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05.20.16

Links 20/5/2016: Purism Tablet, ChromeOS PCs Outsell ‘Mac’-Branded PCs

Posted in News Roundup at 5:15 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • What is Linux?

    What is Linux? It means different things to different people, from the purist who considers it to be the kernel, to the GNU advocate who sees it as a part of GNU/Linux and the new user who thinks it is another name for Ubuntu.

    In truth, Linux is all of these, depending on your point of view. Strictly speaking, the term Linux used alone refers to the kernel of the operating system, while GNU/Linux is the whole operating system, comprising the Linux kernel and GNU tools – either would be useless without the other (or one of its alternatives).

    If you then add a collection of application software, along with some tools to manage the whole thing, you have a distro, such as Ubuntu.

  • Purism introduces privacy-focused 2-in-1 tablet

    Like their laptop predecessors, the Librem 10 and 11-inch tablets are running free and open source software and are targeted at users that want more privacy than is available from major manufacturers. Both devices run PureOS 3.0 Linux and have privacy protecting services like Tor, HTTPS Everywhere and ad blocker Privacy Badger pre-installed. The company is working towards getting both devices QubesOS (the OS of choice of Edward Snowden) certified.

  • Purism introduces privacy-focused, Linux tablets for $599 and up

    Purism is expanding its line of Linux-based computers with an emphasis on security, privacy, and open source software. The company’s new Librem 10 is a Linux-based tablet with a 10 inch display and a starting price of $599, while the Librem 11 is a higher-powered model with a bigger screen and a starting price of $999 for early backers of an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

  • Desktop

    • Chromebooks outsold Macs for the first time in the US

      Google’s low-cost Chromebooks outsold Apple’s range of Macs for the first time in the US recently. While IDC doesn’t typically break out Windows vs. Chromebook sales, IDC analyst Linn Huang confirmed the milestone to The Verge. “Chrome OS overtook Mac OS in the US in terms of shipments for the first time in 1Q16,” says Huang. “Chromebooks are still largely a US K-12 story.”

      IDC estimates Apple’s US Mac shipments to be around 1.76 million in the latest quarter, meaning Dell, HP, and Lenovo sold nearly 2 million Chromebooks in Q1 combined. Chromebooks have been extremely popular in US schools, and it’s clear from IDC’s comments the demand is driving US shipments. Outside of the US, it’s still unclear exactly how well Google’s low-cost laptops are doing. Most data from market research firms like IDC and Gartner focuses solely on Google’s wins in the US.

  • Server

    • Linux containers vs. VMs: A security comparison

      In this article, I’ll take two different approaches to comparing VM and container security. The first approach will be more structural, or theoretical, looking at the characteristics of each from a security perspective. Then I’ll apply a more practical analysis by looking at what happens in a typical breach and how it might be affected by container and VM architectures.

    • Docker Founder Talks of New Tool and Open-Source Lessons He Learned

      Solomon Hykes, founder of Docker, details his firm’s open-source experience and releases new tools at the OSCON conference.
      Solomon Hykes, founder of Docker Inc., is a familiar name in the world of open source today, but he wasn’t always an open-source developer. In a keynote at the OSCON conference on May 18, Hykes detailed Docker’s open-source voyage and released a trio of new tools as open source.

    • Containers and Persistent Data Storage on Docker and CoreOS

      As containers from Docker and other vendors grow in popularity, so does the need for enterprise-ready data storage solutions that work well with containers. Here’s an overview of the challenges on this front, and how developers are solving them.

      You may be wondering why data storage for containers is an issue at all. After all, in our era of scale-out storage, automatic failover and redundant arrays, figuring out ways to store and protect data is not usually difficult.

    • SAP rolls Cloud Foundry HANA Platform beta

      SAP has released a beta version of its Hana Cloud Platform for Cloud Foundry.

      The software giant yesterday released a Cloud Foundry beta service that works on the Pivotal-inspired open-source cloud.

      Coming with the beta is support for Java, Node.js, HTML5, MongoDB, Redis, PostgresSQL and RabbitMQ.

  • Kernel Space

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

      • Re: Announcing Board of Directors Elections 2016

        As a Director serving since two years already I would love to mention being on the Board is definitely a great experience and a way to learn how one of the most famous FOSS-related non-profit Foundations around the globe is actually ran behind the scenes. If you are a Foundation Member, have some spare time and willing to contribute to the GNOME Project in a way which doesn’t strictly involve coding or any other development task, feel free to apply! I’m sure you will find this experience very rewarding!

      • External plugins in GNOME Software

        I’ve just pushed a set of patches to gnome-software master that allow people to compile out-of-tree gnome-software plugins.

      • GNOME 3.21.2 unstable tarballs due (responsible: jjardon)

        Tarballs are due on 2016-05-23 before 23:59 UTC for the GNOME 3.21.2
        unstable release, which will be delivered on Wednesday. Modules which
        were proposed for inclusion should try to follow the unstable schedule
        so everyone can test them. Please make sure that your tarballs will
        be uploaded before Monday 23:59 UTC: tarballs uploaded later than that
        will probably be too late to get in 3.21.2. If you are not able to
        make a tarball before this deadline or if you think you’ll be late,
        please send a mail to the release team and we’ll find someone to roll
        the tarball for you!

  • Distributions

    • Bodhi Linux 3.2.1 With Moksha: Another Path to Enlightenment

      Actually, I suppose I loved Mandrake first, which I installed back in ’02 and used, like. forever. But at that time it wasn’t the distro I loved so much as GNU/Linux. I had no experience with other distros, even though I knew about them, so Mandrake represented, by proxy, all of Linux. Such is the way it goes with new Linux users.

      Around 2008, when Mandrake/Mandriva’s future became uncertain, I moved on to distro hop for a while, not finding anything that really tripped my trigger. However, PCLOS came close, not surprisingly given its Mandrake roots, and became the distro I used for a number of years. Then an install failure, followed by an inability to login or open an account on the distro’s forum, prompted me to move on.

      Which led me to Bodhi, a resource sipping Ubuntu based distro using the Enlightenment desktop version 17, or E17, which at the time was the most elegant and configurable of the lightweight desktops available.

    • New Releases

      • Webconverger 35 Switches to Linux Kernel 4.5, Adds Firefox 46 with GTK3 Support

        Webconverger, a Debian-based GNU/Linux operating system whose main design goal is to distribute a fully functional and controlled web kiosk platform, has been updated today to version 35.1.

        There are many Linux kernel-based distributions out there that claim to offer a powerful web kiosk system for use in offices or Internet cafes, but Webconverger is among the most popular ones, and it is based on the almighty Debian GNU/Linux operating system.

      • Pinguy OS Developer Wants to Pull the Plug On His Ubuntu-Based Operating System

        Just a few minutes ago, Antoni Roman, the developer of the Ubuntu-based Pinguy OS GNU/Linux operating system wrote a short blog post on the distro’s website to inform the community that he wants to pull the plug on the entire project.

    • Arch Family

    • OpenSUSE/SUSE

    • Red Hat Family

      • [Older] In a Crisis, Be Open and Honest

        James Whitehurst is president and chief executive of Red Hat, the world’s largest open source software company.

        Q. You joined Delta Air Lines at noon on Sept. 11, 2001, as acting treasurer. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2005, by which time you had been promoted to chief operating officer and had to lay off tens of thousands of people. Talk about managing through crisis!

        A. I got promoted about 12 weeks before we filed for bankruptcy. That was really my first major leadership role, with 80,000 people working for me. I was 35 years old and I was too naïve to know I should have said no [to the promotion]. I’m naturally a very calm person and that helped, but it was really brutal.

        One of the key things I learned is that in this type of situation, your goal should not be to comfort or make people feel better, but to be open and honest. Tell people what it’s like and allow them to make the decisions that work best for them. A lot of leaders want to show a ray of optimism, but all you do is shade the truth. Be honest and say, “This is what it is and this is what we’re going to do about it.”

      • Finance

    • Debian Family

      • Summer of Reproducible Builds

        What is Outreachy? You might not know! Let me empower you: Outreachy is an organization connecting woman and minorities to mentors in the free (as in freedom) software community, /and/ funding for three months to work with the mentors and contribute to a free software project. If you are a woman or minority human that likes free software, or if you know anyone in this situation, please tell them about Outreachy 🙂 Or put them in touch with me, I’d happily tell them more.

      • Puppet 4 uploaded to Debian experimental

        I’ve uploaded puppet 4.4.2-1 to Debian experimental.

      • Accidental data-store ..

        My code is reliable, the implementation is almost painfully simple, and the only difference in my design is that rather than having an API-server which allows both “uploads” and “downloads” I split it into two – that means you can leave your “download” server open to the world, so that it can be useful, and your upload-server can be firewalled to only allow a few hosts to access it.

      • Accidental data-store .. is go!

        I might not be cool, but I did indeed rewrite it in golang. It was quite simple, and a simple benchmark of uploading two million files, balanced across 4 nodes worked perfectly.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Has Work To Do: The BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Tablet, Hands On

            The BQ Aquaris M10 is a 10.1-inch touchscreen tablet powered by Ubuntu Core, and it can be used like a laptop by connecting a keyboard and mouse. The device has the ability to alter its navigation interface by connecting to an external display, similar to Microsoft’s Continuum, with a feature Canonical calls “convergence.”

          • BQ Aquaris M10 Ubuntu Edition review: A rocky start to a new era

            Let me be clear. In reviewing the Aquaris M10, I was very aware that I was reviewing not just the device but the Ubuntu mobile platform. In fact, the review is less about the device than about where Ubuntu stands now in the tablet space and the potential and possibilities the future holds.

            Ubuntu mobile is a very promising platform; it just needs some constructive feedback so that developers can improve the user experience. I consider this tablet something similar to Google Glass: a prototype that gives you a glimpse of what to expect from Ubuntu on tablets.

          • Digital Signage Solution, Screenly, Chooses Canonical’s Ubuntu Core
          • 10 things you should know about the BQ Aquaris M10 tablet

            If you’ve been following me for awhile here, you’ve probably noticed I’ve started giving Ubuntu Touch a bit more coverage. There’s a reason for that. Once you get your hands on such a device, you discover just how powerful a tablet can be. Since most people haven’t picked up the BQ Aquaris M10 tablet, I thought I would shed some light on the issue, so that you can decide for yourself if it’s a device you should own.

            Before I get into this, know that you can purchase one of the Ubuntu Touch-powered BQ tablets now. The price is, relatively speaking, low (€279.90, or roughly $320.00 USD). But for some, shelling out even that much cash for unproven tech is steep. And for the average consumer (and even the IT pro) Ubuntu Touch is just that: unproven.

  • Devices/Embedded

    • Dueling Arduinos Include Linux in Recent SBC Announcements

      Few would claim that the year-old fork and legal dispute between rival Arduino camps is healthy for the open source hardware community. Yet, so far, the platform remains strong, despite growing competition from open source Linux SBCs like the Raspberry Pi. In large part, this is due to the rising interest in Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which dovetails nicely with the low-power, gadget-oriented MCU-based platform.

    • Sneak peek: Arduino Srl’s Primo and Primo Core IoT duo

      Although neither of the Primo products runs Linux, they differ significantly from previous Arduino boards, in that they don’t run their sketches on the traditional Atmega32 MCU, but instead tap the beefier MPU that’s embedded within the IoT-oriented, Nordic Semiconductor nRF52 wireless system-on-chip that implements all but one of the boards’ multi-wireless features. Despite the change in MCU architecture, the Primo and Primo Core run existing Arduino sketches, and are programmed using the familiar Arduino IDE. To this end, Arduino Srl’s software team is busy ensuring that any Arduino sketch will work exactly the same on the new MCU, as on the Atmega32.

      The Primo SBC offers a broad spectrum of wireless capabilities, including WiFi, BLE, NFC, and IR, with all but WiFi implemented by the Nordic Semiconductor nRF52 SoC. A second MCU-controlled wireless SoC, the Espressif ESP8266, is responsible for the board’s WiFi connectivity.

    • i.MX7 computer-on-module may be smallest yet

      Embedded Artists and Rohm have launched a 37 x 27mm COM built around an NXP i.MX7 featuring a low-power Rohm PMIC, 1GB LP-DDR3, and 8GB eMMC.

      You know the Internet of Things has become “a thing” when the main selling point of a computer-on-module is the properties of its power management IC. In the case of the iMX7 Dual uCOM Board from Swedish embedded firm Embedded Artists and Japanese IC semiconductor firm Rohm, however, the module has more than its power-sipping Rohm BD71815GW PMIC going for it. Measuring a wee 37 x 27mm, the Linux-friendly uCOM also appears to be one of the smallest COMs to date built on NXP’s power-stingy i.MX7 Dual SoC.

      Read more

    • This tiny, open-source Game Boy lookalike has started shipping

      The Arduboy is far from high-tech, but its tiny size, basic specs, and throwback style are part of what makes it so appealing. It has a 1.3-inch OLED display, stereo speakers, and six buttons. Inside, there’s 32KB of storage, 2.5KB of RAM, and a 180 mAh rechargeable battery that’s supposed to last through eight hours of gameplay. It’s built on top of Arduino, so the platform should be accessible to a large base of developers (and to those just getting started). The device is on sale for $39, though if you buy it now, you’ll have to wait until every Kickstarter reward has been shipped out.

