence of his alleged spying for the Chinese. Specifically, the FBI was looking for documents about the military’s C-17 transport plane. Instead, FBI agents came across something else.

      [...]

      The defense had more difficulty than usual in challenging the evidence. The search wasn’t performed with a standard FBI warrant, but instead — due to its supposed national security implications — with a warrant issued by the FISA court. That the FBI found child pornography instead is unfortunate, but that fact shouldn’t nullify the original warrant or result in the suppression of the evidence, at least according to the DOJ.

      While the DOJ is correct in the fact that the FBI wasn’t going to call off the search after it uncovered evidence of other wrongdoing, its defense of the way the evidence was obtained is disingenuous. Unlike a regular warrant, a FISA warrant is almost completely unchallengeable. The entire process is ex parte, including the submission of evidence obtained — even if the evidence has nothing to do with national security.

      In Gartenlaub’s case, every submission by the government was done under seal. His legal representation had no access to the government’s presentation of evidence. The possession of child porn is certainly nothing the government takes lightly, but once the focus of the investigation shifted away from alleged espionage, the process likewise should have changed. At the very least, the FBI should have had a new warrant issued, signed by a regular magistrate judge — one that would have allowed the defense to examine the affidavit and the results of the search.

    • Backwards Software in Snowden Movie

      Roy Schestowitz noticed the new Snowden movie gets an important detail wrong. “It shows him copying the files using #microsoft #windows but he used #gnu #wget.” Roy is right.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Baltimore Police Commissioner Blames Eighth Grader For His Own Police Shooting

      One day after a plainclothes cop unloaded on a fleeing eighth grader holding a toy gun, Baltimore’s police commissioner defended the shooting officer for having to make a split-second decision “in a very emotional moment.” He also blamed the boy for his own shooting, saying he should not have had a toy gun at all.

      Dedric Colvin was carrying a basketball and his BB gun when two non-uniformed officers approached him on the street. Commissioner Kevin Davis says the officers identified who they were before the boy tried to run away. Colvin allegedly stopped and turned toward the cops, which is when Officer Thomas Smith shot Colvin in the shoulder and leg.

    • How Court Debt Erects Permanent Barriers to Reentry

      Jared Thorburg sits in his living room playing with his cat, at his home in Westminster, Colo. After getting a traffic ticket and a $165 fine that Thorburg was unable to pay, the fine grew, and he ended up spending 10 days in jail in May 2012 to settle the debt.

    • The Supreme Court Just Offered The Thinnest Ray Of Hope To Victims Of Voter Suppression

      The Supreme Court just imposed what could prove to be a very significant deadline on one of the most conservative federal appeals courts in the country.

    • Muslim convert in France refuses to sell clothes to women on weekdays

      When Jean-Baptiste Michalon posted a notice on the outside of his general store last year, he hardly imagined that it would create a national outcry.

      “Sisters on Saturdays and Sundays only,” the note read. Michalon’s message to customers in the French city of Bordeaux: Women were welcome only on weekends. Men could shop on weekdays.

    • EU military police carry out ‘extremely WORRYING’ civil unrest crisis training

      The training, which took place in the German North Rhine-Westphalia province was designed to prepare troops as part of the EU’s Lowlands Gendarmerie programme.

      Breitbart London reported that the exercise was attended by 600 members of various European police and military forces, in a bid to prepare the united troops of the European Gendarmerie Force.

      The military police group is made up of seven European nations, including Spain, Romania, Poland and Germany, and aims to quell post conflict scenarios within EU member states.

    • Members of Congress Call for End to Mass Voter Suppression and Insecure Elections

      Congressional briefings are typically dull affairs, usually with only a few dozen participants, but it was standing room only in a House Judiciary Committee hearing room on April 21, when nine members of Congress, their staff and 200 activists gathered to address the present crisis in US democracy: voter suppression and the manipulation of US elections.

      In 2016 – the first presidential election since the US Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act – a slew of new malicious laws and tactics are disenfranchising millions of Americans, even as the private control of US vote-counting technology has come under renewed scrutiny in a primary season marked by allegations of fraud and election rigging.

    • Jane Sanders Says Bernie Would Lead a National Movement Whether or Not He Wins the Presidency

      Now that Bernie Sanders has a “massive national and indeed international profile,” MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked Thursday in an interview with Jane Sanders, the candidate’s wife and senior strategist, “Do you see an organization being formed out of the Sanders-centered movement that has sprung up around his campaign?”

