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05.09.19

Links 9/5/2019: Libinput 1.13.2 and man-pages-5.01

Posted in News Roundup at 5:53 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • All Chromebooks will also be Linux laptops going forward

      At Google I/O in Mountain View, Google quietly let slip that “all devices [Chromebook] launched this year will be Linux-ready right out of the box.” Wait. What?

      In case you’ve missed it, last year, Google started making it possible to run desktop Linux on Chrome OS. Since then, more Chromebook devices are able to run Linux. Going forward, all of them will be able to do so, too. Yes. All of them. ARM and Intel-based.

      This isn’t surprising. Chrome OS, after all, is built on Linux. Chrome OS started as a spin off of Ubuntu Linux. It then migrated to Gentoo Linux and evolved into Google’s own take on the vanilla Linux kernel. But its interface remains the Chrome web browser UI — to this day.

    • Pinebook Pro Linux laptop updated from $199

      Linux laptop manufacturer Pinebook has unveiled plans this week to launch an affordable system in the form of the Pinebook Pro which will be available to purchase from $199 and feature a Rockchip RK3399 SOC with Mali T860 MP4 GPU. Offering the ability for users to have either Ubuntu and Debian operating systems installed.

    • Top 15 Best Search Engines For Linux Users In 2019

      Search engines have become ubiquitous with the rapid proliferation of the Internet in carrying out our daily activities. We have begun to rely heavily on the Internet in getting the information that we need in a jiffy. This is why it has become extremely important for us to have in-depth knowledge about these search engines that can come in really handy for people who need it the most in the quickest possible time.

      Here we explain to you the top 15 best search engines for Linux users. These search engines have been carefully selected after much consideration. Every possible effort has been made in order to present the information in a logical and linear fashion.

  • Server

    • Save the date for Red Hat Summit 2020

      As we close out another amazing Red Hat Summit, we want you to mark your calendar for next year’s event. It’s time to head west to San Francisco for Red Hat Summit 2020!

      Join us in the bustling downtown area at the Moscone Center, April 27-29, 2020, when we once again expect thousands of customers, partners and technology industry leaders from around the world to come together for a high-energy week of innovation, education and collaboration.

      As the industry’s premier enterprise open source technology conference, Red Hat Summit has become a must-attend technology event to experience the latest and greatest in open source innovations that are enabling the future of enterprise technology – from hybrid cloud infrastructure, containers and cloud-native app platforms to management, automation, emerging tech and more. A replay of this year’s general sessions and more can be found on theCUBE’s Red Hat Summit 2019 page.

    • The new cycle of innovation starts with Red Hat platforms

      At Red Hat Summit and beyond, we are exploring how we can help our customers and ecosystem partners expand their possibilities. We’re demonstrating how Red Hat’s platforms built around Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and Red Hat OpenShift are truly your trusted platforms for a new cycle of innovation. We’re revealing how our software partners are helping operations and developers using artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL) in ways never before available. And we’re showing you how these new capabilities are helping businesses deliver value in disruptive ways—not only for themselves but for entire industries.

    • Red Hat and VMware Announce VMware Reference Architecture for OpenShift

      For many enterprise companies, their hybrid cloud journey begins by creating that cloud-like experience on-premises. And for a large number of companies, that begins by bringing together the leader in software-defined data center (SDDC) infrastructure, VMware, and the leading Linux platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux. From that foundation, many customers are deploying Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform to help them deploy cloud-native applications with containers and Kubernetes.

      As customers get more familiar with agile development models that drive their digital transformation, they begin to look at ways to truly reshape the economics that can accelerate these changes. This means having a greater focus on the operation costs that can take away from funding that can be reapplied to developing new business applications.

    • Succeeding with Red Hat OpenShift and VMware’s Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC)

      This is a guest post by VMware’s Robbie Jerrom. Robbie works alongside some of VMware’s largest customers in Europe as they focus on bringing Modern and Cloud-Native applications and platforms to their VMware Software-Defined Datacenter. Prior to joining VMware, Robbie spent a decade as a Software Engineer building Enterprise software such as Java virtual machines, CICS and WebSphere. Robbie is also a member of VMware’s CTO Ambassador community ensuring tight collaboration between VMware’s Engineering organizations and real world customers.