    • Phones

Free Software/Open Source

  • The shift in open source: A new kind of platform war

    For many years, open source software seemingly lay at the fringe of the tech industry. A subculture that many didn’t understand and that seemingly threatened the broader industry. It is amazing how much has changed.

    Today, open source software, especially Linux, is so pervasive that you probably interact with it every day. From supercomputers to GoPros and nearly every data center in the world, open source software is the default platform.

  • Open365 an Open Source Takes On Microsoft Office 365

    Open365 is completely open source office available for both the online and offline. Download the software and install in your computers and mobiles. This cloud service and desktop service is provided completely free for all. Open365 is the combination of LibreOffice online + Seafile + KDE. This helps you to improve the productivity and communicate better with the team.

  • Open365: An free Open Source Office 365, Google Docs alternative

    Open365 is a free open source alternative to Microsoft’s Office 365 and Google Docs. It features a complete online interface that lets you edit documents online and sync them with the cloud.

  • The future of sharing: integrating Pydio and ownCloud

    The open source file sharing ecosystem accommodates a large variety of projects, each supplying their own solution, and each with a different approach. There are a lot of reasons to choose an open source solution rather than commercial solutions like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, or OneDrive. These solutions offer to take away worries about managing your data but come with certain limitations, including a lack of control and integration into existing infrastructure.

  • file considered harmful

    A program that helps users is useful. A program that restricts users is harmful. Run file on your computer all you want, but don’t use file to limit what I can do.

  • Open source, COTS-based voting tech

    A new company, Free & Fair, is offering a suite of products to make elections more verifiable, transparent and secure. The firm is a spin off from Galois, a research company that has worked with the federal government on identity and privacy services, cybersecurity defense solutions, mobile cryptographic authentication and even secure drone software.

  • A 5-step process for hiring tech talent

    Bitnami cofounder and COO, Erica Brescia says hiring good engineers is difficult. One of the greatest challenges facing companies today is that the younger, less experienced engineers may be a better culture fit than engineers with more experience. Also, more experienced engineers may not apply at all because they are secure in their current jobs.

  • Putting Purpose-Built Performance in NFV

    As the network functions virtualization (NFV) revolution comes to service provider and cloud communities, there are some concerns about this new technology. One of the major questions is how to design enough performance in NFV to keep pace in high-subscriber, mission-critical environments.

    Can NFV live up to the performance expectations of the most demanding networks, including global service providers? There is evidence that there is more work to do to transform this IT technology – but some key technology tools are emerging to put enough performance in NFV to perform for the most demanding applications, including communications.

  • An app competition is fertile testing ground for open organization principles

    It was just a typical, mundane day at school, when I happened to bump into my friend, Sheng Liang, who asked me if I was interested in participating in a competition with his friend, Li Quan. Sheng Liang has an entrepreneurial and competitive mindset, someone we usually see busy with some sort of idea or competition. So I was intrigued by his proposal.

  • Events

    • LAS, hosted by GNOME

      Sri and many members of our community have spearheaded a wonderful new conference named Libre Application Summit. It’s hosted by the GNOME Foundation and has aspirations to bring together a wide spectrum of contributors.

    • Announcing the Debut of LAS GNOME Conference in Portland, OR

      The GNOME Foundation is pleased to announce the Libre Application Summit — hosted by GNOME (LAS GNOME), which will be held on September 19 – 23 in Portland, Oregon. LAS GNOME is a new conference that aims to advance the state of the GNU/Linux application ecosystem by increasing collaboration with the Linux Kernel and major Linux distributions, and by attracting and empowering application developers both big and small.

    • European Space Agency starts 6th Summer of Code

      The European Space Agency will start its 6th Summer of Code on 1 June. ESA will this week select students for 24 open source software projects. The past month, sixty students registered to participate in the ‘Summer of Code in Space’ programme.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Steps beyond Open Source with Gigabit Internet Funding in Austin

        Mozilla has built its name on open source software. But its latest Gigabit funding initiative, which piggybacks on Google Fiber, extends the organization’s reach into networking and hardware by supporting the development of robotics, big data and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.

        On Wednesday Mozilla announced that, in August, it will expand its National Gigabit Community Fund to Austin, Texas. The fund originated in 2014 in Chattanooga and Kansas City.

      • Mozilla Funds Program to Put Austin’s Gigabit Connections to Use

        Mozilla is funding a new effort in Austin exploring just what can be done with a gigabit. Over the last few years Austin has become one of the few hotbeds of broadband competition in the United States, with Google Fiber, AT&T, Grande Communications all now offering gigabit broadband for $65 per month and up. In the hopes of answer the age of question of “what should you do with all that speed,” Mozilla says the organization is expending the Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund to Austin.

      • Mozilla awards grants to Chattanooga organizations

        Mozilla’s Gigabit Community Fund has awarded $134,000 to nine grantees, including several in Chattanooga.

  • SaaS/Back End

    • MapD Offers a Columnar Database System that Runs on GPUs

      San Francisco start-up MapD has released a database system, ParallelDB, built to run on GPUs (graphics processing units), which can be used to explore multi-billion row datasets quickly in milliseconds, according to the company.

    • MapR Rolls Out Quick Start Migration Service
    • PLUMgrid: Open Source Collaboration Speeds IO and Networking Development

      PLUMgrid INC, which provides tools for OpenStack cloud providers, has been participating in the open source community since the company was founded in 2011. It started working with the Linux kernel community to create a distributed, programmable data plane and contributed to eBPF (extended Berkeley Packet Filter), a key component in building networks that are agile, fast and secure. eBPF has been upstreamed since Linux kernel version 3.16.

    • Proven Paths for Getting Valuable OpenStack Certification

      If you cycle the clock back to 2010, when Rackspace and NASA announced an effort to create a sophisticated cloud computing infrastructure that could compete with proprietary offerings, it would have been hard to forecast how successful the OpenStack platform would become. OpenStack has won over countless companies that are deploying it and backing it, and it has its own foundation. What’s more, with some studies showing the majority of private cloud deployments are on OpenStack, OpenStack certification is now an extremely hot commodity in the job market.

  • Databases

    • Berkus: Changing PostgreSQL Version Numbering

      On his blog, Josh Berkus asks about the effects of changing how PostgreSQL numbers its releases. There is talk of moving from an x.y.z scheme to an x.y scheme, where x would increase every year to try to reduce “the need to explain to users that 9.5 to 9.6 is really a major version upgrade requiring downtime”. He is wondering what impacts that will have on users, tools, scripts, packaging, and so on. “The problem is the first number, in that we have no clear criteria when to advance it. Historically, we’ve advanced it because of major milestones in feature development: crash-proofing for 7.0, Windows port for 8.0, and in-core replication for 9.0. However, as PostgreSQL’s feature set matures, it has become less and less clear on what milestones would be considered “first digit” releases. The result is arguments about version numbering on the mailing lists every year which waste time and irritate developers.”

    • Changing PostgreSQL Version Numbering

      Per yesterday’s developer meeting, the PostgreSQL Project is contemplating a change to how we do version numbers.

  • Education

    • First courses online in Italian Moodle-based MOOC

      The first nine courses have been made available online on 21 April by EduOpen, a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) platform developed by a consortium of 14 universities across Italy and the country’s Ministry of Education. EduOpen is built on Moodle, an open source software learning management system.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Takeover

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • Libreboot, Coreboot Downstream, Becomes A GNU Project

      Libreboot, the downstream of Coreboot that doesn’t permit any closed-source microcode/firmware blobs as part of the hardware initialization process for this alternative to proprietary BIOS/UEFI, has become an official GNU project.

      As of a few days ago, Libreboot is officially a GNU project. It’s not too surprising though considering tends to be what runs on the systems endorsed by the FSF due to freeing systems down to the BIOS compared to Coreboot that still permits some binary-only modules for modern hardware. Libreboot is basically a de-blobbed version of Coreboot.

  • Public Services/Government

    • Hungary to increase use of open source software

      The government of Hungary intends to increase public administrations’ use of open source software and open standards. A decree published on 18 May explains that the transition should go hand in hand with the strengthening of the country’s nascent open source software service sector.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • German experts update free software legal review

      Two German legal experts have published the fourth edition of their review of legal issues regarding the use of free software. The book by Till Jaeger, a Berlin-based lawyer specialised in legal issues concerning open source software, and Axel Metzger, professor at the Humboldt University in the same city, appeared in March.

  • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

  • Programming/Development

    • 4 Ways Custom Code Metrics Improve a Development Team

      One of the things that has surprised me over the years is how infrequently people take advantage of custom code metrics. I say this not from the perspective of a geek with esoteric interest in a subject, wishing other people would share my interest. Rather, I say this from the perspective of a business man, making money, and wondering why I seem to have little competition.

    • Why Continuous Integration Is Important

      Everything starts out fine, with management asking the developers for the amount of time it will take to implement a feature. The developers provide an answer, and management takes them at their word.

      Inevitably, one of two situations results: the deadline goes by yet the feature isn’t finished, or the feature is implemented on time, but it’s either faulty, creates new bugs, or both.

    • 3 open source Python GUI frameworks

      There comes a time in the journey of most any programmer when they are ready to branch out past the basic examples and start to build a graphical interface to their program.

      In Python, the steps to get started with GUI programming are not terribly complex, but they do require the user to begin making some choices. By its nature as a general purpose programming language with interpreters available across every common operating system, Python has to be fairly agnostic as to the choices it presents for creating graphical user interfaces.

    • Beyond Jenkins: 7 devops tools

      The need for speed in the software development cycle has given rise to a number of valuable automation tools for developers. Chief among these tools are those aimed at facilitating the continuous integration and continuous delivery of software projects. Through these CI/CD tools, development teams can keep software up-to-date and quickly put it into production.

      Jenkins is among the best-known CI/CD systems, and it is fast becoming the engine for devops, managing the dev side. A key benefit of Jenkins is the wealth of plug-ins developed for it, providing capabilities that range from extending the number of version control systems Jenkins supports to accommodations for IBM mainframes. Spun out of the Hudson project first launched by Sun Microsystems, Jenkins recently hit Version 2, with improvements to its usability and security.

    • Scratch Blocks — Google And MIT Develop An Open Source Programming Language For Young Learners

      Google and MIT have come up with a programming language called Scratch Blocks for kids. It is based on the Google’s Blockly technology which was launched back in 2007 and had designer interfaces. This interface helps kids to learn a programming language better and faster than textual learning.

  • Standards/Consortia

    • France’s RGI v2 recommends ODF

      The French government has updated the interoperablity guidelines (RGI – Référence Général d’Intéropérabilité), replacing version 1 published in 2009. In this v2, officially published on April 22, 2016, ODF is now considered as a recommended standard to manage exchange between administrations and citizens.

Leftovers

  • Why Google’s monopoly abuse case in Europe will run and run [Ed: Microsoft started this. Hypocritical criminals.]

    If you’ve ever wondered how Google defines the term “backrub,” then look no further than its search engine for the answer, where we’re told that it’s “a brief massage of a person’s back and shoulders.” For many of the complainants in the long-running European Commission competition case against Google’s alleged Web search monopoly abuse, that pithy definition goes a long way to explaining their experience of the multinational’s vast online estate.

    For those among you who don’t know your Google history, the search engine started out with the curious name of BackRub at Stanford 20 years ago, until, that is, its servers greedily gobbled their way through the university’s bandwidth, and it was time for the cofounders to shift up a gear. A year earlier, in 1995, the planets had aligned when Larry met Sergey at the famous Californian university for the first time.

  • Scores of UK stars back remaining in EU

    Jude Law, Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch are among stars who have signed a letter saying Brexit would “damage” the creative industry.

    Almost 300 actors, musicians, writers and artists are backing calls for the UK to stay in the EU.

    They say “vital EU funding” and work across borders has been key to projects from galleries to blockbusters.

    But House of Cards author Lord Dobbs said British success in the industry was “not because of the EU”.

  • Science

    • How this guy used Watson to tune out of conference calls

      A 31-year-old California man has devised a way to tune out on conference calls while still appearing to participate.

      Josh Newlan wrote a small piece of software he calls “Say What” that listens to meetings for him and alerts him if his name is called.

    • Evidence Based Policy Making – Beliefs and a Book

      Cairney delves into EBPM with the general approach that, “if you want to inject more science into policymaking, you need to know the science of policymaking.” It contrasts the idealistic linear view of researchers, with the chaotic reality of policy making. Policymaking isn’t a Modrian, it’s a Monet.

  • Hardware

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Is Obamacare in Danger Again?

      The Republican party has finally gotten exactly what they have been hoping for over the last five years: a favorable judicial ruling against the Affordable Care Act. But is Obamacare really in danger, or is this just another election year political ploy?

    • Why Is Congress Using Zika to Weaken Truck Safety?