      “Yes,” she responded. “That’s always been the intent. As he said, right from the beginning, it’s been a two-prong approach: Run for president, and the most important thing is not electing Bernie president—the most important thing is starting a political revolution. Bernie said that since the day he announced.

    • Is Hillary Stealing the Nomination? Will Bernie Birth a Long-Term Movement?

      PLEASE!!! If someone – anyone! – can demonstrate EXACTLY how the electronic vote count will be monitored, verified and made clear to the media in 2016, and then guarantee that the public and the courts will react with enforceable fury, we will be eternally grateful.

    • Asylum seeker dies from self-inflicted burns

      An asylum seeker from Australia has died after setting himself on fire.

    • Why Do Progressives Cling to Hillary?

      As the primaries move into their final act, Sanders supporters confront a perplexing question: How could so many progressives vote for Hillary over Bernie?

      After all, you would think that progressives would race toward the first self-declared socialist in American history who actually has a chance at becoming the nominee of a major political party, and even of winning the Presidency. What does Hillary offer to progressives that Bernie can’t provide in abundance?

    • Donald Trump Thinks He Can Win Over Disaffected Bernie Sanders Supporters

      Donald Trump is polling underwater with nearly every demographic group in America except white Republican and conservative men. And despite the braggadocio that is the blustery billionaire’s campaign, Trump’s campaign fundamentally understands that it will need to search for some unorthodox alliances to have any chance of not being absolutely clobbered by Hillary Clinton in the general election. Enter Bernie Sanders.

    • Community Groups Come Together Across the U.S. to Promote Digital Rights

      When setting out on a recent speaking tour in the wake of launching the Electronic Frontier Alliance (EFA) earlier this spring, I expected to encounter supporters of digital rights from all walks of life and backgrounds. My expectations, however, were vastly exceeded by what I witnessed in the nine cities that EFF visited over the course of this month.

    • Satanists Are Furious That Boehner Compared Ted Cruz to the Dark Lord

      On Wednesday night, former House Speaker John Boehner bluntly called GOP candidate Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh.”

      When asked for his opinion about the Texas senator, Boehner said, “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

    • Cruz Super PAC Head Promotes ‘Biblical’ Slavery for Non-Christians

      Since 2013 (and with growing interest, especially since Ted Cruz mounted his bid for the presidency), various authors have sought to address Cruz’ ties to the diffuse but widespread movement known as dominionism.

    • Global solidarity for workers organising critical in the face of neoliberalism

      In a world where the hard-won gains of the labour movement are being gradually eroded, International Workers’ Day isn’t a time for celebration. It’s a time to reflect, re-strategise, and reorganise.

    • Here’s Why Oral Rape is Not Rape in Oklahoma

      In Oklahoma, it’s legal to have oral sex with someone who’s completely unconscious, the state’s highest criminal court has ruled.

      In a unanimous decision, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals found that a teenage boy was not guilty of forcible sodomy after having oral sex with a teenage girl who was so intoxicated after a night of drinking that she had to be carried to his car. “Forcible Sodomy cannot occur where a victim is so intoxicated as to be completely unconscious at the time of the sexual act of oral copulation,” the judges ruled on March 24. The decision was reported by the Guardian on Wednesday.

      Local prosecutors were shocked, saying the court’s ruling perpetuated victim-blaming and antiquated ideas about rape. Benjamin Fu, assistant district attorney in Tulsa County, described the decision as “insane,” “dangerous,” and “offensive.”

    • U.S. Chamber Works Behind the Scenes to Gut Whistleblower Protections

      Efforts to gut the federal False Claims Act backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce got a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday. The federal push builds on previous back-door Chamber efforts through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to discourage states from pursuing fraud claims.

      The False Claims Act (FCA) allows the government to recover from businesses that defraud government programs like Medicare and Medicaid, and protects whistleblowers who report suspected fraud on government contracts. According to the Department of Justice, cases brought under the FCA resulted in the recovery of $42 billion from 1987-2013, making it an important legal tool for deterring fraud and protecting public funds.