    • Kaloom, Linux Foundation Unveil Virtual Central Office (VCO) 3.0 Lab in Montreal

      Kaloom, an emerging leader in the automated data center networking software market, together with Linux Foundation, announced the availability of a Virtual Central Office (VCO) 3.0 lab in Montreal.

    • Can I get a RHEL yeah? Version 8 arrives at last as IBM given go-ahead to wolf down Red Hat

      Red Hat pushed out a minty-fresh update to its Enterprise Linux platform in the form of version 8 at its Boston shindig today.

      It’s been while since Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7 first put in an appearance – nearly five years – so version 8, which is likely the last before IBM completes its acquisition of the open-source outfit, is a little overdue having spent a few months lurking in beta.

      Regarding the cash splashing, there were likely some Champagne corks popping and/or wailing of developers behind the scenes at the Boston Summit as the US Department of Justice finally gave the IBM the nod to swallow the company whole this week. The deal should close in the second half of this year.

    • 9 Biggest Things To Know About Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 is now available for download

      Red Hat has just announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 8. The new version arrives slightly shy of 5 years after RHEL 7 and includes new software such as GNOME 3.28 running on Wayland, and the Linux 4.18 kernel. According to the Red Hat release notes, RHEL 8 is largely based on Fedora 28 which came out last year so expect some slightly older, but more stable packages from RHEL 8. Full support is guaranteed for the operating system until May 2024.

      [...]

      If you’d like to learn more about the new RHEL 8, be sure to check out its new product page. If you’re not aware, RHEL is a paid product but the Linux community do create separate distributions such as CentOS which largely replicate the functionality of RHEL 8 but do not offer paid support.

    • Red Hat Tackles Telco Cloud With Linux Upgrade

      Red Hat is updating its flagship Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system with new tools for automated operations and container support. The upgrades can help service providers to “cloudify” their networks, the company said Tuesday.

      Linux is a foundational technology for telco clouds, running on white box switches and virtualized customer premises equipment (vCPE), and providing the foundation for virtual network function (VNF) operations. And modern networks require automation to meet operational and customer requirements; that demand will only increase with the emergence of 5G.

    • The Tension That Drives Innovation In Linux

      With any operating system, there is a tension between leaving something that is stable and that works alone and adding new features to keep it relevant.

      In recent years, what that has meant for operating system providers is addressing multicloud and hybrid cloud environments, containers, microservices, and Kubernetes, GPU acceleration, serverless computing, artificial intelligence in its many guises, and data analytics workloads. Red Hat has faced that challenge for more than a decade with its Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system, by far the most popular commercially supported Linux in the world, and the much-anticipated RHEL 8, which went into beta last year and became general available this week at the company’s Red Hat Summit user conference in Boston, is another testament to the balancing act that Red Hat has been pulling off for more than two decades in the enterprise.

      It is important to remember what Red Hat has accomplished with RHEL, and why IBM is keen to spend a fortune acquiring it. A new Red Hat-sponsored IDC study says software and applications running on RHEL will drive more than $10 trillion in business revenues worldwide this year – and has had to serve as the junction between the innovation going on upstream among the scores of open-source communities and the enterprise customers that are looking for that OS that they not only can count on will be stable for the long haul but also be able to roll with the myriad changes occurring all around it, according to Stefanie Chiras, vice president and general manager of Red Hat’s RHEL business unit. The company sees an opportunity to make RHEL the port that enterprises can cling to while everything whirls around them.

    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux to contribute $10tn to global business

      Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) is expected to contribute to over $10tn worth of global business revenues, or 5% of the global economy, in 2019, a new study has found.

      Commissioned by Red Hat, the study by analyst firm IDC found that RHEL is most frequently used in enterprise management and production (26%), IT infrastructure (20%) and customer relationship management (18%).

      [...]

      IDC expects this trend to continue, however, with net new ecosystem revenues from 2018 to 2023 adding up to more than $135bn for Red Hat partners.

      While some of the firms in the Red Hat ecosystem are multinational organisations, most are not. Fuelled by the RHEL ecosystem, IDC said these regional companies will invest more than $35bn in local economies by 2023.