      And if the trucking industry had its way, those families would be sharing the interstate with semi-truck drivers who are exhausted from working more than 80 hours a week.

    • West Coast cities sue Monsanto to pay for chemical cleanup

      Portland, Oregon’s Willamette is no wilderness river. But on a spring day, downstream of downtown, wildness peeks through. Thick forest rises beyond a tank farm on the west bank. A sea lion thrashes to the surface, wrestling a salmon. And as Travis Williams, executive director of the nonprofit Willamette Riverkeeper, steers our canoe under a train bridge — dodging debris tossed by jackhammering workers — ospreys wing into view.

    • New Report Says It’s Time for Big Pharma to ‘Play or Pay’ to Tackle Superbugs

      A new plan for tackling the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant microbes, or so-called superbugs, addresses the unnecessary use of antibiotics and includes a call on Big Pharma to “play or pay” to help bring successful treatments to the market.

      The report, commissioned by British Prime Minister David Cameron, was led by economist Jim O’Neill, who said that antibiotics were sometimes being handed out “like sweets.”

    • Angelenos Press for Change in California With Fossil Fuel Industry Protest

      Thousands of climate change activists gathered at “Break Free L.A.” on Saturday to urge Mayor Eric Garcetti and California Gov. Jerry Brown to end the use of fossil fuels.

      Our dependence on fossil fuels, including coal, oil and natural gas, has been contested for years. In April, the Center for International Environmental Law released documents proving what many have speculated: The fossil fuel industry has known of the associated climate change risks for decades. Now, a bill pending in the California State Senate would allow public prosecutors more freedom to take action against complicit companies.

    • Trump’s Newest Enemy: Environmentalists

      Donald Trump has officially taken aim at the environment. And environmentalists are starting to aim back.

      The billionaire and presumptive Republican presidential nominee fired first shots on Friday, when he announced his key energy policy adviser: U.S. Congressman Kevin Cramer, a North Dakota Republican who loves drilling for oil and denies human-caused climate change. Cramer is staunchly opposed to president Obama’s landmark climate change regulations, and is widely expected to advise Trump to repeal them.

    • With New EPA Advisory, Dozens of Communities Suddenly Have Dangerous Drinking Water

      The EPA announced new drinking water health advisory levels today for the industrial chemicals PFOA and PFOS. The new levels — .07 parts per billion (ppb) for both chemicals — are significantly lower than standards the agency issued in 2009, which were .4 ppb for PFOA and .2 ppb for PFOS. In areas where both PFOA and PFOS are present, the advisory suggests a maximum combined level of .07 ppb. While the old levels were calculated based on the assumption that people were drinking the contaminants only for weeks or months, the new standards assume lifetime exposure and reflect more recent research.

    • Pfizer’s Death Penalty Ban Highlights the Black Market in Execution Drugs

      Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer made big news last week when it announced a ban on the use of its drugs to carry out the death penalty by lethal injection. “Sweeping controls on the distribution of its products” have clamped shut “the last remaining open-market source of drugs used in executions,” the New York Times reported, calling it a milestone in the fight against capital punishment.

    • Probiotic goods a ‘waste of money’ for healthy adults, research suggests

      University of Copenhagen study finds no evidence that so-called friendly bacteria change the composition of faecal bacteria

    • Probiotic Goods Are a ‘Waste of Money’ for Healthy Adults, Research Suggests

      In a review of existing studies, Danish scientists found no evidence that probiotics, which have a significant market in the U.S., change the composition of bacteria in the guts of healthy adults.

    • Colombia battles world’s biggest drugmaker over cancer drug

      Colombia’s government is giving pharmaceutical giant Novartis a few weeks to lower prices on a popular cancer drug or see its monopoly on production of the medicine broken and competition thrown open to generic rivals.

      Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria’s remarks in an interview Tuesday are the strongest yet in an increasingly public fight with the world’s biggest drugmaker that could set a precedent for middle-income countries grappling to contain rising prices for complex drugs.

    • Mr Justice Green rejects judicial review challenge to UK’s tobacco plain packaging law

      This morning Mr Justice Green handed down his 386 page decision in Tobacco Packaging [2016] EWHC 1169 rejecting applications for judicial review brought by several of the world’s tobacco manufacturers in respect of The Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015 – the plain packaging rules – which are set to come into effect in the UK tomorrow.

    • Amid Global Push For Tobacco Plain Packaging, IP And Health Rights Bog Down Africa

      Plain packaging is considered unattractive among marketers, loss-making for industries, and a healthy life promoter for governments and the public. The potent mix to balance profits, safeguard jobs and cut illnesses has made it a controversial solution to curb smoking. As it grows in popularity around the world, how is plain packaging faring in Africa?

    • As Big Pharma Is Lavished with Subsidies, Congress Takes a Stingy Approach to the Opioid Epidemic

      After garnering little discussion and even less governmental concern over the past several years, America’s opiate problem — a problem that, based on the numbers, deserves the label epidemic — is finally reaching public consciousness.

      “The majority of drug overdose deaths (more than six out of ten) involve an opioid,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “And since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths involving opioids (including prescription opioid pain relievers and heroin) nearly quadrupled.”

      Last week, CNN held a town hall at which victims of the opioid epidemic and their families spoke of their hardships and asked medical professionals, who were positioned across from the moderator, Anderson Cooper, what can be done to mitigate the problem.

    • Slandering Single Payer

      “They project outlandish increases in the utilization of medical care, ignore vast savings under single-payer reform, and ignore the extensive and well-documented experience with single-payer systems in other nations — which all spend far less per person on healthcare than we do,” they wrote.

      [...]

      During that show, Rehm asked Dentzer why we don’t have a single payer system in the United States and Dentzer replied — “we had a private insurance industry develop.”

      “It now has revenues in excess of $400 billion a year. And it’s a very effective interest group,” Dentzer said.

      Dentzer should know.

      While Dentzer’s group calls itself The Network for Excellence in Health Innovation, in fact if you look at its board of directors, it’s dominated by executives affiliated with health insurance companies (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and HCA) and drug companies (Genzyme Corporation, Sanofi and Merck).

    • Across Asia, we need to give the women incarcerated by the ‘war on drugs’ a voice

      Only then will the public begin to see the human face of repressive policies and the lives destroyed in the pursuit of an impossible ‘drug-free world’.

    • Delayed EU Decision on Glyphosate Relicensing—Global Justice Now Response

      A decision on whether or not to reapprove the controversial toxic substance glyphosate for use in Europe was today postponed for the second time, following disagreement among representatives of EU governments. A revised proposal by the European Commission to reapprove glyphosate for use in Europe for 9 more years, with almost no restrictions, failed to secure the required majority among EU governments.

    • As EU Weighs Approval, More Evidence Industry is Rigging the Glyphosate Game

      As European officials on Wednesday weigh whether or not to re-approve the use of Monsanto’s glyphosate, a storm has erupted after the World Health Organization (WHO) seemingly flipped in its assessment of the dangers posed by the chemical.

      Ahead of this week’s European Commission meeting, which could approve the use of glyphosate for up to nine years, the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the WHO released a joint summary report concluding that the chemical, a favored ingredient of agrochemical producers like Monsanto and Dow, was “unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet.”

      These findings were widely (and inaccurately) reported as a “clean bill of health” for a pesticide once declared to be “probably carcinogenic” for humans by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

    • Why the UN Hasn’t Given Glysophate a Clean Bill of Health

      The first line of the Reuters article (and the other publications that took it up) then says “The pesticide glyphosate, sold by Monsanto in its Roundup weed killer product and widely used in agriculture and by gardeners, is unlikely to cause cancer in people, according to a new safety review by United Nations health, agriculture and food experts.”

      Yet these statements were actually highly misleading to the reader, especially if they did not go on to read the full article to see that the findings of the UN Panel on Pesticides Residues were only in relation to consuming glyphosate residues from food.

    • People Power Just Trumped Corporate Power: Oregon County Rejects Nestle Water-Grab

      ‘This is really a resounding victory for everyone who cares about protecting not only our water supply, but water supplies around the world’

    • The ‘Sell By’ Dates On Our Groceries Are Causing Tons Of Food Waste

      The food labeling system in the United States is a complete mess. Foods can be labeled “healthy” regardless of how much sugar they contain. Foods can be labeled “Non-GMO” even when they don’t have genes, making the existence of a genetically-modified version impossible.

      [...]

      Take, for instance, the existence of omnipresent expiration labels. Most consumers assume that these labels are guidelines for the date after which it’s unwise, or potentially unsafe, to eat that particular food product. But expiration labels basically mean nothing. There are no federal standards for expiration dates, except for baby formula, and best-by or sell-by date have no basis in science — instead, they’re a manufacturer’s best guess for when the food is likely to be freshest, or at peak quality. Some food products could easily last a year or a year and a half past their “sell by” date.

  • Security

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Daniel Ellsberg Recalls the Spirit of Resistance in the 1971 May Day Protests (Video)

      This is how Daniel Ellsberg, former government analyst and the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers, describes his mindset during the 1971 May Day protests against the Vietnam War. While Ellsberg is nonchalant when recalling his experience over those few days in early May, his fascinating tale of resistance to government shows that it was by no means an easy choice. In the video below, he sits down with Judy Gumbo Albert, a Vietnam War protester and peace activist, to relive the events on the 45-year anniversary of the “Mayday Tribe’s” actions.

    • Crystal Memorial Against Tyranny

      The Kurds and the Turks were not supposed to fight one another this year.

      High-level peace talks last year were so promising that a Mandela- style house-arrest was being considered for imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, founder of the latest Kurdish rebel movement in Turkey.

      But then some stuff hit the fan: a group of pollsters met with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president since 2014.

      They told him that Kurds were blocking his goal of absolute rule—a dictatorship for life, albeit through an obedient parliament.

      That was news to him, and for good reason.

    • Breaking Through Power: Join Together to Mobilize Against Wars of Aggression

      Did you know that in the nine months leading to the criminal war of aggression against Iraq in March 2003 by the Bush/Cheney administration, at least 300 retired, high-level establishment military, national security and diplomatic officials spoke out against the looming invasion? The list included retired Generals Anthony Zinni and William Odom and Vice Admiral Jack Shanahan. Even Brent Scowcroft and James Baker, two of President George H.W. Bush’s closest advisors, strongly opposed the invasion.

      Unprecedented in U.S. history, these individuals and others wrote op-eds and letters to the editor, signed petitions, attended protests, and wrote to their members of Congress. Retired military, national security and diplomatic officials have great moral credibility―much more so than the typical neocon, war hawk talking heads that appear regularly on cable news. No one can question the patriotism or experience of those who have worked their careers in these federal agencies.

    • Imperialist Robert Kagan Disavows the Bureaucracy of Immense American Presidency He Championed

      I suppose I’m unsurprised that Beltway insiders are so gleeful that this Hillary-endorsing Neocon has turned on Republicans in such a fashion. Or, perhaps more importantly, that they’re so thrilled someone with such a soapbox has written a warning of impending fascism that so neatly disavows any responsibility — for Kagan himself, and by association, for other insiders.

      But there are a couple of real problems with Kagan’s screed.

      First, Kagan would like you to believe that Trump’s success has nothing to do with policy or ideology or the Republican party except insofar as the party “incubated” Trump.

      [...]

      Kagan wants to boil Trump’s popularity down to fear! A guy who has had a central role in ginning up serial American aggressive wars is offended that someone wields fear to achieve political power!!! And having done that, this warmonger says the ability to gin up fear is precisely what our Founders — the men who set up three competing branches of government, each jealously guarding its power — were concerned about.

    • Baghdad takes Rutba from ISIL: Jordan-Iraq Commercial Route to Reopen

      Iraqi forces have taken Rutba in al-Anbar province, hundreds of kilometers west of the provincial capital, Ramadi, which is also now in government hands (though much of its population is displaced). Only a few dozen Daesh (ISIL, ISIS) forces were in Rutba in the end and Iraqi armor and artillery forced them out.

    • Is China a House of Cards?

      China’s total debt is now a whopping 280% of GDP. That includes the 115% that apply to SOEs’ debts; in Japan, for instance, that SOE figure is only 31%. Yet what really matters is that only a maximum of 25% of Chinese SOEs’ debts will need to be restructured.

    • Trauma and Deprivation Lead Syrian Youths to Extremist Groups, Says New Report

      The primary factors driving Syrian youths towards extremist groups are deprivation and personal trauma stemming from five years of civil war in the country, according to a report from International Alert, a British organization. Entitled “Why Young Syrians Choose to Fight,” the report is based on interviews with 311 Syrians living in northern Syria, Lebanon and Turkey.

    • General Advising Donald Trump Says Killing Terrorists’ Families Might Be OK

      A top military adviser to Donald Trump expressed qualified support for Trump’s proposal to kill terrorists’ families on Thursday, telling Al Jazeera that it would depend on the “circumstances of the situation.”

    • Up Close on Venezuela’s Crisis

      U.S. policymakers are pleased with the ousters of leftist governments in Argentina and Brazil with the next prospective “regime change” in Venezuela where the economy screams and people are hungry, as Catholic layworker Lisa Sullivan describes.