      Ensuring that contractors don’t defraud the government is clearly in the public interest. Yet for a number of years, the Chamber has been targeting the FCA through its lobbying efforts and its Institute for Legal Reform, which advocates policy changes that would reduce financial penalties on many companies and make it harder for whistleblowers to report alleged misconduct.

    • Story of Incarcerated Teen Shows Injustice of Juvenile Imprisonment

      By the time Karter Kane Reed became a teenager, his hometown of New Bedford, Massachusetts, had been dubbed “the most violent place in New England” by the FBI. And violence was just one of the Whaling City’s problems. According to Jean Trounstine’s Boy With a Knife, between 1985, when Reed was 9, and 1993, when he killed a schoolmate, a slew of major employers had moved out of the area, among them, Goodyear Tires, Stride Rite Shoes and Morse Cutting Tools. This meant that unemployment and poverty were endemic, leaving most residents of the hardscrabble town — including the Reeds — struggling.

    • The Little-Known Farmworkers Who Sparked the Biggest Labor Movement in U.S. History

      The growers capitalized on this. If one group struck, the growers would use the other group to break the strike.

      Lorraine Agtang, who was in school in Delano during the strike, explains that pitting the two ethnic groups against each other was what kept the growers powerful. “When working, the grower would tell our crew how the Mexican crew had picked more grapes than we had,” she recalls. “I was a mestizo, half-Filipino and half-Mexican. I always felt torn between the two cultures.”

    • Lucy Parsons: The Anarchist and Intersectional Feminist Who Inspired May Day
    • Rahm Emanuel’s Political Machine Is Overwhelmingly White: Here’s Why It Matters—Even Beyond Chicago

      The report shows that the donor class is incredibly white. Though the adult population of Chicago is 39 percent white, 82 percent of council and mayoral donors were. Emanuel relied the most on white donors, who made up 94 percent of his donors. Chuy Garcia, Emanuel’s opponent in last year’s Democratic primary, relied less on white donors; 39 percent of his donors were people of color. (27 percent were Latino.) Only 18 percent of council donors were people of color.

    • What do Muslims think? Same old, same old… time to wake up

      Second, there is no revelation in this poll. Since at least the 2007 Gallup poll, we know that Muslims across Europe display conservative values on family life, sexuality and women, while at the same time expressing high levels of loyalties to the country of Europe to which they belong. Having conservative family views does not mean lack of integration. In the US, Christian fundamentalists display the same values but nobody would say that they are not socially integrated!

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Ted Cruz Pushing Bill Protecting Large ISPs From Competition

      We’ve long noted how ISPs have convinced (read: paid) more than twenty states to pass protectionist broadband laws that prohibit towns and cities from improving their own broadband infrastructure. The bills not only saddle community broadband with onerous restrictions to make them less viable, they often even block towns and cities from striking public/private partnerships with companies to improve broadband. Last year, the FCC voted to take aim at two such laws in Tennessee and North Carolina, arguing the laws do little but protect the status quo, hindering the development of alternative broadband delivery options.

      Pressured by ISPs, both states quickly rushed to sue the FCC, saying that the agency was violating “states rights” (ignoring the rights violated by letting ISPs write awful state law). The FCC, in contrast, says its Congressional mandate to ensure “even and timely” broadband deployment under the Communications Act gives it full legal authority to take aim at such restrictions.

    • Take that, ISPs: FCC declares war on data caps

      The FCC is about to let the third-largest cable company in the United States buy the second-largest — and there’s actually a silver lining in that news for consumers.

  • DRM

    • DRM in HTML5 Will be Hardware Specific and Hooked to the DMCA

      The EME is a set of predefined javascript functions that invoke functions in Content Decryption Modules (CDM) and CDMs are containers for DRM functionality. It’s simple and innocuous but how it’s worded and what they refuse to define is where the danger lies.

    • Organize your community for digital freedom on May 3rd

      This global but decidedly not grassroots event is a project of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Yes, those are the same wise folks who convinced governments around the world to make it a crime to circumvent DRM even for legal purposes, undercutting digital freedom, security research, and access for those with disabilities.