    • Red Hat: IBM Ownership Won’t Change Open Source Mission

      Red Hat and IBM executive leadership used Tuesday’s keynote to reassure customers that Red Hat would remain Red Hat.

    • Red Hat Virtualization 4.3 Now Available

      The latest version of Red Hat’s Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM)-powered virtualization platform, Red Hat Virtualization 4.3, is being generally made available this month. Red Hat recently announced the availability of the solution at the Open Infrastructure Summit in Denver.

      From enhanced software-defined networking capabilities to new roles powered by Red Hat Ansible Automation, Red Hat Virtualization 4.3 powers modern systems while remaining fully open and helping reduce costs in versus proprietary solutions.

    • 3 Reasons why the Open Infrastructure Summit in Denver was Simply Outstanding.

      This was not my first rodeo. I’ve attended most of the OpenStack Summits since my first one in Atlanta, Georgia back in May of 2014. They have always been a highpoint in my working calendar and I look forward to each of them with tremendous enthusiasm.
      The first-ever Open Infrastructure Summit in Denver was no exception. It lived up to all my expectations. The name of the Summit has changed to reflect a wider remit.

      [...]

      During his candid and very personal keynote, Jonathan Bryce stated that “Open collaboration is a powerful force for driving technology to change our lives and our world”. I couldn’t agree more. Shared innovation is the way forward and I’m totally convinced that open source is the approach that will win. Take a look at my discussion with Swapnil Bhartiya for some of the reasons why.

    • Kubernetes Powering The Push To Edge Computing

      Kubernetes has quickly become the standard for containerized workload orchestration, starting in the data center and cloud, and is now powering the extension to edge computing.

      Increasing numbers of vendors are extending their offerings to the edge, from the big public providers (Azure IoT Edge, AWS Greengrass, and Google Cloud IoT Edge) to more specialized providers such as Section, FogHorn, and Mirantis, offering multi-cloud, multi-access edge computing platforms.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • SMLR 306 Recording at Penguicon 2018
    • Ubuntu Podcast from the UK LoCo: S12E05 – Superfrog

      This week we talk about our trip to LFNW. We discuss the new budget-friendly Dell Precision laptops shipping with Ubuntu, the Ubuntu Developer Desktop Survey, the most power efficient Ubuntu flavour and Mark Shuttleworth’s views on the Ubuntu Desktop. We discuss Pine64’s updates for May 2019, Easy Anti Cheat for Linux and the new Windows Terminal.

  • Kernel Space

    • The state of system observability with BPF

      The 2019 version of the Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit opened with a plenary talk by Brendan Gregg on observing the state of Linux systems using BPF. It is, he said, an exciting time; the BPF-based “superpowers” being added to the kernel are growing in capability and maturity. It is now possible to ask many questions about what is happening in a production Linux system without the need for kernel modifications or even basic debugging information.
      Gregg started with a demonstration tool that he had just written: it’s immediate manifestation was in the creation of a high-pitched tone that varied in frequency as he walked around the lectern. It was, it turns out, a BPF-based tool that extracts the signal strength of the laptop’s WiFi connection from the kernel and creates a noise in response. As he interfered with that signal with his body, the strength (and thus the pitch of the tone) varied. By tethering the laptop to his phone, he used the tool to measure how close he was to the laptop. It may not be the most practical tool, but it did demonstrate how BPF can be used to do unexpected things.

      Gregg works at Netflix, a company that typically operates about 150,000 server instances. Naturally, Netflix cares a lot about performance; that leads to a desire for observability tools that can help to pinpoint the source of performance problems. But the value of good tools goes beyond just performance tuning.

    • Containers and address space separation

      James Bottomley began his talk at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit (LSFMM) by noting that the main opposition to his ideas was not present at the summit, which was likely to mean the ideas got a much easier reception than they would have otherwise. In particular, Peter Zijlstra and Ingo Molnar expressed some strong reservations to the work that Bottomley’s colleague Mike Rapoport posted recently; none of those three were in attendance at LSFMM. The idea is to use address spaces to reduce the attack surface available to virtual machines (VMs) and containers such that kernel bugs of various sorts have less reach on multi-tenant systems.

