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09.18.17

Links 18/9/2017: Linux 4.14 RC1, Mesa 17.2.1, and GNOME 3.26 on Ubuntu Artful

Posted in News Roundup at 8:10 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Linux Foundation head proclaims year of Linux desktop – from a Mac

      In what could well take the award for the most hypocritical tech statement of the year, Linux Foundation executive director Jim Zemlin last week announced that 2017 was the year of the Linux desktop – while using a macOS machine for his presentation.

      Zemlin’s statement was made during his keynote at the Open Source Summit 2017 that took place in Los Angeles from 11 to 14 September.

    • We’re giving away a Linux-ready laptop from ZaReason

      For the first time ever, Opensource.com is partnering with ZaReason to give away an UltraLap 5330 laptop with Linux pre-installed!

      Since 2007, ZaReason has assembled, shipped, and supported hardware specifically designed for Linux, and the UltraLap 5330 is no exception—the 3.6-lb laptop ships with the Linux distribution of your choice and boasts the following hardware specs:

  • Server

    • 7 tips for Linux cluster admins to help keep auditors happy

      The beauty of building extra-large Linux clusters is it’s easy. Hadoop, OpenStack, hypervisor, and high-performance computing (HPC) installers enable you to build on commodity hardware and deal with node failure reasonably simply. Learning and managing Linux administration on a small scale involves basic day-to-day tasks; however, when planning and scaling production to several thousand node clusters, it can take over your life, including your weekends and holidays.

  • Kernel Space

    • MIPS Changes Submitted For Linux 4.14: NI 169445, Omega2+, MT7628A Support

      There are many MIPS updates to find with the in-development Linux 4.14 kernel.

    • Linux 4.14 Dropping In-Tree Firmware

      Linux 4.14 is getting rid of its in-kernel firmware/ tree.

      For years now most everyone has been relying upon the external Linux-Firmware.Git tree for managing the firmware binaries needed by the Linux kernel device drivers. But prior to that was the in-tree firmware/ destination.

    • The DRM Changes For The Linux 4.14 Kernel

      With the Linux 4.14 merge window period combined with the fact of the DRM pull request having been submitted early this cycle, I didn’t have a chance to provide a recap of the Direct Rendering Manager changes for 4.14. Here’s that overview for those not in tune with the many individual articles that had been written about the different Linux 4.14 graphics driver changes.

    • Linux 4.14 Gets A Driver For PWM-Controlled Vibrators

      Dmitry Torokhov has sent in a second helping of input updates for the Linux 4.14 merge window that is closing this weekend.

    • Linux 4.14-rc1

      Yes, I realize this is a day early, and yes, I realize that if I had
      waited until tomorrow, I would also have hit the 26th anniversary of
      the Linux-0.01 release, but neither of those undeniable facts made me
      want to wait with closing the mege window.

      This has been an “interesting” merge window. It’s not actually all
      that unusual in size – I think it’s shaping to be a pretty regular
      release after 4.13 that was smallish. But unlike 4.13 it also wasn’t a
      completely smooth merge window, and honestly, I _really_ didn’t want
      to wait for any possible straggling pull requests.

      Don’t get me wrong – things don’t look bad, but I hate it when I find
      issues during the merge window that I feel should have been noticed
      before the code made it to me, and it happened a few times this
      release.

    • Linux 4.14-rc1 Released A Day Early
    • Kernel prepatch 4.14-rc1
    • The Exciting New Features Of The Linux 4.14 Kernel: Zstd, Vega Hugepages, AMD SME, New Drivers
    • Graphics Stack

      • The state of open source accelerated graphics on ARM devices

        I’ve been meaning to write about the state of accelerated open source graphics options for a while now to give an update on a blog post I wrote over 5 years ago in January 2012, before the Raspberry Pi even existed! Reading back through that post it was pretty dark times for any form of GUI on ARM devices but with the massive changes in ARM devices and the massive change in SBCs (Single Board Computers) heralded by things like the Raspberry Pi have things improved at all? The answer is generally yes!

      • The Graphics Talks Of The 2017 Open-Source Summit NA

        This week the Linux Foundation hosted their annual Open-Source Summit 2017 North America. There were two graphics talks this year led by Collabora developers.

        The slides for many of the talks from the 2017 Open-Source Summit NA can be found via the schedule page if hovering over a track.

        I’ve already covered some of the interesting ones like the Clear Linux GCC/GLIBC optimization approach while there were also just two Linux graphics talks of interest this year.

      • Experimental Nouveau Reclocking Patches Updated, Including For Maxwell GPUs

        Karol Herbst has sent out 29 updated patches on Friday for a major rework to the Nouveau clock related code for re-clocking and related functionality. This includes a “hacky workaround” for getting re-clocking to function on GeForce GTX 900 “Maxwell 2″ GPUs.

        The 29 patches by this independent Nouveau contributor work on restoring clocks after a system suspend, fixed reclocking when entering suspend, initial support for thermal throttling and to trigger reclocking on temperature changes, the “hacky workaround” for Maxwell2 reclocking, a new debugfs file for changing the boost mode, and other related work.

      • [Old] The beginning of the end of the RadeonHD driver

        Soon it will be a decade since we started the RadeonHD driver, where we pushed ATI to a point of no return, got a proper C coded graphics driver and freely accessible documentation out. We all know just what happened to this in the end, and i will make a rather complete write-up spanning multiple blog entries over the following months. But while i was digging out backed up home directories for information, i came across this…

      • mesa 17.2.1
      • Mesa 17.2.1 Released With Restored RADV Vulkan RX Vega Support

        As anticipated, Mesa 17.2.1 is now available for those wanting to use the latest stable point release of Mesa3D for the best, stable open-source 3D graphics user experience on Linux and other operating systems.

      • RadeonSI OoO Rasterization Lands In Mesa 17.3 For RX Vega & VI GPUs

        The RadeonSI out-of-order rasterization support for RX Vega “GFX9″ and Volcanic Islands GPUs has now landed in Mesa 17.3-devel Git.

        The out-of-order rasterization support should be able to boost the performance of these newer graphics cards in some Linux games. The support is enabled by default for now on Vega/VI GPUs while can be disabled with R600_DEBUG=nooutoforder.

      • Mir Now Has Initial Support For Wayland Clients

        Quietly being added to the Mir display stack a week ago was initial support for Wayland clients.

        Natively supporting Wayland clients within Mir has been a new goal for the remaining Mir developers at Canonical now that the original Mir plans were abandoned when Canonical did away with their grand vision for Unity 8. Mir is still being maintained at Canonical for some IoT use-cases while they hope some open-source projects will still decide to make use of their technology. With now at least having native Wayland client support, they stand some chance of Mir being useful to other groups.

    • Benchmarks

      • Linux RAID Performance On NVMe M.2 SSDs With EXT4, Btrfs, F2FS

        To little surprise, when starting things off with a SQLite database insertion test, EXT4 on RAID0 with the NVMe drives was the fastest but not much faster than the standalone MP500 on EXT4. F2FS was also competing very well with EXT4. Btrfs was the slowest file-system, due to its copy-on-write nature that by default it doesn’t tend to be as performant with database type workloads. Interestingly, using F2FS with RAID1 caused a significant performance regression. At least in all the configurations except Btrfs, using the Corsair MP500 NVMe drives were a big upgrade over the Samsung 850 PRO.

  • Applications

    • Fake A Hollywood Hacker Screen in Linux Terminal

      You might have heard this dialogue in almost every Hollywood movie that shows a hacking scene. There will be a dark terminal with ascii text, diagrams and hex code changing continuously and a hacker who is hitting the keyboards as if he/she is typing an angry forum response.

      But that’s Hollywood! Hackers break into a network system in minutes whereas it takes months of research to actually do that. But I’ll put the Hollywood hacking criticism aside for the moment.

    • 3 text editor alternatives to Emacs and Vim

      Before you start reaching for those implements of mayhem, Emacs and Vim fans, understand that this article isn’t about putting the boot to your favorite editor. I’m a professed Emacs guy, but one who also likes Vim. A lot.

      That said, I realize that Emacs and Vim aren’t for everyone. It might be that the silliness of the so-called Editor war has turned some people off. Or maybe they just want an editor that is less demanding and has a more modern sheen.

    • Open-Source Alduin RSS Reader for Linux

      RSS readers are useful if you want to get latest updates from website(s). Alduin is a free and open-source RSS feed reader available for Linux and Windows, built using modern technologies like: Electron, React, TypeScript and Less, it has easy to use user-interface and suitable for all types of users. It has native system notification support, and additionally it supports podcast feeds too.
      Using the Alduin RSS interface is fairly simple, just click on the plus shaped button, and it will pull new articles from that given feed url, you can delete already added feed sources, lock the side menu in place.

    • SelekTOR: A Frontend GUI For Tor Browser (Bypass Country Restriction)

      Tor is a free software designed to make communication anonymous. Tor directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer overlay network consisting of more than seven thousand relays to conceal a user’s location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. Tor makes it more difficult for Internet activity to be traced back (Warning: still possible). Tor’s use is intended to protect the personal privacy of users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication by keeping their Internet activities from being monitored.