    • Day Against DRM

      On Tuesday, May 3, 2016, our global community will come together to celebrate ten years of the International Day Against DRM. We’ll be gathering, protesting, making, and sharing, showing the world and the media that we insist on a future without Digital Restrictions Management. Will you join us? Here’s what you can do now:

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Trade mark infringement leads to ‘poultry’ profits

        Account of profits in trade mark infringement and passing off cases? The IPKat is delighted to host a guest contribution by Simon Chapman (Lewis Silkin) on this very topic and on a case (Jack Wills v House of Fraser) in which he and his team have acted for the defendant.

    • Copyrights

      • Aussie Gov Agency Endorses VPN Use to Reduce Piracy

        The Australian Government’s Productivity Commission has endorsed the use of VPNs and similar unblocking tools to give consumers greater choice. The agency says that new anti-piracy legislation has had only a “modest impact” on infringement so improved access to legal content is the preferred solution.

      • Hulu Tracks Pirates to Decide What to Buy

        With millions of paying subscribers in the United States, Hulu is one of the leading video streaming services. The company is battling with other services to license the best content, and as part of this quest it uses piracy data to see what is popular among potential viewers.

      • Mississippi Attorney General Withdraws Burdensome Subpoena, but Google Continues to Fight

        Last week, after over a year of fighting in court, Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood withdrew a burdensome, 79-page investigatory subpoena issued to Google back in October 2014. Documents from the 2014 Sony hack implied the subpoena was part of a Hollywood plot against the search giant, with the Motion Picture Association of America (“MPAA”) pushing the Attorney General to aggressively investigate and smear the company.

        Last year, a federal district court issued an injunction prohibiting Hood from enforcing the subpoena. Although the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the injunction last month on the ground that Hood had not yet moved to enforce the subpoena (and because he did not have statutory authority to enforce the subpoena without asking for court’s help), the court made it clear that the subpoena was “expansively” written and presented a serious threat of violating both the First Amendment and Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA).

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part II: António Campinos at Banco Caixa Geral de Depósitos

    A look at the largely-hidden banking career of the next President of the EPO and the career of the person who competed with him for this position



  2. SUEPO to the Media, Regarding Campinos: “No Comment, It’s Too Dangerous”

    António Campinos, who is Benoît Battistelli's chosen successor at the EPO, as covered by German media earlier this month



  3. Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Willing to Work With Campinos But Foresees Difficulties

    New message from SUEPO regarding Battistelli's successor of choice (Campinos)



  4. Links 18/10/2017: GTK+ 3.92, Microsoft Bug Doors Leaked

    Links for the day



  5. The Darker Past of the Next President of the EPO - Part I: Introduction

    Some new details about Mr. Campinos, who is Battistelli’s successor at the EPO



  6. Confessions of EPO Insiders Reveal That European Patents (EPs) Have Lost Their Legitimacy/Value Due to Battistelli's Policies

    A much-discussed topic at the EPO is now the ever-declining quality of granted patents, which make or break patent offices because quality justifies high costs (searches, applications, renewals and so on)



  7. Patent Firms From the United States Try Hard to Push the Unitary Patent (UPC), Which Would Foment Litigation Wars in Europe

    The UPC push seems to be coming from firms which not only fail to represent public interests but are not even European



  8. In the Age of Alice and PTAB There is No Reason to Pursue Software Patents in the United States (Not Anymore)

    The appeal board in the US (PTAB) combined with a key decision of the Supreme Court may mean that even at a very low cost software patents can be invalidated upon demand (petition) and, failing that, the courts will invalidate these



  9. IAM is Wrong, the Narrative Isn't Changing, Except in the Battistelli-Funded (at EPO's Expense) Financial Times

    The desperate attempts to change the narrative in the press culminate in nothing more than yet another misleading article from Rana Foroohar and some rants from Watchtroll



  10. The Federal Circuit Continues Squashing Software Patents

    Under the leadership of Sharon Prost the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) continues its war on software patents, making it very hard to remember the last time it tolerated any



  11. SUEPO Representatives Like Elizabeth Hardon Vindicated as Battistelli's Detrimental Effect on Patent Quality is Widely Confirmed

    Feedback regarding the awful refusal to acknowledge patent quality crisis at the EPO as well as the appointment of a President so close to Battistelli (who most likely assures continuation of his policies)



  12. Links 17/10/2017: KDE Frameworks 5.39.0, Safe Browsing in Epiphany

    Links for the day



  13. Judge Bryson Rules Against Allergan After It Used Native American Tribes to Dodge Scrutiny of Patents (IPRs); Senator Hatch Does Not Understand IPRs