      Bottomley has been working with Rapoport on the idea for the container use case, but there are others, from Google and Oracle, who are trying to solve the same problems for VMs. Address spaces are the oldest and most secure mechanism for keeping tenants separate from one another, he said. Separating processes into their own address spaces is what was used to support multi-user systems, so there is around 50 years of history there. Part of the reason to extend the idea for VMs and containers is that address spaces have proven to work well as a security measure.

    • Some 5.1 development statistics

      The release of the 5.1-rc6 kernel prepatch on April 21 indicates that the 5.1 development cycle is getting close to its conclusion. So naturally the time has come to put together some statistics describing where the changes merged for 5.1 came from. It is, for the most part, a fairly typical development cycle.
      As of this writing, 12,749 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 5.1 release. That is slightly more than seen in 5.0, but still a bit lower than the other kernels released in the last few years. There were nearly 545,000 lines of code added by those changesets and 289,000 lines removed, for a net growth of 256,000 lines; this is not one of those rare development cycles where the kernel gets smaller. That work was contributed by 1,707 developers, 245 of whom made their first contribution in the 5.1 cycle.

    • Bounce buffers for untrusted devices

      The recently discovered vulnerability in Thunderbolt has restarted discussions about protecting the kernel against untrusted, hotpluggable hardware. That vulnerability, known as Thunderclap, allows a hostile external device to exploit Input-Output Memory Management Unit (IOMMU) mapping limitations and access system memory it was not intended to. Thunderclap can be exploited by USB-C-connected devices; while we have seen USB attacks in the past, this vulnerability is different in that PCI devices, often considered as trusted, can be a source of attacks too. One way of stopping those attacks would be to make sure that the IOMMU is used correctly and restricts the device to accessing the memory that was allocated for it. Lu Baolu has posted an implementation of that approach in the form of bounce buffers for untrusted devices.

    • Toward a reverse splice()

      The splice() system call is, at its core, a write operation; it attempts to implement zero-copy I/O by moving pages from a pipe to a file. At the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit, Miklos Szeredi described a nascent idea for rsplice() — a “reverse splice” system call. There were not a lot of definitive outcomes from this discussion, but one thing was clear: rsplice() needs a much better description (and some code posted) before the development community can begin to form an opinion on it.

    • Memory encryption issues

      “People think that memory encryption sounds really cool; it will make my system more secure so I want it”. At least, that is how Dave Hansen characterized the situation at the beginning of a session on the topic during the memory-management track at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit. This session, also led by Kirill Shutemov, covered a number of aspects of the memory-encryption problem on Intel processors and beyond. One clear outcome of the discussion was also raised by Hansen at the beginning: users of memory encryption need to think hard about where that extra security is actually coming from.

    • Linux 5.1 adds new security layer and cumulative patches

      It’s me. Colonel Kitten. Guardian of the Linux Kernel. Slayer of voles. Sleeper of Airing Cupboards. You’ve caught me in a rare moment of downtime. I’ve drugged the platoon’s milk, and I’m going to quietly tell you about the latest additions to the mighty kernel.

      ALL HAIL THE KERNEL! BLESSED BE THE KERNEL!

      Ahem. Sorry. Forgot where I was.

      Linux 5.1 has now been released, after Commander Torvalds gave the green light this weekend. It offers a range of improvements for the discerning kitty.

      I received this encrypted message from Commander Torvalds: “On the whole, 5.1 looks very normal with just over 13k commits (plus another 1k+ if you count merges). Which is pretty much our normal size these days. No way to boil that down to a sane shortlog, with work all over.”

    • Linux 5.1 out with Io_uring IO interface, persistent memory, new patching improvements and more!

      Yesterday, Linus Torvalds, the principal developer of the Linux kernel announced the release of Linux 5.1 in a mailing list announcement. This release provides users with an open source operating system with lots of great additions, as well as improvements to existing features. The previous version, Linux 5.0 was released two months ago.
      “On the whole, 5.1 looks very normal with just over 13k commits (plus another 1k+ if you count merges). Which is pretty much our normal size these days. No way to boil that down to a sane shortlog, with work all over.”, said Linux Torvalds in the official announcement.

