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11.16.18

Links 16/11/2018: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta, Mesa 18.2.5, VirtualBox 6.0 Beta 2

Posted in News Roundup at 5:04 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • Windows 10 1809′s new rollout: Mapped drives broken, AMD issues, Trend Micro clash

      Within days of Microsoft’s first release of Windows 10 1809 at the beginning of October, IT pros noticed that Windows File Explorer indicated that mapped network drives appeared to be broken.

      “Testing the new 1809 update, and everything seems to be fine except all mapped drives to Windows 2012 file servers show disconnected (red x) after reboots or logoff/on,” wrote one IT pro on October 5, with many others confirming the same issue on company networks.

    • Windows 10’s October 2018 Update Breaks Mapped Network Drives

      Microsoft’s October 2018 Update drama is largely over, but there are still a few lingering bugs. Microsoft has confirmed an issue where mapped network drives are broken after a PC restarts. This will not be fixed until 2019.

    • Chrome OS Linux apps will soon be able to access your entire Downloads folder and Google Drive

      Google is working hard to turn Chrome OS into more than just a browser, but a real, functional operating system for consumers of all kinds. Most recently, they’ve invited developers to the platform with Linux app support that enables all of their tools, including Android Studio, to work as expected. Soon, your Chrome OS and Google Drive files will be even more accessible to your Linux apps.

      [...]

      According to a new commit on the Chromium Gerrit, that’s all about to change. The commit primarily pertains to a new dialog that will be shown when sharing ‘root’ folders like My Drive or Downloads with your Chrome OS Linux apps (internally known as Crostini) container. The dialog is intended to forewarn you that sharing a root folder is a bit more serious than just sharing a sub-folder, and to be sure you know what you’re doing.

    • Samsung Note 9 and Tab S4 owners can run a full Ubuntu Desktop – Linux on Dex

      We have come a long way as an industry and if this is not one of the biggest milestones in personal computing, I don’t know what else qualifies. Over the past decade of smartphones being around, we have seen an exponential increase in the power that our smartphones pack. I mean, flagships from the past few years spot more RAM and processing power than most laptops out there, but the small form factor has always been a hindrance to the utilization of this power. I mean you can only do so much on a 5.5-inch display.

      Samsung has launched its “Linux on Dex” app in beta and is inviting geeks and tinkerers to register and help test and develop it. The app lets owners of specific Samsung devices “run” a full Ubuntu desktop on their device alongside Android.

  • Server

    • Don’t cross the Application Streams! Actually, maybe you can now in RHEL 8 beta

      Hot on the heels of its OpenStack Platform 14, Red Hat has announced the beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.

      It has been four years since Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 emerged. Things in the Linux world have changed considerably since then.

      Naturally, there are hundreds of minor (and not so minor) tweaks and modifications in the release, but one stands out.

      Application Streams allows user space packages to be delivered more simply and with greater flexibility. The user space components can be updated without having to wait for a new version of the operating system. The thinking goes that things can be made a bit more agile and custom without breaking the stability of the platform. Nice.

      While chatting about the OpenStack Platform (OSP) 14, Red Hat’s Nick Barcet got a bit excited about the impending RHEL 8 release and what it would mean for the next version of OSP. “Red Hat OpenStack 15, if all goes well, will fully support RHEL 8. That means that the host on which we will deploy OpenStack will be RHEL 8. That means RHEL 8 guests will be fully supported.”

    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta is here!

      And it’s been built with production stability and development agility in mind.

    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 makes its debut

      Four years on from the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, open source software company Red Hat Inc. finally announced today that version 8 of its computer server operating system is now in beta.

      A lot has changed in the world of Linux during that time, with vastly more workloads running in public clouds and more agile software development practices increasingly becoming the norm. The new RHEL reflects those differences.

      Whereas the RHEL 7 release was all about better support for virtual machines and improved Windows interoperability, today’s version gives a nod to the fact that most information technology operations are increasingly all about the cloud and software containers.

    • Red Hat releases Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 beta

      Four years ago Red Hat released its last major flagship operating system update: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7. A lot has changed since then. In 2014, the big changes were about improved Windows interoperability, better Virtual Machine (VM) support, making XFS the default file system, and, oh yes, making Docker available as a beta feature. Now, RHEL 8 is in beta, and it’s clear RHEL 8 is for today’s cloud and container-based IT world and not the server and datacenter-driven infrastructure of four years ago.

    • Powering IT’s future while preserving the present: Introducing Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta

      Linux containers, Kubernetes, artificial intelligence, blockchain and too many other technical breakthroughs to list all share a common component – Linux, the same workhorse that has driven mission-critical, production systems for nearly two decades. Today, we’re offering a vision of a Linux foundation to power the innovations that can extend and transform business IT well into the future: Meet Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta.

      Enterprise IT is evolving at a pace faster today than at any other point in history. This reality necessitates a common foundation that can span every footprint, from the datacenter to multiple public clouds, enabling organizations to meet every workload requirement and deliver any app, everywhere.

      With Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta, we worked to deliver a shared foundation for both the emerging and current worlds of enterprise IT. The next generation of the world’s leading enterprise Linux platform helps fuel digital transformation strategies across the hybrid cloud, where organizations use innovations like Linux containers and Kubernetes to deliver differentiated products and services. At the same time, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta enables IT teams to optimize and extract added value from existing technology investments, helping to bridge demands for innovation with stability and productivity.

    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta Released With Stratis, Yum 4, Application Streams

      The long-awaited public beta of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is finally available!

      Red Hat surprised us with the beta roll-out this morning of RHEL8 ahead of the official Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 in 2019. Highlights of RHEL8 include:

      - Application Streams (AppStreams) for better separating user-space packages from the core kernel operations. This allows for shipping newer versions of applications prior to major/minor RHEL updates, utilizing multiple versions of the same package concurrently, etc.

    • Introducing Application Streams in RHEL 8

      With the introduction of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 (RHEL 8) we have tried to greatly simplify the layout of the content available in Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The main repository, BaseOS, provides the parts of the distribution that give you a running userspace on physical hardware, a virtual machine, a cloud instance or a container. The Application Stream (AppStream) repository provides all the applications you might want to run in a given userspace. The Supplemental repository provides other software that has special licensing. The CodeReady Linux Builder provides mostly build time components for developers (see Introducing CodeReady Linux Builder).

      As a result, most RHEL 8 systems will only need two repositories enabled. However, this may lead to the the question, where do I find alternate versions of software if there is only 1 application repository? In prior versions, you would look to the RHSCL or Extras repositories. However, in RHEL 8, through a new technology called Modularity, we can offer those alternate versions in the same physical repository.

    • Introducing CodeReady Linux Builder

      The RHEL8 Beta introduces a new repository, the CodeReady Linux Builder (or “Builder” for short) that developers may need while developing applications for RHEL. As you all know “developer” is not a one size fits all term. As a result, I am taking this opportunity to try to explain when you might need Builder enabled for your development activities.

      First off, if you are a typical web developer, dealing with PHP, Ruby, or Perl you are unlikely to need the content delivered through Builder. The PHP packages, Ruby gems, and Perl modules provided in the AppStream repository will, in most cases, provide sufficient functionality to develop and run applications you create yourself and to run frameworks like Drupal, WordPress, Rails, or Twiki. Please see the appropriate HowTos for getting these things up and running.

      Ruby and Perl both have additional libraries made available in the Builder repository. However, they are less commonly used or used at build time only.

    • RHEL 8 Beta arrives with application streams and more

      Much of the impetus for RHEL 8 has been the growing need for a common foundation that can span every IT stronghold from the data center to multiple public clouds and make application delivery a lot more manageable. Four years have passed since RHEL 7 came our way, and so much has changed in the world of IT since then, with continued virtualization and containerization along with a growing need for rapid deployment.

      [...]

      Red Hat is interested in having existing customers and subscribers experience RHEL 8 Beta. Go to Red Hat’s RHEL Beta site to get a feel for the flexibility and control this new release can provide to you. RHEL 8 Beta is built on the 4.18 Linux kernel as a baseline and provides many features that you are likely to appreciate.

    • Red Hat talks upgrades and bare metal with its new OpenStack Platform

      Red Hat used this week’s OpenStack Summit to announce the impending arrival of its OpenStack Platform 14. We had a chat with Red Hat’s Nick Barcet about cadence, Kubernetes, and most definitely not IBM.

      It’s been a while coming, but Red Hat has taken the latest OpenStack release, Rocky, and folded it into its OpenStack Platform, with version 14 due to hit a waiting world in the next few weeks.

      The goal of Red Hat’s take is, as ever, to make life easier for admins tasked with setting up the occasionally challenging OpenStack platform. Simplifying cloud-native application adoption and getting containers on bare metal is the name of the game here.

      OpenShift, of course, gets a look-in as well as Red Hat continues to tightly integrate the container platform with OpenStack to bring more Kubernetes-based goodness to the party. Red Hat has pointed to Gartner research which claimed that 75 per cent of organisations will have either a multi-cloud or hybrid environment by 2020, meaning that OpenStack’s private cloud infrastructure is likely to play a part. And Red Hat would be very happy to help set that up for you, for a fee.

    • Carahsoft Receives the Red Hat Public Sector Distribution Partner of the Year Award
    • Red Hat launches mobile app to enable partners to save time and build connections
    • Supporting support: How TAMs bring stronger value to customers by collaborating with support delivery

      Red Hat Technical Account Managers (TAMs) have many responsibilities, all of which center around meeting customers’ needs and ultimately working to help customers succeed. One major responsibility for a TAM is providing support for the products that customers have purchased through subscriptions.

      Each of Red Hat’s products has a skilled and specialized support engineering team, dedicated to provide assistance for Red Hat’s customers. TAM customers receive the added benefit of having someone they know personally standing by, ready to assist them to get issues resolved as quickly as possible. Through close relationships, Technical Account Managers play a key role in providing that necessary support.

    • What’s New in Red Hat OpenStack Platform 14

      Red Hat announced its OpenStack Platform 14 update on Nov. 15, providing users of the open-source cloud platform with an incremental set of new features.

      Red Hat OpenStack Platform 14 is based on the upstream OpenStack Rocky milestone, which became publicly available on Aug. 30. Among the new features in OSP 14 are improved networking capabilities, including enhanced load balancing capabilities for container workloads. Red Hat is also continuing to push forward on the integration of its OpenShift Kubernetes container orchestration platform with OpenStack.

      In a video interview with eWEEK, Mark McLoughlin, senior director of engineering of OpenStack at Red Hat, outlined some of the new features in OSP 14 and the direction for the road ahead.

    • Red Hat OpenStack Platform 14 delivers unified foundation for Kubernetes and virtual machines

      Red Hat Inc. announced Red Hat OpenStack Platform 14, its latest version of Red Hat’s massively-scalable, cloud-native apps-ready Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution.

      Based on the OpenStack “Rocky” community release, Red Hat OpenStack Platform 14 integrates with Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform, a comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform, bringing even more support for Kubernetes to enterprise-grade OpenStack.

      Paired with capabilities to improve bare-metal resource consumption and enhance deployment automation, Red Hat OpenStack Platform 14 aims to deliver a single infrastructure offering that can lay the foundation for traditional, virtualized and cloud-native workloads.

    • OpenStack: We’ve seen the future, and it’s metal (and infrastructure, natch)

      The OpenStack Foundation took to the stage in Berlin this week to talk infrastructure because, heck, everyone loves infrastructure, right? Especially open infrastructure.

      With its roots in a joint project set up by NASA and Rackspace back in 2010, the open-source OpenStack platform comprises a suite of components aimed at managing pools of compute, storage and networking resources for those wary of throwing their lot in with the likes of Amazon and Microsoft.

      Over two days of keynote speeches in which the OpenStack Foundation (OSF) wheeled out a succession of customers to insist the framework was a breeze to set up and not just for telcos, there was a tacit admission that perhaps it was time for the group to focus a bit more on the whole infrastructure thing. And China.

    • How AT&T Is Using OpenStack to Deploy 5G Networks

      The next generation of wireless networks known as 5G is being enabled at AT&T through a series of open source efforts, including the OpenStack cloud platform.

      At the OpenStack Summit in Berlin, Germany, executives from AT&T discussed how they are building out 5G networks and also demonstrated a live 5G phone call running on top of an OpenStack deployment.

      “5G is a revolution. The capabilities that 5G will enable are things that will be a step function increase in latency, in reliability and resiliency with ultra-low latency and at very high speeds.” Amy Wheelus, vice president, Network Cloud at AT&T, said. “5G Is really more than just another generation; it’s more than just another G, because 5G is going to enable new services, new products, and even new industries that you and I haven’t even thought about that today.”

      She noted that among the 5G application use cases are smart factories and autonomous vehicles. AT&T also expects that 5G will be used for augmented reality, not just for entertainment, but also for critical functions, such as search and rescue or troubleshooting at the top of a tower.