      SelecTOR is a frontend GUI for the Tor application. It is free for Linux and open-source based on Java released under license GNU GPL-2, it acts as a Tor launcher and exit node chooser for browsers that support system proxying using PAC files. It can be used for security and anonymization purposes or to bypass some firewall. Simplifies the process of selecting Tor exit nodes and manages selective URL pattern based on routing via system proxying.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Librem 5 Crosses $400k In Funding After Plasma Mobile Announcement

        Since announcing earlier this week that KDE is working on Plasma Mobile support for the Librem 5, Purism has managed to raise over $100k more towards their goal of building a free software GNU/Linux smartphone, but remain around 1.1 million dollars short of their goal.

        The announcement of Plasma Mobile support — while still planning to support GNOME on their device and it not being known yet if KDE/GNOME will be the default on the phone — managed to gain a number of new supporters with crossing the $400k crowdfunding threshold this weekend.

      • David Revoy teaches Krita course at local university in Paris
      • Randa Report Part 2

        And now for the serious part: in my last blog post, I talked about achieving our main goal for this year’s Randa meetings – we successfully ported the entire Kontact away from the obsoleted KDateTime class. Since we finished this on Thursday, there was still enough time left to start working on something new and exciting.

        Volker and Frederik went on to work on a KWin plugin to simulate various kinds of color blindness which will help developers to see how visually impaired users see their software, I did a bit more code clean-up after the porting and a bit of code-review.

    • GNOME Desktop/GTK

  • Distributions

    • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

      • Mageia 6

        Mageia 6 is very nice. While not much different from many of the other modern distributions, it comes with enough polish and extra features to make it worth checking out. The Welcome to Mageia application and Control Center make the distribution very friendly for new Linux users. Similarly, the ease of enabling non-free and tainted packages also makes it a good choice for anyone looking to quickly set up a fully functional system. While I cannot personally attest to their usefulness, users switching from Windows might find the various importing tools helpful for making their transition to Linux. If you are looking for a new distribution to try out, or want to take your first foray into the world of Linux, give Mageia 6 a try, you will not be disappointed.

    • Arch Family

      • BlackArch Linux A Pentesting Linux Distribution

        ​When it comes to penetration testing, the best way to go is Linux. Distros like Kali and Parrot are quite popular. Today we’re going to look at another awesome penetration testing distro known as Blackarch. Blackarch Linux is an Arch Linux-based penetration testing distribution for penetration testers and security researchers. The Blackarch comes with a tools repository that contains over 1800 tools with new ones being added quite frequently. Let us take a brief look at this Linux distro.

      • ArchLabs Linux “Mínimo” 2017.09 Released — Get A Fresh And Lightweight Linux Experience

        ArchLabs is a comparatively newer and lesser popular Linux distro as compared to other Arch Linux derivatives like Manjaro or Antergos. It came into existence when Crunchbang’s development was ceased and some fans decided to take inspiration from Bunsenlabs, which was itself a community-organized successor to Crunchbang, and create an Arch Linux based distribution named ArchLabs.

        ArchLabs, in early September 2017, decided to shift their focus of ArchLabs Mínimo, aka MSE-6, as their main release. It’s a stripped down, Openbox-based version of ArchLabs R2D2. For those who don’t know, MSE-6 are tiny repair droids seen in Star Wars.

    • Red Hat Family

    • Debian Family

      • Free Software Efforts (2017W37)

        I have updated txtorcon (a Twisted-based asynchronous Tor control protocol implementation used by ooniprobe, magic-wormhole and tahoe-lafs) to its latest upstream version. I’ve also added two new binary packages that are built by the txtorcon source package: python3-txtorcon and python-txtorcon-doc for Python 3 support and generated HTML documentation respectively.

      • Debian LTS work, August 2017

        I was assigned 15 hours of work by Freexian’s Debian LTS initiative and carried over 1 hour from July. I only worked 10 hours, so I will carry over 6 hours to the next month.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Adds Support for GNOME’s JHBuild Tool to Its Snapcraft Snappy Creator

            Canonical’s Sergio Schvezov released a new update to the Snapcraft tool that application developers can use to package their apps as Snaps for easy distribution on Ubuntu and other Snappy-capable GNU/Linux distros.

            Snapcraft 2.34 has been released this week and it’s now available in the main repositories of various Ubuntu Linux releases that support the Snappy technologies, bringing a new plugin to support GNOME’s JHBuild tool for building the entire GNOME desktop environment or select packages from the version control system.

          • Wavebox, the Powerful Email Client, Is Now Available as a Snap on Ubuntu Linux

            If you’ve ever dreamed of having a central hub for all your web communication tools, you should know that the powerful Wavebox web app is now available for installation on Ubuntu Linux systems as a Snap.

            That’s right, Wavebox was finally ported to Canonical’s Snappy technologies that let application developers package their apps as Snaps to make their distribution easy across multiple GNU/Linux operating systems. And now, it looks Wavebox arrive in the Snappy Store and can be installed on Ubuntu and other supported distros.

          • Interview with Ubuntu boss: A rich ecosystem for robotics and automation systems

            In fact, ROS is not actually an operating system at all – it’s a set of software frameworks, or a software development kit, to be installed into an operating system like Ubuntu.

            As Mike Bell, executive vice president of internet of things and devices at Canonical, explains in an exclusive interview: “It’s a bit confusing because it’s called Robot Operating System, but the reason is because if you’re developing robot applications, you don’t need to worry about the fact that it’s running on Ubuntu.

          • GNOME 3.26 is Available on Ubuntu Artful!

            GNOME is a modern desktop user interface which is free software available for GNU/Linux, with mobile-like style and many applications. GNOME is well-known for its file manager, Nautilus, and its audio player, Rhythmbox. The 3.26 is the current stable version of GNOME released at 13 September 2017.

          • [Video] Checking out Ubuntu 17.10 beta 1 Gnome
  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • To reduce costs, schools and colleges ready to use open source free software

    Many teachers and faculty of schools and colleges across the city are willing to use open source computer software for learning. This is because various interactive applications on these software, based on subject-wise learning, can help students. They will also help bring the cost of education down, eliminate the need for licencing and put an end to piracy.

  • Mumbai teachers learn benefits of open source software

    Free software activist groups from across the city came together at the Don Bosco Institute of Technology, Kurla on Saturday to celebrate Software Freedom Day (SFD) along with 100 school teachers, in order to educate them about the importance of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS), a software that is owned socially and not by a specific proprietor.

    Proprietary software programmes like Windows, Photoshop, Corel or Tally, that have registration and application fees, can be replaced by FOSS, which is allegedly better and cheaper than the proprietary ones. Apart from this, the activists also focused on the privacy aspect that is lost in these software. The activists spoke to the teachers about open source software and its benefits.

  • How To Get An Open Source/Linux Job? — 9 Things To Keep In Mind

    Open source is becoming the new norm in the technology industry. All the major technology companies are busy using open source technologies and sharing their code on GitHub to help the developers use their quality code. This has resulted in a mutual benefit.

    Open source technologies like Android, Docker, Linux, etc., have dominated different markets and helped in creating more opportunities for the open source professionals. Highlighting the same, The Linux Foundation, in partnership with the careers website Dice, has released the results of the latest Open Source Jobs Survey and Report

  • Documentation needs usability, too
  • The Realities of Being a FOSS Maintainer
  • The Demand for Open-Source Professionals Soars

    While the majority of organizations anticipate hiring more open-source professionals over the next six months, an even greater number are struggling to recruit qualified candidates for their open positions, according to a recent survey from the Linux Foundation and Dice. The accompanying report, “Open-Source Jobs Report: Employers Prioritize Hiring Open-Source Professionals With Latest Skills,” paints an optimistic picture for open source as a career pursuit: Employers are scrambling to fill open positions to enhance the DevOps and app development capabilities in their company. They’re especially eager to hire a candidate who has certifications, and, if not, they’re often willing to help pay for the cost of getting certifications. Meanwhile, open-source pros are constantly getting recruiting calls, leading most of them to believe that it would be easy to find another job. “As open source becomes increasingly relevant and more companies globally leverage the technology in their stacks, demand for professionals with open-source experience will only intensify,” said Michael Durney, president and CEO of DHI Group, which owns Dice. “Successful employers recognize that open-source professionals will look at things beyond just the compensation, and will, for instance, express the opportunity to work on challenging projects during the recruiting process. Those firms [that] foster a spirit of teamwork and promote paths for professionals to advance their careers within the organization will attract highly skilled, passionate tech talent and, in turn, propel innovation forward for the future.” More than 280 global hiring managers and 1,800 open-source professionals took part in the research.

  • Events

    • LinuxChix Meet up experience!

      Today I got an opportunity to celebrate Linux’s 26th anniversary (17th September 1991) with the LinuxChix India team (http://india.linuxchix.org/).

  • Web Browsers

    • Chrome

      • Google Chrome will block autoplay video starting January 2018

        Google is taking on the irritating trend of auto-playing Web videos with its Chrome browser. Starting in Chrome 64, which is currently earmarked for a January 2018 release, auto-play will only be allowed when the video in question is muted or when a “user has indicated an interest in the media.”

        The latter applies if the site has been added to the home screen on mobile or if the user has frequently played media on the site on desktop. Google also says auto-play will be allowed if the user has “tapped or clicked somewhere on the site during the browsing session.”

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • BSD

    • FreeBSD 10.4-RC1 Now Available

      The first RC build of the 10.4-RELEASE release cycle is now available.