    • Trump and the Neocon Lament

      Upset that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump isn’t one of them, angry neocons insist that they represent America’s reasonable foreign policy consensus, a claim challenged by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

    • Can Russia Survive Washington’s Attack?

      Neither Russia nor China seek conflict. It is a gratuitous and reckless act for Washington to send the message to Russia and China that they must choose vassalage or war.

    • The Clinton-Colombia Connection

      Despite a grisly human rights record and alleged ties to drug traffickers, Colombia’s ex-President Uribe has been a favorite of Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill, helping Clinton associates turn hefty profits, reports Jonathan Marshall.

    • The Real 9/11 Conspiracy

      I remember watching the towers fall.

      My sister called early in the morning to tell me to turn on the television. My husband and I, who had been working closely with Afghan women organizing against the Taliban, stared at the screen, aghast as the buildings crumbled.

      Like everyone else the world over, we realized it was a moment that was going to change history. We also realized that ordinary people, including our friends in Afghanistan, were going to pay the price for something they likely had nothing to do with. And sure enough, on Oct. 7, 2001, despite the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals, the U.S. went to war with Afghanistan. That war, the longest in U.S. history, remains a bloody weight on our collective conscience.

      [...]

      But in 2004, the 9/11 Commission, a 10-person government panel created to investigate the attacks, absolved the Saudi Arabian government of any involvement. (It also faulted intelligence agencies for lack of coordination.) This was thought to be the end of the story. We were supposed to accept as mere coincidence the fact that the majority of the hijackers were Saudi citizens.

    • Wikileaks: Brazil’s New Unelected President a US Informant

      Since the agent, Michel Temer, is now Brazil’s appointed ‘interim’ leader, the context of that cable is important to understand – especially because the situation here is similar to other recent examples in which the US President has, essentially, selected the leader of a foreign government after a US-backed coup has occurred there:

    • Secret Armies, Shadow Wars, Silent Unaccountability

      We live today in an era of postmodern war. It’s a two-front war – the first being the virtual front of threats, posturing, and arms buildups we persist in waging, Cold War-style, against state-based mirror-images of ourselves (Russia and China); the second being the dirty front we wage in the shadows against irregular, non-state thugs and pygmy tyrants who use their weaknesses as strengths, asymmetrically, to turn our strengths into weaknesses.

      The first front is the martial opiate that self-satisfied, complacent politicians and bureaucrats (civilian and military) impose to their own advantage on the unsuspecting, addicted masses. It is the vehicle for perpetuating the dead myth of America’s preferred way of lethal, destructive war, along with the gluttonous defense spending and antediluvian institutional prerogatives that go with it.

    • Middle East – The Mother of All Humanitarian Crises

      When, in March 2015, delegates from the Middle East met in Amman for their regional consultations round in preparation for the May 23-24 World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, most likely what they had in mind is the fact that their region was –and still is– the dramatic set of “the mother of all humanitarian crises.”

      Nevertheless, as a sort of reminder, the United Nations told them again: “millions of people, from Libya to Palestine, from Yemen to Syria and Iraq, have had their lives completely overturned by violence.”

      They were also reminded that the huge numbers of people affected by conflict, violence and displacement did little to convey the real trauma experienced.

    • 60 Minutes’ Morley Safer dies at 84

      Safer was a familiar reporter to millions when he replaced Harry Reasoner on 60 Minutes in 1970. A much-honored foreign correspondent, Safer was the first U.S. network newsman to film a report inside Communist China. He appeared regularly on the CBS Evening News from all over the world, especially Vietnam, where his controversial reporting earned him peer praise and government condemnation.

      Safer’s piece from the Vietnamese hamlet of Cam Ne in August of 1965 showing U.S. Marines burning the villagers’ thatched huts was cited by New York University as one of the 20th century’s best pieces of American journalism. Some believe this report freed other journalists to stop censoring themselves and tell the raw truth about war. The controversial report on the “CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite” earned Safer a George Polk award and angered President Lyndon Johnson so much, he reportedly called CBS President Frank Stanton and said, “Your boys shat on the American flag yesterday.” Some Marines are said to have threatened Safer, but others thanked him for exposing a cruel tactic. Safer said that the pentagon treated him with contempt for the rest of his life.

      [...]

      When he joined Mike Wallace at the beginning of 60 Minutes’ third season, they toiled to put stories on the air for a program that dodged cancellation each season. But their work was immediately recognized with an Emmy for Safer’s 1971 investigation of the Gulf of Tonkin incident that began America’s war in Vietnam. The two pressed on for five years, moving the broadcast from the bottom fourth to the middle of the rankings. Then in August 1975, with a new Sunday evening timeslot, Safer put 60 Minutes on the national stage. Interviewing Betty Ford, the first lady shocked many Americans by saying she would think it normal if her 18-year-old daughter were having sex. The historic sit-down also included frank talk about pot and abortion.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • This New Rule Will Make Information About On-the-Job Injuries at Dangerous Workplaces Public

      More than 3 million U.S. workers suffer a workplace injury or illness every year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics—numbers that are thought to be significantly underreported. But astonishingly, little or no information about at which workplaces these occur is made available to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency responsible for enforcing U.S. workplace safety. Neither is this information made public.

    • WikiLeaks rep: Julian Assange would find life no easier under President Clinton

      Julian Assange, the Wikileaks founder who is still confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, would find life no easier under a President Hillary Clinton, according to the journalist, hacker and WikiLeaks representative Jacob Appelbaum.

      Speaking at a Q&A after the Cannes film festival premiere of Risk, Laura Poitras’s documentary about the WikiLeaks activist, Appelbaum said Clinton’s representatives had made it clear that, thanks to Cablegate – the 2010 leak of more than 250,000 classified US State Department messages by WikiLeaks (published by media partners including the Guardian) – Clinton’s office was in no mood to rethink their strategy when it came to Assange.

    • EFF Asks Court to Reverse Chelsea Manning’s Conviction for Violating Federal Anti-Hacking Law

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asked a U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals Wednesday to overturn Chelsea Manning’s conviction for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), arguing that the law is intended to punish people for breaking into computers systems—something Manning didn’t do.

    • Why the Prosecution of Chelsea Manning Was Unconstitutional

      Disclosures of government information happen all the time, whether by officials seeking to advance their interests or by whistleblowers exposing misconduct for public benefit. But only one person in our history has ever been sentenced to decades in prison for disclosing truthful information to the press and public: Chelsea Manning.

    • Chelsea Manning Appeals “Unprecedented” Conviction

      Lawyers for Chelsea Manning appealed her conviction on Thursday, calling it “grossly unfair and unprecedented” and arguing that “no whistleblower in American history has been sentenced this harshly.”

      Manning was convicted of six counts of espionage by a military court in 2013, and is currently serving a 35-year sentence in military prison.

    • Chelsea Manning Files Appeal Against ‘Grossly Unfair and Unprecedented’ Conviction

      Whistleblower Chelsea Manning on Wednesday filed an appeal of her conviction and sentence for releasing a trove of government and military documents to WikiLeaks.

      The appeal argues for a 10-year sentence rather than the 35-sentence she is currently serving at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

      “For what PFC Manning did, the punishment is grossly unfair and unprecedented. No whistleblower in American history has been sentenced this harshly. Throughout trial the prosecution portrayed PFC Manning as a traitor and accused her of placing American lives in danger, but nothing could be further from the truth,” the appeal states.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • The Glaciers Will Melt, The Sea Will Rise Up

      The amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere directly and indirectly determines the sea level. The more CO2 the higher the sea level. The details matter, the mechanism is complex, and as CO2 levels change, it takes an unknown amount of time for the sea level to catch up.

      The present day level of CO2 is just over 400ppm (parts per million). For thousands of years prior to humans having a large effect on this number, the level of atmospheric CO2 was closer to 250. Human release of CO2 into the atmosphere by the burning of fossil fuel, and other human activities, are responsible for this difference. We expect the atmospheric concentration of CO2 to rise considerably by the end of the century. It is remotely possible that by 2100, CO2 will be about where it is now, but only if a significant effort is made to curtail its release. If nothing is done about the release of CO2 by human burning, the number will exceed 1000ppm by 2100. Reasonable estimates assuming the most likely level of effort to change the energy system put CO2 at somewhere around 600 to 700ppm by the end of the century.

      So, it is reasonable to ask the question, what is the ultimate sea level likely to be with atmospheric concentrations of CO2 between 500 and 700ppm?

    • A third of birds in North America threatened with extinction

      A billion birds have disappeared from North America since 1970, and a third of bird species across the continent are threatened with extinction, a new report says.

      The first State of North America’s Birds report finds that of 1,154 bird species that live in and migrate among Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, 432 are of “high concern” due to low or declining populations, shrinking ranges and threats such as human-caused habitat loss, invasive predators and climate change.

      Steven Price, president of Bird Studies Canada, a member of the North American Bird Initiative behind the report, says that since 1970, “the estimate is we’ve lost at least a billion birds from North America…. The trend lines are continuing down. They have to be turned around or will fall below a threshold where they can be recovered.”

    • The Essential Guide to Not Ruining a National Park for Everyone

      On its 100th birthday, the National Parks System is more popular than ever. A record 307 million people visited its 410 sites in 2015. With that many visitors trampling through, of course some of them are going to be ignorant, ill-prepared, or just plain dumb—putting flora, fauna, and themselves in danger. After a recent incident involving tourists loading a bison calf into their SUV (more on that below), we felt compelled to make this guide for what to do …and importantly, what not to do the next time you visit Acadia, Yellowstone, or any of the country’s parks and monuments in between.

    • House Science Committee Wants to Protect Exxon from Environmentalists
    • On Climate, America’s Least-Respected Lawmakers Come to Defense of Most-Hated Corporations

      House Republicans request documents from green groups and attorneys general related to the effort against fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil

    • Inside The Looming Disaster Of The Salton Sea

      The lake is drying up, uncounted dead fish line the shore, and the desert town is losing people.

    • The Big Issue Californians Are Not Hearing About This Election Year

      The lobbyists and their corporate employers who shape legislation on climate, conservation, safety, pollution and other life-and-death concerns aren’t interested in celebrity or glitter. They’re simple folk, content with a good restaurant dinner in Sacramento as long as an influential legislator is at the table. For them, the most important elections in California this year are for the Legislature. Their must-attend events are a golfing weekend at Half Moon Bay or a Sacramento fundraiser for a lawmaker who will cast a vote on legislation worth millions to some company.

    • “SmartEco” or “Extreme Eco” projector lamp power saving modes are a trap
    • Portugal runs for four days straight on renewable energy alone

      Portugal kept its lights on with renewable energy alone for four consecutive days last week in a clean energy milestone revealed by data analysis of national energy network figures.

      Electricity consumption in the country was fully covered by solar, wind and hydro power in an extraordinary 107-hour run that lasted from 6.45am on Saturday 7 May until 5.45pm the following Wednesday, the analysis says.

      News of the zero emissions landmark comes just days after Germany announced that clean energy had powered almost all its electricity needs on Sunday 15 May, with power prices turning negative at several times in the day – effectively paying consumers to use it.

    • Feeding Critters, Not Killing Them

      Big Problem, Cunning Small Solution Dept: With our oceans fouled by an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic – much of it those pesky deadly six-pack rings from the astounding 6.3 billion gallons of beer, about half in cans, Americans drink each year – a Florida craft brewery has created rings that can double as lunch for any marine animals who come upon them. Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach, which describes itself as “a small brewery created by fisherman, surfers and people that love the sea,” has started making the rings from barley and wheat ribbons from the brewing process. They are 100% biodegradable, compostable, edible by fish or human alike, and as tough as plastic.

    • Breaking Free: A Rising Tide of Climate Resistance

      “Welcome to Fort McMurray. We have the energy,” reads the signs as one enters this northern deep-woods outpost at the center of the Alberta tar sands petroleum-extraction zone. The forests surrounding Fort McMurray are on fire, closing in on the vast tar sands operations. More than 90,000 people have been evacuated, most from Fort McMurray, but thousands more from the oil sands work camps, where what is considered the dirtiest oil on the planet is extracted from tarry sand dug from earth-scarring open-pit mines. Across the hemisphere, the oil giant Shell has begun cleanup operations in the Gulf of Mexico, where oil-drilling operations have leaked, spilling more than 2,000 barrels of oil into the water, 97 miles off the coast of Louisiana.

    • Executives Running Collapsing Coal Companies Award Themselves Millions While Laying Off Workers

      Executives of the top coal-producing companies in the country got compensation increases while their companies spiraled into bankruptcy, laid off workers, or tried to slash employee benefits, a new report finds.

      Most top executives for Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and Alpha Natural Resources got compensation increases worth in total millions of dollars as the companies went into massive debt often due to fruitless expansions, the report released Tuesday by Public Citizen, an advocacy organization, found. In conjunction with the report, Public Citizen also sent letters to Peabody Energy, Arch Coal, and Alpha Natural Resources chief executive officers urging them to invest their multi-million dollar bonuses in a trust fund for laid off workers.

    • After Mississippi Flooding, Red Cross Stumbles Again

      When record-high floodwaters hit counties across Mississippi in March, over 650 homes sustained major damage or were destroyed entirely. People fled for shelters, and roadways were washed out. State officials told the press the damage was the most widespread they’d seen since Hurricane Katrina.

      The American Red Cross quickly dispatched volunteers. Two of them arrived in Sunflower County in the Mississippi Delta looking to hand out clean-up kits to flood victims.

      The only problem: They weren’t anywhere near the parts of Sunflower affected by flooding, according to Ben Grant, the county’s director of emergency management.

    • Poorest nations will feel heat soonest

      Some of the world’s poorest people, who have contributed least to climate change, are likely to feel its effects sooner than most of their neighbours.

      Research by an international team of scientists has found that many of the planet’s poorest countries are likely to experience daily heat extremes caused by climate change before wealthier nations do.

      The research published in Environmental Research Letters shows that the poorest fifth of the global population will be the first to experience more frequent heat extremes, despite together emitting the smallest amounts of CO2. Countries likely to be worst affected include those in the Horn of Africa and West Africa.

    • Climate disruption, the new reality

      The present experience of climate change in Australia and Canada has major importance for the life of the planet.

    • BP-Sponsored ‘Sunken Cities’ Show Provokes Museum-Climbing Climate Protest

      London’s British Museum was shut down on Thursday after Greenpeace activists scaled its columns to call on the museum to drop BP’s sponsorship for a “blockbuster” exhibit—about flooded cities.

    • The Fracking Process Is Now The Leading Cause Of Earthquakes In Texas

      In the last 40 years, oil and gas activity has caused some 60 percent of Texas earthquakes higher than magnitude 3 in the Richter scale, a new study led by researchers from the University of Texas at Austin found.

  • Finance

    • Saudi Arabia Considers Paying Contractors With IOUs

      Saudi Arabia is considering using IOUs to pay outstanding bills with contractors and conserve cash, according to people briefed on the discussions.

      As payment from the state, contractors would receive bond-like instruments which they could hold until maturity or sell on to banks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Companies have received some payments in cash and the rest could come in the “I-owe-you” notes, the people said, adding that no decisions have been made on the measures.

    • Republicans’ Refusal To Help Puerto Rico Could Cost Them The 2016 Election

      The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is collapsing under the weight of tens of billions of dollars of debt and there is no end in sight for the economic pain. The island has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, at over 12 percent, and a higher rate of poverty than any U.S. state. Home foreclosures are up 89 percent from 2008. More than 100 schools and a children’s hospital have been forced to close. As it faces an outbreak of the Zika virus, the island is losing, on average, a doctor a day.

    • A Commencement Address for the Most Indebted Class Ever

      Congratulations, college graduates! As you enter the next phase of life, you and your parents should be proud of your achievements.

      But, I’m sorry to say, they’ve come at a price: The system is trying to squeeze you harder than any previous generation.

      Many baby boomers, perhaps including your parents, benefited from a time when higher education was seen as a shared social responsibility. Between 1945 and 1975, tens of millions of them graduated from college with little or no debt.

      But now, tens of millions of you are graduating with astounding levels of debt.

      This year, seven in 10 graduating seniors borrowed for their educations. Their average debt is now over $37,000 — the highest figure for any class ever.

    • Paul Ryan Commits To Fighting Rule That Extends Overtime Protection To Millions Of Workers

      Hours after the White House announced a final rule that will change overtime protection so that it covers millions more Americans, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) vowed to fight it. But just months ago, Ryan was calling for the very sort of raises that the new rule will ensure.

      After Ryan was elected to the Speaker position in October last year, he gave a speech outlining the challenges he hopes to address in the role. First on the list was the financial struggles American workers face.

    • State legislatures attacking community wealth building

      Unfortunately, it’s not just Republican-dominated statehouses working to eliminate key tools like local hiring in the local community wealth building toolbox. Leaked documents from the negotiations around the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which the Obama administration is pursuing with his counterparts in the EU, indicate a desire to eliminate the power of cities and states—as well as public anchor institutions like universities and hospitals—to establish procurement preferences for locally-owned firms. As advocates for inclusive economies where local resources are used wisely and strategically to create and expand opportunities for local communities, we should oppose such counterproductive restrictions on local autonomy, whether at the state or international level.

    • American CEOs Make 335 Times More Than Their Workers

      According to a new AFL-CIO study on corporate salaries, CEOs made 335 times more than the average employee salary last year.

      The report, which identifies the average worker salary as $36,875, specifically cites Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam who made almost 500 times more than the average Verizon worker in 2015. A number of Verizon employees have been on strike for over a month now, in the largest U.S. work stoppage since 2011, and McAdam’s astronomical salary is frequently cited on the picket lines.

    • The Age of Precarious: 6 in 10 Americans Living on the Financial Edge

      An unexpected medical bill or a dip in the stock market would be all it took to send two-thirds of Americans into financial distress, according to a new poll that finds lingering lack of confidence in the U.S. economy.

      Despite reports of falling unemployment, growing wages, and rising consumer confidence, a full 57 percent of respondents to the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey describe the national economy as poor. Only 22 percent of people say the economy has mostly or completely recovered from the Great Recession.

      And while 66 percent of Americans describe their current financial situation as “good”—suggesting they are able to pay their regular bills, go out to eat more, and think about buying a new car or house—the picture is decidedly “precarious,” as the Associated Press puts it.

    • America Must Renew Its Infrastructure or Face Decline

      America is literally falling apart. In Flint, children were poisoned by the lead contamination of the water. In Washington, the subway system is plagued by fires and delays. Arlington Memorial Bridge — which connects the North to the South, the Capitol to Arlington National Cemetery — may have to be closed soon. Kennedy’s eternal flame may burn forever, but the bridge is on its last legs.

    • New Leak Reveals Proposal To Extend Corporate Sovereignty Massively To Include Intra-EU Investments

      As Techdirt has reported, the public backlash against corporate sovereignty in TAFTA/TTIP was so strong in the EU that the European Commission was forced to come up with Plan B. It now wants to replace what has been called “the most toxic acronym in Europe” — ISDS, which stands for “investor-state dispute settlement” — with ICS: the investment court system. That was little more than a re-branding exercise, since most of the key flaws remained, but at least it suggested that the European Commission recognized that corporate sovereignty had become a serious problem that needed to be addressed. However, it seems that others didn’t get that memo — or, more likely, just don’t care what the EU public thinks. A new leak reveals that a group of EU governments want to extend the use of ISDS, and to embed corporate sovereignty even more deeply in the fabric of the European economy.

    • The Humane Society and the Greenwashing of the TPP

      On February 4, 2016, the United States and eleven other countries around the Pacific Rim finally signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The twelve signatories now have two years to ratify the agreement. In the U.S., after passage of so-called “fast-track” authority in June, 2015, the TPP may not be amended or filibustered in Congress and will simply face an up-or-down vote. Exactly when that vote will come is unclear at the time of writing. Since most of this year’s crop of aspiring emperors/empresses have publicly opposed the TPP, it may not be brought up for a vote until after the November elections in the lame-duck Congress, which would indeed be the final insult in this profoundly anti-democratic saga. Meanwhile, Barack Obama – in what the Associated Press has been presenting as a kind of valedictory world tour analogous to the final concert of the Rolling Stones – has been visiting European capitals and pressing for signatures on the similar Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The latest round of those negotiations in February ended with high-ranking officials for both the U.S. and the EU expressing hopes of conclusion by the end of 2016, even if that means modifying the agreement’s most contentious element, the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism.

    • US Government’s Own Report Shows Toxic TPP “Not Worth Passing”

      Meanwhile, the ITC estimates a worsening balance of trade for 16 out of 25 U.S. agriculture, manufacturing, and services sectors that cover vehicles, wheat, corn, auto parts, titanium products, chemicals, seafood, textiles and apparel, rice, and even financial service. Indeed, output in the manufacturing sector would be $11.2 billion lower with TPP than without it in 2032, the ITC found, with employment down 0.2 percent. And while vehicle production would gain, auto parts, textiles, and chemicals would see reductions, the trade panel said.

    • Trade Commission Report Reveals Few Benefits From the TPP and Ignores its Costs

      The White House has been curiously quiet on the Trans-Pacific Partnership front, following its earlier fanfare about the agreement when it was signed in February. Yesterday with the release of the U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC)’s almost 800-page report on the TPP’s Likely Impact on the U.S. Economy and on Specific Industry Sectors [PDF], we can expect the rhetoric to be ramped up again, in attempt to sell the agreement to an increasingly skeptical Congress and public.

      However, the USITC report doesn’t actually give the administration much to go on. It estimates that by 2032 the TPP would expand U.S. real income by a measly $57.3 billion (0.23 percent). Real GDP growth would be even smaller at $42.7 billion (0.15 percent), and employment would be a negligible 0.07 percent higher. Belying the touted “Made in America” rhetoric of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), foreign imports would actually grow more than U.S. exports (by $48.9 billion, as against $27.2 billion).

    • Dean Baker’s Statement on the TPP and Latest USITC Report
    • International Trade Commission Report Validates that Trans Pacific Partnership Is Not Worth Passing
    • TPP Study Projects Worsening Trade Balances for 16 of 25 U.S. Economic Sectors, Overall U.S. Trade Deficit Increase

      The actual outcomes of past trade pacts have been significantly more negative than ITC projections generated using the same methodology employed for the TPP study. This makes today’s unusually negative ITC findings on the TPP especially ominous.

    • Michigan Corporations to Pay $0 in Taxes This Year, Despite Crises in Flint and Detroit

      Under Michigan’s tax code, businesses will “effectively contribute nothing to the state coffers” this year—while Flint residents pay for poison water and lawmakers defund Detroit schools

    • Rio During the Coup: “Temer Jamais! Temer Jamais!”

      Hard to imagine there was a de facto coup d’etat three days prior.

    • Watch: First Interview With Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff Since the Senate’s Impeachment Vote

      Last Thursday, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was suspended from the presidency when the Senate voted, 55-22, to try her on the impeachment charges, approved by the lower house, involving alleged budgetary maneuvers (“pedaladas”) designed to obscure the size of public debt. Although she nominally remains the president and continues to reside in Brasília’s presidential palace, her duties are being carried out by her vice president, Michel Temer — now “interim” President Temer — and the right-wing, corruption-tainted, all-white-male cabinet he has assembled (due to Brazil’s coalition politics, Temer is from a different party than Rousseff). Rousseff’s suspension will last up to 180 days as her Senate impeachment trial takes place, at which point she will either be acquitted or (as is widely expected) convicted and permanently removed from her office.

    • Woman In £1,000,000 Hat Tells Britain To ‘Live Within Its Means’

      A woman sitting on a chair made of gold has encouraged the country to “live within its means” during these times of austerity while addressing a room full of millionaires.

      She also voiced support for a government imposing longer working hours with less pay on junior doctors while wearing a hat encrusted with five rubies, 11 emeralds, 17 sapphires, 273 pearls and 2,868 diamonds.

    • The Queen’s Speech And The Strangest Customs, Including Dennis Skinner’s Ritual One-Liner
    • Empire of Lies: How the US Continues to Deceive the World About Puerto Rico

      Separated by an ocean and a language from the mainland, Puerto Ricans have watched the US government lie brazenly and repeatedly — to the American people and the world at large — about its actions and interests in the Caribbean.

      The latest walk down liar’s lane is a cut to the minimum wage, as proposed by the US House of Representatives’ Committee on Natural Resources.

    • Is neoliberalism applicable to Russia? A response to Ilya Matveev

      The word “neoliberalism” was coined in 1938 by Alexander Rüstow, a German sociologist and economist, who suggested it as an alternative to the traditional laissez-faire type of liberalism. Neoliberalism was thus initially understood as a kind of “third way”, a combination of capitalism and free trade with state intervention in the economy and the provision of social welfare.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Robert McChesney: Mainstream Corporate Media Covering 2016 Election Through Eyes of Clinton Campaign

      “This has been an all-time low by mainstream corporate media,” says media scholar Robert McChesney, who joins us to discuss how the media is covering the race for the White House. “What we’ve seen is the Sanders campaign has been largely neglected … And the coverage and the framing of it has been largely through the eyes of the establishment for the Hillary Clinton campaign.” McChesney says reporters also failed simply to ask questions about what exactly happened over the weekend when Sanders supporters erupted in protest at the Nevada state Democratic convention after they said rules were abruptly changed and 64 Sanders supporters were wrongly denied delegate status. This “brought to the front just how little actual journalism goes on,” he notes, “how much of it is simply regurgitating what people in power tell them.” McChesney is a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the Department of Communication and is co-founder of Free Press, a national media reform organization.

    • Watch: Hillary Clinton Delegate Claims ‘Manipulation’ at Controversial Nevada Dem Convention That Angered Sanders Supporters

      Clinton delegate Pat Barrett told The Young Turks that the last minute rule changes were unjust.

    • Dear Greens

      Your party, in policy terms, is close to my heart. Proportional representation, a basic income, anti-austerity measures such as Green QE and of course real sustainability, not green wash, what is not to like? And a little over a year ago you were given national recognition through the membership surge you momentarily enjoyed. Thousands of new people joined and you got an unprecedented slice of the vote – with over 1 million backers.

    • ‘Weiner’ Film Review: This Is What Our Democracy Looks Like

      Anthony Weiner’s career may have imploded, but his personal and professional disasters provided the basis for what might be the most astute encapsulation to date of America’s celebrity-mad political culture.

    • Can superdelegates be convinced to support Bernie Sanders? Unlikely, but not impossible

      Bernie Sanders supporters aren’t big fans of the Democratic Party’s superdelegates, the political insiders who get a personal say in the nomination of the party’s presidential candidate. These governors, members of Congress and other officials aren’t obligated to follow the popular vote, and their preference so far for Hillary Clinton has buttressed a central tenet of her campaign — the inevitability of her nomination. It comes as no small irony, then, that it is the very existence of superdelegates that will allow the Sanders campaign to take its call for a political revolution, and its quest for the nomination, all the way to the party convention in Philadelphia in July.

    • This is How Corrupt Our Political System Is

      ALEC corrupts the system in every capitol across the country. It’s legalized bribery that allows corporations and lobbyists to write our nation’s laws.

    • Hillary Clinton’s Race Problem

      At the time, Hillary was traveling the country lauding the new bill as a critical piece of legislation to combat the “crime epidemic” and make America safe for middle class whites. In a blatant display of the sort of racism and white supremacy that could certainly endear her to klansmen like Quigg, Clinton referred to young black males targeted by the Crime Bill as “superpredators,” at once dehumanizing a segment of the population disproportionately impacted by Clinton’s crime policies while also justifying the obviously racist nature of the bill itself.

      And while Hillary Clinton can whitewash her record (and that of her husband) when it comes to issues of race and injustice, the inescapable fact is that the “liberal” Clinton presided over the expansion of the for-profit prison industry, the construction of the mass incarceration state, the explosion of life sentences for drug offenders, the expansion of the death penalty, and countless other socially destructive phenomena that continue to ravage Black America to this day.

    • Values Viewers

      The candidate remains the same: a misogynist alpha male 1%er.

    • As Sanders Readies for California, Clinton Announces Primary Process ‘Already Done’

      Bernie Sanders has reiterated his promise to stay in the presidential race until the Democratic convention in July, and is throwing his weight behind a number of progressive initiatives in California as the state’s primary approaches there on June 7.

      As rival Hillary Clinton told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday afternoon the nomination was “already” hers, Sanders refuses to discount California voters—more than 1.5 million of whom have registered to vote since January.

      “I will be the nominee for my party, Chris. That is already done, in effect,” Clinton said. “There is no way that I won’t be.”

      In contrast, during a rally in the city of Carson on Tuesday, Sanders told the more than 10,000 people in attendance, “This is, in a sense, the beginning of the final push to win California. There are a lot of people out there, many pundits and politicians, they say Bernie Sanders should drop out, the people of California should not have the right to determine who the next president will be. Well, let me be as clear as I can be…. We are in till the last ballot is cast!”

    • Secret Plans for the General Election: Trump 2016 & Nixon 1968

      Hillary Clinton, her eyes on the general election and Donald Trump, unveiled her latest attack against the Republican front runner yesterday at a rally in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

      This line of attack aims to show that Trump is a con artist, a liar, and has no actual plans for any of the policies he’s “outlined.” Clinton apparently believes that by pointing out that the Republican nominee has no substance behind his ideas, she’ll reap the benefits in November.

      But history is not necessarily on her side. Almost 50 years ago, “secret plans” won an election for a political con man, and it could happen again.

    • Should Progressives Unify with the Democratic Party Establishment? Hell No!

      In countless ways over the last 35 years, our society has become less economically equal and more dominated by corporate power. Less just and more jailed. Vast urban and rural areas decline as government subsidizes economic elites. Funds for education and social services are under constant threat while funding for war and surveillance seems limitless.

      These trends have persisted no matter which major party dominated Washington.

      Whether it’s a Democrat or a Republican in the White House, Wall Street personnel fill top economic posts; energy policy is dominated by oil/gas/nuclear interests; Monsanto is ever-present in food and agriculture policy; military-industrial types dominate foreign policy.

      The luminous Bernie Sanders campaign – in many ways, a youth movement – has blossomed out of this decay and corruption, as millions are saying “No” to a corporatized Democratic Party leadership. Not convinced the Democratic leadership of the last several decades has been thoroughly corrupt? Read any of a dozen books from William Greider’s 1992 classic “Who Will Tell the People?” to the 2013 insider account “This Town.”

    • Donald Trump leads Hillary Clinton 42%-37% in new national poll

      Donald Trump has jumped into a notable lead over likely general election opponent Hillary Clinton in a hypothetical matchup, an eye-popping poll out Thursday showed.

    • New National Poll: Trump Increasing Lead Over Clinton

      A new Rasmussen poll released Thursday shows Republican front-runner Donald Trump increasing his lead over Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

      The New York billionaire has a five-point edge over the Clinton, with 42 percent of likely voters saying they’d back him compared to 37 percent for Clinton.

      The poll also shows Trump now getting 76 percent of the Republican vote; Clinton nabbed 72 percent of the Democratic vote. Thirteen percent of Democrats would prefer Trump in square-off between the two, while nine percent of Republican voters would favor Clinton in such a match-up.

    • Reuters’ alleged bias has already been controversial

      Looks innocuous, right? But it’s not — this is the replacement for a tweet that preceded it. Same story, but with a frigging picture of Donald Trump attached. I’d post that original tweet here but they deleted it before I could snag it.

      Initial reaction too often is “It’s just a tweet, it’s just Twitter.” No. Hell, no. If Reuters can’t get something as simple as a photo on a tweet correct, what else are they getting wrong with slap dash coverage?

      Reuters isn’t just any news outlet; businesses pay its parent corporation, Thompson Reuters for their information products. What are businesses getting in purchased real-time feeds? Some of these businesses are broadcasters. Are erroneous feeds shaping broadcasters’ perceptions before they even reproduce news content? It’s rather important today when some news outlets sought whacko tweets and quotes from Trump before attempting to get a reaction from the White House.

    • Can Sadiq Khan’s Victory Influence the US General Election?

      London has its first Muslim mayor. Sadiq Khan won the election in a landslide, securing the largest personal mandate of any British politician ever, in spite of the Islamophobic campaign run by his opponent, Zac Goldsmith. It is easy to be optimistic at such a historic time, but to suppose that because Londoners chose “unity over division and hope over fear,” as Sadiq Khan put it, so too will Americans in the general election later this year may well be comparing apples with oranges.

    • Does Democratic Party Discord Portend Disaster at Convention?

      Harping on convention controversy fuels Sanders’ challenge to the mainstream establishment

    • Bernie Sanders Stays Motivated After Oregon Win, Appeals to California Voters

      Speaking Tuesday night at the StubHub Center at California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson, Calif., Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders celebrated his victory in Oregon’s primary with a crowd of more than 8,000. An estimated 13,000 more gathered in an “overflow area” outside of the stadium.

      Sanders spent little time dwelling on his Oregon success, however, preferring to speak about his campaign’s future. “It will be a steep climb, I recognize that, but we have the possibility of going to Philadelphia with a majority of the pledged delegates,” Sanders said. “Some people say that we’ve got a steep hill to climb to do that. And you know what? That is absolutely true. But you know what? Together we have been climbing that steep hill from day one in this campaign.”

      Sanders also brought up the subject of recent polls that give him, not rival Hillary Clinton, better odds of beating Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, in the general election. “Whether a national poll or state poll, we do much better beating Donald Trump than Clinton,” Sanders said. “The Democratic Party wants to be certain that Donald Trump is defeated … we, together, are the campaign to do that.”

    • Oregon Goes for Sanders: “If It’s So Over, Why Does Bernie Keep Winning?”

      As of early Wednesday morning, with 77 percent of the vote counted in Oregon, Sanders was the projected winner as he captured 55 percent of the vote compared to Clinton’s 46 percent. Notably, with a state that has encouraged ballot access by instituting automatic voter registration, Oregon is the first closed primary contest (one in which independents and late registrants are excluded from voting) that Sanders has been able to win against Clinton.

    • This Is What A Formerly Incarcerated Man Went Through To Vote In Kentucky

      After 46-year-old Michael Hiser adhered an “I Voted” sticker onto his suit lapel for the first time ever, he sat down to take it all in.

      “I’ve been trying for so long,” he said, his voice cracking while thinking about his more than decade-long journey to restore his voting rights. “It’s really nice to be able to have a voice after so long being silent.” He wiped tears from under his eyes as he spoke to ThinkProgress from a bench outside a suburban Louisville polling place.

      “When I got out of prison, they told me to do good, but they told me I couldn’t be a part of their group,” he continued. “It made it me feel like I didn’t belong.”

    • The Faux Fracas in Nevada: How a Reporter Manufactured a Riot

      Jon Ralston, the dean of political reporting in Nevada, has spread nothing less than a pack of lies about what went down at the state’s Democratic convention on Saturday. And the fact averse oligarchic national media has run completely riot with the provable falsehoods. No chairs were thrown at the convention Saturday. No death threats were made against the chair of the convention Roberta Lange. And Bernie Sanders delegates were not simply mad because their louder shouting was ignored.

    • Media, Democratic Establishment Exploit Nevada Uproar to Diss Bernie Sanders

      The trouble at Saturday’s Nevada State Democratic Convention has become another excuse for the party establishment and the mainstream media to attack Bernie Sanders and his passionate followers.

      In the media’s telling, the dispute over the delegate count has grown into a violent scene. Though we can find no video proof, chairs were reported to have been thrown. That, apparently, was the worst of it. With unabashed hyperbole, The Washington Post now calls it a “donnybrook.”

      Certainly, there was much yelling and tension at the long and exhausting event. But when the convention leaders ignored the results of a voice vote, then failed to follow the party’s own convention rules, Sanders’ supporters had every right to protest. That’s called democracy in action.

      A sober analysis of the event posted on YouTube by Jordan Liles clearly shows the convention leaders’ role in escalating the trouble. Nevada Democratic Party Chairwoman Roberta Lange’s arbitrary dismissal of the Sanders camp’s complaints could have had no other result than to infuriate all concerned.

    • The Test of Leadership as Sanders Rolls in Oregon

      In his victory speech, delivered before a vibrant crowd in Carson, Calif., Sanders attributed his progress to the power of his message. He rightly celebrated the fact that he has won young voters by huge margins across the country, concluding that, “Our vision – a vision of social justice, economic justice, racial justice and environmental justice – that is the future of this country.”

    • Sanders Slams Trump Donor Sheldon Adelson; Doesn’t Mention Clinton’s Past Ties to Billionaire

      During his Oregon primary victory speech in Carson, California Tuesday night, Bernie Sanders advocated for campaign finance reform as he often does. He also cast an eye toward the general election.

      “If we as a great nation do not get our act together, this nation is going to slip into an oligarchic form of society where a handful of billionaires control our political and economic life,” Sanders said.

    • Clinton and Sanders Split Primaries Despite Hillary’s Huge Delegate Lead

      In Oregon, Sanders beat Clinton by nine percent, showcasing his unwavering support among liberal progressives who view Clinton’s more pragmatic approach to governance—coupled with her ties to Wall Street—an undesirable compromise.

    • Democratic Primaries in the Shadow of Neoliberalism

      There is an understandable tendency, when in the thick of a long set of presidential primaries, to treat all of them simply as exercises in the choice between individual candidates, and to make them as much about character as about policy. There is also an understandable tendency to assume that what is at stake in these primaries is purely an American matter with entirely domestic roots.

      It is much more difficult to place the competing candidates and their differing policy packages on a bigger and a longer map that takes in previous candidates and previous policies. It is also very hard to break out of a purely American focus, and to see what is happening in the United States as part of a more general story.

    • Slouching Toward Washington

      Despite the opposition of the mainstream press – with especially shameful treatment by The Washington Post and The New York Times – Sanders has drawn the hopes of young people with his promises to address income inequality, abolish student debt, tackle climate change, etc. He’s the only candidate running a campaign based on actual issues. But that will not be enough to win him the nomination or perhaps even a voice in the party platform, despite his demonstrably large constituency. “Socialist” is a dirty work for many people, who cannot look beyond it to hear anything Sanders says.

    • About That Post-Bernie Movement

      Even Noam Chomsky is optimistic: Mr. Sanders has “mobilized a large number of young people who are saying, ‘Look, we’re not going to consent anymore.’ If that turns into a continuing, organized, mobilized force, that could change the country—maybe not for this election, but in the longer term.”

      [...]

      Green Party candidates don’t only call for relief from the crushing debt burden suffered by college students, they call for debt forgiveness and free college tuition that can be easily covered by reducing the slice of the budget pie that goes to Pentagon contractors and military ventures.

    • Will Christian Evangelicals Walk Down the Aisle With Trump?

      Those shuffling sounds you hear are the boots of establishment conservatives scurrying toward supporting Donald Trump’s run for the presidency. Will conservative Christian evangelicals — particularly those who have been vehemently opposed to The Donald during the primaries — do the same?

    • Melania Trump Blames Jewish Reporter for ‘Provoking’ Neo-Nazis

      It’s hard to tell what’s worse: the irony of a Trump accusing someone of speaking an untruth (in this instance, a well-regarded and fact-checked reporter from GQ), or that Melania seems to have few qualms including neo-nazis in her fanbase.

    • Democratic Fracture: Clinton, Sanders, and Race

      Sanders is manifestly uninterested in soliciting African American votes as a bloc. He’s running a class-based campaign where the “working class” regardless of color & creed are expected to unite and stick it to the bosses. In his approach, Sanders resembles his hero Eugene Debs, who did the socialist thing, and dismissed racism as a distraction employed by capitalism to split and befuddle the working class.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Senators Wyden And Paul Introduce SMH Bill To Stop Massive Expansion Of Gov’t Computer Hacking
    • The Intercept Releases New Snowden Documents, Details About Guantánamo
    • NSA Gitmo Link Reveals Entire Intelligence Community Corrupted
    • Ex-CIA Officer: US Government Presented Gitmo as ‘Holiday Camp’
    • Former NSA Director Hayden Weighs In on Encryption Debate
    • NSA’s GenCyber Camps to triple number of summer camps offered [Ed: think about the children!]
    • Missouri S&T hosts GenCyber security camp for K-12 teachers
    • The Tiny Town Where Air Force Cadets Learn to Drop ‘Cyber Bombs’
    • US Cyber Command splits from NSA, White House objects
    • House defense bill elevates cyber force, defying White House
    • Cyberspace’s invisible armies
    • Inside the Ring: NSA on North Korea Nukes
    • Homeland Security Has Not Sent Us A Subpoena

      A couple weeks ago, we wrote about a phone call (and follow up emails) we received from Homeland Security indicating an interest in sending us a subpoena, asking for any identifying information we had on a commenter. That commenter had posted a (somewhat ridiculous) comment, in response to another story, about a guy who had nearly a quarter of a million dollars taken by him by Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) under civil asset forfeiture rules. The commenter, somewhat weirdly, suggested that the guy who had this money stolen might “know people” who could murder the agents who took the money. It was clearly not a threat. It was random idle speculation.

      But, for whatever reason, the sister agency of CBP, called Homeland Security Investigations (HSI — which was formerly Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE), decided that it wanted to subpoena the information on the commenter.

    • Surveillance Chills Speech—As New Studies Show—And Free Association Suffers

      Visiting an art exhibit featuring works about the U.S. war on terror or going to a lecture about Islam wouldn’t be cause for worry—unless you found out that the government was monitoring and keeping track of attendees. At that point, some people would be spooked and stay away, sacrificing their interests and curiosity to protect their privacy, not look suspicious, or stay off a list some intelligence agency might be keeping.

      Government surveillance has that chilling effect—on our activities, choices and communications—and carries serious consequences. We argue in our lawsuit First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, et al v. NSA that the government’s collection of phone records violates the First Amendment rights of our clients—churches and civil and human rights organizations—by discouraging members and constituents from associating and communicating with them for fear of being spied on.

      Now two new studies examining the use of Facebook and Wikipedia show that this chilling effect is real. Both studies demonstrate that government surveillance discourages speech and access to information and knowledge on the Internet. What happens is that people begin to self-police their communications: they are more likely to avoid associating with certain groups or individuals, or looking at websites or articles, when they think the government is watching them or the groups/people with whom they connect. This hurts our democracy and society as a whole.

    • Disclosed NSA files leaked by Edward Snowden reveal probe into Putin’s suspected links with crime

      In the early 2000s, intelligence experts at the US National Security Agency (NSA) successfully intercepted calls from the phone of a Russian crime boss in order to probe suspected links with Vladimir Putin, it has been revealed.

      The news emerged from recently disclosed (16 May) documents leaked by former NSA-contractor Edward Snowden, published by The Intercept, and revealed how one request from the US State Department urged the agency to investigate links between the controversial head of state and the notorious Tambov crime syndicate.

    • Why Is Congress Undermining President’s Surveillance Oversight Board?

      The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) is supposed to be an independent body that makes sure that the intelligence community is not abusing its surveillance powers. It was created to go along with the PATRIOT Act, as a sort of counterbalance, except that it initially had basically no power. In 2007, Congress gave it more power and independence and… both the Bush and Obama administrations responded by… not appointing anyone to the PCLOB. Seriously. The Board sat entirely dormant for five whole years before President Obama finally appointed people in late 2012. Thankfully, that was just in time for the Snowden revelations less than a year later.

      The PCLOB then proceeded to write a truly scathing report about the NSA’s metadata collection under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act, calling it both illegal and unconstitutional. While the PCLOB was less concerned about the NSA’s Section 702 program (which includes both PRISM and “upstream” collection from backbone providers) the group has been working for nearly two years on an investigation into Executive Order 12333 — which is the main program under which the NSA spies on people.

    • Hidden Mics as Part of Government Surveillance Program

      In another example of multi-dimensional clash among the Fourth Amendment, privacy, technology and the surveillance state, hidden microphones that are part of a broad, public clandestine government surveillance program that has been operating around the San Francisco Bay Area have been exposed.

      The FBI planted listening devices at bus stops and other public places trying to prove real estate investors in San Mateo and Alameda counties are guilty of bid rigging and fraud. FBI agents were previously caught hiding microphones inside light fixtures and at public spaces outside an Oakland Courthouse, between March 2010 and January 2011.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • “Youth is going to be part of the solution in Brazil”

      “We figure out how to bring global issues down to the field and make sure young people understand where their responsibility lies – to be part of the solution, not just the victims.”

    • Duterte’s Crass Politics and Anti-Imperialism: Class War in the Philippines

      A year ago, few believed that Rodrigo Duterte, the mayor of Davao, would be the next president of the Philippines. Duterte had achieved a reputation as a Filipino “Dirty Harry,” a strongman who boasted that he got rid of criminals and drug pushers by wiping them off the face of the earth. When questioned about the 1,000-plus extrajudicial executions alleged to have taken place under his watch, he simply growled that criminals had no human rights and were not entitled to due process.

    • The CIA and the 1962 Arrest of Nelson Mandela

      West Africans and southern Africans alike always assumed both CIA and KGB presence in colonial Africa. There was a common joke saying that if you dropped in at hotel happy hour in Luanda, Lusaka, or Maputo you could identify both the Americans and Russians. People even had memories of KGB and CIA operatives sharing tables.

    • Activism Beyond ‘Feeling the Bern’: Violent Protests for Social Progress Happening Now in France

      The presidential election in the U.S. has dominated the public’s attention and produced two unlikely outcomes. The most obvious is that reality TV star Donald Trump, while breaking every rule in the book of U.S. presidential politics and offending women, minorities and just about everyone, is clearly going to be the Republican nominee for president.

    • House Republicans Want To Force The Library Of Congress To Call Immigrants ‘Illegal’

      Republicans in Congress are insistent on continuing to use the term “illegal immigrant” — even though it’s considered offensive by many immigrants and advocates because of its negative connotation.

      The Republican-led House Appropriations Committee approved a bill this week that would require the Library of Congress to use the term “illegal immigrants,” reversing its recent decision to stop using that phrase in its search terms and cataloging.

      Last month, the Library of Congress announced it would stop using the term “illegal alien” to describe someone who is living in the country without permission, explaining the term has “taken on a pejorative tone” and citing the fact that media outlets like the Associated Press no longer use it. Instead, the Library said it would start using the more neutral terms “noncitizens” and “unauthorized immigration.”

    • Rethinking Criminal Justice

      “For over forty years our criminal justice system has over-relied on punishment, policing, incarceration and detention. This has ushered in an age of mass incarceration. This era is marked by sentencing policies that lead to racially disproportionate incarceration rates and a variety of ‘collateral consequences’ that have harmed our communities and schools. . . .”

      In this time when our self-inflicted troubles seem so obvious but the possibility of change — that is to say, political transformation, through awareness, compassion and common sense — feels more illusory than ever, something extraordinary, that is to say real, is on the brink of happening in Chicago.

    • The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is discriminatory. Let’s fix it

      But today RFRA is being used as a vehicle for institutions and individuals to argue that their faith justifies myriad harms — to equality, to dignity, to health and to core American values.

    • Scottish Country Club Upholds Ban On Women, Offers To Create ‘Lady-Friendly’ Golf Course Instead

      On Thursday, the members of the privately owned Muirfield golf club in Scotland voted against allowing women to join their ranks.

    • With or Without White People, Black Lives Matter

      What do these facts mean? Do they mean what they say or do they mean something else? Is an African American male’s life really 5 years less deserving than a white American male? Is there something about the color of one’s skin that signifies that they are less deserving of freedom or a good paying job? Are black people 6x more worthy of death for committing crimes than whites?

    • As Universities Become More Diverse, Debates Over Buildings Honoring White Supremacists Grow

      There’s been ongoing debate on university campuses about whether the names of slaveowners and white supremacists should be removed from college buildings. It’s a conversation that pits those concerned over campus climates for students of color against the views of some historians and administrators, some of whom say that it’s not appropriate to remove the names of historical figures from college grounds.

      At Yale University, for example, administrators recently changed the title of “master” of a college or “head” of a college, after students expressed concerns over the name being too attached to slavery, but did not submit to calls to rename a residential building called Calhoun College. Students were upset that Calhoun, a fierce opponent of the abolition of slaves who called slavery a “positive good,” would continue to have his name displayed at the college.

    • Home Depot Worker Receives Death Threats After Wearing ‘America Was Never Great’ Hat

      Krystal Lake, a 22-year-old Staten Islander and student at the College of Staten Island, elicited a firestorm of hate tweets after a photo of her wearing an “America Was Never Great” hat went viral.

    • Malcolm X Predicted the Progression of Racism in the United States

      On March 26, 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X came to watch the debate over the civil rights bill, meeting for the first and only known time at the US Capitol. Malcolm had recently been pushed out of the corrupted Nation of Islam. When he left Washington, he started warning American racists of the “ballot or the bullet.” At a church in Detroit on April 12, 1964, Malcolm offered his plan for the ballot instead of the bullet: going before the United Nations to charge the United States with violating the human rights of African Americans. “Now you tell me how can the plight of everybody on this Earth reach the halls of the United Nations,” Malcolm said, his voice rising, “and you have twenty-two million Afro-Americans whose churches are being bombed, whose little girls are being murdered, whose leaders are being shot down in broad daylight!” And America still had “the audacity or the nerve to stand up and represent himself as the leader of the free world . . . with the blood of your and mine mothers and fathers on his hands — with the blood dripping down his jaws like a bloody-jawed wolf.”

    • Urinals and Stalls as the New Battleground: Could the Problem of the 21st Century Be the Gender Line?

      I don’t believe in God, Christian or otherwise, though I do highly regard the humble teachings of Jesus Christ and his lessons on forgiveness. If, perchance, we actually were created by a superior being, he or she was certainly a comedian. Why else were our excreting organs so intricately linked with the organs we enjoy so much for erotic and reproductive purposes. This helped people like Sigmund Freud forge successful careers and write many books trying to explain it all. It also explains why bathrooms have suddenly become a battleground.

    • Defying Hateful Governments, People Worldwide Say ‘Refugees Welcome’

      The vast majority of people worldwide—80 percent—would welcome refugees with open arms, according to a global survey commissioned by Amnesty International.

      The first-ever Refugees Welcome Index exposes how governments that take outlandish measures against asylum are out of touch with their citizens, Amnesty said. The survey found that not only were people willing to accept refugees in their home countries, they would go “to astonishing lengths” to make them welcome.

      “These figures speak for themselves,” said Amnesty’s secretary general Salil Shetty. “People are ready to make refugees welcome, but governments’ inhumane responses to the refugee crisis are badly out of touch with the views of their own citizens.”

    • Power Loves the Dark

      Shemar Taylor was charged with robbing a pizza delivery driver at gunpoint. The police got a warrant to search his home and arrested him after learning that the cell phone used to order the pizza was located in his house. How the police tracked down the location of that cell phone is what Taylor’s attorney wanted to know.

      The Baltimore police detective called to the stand in Taylor’s trial was evasive. “There’s equipment we would use that I’m not going to discuss,” he said. When Judge Barry Williams ordered him to discuss it, he still refused, insisting that his department had signed a nondisclosure agreement with the FBI.

      “You don’t have a nondisclosure agreement with the court,” replied the judge, threatening to hold the detective in contempt if he did not answer. And yet he refused again. In the end, rather than reveal the technology that had located Taylor’s cell phone to the court, prosecutors decided to withdraw the evidence, jeopardizing their case.

      And don’t imagine that this courtroom scene was unique or even out of the ordinary these days. In fact, it was just one sign of a striking nationwide attempt to keep an invasive, constitutionally questionable technology from being scrutinized, whether by courts or communities.

    • Cop Abuses Bad Cyberbullying Law To Arrest Man For Calling Him A Pedophile To His Face

      F-bombs are protected speech, so even the “disorderly conduct” charge is largely baseless. But the use of the cyberharassment law — which carries a possible penalty of 18 months in jail and a $10,000 fine — is completely ridiculous. If Forchion committed no crime by calling Officer Flowers a pedophile in person, no crime was committed simply because this confrontation was recorded (by a third party) and posted to YouTube (also, apparently by a third party).

      This is simply a bad law being abused because that’s what bad laws — no matter how well-intentioned — allow people like Officer Flowers to do.

      Officer Herbert Flowers has a history of subjectively interpreting Constitutional rights. He may have been upset by Forchion’s F-bombs, but that doesn’t explain his decision to punish Forchion for using his First Amendment rights. But Flowers has been down this road before.

    • Trump’s Military Adviser Embraces Some Of The Presumptive Nominee’s Most Controversial Positions

      Retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, the former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Obama, is now an informal adviser to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump — and he’s not shying away from the candidate’s most controversial policy proposals.

    • US Officials Responsible for Torture Should Be Prosecuted Under Nuremberg Protocols

      Many observers have pointed out the absurdity of declaring war either on a tactic (terrorism) or on an emotion (terror). A crusade against terror seems even more ill-defined and hopeless than the US “war” on drugs. For simplicity’s sake, I will not qualify the “war on terror” with quote marks throughout this book. But they remain present in my mind’s eye, and I hope in the reader’s as well.

    • Edward Snowden warns CIA ‘never destroys something by mistake’
    • CIA ‘mistakenly’ destroys copy of 6,700-page US torture report
    • Edward Snowden Refutes Claim That CIA ‘Accidentally Destroyed’ Torture Files

      The internal watchdog for the CIA admitted to “mistakenly” destroying its only copy of a Senate torture report—at the same time the report was assured to be preserved, according to a Yahoo News report on May 16.

    • Malcolm X: The Last Speech
    • The U.S. Remains Unequal 50 Years After Malcolm X’s ‘Ballot or the Bullet’ Speech (Audio)

      The speech, which was named the seventh-best speech of the 20th century by scholars, stressed the importance of voting to achieve equality for African-Americans, but he warned that violence would be necessary if politicians failed to bring about justice.

    • “Postracial” Is Racist: The Politics of Erasing Race From the Conversation

      The answer is often implicit racial bias, the unconscious attitudes and racial stereotypes that cause people to act even in the absence of conscious animus or prejudice against any particular group.

    • Obama’s Cruel Decision to Resume Mass Deportations
    • Exclusive: U.S. plans new wave of immigrant deportation raids
    • TSA Lines Causing Frowns? Send in the Clowns! (and Tiny Horses)

      With mounting delays around the country being blamed on Transportation Security Administration cutbacks and increased passenger traffic, airports are turning to musical performers and free sweets to keep travelers’ tempers in check.

      And some airports are getting a little more creative.

      Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is now inviting miniature therapy horses and their handlers from the non-profit Seven Oaks Farms Miniature Therapy Horses program in Hamilton, Ohio to visit the terminals several times a month.

      “Animals help reduce stress and anxiety levels and put smiles on people’s faces,” said Mindy Kershner, a spokeswoman for the airport.

    • The TSA will ruin your summer vacation and no one can agree on a fix

      Security lines at airports around the US are growing longer and longer. And that’s infuriating airlines, airports, passengers, and our elected officials alike. The long lines at the TSA-staffed security checkpoints are delaying fights and causing people to miss their planes. But ironically, passengers and airlines — the two groups most affected — are the ones who can do the least about it.

      “Logistically, we don’t have the opportunity to hold flights for hours,” Ross Feinstein, a spokesperson for American Airlines, said in an interview with The Verge. Passengers “get to the gate too late and they can’t get rebooked for days or a week. That’s our concern, the impact it’s having on our customers.” Naturally, frustrated customers take their anger out on airline employees or, increasingly, airline Twitter accounts. “We see it every day on social media. They’re very upset, and our employees are very concerned.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Cable Customers Beware: This Mega-Merger Just Created a ‘Price-Gouging’ Monster

      The maligned merger between Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Bright House Networks is complete, which means the three companies have now become the country’s second-largest cable provider, despite months of warnings from consumer and open internet advocates who assailed it as the creation of a ‘price-gouging’ monster.

      Charter ultimately paid $55 million to purchase Time Warner Cable and $10.4 billion for Bright House Networks. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the acquisition earlier this month with several caveats—including a ban on data caps and TV exclusivity deals that would harm competition—but opponents warn that the deal is still bad news.

    • Federal Judge Says Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine A Perfectly Legitimate Source Of Evidence

      Those of us who dwell on the internet already know the Internet Archive’s “Wayback Machine” is a useful source of evidence. For one, it showed that the bogus non-disparagement clause KlearGear used to go after an unhappy customer wasn’t even in place when the customer ordered the product that never arrived.

      It’s useful to have ways of preserving web pages the way they are when we come across them, rather than the way some people would prefer we remember them, after vanishing away troublesome posts, policies, etc. Archive.is performs the same function. Screenshots are also useful, although tougher to verify by third parties.

      So, it’s heartening to see a federal judge arrive at the same conclusion, as Stephen Bykowski of the Trademark and Copyright Law blog reports.

    • Former FCC Boss Turned Top Cable Lobbyist Says Cable Industry Being Unfairly Attacked, ‘No Evidence’ Of Consumer Harm

      Given the fact that the FCC has recently bumped the standard definition of broadband to 25 Mbps to highlight competition gaps; reclassified ISPs as common carriers; passed real net neutrality rules for the first time ever; taken aim at the industry’s use of protectionist state law to keep the duopoly intact; pushed for improved broadband privacy rules, and is now taking aim at the cable industry’s monopoly over cable set top hardware, it’s not really surprising that the cable industry isn’t happy right now.

    • Seized Popcorn Time “News” Domain Sparks Free Speech Appeal

      The battle over the legality of a seized Popcorn Time “news” domain is heating up. Last week a complaint by two digital rights groups was denied by a local court due to a lack of standing, but today they filed an appeal, joined by the legal owner of the disputed domain name.

    • I want the courts to be involved before the police can hijack a news site DNS domain

      I just donated to the NUUG defence “fond” to fund the effort in Norway to get the seizure of the news site popcorn-time.no tested in court. I hope everyone that agree with me will do the same.

      Would you be worried if you knew the police in your country could hijack DNS domains of news sites covering free software system without talking to a judge first? I am. What if the free software system combined search engine lookups, bittorrent downloads and video playout and was called Popcorn Time? Would that affect your view? It still make me worried.

    • Why We Need to Take Back the Internet from the Centralizers

      In a world where digital technology reigns supreme, freedom of speech should not depend on the whims of a few powerful corporations and government rules. Increasingly, it does.

      A delegation of right-wing activists will travel this week to Silicon Valley. They will be supplicants at the throne of Facebook, a platform so pervasive that it has unprecedented power to decide what’s news—a platform that could consume journalism itself in coming years. They will be begging Mark Zuckerberg for his indulgence. What they should be doing—what we all should be doing—is finding ways to reduce his company’s dominance.

      The promise of the internet and personal technology was in its decentralization: one of the most profound advances for liberty in history. Yet at a rapid rate we’re seeing it re-centralized, as governments and corporations—often with users’ willing, if short-sighted, cooperation—are taking control in the center, creating choke points over what we say and how we can say it.

      The Facebook situation is helping people, including journalists, see that these choke points are a threat to freedom of expression. For countless millions, Facebook is the new public square. But its terms of service override the First Amendment, as activists and others have discovered. To assemble and speak in the new public square, we need permission from its owner.

  • DRM

    • Cory Doctorow on the real-world dangers of DRM

      Cory Doctorow gave a fast-paced keynote at OSCON 2016 this year that served as a warning message against DRM (digital rights management): Open, closed, and demon haunted: An Internet of Things that act like inkjet printers.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Public Outcry Leads Minnesota Politician To Drop Terrible Idea For The PRINCE Act

      Last week, we wrote about a terrible idea from Minnesota politician Joe Hoppe, for the PRINCE Act (Personal Rights in Names Can Endure Act), which was a massively broad publicity rights law, clearly designed to capitalize on Prince’s recent death. In fact, as we noted, the bill could be read to violate itself, since the whole point was to block people from exploiting the likeness or name of a famous person like Prince for various purposes, including commercial purposes and fundraising. Hoppe, apparently missing the irony entirely, had no problem saying that he was pushing the bill to exploit Prince’s death.

    • Who Should Control Your Genetic Information — You or Corporate Laboratories?

      Should patients have the same right to access their genetic information from a laboratory as they would a copy of their MRI, X-rays, or physical exam records? We believe the answer is clearly yes, which is why today we filed the first complaint seeking to guarantee patients’ rights to their own genetic data.

      The stakes are high. On one side are four patients asserting privacy rights under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly known as HIPAA, which guarantees access to their entire health record. On the other side is a corporate laboratory with a vested interest in maintaining proprietary control over patient data.

    • Trademarks

      • Brewery Changes Name For Second Time In Two Years Because Trademark

        It’s a mantra I’ve been repeating for some time now, but the alcohol and brewing industry has a trademark problem on its hands. We’ve seen instance after instance of the explosion in the craft brewing industry being hampered and harassed over trademark concerns, both from within the industry and from the outside. Most of these disputes lay bare the fact that trademark law has moved well beyond its initial function of preventing consumer confusion into a new era of corporate bullying and protectionism. But at least in most of these instances, the victim of all this is a victim once. Larry Cary, on the other hand, must be starting to feel like a punching bag, having had to now twice change the name of his alcohol-making business over trademark concerns.

      • Double shot of trademark trouble: Astoria distiller has changed name twice

        Facing legal pressures, Larry Cary is changing his Astoria distillery’s name for a second time.

        His business — Pilot House Spirits — will become Pilot House Distilling as part of a settlement with House Spirits Distilling, a Portland-based distillery that filed suit against Cary over trademark infringement.

    • Copyrights

      • News Reports And Fair Dealing: Moneyweb v Media24

        At last we now have some guidance in relation to the fair-dealing exceptions concerning news reporting, namely, section 12(1)(c)(i). It is clear that wholesale copying of a news article will, generally, not be permissible. Also, news aggregation per se does not amount to copyright infringement. The approach is generally consistent with the interpretation of the equivalent provisions under English law.

      • Larry Page spars with Oracle attorney at Android trial

        Google did not pay to use Oracle’s software in millions of smartphones, but the company believed that the intellectual property was free for anyone to use, Larry Page, chief executive of Google’s parent company, told jurors in court on Thursday.

        In a retrial at San Francisco federal court, Oracle Corp (ORCL.N) has claimed Google’s Android smartphone operating system violated its copyright on parts of Java, a development platform. Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google unit said it should be able to use Java without paying a fee under the fair-use provision of copyright law.

      • CEO Larry Page defends Google on the stand: “Declaring code is not code”

        Alphabet CEO Larry Page testified in federal court this morning, saying that he never considered getting permission to use Java APIs, because they were “free and open.”

        The CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, spoke in a soft staccato and was hard to understand at times. (Page suffers from a condition that affects his vocal chords.) Page testified for about a half-hour, answering a lightning-fast round of accusatory questions from Oracle attorney Peter Bicks.

      • Oracle-Google Dispute Goes to Heart of Open-Source Software [iophk: Close. It goes the the heart of all software and to the egregious lack of knowledge held by the courts.]

        The copyrights that are crucial to the trial are related to open-source software, which is created and shared for general use.

      • Under oath, Larry Page disputes that Android is a $43 billion business for Google

        Oracle is suing Google for billions of dollars and on Thursday Larry Page, the CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, was called to the stand by Oracle’s lawyers to testify.

      • Economist: There Was No ‘Fair Use’ of Java APIs in Android
      • Alphabet CEO Larry Page defends Android’s use of Java APIs in court

        Alphabet CEO and Google co-founder Larry Page defended his company’s development of the Android platform today during an ongoing legal battle with Oracle. Oracle sued Google in 2010, claiming that Android developers copied sections of proprietary code from Java. Google has maintained that the code in question was open source and free for its engineers to use, and that the implementation of the Java code in Android was transformative enough to be considered fair use.

        Page testified that he had little knowledge of the engineering details of Android that are at issue in this case, despite the fact that the lawsuit has now dragged on over the course of five years. However, he disputed Oracle’s assertion that Google stole its intellectual property when it used Java declaring code in Android. “When Sun established Java, they established it as an open source thing,” Page said. “We didn’t pay for the free and open things.”

      • Oracle vs. Google: Round 2

        The conflict between Google and Oracle continues to blaze through the courtrooms. With Oracle seeking damages of $8.8 billion, Google has plenty to lose, but the case has far-reaching ramifications for software developers everywhere, including the FOSS community.

        On Wednesday, May 11 2016, Sun Microsystem’s former CEO (Jonathan Schwartz) was called to the stand. His statements blew massive holes in Oracle’s case.

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