    • OpenStack Expands Focus to Enable Open Infrastructure

      The OpenStack Foundation is no longer exclusively focused on its namesake cloud platform as the open-source effort is now expanding to enable the broader realm of open infrastructure.

      In a video interview at the OpenStack Summit here, Mark Collier, chief operating officer, and Jonathan Bryce, executive director of the OpenStack Foundation, detailed the group’s new approach. It’s an approach that now includes four pilot projects outside of the core OpenStack cloud platform—the Airship code deployment, Kata containers, StarlingX edge compute and Zuul continuous integration projects.

    • [Podcast] PodCTL #55 – Kubernetes as the new Application Server
    • Video: The Beginning, Present, and Future of Sysadmins
  • Kernel Space

    • Linux Foundation

      • Uber Demonstrates its Dedication to Open Source With Linux Foundation Gold Membership

        Uber Open Summit — The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, announces Uber has become the newest Gold member of the foundation.

      • Uber joins Linux Foundation, cementing commitment to open-source tools

        What’s surprising is not that they joined, but that it took so long. Uber has been long known for making use of open source in its core tools, working on over 320 open-source projects and repositories from 1,500 contributors involving over 70,000 commits, according to data provided by the company.

        “Uber has made significant investments in shared software development and community collaboration through open source over the years, including contributing the popular open-source project Jaeger, a distributed tracing system, to the Linux Foundation’s Cloud Native Computing Foundation in 2017,” an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch.

      • Uber Joins the Linux Foundation as a Gold Member

        Uber has been an active and committed member of the open source community, leveraging, contributing, and developing open source solutions across our tech stack since launching our platform nearly 10 years ago. Announced today during Uber Open Summit 2018, we extend our commitment by joining the Linux Foundation as a Gold Member, continuing to support the open source community through the Linux Foundation.

        [...]

        “Open source technology is the backbone of many of Uber’s core services and as we continue to mature, these solutions will become ever more important,” said Thuan Pham, Uber CTO. “The Linux Foundation not only provides homes to many significant open source projects, but also creates an open environment for companies like Uber to work together on developing these technologies. We are honored to join the Linux Foundation to foster greater collaboration with the open source community.”

      • CNCF Survey: Cloud Usage in Asia Has Grown 135% Since March 2018 [Ed: They just call every server "cloud" because they call themselves "cloud"]

        The bi-annual CNCF survey takes a pulse of the community to better understand the adoption of cloud native technologies. This is the second time CNCF has conducted its cloud native survey in Mandarin to better gauge how Asian companies are adopting open source and cloud native technologies. The previous Mandarin survey was conducted in March 2018. This post also makes comparisons to the most recent North American / European version of this survey from August 2018.

      • AI in the Real World

        We are living in the future – it is just unevenly distributed with “an outstanding amount of hype and this anthropomorphization of what [AI] technology can actually provide for us,” observed Hilary Mason, general manager for machine learning at Cloudera, who led a keynote on “AI in the Real World: Today and Tomorrow,” at the recent Open FinTech Forum.

        [...]

        As progress is made in the development of AI, machine learning and deep learning, there are still things we need to keep in mind, Mason said. “One of the biggest topics in our field right now is how we incorporate ethics, how we comply with expectations of privacy in the practice of data science.”
        She gave a plug to a short, free ebook called “Data Driven: Creating a Data Culture,” that she co-authored with DJ Patil, who worked as chief data scientist for President Barack Obama. Their goal, she said, is “to try and get folks who are practicing out in the world of machine learning and data science to think about their tools [and] for them to practice ethics in the context of their work.”
        Mason ended her presentation on an optimistic note, observing that “AI will find its way into many fundamental processes of the businesses that we all run. So when I say, ‘Let’s make it boring,’ I actually think that’s what makes it more exciting.’”

    • Graphics Stack

      • RADV Vulkan Driver To Enable Vega Primitive Binning By Default – Helps Performance

        The RadeonSI OpenGL driver offered Vega primitive binning support the past year followed by the RADV Vulkan driver, but it hadn’t been enabled by default. Those working on the RADV driver are now planning on unconditionally enabling this Vega performance optimization for up to a few percent performance boost.

        It seems the primitive binning driver support for RADV is mature enough that it can be flipped on by default and at least doesn’t appear to be hurting any prominent Vulkan-powered Linux games. Samuel Pitoiset of Valve’s Linux driver team sent out the patch today for flipping it on by default. On that patch message he describes this Vega feature as helping out some games by a few percent, “After doing a bunch of benchmarks, primitive binning helps some games like The Talos Principle (+5%) or Serious Sam 2017 (+3%). For other titles, either it doesn’t change anything or it hurts very few (less than 1%).”

      • NVIDIA 410.78 Linux Driver Fixes Vulkan Corruption, Adds Quadro RTX 4000 Support

        For those using the NVIDIA long-lived 410 Linux driver series over the in-beta 415.xx driver series, the 410.78 driver release is out today as the newest stable binary driver build.

        The NVIDIA 410.78 rolls out with official support for the Quadro RTX 4000 graphics card and a handful of bug fixes. The bug fixes include addressing a possible X Server hang when using legacy VGA mode, mode-setting failure with SDI output, and Vulkan rendering corruption.

      • [Mesa-dev] [ANNOUNCE] mesa 18.2.5

        A patch for nine state tracker that fixes several crashes using nine’s thread_submit feature. There are other patches to other state trackers.

        A couple of patches for Meson build system, as well as for autotools.

        In the drivers side, there are a couple of fixes for RADV, one regarding subgroups and another regarding conditional rendering. There are also fixes for virgl, r600, and i965.

      • Mesa 18.2.5 Brings Fixes For Direct3D 9 State Tracker, RADV Vulkan Driver

        For those sticking to the Mesa stable release train, Mesa 18.2.5 is now available ahead of the Mesa 18.3 quarterly feature release due out in the weeks ahead.

        As is the case for Mesa point releases, Mesa 18.2.5 is geared to deliver the latest bug/regression fixes. this 18.2.5 release has around three dozen changes, including fixes for the Gallium “Nine” D3D9 state tracker when using its thread-submit functionality, Meson build system updates, RADV Vulkan driver fixes, and also some basic fixes/tweaks to the common NIR, Mesa, and Intel code. There is no particular standout prominent fixes unless you were personally affected by one of the bugs.

      • Firefox Nightly now with experimental Wayland support

        As of last nightly (20181115100051), Firefox now supports Wayland on Linux, thanks to the work from Martin Stransky and Jan Horak, mostly.

        Before that, it was possible to build your own Firefox with Wayland support (and Fedora does it), but now the downloads from mozilla.org come with Wayland support out of the box for the first time.

        However, being experimental and all, the Wayland support is not enabled by default, meaning by default, you’ll still be using XWayland. To enable wayland support, first set the GDK_BACKEND environment variable to wayland.

      • AMD Radeon RX 590 Launches, Linux Support Presumably Okay

        While it comes as no surprise given all the leaks in recent weeks, today AMD officially announced the Radeon RX 590 graphics card as another update to Polaris.

        The new Polaris PCI ID addition we spotted back in September indeed turned out to be for a new high-end Polaris refresh. The Radeon RX 590 is this new high-end Polaris graphics card that is manufactured on a 12nm FinFET process.

    • Benchmarks

      • Benchmarking Packet.com’s Bare Metal Intel Xeon / AMD EPYC Cloud

        With the tests earlier this week of the 16-way AMD EPYC cloud comparison the real standout of those tests across Amazon EC2, Packet, and SkySilk was Packet’s bare metal cloud. For just $1.00 USD per hour it’s possible to have bare metal access to an AMD EPYC 7401P 24-core / 48-thread server that offers incredible value compared to the other public cloud options for on-demand pricing. That led me to running some more benchmarks of Packet.com’s other bare metal cloud options to see how the Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC options compare.

        Packet’s on-demand server options for their “bare metal cloud” offerings range from an Intel Atom C2550 quad-core server with 8GB of RAM at just 7 cents per hour up to a dual Xeon Gold 6120 server with 28 cores at two dollars per hour with 384GB of RAM and 3.2TB of NVMe storage. There are also higher-end instances including NVIDIA GPUs but those are on a dynamic spot pricing basis.

      • Linux 4.20 Showing Some Performance Slowdowns

        Bseing well past the Linux 4.20 merge window I have moved onto benchmarking more of this development version of the Linux kernel. Unfortunately, there are some clear performance regressions.

        This week I got to firing off some Linux 4.20 kernel benchmarks… I started with the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 2990WX and Intel Core i9 7980XE for being the interesting HEDT CPUs in my possession at the moment. On the 7980XE I spotted several performance regressions with this Linux 4.20 development kernel compared to Linux 4.19 and 4.18, so then I fired up the completely separate Intel Core i9 7960X box to carry out the same tests. Sure enough, with that different hardware, there is further confirmation of slowdowns with Linux 4.20.

        The common trait of these systems was Ubuntu 18.10 x86_64 and using the Linux 4.18.18, 4.19.1, and 4.20 Git kernel packages provided by the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA. With the differing hardware the intention is not to compare the performance between the systems but in looking at the direction of the Linux kernel performance.

  • Applications

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • Python and Qt: 3,000 hours of developer insight

        With Qt for Python released, it’s time to look at the powerful capabilities of these two technologies. This article details one solopreneur’s experiences.

        [...]

        The big problem with Electron is performance. In particular, the startup time was too high for a file manager: On an admittedly old machine from 2010, simply launching Electron took five seconds.

        I admit that my personal distaste for JavaScript also made it easier to discount Electron. Before I go off on a rant, let me give you just one detail that I find symptomatic: Do you know how JavaScript sorts numbers? Alphabetically. ’nuff said.

        After considering a few technologies, I settled on Qt. It’s cross-platform, has great performance and supports custom styles. What’s more, you can use it from Python. This makes at least me orders of magnitude more productive than the default C++.

      • Inkscape Dark Theme on KDE Plasma

        On KDE Plasma, it’s very easy to setup Inkscape Dark Theme. To do so, go to System Settings > Application Style > GNOME/GTK+ Style > under GTK+ Style: switch all themes to Dark ones and give check mark to Prefer Dark Theme > Apply. Now your Inkscape should turned into dark mode. To revert back, just revert the theme selections. This trick works on Kubuntu or any other GNU/Linux system as long as it uses Plasma as its desktop environment.

      • Atelier at Maker Faire and QtCon 2018!

        On the weekend of November 3 and 4, it happened on Rio de Janeiro the first Maker Faire of Latin America. And I was able to do a talk about Atelier and the current status of our project. The event hold more than 1.500 people on the first day, that saw a lot of talks and the exposition of makers of all over the country that came to Rio to participate in this edition of the Maker Faire.

  • Distributions

    • Fedora

      • Introducing rpm-macros-virtualenv 0.0.1

        This is a small set of RPM macros, which can be used by the spec files to build and package any Python application along with a virtualenv. Thus, removing the need of installing all dependencies via dnf/rpm repository. One of the biggest usecase will be to help to install latest application code and all the latest dependencies into a virtualenv and also package the whole virtualenv into the RPM package.

        This will be useful for any third part vendor/ISV, who would want to package their Python application for Fedora/RHEL/CentOS along with the dependencies. But, remember not to use this for any package inside of Fedora land as this does not follow the Fedora packaging guidelines.

      • Akash Angle: How do you Fedora?

        Akash is a fan of the GNOME 3 desktop environment. He loves most of the goodies and bells and whistles the OS can throw in for getting basic tasks done.

        For practical reasons he prefers a fresh installation as a way of upgrading to the latest Fedora version. He thinks Fedora 29 is arguably the the best workstation out there. Akash says this has been backed up by reviews of various tech evangelists and open source news sites.

    • Debian Family

      • Raphaël Hertzog: Freexian’s report about Debian Long Term Support, October 2018

        Like each month, here comes a report about the work of paid contributors to Debian LTS.

      • Derivatives

        • Linux Deepin 15.8 Released with Various Neat Improvements

          Deepin 15.8, the latest version of the Deepin Linux distribution, is now available to download.

          Building on its previous (well received) release, Deepin 15.8 adds some polish and refinement, boasts a smaller download size, and makes a number of design tweaks to improve the form and function of the distro.

          “[Deepin 15.8 offers] an attractive and efficient, excellent user experience”, the team say in a blog post announcing the new release.

        • deepin 15.8 Linux distribution available for download — replace Windows 10 now!

          As more and more people wake up to the fact that Windows 10 is a giant turd lately, computer users are exploring alternatives, such as Linux-based operating systems. First impressions can be everything, so when searching for a distribution, it is important that beginners aren’t scared off by bewildering installers or ugly and confusing interfaces.

          Linux “n00bs” often opt for Ubuntu, and while that is a good choice, there are far more pretty and intuitive options these days. One such operating system that I recommend often is deepin. Why? It is drop-dead gorgeous and easy to use. It is guaranteed to delight the user, and its intuitive interface will certainly impress. Today, the newest version of the excellent Linux distro, deepin 15.8, becomes available for download.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Canonical Extends Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Linux Support to 10 Years

            In a keynote at the OpenStack Summit here, Mark Shuttleworth, founder and CEO of Canonical Inc and Ubuntu, detailed the progress made by his Linux distribution in the cloud and announced new extended support.