    • The Linux kernel update 5.1 comes with live patching, multiple performance and security improvements

      After spending less than two months in development, the Linux 5.1 kernel update is now finally available. Although this is not a major upgrade, the 5.1 kernel comes with a few noticeable improvements, including support for the Model A+ Raspberry Pi 3 and Intel Fastboot, the ability to use persistent storage as system memory, and more.

      According to the official announcement that came from Linus Torvalds less than two days ago, “5.1 looks very normal with just over 13k commits (plus another 1k+ if you count merges). Which is pretty much our normal size these days.”

      In addition to the changes mentioned earlier, there have been improvements made to the live patching capabilities (available since April 2015), and the introduction of the SafeSetID LSM module provides a new option for administrators to provide security and policy controls.

    • Linux 5.2 Kernel Introducing Support For Intel’s Sound Open Firmware

      Back at the Embedded Linux Conference in March 2018, Sound Open Firmware (SOF) was announced by Intel Open-Source Technology GM, Imad Sousou. The kernel-side patches to this open-source sound firmware were published shortly thereafter while now finally after going through several rounds of public code review, the kernel changes have been merged for Linux 5.2.

    • Linux Foundation

      • NVIDIA, Red Hat Join Hollywood’s Open Source Forum

        NVIDIA has joined Hollywood’s very own open source organization as a Premier member. For the uninitiated, the Academy Software Foundation (ASWF) is a consortium for open source software development in the motion picture and media industries. Also, ftrack and Red Hat have joined the Foundation as General members.

        Already a member of the Linux Foundation, NVIDIA now looks forward to working with the Academy Software Foundation to help shape the future of this creative industry.

    • Graphics Stack

      • The USB Code For Linux 5.2 Sent In With NVIDIA Contributions & More

        Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in the USB updates on Wednesday for the Linux 5.2 kernel.

        Highlights of the USB changes for this next kernel include:

        - The NVIDIA AltMode driver as the newest open-source contribution from the green giant… This driver is for enabling VirtualLink devices when paired with the newest (currently Turing-based) graphics cards sporting USB-C connectors and intended to be used with next-generation VR headsets. There were also related contributions by NVIDIA developers around allowing firmware flashing support with the “CCG” Cypress code they are using as their controller.

      • Intel OpenCL Linux 19.17.12918 Stack Does Away With Cannonlake Support

        Intel released version 19.17.12918 of their OpenCL “NEO” open-source compute runtime stack this week.

        With this Intel Compute Runtime 19.17.12918 release, they have updated their LLVM-based Intel graphics compiler, disabled Cannonlake “Gen 10″ support in the build by default, and now supports SPIR-V 1.2.

      • AMD Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 19.Q2 for Linux Released

        Shipping today is the “Radeon Pro Software for Enterprise 19.Q2 for Linux” driver package as the newest hybrid driver update for Linux systems with AMD Radeon Pro (and consumer) graphics, aiming to increase performance against NVIDIA Quadro hardware.

        In AMD’s press communications today, they are talking up higher performance in real-world design workflows, better support for critical design and productivity workflows, and better workstation power. However, it’s not immediately clear how well some of these updates translate on the Linux side with some of the mentioned workstation software is Windows-only. Unfortunately we don’t have any Radeon Pro hardware for verification of the Linux driver update performance changes, but at least there is this quarterly Linux driver update out today.

      • Libinput 1.13.2 Released With Better Finger Detection For Apple Touchpads

        While “just a point release”, libinput 1.13.2 was released today as the newest update to this widely-used X11/Wayland Linux input handling library. With libinput 1.13.2 are two notable fixes.

        First up, those using Apple Bluetooth-enabled touchpads will find better finger detection with this update. The Apple Bluetooth touchpads now detect the correct touch size and as such is able to provide more reliable finger detection.

    • Benchmarks

      • The New Intel Gallium3D OpenGL Driver Performance Is In Great Shape For Mesa 19.1

        With Mesa 19.1 now under its feature freeze, here is a look at how the new Intel “Iris” Gallium3D OpenGL driver is performing for its debut in this next quarterly Mesa feature release. Benchmarks from a Skylake NUC with Intel Iris Pro 580 graphics just wrapped up for looking at the performance of the Intel Gallium3D driver against its existing open-source “i965″ Mesa OpenGL driver.