      Installation images are available for:

      o amd64 GENERIC
      o i386 GENERIC
      o ia64 GENERIC
      o powerpc GENERIC
      o powerpc64 GENERIC64
      o sparc64 GENERIC
      o armv6 BEAGLEBONE
      o armv6 CUBOX-HUMMINGBOARD
      o armv6 GUMSTIX
      o armv6 PANDABOARD
      o armv6 RPI-B
      o armv6 WANDBOARD

    • Every Nintendo Switch appears to contain a hidden copy of NES Golf [Ed: The Switch, some claim, runs FreeBSD]

      Turns out, this is somehow weirder. Your Nintendo Switch may already have a fully playable NES game just sitting inside of it.

  • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

    • GNU lightning 2.1.1 released!

      GNU lightning is a library to aid in making portable programs that compile assembly code at run time.

    • Gnuastro 0.4 released

      I am happy to announce that the fourth release of Gnuastro now available.

      GNU Astronomy Utilities (Gnuastro) is an official GNU package consisting of various command-line programs and library functions for the manipulation and analysis of astronomical data. All the programs share the same basic command-line user interface for the comfort of both the users and developers.

    • GNU libffcall 2.0 is released

      libffcall version 2.0 is released.

    • Introducing Jitter, an efficient language Virtual Machine generator

      During the last few months of this long silence I’ve been busy working on a new project. Of course it is free software, and I plan to propose it soon as an official GNU project.

    • Unifont 10.0.06 Released

      Unifont 10.0.06 is now available. This version has many glyph improvements, most of which were contributed by David Corbett. This version also has make files with Mike Gilbert’s modifications to allow parallel make, and corrects a bug in unifontpic for generation of the large Unifont graphic images. See the ChangeLog for further details.

    • Announcing Guix-HPC

      Today, Inria, the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), and the Utrecht Bioinformatics Center (UBC) are announcing a joint effort to consolidate GNU Guix for reproducible scientific workflows in high-performance computing (HPC). The three research institutes have been using Guix and contributing to it. The new effort, dubbed Guix-HPC, hopes to extend Guix functionality to better address the needs of HPC users, as well as augmenting its package collection.

      Guix was not initially designed with HPC in mind. However, we believe it has many good properties both for flexible software deployment on clusters, and as a foundation for reproducible scientific workflows. The Guix-HPC blog will regularly feature articles with HPC “howtos” and stories about our achievements. We are thrilled by the opportunities this new effort offers!

    • GNU Remotecontrol: Newsletter – September 2017
    • GNUHealthCon 2017 and Social Medicine Awards nominations

      GNUHealthCon 2017 (www.gnuhealthcon.org) is coming up this November in Las Palmas ! We are very excited, and working hard on the preparations so we can make it a success again.

      On Saturday night (Nov 25th), we will celebrate the GNU Health Social Medicine Awards 2017 ceremony. Besides having a great time with our colleagues from around the world, we will announce the winners of the Social Medicine Awards. The awards are a way to recognize the work of individuals and organizations that fight for social justice and freedom in this world, and a source of inspiration for all of us.

    • GNU Health 3.2.3 patchset released
    • Texinfo 6.5 released

      We have released version 6.5 of Texinfo, the GNU documentation format.

  • Programming/Development

    • Python explosion blamed on pandas

      Not content to bait developers by declaring that Python is the fastest-growing major programming language, coding community site Stack Overflow has revealed the reason for its metastasis.

      Coming a day after Programmer Day, which falls on the 256th day of the year – except January 7: – the explanatory post by data scientist David Robinson could be flagged as an off-by-one error.

      But his case for the rise and rise of Python is no less plausible for its tardiness. Programmers love pandas.

      Not the black-and-white bamboo eaters, but the Python data science library. “Pandas is by a large margin the tag most visited by Python developers, which isn’t surprising after we saw its earlier growth,” Robinson explained.

    • Devs unknowingly use “malicious” modules snuck into official Python repository

      The official repository for the widely used Python programming language has been tainted with modified code packages, a computer security authority in Slovakia warned. The authority also said the packages have been downloaded by unwitting developers who incorporated them into software over the past three months.

      Multiple code packages were uploaded to the Python Package Index, often abbreviated as PyPI, and were subsequently incorporated into software multiple times from June through this month, Slovakia’s National Security Authority said in an advisory published Thursday. The unidentified people who made available the code packages gave them names that closely resembled those used for packages found in the standard Python library. The packages contained the exact same code as the upstream libraries except for an installation script, which was changed to include a “malicious (but relatively benign) code.”

Leftovers

  • Science

    • New evidence of Viking warrior women might not be what it seems

      At first, the scientific paper seemed like scientific confirmation of a long-cherished myth about Vikings. DNA and geochemistry experts re-examined the famous Swedish grave of a high-ranking Viking warrior and discovered that the person buried alongside swords, armor, and two sacrificial horses was genetically female. In a paper published in American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Uppsala University archaeologist Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson and her team announced that they had, at last, proven that there were warrior women among the Vikings.

      The claim seemed to fit the evidence. Male Vikings were frequently buried with swords, and the sword was undoubtedly associated with the battle-scarred ideal of masculinity in Viking culture. If we assume that men buried with swords are warriors, then a woman buried with one was probably a warrior, too. Analysis of the stable isotopes in her tooth enamel suggested this woman had traveled widely, just like a warrior would have. On top of all that, Hedenstierna-Jonson and her colleagues pointed out the many references to women fighting in Old Norse poetry and myth. The bloodthirsty Valkyries are an all-female gang of magical creatures who come to every battle and decide who will fall. The recent paper in American Journal of Physical Anthropology was simply our first scientific evidence that there were real-life women fighting alongside the men.

  • Hardware

    • How long should a $999 iPhone last?
    • [Older] R.I.P. SPARC and Solaris [iophk: "Larry doing favors for Bill at his own expense"]

      According to comments on thelayoff.com, “SPARC people are out.” “The entire SPARC core team has been let go as of Friday. It’s gone. No more SPARC. You can’t have a SPARC w/o a team to develop the core.”

  • Health/Nutrition

    • ‘Single Payer Is a Rational Health-Care System’: An Exclusive Interview With Bernie Sanders on His ‘Medicare for All’ Plan

      The senator from Vermont explains why there is now so much interest in bold reform of America’s health-care system.

    • Democratic leaders keep distance from Sanders single-payer plan

      Democratic support for a single-payer health-care system has grown by bounds this year, attracting more lawmaker endorsements than any time in the past. But one group is conspicuously not on board: party leaders.

    • ATF Ran Illegal Mixed-Money Slush Fund For Years With Zero Oversight, Auditing, Or Punishment

      The ATF isn’t restrained by oversight. It’s hardly restrained at all. It’s made a business of fake stash house sting operations, where downtrodden suckers looking for cash are persuaded to rob a ficitonal stash house of its fictional drugs. The problem is the government then bases its charges on the amount of nonexistent drugs sting victims were told the fake stash house contained. In no sting operation was the “amount” of drugs lower than 5 kilograms — the amount needed to trigger a 20-year minimum sentence.

      Why is the ATF involved? Because every sting operation involves fictional armed guards, necessitating the use of illegally-obtained weapons by sting victims. Bang. More charges with lengthy minimum sentences.

    • The Push for a Medicare-for-All Plan

      Sen. Bernie Sanders has unveiled a new single-payer healthcare plan which would provide all Americans with government-sponsored health coverage. Sanders’s plan, supported by some 16 Democrats in the Senate, calls for an overhaul of the healthcare system with what would essentially be a tweaked and revitalized version of Medicare-for-all.

    • Dr. Mona’s work exposing problems with Flint water earns award, $250,000
    • A year later, Dakota Access pipeline protests changed people
    • International Water Study Will Pay Flint Residents to Participate
    • Sea salt around the world is contaminated by plastic, studies show

      Researchers believe the majority of the contamination comes from microfibres and single-use plastics such as water bottles, items that comprise the majority of plastic waste. Up to 12.7m tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans every year, equivalent to dumping one garbage truck of plastic per minute into the world’s oceans, according to the United Nations.

    • Amid Opioid Crisis, Insurers Restrict Pricey, Less Addictive Painkillers

      At a time when the United States is in the grip of an opioid epidemic, many insurers are limiting access to pain medications that carry a lower risk of addiction or dependence, even as they provide comparatively easy access to generic opioid medications.

      The reason, experts say: Opioid drugs are generally cheap while safer alternatives are often more expensive.

      Drugmakers, pharmaceutical distributors, pharmacies and doctors have come under intense scrutiny in recent years, but the role that insurers — and the pharmacy benefit managers that run their drug plans — have played in the opioid crisis has received less attention. That may be changing, however. The New York State attorney general’s office sent letters last week to the three largest pharmacy benefit managers — CVS Caremark, Express Scripts and OptumRx — asking how they were addressing the crisis.

    • Why Are Drug Prices So High? We’re Curious, Too

      This much is clear: The public is angry about the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. Surveys have shown that high drug prices rank near the top of consumers’ health care concerns.

      What’s not as clear is exactly why prices have been rising, and who is to blame.

      For the last four months, The New York Times and ProPublica, the nonprofit investigative journalism organization, have teamed up to answer these questions, and to shed light on the games that are being played to keep prices high, often without consumers’ knowledge or consent. Katie reports from the health desk at The Times, and Charles is a senior reporter at ProPublica.