            The Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Long Term Support) debuted back on April 26, providing new server and cloud capabilities. An LTS release comes with five year of support, but during his keynote Shuttleworth announced that 18.04 would have support that is available for up to 10 years.

            “I’m delighted to announce that Ubuntu 18.04 will be supported for a full 10 years,” Shuttleworth said. “In part because of the very long time horizons in some of industries like financial services and telecommunications but also from IOT where manufacturing lines for example are being deployed that will be in production for at least a decade .”

          • ​Mark Shuttleworth reveals Ubuntu 18.04 will get a 10-year support lifespan

            At OpenStack Summit in Berlin, Canonical and Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth said in a keynote that Ubuntu 18.04 Long Term Support (LTS) support lifespan would be extended from five years to 10 years.

            “I’m delighted to announce that Ubuntu 18.04 will be supported for a full 10 years,” said Shuttleworth, “In part because of the very long time horizons in some of industries like financial services and telecommunications but also from IoT where manufacturing lines for example are being deployed that will be in production for at least a decade.”

          • Canonical’s Mark Shuttleworth wishes Red Hat and IBM a happy marriage

            Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth’s keynote at the second of this year’s Openstack Summits was considerably less controversial than the last, where he explicitly compared the price between Red Hat and Ubuntu’s services in Vancouver. However he still had plenty to say when Computerworld UK caught up with the hobby astronaut and entrepreneur on the show floor.

            When asked to expand on his thoughts about IBM’s recent acquisition bid for Red Hat, Shuttleworth wished them “every happiness in their marriage”, with some caveats.

            “It depends how forcefully they can steer RedHat Enterprise Linux (REL) on-prem users to the IBM cloud,” he said. “At the end of the day, that’s the only way for them to get a premium on REL itself. They’ve paid a very high premium, so they have to generate a premium, and the only way to do that, would be to use on-prem REL as a forcing function to get workloads onto the IBM cloud,” he said.

          • OpenStack Summit Berlin 2018, Mark Shuttleworth keynote

            The OpenStack community has, and attracts, amazing people and amazing technology, however, that won’t be meaningful if it doesn’t deliver for everyday businesses. “I say that representing the company which doesn’t just publish Ubuntu and the reference OpenStack distribution on Ubuntu, we actually manage more OpenStack clouds for more different industries, more different architectures than any other company,” said Shuttleworth.

            There are things that have to be right – we have to support every single OpenStack release with upgrades. That means when Stein and Train are released, we will deploy, as part of the test process, Icehouse on 14.04, then deploy workloads on Kubernetes on Icehouse. With that running in the cloud, and without losing a workload, the version is then upgraded up to Mitaka. We then take the running cloud and upgrade to 16.04 under the hood, then upgrade to Queens, then upgrade to 18.04 and on to Rocky, Stein and beyond, as standard.

          • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E36 – Thirty-Six HoursUbuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S11E36 – Thirty-Six Hours

            This week we’ve been resizing partitions. We interview Andrew Katz and discuss open souce and the law, bring you a command line love and go over all your feedback.

            It’s Season 11 Episode 36 of the Ubuntu Podcast! Alan Pope, Mark Johnson and Martin Wimpress are connected and speaking to your brain.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • A reliance on open source in enterprise: Necessary for digital transformation

    Enterprises have embraced the cloud; and now they’re focusing on open source.

    Open source lends itself to innovation, something competing enterprises need to seriously tap into, by allowing different developers from across the world to create and modify software to solve current challenges and open new avenues.

    To find out more about how open source is venturing into the enterprise community and spurring digital innovation, Information Age spoke to Stephan Fabel, director of product at Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu.

  • What blockchain can learn from open source

    Over the 10+ years I’ve been involved with open source, I’ve been part of small projects with innovative ideas that grew into large projects with solid communities. I’ve also witnessed the way dysfunctional communities can suck the energy from projects.

    I’ve also recently become active in blockchain by writing and contributing to projects. I’ve noticed that blockchain projects are like startups with open development and open business models. Therefore, to be successful, blockchain startups must learn how to build communities the open source way.

  • OpenStack regroups

    Only a few years ago, OpenStack was the hottest open-source project around, with a bustling startup ecosystem to boot. The project, which gives enterprises the tools to run the equivalent of AWS in their own private data centers, ran into trouble as it tried to tackle too many individual projects at the same time and enterprises took longer than expected to adopt it. That meant many a startup floundered or was acquired before it was able to gain traction while the nonprofit foundation that manages the project started to scale back its big tent approach and refocused on its core services.

  • SD Times news digest: Docker and MuleSoft’s partnership, ActiveState’s open-source language automation category, and Instana’s automatic Python instrumentation

    Docker and MuleSoft have announced a new partnership to modernize applications and accelerate digital transformation. As part of the partnership, the companies will work together to deliver new capabilities for legacy apps with APIs, legacy apps without APIs and new apps created in Docker. In addition, MuleSoft’s Anypoint platform will be combined with Docker Enterprise.

  • ActiveState Creates Open Source Language Automation Category
  • New open source cloud discovery tool arrives from Twistlock

    Cloud Discovery connects to cloud providers’ native platform APIs to discover services such as container registries, managed Kubernetes platforms, and serverless services, and requires only read permissions. Other key features include:

  • Google Open-Sources “Amber” Multi-API Shader Test Framework

    The newest open-source graphics project out of Google is called Amber and it’s a multi-API shader testing framework focused on capturing and communicating of shader bugs.

    Google’s Amber tries to make it easier to capture/communicate shader bugs with a scripting-based workflow. The captured shaders can be in binary form, SPIR-V assembly, or a higher-level shading language. Amber is currently focused on supporting the Vulkan and Dawn graphics APIs.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Thunderbird version 60.3.1 now Available, Includes Fixes for Cookie Removal and Encoding Issues

        Thunderbird happens to be one of the most famous Email client. It is free and an open source one which was developed by the Mozilla Foundation back in 2003, fifteen years ago. From a very basic interface, it has come a long way to be what it is today in 2018. With these updates, a recent one into the 60.x series from the 52.x series was a significant one.

        While the 60.x (60.3.0) update started rolling out, Mozilla was keen to push out 60.3.1. This new version of Thunderbird had a few bugs and kinks here and there which needed to be addressed which Mozilla did, most of them at least.

      • Ian Bicking: Thoughts on the Firefox Email Tabs experiment

        We recently released Email Tabs in Firefox Test Pilot. This was a project I championed, and I wanted to offer some context on it.

  • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

  • Programming/Development

    • Program Synthesis is Possible in Rust

      Program synthesis is the act of automatically constructing a program that fulfills a given specification. Perhaps you are interested in sketching a program, leaving parts of it incomplete, and then having a tool fill in those missing bits for you? Or perhaps you are a compiler, and you have some instruction sequence, but you want to find an equivalent-but-better instruction sequence? Program synthesizers promise to help you out in these situations!

      I recently stumbled across Adrian Sampson’s Program Synthesis is Possible blog post. Adrian describes and implements minisynth, a toy program synthesizer that generates constants for holes in a template program when given a specification. What fun! As a way to learn more about program synthesis myself, I ported minisynth to Rust.

    • The devil makes work for idle processes

      TLDR: in Endless OS, we switched the IO scheduler from CFQ to BFQ, and set the IO priority of the threads doing Flatpak downloads, installs and upgrades to “idle”; this makes the interactive performance of the system while doing Flatpak operations indistinguishable from when the system is idle.

      At Endless, we’ve been vaguely aware for a while that trying to use your computer while installing or updating apps is a bit painful, particularly on spinning-disk systems, because of the sheer volume of IO performed by the installation/update process. This was never particularly high priority, since app installations are user-initiated, and until recently, so were app updates.

    • Rcpp now used by 1500 CRAN packages

      Right now Rcpp stands at 1500 reverse-dependencies on CRAN. The graph is on the left depicts the growth of Rcpp usage (as measured by Depends, Imports and LinkingTo, but excluding Suggests) over time. What an amazing few days this has been as we also just marked the tenth anniversary and the big one dot oh release.

    • Python in RHEL 8

      Ten years ago, the developers of the Python programming language decided to clean things up and release a backwards-incompatible version, Python 3. They initially underestimated the impact of the changes, and the popularity of the language. Still, in the last decade, the vast majority of community projects has migrated to the new version, and major projects are now dropping support for Python 2.

      In Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, Python 3.6 is the default. But Python 2 remains available in RHEL 8.

    • How to stand out, and get hired, at Grace Hopper Celebration

      During the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing (GHC), attendees flooded the George Brown Convention Center in Houston Texas to network, learn and share information in celebration of women technologists. For students at GHC, the expo hall also doubled as a career fair. Here’s how to stand out when you’re trying to leave GHC with opportunities to chart your own path in technology.

      Recruiters, engineers, scientists and technologists were stationed at company booths to talk about their workplaces. They screened resumes, interviewed candidates and shared their experiences.

      This year I was able to attend GHC for the first time, not as a student seeking a position but as an employee of Red Hat. At Red Hat we do many things differently, interviewing at GHC is one of those things. Red Hat is seeking associates who possess both a strong technical aptitude as well as a passion for our products and services.

    • Vim in the Future

      I have learned Vim as a programming-centric tool, but I use it for other tasks, too. This post assumes a reader isn’t necessarily a programmer but is curious about how tech things get done.

    • The Huge Security Problem With C/C++ And Why You Shouldn’t Use It

      Alex Gaynor gives an example of a program that has a list of 10 numbers. Theoretically, in an event where someone asks for the 11th element, the program is expected to show an error of some sort, or at least that’s what a “memory safe” programming language (like Python or Java) would do.

      However, in case of a memory unsafe language like C/C++, the program looks for the 11th element wherever it is supposed to be (if it existed) and accesses its content. This is called a “buffer-overflow” vulnerability that is exploited by bugs like HeartBleed to access up to 60 KB data past the end of a list — that often includes passwords and other sensitive data.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Being bionic: how technology transformed my life

      Prosthetics have been around for more than 3,000 years: wooden toes, which strapped on and were specifically designed to work with sandals, were found on the feet of Ancient Egyptian mummies. For most of history, prosthetics have been designed to make life more comfortable for adults, to afford the wearer some limited movement, and to avoid drawing attention to their disability (by filling an empty jacket sleeve, or concealing a stump). It is only recently, as advances in robotics and computing power have been incorporated into artificial limbs, that function has become paramount, and the needs of active disabled people, especially children, have begun to influence design.

    • Researchers develop optical fibre capable of over 1 petabit per second

      A coupler created by Macquarie University in Australia, combined with a fibre fabricated by Hokkaido University and equipment maker Fujikura, and a transmission system developed by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology in Japan, has led to transmission speeds in excess of 1 petabit.

      The new four-core, three-mode fibre was touted as being the same width as existing standard fibre, but was capable of 12 times the data speed. Macquarie University said the fibre was less prone to damage due to its narrower diameter, and could be used with existing equipment.

    • Optical Fiber Capable of 1 Petabit/Second Transfer Speed Developed

      A number of research teams came together and have successfully developed a Fibre Cable which can generate Internet speed up to one Petabit per second. Hokkaido University developed the fiber with the help of tools from the equipment maker Fujikura.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Medical cannabis: Death sentence prompts Malaysia to re-think harsh laws

      A death sentence given to a young man selling cannabis oil to the ill has stirred debate in Muslim-majority Malaysia about its ultra-tough drug laws. The case has prompted calls for the country to become the first in Asia to legalise medical marijuana – but long-held stigma and a mostly conservative population means change could come slowly.

    • In Echo of Flint, Mich., Water Crisis Now Hits Newark

      Officials were finally compelled to act after an engineering study commissioned by the city found that measures to prevent lead from leaching into drinking water were failing at one of Newark’s two treatment plants.

    • Baltimore Becomes First Major City to Ban Water Privatization

      Now that privatization is out of the picture, Baltimoreans can work with our elected officials to improve the accountability and affordability of our water system and ensure every person in our city has access to safe water at a price they can afford to pay. Food & Water Watch looks forward to working with other cities to protect their water systems from corporate control and using Baltimore as a model for water justice for the nation.”

    • Without Action, Drug-Resistant “Superbugs” Will Kill Millions in Europe

      Antibiotic-resistant infections could kill 2.4 million people in Europe, North America, and Australia by 2050 without further action to combat the infections, according to a report released yesterday (November 7) by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. But the report also says that short-term investments by governments could push back against diseases and save money in the long run.

    • The Other Victims of California’s Fires: Workers Inhaling Toxic Fumes

      With the death toll now standing at 42 and with some 7,200 structures destroyed, officials are now calling the wildfire in Paradise, CA (dubbed the “Camp Fire”) the deadliest and most destructive in California’s recent history. Two other massive fires—dubbed the Hill Fire and Woolsey Fire are simultaneously scorching Southern California.