        The Intel Gallium3D driver is one of the new additions coming with Mesa 19.1. Mesa 19.1.0 should debut around the end of May or June and will feature this Gallium3D driver as an experimental option in place of the default i965 driver, but for Broadwell graphics and newer can be activated via the MESA_LOADER_DRIVER_OVERRIDE=iris environment variable. Intel developers are hoping by the end of 2019 that this Gallium3D driver will be mature enough to enable by default for Broadwell and newer; Haswell and older hardware will continue to be supported by the i965 driver as those older generations of graphics will not be supported by Iris.

      • Performance Testing Intel’s Core i9-9980XE 18-core CPU In Linux

        We’ve run Intel’s Core i9-9980XE processor through a gauntlet of tests over the past couple of weeks, and we’re going to kick off our look at its performance with some Linux tests. Join us as we tackle Intel’s top Core-series chip across a range of workloads, from compression to encryption and rendering to encoding.
        We’ve been hugely focused on Windows benchmarks lately, so it’s about time we spice things up and get another collection of Linux tests together. The last time we tackled CPU performance in Linux was with the launch of Intel’s Core i9-9900K. That article prefaced the Windows one, so it’s a bit of a parallel that we’re kicking off our i9-9980XE coverage the same way (Windows coverage will come soon.)

  • Applications

  • Distributions

    • Screenshots/Screencasts

    • Slackware Family

      • Reverse birthday present: KDE-5_19.05

        After a three-month hiatus, I have new Plasma5 packages for you. I just uploaded “KDE-5_19.05” to the ‘ktown‘ repository. It’s filled to the brim with new stuff.
        Hopefully not many of you will be disappointed by the fact that this is a 64bit-only release. I have a severely limited capacity unfortunately due to health issues. But, today is my birthday and I wanted to get this out as a ‘reverse present’ to all of you 🙂 The 32bit packages will eventually follow, but I am afraid I will no longer be able to manage a monthly update cycle.

        As always, these packages are meant to be installed on a full installation of Slackware-current which has had its KDE4 removed first. These packages will not work on Slackware 14.2.

    • Fedora

      • Fedora 30 Released with GNOME 3.32 and Other Improvements

        Fedora is one of the most popular Linux distros out there. It is backed by Red Hat Linux and known for its bleeding edge software. It has one of the largest Linux communities in the world and heavily focuses on open-source. Almost all the software (except the binary blobs on its kernel) is available in its official repositories.

        There are a lot of Linux enthusiasts who consider Fedora as an innovative Linux distro. It doesn’t hesitate to test new features and make them available for all other distros. With that being said, the Fedora team has recently released the latest version Fedora 30 with GNOME 3.32 and many other improvements. So, let’s have a look at the new features and changes one by one.

      • Fedora rawhide – fixed bugs 2019/04
    • Debian Family

      • OpenStack-cluster-installer in Buster

        As per the package description and the package name, OCI (OpenStack Cluster Installer) is a software to provision an OpenStack cluster automatically, with a “push button” interface. The OCI package depends on a DHCP server, a PXE (tftp-hpa) boot server, a web server, and a puppet-master.

        Once computers in the cluster boot for the first time over network (PXE boot), a Debian live system squashfs image is served by OCI (served by Apache), to act as a discovery image. This live system then reports the hardware features of the booted machine back to OCI (CPU, memory, HDDs, network interfaces, etc.). The computers can then be installed with Debian from that live system. During this process, a puppet-agent is configured so that it will connect to the puppet-master of OCI. Uppong first boot, OpenStack services are then installed and configured, depending on the server role in the cluster.

        OCI is fully packaged in Debian, including all of the Puppet modules and so on. So just doing “apt-get install openstack-cluster-installer” is enough to bring absolutely all dependencies, and no other artifact are needed. This is very important so one only needs a local Debian mirror to install an OpenStack cluster. No external components must be downloaded from internet.