      Our reporting journey has turned up some counterintuitive stories, like how insurance companies sometimes require patients to take brand-name drugs — and refuse to cover generic alternatives — even when that means patients have to pay more out of pocket.

  • Security

    • Don’t blame open-source software for poor security practices

      The Equifax breach is a good reminder of why organizations need to remain vigilant about properly maintaining and updating their software, especially when security vulnerabilities have been disclosed. In an ideal world, software would update itself the moment a security patch is released. WordPress, for example, offers automatic updates in an effort to promote better security, and to streamline the update experience overall. It would be interesting to consider automatic security updates for Drupal (just for patch releases, not for minor or major releases).

      In absence of automatic updates, I would encourage users to work with PaaS companies that keep not only your infrastructure secure, but also your Drupal application code. Too many organizations underestimate the effort and expertise it takes to do it themselves.

      At Acquia, we provide customers with automatic security patching of both the infrastructure and Drupal code. We monitor our customers’ sites for intrusion attempts, DDoS attacks, and other suspicious activity. If you prefer to do the security patching yourself, we offer continuous integration or continuous delivery tools that enable you to get security patches into production in minutes rather than weeks or months. We take pride in assisting our customers to keep their sites current with the latest patches and upgrades; it’s good for our customers and helps dispel the myth that open-source software is more susceptible to security breaches.

    • Don’t blame open-source software for poor security practices

      Equifax was hacked because the firm failed to patch a well-known Apache Struts flaw that was disclosed months earlier in March.

    • Northern Exposure: Data on 600K Alaskan Voters is Leaked

      Researchers have discovered the personal details of over half a million US voters exposed to the public internet, once again thanks to a misconfigured database.

    • Google purges malicious Android apps with millions of downloads
  • Defence/Aggression

    • FACT CHECK: Is the photo, widely shared as that of Rohingya Muslims charred to death, authentic?

      The picture used by The Times Headline is that from a 2010 Fuel Truck disaster that happened in Congo and is NOT of Rohingya Muslims.

    • Why no country wants Rohingya, why it’s so difficult to deport them

      India had condemned “terrorist attacks in… Rakhine, wherein several members of the Myanmar security forces lost their lives”; Myanmar, in turn, condemned the Amarnath yatra attack, and “various acts of terror perpetrated by terrorists from across the borders”.

    • Pakistan is fuelling unrest in Myanmar’s backyard

      The international community has questioned Myanmar for the Rohingya crisis but has forgotten the bloody contribution of Pakistan-based jihadist groups to this catastrophe

    • Thousands of non-Muslims evacuated as violence flares in northwest Myanmar

      Fighting involving the military and hundreds of Rohingya across northwestern Rakhine continued on Saturday with the fiercest clashes taking place near the major town of Maungdaw, according to residents and the government.

    • Angela Merkel tells asylum seekers not to take holidays in their country of origin

      “Taking holidays in the country in which you are being persecuted is not on,” she said in an interview with Welt am Sonntag, adding that it could be a reason to re-examine an asylum case.

    • Terror Warning: Britain home to 35,000 Islamist fanatics, says security chief

      European Union’s counter-terrorism co-ordinator Gilles de Kerchove singled out the UK as having more radicalised [sic] muslims than any other country in Europe.

    • ISIS Central Planned Attacks in London a Year Before Borough Market Assault
    • Terror attacks caused by “misinterpretation” of Quran by mosques, claims Scots Muslim issued with fatwa

      Paigham Mustafa, 58, was accused of spreading “Satanic thoughts” in a fatwa issued by 15 imams in Glasgow after he published a series of articles questioning mosque teachings, which he says are based on the Hadith and Sunna, later Islamic texts, written after the Koran, which he claims are “replete with violence, misogyny and terror”.

    • Profiteering in War: the Case Against Mercenaries

      Opening the August 30 New York Times, I was surprised (and personally appalled) to find Erik Prince on the opinion page with his own by-lined article (“Contractors, Not Troops, Will Save Afghanistan”). While Prince is entitled to his opinion, it seemed to me his former role as head of Blackwater should have denied him the privilege of expressing it from the vaulted platform of the NYT.

      Taking issue with the Prince op-ed, I maintain that the U.S. military should never hire mercenaries, whether directly or through Blackwater-type firms since contract soldiers have a vested interest in prolonging a war. Their private employers, investors, and lobbyists have a similar interest in advocating pro-war policies in the halls of Congress.

      Enriched by a succession of lucrative government security contracts and serving for years as a CIA lackey, Prince’s security company Blackwater earned opprobrium for its high-handed aggressiveness in Iraq as it escorted government VIPs around Baghdad and beyond. Repeated abuses of Iraqi pedestrians and motorists came to a head when four Blackwater employees opened fire in a crowded square in Baghdad in 2007, killing 17 and wounding 20. Prince defended his security force but sold the company in 2010.

    • The Forgotten Victims of Agent Orange
    • Nigerian Parents Give Girls to Boko Haram as Bombers, Army Says

      Parents in the northeast of Nigeria are giving their daughters to Boko Haram terrorists for indoctrination and suicide bombing missions, the country’s military said.

    • Imam in Northern Region allegedly beats wife to death

      Worried residents who spoke to Ultimate News on condition of anonymity said Afa Tijani married a second wife and strained relationship with the deceased who had aggressively objected and tried to block the second marriage.

    • Jihadi mob attacked Ramganj Police station in Jaipur. Curfew imposed. 1 died, several injured.

      Mosque microphones were used to incite the violence as reported.

    • Swedish Library Outlaws Factual Book on Migration, Offers Hitler’s Mein Kampf

      A Swedish library has landed in hot water for freely offering Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf to its readership, while stopping books that question Sweden’s established view of immigration. This has evoked troubling hints at censorship in a country that takes pride in its openness.

    • What’s on the Mind of a Muslim ‘Refugee’?

      “One day we good Muslims will conquer their infidel lands.” I asked why he was receiving “infidel” money for living. “It’s just halal,” he answered. “They ['infidels'] are too easy to fool.”

    • When Islamic ‘occupation of Europe’ becomes a reality

      Op-ed: If Western European countries fail to wake up soon, they may find out within several decades—or maybe even by the end of the century—that the Muslims have become a majority in the population. The jihadists’ terror attacks in the continent are just the beginning.

    • Swedish Migration Board Staff Bedeviled By Death Threats From Angry Applicants

      Being a clerk at Sweden’s Migration Board is anything but a cakewalk due to vast workloads and occupational hazards. For instance, some of the asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected choose to track down the Migration Board employees responsible.

    • Why Sweden has more fatal shootings per capita than Norway and Germany

      “I think that tougher new laws, like automatically charging a person carrying a firearm, is the right way to go.”

    • Lidl Terrorism

      To create an effective blast, you need some sort of pressure vessel containing the explosive. There is no sign of this in the photos of the Parsons Green bomb and plainly there was no “blast” as such from the condition of the bucket. Some kind of fire event was rather created. If the police are arresting the right people, it is teenagers from social care backgrounds who did this. That is of a piece with what we know of so many recent attacks, where psychiatric health appears to be the cause of an interest in nihilist ideologies – as opposed to the other way round.

      We are entering a phase where we can expect the deep unpopularity of the government to worsen. Real wages continue to fall, and that is going to continue. Despite this and the massive mountain of personal debt, the Bank of England seems determined to raise interest rates in the next few months, which will put an even larger squeeze on the living standards of the poor. In particular, an increase in interest rates will not just cause the struggling and overly indebted to have higher repayments, in the Tory buy to let economy it will feed directly into higher rents.

      The government therefore needs an alternative narrative to distract the bulk of the population from their increasing penury. The Tory government will continue to use the Brexit negotiations, not to obtain the best outcome for the UK, but in order to manipulate events to highlight the issue of immigration and seek to further scapegoat immigrants as the cause of popular economic hardship. But they will also undoubtedly try to play up the “security” narrative. Expect more legislation to restrict civil liberties, and particularly expect amber Rudd to spearhead a coordinated media campaign to promote major censorship of the internet. That is the next major fight where we will have to stand up to the Tories.

    • UK to supply Qatar with Eurofighter jets in billion-dollar arms deal

      The British government and defence giant BAE Systems have agreed a major new deal to supply Qatar with Eurofighter Typhoon jets, despite fears of regional instability.

      British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon signed a letter of intent with Qatar on Sunday that will see BAE Systems provide 24 Typhoon jets and support capabilities worth billions of dollars.

      The move has shocked observers as it comes only three months after UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called on Qatar to do more to clamp down on the funding of militant groups.

      The wealthy Gulf state is at the heart of a regional dispute over the funding of terrorism, and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt have since June imposed sanctions on Qatar, accusing it of financing extremist groups and allying with Iran, arch-foe of the Gulf Arab states – allegations Doha denies.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Chelsea Manning Has a Lot to Teach. Harvard Doesn’t Agree.

      On Wednesday, Harvard’s Kennedy School announced that Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst and whistle-blower, would be a visiting fellow this fall. The reaction was swift: A day later, Michael Morell, a former acting director of the C.I.A. and also a visiting fellow at the school, resigned from his own fellowship in protest. His resignation was quickly followed by the current director of the C.I.A., Mike Pompeo, canceling a speech scheduled at the school. In a statement, Mr. Pompeo unilaterally declared Ms. Manning a “traitor.”

      On Friday morning, the school folded, disinviting Ms. Manning in a cowardly act that does immense disservice to its students and the public debate around government secrecy.

    • Harvard’s Cowardice on Chelsea Manning

      Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government has shown that it is no profile in courage by withdrawing a visiting fellowship that had been awarded to Chelsea Manning, who served seven years in prison for revealing U.S. war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    • Harvard Caves to CIA Pressure, Revokes Chelsea Manning Title

      Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government revoked Chelsea Manning’s status as a “visiting fellow” on Friday, despite insisting the title was not intended as an honor. Extending the title “was a mistake, for which I accept responsibility,” the school’s dean, Douglas W. Elmendorf, wrote in a statement.

      On Sept. 13, Harvard University extended an invitation to Manning to speak to students in a short lecture series, igniting an unexpected firestorm. Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst, leaked thousands of diplomatic cables revealing details about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

      Although her title is revoked, Manning is still invited to speak to students at Harvard.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Interior Dept recommends reducing Bears Ears, other protected land: report

      The report, sent to the White House by the Department of the Interior in August, recommends scaling back the two national monuments as well as reopening hundreds of thousands of miles of protected oceans to commercial fishing.

    • Harvey and Irma aren’t natural disasters. They’re climate change disasters

      Make no mistake: These storms weren’t natural. A warmer, more violent atmosphere — heated up by our collective desire to ignore the fact that we live on a planet where such devastation is possible — juiced Harvey and Irma’s destruction.

    • Hurricanes Wreak Havoc Far Longer Than You Realize

      Houston didn’t just flood because of a lot of rain; it flooded because it let people build neighborhoods in known flood zones.

      [...]

      We listen to our weathermen when the storms are a few days away, but not our scientists and engineers when they tell us that planning for disasters takes years and money.

    • Indonesia Warns of Growing Risk of Wild Fires

      He also explained that at least 538 hot spots with a medium to high confidence level were located, although the current numbers could be higher.

      In that regard, he pointed out that the greatest number of outbreaks were detected in the provinces of West Kalimantan and Papua, with 193 and 143, respectively.

    • Barriers, Water-features, Trees Used to Protect Europe’s Landmark Sites
    • An update on Hurricane Jose and the next threat behind it

      Despite the comings and goings of two major hurricanes that affected the United States during the last month—Harvey and Irma—we remain in the midst of a very active Atlantic hurricane season that may not be done with us yet. Not only must the US East Coast keep an eye on Hurricane Jose as it finally begins moving forward, but another threat lurks behind it.

      This post will review the three active Atlantic storms, and their potential effects on the Caribbean islands and the United States during the coming days and weeks.

    • How Washington Made Harvey Worse

      Nearly two decades before the storm’s historic assault on homes and businesses along the Gulf Coast of Texas this week, the National Wildlife Federation released a groundbreaking report about the United States government’s dysfunctional flood insurance program, demonstrating how it was making catastrophes worse by encouraging Americans to build and rebuild in flood-prone areas. The report, titled “Higher Ground,” crunched federal data to show that just 2 percent of the program’s insured properties were receiving 40 percent of its damage claims. The most egregious example was a home that had flooded 16 times in 18 years, netting its owners more than $800,000 even though it was valued at less than $115,000.

    • Something is changing the sex of Costa Rican crocodiles

      After probing and peering at the genitalia of nearly 500 crocodiles in Palo Verde, Murray and his colleagues found something odd: The sex ratio was way out of whack, with males outnumbering females four to one among hatchling crocs. What’s more, the animals’ tissues were tainted with a synthetic steroid, which the researchers suspect was causing them to switch sex.

    • How mood-altering drugs are ending up in Great Lakes fish

      Antidepressant drugs, making their way through an increasing number of people’s bodies, getting excreted in small amounts into their toilets, and moving through the wastewater treatment process to lakes and rivers, are being found in multiple Great Lakes fish species’ brains, new research by the University of Buffalo has found.

    • Warning Letter to Harvey and Irma Survivors From Katrina Survivor

      Our hearts go out to you as you try to return to and fix your homes and lives. Based on our experiences, here are a few things you should watch out for as you rebuild your communities.

      One. Rents are going to skyrocket and waves of evictions are likely. With so many houses damaged and so many highly paid contractors coming into your region whose companies will pay anything to house them, landlords are going to start evicting people to make way for higher paying occupants. Work with local organizations to enact a moratorium on evictions and a freeze on rents to allow working and low income people to come home and have a place to stay.

      [...]

      Eleven. Don’t allow those in power to forget about the people whose voices are never heard. People in nursing homes, people in hospitals, the elderly, the disabled, children, the working poor, renters, people of color, immigrants and prisoners. There is no need to be a voice for the voiceless, because all these people have voices, they are just not listened to. Help lift their voices and their stories up because the voices of business and industry and people with money and connections will do just fine. It is our other sisters and brothers who are always pushed to the back of the line. Stand with them as they struggle to reclaim their rightful place.

  • Finance

    • Trump Administration Stayed Rule Targeting Ending the Wage Gap

      “Pay discrimination by gender is already illegal. But when employees, employers, and enforcement agencies do not know that discrimination is happening, they can’t fix it.”

    • How Corporate Capitalism Looted Democracy

      Democrats not only colluded with Republicans in the robbery—some may now be willing to allow corporations to evade hundreds of billions they owe in back taxes.

    • India likely to be 3rd largest economy by 2028: HSBC report

      India is likely to overtake Japan and Germany to become the third largest economy in the next 10 years but needs to be consistent in reforms and focus more on the social sector, British brokerage HSBC has said.

    • Frustrated EU fears Britain is ‘heading for the Brexit rocks’

      And now there is the unwelcome reappearance on the Brexit battlefield of Boris Johnson, with his insistence that the UK will succeed “mightily” as a low-regulation economy, no longer paying into the EU budget after March 2019. Speaking to the Observer, the leader of the socialist bloc, Gianni Pittella, fumed: “Boris Johnson is embarrassing his country once again by repeating the lies of the Leave campaign. He is jeopardising the Brexit negotiations by threatening to turn the UK into a low-regulation economy. And he insults the intelligence of the British people with his tub-thumping jingoism. It is more in keeping with Trump Tower than Whitehall.”

    • Alphabet might be about to invest $1 billion in Lyft

      Last week, my colleague Tim Lee explained why Lyft is going to be like Android, licensing and partnering with others rather than doing everything in-house. On Friday, Reuters reported on a notable deal that adds more weight to that analysis.

    • Here’s a real-life, slimy example of Uber’s regulator-evading software

      Portland, Oregon, was one of the cities we mentioned where Uber employed the so-called “Greyball” tool. The city has now released a scathing report detailing that Uber evaded picking up 16 local officials for a ride before April 2015, when the service finally won approval by Portland regulators.

      The Greyball software employs a dozen data points on a new user in a given market, including whether a rider’s Uber app is opened repeatedly in or around municipal offices, which credit card is linked to the account, and any publicly available information about the new user on social media. If the data suggests the new user is a regulator in a market where Uber is not permitted, the company would present that user with false information about where Uber rides are. This includes showing ghost cars or no cars in the area.

    • Gary Cohn Is Giving Goldman Sachs Everything It Ever Wanted From the Trump Administration
    • Use of ‘£350million per week’ figure to describe UK’s financial contributions to the EU
    • Boris’s nasty politics would hurt the Tories and Britain

      I used to have a lot of time for Boris Johnson. Sometimes whole days, in fact: from 8am until 8pm, I’d ring and text and email him, politely urging him to tell me what he planned to write his exquisitely expensive Telegraph column about, and when he’d deign to send it to me. It was, as others who’ve had the joy of calling him a colleague can attest, maddening. But he always filed, in the end.

      I don’t claim that working acquaintance with Boris gives me any unique insight into his soul. In fact, familiarity only makes his real character more obscure. My overall impression of a man famous for being talkative and flamboyant is that the real Boris Johnson, the man concealed beneath onionskin layers of artifice and performance, can be quite guarded and even a bit shy.

    • The Observer view on Boris Johnson’s analysis of Britain’s ills

      Mr Johnson succeeds in blaming almost every British ill – from uninspiring training to our dilapidated infrastructure – all or in part on the failing efforts of a Brussels elite to create a federal superstate. Incredibly, he writes that once free of the EU, Britain will be able to organise, plan, build the homes and infrastructure we need, give our children skills and – bingo! – we will become glorious and rich. None of this is allegedly possible as an EU member. The new alchemy will be simplifying regulations and cutting taxes, doing trade deals as “Global Britain”, alongside boosting wages and productivity.

      This, in the language of those gilded Etonians Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg, is bilge and balderdash. It is true, as Johnson observes, that Britain is failing on many fronts, but to lay the blame, extending even to low wages, on unnamed EU regulations is fantastical. The blame needs to be firmly pinned on the policy framework – weak regulation, low taxation, minimal public intervention and unwillingness to invest in public infrastructure and services – which he champions.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Jemele Hill and the politicisation of everything

      What’s striking, though, is that this ever exploded in the first place. How did we get to the position where one of the major political battles of the week is between a PC sports commentator and the commander-in-chief? All of American culture seems to be being drawn into this battle of the snowflakes – where ‘white supremacists’ and ‘libtards’ spend their days trading epithets until someone gets sacked.

    • The Equal Protection Challenge to Winner Take All: A Legal Guide

      Today, the non-profit that I founded, EqualCitizens.US, announced it would crowdfund support for two lawsuits to challenge the way votes are allocated in the Electoral College. All but two states allocate their vote according to a winner-take-all system, in which the winner of the popular vote gets all the electoral votes for that state. We believe winner-take-all violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, and we intend, through EqualVotes.US, to build a case (and a campaign) to get the Supreme Court to agree.

    • Will Donald Trump Destroy the Presidency?

      Donald Trump is testing the institution of the presidency unlike any of his 43 predecessors. We have never had a president so ill-informed about the nature of his office, so openly mendacious, so self-destructive, or so brazen in his abusive attacks on the courts, the press, Congress (including members of his own party), and even senior officials within his own administration. Trump is a Frankenstein’s monster of past presidents’ worst attributes: Andrew Jackson’s rage; Millard Fillmore’s bigotry; James Buchanan’s incompetence and spite; Theodore Roosevelt’s self-aggrandizement; Richard Nixon’s paranoia, insecurity, and indifference to law; and Bill Clinton’s lack of self-control and reflexive dishonesty.

    • DC eyes tighter regulations on Facebook and Google as concern grows

      Every time a television station sells a political ad, a record is entered into a public file saying who bought the advertisement and how much money they spent.

      In contrast, when Facebook or Google sells a political ad, there is no public record of that sale. That situation is of growing concern to politicians and legislators in Washington as digital advertising becomes an increasingly central part of American political campaigns. During the 2016 election, over $1.4bn was spent in online advertising, which represented a 789 percent increase over the 2012 election.

    • Facebook under fire over Russian ads in election

      Facebook is under fire after revealing that a Russian group tied to the Kremlin bought political ads on its platform during the 2016 elections.

    • Rolling Stone, Once a Counterculture Bible, Will Be Put Up for Sale

      The sale plans were devised by Mr. Wenner’s 27-year-old son, Gus, who has aggressively pared down the assets of Rolling Stone’s parent company, Wenner Media, in response to financial pressures. The Wenners recently sold the company’s other two magazines, Us Weekly and Men’s Journal. And last year, they sold a 49 percent stake in Rolling Stone to BandLab Technologies, a music technology company based in Singapore.

    • Everything we thought we knew about Devo’s “Whip It” was wrong

      While it would certainly be consistent with Devo’s methods to include a knowing double entendre, they are adamantly ambivalent about the common misunderstanding, which both goosed the song’s popularity and made it ever more clear that the masses would never quite get what the band were trying to do. “We wrote it as a ‘you can do it, Dale Carnegie’ pep talk for President Carter,” says Mark. “We were afraid that Republicans were going to get in there [in 1980], and they sounded very nasty at the time. They were running this guy, Ronald Reagan, that seemed like a total—he seemed like he didn’t even have a brain. We were like, ‘How could that be our president? That’s impossible, that they choose him to run for president.’ [...]

    • Donald Trump’s highly abnormal presidency: the week of Sept. 11
    • It’s Not Donald Trump’s Presidency That’s Highly Abnormal. It’s Trump

      People keep making apologies for Trump, that’s he’s not a politician, that he lacks experience, or that he just speaks his mind. Those are true but they are just the window-dressing of the problem. Trump’s absolutely nuts. No one in their right mind would plan on “winging it” or not having a plan to run something as complex as the government of the USA. Trump doesn’t have a plan at all, or if he does make one up, he changes it by breakfast time. He does all kinds of things that make no sense even to supporters, like depopulating the Department of State, banning one or another classes of people from USA not based on reason just who they are, building a wall that can’t be built at great expense for no purpose that anyone can see, and threatening dire consequences repeatedly and backing off. He trumpeted that Obama had no plan or that Obama was weak but Trump has less of a plan and is weaker.

    • Why ‘Juggalos’ are marching on DC

      “On paper, it sounds just plain ridiculous that a group of men and women who like a particular kind of music are being considered gang members, but it’s no laughing matter when you realize how many people’s lives are being destroyed by this gang designation.”

    • Why Merkel and Co want to keep politics ‘boring’

      However, the claim that the election process is boring is only half the truth. Yes, Merkel has a comfortable lead over the Martin Schulz of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). He is her main rival, though his party has been in coalition with Merkel over the past four years. But the elephant in the room is the anti-establishment AfD. This party, which is running on a largely authoritarian, anti-Islamic ticket, and which has opened itself up to many right-wing fringe groups, is back on the political stage after having done badly in some recent local elections. Many are now asking how strong AfD will become — or how strong Merkel really is, which amounts to the same question.

    • Stop being afraid of more government. It’s exactly what we need.

      Seeing the devastating effects of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and of wildfires out West, one cannot help but think about the crucial role that government plays in our lives. But while we accept, even celebrate, the role of government in the wake of such disasters, we are largely blind to the need for government to mitigate these kinds of crises in the first place.

      Ever since President Ronald Reagan, much of the United States has embraced an ideological framework claiming that government is the source of our problems. Reagan famously quipped, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.”

    • PM’s Father Endorsed “Restored Honour” For Convicted Paedophile

      Benedikt Sveinsson, the father of Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson, provided a recommendation letter of “restored honour” for Hjalti Sigurjón Hauksson, a man convicted of having raped his stepdaughter almost daily for 12 years. This information was kept hidden from the general public, despite repeated requests from the media, until a parliamentary committee ruled that the Ministry of Justice was legally obliged to disclose this information. The Prime Minister was aware of his father’s actions since at least last July, but said nothing.

      Stundin reports that Hjalti was convicted of rape in 2004, but last August was granted “restored honour”, a legal procedure which effectively clears the criminal record of someone who has served a sentence for a serious crime and seeks to gain a position that a criminal conviction would normally prevent them from getting. In order to get restored honour, however, amongst the requirements is a letter of recommendation.

      Initially the Ministry of Justice refused to disclose who had recommended Hjalti receive restored honour, but after concerted pressure – including a parliamentary committee ruling that the Ministry had gone beyond the bounds of the law to keep the information secret – the Ministry relented. It was today revealed that Benedikt, who has long been a friend of Hjalti’s and reportedly visited him in prison, had provided a letter of recommendation for Hjalti.

    • Analysis: How Iceland’s Government Fell Apart

      Late last night, Iceland’s coalition government – led by the Independence Party and supported by Bright Future and the Reform Party – collapsed when Bright Future opted to leave the coalition. Today, Iceland is facing the prospect of early elections, less than a year from our last round of early elections in October 2016, which were themselves sparked by a scandal that made international headlines.

      Making sense of the chaos means taking a look at the key elements and players involved in this government crisis.

    • How a convicted pedophile brought down Iceland’s government

      In 2004, Hjalti Sigurjon Hauksson was imprisoned for raping his stepdaughter nearly every day for 12 years, starting when she was just 5. Thirteen years later, his crime has helped bring down Iceland’s government.

      The story involves Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson and his father, Benedikt Sveinsson.

      Here’s what happened: Several months ago, Sveinsson drafted a letter of recommendation for Hauksson, arguing that he should have his “honor restored.” In Iceland, convicts can have certain civil rights restored by submitting letters of recommendation extolling good character. Hauksson and another convicted pedophile, Robert Downey (formerly named Robert Arni Hreidarsson), received full pardons over the summer.

    • The Guardian view on deportation: contempt of court and of decency

      Three judges have now told the Home Office it was wrong to deport an asylum seeker back to Afghanistan – where he says armed men are looking for him already – and that it should return him to the UK at once. By not doing so, the Home Office has shown its contempt not only for decency, but for British law. Samim Bigzad believes he is a target for the Taliban because he worked in construction for the Afghan government and US companies. His asylum claim was rejected, but his lawyers applied for a judicial review. A high court judge ruled that he should not be removed while the process was under way. That order arrived when he had already been put on the second leg of the flight. He was not removed immediately and it took off shortly afterwards.

      Then a second high court judge has ruled that the home secretary is in prima facie contempt of court and must secure his return. A third – rejecting the government’s request to set aside that ruling – has reiterated that he should be brought back at once. It now appears that the Home Office may be arranging his imminent return, although it said in a statement that it was correct to deport him and is continuing to pursue legal action. It was wrong to send him to Kabul and it should have complied earlier.

    • America’s Slow-Motion Military Coup

      In a democracy, no one should be comforted to hear that generals have imposed discipline on an elected head of state. That was never supposed to happen in the United States. Now it has.

      Among the most enduring political images of the 20th century was the military junta. It was a group of grim-faced officers—usually three—who rose to control a state. The junta would tolerate civilian institutions that agreed to remain subservient, but in the end enforced its own will. As recently as a few decades ago, military juntas ruled important countries including Chile, Argentina, Turkey, and Greece.

      These days the junta system is making a comeback in, of all places, Washington. Ultimate power to shape American foreign and security policy has fallen into the hands of three military men: General James Mattis, the secretary of defense; General John Kelly, President Trump’s chief of staff; and General H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser. They do not put on their ribbons to review military parades or dispatch death squads to kill opponents, as members of old-style juntas did. Yet their emergence reflects a new stage in the erosion of our political norms and the militarization of our foreign policy. Another veil is dropping.

    • Kobach and Windmills

      “‘Vote early and vote often,’ the advice openly displayed on the election banners in one of our northern cities.”— William Porcher Miles, 1858, Speech in the House of Representatives

      A number of you have written asking if Wikipedia is wrong. They cannot believe that Kris Kobach, the man whose awesome educational background is described in Wikipedia, is the same man who spends his time attacking 21st Century windmills. Those asking the question should remember that Don Quixote de la Mancha, too, was an educated man, who saw in windmills foes to overcome. For Don Quikobach de la Kansas, the windmill has been replaced by the electoral system.

      Don Quikobach graduated with highest honors as an undergraduate from Harvard, went on to Oxford where he earned an MA and PhD in politics, and from there, went on to Yale Law School. His post graduate career is proof that, as one university president said of college graduates, although they had graduated, you could never be sure they were educated men. Don Quikobach is proof of the pudding. His academic credentials notwithstanding, his life is filled with windmills that serve as his opponents and he is the hero of all who, like him, focus on those perceived enemies.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • MEP accused of trying to suppress cartoons critical of bloc and Merkel

      They said that critical cartoons about German Chancellor Angela Merkel were apparently discarded on the basis that she is currently facing a re-election battle. The exhibition takes place after Sunday’s election.

    • Malaysia blocked Steam because of a single game, those trying to play it will need a VPN
    • Free Speech for the Right? A Primer on Key Legal Questions and Principles

      The rise in national attention to the “alt-right” and fascist-white supremacist protesters has raised questions about the parameters of free speech in America. When can free speech be limited, if ever? What are the implications of attempting to limit controversial speech? And what precedents has the Supreme Court set regarding free speech? I address these questions below via an exploration of historical Supreme Court cases, which show that there’s no legal pretext for a blanket ban on far-right protests.

      There are numerous precedents related to the topic of controversial speech. One major case is Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), in which a KKK member, Clarence Brandenburg, spoke at a rally about the possible need for “revengeance” against people of color as related to government initiatives taken in support of minority groups. Brandenburg was convicted under state law and sentenced to 10 years in prison for advocating violence, in violation of a state statute prohibiting support for “crime, sabotage, violence, or unlawful methods of terrorism as a means of accomplishing industrial or political reform.” But in overruling the state conviction, the Supreme Court ruled that government could only restrict incendiary speech if there was an “imminent” violent action is incited by that speech.

    • Twitter rival Gab sues Google over app store rejection

      Gab, a Twitter rival popular with the Breitbart crowd, is suing Google. The lawsuit, filed in Pennsylvania federal court on Thursday, argues that Google violated antitrust laws when it rejected Gab’s app from its Android app store.

      Gab says Google rejected Gab to help its business partner Twitter. Google and Twitter signed a data-sharing deal in 2015, and Gab argues the deal gave Google a financial stake in Twitter’s success. The deal “makes the Google search engine immeasurably more valuable,” Gab writes in its lawsuit. As a result of the deal, “the two companies’ user bases have essentially been merged.”

    • [Older] Crisis hits the world’s biggest football league amid political censorship scandal [VIDEO]

      The world’s biggest football league is currently in crisis because of a political censorship scandal.

    • Censorship and free speech based on fear not fairness — can I say that?
  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Equifax announces “retirement” of the IT execs who presided over the mass-doxing of America

      One week after announcing the worst breach in American history, and days after it was revealed that the breach had been caused by simple negligence, Equifax has announced the “retirement” of its Chief Information Officer, David Webb, and Chief Security Officer, Susan Mauldin, though “the company’s review of the facts is still ongoing.”

    • Athens Makeshift Μosques Under Police Surveillance – Report

      The Greek daily says that authorities are concerned due to evidence that certain imams and followers have expressed views applauding the so-called Islamic State for the terrorist attacks it has orchestrated in different parts of Europe.

    • ISPs can keep sharing your browsing history after California no-vote

      California state lawmakers ended their legislative session yesterday without enacting privacy protections for broadband customers after the proposed rule drew opposition from Internet service providers and advertisers.

      “By failing to pass A.B. 375, the legislature demonstrated that they put the profits of Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast over the privacy rights of their constituents,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation said today.

      The California legislation would have required ISPs to obtain customers’ permission before they use, share, or sell the customers’ Web browsing and application usage histories. The data is valuable for serving personalized advertisements to Internet users. But the bill was shelved before reaching a final vote.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • The Playdate Generation Goes To College
    • West Papua petition vote to go to UN

      Free West Papua campaigners have drawn attention to the 42 people they’ve said have been tortured and the two people who had been arrested in the Indonesian province as a direct consequence of the petition.

    • Turkey’s Genocide Denial: Four Narratives

      Turkey still denies the Armenian Genocide, during which 1.5 million Armenians perished. The Turkish state does not have just one policy or rhetoric concerning it. One could argue that there are four main narratives in Turkey concerning the genocide.

    • Environmental justice overlooked in Dakota pipeline saga, legal expert says

      If that weren’t enough, Kronk Warner writes, tribes opposed to the pipeline might challenge it based on international law. The U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which the United States has signed, provides guidance meant to preserve “indigenous self-determination,” she writes, including restitution or compensation “for the lands, territories and resources which they have traditionally owned or otherwise occupied or used, and which have been confiscated, taken, occupied, used or damaged without their free, prior and informed consent.”

    • Shailene Woodley says she was strip searched after Dakota pipeline arrest

      Woodley originally pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charges. But she accepted a plea deal earlier this year in which she pleaded guilty in exchange for one-year probation.

    • Christian children ‘forced to recite Islamic prayers’ in order to receive food in Sudan refugee camps

      Christian children at refugee camps in Sudan are not receiving food unless they say Islamic prayers, according to reports received by sources close to the leading Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

    • Finland Named World’s Largest Jihad Exporter Per Capita

      Klor also claimed that the risk of radicalization of Muslims is far greater in wealthy societies compared with the poor ones. According to Klor, high GDP and high living standards directly correlate with a high proportion of Daesh recruits in non-Muslim countries. This phenomenon wholly applies to Finland, which in recent decades has been repeatedly ranked as one of the world’s best countries to live in.

    • Flint airport stabbing suspect won’t get access to addresses of witnesses

      A judge has denied a request from the man accused of stabbing an on-duty Flint Bishop Airport police officer in the neck to see the addresses of those who may testify against him.

    • The Golden Age of Private Prisons

      Either way, Deutsche Bank has discovered at least two crisis-proof investments. In a recent analyst report, the bank said it was bullish about the prospects for a pair of U.S. companies for which it recently issued “buy” recommendations. These companies are CoreCivic (CXW) and GEO Group, the two largest operators of private prisons in the United States.

    • Punjabi woman sold in Saudi Arabia as ‘slave’, travel agent booked

      He said his wife left India on July 23 and was employed with a Saudi family, adding that after reaching there Paramjit was told that she would not get any salary as she had been purchased by the family.

    • Crowd ‘cheer like they’re at a beach party’ as Saudi blogger is lashed 50 times

      She wrote: ‘This crowd is not a beach party, it’s how moderate Muslims act when they flog someone for expressing his own opinions.’

    • Nothing ‘moderate’ about Malaysia

      The constitution may in theory protect freedom of religion but it certainly doesn’t protect freedom from religion. Consequently, several states have strong apostasy laws that threaten “rehabilitation” and prison time for any Muslim who tries to leave the religion.

    • Open letter: hijab in the classroom
    • Muslim college student who lied about Trump supporter subway attack pleads guilty

      She must go through six months of counseling and complete three days of community service.

      If Seweid fulfills the terms of her deal, the top charge against her will be tossed and she’ll be left with just a violation.

    • Why is the US government keen on detaining and deporting Singaporean political asylee Amos Yee?
    • Elders ‘ban’ musical gatherings in Landi Kotal

      The organisers warned that the houses of those either holding musical gatherings or in possession of musical instruments would be burnt, the sources claimed.

    • In Indonesia, 3 Muslim Girls Fight for Their Right to Play Heavy Metal

      “They said that if we produce an album, they would burn it, and some people threatened to decapitate us,” Ms. Eusi said.

    • ‘Fed up with fantasies for male teenagers’: fixing the depiction of women in games

      “I was fed up with power fantasies for male teenagers,” says Stark, one half of Noosa-based family studio Disparity Games. “We wanted something different.”

    • Disturbing reality of child marriage in Australia revealed
    • Local Islamic leader refuses to shake hands with Norwegian female minister on TV (VIDEO)
    • Swiss feel threatened by Islam, according to survey

      In addition, 81 % favoured banning salafism, and 83% would like a system that requires imams to get official authorisation before they can preach in Switzerland. 80% would also like rules that require muslim leaders in Switzerland to recognise equality between men and women and the principle of the separation of the state and religion.

    • Submit a Public Comment: Do NOT Allow ICE to Destroy Records of Sexual Abuse and Death of People in Custody

      We have until September 15 to send public comments to the National Archives and Records Administration demanding they retract permission for ICE to destroy these records.

    • The Deal Prosecutors Offer When They Have No Cards Left to Play

      When DNA evidence exonerated two men convicted in a 1987 murder, one took his chances on a retrial to overturn his conviction. The other accepted a special deal and left prison immediately—as a convicted killer.

    • Pedro Hernandez Was Cleared of Shooting Charges

      Nine people, including the victim, said he didn’t commit the crime.

    • Watch: Aggressive cop pulls gun on motorcyclist and bullies him for no good reason
    • LA deputies’ private body cams raise transparency questions

      Whatever the number, not a single frame of any video from these cameras has ever made it into the public domain.

    • The Google Memo: The Economist On Nothing

      But also important were themes that often got overlooked: reason, open discussion, and classical liberalism.

    • Public Enemy

      More than two hundred potential jurors were excused from the trial.

    • Vermont State Police Rewrite Press Rules To Withhold As Much Information As Possible

      Various authority figures have attempted to define journalism, usually excluding their critics. A recent post here covered a police chief who decided he could determine a journalist’s credibility based almost solely on their web presence. Trimming down the definition of “journalist” allows government officials to limit their accountability by treating only certain outlets as credible.

    • Rejecting Trump Agenda, Immigrant Protections Bill Passes in California

      Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the California Values Act, passed by lawmakers Saturday, which would make the state a “sanctuary state” with new protections for undocumented immigrants.

      The 27-11 vote, along party lines, was reached after lengthy negotiations. But immigrant rights groups applauded the final bill, noting that it represented a strong rebuke of President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration agenda, including the Justice Department’s threats to withhold law enforcement grants from sanctuary cities.

      “This was a hard-fought effort but the end product was worth the fight,” said Jennie Pasquarella, Immigrants’ Rights Director with the ACLU of California. “With SB 54, California will meaningfully improve state law to keep families together and communities whole—and not a moment too soon as the Trump administration continues its draconian and indiscriminate crackdown on immigrants.”

    • Examining the “Ten Truths about Jihad”

      So if there was an irreconcilable contradiction between the messages of two “revelations” in the Koran, then the most recent “revelation” abrogated (superseded) the earlier one and was now the one to be followed. Consequently, a “revelation” made in the Medinan period would supersede a similar, earlier “revelation” made in the Meccan period. Both verses remain in the Koran because they are considered the words of Allah, but it is the most recent “revelation” that now carries the doctrinal authority.

    • Burkas are political symbols not Islamic ones, Muslim scholar says

      Dr Manea says the veiled garment was not worn by women outside of Nejd until Saudi Arabia’s Wahabi regime came to power in the late 1970s.

    • Inside Assad’s prisons: Horrors facing female inmates in Syrian jails revealed
    • “They are bringing shame on the family, that b**** is going to die”: How innocent kiss led to honour killing of Banaz Mahmod

      Banaz Mahmod was raped, tortured and strangled with a length of plastic cord at her parents’ home in a brutal honour killing after her family felt she had “shamed” them by divorcing her arranged marriage husband and choosing her own partner.

    • What we can learn from France’s failed deradicalization center

      Political, rushed center cost the country 2.5 million euro and did not deradicalize a single individual

      [...]

      “Obviously, trying to counter-radicalize these individuals exclusively through the frontal confrontation with democratic values is ineffective,” he says, “what we have to do, I believe, is to work where the sources of the problem are and on prevention efforts.’’

      As these young citizens have rejected the country in which they live, Dantinne believes it is unlikely that they will, for example, listen to an Imam hired by the State:

      ‘’In the prison context, for example, what happens when these youths are confronted to moderate Imams? They do not even want to be in contact with them, because they see them as representatives of the State and are the symbol of a rogue Islam.’’

    • Ironic anti-Prevent report proves just how direly we need the counter-terrorism strategy

      While this is just a glimpse into Baig’s history of courting views typically taken by Islamists, his most recent report on Channel 4, one which the Deputy Editor of the channel Nevine Mabro called “fantastic” before viewers began picking it apart, easily takes the cake. In it, he interviews a number of young Muslim women who we are told are going to “fight back by rejecting stereotypes.” While the entire production of the report is absurd, with the interviewees standing in a boxing ring and striking punching bags and tyres, the most appalling aspect is perhaps Channel 4’s collection of what they assume to be ‘progressive’ female Muslim voices.

    • Scandal-Plagued Sheriff David Clarke Would Make a Bad Trump Administration Even Worse

      It is clear by now that, if Clarke gets any White House post, the threat this administration poses to the Bill of Rights will increase.

    • Shaun King on Donald Trump, Colin Kaepernick, and White Supremacy

      The role that Trump has played in fanning the flames of this violent hatred became a major discussion in the world of professional sports over the past week after comments from a popular ESPN host, Jemele Hill. In several tweets, she criticized Trump and bluntly labeled him a “white supremacist.” Her comment spurred calls for her to be fired and on Friday, the president himself tweeted: “ESPN is paying a really big price for its politics (and bad programming). People are dumping it in RECORD numbers. Apologize for untruth!” His press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said Hill’s comments were a fireable offense, saying ESPN “should hold anchors to a fair and consistent standard.” The First Amendment implications of the president and his administration publicly attacking the free and constitutionally protected speech of a member of the news media are vast. Hill’s comments and the president’s response come amid a political debate consuming the world of professional sports about athletes engaging in protest.

    • Cyprus ‘selling’ EU citizenship to super rich of Russia and Ukraine

      Billionaire Russian oligarchs and Ukrainian elites accused of corruption are among hundreds of people who have acquired EU passports under controversial “golden visa” schemes, the Guardian has learnt.

      The government of Cyprus has raised more than €4bn since 2013 by providing citizenship to the super rich, granting them the right to live and work throughout Europe in exchange for cash investment. More than 400 passports are understood to have been issued through this scheme last year alone.

      Prior to 2013, Cypriot citizenship was granted on a discretionary basis by ministers, in a less formal version of the current arrangement.

      A leaked list of the names of hundreds of those who have benefited from these schemes, seen by the Guardian, includes prominent businesspeople and individuals with considerable political influence.

    • White House Pushes Stricter Travel Ban, Pointing to London Attack

      While no information has been released about the nationalities of two suspects in Friday’s subway bombing in London, national security advisor H.R. McMaster indicated Sunday that the Trump administration is eager to use the attack to bolster its argument for a ban on travelers from six majority-Muslim countries.

      Appearing on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning, McMaster said the White House is examining “how to protect the American people better, how to ensure that we know who these people are who are moving.”

    • Will Judge Overturn Arpaio Pardon?

      When Donald Trump plunged a dagger through the hearts of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s victims and all justice-loving people by pardoning the racist serial lawbreaker, many threw up their hands in resignation. The president’s constitutional pardon power is absolute, they thought.

      Not so, argue lawyers and legal scholars in two proposed amicus briefs filed in US District Court in Arizona. They contend the Arpaio pardon is unconstitutional.

    • Egypt: Torture Epidemic May Be Crime Against Humanity

      Under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s regular police and National Security officers routinely torture political detainees with techniques including beatings, electric shocks, stress positions, and sometimes rape, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today.

      Widespread and systematic torture by the security forces probably amounts to a crime against humanity, according to the 63-page report, “‘We Do Unreasonable Things Here’: Torture and National Security in al-Sisi’s Egypt.” Prosecutors typically ignore complaints from detainees about ill-treatment and sometimes threaten them with torture, creating an environment of almost total impunity, Human Rights Watch said.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Unlimited Data Customers Report Fewer Network Problems Than Capped Users

      Back in 2011, you might recall that AT&T and Verizon stopped offering users unlimited wireless data plans. Taking advantage of a lack of competition at the time, the duo worked in concert to shove users toward confusing, metered plans that imposed a usage cap, then socked users with overage fees upward of $15 per gigabyte. When users refused to migrate to these plans, both companies spent years making life as difficult as possible for these subscribers, AT&T going so far as to block users from accessing Facetime until they switched to these more expensive, metered plans (but who needs net neutrality rules, right?).

    • Sept 26-27: The Internet descends on Washington

      The FCC is set on killing net neutrality. But Congress is key. They can stop the FCC and block the bigger threat: ISP-backed bills that would end net neutrality forever. We’re organizing Internet users to meet with members of Congress—in DC, or locally—and we’re helping to cover travel costs. Are you in?

    • 8,500 Verizon customers disconnected because of “substantial” data use

      Verizon is disconnecting another 8,500 rural customers from its wireless network, saying that roaming charges have made certain customer accounts unprofitable for the carrier.

      The 8,500 customers have 19,000 lines and live in 13 states (Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin), a Verizon Wireless spokesperson told Ars today. They received notices of disconnection this month and will lose access to Verizon service on October 17.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Trademarks

      • Kodi ‘Trademark Troll’ Has Interesting Views on Co-Opting Other People’s Work

        Last week, the developers of Kodi revealed that Geoff Gavora, someone unconnected with the project, had registered the Kodi trademark in Canada. Surprisingly, it appears that Gavora’s Kodi business involves the promotion and distribution of addons that are banned by Kodi itself for supplying infringing content. But that isn’t the only thing interesting about this entrepreneur.

    • Copyrights

      • Music Industry Is Painting A Target On YouTube Ripping Sites, Despite Their Many Non-Infringing Uses

        Concentrated attacks on technology tools that can sometimes, but not always, be used for nefarious purposes have quite a long history, from Google and Wikipedia, to suing online sites like Craigslist over how users use the service. Even torrent technology itself, having become a four-letter-word that the content industry has managed to tether to copyright infringement, is nothing more than a tool with plenty of legitimate uses.

      • Call to Action: Write to the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee on the upcoming copyright vote

        On October 10, an important committee in the European Parliament will vote on future copyright law. It hangs in the balance, and ordinary people like you and I contacting Members of the European Parliament can really make a difference, like you’ll remember we did with ACTA five years ago and won. You don’t have to contact your representative; such a thing only exists in the US and UK. Rather, you should write a friendly mail to all of them.

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