      As frontline firefighters—including many prison laborers—continue to battle the blaze while healthcare providers work around the clock treating fire victims, millions of other workers far away from the inferno are feeling a secondary impact: toxic smoke.

      In the San Francisco Bay Area, over 160 miles away from the Camp Fire, air quality dramatically declined almost immediately after the fires broke out. Over the past week, AirNow, a government website reporting real-time air quality data has shown the Bay Area hovering between 150-200 on the federal Air Quality Index (AQI), surpassing 200 (or “very unhealthy” levels) in parts of the Bay. The higher the AQI value, the more polluted the skies are and the more concern there is for public health.

    • Trump Administration Plots Costly Private-Care Expansion for Veterans

      Last June, President Donald Trump signed a landmark law on veterans’ health care after months of tense negotiations. At the ceremony in the Rose Garden, Trump said the bill would deliver on his campaign promise to let veterans see private doctors instead of using the Department of Veterans Affairs’ government-run health service: “I’m going to sign legislation that will make veterans’ choice permanent,” he said.

      Standing behind him, the leaders of major veterans groups looked around uncomfortably. What Trump called “choice” these veterans groups called “privatization,” and they’d been warning for years that it would cost taxpayers more money and deliver worse care for veterans. The veterans groups had endorsed the bill, but Trump’s description of it was not what they thought they were there to support.

      The moment left no doubt that the Trump administration is determined to use the new law to expand the private sector’s role in veterans’ health care. The administration is working on a plan to shift millions more veterans to private doctors and is aiming to unveil the proposal during Trump’s State of Union address in January, according to four people briefed on the proposal. The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose information about the administration’s plans.

    • Trumpeted New Medicare Advantage Benefits Will Be Hard For Seniors To Find

      For some older adults, private Medicare Advantage plans next year will offer a host of new benefits, such as transportation to medical appointments, home-delivered meals, wheelchair ramps, bathroom grab bars or air conditioners for asthma sufferers.

      But the new benefits will not be widely available, and they won’t be easy to find.

      Of the 3,700 plans across the country next year, only 273 in 21 states will offer at least one. About 7 percent of Advantage members — 1.5 million people — will have access, Medicare officials estimate.

    • So done with the NFL

      I’ve been an NFL for fan for a long time. It started before university when I rebelled against any sport that was vaguely popular at school (and seemed absolutely terrible). For no other reason than they did well at the time, I became a Washington Redskins fan (yes I’m old).

      I started a football team at university, I was involved in it. I even heard Chuck Noll speak once. If there was a Redskins game on TV, I would go up to the local pub in my jersey and watch the game.

      Over the last few years I’ve become pretty upset with what the NFL has become. Well the NFL has always been this way – but I didn’t care. I enjoyed the game, the drama, the strategy, the rivalies, and I ignored or excused away all the problems for my own enjoyment.

      [...]

      The treatment of players and the problems with concussions has been terrible. The NFL has swept it under the rug for so long. Yes they’ve introduced changes, but tried to balance the fundamental problems that constant head contact is part of the game.

    • From Plate to Plough: Less crop per drop

      In sum, public irrigation needs major overhauling in the country, especially in states like Maharashtra. Also, there is the question of who uses how much of irrigation water. In Maharashtra, although about 19 per cent of gross cropped area is irrigated, in case of sugarcane, it is 100 per cent and, in case of cotton, just 3 per cent. So there is massive inequity in the distribution of irrigation water in the state. Can the Fadnavis government take up this challenge and distribute irrigation water from public canals more equitably amongst farmers, on per ha basis?

  • Security

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • A Systematic Evaluation of Transient Execution Attacks and Defenses

      [...] we present a sound and extensible systematization of transient execution attacks. Our systematization uncovers 7 (new) transient execution attacks that have been overlooked and not been investigated so far. This includes 2 new Meltdown variants: Meltdown-PK on Intel, and Meltdown-BR on Intel and AMD. It also includes 5 new Spectre mistraining strategies. We evaluate all 7 attacks in proof-of-concept implementations on 3 major processor vendors (Intel, AMD, ARM). Our systematization does not only yield a complete picture of the attack surface, but also allows a systematic evaluation of defenses. Through this systematic evaluation, we discover that we can still mount transient execution attacks that are supposed to be mitigated by rolled out patches.

    • New IoT Security Regulations

      Due to ever-evolving technological advances, manufacturers are connecting consumer goods­ — from toys to light bulbs to major appliances­ — to the Internet at breakneck speeds. This is the Internet of Things, and it’s a security nightmare.

      The Internet of Things fuses products with communications technology to make daily life more effortless. Think Amazon’s Alexa, which not only answers questions and plays music but allows you to control your home’s lights and thermostat. Or the current generation of implanted pacemakers, which can both receive commands and send information to doctors over the Internet.

      But like nearly all innovation, there are risks involved. And for products born out of the Internet of Things, this means the risk of having personal information stolen or devices being overtaken and controlled remotely. For devices that affect the world in a direct physical manner — ­cars, pacemakers, thermostats­ — the risks include loss of life and property.

    • University Researchers Publish Paper On GPU Side-Channel Attacks

      University researchers out of University of California Riverside have published a paper this week detailing vulnerabilities in current GPU architectures making them vulnerable to side-channel attacks akin to Spectre and Meltdown.

      With their focus on NVIDIA GPUs, UCLA Riverside researchers demonstrated attacks both for graphics and compute by exploiting the GPU’s performance counters. Demonstrated attacks included a browser-based attack, extracting passwords / keystroke logging, and even the possibility of exposing a CUDA neural network algorithm.

    • Firefox Will Now Show You Data Breach Alert If You Visit Hacked Sites

      Mozilla has announced a new security feature in its Firefox Quantum web browser to alert users when they visit a website that was recently reported in a data breach.

      So if you happen to stumble upon a website that was breached in the past 12 months, Firefox will send you a handy little notification.

      But Mozilla knows better than to throw too many notifications at you, so they have promised that the alerts will “appear at most once per site.”

      After sending you the first notification, Firefox will repeat such an alert only if you visit a site that was breached within the past two months and added to the database of breached sites.

    • Russian hackers are accused of infecting three Eastern European companies with malware
    • Hackers with Russian Ties Hit 3 E. European Companies: Cyber Security Firm
    • Japan’s cyber security minister admits he has never used a computer
  • Defence/Aggression

    • Malmö sees four shooting incidents in 24 hours

      But judged by the Malmö police’s press releases, the rate of shootings has since picked up, with seven this month, two in October and five in September.

      [...]

      Eleven young men have been killed in shootings in Malmö so far this year, [...]

    • Parents, Students Fear Mass Shootings Now the New Normal in US
    • Rep. Ro Khanna: By Blocking Yemen Resolution, House GOP Is Abdicating Its Duty to Decide War & Peace

      House Republicans have quashed debate on a resolution that aims to end U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen, by sneaking a single line into an unrelated resolution about wolves. The House voted 201 to 187 on the bill Wednesday, approving a provision that blocks the Democrats from forcing a vote on the U.S. role in Yemen under the War Powers Act. For nearly four years the United States has played a key role supporting the Saudi-led invasion, which has devastated Yemen, creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The U.N. is warning 14 million Yemenis are on the brink of famine. One new study has estimated the war has killed at least 57,000 people since the beginning of 2016. We speak with Congressmember Ro Khanna, who introduced the resolution in the House.

    • George W. Bush Accepts Prestigious Liberty Award With Bloody Hands

      Like a ghastly echo that is old enough to vote, the news is once again thrumming with stories of an election recount in Broward County. Eighteen years ago, a similar recount was disrupted by one of the most indefensible Supreme Court decisions ever made, and the world began its inexorable slide toward the abyss that now confronts us. Because gallows humor is how doom is endured, there is (of course) an internet meme to mark the moment: A photo of an older, grayer Al Gore above a caption that reads, “Florida Recount Wraps Up, Al Gore Declared President.”

      Good one, internet. It only hurts when I laugh.

      Compounding the existential misery that is always present when anything related to George W. Bush comes up, George W. Bush himself has come up once again. Last weekend, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, a nonpartisan institution dedicated to educating people about the country’s founding documents, awarded Bush its prized Liberty Medal. The medal is given “to recognize leadership in the pursuit of freedom,” and has also been awarded to Nelson Mandela, Rep. John Lewis, Malala Yousafzai, Muhammad Ali and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet.

    • Witness shot after testifying in Gothenburg murder trial

      A man who had testified in a murder case was treated in hospital after being shot multiple times just hours after the trial.

    • Saudi Arabia executes Indonesian maid for killing employer who tried to rape her

      According to reports Tuti Tursilawati was killed on Monday in the city of Ta’if. The maid’s execution marked the fourth such case of Saudi Arabia killing an Indonesian migrant worker without telling diplomats or the family of those on death row before carrying out the death sentence, reports the Telegraph.

    • Authorities believe Saudi sisters found by Hudson River were alive when they entered water, source says
    • Nuclear Weapons are a Nightmare Made in America

      What transforms American elections from participatory politics into farce is the exclusion of crucial issues. Environmental crisis, the threat of nuclear annihilation and the wildly skewed distribution of political and economic power will affect how people live in coming years, regardless of how effectively they are excluded from electoral consideration.

      Each of these are historical accumulations— they exist in different time-space than the binary oppositions of political marketing. Environmental crisis has been accumulating since the dawn of the industrial revolution. The threat of nuclear annihilation emerged from WWII as the lunatic id of technological innovation. Class relations have determined the realm of official power since the birth of capitalism.

      This history grants presence to each, regardless of how hidden they are in any given political moment. If a bomb is dropped on a city in the forest, it destroys the lives of those it is dropped on regardless of whether you and I hear it. The subtexts of modernity are automatically written to preclude reflection.

      Recently, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that he would unilaterally end the INF (Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces) treaty with Russia. The calculated irrelevance of American electoral politics to the side, this didn’t happen in an historical vacuum. It ties back to Bill Clinton’s unilateral placement of NATO troops on Russia’s border following George H.W. Bush’s promise not to do so.

  • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Justice Department reportedly looking to prosecute Julian Assange amid increased prospects of bringing him to the US for trial

      The Justice Department is getting ready to prosecute Julian Assange as the WikiLeaks founder’s relationship with Ecuador deteriorates, The Wall Street Journal reported citing people in Washington familiar with the matter.

    • U.S. Is Optimistic It Will Prosecute Assange

      The Justice Department is preparing to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and is increasingly optimistic it will be able to get him into a U.S. courtroom, according to people in Washington familiar with the matter.

      Over the past year, U.S. prosecutors have discussed several types of charges they could potentially bring against Mr. Assange, the people said. Mr. Assange has lived in the Ecuadorean embassy in London since receiving political asylum from the South American country in 2012.

    • Julian Assange has been charged, prosecutors reveal inadvertently in court filing
    • Justice Department Preparing To Prosecute WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange: WSJ

      The U.S. Justice Department said it is planning to prosecute controversial WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

      Sources told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday that the department is also hopeful it will get Assange ― who has been holed up in an Ecuadorean embassy in London since 2012 ― into a U.S. courtroom.

      Assange fled Sweden in 2012 over allegations of sexual assault and rape. Though prosecutors dropped the case last year, he still faces arrest for breaching bail conditions should he leave the embassy.

    • WaPo: Wikileaks Boss Julian Assange Charged According To Court Documents | The 11th Hour | MSNBC
    • Assange’s Lawyer: Ecuador May Be Planning Extradition Under Deal With UK, US

      Assange has been residing in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 when he fled there to avoid prosecution by the Swedish authorities in a sex assault case. The sex offence charges against Assange have eventually been dropped but the whistleblower has not left the diplomatic mission, where he was granted asylum, over fears that he might be seized by the UK authorities and extradited to the United States where he is wanted for leaking classified documents.

      In October, media revealed that the embassy introduced home rules that Assange should follow, that included restrictions on the whistleblower’s communications and visits. Assange’s defence team subsequently sued Ecuador over the conditions of his stay in the embassy, which, according to them, violate the WikiLeaks founder’s rights.

    • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange facing possible prosecution by DOJ: report

      Assange has been seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 when British courts ordered him extradited to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual assault case. That matter has since been dropped, but WikiLeaks supporters have claimed that Assange fears being extradited to the United States if he leaves the embassy.

    • US Prosecutors Reportedly Optimistic About Bringing Julian Assange to Court

      Barry Pollack, Assange’s lawyer, told the Journal he had “heard nothing from authorities suggesting that a criminal case against Mr. Assange is imminent.”

    • Justice Department is preparing to prosecute Julian Assange

      Ecuadorean officials have long since grown tired of hosting Assange, with that country’s new president Lenin Moreno calling the white-haired leaker a “stone in our shoe.”

      The Journal speculated that Justice officials could pursue charges related to the Espionage Act, which bars the disclosure of national defense-related information.

    • Julian Assange ‘WILL be prosecuted for ESPIONAGE’: US officials ‘increasingly hopeful of getting WikiLeaks founder extradited from his London embassy bolthole to face charges in an American courtroom’
    • New filing from U.S. government inadvertently reveals Julian Assange is facing sealed charges

      The United States government has charged — under seal — Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, The Washington Post reported late Thursday evening.

      The disclosure came in an unrelated case.

      While urging a judge to keep a matter sealed, Assistant U.S. Attorney Kellen S. Dwyer, wrote “due to the sophistication of the defendant and the publicity surrounding the case, no other procedure is likely to keep confidential the fact that Assange has been charged.”

      The prosecutor added that the charges would “need to remain sealed until Assange is arrested.”

    • Ex-FBI counter-intel chief: Newly revealed Assange charges may be part of Mueller’s plan to target Trump

      MSNBC “11th Hour” anchor Brian Williams broke in with breaking news on Thursday after the Department of Justice inadvertently revealed the existence of sealed charges against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

      Williams was fortunate to have as a guest Frank Figliuzzi, the former Assistant Director for Counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

      “So, Frank, what’s the significance of this development to you?” Williams asked.

      “Well, this has deep meaning also for me personally, because I was in Washington at headquarters when the entire intelligence community was wrestling with what to do with Julian Assange and Wikileaks,” he noted. “And that the great debate about whether we should even treat him as a foreign power — they were doing that much damage to us.”

    • Wikileaks founder Julian Assange charged under seal in the US: reports
    • Justice Department reportedly preparing to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

      After a year of discussions, Justice Department officials are optimistic they will be able to get WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange into a U.S. courtroom, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday.

      In 2012, Assange received political asylum from Ecuador, and he has been living in the country’s London embassy ever since. Prosecutors do not yet know what charges they might file, but it could involve the Espionage Act, the Journal reports. Prosecutors are also reportedly considering publicly indicting Assange so the Ecuadorian government could see evidence against him and would have a reason to remove him from the embassy.

    • US optimistic it will prosecute Julian Assange

      The US Justice Department is preparing to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and is increasingly optimistic it will be able to get him into a U.S. courtroom, according to people in Washington familiar with the matter.

    • U.S. optimistic it will soon prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

      The people familiar with the case wouldn’t describe whether discussions were under way with the U.K. or Ecuador about Assange, but said they were encouraged by recent developments. Ecuador’s relationship with Assange has deteriorated sharply since last year’s election of President Lenin Moreno, who has described him as a “stone in our shoe” and said his continued presence at the embassy is unsustainable.

      An indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller that portrayed WikiLeaks as a tool of Russian intelligence for releasing thousands of hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 presidential campaign has made it more difficult for Assange to mount a defense as a journalist. Public opinion of Assange in the U.S. has dropped since the campaign. Prosecutors have considered publicly indicting Assange to try to trigger his removal from the embassy, the people said, because a detailed explanation of the evidence against Assange could give Ecuadorean authorities a reason to turn him over.

    • US preparing to prosecute Assange: report

      The Department of Justice is reportedly preparing to prosecute WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and hopes to try him in a U.S. courtroom.

      The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter, that prosecutors have been discussing different charges to level against Assange and how to bring him back to the U.S.

      Ecuador granted Assange asylum in 2012 and he has been living in that country’s embassy in London ever since.

      However, Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno, who was elected last year, has reportedly soured on Assange.

      “On that, I’ll just say, ‘we’ll see,’” John Demers, the head of the Justice Department’s national security division, told the Journal on the possibility of the DOJ prosecuting Assange.

    • US prosecutors get Assange indictment
    • Q&A: what’s it like handling PR for Julian Assange?

      Wikileaks founder Julian Assange became a polarising figure when he broke through on the global stage thanks to his organisations’ storing and publishing of secret documents. In recent years he has sought political refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, avoiding an arrest warrant, which he denies and claims to be part of a political conspiracy as a result of his work with Wikileaks.

      Representing Assange is PR man Richard Hillgrove who spoke to The Drum about what the role has been like, having also worked with other politically charged clients such as legendary fashion designer Dame Vivienne Westwood and activist, author and actress Rose McGowan over the years.

    • U.S. prosecutors get indictment against Wikileaks’ Assange: court document

      American prosecutors have obtained a sealed indictment against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, whose website published thousands of classified U.S. government documents, a U.S. federal court document showed on Thursday.

      [...]

      On social network Twitter, Wikileaks said it was an “apparent cut-and-paste error.”

      U.S. officials had no comment on the disclosure in the document about a sealed indictment of Assange. It is unclear what charges Assange faces.

      But Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the prosecutors’ office which filed the document that was unsealed, told Reuters, “The court filing was made in error. That was not the intended name for this filing.”

      Reuters was unable to immediately reach Assange or his lawyers to seek comment.

    • Julian Assange charged in US: WikiLeaks

      The exact nature of the charges against Assange was not immediately known.

    • Wikileaks’ Julian Assange has been charged in US, prosecutors accidentally reveal

      The Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been charged under seal with unspecified offences in the US, prosecutors have accidentally revealed in an unintentional court filing.

      Federal prosecutors had hoped to keep the indictment against Mr Assange a secret “due to the sophistication of the defendant, and the publicity surrounding the case”, and so that Mr Assange would “no longer evade or avoid arrest and extradition in this matter”.

      Wikileaks said on social media that the US Justice Department had “accidentally revealed existence of sealed charges (or draft of them) against [Mr Assange] in apparent cut-and-paste error”.

      The document that reveals the charges, which prosecutors say was filed by mistake, asks a judge to seal documents in a criminal case unrelated to Mr Assange, and carries markings indicating it was originally filed in US District Court in Alexandria, Virginia in August.

    • The DOJ is reportedly preparing to indict WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

      The Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing to bring charges against Julian Assange, the founder of the radical pro-transparency group WikiLeaks, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

      Over the past year, prosecutors are said to have discussed a variety of charges they could bring against Assange and are reportedly optimistic that they could get Assange, who is currently seeking asylum at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, into a US court.
      The US’ push comes as Assange’s relationship with Ecuador is in decline, and as the South American country is looking to bolster its relationship with the US.

      The DOJ has been investigating Assange since 2010, and according to The Journal, while the exact charges prosecutors want to bring against him are unclear, they may involve the Espionage Act.

      Assange and WikiLeaks are at the center of the special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 US election.

    • Prosecutors Have Prepared Indictment of Julian Assange, a Filing Reveals

      The Justice Department has prepared an indictment against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, marking a drastic escalation of the government’s yearslong battle with him and his anti-secrecy group.

      It was not clear if prosecutors have filed charges against Mr. Assange. The indictment came to light late Thursday through an unrelated court filing in which prosecutors inadvertently mentioned charges against him.

      “The court filing was made in error,” said Joshua Stueve, a spokesman for the United States attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia. “That was not the intended name for this filing.”

      Mr. Assange has lived for years in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London and would have to be arrested and extradited if he were to face charges in federal court, altogether a multistep diplomatic and legal process.

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Pipeline Vandals Are Reinventing Climate Activism

      Getting arrested was part of the plan. Across the country, the Valve Turners and their support teams had closed the valves in the hope of getting into court to present to a jury what is called a “necessity defense,” arguing that their crime was an act of civil disobedience meant to prevent a greater harm—in this case, death by climate catastrophe. If the plan worked they would create a legal precedent that would put a powerful new tool in the hands of eco-warriors.

    • Iceland’s Christmas ad was brave and necessary. It shouldn’t be banned

      Concern about our planet has never been greater, thanks to last month’s UN report warning that we have 12 years to stop irreversible damage to the Earth. Yet, one month on, a supermarket’s Christmas advert showing the damage palm oil is doing to the natural world has been deemed too political to put on TV. If that doesn’t make you weep, I’m not sure what will.

      Iceland repackaged a short film by Greenpeace showing the destruction of an orangutan’s rainforest habitat due to palm oil growers. Palm oil is about as unsustainable as it gets, and contributes to habitat loss and the endangerment of species, including elephants, rhinos, tigers and orangutans.

    • The World’s Wilderness Is Nearly Gone

      Nearly every day’s news cycle seems to bring another harbinger of environmental doom: from soaring global temperatures, to new statistics showing vast declines in wildlife populations along with constant stories of coral bleaching, chemical spills, and accelerating climate disasters. Now scientists have zoomed out to examine the world’s endangered landscapes on a macro scale, revealing that human society is not only exterminating flora and fauna—it’s literally ripping up the ground beneath them. Just a small fraction of the world’s wilderness lands can be considered relatively free of human interference. And without dramatic policy measures, the remaining wild places will soon be paved, farmed, mined, and polluted into oblivion.

      Using geospatial mapping data, a research team based at the University of Queensland has depicted the massive hemorrhaging of wilderness over time. Their new study, published ahead of a United Nations biodiversity summit, shows that the remaining vestiges of marine and land habitats relatively untouched by human intervention are facing extinction.

    • Mining the deep ocean will soon begin

      The licensees include Belgium, Britain, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, Singapore and South Korea, as well as several small Pacific island states. America, which is not party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that established the ISA, is not involved directly, but at least one American firm, Lockheed Martin, has an interest in the matter through a British subsidiary, UK Seabed Resources. And people are getting busy. Surveying expeditions have already visited the concessions. On land, the required mining machines are being built and tested. What worries biologists is that if all this busyness does lead to mining, it will wreck habitats before they can be properly catalogued, let alone understood.

    • “The Last Animals”: a journey to the frontlines of extinction

      Indeed, despite official estimates that elephants and rhinos may become extinct in the next ten to 20 years, Ms Brooks says “the reality is that localised extinction is happening now”. At the start of filming, there were seven northern white rhinos left in the world but this figure quickly decreased to five. In zoos in San Diego and the Czech Republic, and in Ol Pejeta conservancy in Kenya, the animals are named individuals, making it all the more shocking when they die—Nola, Nabire, then Sudan, the last male, until there are only two. They die of various natural causes while in captivity; interventions to make them breed have failed. According to Ms Brooks, it is a cautionary tale of what happens when humans try too little too late. There is nothing left to do but watch an extinction taking place.

    • Avni was tagged ‘man-eater’ without proper evidence; authorities behind her ‘ruthless killing’ must be brought to book

      Considerable substantiation based on field evidence is required to declare a tiger a “man-eater”. Avni is believed to have been given the tag without any precise establishment of her predatory habits and also without any conclusive evidence of her role in 13 human deaths over two years, which authorities have maintained was the reason she had to be killed.

      The damning “man-eater” label also contradicted the “Guidelines of Declaration of Big Cats as Man-eaters”, which state that a tiger can only be deemed a danger to humans if he or she ventures into human territory and kills someone. However, the deaths that the Maharashtra Forest Department attributed to Avni were results of humans entering tiger territory, possibly to allow cattle to graze in the forest reserve.

    • Climate should be an election issue

      There is no longer any doubt that this extreme situation will almost certainly occur. But governments, corporations, and international agencies have thus far not done enough to mitigate the problem, and appear increasingly incapable of implementing effective adaptation strategies either. Perhaps it is time for a people’s revolution to jolt the powerful out of their lethargy. The need of the hour is to make climate and the environment an election issue; and only vote to power those who grasp the gravity of the situation, and the need for urgency in climate adaptation policies.

    • Fracking halted again as biggest earthquake yet is recorded at Cuadrilla’s new site in Lancashire

      Anti-fracking campaigners have voiced their alarm at the earthquakes, with 27 now noted since fracking started on Monday, October 15.

    • Climate change: Oceans ‘soaking up more heat than estimated’

      Researchers say that the world has seriously underestimated the amount of heat soaked up by our oceans over the past 25 years.

      Their study suggests that the seas have absorbed 60% more than previously thought.

      They say it means the Earth is more sensitive to fossil fuel emissions than estimated.

    • Why India’s air pollution is so horrendous

      When you look at the database’s ranking of particulate pollution in cities, 11 of the 12 cities with the highest levels are located in India. Kanpur, India, population 3 million, tops the list with a yearly average of 319 micrograms per cubic meter of PM2.5, the most hazardous particle commonly measured. (Bamenda, Cameroon, is the one city outside of India in the top 12.)

    • The Global Extinction Rebellion Begins

      Dr. Gail Bradbrook, a mother of two boys, has seen enough of her government’s complicity in pumping increasing amounts of CO2 and methane into an already overburdened atmosphere.

      A professor of molecular biophysics, her deep understanding of science has led her to confront the existential crisis facing humans. Acting on her love for her children and the disrupted world that is being left to them, she has channeled her horror about this crisis into action.

      Dr. Bradbrook co-founded the group Rising Up!, which is now helping to organize the Extinction Rebellion, a movement composed of several thousand people across the UK that is using nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience to demand action on our climate emergency.Dr. Gail Bradbrook, a mother of two boys, has seen enough of her government’s complicity in pumping increasing amounts of CO2 and methane into an already overburdened atmosphere.

      A professor of molecular biophysics, her deep understanding of science has led her to confront the existential crisis facing humans. Acting on her love for her children and the disrupted world that is being left to them, she has channeled her horror about this crisis into action.

      Dr. Bradbrook co-founded the group Rising Up!, which is now helping to organize the Extinction Rebellion, a movement composed of several thousand people across the UK that is using nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience to demand action on our climate emergency.

    • Woolsey Fire Burns Toxic Santa Susana Reactor Site

      The Woolsey fire in California began Nov. 8 near the Santa Susana Field Laboratory (SSFL), site of a partial reactor meltdown, the consequences of which have never been cleaned up. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control released a statement early Nov. 9 saying its scientists “don’t believe that the fire has caused any releases of hazardous materials that would pose a risk to people exposed to the smoke.”

      The fire’s progress through to Oak Park indicates that much of the toxic site burned, according to the Los Angeles chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility which has investigated SSFL radiation risks for 30 years.

      Use of the phrase “don’t believe” [the fire caused risk] by the Dept. of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) had to stand in for a clear denial of radiation risk because none of the site’s air monitors had yet been seen by the department. The following words of DTSC’s Nov. 9 announcement were: “There is an air monitoring network around the perimeter of the SSFL site. As soon as access is open we will evaluate the air monitoring stations.” The department seemed to be reading from a script identified by the oceanographer Jacque Cousteau who said, “…before specialists even know what has happened, they rush to the media saying, ‘There’s no danger to the public.’”

  • Finance

    • Industrial Union chair slams gov’t “ignorance” of working life

      Aalto said his criticism comes from the recognition that the government is the head of Finland’s representative democracy.

    • Trump May Soon Deal Yet Another Blow to Union Rights

      At stake is the joint-employer standard, the arcane labor rule that governs an increasingly common labor arrangement today: the “fissured” workplace, where workers are technically employed by a subcontractor, but their working conditions are essentially controlled by the parent company to which they are assigned (in many cases today, so-called “permatemps” do virtually the same job as regular workers, with less pay and job security).

      [...]

      By making it easier for companies to outsource their labor while casting off their responsibilities to protect their workers, the NLRB’s proposed joint-employer reforms wouldn’t just threaten to further stratify a fissured labor force; it would separate workers from the labor movement.

    • Danish chef fined for money laundering after taking cash payment [iophk: "if nothing is done, soon cash payment will be illegal completely"]

      The chef received the fine after being paid 53,000 kroner in cash for preparing the meal at a silver wedding celebration in central Jutland.

      Herning’s district court found that, by accepting cash in payment for the service, he was in breach of laws designed to prevent money laundering.

      According to the law, businesses are prevented in principle for accepting payments of over 50,000 kroner in cash.

    • Entercom: Don’t Overlook This 5% Yield Concern

      ntercom Communication (ETM) is Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania based radio broadcasting company. Exiting 2016, the company owned the fourth largest portfolio of radio stations – 127 – in the United States covering 28 top markets. The company derived over 50% of its revenue from 8 markets: Boston, Buffalo, Denver, Kansas City, Miami, Sacramento, San Francisco and Seattle. The company was controlled (through class B voting shares) by the Field family.

      [...]

      For those unfamiliar, a Reverse Morris Trust transaction is a tax-optimization strategy for the parent company – in this case CBS Corporation – that wishes to spin off unwanted assets. To actuate this transaction, CBS Corporation spun off its CBS Radio subsidiary into a separate company and merged it with a third-party company: Entercom. This merged entity then issued shares to shareholders of the original parent company. Even though CBS owns more than 50% of the company, Entercom management controls the day-to-day operations and have five board seats to CBS’s four. Another example of this type of transaction was the 2007 Verizon Communications (VZ) spinoff and subsequent merger of its Northeast landline subsidiary with FairPoint (FRP). The tax structure was not likely the only motivation for this type of transaction: CBS Radio’s declining revenues over the past couple of years make bad optics for a standard IPO. Currently the company has a market capitalization of just over $1 billion and sells for just north of $7.00 a share.

    • Amazon HQ Move Criticized by New York City Council, U.S. Senator

      The gathering in Queens included dozens of elected officials, including City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents the district that includes Long Island City and who said he’d been shut out of any negotiations and only learned the deal had been consummated by reading about it in the newspaper. Part of the deal involves a state takeover of land involved so that the City Council would have no zoning oversight.

    • Why Amazon’s Search for a Second Headquarters Backfired

      Amazon announced Tuesday that the 14-month public bidding war for its so-called second headquarters was coming to an end. After reviewing 238 proposals from cities across North America, the company says it will build two large regional offices in Queens, New York and Arlington, Virginia as well as a smaller campus in Nashville, Tennessee. The search was largely a success for CEO Jeff Bezos, who can use valuable data from the losing cities to inform Amazon’s business and future expansion. But in at least one respect, Amazon’s Hunger Games-style civic competition backfired: It’s shined a spotlight on how Amazon and companies like it have benefitted enormously from taxpayer funds.

    • What cities offered Amazon: helipads, zoo tickets, and a street named Alexa

      Philadelphia was promising to add its own $1.1bn to the pot, promising that local taxes collected from Amazon for 20 years would be returned to the company as well. Pittsburgh’s mayor has not yet revealed what his city was promising.

      Atlanta and Dallas have now revealed their losing hands as well: $2bn and $1.1bn in incentives, respectively.

    • Amazon Signs Deal With Horror King Jason Blum for Eight Movies
    • Amazon HQ2 Won’t Improve Quality of Life for New York and Virginia Residents

      Now that the deal for Amazon’s second headquarters has been struck, it’s worth asking if this is a package that its recipients should never have ordered.

      Amazon announced that its “HQ2” will be split between two locations, Long Island City in Queens, New York, and Crystal City in Northern Virginia. Amazon says it intends to employ more than 25,000 workers at each site. But that does not mean that Amazon will be employing many residents from either the Washington, DC, metropolitan area or the boroughs of New York City. Rather, it will be attracting people from elsewhere to work on its new campus for more than $150,000 a year. Indeed, this is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’s stated reason for siting the headquarters in two of the US’s richest and most rapidly gentrifying cities, according to its news release: “These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come.”

      In exchange for a subsidy of over $1.5 billion, New York has been promised a donation of land for a single new school, a “tech startup incubator” and “new green spaces.” In exchange for a subsidy of almost $800 million, Arlington, Virginia, of which Crystal City is a part, will apparently not receive anything.

      What the politicians who negotiated these deals will receive is a richer population. Not for their current population to become more financially stable, more secure or more fulfilled – but for a new population, which will push out many of the previous residents. They will govern a richer community, and the old community will be forced to move somewhere else.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • Why Elissa Slotkin took heat from angry Democrats during her campaign

      “Flint was an apocalyptic poisoning of an American city but not the only story, unfortunately,” she said. “As a CIA analyst, I am trained to look at patterns and data. Data tells us there’s a problem with our drinking water — with lead, PFAS, toxic chemicals and other things.

      “In my district, in the Huron River, we can no longer eat the fish. We cannot eat the deer that forage around the Huron River. We have a problem. We need to accept that problem. We need a once-in-a-generation investment in our water infrastructure. Our state has the greatest concentration of fresh water and we cannot cannot provide clean drinking water to our citizens.”

    • Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis

      But as evidence accumulated that Facebook’s power could also be exploited to disrupt elections, broadcast viral propaganda and inspire deadly campaigns of hate around the globe, Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg stumbled. Bent on growth, the pair ignored warning signs and then sought to conceal them from public view. At critical moments over the last three years, they were distracted by personal projects, and passed off security and policy decisions to subordinates, according to current and former executives.

    • Mark Zuckerberg to the governments of Canada, UK, Australia, Ireland and Argentina: “Go fuck yourselves”

      Mark Zuckerberg has told the governments of the United Kingdom, Canada, Argentina, Australia and Ireland that he is “not available” for a planned hearing on political disinformation and Facebook.

    • Zuckerberg: I didn’t know of Facebook ties to firm attacking George Soros

      Mark Zuckerberg defended his leadership of Facebook on Thursday, claiming ignorance of the company’s relationship with a political consultancy that used an antisemitic narrative to undermine critics.

    • Mark Zuckerberg ‘not able’ to attend international disinformation hearing

      Damian Collins, chair of the committee, is leading the charge and noted that the social network’s response is “hugely disappointing.”

      “The fact that he has continually declined to give evidence, not just to my committee, but now to an unprecedented international grand committee, makes him look like he’s got something to hide,” he said in an emailed statement.”

    • How Facebook Wrestled With Scandal: 6 Key Takeaways From The Times’s Investigation

      An investigation by The New York Times revealed how Facebook fought back against its critics: with delays, denials and a full-bore campaign in Washington. Here are six takeaways.

    • Facebook Cuts Ties With Washington Firm That Sought to Discredit Social Network’s Critics
    • No one at Facebook seems to know who hired a DC opposition research firm

      Definers was hired as part of a lobbying effort intended to counter mounting criticisms of Facebook over the past year. The firm’s role, among other things, included circulating a document tying a prominent anti-Facebook group to financing from billionaire George Soros. Efforts to link liberal causes to Soros are a tactic often used by the alt-right and other conservatives as a dog whistle for anti-Semitism.

    • Facebook hired GOP oppo firm to smear protesters by linking them to George Soros, an anti-Semitic trope: NYT

      We are watching Facebook unravel in real time. I hope.

    • Florida’s Recount Isn’t Really a Recount

      But even as the state’s 67 counties scramble to finish the machine recount of more than 8 million ballots, it’s not clear the results will give a true picture of the race’s winner. That’s because the method Florida uses to conduct election recounts is not a true recount of voter ballots, but simply a rescan of ballots through the same machines that initially counted them. If problems with the software — either through glitches or [cracking] — produced faulty results the first time, they will reproduce the same faulty results during a rescan.

      “To call it a recount is false,” says Ion Sancho, who for 27 years was supervisor of elections for Leon County, Florida, and who led the manual recount in Miami-Dade County for the 2000 presidential recount. “It’s a failure in the state of Florida that the manual recount is not a recount; it’s a scan of ballots.”

    • The battle over a citizenship question on the 2020 census heats up

      It has been 70 years since a query regarding citizenship appeared on the census. Now Wilbur Ross, the secretary of commerce, faces six consolidated lawsuits—two each in California, Maryland and New York—over his announcement in March this year that he intends to type it back in. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia—together with 15 cities, several counties and immigrant-aid groups including the New York Immigration Coalition—are suing Mr Ross and the Commerce Department for flouting proper rule-changing procedures, discriminating against immigrants and attempting to scare them away from participating in the census. [...]

    • Trump DOJ Argues “No Journalist Has First Amendment Right to Enter White House”

      The ACLU fired off a reminder Wednesday that the “White House belongs to the people, not the president” after the Trump administration asserted in a legal filing that the president has “broad discretion” to bar reporters from press briefings.

      “No journalist has a First Amendment right to enter the White House,” Justice Department lawyers argued in a 28-page filing in response to CNN’s lawsuit against the administration for revoking the “hard pass” of the network’s chief White House correspondent, Jim Acosta, last week.

      CNN said in a statement announcing the legal action on Tuesday that the suspension violated Acosta’s First and Fifth Amendment rights and that it is seeking to have the credentials reinstated.

      “While the suit is specific to CNN and Acosta, this could have happened to anyone. If left unchallenged, the actions of the White House would create a dangerous chilling effect for any journalist who covers our elected officials,” CNN stated.

      The president himself suggested that it was not only Acosta, with whom he’s sparred frequently, or his frequent target CNN, but that “it could be others” who face the same retaliation.

    • Goodbye, and Thanks for all the Fish

      It is rather disconcerting to be watching the UK continue its disintegration in such spectacular fashion, from as far away as Ghana. I wonder whether events appear quite so ridiculous close up.

      It surprises me that, in all the discussion and analysis of the withdrawal agreement, there has been so little analysis of the much more important conjoined Political Declaration, which is about the UK’s prospective relationships once the divorce is over. It particularly surprises me that so very little has been said about fish.

      It is very unfortunate for British, and especially Scottish, fishermen that their political leaders are strange right wing bigots of a particularly repellent stamp. This blinds decent people to the truth that the fishing communities of the UK did suffer a dreadful historic injustice, on the same scale as Thatcher’s assault on the miners.

      It is seldom remembered now that the UK’s initial entry to the European Communities was achieved against a background of traditional hostility from European states, especially France. Ted Heath’s government decided that the economic benefits of joining the Common Market were so huge, it was for the greater good to sacrifice the fishing community.

    • Who, Us? Corporate Media Ignore Their Role in Trump’s Refugee ‘Invasion’ Panic

      Joshua Holland (The Nation, 10/26/18): “Trump floods the zone with bullshit, they dutifully convey it, and we end up swimming in it.”If the establishment media’s coverage in the home stretch of the 2018 midterm elections is any kind of prologue to 2020, be prepared for an avalanche of right-wing xenophobic propaganda during our next presidential election. That’s because, once again, the political press dutifully chased Trump’s rhetorical tail as Election Day neared, and repeatedly ceded its editorial judgment and newshole to the nativist fearmongering he used to stoke the Republican Party’s base. And nowhere was this fecklessness more apparent than media’s breathless “migrant caravan” coverage.

      Left-wing media critics documented these failures almost in real time. Joshua Holland at The Nation (10/25/18) noted in late October how Trump was all but acting as the de facto segment producer for all those ubiquitous cable news panel shows that were spending all their time discussing a few thousand asylum seekers that were more than a thousand miles from the US southern border.

      Likewise, a study by the liberal media research site Media Matters (11/2/18) found that Trump might as well have been the front-page assignment editor for elite newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times, which simply couldn’t resist the siren song of his manufactured crisis. In all, those two papers published nearly 30 different stories about the migrant caravan on their respective A1 pages in the two weeks before Election Day. And on three different days, the Times devoted two front-page stories to what Trump had not-so-subtly began calling an “invasion.”

    • For Once, Theresa May is Very Accurate

      Theresa May today chose to compare herself with Geoffrey Boycott. For once, she was being very accurate, especially when it comes to relationships with her own team. Boycott’s players hated him so much during his captaincy they actually ran him out on purpose during a test match.

    • Facebook’s Use Of Smear Merchants Is The Norm, Not The Exception

      In a conference call this afternoon, Zuckerberg then tried to claim that neither he nor Sandberg knew anything about Definers being hired, while insisting that Facebook would be taking a much closer look at their DC policy and lobbying partners moving forward. But companies routinely hire firms like Definers knowing full well the kind of tactics they employ, and the idea that neither Zuckerberg nor Sandberg knew anything about the work Definers was doing is generally being seen as either a falsehood or incompetence.

      While Facebook’s decision to smear critics instead of owning their own obvious dysfunction is clearly idiotic, much of the backlash has operated under the odd belief that Facebook’s behavior is some kind of exception, not the norm. Countless companies employ think tanks, consultants, bogus news ops, PR firms, academics, and countless other organizations to spread falsehoods, pollute the public discourse, and smear their critics on a daily basis. It’s a massive industry. Just ask the telecom sector.

      In the last decade alone broadband providers and firms far worse than Definers have been caught paying minority groups to generate bunk support for bad policy, hijacking consumer identities to support bad policy, creating bogus consumer groups to generate fake support for bad policy, flooding the news wires endlessly with misleading op/eds without disclosing financial conflicts of interest, stocking public meetings with cardboard cutouts (so real people can’t attend), or filling news comments sections and social media with bullshit criticism of corporate critics.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Pakistan blasphemy case: Asia Bibi’s husband fears for wife’s safety

      But on Wednesday, Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled that there was not enough evidence against her and ordered her release, though not until after the court makes a final review of its verdict. The decision prompted angry protests by the Islamist Tehreek-e-Labbaik party, which only ended after the government under Prime Minister Imran Khan agreed to bar Bibi from leaving the country and to release a number of arrested protesters.

    • Blasphemy in Pakistan: calls are multiplying to ask for the reception of Asia Bibi in France

      The mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, and the president of the Republicans, Laurent Wauquiez, asked Monday, November 5 in separate messages to the French authorities to intervene to “save the life” of the Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi. More than 40 personalities, including Elisabeth and Robert Badinter, Luc Ferry and Daniel Salvatore Schiffer, also put the same message in a forum published in Le Figaro , Wednesday, November 7. Denounced by neighbors for drinking the water of a well reserved in principle for Muslims, this Christian had been sentenced to death for blasphemy in 2010, before being found innocent of this crime [sic] at the end of October. She remains, however, for the time imprisoned.

    • Protesters Delay Release Of Pakistani Woman Acquitted For Blasphemy

      Asia Bibi’s sentence was reversed on Wednesday in Islamabad. Almost simultaneously, followers of a hard-line Pakistani religious group rushed onto major highways across the country to paralyze traffic in protest of the decision.

      They called for Bibi to be killed, along with the three Supreme Court judges who issued the verdict. They also called on Pakistani military forces to disobey the army chief of staffs, accusing him of not being a Muslim.

    • An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg: The World’s Freedom of Expression is in Your Hands

      Today, we the undersigned civil society organizations, call on Facebook to provide a mechanism for all of its users to appeal content restrictions, and, in every case, to have the appealed decision re-reviewed by a human moderator.

    • ARTICLE 19 and 70+ civil society groups write to Mark Zuckerberg over content removal

      A series of well-publicised cases, such as the banning of the Little Mermaid for nudity, have highlighted how arbitrary the moderation of Facebook’s content can be. In many of these high profile cases, content has been restored after negative publicity. But for ordinary users, Facebook only allows appeals in a limited set of circumstances. In many cases, they have absolutely no option to appeal and may have their accounts removed.

    • Turkish Case Against Former Wall Street Journal Reporter Is Thrown Out

      A Turkish court threw out the conviction against a former Wall Street Journal reporter on Tuesday, annulling a widely criticized verdict at a time when Turkey is looking to improve relations with the West.

    • A Note From Matt Murray About Ayla Albayrak

      I’m very happy to share the news that the unjust criminal conviction in Turkey against our friend and former colleague, Ayla Albayrak, was today thrown out by an appeals court.

      This was overdue. Ayla should never have been put in this position. Her original conviction in October 2017 for a straight and factual story was totally unfounded and wholly unjust. Her work was balanced and it was fair. It included comment from all relevant parties. In essence, she was convicted for honest, objective and irrefutable reporting. In other words, the kind of work that all of us strive to produce every day.

      While welcome, the decision is not completely satisfying. The Turkish appeals court dismissed the case on procedural grounds, ruling that the prosecution violated the statute of limitations, rather than addressing the merits.

      Legal action in Turkey against Ayla began after the August 2015 publication of an article under the headline “Urban Warfare Escalates in Turkey’s Kurdish-Majority Southeast.” It was accompanied by a video. The work focused on the conflict between Turkey’s armed forces and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, called PKK. PKK is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., the European Union and Turkey.

    • Rights Groups Demand Facebook Set Up Real Due Process Around Content Moderation

      For quite some time now, when discussing how the various giant platforms should manage the nearly impossible challenges of content moderation, one argument I’ve fallen back on again and again is that they need to provide real due process. This is because, while there are all sorts of concerns about content moderation, the number of false positives that lead to “good” content being taken down is staggering. Lots of people like to point and laugh at these, but any serious understanding of content moderation at scale has to recognize that when you need to process many many thousands of requests per day, often involving complex or nuanced issues, many, many mistakes are going to be made. And thus, you need a clear and transparent process that enables review.

      [...]

      While the reasons that Google and Facebook have not yet created this kind of due process are obvious (it would be kinda costly, for one), it does seem like such a system will be increasingly important, and it’s good to see these groups pushing Facebook on this in particular.

      Of course, earlier this year, Zuckerberg had floated an idea of an independent (i.e. outside of Facebook) third party board that could handle these kinds of content moderation appeals, and… a bunch of people freaked out, falsely claiming that Zuckerberg wanted to create a special Facebook Supreme Court (even as he was actually advocating for having a body outside of Facebook reviewing Facebook’s decisions).

      No matter what, it would be good for the large platforms to start taking these issues seriously, not only for reasons of basic fairness and transparency, but because it would also serve to better make the public comfortable with how this process works. When it is, as currently construed, a giant black box, that leads to a lot more anger and conspiracy thinking over how content moderation actually works.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Facebook Might Use Your Photos To Find Who You Live With & Ad-Targeting

      Facebook, one of the biggest social media platform, has taken targeted advertising to new heights. I am often taken aback by the creepiness of ads displayed on my Facebook profile.

      Now, a patent filed by Facebook suggests that targeted ads would be much pervasive and relevant in the near future. The application describes a technology that can predict who your family and other household members are, based on images and captions that were posted on the social media platform.

    • Sheriff’s Dept.: The 1,079 Privileged Jailhouse Calls We Intercepted Was Actually 34,000 Calls

      A few months back, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department admitted it had been listening in on privileged conversations. Calls from inmates to lawyers were being swept up along with everything else by service provider Global Tel Link. This violation of state law (among other things) jeopardized dozens of prosecutions. In all, GTL’s so-called “technical error” resulted in the interception of more than 1,000 privileged calls.

      The Sheriff’s Department claimed it told GTL to fix the problem, but didn’t appear to have been terribly bothered by this evidentiary windfall… some of which made its way into the hands of prosecutors. It made several disappointed noises about its provider when confronted in court, but its quasi-proactive “knock it off” — directed towards GTL — didn’t explain its lack of proactivity when it came to informing criminal defendants and their legal reps their cases may have been compromised by attorney-client privilege violations.

      This was only the tip of the iceberg. The OC Register reports there’s been an exponential increase in the number of privileged calls trapped by this “technical error.”

    • EFF and MuckRock Release Records and Data from 200 Law Enforcement Agencies’ Automated License Plate Reader Programs

      EFF and MuckRock have filed hundreds of public records requests with law enforcement agencies around the country to reveal how data collected from automated license plate readers (ALPR) is used to track the travel patterns of drivers. We focused exclusively on departments that contract with surveillance vendor Vigilant Solutions to share data between their ALPR systems.

      Today we are releasing records obtained from 200 agencies, accounting for more than 2.5-billion license plate scans in 2016 and 2017. This data is collected regardless of whether the vehicle or its owner or driver are suspected of being involved in a crime. In fact, the information shows that 99.5% of the license plates scanned were not under suspicion at the time the vehicles’ plates were collected.

      On average, agencies are sharing data with a minimum of 160 other agencies through Vigilant Solutions’ LEARN system, though many agencies are sharing data with over 800 separate entities.

    • Impact assessment shows privacy risks Microsoft Office ProPlus Enterprise
    • Google gives the Pixel camera superhuman night vision

      Night Sight is momentous because it’s a software change that delivers a leap in performance that previously only new hardware could bring.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Christian converts from Islam arrested and tortured in Darfur, Sudan

      The agents released two believers with Christian backgrounds from the Nuba mountains, the oldest Christian region in Sudan, but detained eleven converts from Islam including the pastor, Tajdeen Yousif.

      A Barnabas Fund contact reported, “They tortured them beating them a whole day and night and telling them you face death because you changed your religion.”

    • Sheikh Hasina: Whoever insults Islam will be punished according to the law

      The religion of Bangladesh “is Islam. Anyone who pronounces offensive comments against it or against the Prophet Muhammad, will be prosecuted according to the law” stated Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday. She was speaking at a gathering of madrassas [Koranic schools] in Dhaka. “I know that on social media – she added – there is a lot of propaganda. Pay them no attention “.

    • Muslim lesbian couple caned in public punishment

      “Sharia criminal procedure allows the court to determine where the sentence will be carried out, and requires that it must be witnessed by a number of other Muslims,” he said.

    • Man Pleads Guilty to ‘Swatting’ Hoax That Resulted in a Fatal Shooting

      Mr. Barriss called the police in Wichita, telling them that he had killed his father, was holding two family members at gunpoint, had doused his house in gasoline and was contemplating suicide. Police officers arrived at the address they were given, and one fatally shot a fourth man, Andrew Finch, 28, in his doorway after he stepped outside to investigate the commotion and dropped his hands. Mr. Finch, though, had done nothing wrong and did not know about the swatting call.

    • Bar Refaeli Slammed For Removing Muslim Face Covering In Ad
    • 6 People Who Broke (Stupid) Laws In The Best Way Possible

      Anyone who’s tried to look up a scientific paper online (most likely to win a bar argument, though we guess there are other uses) knows that publishers have a pretty good racket going. It typically costs around $30 to see a full paper, which builds up to over $24 billion in yearly profits. That’s right between the music and film industries, but with a much bigger profit margin, since scientific publishers don’t have to pay Brad Pitt’s salary or put up with Kanye West. They don’t even pay the scientists themselves, since the studies are usually funded by universities or, uh … you.

      As a result, researchers and institutions end up having to buy back their own work in the form of academic journals, and if they can’t afford the increasingly expensive subscriptions? There’s nothing they can do. Well, not legally. Enter Sci-Hub, which is to science what the Pirate Bay is to The Walking Dead.

    • Could Your Police Department Be Inflating Rape Clearance Rates?

      Many law enforcement agencies across the U.S. may be pumping up their reported rape clearance rates using a little-known category called “exceptional clearance,” according to an analysis by Newsy, Reveal and ProPublica. The designation allows police to clear cases when they have enough evidence to make an arrest and know who and where the suspect is, but can’t make an arrest for reasons outside their control.

    • How We Analyzed Rape Clearance Rates

      As part of the FBI’s standardized Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program, thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country regularly tell the FBI how many serious crimes were reported in their jurisdictions and how many of them they “cleared.” Police agencies often point to the annual clearance rate — the number of cases cleared divided by the number of total crimes (excluding unfounded cases) — as a measure of their effectiveness. Clearance rates are often presented to the public as “solve” rates.

      While clearance rates have been described as “cleared by arrest” rates in FBI documents, FBI rules actually allow the police to clear a case without making an arrest.

      [...]

      A review of the NIBRS data indicated that rape offenses are frequently cleared by exceptional means, yet neither the FBI nor the public has any way to know how many rape crimes are being cleared without arrest in the majority of cities across the United States. We hoped to uncover the arrest and exceptional clearance rates previously hidden from the public by requesting data from police internal case management systems in those places.

    • When It Comes to Rape, Just Because a Case Is Cleared Doesn’t Mean It’s Solved

      Andy Leisher didn’t like what he was seeing on the security cameras from his post at the front desk of the Ramada Inn in Janesville, Wisconsin. On the closed-circuit television in front of him, Leisher watched as a man in his 30s kissed what appeared to be a teenager in the motel hot tub.

      It put him on alert. “It just felt awkward,” Leisher said of the scene. “She just seemed really young, and he seemed really old. Or too old to be with her.”

      When Leisher, a part-time pastor, confirmed that the girl was 16, he called the police. A few hours later, police arrested 31-year-old Bryan Kind, and he was charged with having sex with a child and possession of child pornography. He’s pleaded not guilty.

      After collecting Kind’s cellphones, Janesville police also found naked photos of a girl from Maryland, and they sent the information to authorities there.

      It wasn’t news to the Baltimore County Police Department. About a month before the May 2017 arrest, the department closed its investigation into Kind on allegations that he had sex with a 13-year-old girl.

      It went on Baltimore County’s books as a success, another rape case cleared.

      But Kind had walked free. He wasn’t charged with any crime. The Police Department hadn’t arrested him, even though it had a thick investigative file on him.

    • Prisoners Are Getting Paid $1.45 a Day to Fight the California Wildfires

      Incarcerated workers fighting wildfires deserve the same wages and protections that civilian workers receive.
      As firefighters in California battle the deadliest wildfires in the state’s history, they are joined by unlikely allies against the blaze. About 200 prisoners in California’s Conservation Camp program are fighting the fires alongside civilian employees, earning just $1.45 a day for their work. Their pay as workers is a fraction of minimum wage. The hazard to their lives is real, as evidenced by a death toll that has climbed steadily.

      The prisoners battling the fires in California deserve real wages. And their rights as workers lead us to larger issues of prison labor, fires or not.

      I’m often asked what the ACLU thinks about this and other prison work programs. The answer isn’t black or white. Most prisoners want to work, and jobs for prisoners can be a very positive thing. A job can provide an escape from the crushing monotony of prison life – a chance to do something productive, earn a little money, and maybe even learn some skills that are useful in and of themselves and useful when reentering society. And as we know, 97 percent of people in prison will return to their communities.

      That said, given the vast power inequality between prisoners and their employers, there is also a persistent and real potential for exploitation and abuse.

      Prisoners are excluded from the legal protections enjoyed by all other workers. They’re not allowed to unionize. They’re not covered by minimum wage laws, and the paltry wages they do earn can be seized by the prison. If they’re injured or killed on the job, they’re not covered by workers’ compensation, and their ability to recover damages in court is severely limited. All of these factors combine to make prisoners a uniquely vulnerable workforce.

    • “He Was a Protector”: Remembering Jemel Roberson, 26-Year-Old Chicago Security Guard Slain by Police

      Community members are demanding answers for the police killing of a black security guard in the Chicago suburbs, after 26 year-old Jemel Roberson was shot and killed by a white policeman Sunday. Roberson jumped into action early Sunday morning when a shooting broke out at a bar where he was working as a security guard. He was restraining a shooting suspect when several police officers arrived on the scene, and a white police officer from the Midlothian Police Department shot and killed Roberson. Witnesses said the police officer opened fire even though people at the bar were screaming that Roberson was a security guard. Roberson was armed and held a valid gun owner’s license. We speak with Avontea Boose, the partner of Jemel Roberson and mother of his 9-month-old son Tristan. She is currently expecting their second child. We also speak with Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney representing the children of Jemel Roberson.

    • Why “Countering Violent Extremism” programs won’t stop white supremacists

      As the daughter of Muslim Egyptian immigrants, I’m used to getting surprised looks when I tell people I grew up in a small Appalachian town in Western Maryland. A town where teens dared each other to drive up to the old church where local KKK members would supposedly meet. Boys I knew and rode the school bus with would go on to become Neo-Nazis.

      I had just started high school in 2001, making me – the only Muslim girl in high school in our county – a walking target after Sept. 11.

      I know the violence of white supremacy intimately. But I disagree with those who are currently criticizing the Trump administration for defunding Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programs that supposedly target white supremacists. CVE is not simply racist because it disproportionately impacts Muslims – it was always intended to target Muslims using disproven methods under the guise of fighting “all types of violent extremism.”

      CVE was started under the Obama administration in 2011, by the Department of Justice and expanded through the Department of Homeland Security in 2017. The program purports to prevent violent extremism in the United States. In reality, CVE recruits trusted community members such as Muslim organizations, teachers, and mental health professionals, to become part of the surveillance state by identifying people who might be “vulnerable to radicalization.”

      In practice, CVE is based on junk science. In most of the pro-CVE literature, you’ll find a disclaimer that states “there is no profile for who will commit violence.” Instead, CVE relies on religious, racial, and political indicators, such as mosque attendance, feeling religious discrimination, and frustration with U.S. politics and uses Muslim-invoking dog whistles like terrorism, radicalization, and extremism to make it clear, but not explicit, who this is really about.

      Expanding CVE to groups that claim to address white supremacy only provides further cover for CVE to profile and criminalize Muslims and other marginalized communities.

    • Secret CIA Document Describes Abu Zubaydah’s Waterboarding As ‘Amateurish Experiment’

      A 2007 report from the CIA’s Office Of Medical Services (OMS) was released after a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). It reveals news details on the CIA’s rendition, detention, and interrogation program, which included torture techniques used against detainees.

      The top secret document [PDF] was drafted by the CIA’s top medical official to combat press coverage that OMS viewed as “caricature.” Coverage was seen as a “distorted picture” that warranted a “more informed internal account of how OMS understood and experienced this program.”

      In the “secret history” written to defend the reputation of doctors involved in the torture program, the author melodramatically refers to “crippling leaks” as inevitable and suggests “human rights activists” will continue to target “approved techniques.” The author argues publicity will allow terrorists to develop “resistance measures.” Weapons of mass destruction will be used, and then, this report will be valuable as a “re-evaluation of what interrogation measures are acceptable” unfolds.

    • Who Runs This Police Department? Lots of Officers Who’ve Been Reprimanded or Even Suspended.

      Windbigler declined comment. Elkhart’s mayor, Tim Neese, said police work, by its nature, can lead to complaints because officers deal with people in stressful circumstances. Garvey said he has learned from his mistakes, and that he’s a better officer now than when his career started.

    • Nearly All the Officers in Charge of an Indiana Police Department Have Been Disciplined — Including the Chief Who Keeps Promoting Them

      When Ed Windbigler became Elkhart’s police chief in January 2016, one of his first tasks was selecting his top command staff.

      For assistant chief, his second in command, Windbigler named Todd Thayer. Less than three years before, Thayer had been demoted two ranks for making flippant comments about a fatal shooting. Witnesses reported he said a fellow officer could now check shooting a person off his “bucket list.”

      For patrol captain, Windbigler named Brent Long. Less than two years before, Long had received a four-day suspension for sending inappropriate emails to fellow officers. One email included gruesome photos of a man in another city who, while running from police, jumped or fell from an overpass and was decapitated on a wrought-iron fence.

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Sprint Throttled Skype Without Telling Anyone… And Nobody Seems To Care Much

      Last month we pointed to research out of Northeastern University that showed U.S. wireless video performance was thoroughly mediocre thanks in large part to arbitrary carrier throttling. The study, spearheaded by researcher David Choffnes, found that this carrier throttling usually had absolutely nothing to do with congestion. Instead, much of it was driven by carriers trying to impose arbitrary limits on your connection, then charge you more money to avoid it. For example, Verizon now throttles all video on its “unlimited” wireless data connections to 480p (around 1.5 Mbps), unless you pay Verizon for a more expensive plan.

      Choffnes is tracking ISP network management by using crowdsourced data from his Wehe app. More recently Choffnes released an updated report that continues to show that carriers arbitrarily throttle video and select apps. But his report and data also found that Sprint (and its prepaid subsidiary Boost Mobile) routinely throttles Skype performance on its networks… without telling consumers about it.

    • Telstra BGP routing error hits other Australian ISPs

      Australia’s biggest telco Telstra took down part of the Internet in the country on Thursday morning due to a stuff-up with the routes it advertised through the border gateway protocol.

    • Donald Trump Suddenly Pretends To Care About Comcast Antitrust Violations

      For years, smaller cable companies have complained that giants like Comcast do everything in their power to make life miserable (and expensive) for them. These smaller providers have complained that Comcast often mandates they buy and include NBC channels and regional sports networks in their lineups, driving up costs. Many of these companies have considered getting out of the TV business entirely as their margins get tighter and they find themselves increasingly out-maneuvered by ever-growing, vertically-integrated media, telecom, and broadcast giants like Comcast and AT&T.

      [...]

      Normally these cries would simply be ignored in M&A manic America. Much like the TV market, smaller cable companies can’t compete with the immense political power Comcast’s wealth and size buys on Capitol Hill, so their concerns are pretty consistently ignored. As a result, whether we’re in the throes of Obama or Trump administrations, blindly letting the biggest media and telecom companies merge, then standing around with a dumb look on our collective faces as these titans do what they always do (raise rates and use their newfound power to hamper competitors) is kind of our thing.

    • The Power of Web Components

      As a group, the standards are known as Web Components. In the year 2018 it’s easy to think of Web Components as old news. Indeed, early versions of the standards have been around in one form or another in Chrome since 2014, and polyfills have been clumsily filling the gaps in other browsers.

      After some quality time in the standards committees, the Web Components standards were refined from their early form, now called version 0, to a more mature version 1 that is seeing implementation across all the major browsers. Firefox 63 added support for two of the tent pole standards, Custom Elements and Shadow DOM, so I figured it’s time to take a closer look at how you can play HTML inventor!

      Given that Web Components have been around for a while, there are lots of other resources available. This article is meant as a primer, introducing a range of new capabilities and resources. If you’d like to go deeper (and you definitely should), you’d do well to read more about Web Components on MDN Web Docs and the Google Developers site.

      Defining your own working HTML elements requires new powers the browser didn’t previously give developers. I’ll be calling out these previously-impossible bits in each section, as well as what other newer web technologies they draw upon.

  • DRM

    • Hitman 2′s Denuvo Protection Busted 3 Days Before The Game’s Launch

      So, we were just talking about how Denuvo’s new ownership, Irdeto, was busily making the case via the example of some unnamed AAA sports game that even when Denuvo DRM is cracked in a few days it’s still worth it to protect a game’s initial release window. The comments from Irdeto got so ridiculous that it claimed that even if Denuvo kept titles safe for a few hours, that was still worth it. As specious as this claim might be, it’s also formulated to be hard to argue with. After all, with this low of a bar, all Irdeto’s Denuvo has to do is barely work for any measurable amount of time before the release of game in order for Irdeto to claim victory. So how can it possibly fail?

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • Copyrights

      • The Wonky Donkey: How Infringement Helped Create A Best Seller… Which Would Be Impossible Under Article 13

        But this is also an excellent example of the massive harm that the EU is about to do with Article 13 and the EU Copyright Directive. Under Article 13, platforms like YouTube and Facebook would be required to block this kind of video or face massive liability. Of course, how these platforms might detect such a video is unclear. There is no form of ContentID that would see that video and know that it was infringing, but it pretty clearly is. But, once the video got so popular, with over a million views and news stories about it, sooner or later the companies would recognize that it was infringing and would be forced to take it down or face crippling liability.

        All weekend long, various supporters of Article 13 have been screaming at me on Twitter about how Article 13 won’t harm the internet or creators at all, and that’s it’s really just about “making YouTube pay its fair share.” I’m curious how they could possibly explain what to do in this particular case. Under the law they want, a content creator (and tons of happy parents) would be at a loss. This book likely wouldn’t be such a massive success. The companies would be forced to take that content down and to block anyone else from ever uploading it.

        And what do you do if you’re a smaller platform? The risk of letting just one such video through would almost certainly bankrupt you. But how is a smaller platform going to police for this kind of video that none of the copyright holders want policed? But, as a platform, Article 13 leaves them no choice.

      • EU Council poised to insist on mandatory upload filters

        The closed-door trilogue efforts to finalise the EU Copyright Directive continue. The Presidency of the Council, currently held by Austria, has now circulated among the EU member state governments a new proposal for a compromise between the differing drafts currently on the table for the controversial Articles 11 and 13.

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