    Having attempted to dodge inter partes reviews (IPRs) by latching onto sovereign immunity, Allergan loses a key case and Senator Hatch is meanwhile attempting to water down IPRs albeit at the same time bemoaning patent trolls (which IPRs help neutralise)



  14. Rumours That António Campinos Initially Had No Competition at All (for Battistelli's Succession) Are Confirmed

    Succession at the EPO (mostly French) shows that there's little room for optimism and Battistelli's people are too deeply entrenched in the upper echelons of the EPO



  15. EPO Stakeholders Complain That the New Chairman Does Not Grasp the Issues at the EPO (or Denies These)

    Some information from inside the EPO’s Administrative Council, whose Chairman is denying (at least to himself) some of the core issues that render the EPO less competitive in the international market



  16. Another Misleading Article Regarding Patents From Rana Foroohar at the Financial Times

    In an effort to promote the agenda of patent maximalists, many of whom are connected to the Financial Times, another deceiving report comes out



  17. Monika Ermert's Reports About the Crisis at the EPO and IP Kat's Uncharacteristically Shallow Coverage

    News from inside the Council shows conflict regarding the quality of European Patents (granted by the EPO under pressure from top-level management)



  18. Patent Troll VirnetX a Reminder to Apple That Software Patents Are a Threat to Apple Too

    VirnetX, a notorious patent troll, is poised to receive a huge sum of money from Apple and Qualcomm is trying to ban Apple products, serving to remind Apple of the detrimental impact of patents on Apple itself



  19. Links 16/10/2017: Linux 4.14 RC5, Debian 9.2.1, End of LibreOffice Conference 2017

    Links for the day



  20. The Systematic Erosion of Workers' Rights and Holidays at the EPO Goes Years Back

    The legitimacy of the staff's concerns at the EPO, having seen basic labour safeguards being shredded to pieces by Battistelli for a number of years (predating even the escalation of the conflict)



  21. Articles in English and German Speak About the Decline in Quality of European Patents (Granted by the EPO)

    Heise and The Register, two sites that have closely watched EPO affairs for a number of years, speak about the real problem which is declining patent quality (or rushed examination) -- a recipe for frivolous litigation in Europe



  22. Software Patents and Patent Trolls Not a Solved Issue, But the US is Getting There

    A media survey regarding software patents, which are being rejected in the US in spite of all the spin from law firms and bullies such as IBM



  23. US Patent Trolls Are Leaving and the Eastern District of Texas Sees Patent Cases Falling by More Than Half

    The decline of patent aggression in the US and the patent microcosm's response to Justices, having ruled in TC Heartland, curtailing patent trolls



  24. Qualcomm's Nightmares Are Getting Worse as Antitrust Questions Are Raised and Assessed

    Qualcomm is getting itself deeper in trouble as fines pile up and its multi-billion dollar dispute with Apple isn't getting it anywhere



  25. Forget About Apple; Two of the Leading Phone Makers (Samsung and Huawei) Are Bickering Over Patents

    Massive Android OEMs, Huawei and Samsung, are in a big patent dispute and this time, for a change, China is a legal battleground



  26. Tim Heberden From the Glasshouse Advisory is Throwing Stones in a Glasshouse to Create Patent Litigation

    IAM's latest lobbying, aided by the patent microcosm, for a climate of feuds and disputes (to line the pockets of the litigation 'industry')



  27. Access to Medicine is More Important Than Patents

    Some of the latest news about patents that impede/deny access to crucial medication; strategic litigation from the generics sector, seeking to invalidate patents and then offer low-cost alternatives



  28. Links 14/10/2017: Windows Breaks Dutch Law, Wine 2.19 Released

    Links for the day



  29. The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Supported by Congress, a Federal Judge, Soon to be Supported by the Supreme Court Too?

    The Patent Trial and Appeal Board is still widely defended, except by the patent microcosm which likes (and profits from) patent trolls and litigation Armageddon



  30. Patents Are Turning BlackBerry and Nokia, Which Used Android, Into Anti-Android Fronts That Tax Android OEMs

    The Canadian BlackBerry has sued BLU in the US only to compel it to pay 'protection' money; Nokia's patents are being scattered to trolls, which are doing something similar (without risking litigation themselves)


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts