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05.05.16

Links 5/5/2016: gNewSense 4.0 released, IPFire 2.19

Posted in News Roundup at 5:59 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

Free Software/Open Source

  • The New Kingmakers and the Next Step for Open Source
  • Puppet Rebrands, Launches Numerous New Projects

    Folks who are focused on container technology and virtual machines as they are implemented today might want to give a hat tip to some of the early technologies and platforms that arrived in the same arena. Among those, Puppet, which was built on the legacy of the venerable Cfengine system, was an early platform that helped automate lots of virtual machine implementations. We covered it in depth all the way back in 2008.

    Fast-forward to today, and Puppet Labs is changing its name to mark a new era, and is out with several new product initiatives. The organization, now known as just Puppet, has also named its first president and COO, Sanjay Mirchandani, who comes to the company from VMware, where he was a senior vice-president.

  • Events

    • Tracing Microconference Accepted into 2016 Linux Plumbers Conference

      After taking a break in 2015, Tracing is back at Plumbers this year! Tracing is heavily used throughout the Linux ecosystem, and provides an essential method for extracting information about the underlying code that is running on the system. Although tracing is simple in concept, effective usage and implementation can be quite involved.

    • Jeremy Sands: Southern Fried College Football and Down-Home Linux

      This is a “Meet the Man Behind the Curtain” interview. It’s more about Sands than about either csnbbs.com or the LinuxFest he spends so much of his time organizing. But at the end of the interview, he talks about how the LinuxFest can always use more volunteers, even if all you can do is woman or man the registration desk for an hour. And sponsors? It’s a pretty healthy operation financially, but more sponsors are always welcome — especially ones from the Southeast, because this conference is proudly regional, not something identical to what you might find in, say, Los Angeles or Washington State.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • A daughter of Silicon Valley shares her ‘nerd’ story

        In the end, I had to leave my job at ISC. Luckily, my work and my values brought me to Mozilla, where I’ve been both perseverant and lucky enough to have several meaningful roles. Today, I’m the senior program manager of diversity and inclusion. I work full-time on building a more diverse and inclusive Mozilla, standing on the shoulders of giants who did the same before me and in partnership with many of the smartest and kindest people I know. I’ve followed my passion for empowering people to find meaningful ways to contribute to the Internet I believe the world needs: an expansion of the one that excited me so long ago. And I get to see a lot of the world while I do it!

      • Waiting for Plugins: The Nylas N1 Email Client

        I wish the Nylas N1 team the best. I love that they took the time to build a Linux client. I love the idea of a hackable email client. But Nylas N1, as it stands now, is very limited. If you happen to like the defaults, you’re in for a treat. But if you’re looking for an email client that bends to your will and that you can easily customize as a non-developer, you’re probably better off with Thunderbird (especially now that people are thinking about its future). Thunderbird isn’t pretty—certainly not as pretty as Nylas N1—but it lets you build it into whatever email client you want it to be.

  • SaaS/Back End

  • CMS

    • Drupal developer on how to make your website more accessible

      For open source developer Mike Gifford, founder and president of OpenConcept Consulting Inc., any mention of Drupal accessibility after his name is redundant. He has spent the better part of 10 years improving and cementing accessibility in Drupal, enough to earn the role of official core accessibility maintainer for the project.

      Accessibility awareness has grown considerably in the Drupal community, but the Internet changes rapidly and the software needs to keep up to remain relevant. Recent press on the trend of decoupling Drupal—including the milestone post by project founder Dries Buytaert himself—tends to skirt the issue that so-called headless configurations can blot out accessibility functions designed for the theme layer.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • DuckDuckGo Gives $225,000 to Open Source Projects

      It appears as if people have been using DuckDuckGo’s privacy centered search enough to make the company successful. Certainly not we-control-the-world successful like Google, but successful enough to give it some cash-on-hand breathing room. Also successful enough for the company to give back to the community by handing out $225,000 to some free and open source projects.

    • DuckDuckGo’s 2016 open source donations
  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • No one should have to use proprietary software to communicate with their government

      The Free Software Foundation (FSF) submitted a comment to the U.S. Copyright Office calling for a method to submit comments that do not require the use of proprietary JavaScript.

      Proprietary JavaScript is a threat to all users on the Web. When minified, the code can hide all sorts of nasty items, like spyware and other security risks. Savvy users can protect themselves by blocking scripts in their browser, or by installing the LibreJS browser extension and avoiding sites that require proprietary JavaScript in order to function. But some sites are harder to avoid than others. This is particularly the case when the site is required for citizens to communicate or interact with their own government. If no free alternative means are provided, then users can be blocked from participating in the democratic process.

    • H2020 submission is rather ‘anti-open’

      So what’s the EC’s current stand with forcing citizens to use Adobe’s proprietary, closed technology and only Windows or Mac for submission of H2020 projects?

      With Adobe retiring Linux versions of Acrobat a couple of years ago (yes you can still download an obsolete version for Linux from Adobe’s FTP but it won’t work with ECAS “A forms”), this is a very “anti-open” situation.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

    • It’s Time to Open Source Moving Vehicles

      Open source software has made its mark on desktop computing, mobile phones, and the internet of things. But one area yet to be cracked wide open with freely distributed software is mobility: from autonomous cars, software-assisted driving, to connecting vehicles to other devices.

      On Wednesday, Arthur Taylor, chief technology officer at Advanced Telematic Systems, presented an open-source platform that he hopes will be the start of more innovation in software development for mobility technologies. But he also argued for the merits of open source software in a space pretty much dominated by the closed-off products of large corporates, such as Google and Uber.

    • Open Hardware/Modding

      • Next Phase of Development Begins for The Hovalin, An Open Source 3D Printed Violin

        The Hovalin, developed by Matt and Kaitlyn Hova, is a open source 3D printed violin that has received much attention since the first version was released. Now the next phase of development has begun for the Hovalin 3.0, and Matt Hova has posted a blog entry and started a Reddit thread about the project that always keeps improving in a collaborative effort by many Hovalin fans.

        In the Hovalin website blog post, Hova explains what the most recent plans are for the latest version. First, version 3.0 will “move away from the current carbon fiber rectangle to an 8 mm rod.” Also, a lock will be created that will be used to keep the top and bottom pieces together. Custom brims to prevent warping will be added, as well as possible chin and shoulder rests. Finally, Hova wants to “work out a new system for distributing multiple options for the .stls including files with brim, files without brim, pre-sliced files with supports for the middle piece.” There are many changes in the works here, as you can see from just this list alone.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • The Department Of Education Wants States To Dispel The Model Minority Myth With Better Data

      Asian students often face major barriers to a good quality of education. But the so-called “model minority myth,” which assumes Asian students always excel academically, can prevent them from getting the attention and support they need.

      Asian American Pacific Islander students are a very diverse group — including Chinese, Laotian, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Hmong, Guamanian, Chamorro, and Samoan Americans, to name a few — but they are all placed under the umbrella of “Asian,” making it difficult to see how different groups’ graduation rates and academic performance differ.

    • Yuri Gagarin in Space: the Politics of Cosmic Discovery

      Cold War envy and fears did not make the announcement a pleasant one in the United States. First SPUTNIK, now this. “Just tell me how to catch up,” pleaded US President John F. Kennedy. “Let’s find somebody. Anybody. I don’t care if the janitor over there has the answer, if he knows how.” Knowledge moves in baffling ways indeed.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • The Weed Killer Glyphosate Is Being Found Everywhere—but Will It Hurt Us?

      The herbicide used in Roundup is a probable carcinogen, but it’s uncertain what health risks it presents.

    • Here’s How Flint’s Lead Disaster Is Likely to Affect Its Children
    • Obama fosters hope in Flint, but fears remain
    • Obama drinks to his first Flint visit since lead poisoning crisis

      President Obama’s first visit to Flint, Michigan since declaring a state of emergency was heavy on the optics from the start. Flanked by Flint residents and Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Obama worked to restore faith in a city that’s been totally betrayed by local, state, and federal levels of government over its water crisis.

    • Time for Obama to bring Flint water crisis mess to an end

      That is the single word we have for the President when he arrives in Flint.

      President Obama deserves recognition for acknowledging the Flint water crisis before other decision makers would. His words helped push City, State and EPA officials to finally move on the issue. His trip to Flint this week will help keep the issue in the public eye. For that, we thank him.

      But the Flint Water Crisis has been allowed to fester for two years. Enough.

    • What President Obama Needs To Do in Flint

      If the crisis engulfing Flint, Michigan, had occurred in one tragic swoop, had the hard-bitten city been hit with a Superstorm Sandy or a Hurricane Katrina, the president of the United States would not have taken two years to come and personally inspect the damage. He would not have taken two years to hear directly from the victims about their needs, their losses.

      But this was no act of nature wreaking mass destruction. Flint is a different kind of disaster – a totally avoidable, man-made catastrophe created by a state government hell-bent on imposing austerity at any cost.

    • In Flint, Obama Sips the Water that “Corrosive” Austerity Poisoned

      Months after news of the lead crisis broke and years after the water poisoning began, U.S. President Barack Obama visited the embattled city of Flint, Michigan on Wednesday.

      After meeting with state and local officials, hearing from residents, and sipping the (filtered) water, Obama blasted the austerity government that brought about the “man-made disaster” and promised to city residents that he “will not rest until every drop of water that flows to your home is safe to drink.”

    • Obama sips Flint water, urges children be tested for lead

      President Barack Obama sipped filtered water in Flint, Michigan, on Wednesday and assured angry residents that their children would be fine in the long term despite the “complete screw-up” that contaminated their drinking water with lead.

      Obama made the trip to the mostly African-American community to demonstrate that the water there was safe even as he predicted it would take more than two years to replace the city’s aging pipes.

    • Johnson & Johnson hit with $55m damages in talc cancer case

      Pharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been ordered to pay more than $55m (£40m) in compensation to an American woman who says its talcum powder caused her ovarian cancer.

      Gloria Ristesund, 62, said she used J&J talc-based powder products on her genitals for decades.

      The company – which faces about 1,200 similar claims – insists its products are safe and says it will appeal.

      Researchers say links with ovarian cancer are unproven.

      In February, Johnson & Johnson paid $72m (£51m) in a similar case.

    • Amid Superbug Scourge, Study Finds 1 in 3 Antibiotic Prescriptions Unnecessary

      New findings published Tuesday shed more light on the rising problem of “superbugs,” or antibiotic-resistant microbes, showing that at least 30 percent of antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary.

    • Say It, Don’t Spray It

      A cultural divide in farming communities squelches conversation about hot-button issues like pesticides.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Hillary’s Secret Weapon

      Last weekend, Hillary Clinton dispatched her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to offer a defense of her alleged espionage. The espionage allegations against her are that in order to escape public and Obama administration scrutiny, she had all of her emails as secretary of state diverted from a secure government server to a non-secure server in her home in Chappaqua, New York, and, in so doing, failed to protect state secrets in at least 2,200 instances during her four-year tenure.

    • Defense Department Screws Over FOIA Requester Repeatedly, Blames Him For ‘Breaking’ The FOIA Process

      The FOIA system is broken. The administration pays lip service to transparency while aggressively deploying exemptions. Agencies routinely complain about FOIA response budgets and staffing levels, yet no one seems motivated to fix this perennial issue. FOIA reform efforts moving forward with bipartisan support are repeatedly killed after receiving pushback from the White House.

      Then there’s this: a single requester is being blamed for a backlog of FOIA requests at an agency that’s never underfunded — the Department of Defense.

    • How a FOIA Request into Hillary Clinton’s Emails Revealed a Criminal Investigation

      Last weekend, Hillary Clinton dispatched her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to offer a defense of her alleged espionage. The espionage allegations against her are that in order to escape public and Obama administration scrutiny, she had all of her emails as secretary of state diverted from a secure government server to a non-secure server in her home in Chappaqua, New York, and, in so doing, failed to protect state secrets in at least 2,200 instances during her four-year tenure.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • In This Passionate Anti-Fracking Town, Civil Disobedience Just Became Protected Civic Duty

      For one community attempting to stop fracking wastewater injection wells, civil disobedience just became a sanctioned civic right.

      The community is Grant Township, Pa., which, in November 2015, had fought off the Pennsylvania General Energy Company (PGE) and the Pennsylvania Independent Oil and Gas Association (PIOGA), assertion that fossil fuel companies had a ‘right’ to inject wastewater by adopting the country’s first municipal charter establishing a local bill of rights codifying environmental and democratic rights.

    • The Military’s “Securitization” of Climate Change

      Overall, environmentalists pay little attention to the military, and the anti-war movement does not address the climate. Both squander precious time. At a slow pace, industrialized countries have been “transitioning” to clean energy since the 1960s, without any specified and enforceable time frame. Renewables remain a very small part of the energy mix and will not remedy the carbon-intensive military or industrial agriculture. Transition fuels like natural gas and biofuels have proven to be disastrous to human communities and to the climate. By contrast is the fast pace rapidly rising temperature, accelerating greenhouse gas concentration (due to amplifying feedbacks), increased military spending including nuclear weapons, and new weapons/surveillance/pacification technology.[1] At some point recently, the climate goal shifted from elimination of greenhouse gases to mitigation. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, mitigation means to render more gentle, milder, to appease, mollify, to lessen the stringency of an obligation. Naomi Oreskes identifies a strategy of distraction and delay. The option of enforceable regulation, of steep reduction or elimination of high-emitting economic sectors, remains off the table.

    • 10,000 Filipinos Demand Government ‘Break Free’ from Coal

      An estimated 10,000 people converged in Batangas City, Philippines on Wednesday to demand that the government halt the poisoning of “our land, water, and air” and cancel plans to build as many as 27 coal-fired power plants across the island nation.

    • Oil Industry Facing Collapse that Rivals Tech Bubble Burst

      The bankruptcy wave hitting U.S. fossil fuel companies is evoking comparisons with the dot-com burst more than a decade ago, as the number of oil companies filing for creditor protection hit 59 this week, Reuters reports—a number that’s “closing in on the staggering 68 filings seen during the depths of the telecom bust of 2002 and 2003.”

      As the filings pile up, experts say the industry collapse has not even hit its midway point. Charles Gibbs, a restructuring partner at the Texas-based firm Akin Gump, told Reuters reporters Ernest Scheyder and Terry Wade that he expects to see more bankruptcies in the second fiscal quarter of the year.

    • Exxon ‘Knew Earlier, They Knew With Certainty and They Knew Globally’

      At the same time, David Powell of the New Economics Foundation notes that BP’s annual energy outlook confidently predicts fossil fuels will account for 80 percent of global energy usage in 2035. Powell’s conclusion is that given the speed and depth of the shift required, political will on climate is a prerequisite, and the fossil-fuel industry is banking on politicians not having the chutzpah to do what it takes to keep it in the ground.

    • Donald Trump Thinks Global Warming Is “Bullshit”

      Sen. Ted Cruz dropped out of the presidential race on Tuesday, making it almost certain that Donald Trump will win the GOP nomination and face Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders in November. For those who’ve been in denial that this day could ever come, we figured a refresher course on the real estate developer’s musings about climate and energy might be in order.

      On the basic science: “I am not a great believer in man-made climate change,” Trump told the Washington Post editorial board in March. “If you look, they had global cooling in the 1920s and now they have global warming, although now they don’t know if they have global warming.”

    • Mass Evacuation as ‘Apocalyptic’ Inferno Engulfs Canadian Tar Sands City

      A raging wildfire in a Canadian tar sands town has forced tens of thousands of evacuations and destroyed several residential neighborhoods, offering a bleak vision of a fiery future if the fossil fuel era is not brought to an end.

      The blaze in Fort McMurray, Alberta, started over the weekend, doubled in size on Monday, and grew into an inferno on Tuesday. It is expected to worsen on Wednesday as strong wind gusts and record high temperatures persist.

    • Exclusive: Release of Inspection Reports From TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline Expose Risk of Future Spills

      The US government agency responsible for interstate pipelines recorded a catalog of problems with the construction of TransCanada’s Keystone Pipeline and the Cushing Extension, a DeSmog investigation has found.

      Inspectors at the US Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) observed TransCanada’s contractors violating construction design codes established to ensure a pipeline’s safety, according to inspection reports released to DeSmog under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

    • Big Oil isn’t Going Down Without a Fight

      The world made history last Friday when 175 countries signed the Paris agreement on climate change, the largest number of countries to initial an international agreement on its first day. The next step is for member states to officially join the agreement through their own ratification processes (15 countries did so on that first day). The treaty comes into force when its signatories add up to 55 percent of global carbon emissions. So far, in terms of countries that have pledged to join the agreement, supporters have counted up about 50 percent and expect the threshold to be reached later this year.

      “We are breaking records in this chamber. But records have also been broken outside,” UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon said at the gathering on Friday. “Record global temperatures, record ice loss, record carbon levels in the atmosphere. We are in a race against time. I urge all countries to move quickly to join the agreement at the national level so the Paris Agreement can enter into force as early as possible.”

      Any agreement that attracts nearly universal support will be either watered-down, unwieldy, or both. What insured the Paris agreement’s success is its lack of binding provisions.

    • Donald Trump Says He’ll Bring Back Jobs For Coal Miners But He’s Just Blowing Smoke

      Donald Trump markets himself as a business-savvy billionaire who will get American jobs back from countries like China. In the case of the coal industry, however, he appears to be just a very clueless politician making pro-pollution promises he can’t keep.

      “I’m a free-market guy, but not when you’re getting killed,” he said recently at a rally in Carmel, Indiana. “Look at steel, it’s being wiped out. Your coal industry is wiped out, and China is taking our coal.”

      Huh? “China is taking our coal”? If China were taking much of our coal (in the form of U.S. exports) that would be great for coal jobs.

    • The Energy Revolution Is Actually Happening Right Now

      The solar boom has been driven largely by individuals and companies (we’re looking at you, Apple and Google) who want to use clean, renewable energy. They are getting the message that solar is better for the planet — but it’s also proven to be a savvy investment. Through policies that pay customers back for the electricity they put on the grid, paired with an investment tax credit designed to help level the playing field, many Americans have seen significant returns on their investment in solar.

    • Scientists May Have Found The Key To Motivating People To Act On Climate Change

      In a study published in Climatic Change Wednesday, researchers found people may donate up to 50 percent more money to a cause when encouraged to think about a problem in collective terms, instead of appealing to personal responsibility. In other words, climate action campaigns like the ones Canada and the European Union have launched may do better when they call for us to act, instead of asking you to act.

  • Finance

    • Who will take the lead on economic inequality, and who should?

      Extreme inequality is not in and of itself a human rights violation, but it is a profoundly important human rights problem.

    • Another Secret ‘Trade’ Deal Leaks, Shows Corporations Still In Control

      TPP, TTIP, What?

      First, some explanation. If you are reading this you’ve been hearing a lot about the TPP, which is the Trans-Pacific Partnership. There’s another “trade” agreement being negotiated called the TTIP, which is the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. So for shorthand on the shorthand: TPP = Pacific, TTIP = Atlantic.

      The TPP (Pacific) negotiations have been completed. The TPP negotiations took place in a secret process dominated by the giant multinational corporations, and the final agreement is waiting to be approved or rejected by Congress – probably during the “lame duck” session, because that is when members are least likely to be held accountable for their votes.

      The TTIP (Atlantic; you may hear it referred to as “tee-tip”), on the other hand, is still being negotiated, also in a secret process dominated by the giant multinational corporations.

    • Is the Digital Revolution Turning Education Into a Ponzi Scheme?

      Is the digital revolution turning education into a Ponzi scheme? As Ponzi schemes are based on multiple deceptions, the answer is “yes!” Since the beginning of automation, there have been gains in paid work opportunities (along with immense suffering) and losses in different forms of craft knowledge and community patterns of mutual support. The digital revolution we are now undergoing involves a radical change from this centuries-old tradition.

    • Job Satisfaction Under Perpetual Stagnation

      Americans are deeply dissatisfied with their jobs. A 2015 Conference Board report stated, “for the eighth straight year, less than half of US workers are satisfied with their jobs.” It found that only 48.3 percent were satisfied, really happy, at work. In 2013, it reported that 47.7 percent of workers were satisfied with their jobs – a minuscule increase of 0.6 percentage points. The Conference Board has been conducting annual job satisfaction surveys since decades. It found that the country hit bottom in 2010 when only 42.6 percent reported satisfaction and, in the report’s words, “well below the historical level of 61.1 percent in 1987.”

    • Why Millennials Love Bernie Sanders

      Why do millennials like Bernie Sanders so much? I love that this is a mystery to Washington. It’s the authenticity, stupid. You can’t fake a 40 year record. This is a generation that grew up in a time when entertainment and media is based on authenticity and not the fakeness of television. Like Diogenes, when millennials went on their pursuit to find the one honest man in politics, it was obvious that man was Bernie Sanders.

    • Students Take Lead to Reclaim US Public Education from Corporate Assault

      Parents, teachers, and students took part in rallies and “walk-ins” across the country on Wednesday, seeking to “reclaim” U.S. public schools from the grips of corporate reformers and privatization schemes.

      The coordinated actions are the second national event organized by the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS), a coalition that includes the American Federation of Teachers, the Journey for Justice Alliance, and the Center for Popular Democracy, among other organizations and unions.

    • Pro-Corporate TTIP on the Ropes as Top French Officials Lambaste ‘Bad Deal’

      The corporate-influenced TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), exposed earlier this week as “an enormous corporate power grab,” looks increasingly precarious.

      French President François Hollande reportedly said Tuesday that he would “never accept” the current agreement, citing its negative implications for “the essential principles of our agriculture, our culture, of mutual access to public markets.”

      “At this stage [of talks] France says ‘No,’” Agence France-Presse quoted Hollande as saying at a meeting of left-wing politicians in Paris.

      Subsequently, French trade minister Matthias Fekl said a freeze in TTIP talks was the “most likely option” without concessions from the United States.

    • President Obama Calls for Support of TPP; Sanders Calls TPP a ‘Disaster’

      Amid all the hubbub about the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), it’s easy to lose sight of that other international trade deal that’s caused a worldwide backlash in recent months.

    • Thomas Friedman’s Bargain-Basement Punditry
    • Watch: Seth Meyers Shreds Detroit’s Shady School System: You Have to Pay Your Teachers for Teaching

      Detroit teachers are getting royally screwed, and Seth Meyers won’t stand for it. Like the Flint water crisis, Detroit’s schools have come under the rule of Gov. Rick Snyder’s emergency manager that was appointed by the state. Not long after that, $30 million disappeared.

    • Why Firefighters are Against Free Trade

      In the US, all the main presidential candidates have now come out against TPP (the Trans-Pacific Partnership). Since the end of the second world war, the US empire has been the engine of trade liberalisation, and the consistency of views has been absolute among successive presidents, Democrat or Republican, from John F Kennedy to Ronald Reagan, George W Bush to Barack Obama. But suddenly, the neoliberal engine has stalled.

    • Detroit Teachers Shut Down Schools for Second Day Over Lack of Pay

      Detroit faces dual crises: The cash-strapped city doesn’t have enough money to pay its teachers and has begun shutting off water to up to 20,000 residents who are behind on their water bill

    • Verizon Workers to Hold 400 Protest Events Across the US, Plan to Crash Company’s Shareholder Meeting

      Striking Verizon workers and their supporters are holding a day of protest on Thursday, May 5. There will be over 400 actions throughout the country as the work stoppage enters its third week. Workers will also descend on the company’s shareholder meeting in New Mexico.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Lost at Sea: Left Liberals Have No Party

      But what excuse do left liberals have? Most left liberals are upper middle class. They have the resources to build a party. Why don’t they? What keeps left liberals from pouring resources into the Green Party, which has always been at least truly left liberal? Clearly the number of people in the United States who are for Bernie Sanders convinces me that the population would welcome such as party. For decades surveys have shown that Americans say there should be more than two parties. What is the hold-up? It’s past time.

    • Voters head to polls across UK for ‘Super Thursday’ elections

      Voters are heading to the polls in a series of elections across the UK on what has been dubbed “Super Thursday”.

      Elections are taking place for the Scottish Parliament, National Assembly of Wales, the Northern Ireland Assembly and for 124 councils in England.

      New mayors will be elected in London, Bristol, Liverpool and Salford, with UK parliamentary by-elections held in Ogmore and Sheffield Brightside.

      Police and crime commissioners are also being elected in England and Wales.

    • Election 2016: Let’s Drop Acid and Have a Presidential Race

      On planet Earth, where I thought I was until yesterday, accusing someone’s father of helping to assassinate a president would be grounds for immediate disqualification, not fodder for double-digit domination that all but seals the Republican nomination.

    • Cruz’s Ex-College Roommate Celebrates His Campaign’s End: ‘Either There Is No God or He Reeeeally Doesn’t Like Ted’

      Craig Mazin garnered national attention during the 2016 presidential campaign after revealing himself to be Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) college roommate, and taking to Twitter to both mock the senator and his primary opponents and share intimate details about him.

    • Republicans Have Rejected the Republican Party

      Now that John Kasich and Ted Cruz have dropped out, it’s pretty much official: Donald Trump is the 2016 Republican nominee for president.

      The pundits never saw this coming, but they should have. The Republican Party has been running a scam on its base for decades now, and voters were bound to discover this scam sooner or later.

    • Green Bernie or Green Party Machine?

      The Greens now need to only do two things now to make their goal even more successful. First, Jill Stein and the Greens need to seriously consider branding themselves in a way that evokes Scandinavian democratic socialism, if not calling themselves Green Democratic Socialists outright. That is a perilous decision because it could alienate potential Green voters who are more moderate. I personally have seen and written in my own work about how the Greens are the actual democratic socialists of America as opposed to the Michael Harrington-Cornel West-Bayard Rustin Democratic Party kinda-sorta socialists. But there are an awful lot of Trump voters who call themselves “fiscal conservatives and social liberals” that have rejected neoclassical economic policies this election cycle that could be alienated.

    • Foreign-Born Citizens in Louisiana Need Extra Paperwork to Vote

      The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a lawsuit against Louisiana’s top elections officials Wednesday, accusing the state of violating the rights of naturalized citizens by requiring proof of citizenship before they can fully register to vote.

      The suit, filed in the US District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana along with the Fair Elections Legal Network, asks the court to rule the practice, which was established in an 1874 state law, unconstitutional and issue a preliminary injunction against state and local officials from enforcing the provision while the suit moves forward.

    • Sanders Momentum Evidence of Dems’ Need to Embrace “Bold Agenda for Change”

      Armed with a fresh win in Indiana and a platform that reflects a “bold agenda for change,” Bernie Sanders is providing key lessons that the Democratic party would do well to heed, some analysts say.

      It was “a remarkable victory, a statement of the extent and scope of the Sanders surge,” Robert Borosage, founder and president of the Institute for America’s Future, wrote of the Vermont senator’s win in the Hoosier state.

      Speaking to press Tuesday evening, Sanders said, “I sense some great victories coming, and I think while the path is narrow — and I do not deny that for a moment — I think we can pull off one of the great political upsets in the history of the United States and, in fact, become the nominee for the Democratic Party,” he continued. “And once we secure that position, I have absolute confidence that we are going to defeat Donald Trump in the general election.”

    • Pundits Sold Kasich As A Moderate Alternative. Here’s The Truth.

      As governor of Ohio, Kasich drastically slashed income taxes on the wealthy and entirely eliminated the estate tax, while increasing the tax burden for the poorest 20 percent of the state. To balance his state’s budget, he pushed through deeply unpopular cuts to city budgets, which led to tens of thousands of workers getting laid off. The only other Republican governor in the nation to push such extreme tax and spending cuts was Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who signed a budget that left the state with a massive deficit, shuttered schools, and kicked 15,000 people off of food stamps.

    • Why Bernie Sanders is lobbying superdelegates — even though they won’t save his campaign
    • Ordinary Voters Can Now Lobby Superdelegates for Bernie Sanders

      It’s no secret that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is behind rival Hillary Clinton in superdelegates. The conversation is inevitably turning to the math of their contest—and the acknowledgement that, although the superdelegates haven’t officially voted yet, they are on Clinton’s side.

    • John Kasich quits Republican race, leaving Trump last man standing

      John Kasich formally suspended his presidential campaign on Wednesday, paving the way for Donald Trump to clinch the Republican nomination with a personal concession speech that barely touched on the political maelstrom his decision unleashes.

      The Ohio governor was the last of 16 candidates to see their ambitions blown away by Trump’s unconventional entry into the presidential race, but he went quietly and with little of the drama that has marked earlier exits by other rivals.

    • Progressive Independent Party Launches a Petition to Unify Support Behind Bernie Sanders

      The American two-party system is being scrutinized and criticized more than ever during this election campaign, and many say the reason is Bernie Sanders—an independent senator now running for president as a Democrat but whose chances at snagging the party’s nomination are increasingly slim.

      But as the Democratic-Republican binary continues to dominate U.S. elections, how can truly independent voices break through? That’s the problem that the Progressive Independent Party, or PIP, is trying to solve. The new party, also listed as the “Honorary Bernie Sanders Party” on Facebook, is trying to bypass the delegate math and unfair campaign spending that so often determines the next American president. The founder, Araquel Bloss, writes on the party’s website that it is time to create a “long-term, truly viable third party.”

    • These Are Not Sweet, Nice Little People: Argentinians and Pretty Much Everyone Else Troll Drumpf

      Now that – yes, Virginia – Drumpf is the presumptive if inconceivable GOP nominee following the inglorious and alas wife-punching surrender of Cruz, Argentina’s merciless hordes of brown-skinned, Trump-trashed barbarians are making the most of it. With a new soccer-themed ad, they now join enthusiastic trollers like the defiant Hispanic kids in California wearing “Dump Trump” t-shirts, the Mexican filmmakers using his racist rhetoric against him, and the clueless wingnuts in this country freaking out at having suddenly become the moral equivalent of the KKK; notes Stephen King, “Conservatives who for 8 years sowed the dragon’s teeth of partisan politics are horrified to discover they have grown an actual dragon.”

    • By Picking Donald Trump As the GOP Nominee, Republicans May Have Handed the Presidency to Hillary Clinton

      Last night, the Republican party effectively handed its presidential nomination to Donald Trump. And in doing so, they may have handed an easy general election victory to Hillary Clinton. What in the world were Republican voters thinking?

    • Here’s What President Donald Trump Would Do To The Economy

      So if he were to win the presidency, what would Trump do to the economy? In short, the outlook is bleak.

    • The GOP Said They Needed To Woo Latino Voters To Win. Then They Nominated Trump For President.
    • Donald Trump Won Because Republicans Have Bad Ideas And People Hate Those Ideas
    • The Trump Test Before Us

      Trump has built his campaign on racism, sexism, and xenophobia. There’s more enthusiasm for him among leaders of the KKK than leaders of the political party he now controls.

    • Warren: I’ll ‘Fight My Heart Out’ to Ensure Trump ‘Never Reaches the White House’

      Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is preparing to wage war to make sure that Donald Trump, the now-presumptive Republican nominee, “never reaches the White House.”

    • Changing the Conversation About “The Woman Card”

      Other responses to Trump’s comments bothered me, though. Elizabeth Warren said that Trump “wears the sexism out front for everyone to see,” which is undeniably true. More than just one man’s sexism, though, the whole affair is a stark reminder that we really need to change the conversation when it comes to gender. And, doing so has to go beyond attacking people for the same things women abhor—emphasizing our looks more than our words. For instance, Warren made fun of Trump’s hair in her response to his comments. There’s no need to play that same game; his remarks would be no more palatable were he to shave his head or sport a mullet. Likewise, Clinton’s recognition of the importance of equal pay would mean no less were she a supermodel.

    • Donald Trump Set to Be GOP Nominee Despite Links to Organized Crime

      As Donald Trump virtually clinches the Republican presidential nomination after Senator Ted Cruz suspends his campaign following a devastating defeat in the Indiana primary, we are joined by Tom Robbins, investigative journalist in residence at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, who has reported on Trump’s history of close relationships with organized crime figures in the United States. We examine some of the characters and connections Robbins helped expose as a reporter who covered politics, labor and organized crime for the Daily News and The Village Voice from 1985 to 2011. His recent article for The Marshall Project is “Trump and the Mob.” Robbins also critiques the media’s coverage of Trump on the campaign trail.

    • Beyond Schadenfreude, the Spectacular Pundit Failure on Trump Is Worth Remembering

      Trying to predict the future can be fun, which is why — from office sports pools to stock market speculation — many do it. Generally, though, people make such predictions with at least some humility: with the knowledge that they do not actually know what the future holds.

      But not America’s beloved political pundits. When they pronounce what the future has in store for us, it comes in the form of definitive decrees, shaped with the tone of authoritative certainty. With a few exceptions, those who purported to see the future of the 2016 GOP nomination process spent many months categorically assuring everyone that, polls notwithstanding, Donald Trump simply could not, would not, become the GOP nominee; one could spend all day posting humiliating examples, so a representative sampling will have to suffice…

    • Empirical Test of Piketty’s r > g Theory Coming

      Bernie Sanders forced the issue of wealth inequality into the presidential campaign, which presented a real problem for neoliberals of the Democratic persuasion. They want us to believe that the market rewards people in accordance with their merit and hard work. It doesn’t. They want us to believe everyone can get ahead if they get a good education and work hard. Not so. So the neoliberal dems fall back on their version of trickle-down: economic growth is the cure. So what is the future of economic growth?

    • The Inside Story of How Bill Clinton Sacrificed Prisoners’ Rights for Political Gain

      On the eve of the New York state primary last month, as Hillary Clinton came closer to the Democratic nomination, Vice President Joe Biden went on TV and defended her husband’s 1994 crime bill. Asked in an interview if he felt shame for his role passing a law that has been the subject of so much recent criticism, Biden answered, “Not at all,” and boasted of its successes — among them putting “100,000 cops on the street.” His remarks sparked a new round of debate over the legacy of the crime bill, which has haunted Clinton ever since she hit the campaign trail with a vow to “end the era of mass incarceration.”

      A few days later, on April 24, a lesser-known crime law quietly turned 20. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 — or AEDPA — was signed by Bill Clinton in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing. While it has been mostly absent from the recent debates over the crime policies of the ’90s, its impact has been no less profound, particularly when it comes to a bedrock constitutional principle: habeas corpus, or the right of people in prison to challenge their detention. For 20 years, AEDPA has shut the courthouse door on prisoners trying to prove they were wrongfully convicted. Americans are mostly unaware of this legacy, even as we know more than ever about wrongful convictions. Barry Scheck, co-founder and head of the Innocence Project, calls AEDPA “a disaster” and “a major roadblock since its passage.” Many would like to see it repealed.

    • Democratic Senator Urges Business Elites to Get More Involved in Politics

      Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., called on an audience of business and political elites earlier this week to respond to populist anger by lobbying harder for a deficit-reduction package that would reduce corporate tax rates and cut public retirement programs such as Social Security.

      Although a dominant populist sentiment is that the system is already rigged in favor of the rich, Warner suggested that the “business community” needs to get more involved in politics or face unpleasant repercussions.

    • DNC Chairwoman Alienates Independents With Defense Of Closed Primaries

      The chairwoman for the Democratic National Committee said she “absolutely” believes the “party’s nominee should be chosen by someone registered with that party,” a statement which could further alienate independents who have tried to participate in the 2016 presidential election.

      On the Bloomberg Politics show, “With All Due Respect,” Debbie Wasserman Schultz declared, “We should not have independents or Republicans playing games.”

      When asked if that means she is opposed to the concept of open primaries, which allow citizens to vote in primaries regardless of their party affiliation, the chairwoman asserted the Party’s nominees “should be chosen by members of that party.” She claimed she did not want to do away with open primaries, but she does not want to see states with closed primaries move to open primary systems.

    • Sanders, DWS Clash Over Dem Party Inclusivity

      The Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) chairwoman and the party’s left-wing presidential contender are sparring in the media over how welcoming the party should be toward independent voters.

      Heading into the Indiana primary on Tuesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is making the case that all party elections should be held as open contests. Primaries in the Hoosier state and nineteen others allow voters who identify as independents to participate in the Democrats’ nominating process.

      Sanders once again finds himself pitted against DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.), who on Monday called for an entirely closed primary system.

    • Watch: After Bernie Wins Indiana, CNN Immediately Badgers Him to Quit

      Bernie Sanders won the Indiana primary by a slim margin last night, just 52 percent of the vote, yet immediately after announcing his victory, CNN was already hounding the Democratic candidate to drop out of the race.

      “Tonight we have a new political reality … where we have a presumptive Republican nominee [Trump], and the general election for him is very much beginning. … So, staying in this race, aren’t you effectively making it harder for the Democrats to beat the man who you say would be so bad?” CNN’s Dana Bash asked Bernie Sanders.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Chinese censorship: arbitrary rule changes are a form of powerful intermittent reinforcement

      China’s Internet censors are capricious and impossible to predict — but this isn’t because China’s censors are incompetent, rather, they’re tapping into one of the most powerful forms of conditioning, the uncertainty born of intermittent reinforcement.

      Some examples of China’s odd rule-changes: a viral video by comedian Papi Jiang has been expunged because it used the terms “wocao” (“fuck”) and “xiaobiaozi” (“little whore”), though thousands of other videos that prominently feature the terms were left untouched. Apple’s ebook and video platforms were also suddenly taken offline.

      As C Custer writes at Tech in Asia, this caprice is by design: by not specifying a set of hard and fast rules, but rather the constant risk of being taken down for crossing some invisible line, China’s censors inspire risk-aversion in people who rely on the net to be heard or earn their livings. It’s what Singaporeans call “out of bounds,” the unspecified realm of things you musn’t, shouldn’t or won’t want to enter.

    • Policing My Mouth: On the Art of Self-Censorship

      My second grade teacher, the truculent Mrs. Dunham, masking-taped my mouth shut. She pulled the shrieking roll of tape all the way around my head thrice in front of the entire class. My crime? Announcing in the middle of math drills that the Bookmobile was circling and circling the parking lot because its regular spot was blocked and it had nowhere to park.

      My classmates’ faces silently told me they were on my side and that I had shared news they needed immediately. What would the driver do? Why was that truck in the Bookmobile spot? It was almost Bookmobile time, so time was of the essence! Someone needed to go do something before the Bookmobile drove away!

    • Canadian Scientists Are Speaking Out After 9 Years of Censorship

      For nine years, federal scientists in Canada couldn’t talk to the press. Well, they could, but only after going through a dizzying amount of federal bureaucracy, a situation that turned into functional censorship.

      Why? You can thank former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who instituted the policy shortly after his ascendancy in 2006. A huge proponent of exploiting the country’s natural resources like oil and gas, Harper apparently feared that some of his own scientists would give reporters negative assessments of the environmental impacts of the country’s energy work, according to Nature.

    • New Ambassador Hotel’s new ahistorical and undemocratic corporate censorship role

      One can only hope that this recent undemocratic act by the New Ambassador Hotel management and its parent company, Rainbow Tourism Group shall not be repeated. Whatever their fears for the profit or relationship with the state, there is always a better way of addressing their challenges.

      What they cannot do is to play a direct part in diminishing the independence of the press club, media freedom, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

    • Michael Bloomberg blasts safe spaces, social justice warriors and campus censorship
  • Privacy/Surveillance

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Michigan Politicians Want People Who Hack Cars To Spend The Rest Of Their Lives In Prison

      There’s apparently no situation legislators can’t make worse. Self-driving cars are an inevitability, as are all the attendant concerns about autonomous vehicles roaming the streets unattended, mowing down buses at 2 miles per hour or forcing drivers behind them to obey all relevant traffic laws.

      There are fears that people will just stop paying attention to driving, which is weird, because that’s one of the few immediate advantages of self-driving vehicles. There are also fears that a robot car is nothing more than a tempting attack target for malicious hackers. There’s some truth to this last one, especially as manufacturers have loaded up vehicles with on-board computers but given little thought to properly securing them.

      Even so, that’s no excuse for the sort of legislation being proposed by two Michigan politicians, which would reward self-driving car hackers with lifetime stays at the nearest prison.

    • Lawsuit: CBP Took $240,000 From Man And Refused To Respond To His Forfeiture Challenge Until It Had Already Processed It

      Looks like someone might be getting their money back after CBP agents — operating a great distance from the US borders — seized $240,000 from a man traveling through Indiana. While driving along I-70 outside of Indianapolis last November, Najeh Muhana was pulled over for not signalling a lane change. That’s when things got weird and a bit unconstitutional.

      According to his filing for return of his money, Muhana’s vehicle was searched “without consent, warrant or probable cause.” The Hancock County Sheriff’s Department officers even brought a drug dog to the scene, but failed to uncover any contraband. The $240,000 Muhana was carrying caught their eye, though.

    • Rule 41: Getting Around the Constitution and Having It Too

      Anyone who’s even halfway following the news of the proposed updates to Rule 41 probably can’t help but be struck by the irony of the situation. It’s actually humorous, in a Vonnegutian tragicomic sort of way.

      In case you haven’t been following the news, the proposed changes from the advisory committee on criminal rules for the Judicial Conference of the United States would update Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and broadly expand law enforcement’s legal authority when it comes to hacking and surveillance. The Supreme Court has already passed the proposal to Congress, which must disavow the changes by December 1 or it becomes the governing rule for every federal court in the country.

    • Akron Police Told A Homeless Panhandler He Should ‘Get A F*cking Job.’ Now He’s Suing.

      City leaders in Akron, Ohio, are violating the First Amendment by threatening to arrest panhandlers who do not register with city police, a new lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) alleges.

      Police currently use the registry to conduct background checks and then issue photo identification badges to certified beggars. The same law also prohibits panhandling in certain parts of town, bans it city-wide after sundown, and makes it a crime to solicit charity with a dishonest story of hardship.

    • North Carolina Police Tasered Mentally Ill Man to Death in Jail—Then Covered It Up

      The News Observer in North Carolina has filed a shocking and disturbing expose into the five-year cover-up by local deputies who tasered a mentally ill man to death.

      Brandon Bethea was 24-years-old when Harnett County detention officers followed him into a padded cell and shot him in the chest with a taser. Bethea fell to the ground, still in leg shackles, as the officer pulled the trigger twice more jolting him with electricity. They left the cell, waiting 20 minutes to check if he was alive. He couldn’t be revived.

    • Death by Taser, in a padded cell, caught on camera

      As an officer unlocked Bethea’s handcuffs, officer John Clark stood at the back of the group. Clark pulled his Taser from his belt and hid it behind his back. He walked into Bethea’s cell, pointing the Taser at him. Bethea stepped back.

      Two prongs pierced Bethea’s chest, unleashing sharp electrical currents. Bethea clutched his chest, fell and rolled onto his stomach. While five officers stood over Bethea, Clark pulled the trigger on his Taser twice more. Then the officers left Bethea on the floor of the cell.

      Twenty minutes would pass before anyone came into the cell to check on him. He could not be revived.

    • Solitary Confinement Is Now Banned In Country’s Largest Juvenile Justice System

      Criminal justice advocates and scientists have long considered solitary confinement a form of psychological torture that also causes damage to the brain. Supervisors Hilda Solis and Sheila Kuehl proposed the ban, citing atrocious conditions and research that says solitary reduces the likelihood of juveniles’ rehabilitation.

      Young people who previously spent hours, days, and years in solitary described their experiences Tuesday, before the Board voted unanimously to eliminate the practice.

    • Bill Moyers in Conversation: Eddie Glaude Jr. on America’s Racial ‘Value Gap’

      The author is Eddie Glaude Jr. Glaude was raised in the Deep South, in Moss Point, Mississippi, and still remembers the Ku Klux Klan burning a cross at the fairground. He’s now a professor of religion and African-American studies at Princeton University, where he also chairs the Center for African-American Studies. This is his third book, and he’s a member in good standing of the black establishment, which he rigorously calls to account in Democracy in Black.

    • Why Are Cops Shooting Dogs? 5 Things You Should Know

      There’s no exact count for how many dogs are killed by police every year, though, in 2014, an official with the Department Of Justice declared the shooting of dogs by police an “epidemic.” But, hell, no one really knows how many human beings are killed by cops each year, so it’s not exactly surprising that we’re even less sure about man’s best friend. Still, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) estimates that as many as half of all police firearm discharges involve a dog. When we brought that statistic up to “Tim,” a police officer for 16 years, he said that sounded about right.

    • Cop Shoots Barely Injured Cat He Says Was a Threat

      A police officer in North Catasauqua, Pa., responded to a 911 call about an injured cat, Sugar, by finding the feline and fatally shooting it.

      The local district attorney, John Morganelli, told a news conference that the officer, Leighton Pursell, said he saw injuries on the cat’s leg and a trail of blood before deciding to kill the cat, as my9nj.com reports.

    • Little Girl Detained By Police After Trying to Buy School Lunch with Real $2 Bill

      There are stupid school discipline stories, and then there’s this: a Houston, Texas, public school called the police after a 13-year-old girl attempted to purchase chicken nuggets from the cafeteria using a $2 bill.

    • Wisconsin Police Shot a Fleeing Hostage Without Warning, Then Misled the Public

      Police officers in Neenah (Wis.) shot and killed 60-year-old Michael Funk as he fled a motorcycle shop where he was being held hostage last December 5.

      Brian Flatoff had been allegedly holding Funk and two other men captive in the shop, apparently over a dispute over a motorcycle. Police had surrounded the shop and taken fire from Flatoff, with one officer sustaining injuries after a bullet stuck his helmet, so officers were understandably on edge when Funk frantically raced from the rear of the building holding a handgun.

      Funk, who had a concealed carry permit and never pointed his gun at the police, was shot multiple times and reportedly laid on the ground for 25 minutes without medical care and died at the scene.

    • EXCLUSIVE: CAGE reveals groups and ‘products’ involved in covert Government propaganda programme

      London – CAGE today releases a disturbing report based on a year-long investigation, that reveals the inner details of the covert Government propaganda programme, recently reported by the Guardian.

    • Going global: the UK government’s ‘CVE’ agenda, counter-radicalisation and covert propaganda

      In this article we show how those orchestrating the campaigns have global ambitions – and despite the abject lack of debate – how the UK’s “industrial scale propaganda” programme is already being held up as best practice by the EU and UN.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Brazil Has To Pause Adoption Of Broadband Usage Caps After Consumers Revolt

      It appears to have only taken the better part of the last decade, but we finally appear to be reaching the point where people have finally realized that broadband caps aren’t about managing congestion, they’re about turf protection. Here in the States, companies like Suddenlink, Comcast AT&T and CenturyLink have all rushed toward adopting caps and overage fees as not only a pointed weapon against streaming video competitors like Netflix, but as a nifty way to charge more money than ever for a product that’s actually getting cheaper and cheaper to provide.

  • DRM

    • Why the future of web browsers belongs to the biggest tech firms

      Ten years ago, there were two web browsers that anyone cared about: Netscape and Internet Explorer.

      Each browser vied for favour with web publishers, begging them to optimise their pages for one browser or the other. The browser with the most pages would, the browser companies thought, win the most users and thus the web, and so the first browser wars were fought to win over publishers.

      But that fight came at the expense of users, because the one thing publishers of web 1.0 really wanted was pop-up ads – and the more obnoxious the better. Remember ads that showed up one pixel square and ran away from your mouse-pointer if you tried to close them, while auto-playing sound adverts? And those weren’t even the worst! Browsers didn’t have pop-up blocking – they had pop-up “enhancing”. Any company that blocked pop-ups would be de-optimized by the big publishers and doomed to obscurity.

      Then came Mozilla – a not-for-profit, openly developed web browser that didn’t care about publishers. It cared about users. It blocked pop-ups by default, understanding that users wanted the see the publishers’ sites but not their pop-ups, and if Mozilla had enough users, it wouldn’t matter if publishers hated them.

      Skip to 2016 and the web is a very different place. The World Wide Web Consortium, the not-for-profit organization that creates the web’s open technology standards, made a brave effort to tame the web’s lunatic proprietary HTML extensions that paid off, making those “Best viewed with” badges on websites a relic of the past. All the browsers have changed, too: Netscape vanished, Mozilla begat Firefox, Internet Explorer morphed into Edge, and Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome grew from obscure side projects to two of the dominant forces on the web.

      Ten years is an eternity in web years, and in a decade, everything can change.

      However, that change might be coming to an end thanks to the existing web browser vendors and the World Wide Web Consortium. Since 2013 they’ve been working with Netflix, the cable industry, and the MPAA to create a standard to limit which browsers can display W3C-standardised data. It could mean goodbye to “just works” and hello again to “best viewed with”.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Mexico’s trade mark opposition system approved by Congress

        Trade mark opposition proceedings will soon be available in Mexico after the lower chamber of Congress approved an amendment to the country’s industrial property law

      • Vice Media Sends Cease And Desist To ViceVersa Over Trademark Infringement

        We’re going to have to keep hammering this home until more people get it: trademark law is about preventing confusion in the marketplace. The reason why that needs to be understood is that just about every time you read a story about one entity going after another over a trademark issue, the refrain of “we must protect our trademarks or we lose them” is trotted out like some kind of bower card that trumps the rest of the discussion. That excuse is just that: an excuse. And it certainly doesn’t lift from those that use it the burden of being called trademark bullies.

        Here to show us all an example of this kind of bullying is Vice Media, which decided to fire off a cease and desist letter to ViceVersa, a barely-making-it punk band.

    • Copyrights

      • Public consultation on the role of publishers in the copyright value chain and on the ‘panorama exception’

        The answering guide is being translated in other languages, we hope to make them available by mid-May.

      • Copyright Holders Try To Stop Ravel’s ‘Bolero’ From Entering Public Domain Using Co-Author Trick

        At the end of last year, Mike wrote about an attempt to keep the Diary of Anne Frank out of the public domain by adding her father’s name as a co-author. As Techdirt wrote at the time, that seemed to be a pretty clear abuse of the copyright system. But it also offered a dangerous precedent, which has just turned up again in a complicated case involving the French composer Maurice Ravel, and his most famous composition, the hypnotically repetitive ballet score “Bolero.”

        Ravel died on December 28, 1937, so you might expect the score to have entered the public domain in 2008, since EU copyright generally lasts 70 years after the death of a creator. But by a quirk of French law, an extra eight years and 120 days is added for musical works published between January 1, 1921, and December 31, 1947 (on account of the Second World War, apparently). Ravel’s Bolero first appeared in 1922 1928, and therefore receives the extra years of copyright, which means that according to French law, it entered the public domain on May 1 this year.

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