      • Derivatives

        • ELIVE 3.0.4 STABLE UPDATE

          Elive 3.0 has been updated, and it will probably be the last updated build for the 3.0 release!

          In the last few months I have been deeply working on the next future versions of Elive, which will support things like Secure Boot and UEFI, with 64bit available builds and based in Debian Buster, all these things are simply… amazing! I hope to make the next beta versions publicly available soon with also including a working installer that will have extra features! I didn’t wanted to publicly announce anything until now because I’m a meticulous perfectionist who wants to verify that most of the things are correctly working before giving any promise.

        • IBM’s Red Hat Deal, NuoDB Operator Now Has Red Hat OpenShift Operator Certification, Krita 4.2.0 Alpha Released, Elive 3.0 Update, UBports Announces Ubuntu Touch OTA-9 and Fedora Kernel 5.1 Test Week Starts Monday

          Elive 3.0 has been updated, and this should be the last update before the 3.0 release.

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure: an Interview with Canonical

            Ubuntu Advantage for Infrastructure changes the entire landscape of service offerings for open-source software. Instead of itemizing and charging for each and every component or add-on, Canonical promises its customers a per-node service package, regardless of the technologies running on it. I was able to sit down and chat with Stephan Fabel, who was generous enough to provide a bit more detail around this exciting announcement.

          • Ubuntu 19.10 Release Date & Planned Features

            The GNOME 3.34 desktop release in September will form the basis of the next Ubuntu release. This update will include new versions of core apps like Nautilus, Evince and Calendar, and may also feature a revamped sound recorder tool.

            More details on what’s planned for GNOME 3.34 will be revealed over the coming months.

            With Ubuntu firmly settled on its new look, Yaru, expect to see contemplative adjustments here and there, particularly around the “Software” set of icons, Ubuntu Software, Software & Updates, Software Updater, etc.

            The experimental Xorg fractional scaling setting which debuted in the Ubuntu 19.04 release may be made more accessible in Eoan, perhaps through a Display > Scale setting in System Settings, perhaps with caveats and caution applied.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • OASIS announces the ODF Advocacy Open Project

    The ODF Advocacy Open Project we have pre-announced at FOSDEM is now a reality. Yesterday, OASIS has released the following press release, which is just the first step of a new sustained activity focused on supporting the adoption of ODF – the only true standard document format available on the market – by governments, public administrations and enterprises worldwide, to increase interoperability (and thus knowledge sharing), reduce hidden costs associated to document management, and get rid of vendor lock-in.

  • LibreOffice

    • First Bug Hunting Session for LibreOffice 6.3

      LibreOffice 6.3 is being developed by our worldwide community, and is due to be released in early August 2019 (see release notes describing the new features here).

      In order to find, report and triage bugs, the LibreOffice QA team is organizing the first Bug Hunting Session for LibreOffice 6.3 on Monday May 13, 2019. Tests will be performed on the first Alpha version, which will be available on the pre-releases server a few days before the event. Builds will be available for Linux (DEB and RPM), macOS and Windows, and can be installed and run in parallel along with the production version.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL forums and kernel source code are up

      Google’s newly launched Pixel 3a series matches up to the photography skills of the flagship Pixel 3 series, even while being priced at only half. But besides bringing the characteristic photography acumen of a Google Pixel, the Pixel 3a devices also share some part of their DNA with the erstwhile Google Nexus lineup. This is because they’re easy on the pocket (at least in the Western markets) and should, thus, be preferred by developers as devices meant to test the latest features in Android.

    • Renewed focus on REUSE

      Following the Free Software Legal and Licensing Workshop 2019 in Barcelona, I managed to get in touch with some people to put a renewed focus on the REUSE initiative by the FSFE.

    • ClearlyDefined: Putting license information in one place [Ed: Why is an FSFE workshop led by a Microsoft employee? Explains some things I've seen about FSFE lately (not good things). Be careful of ClearlyDefined because mostly Microsoft people promote it (everywhere they can). So you know it's Microsoft-leaning an effort and Microsoft is a serial GPL violator that got caught many times.]

      As the stats page shows, there are nearly five million definitions currently in the database (as of this writing, anyway). Multiple repositories are being harvested, including npm for Node.js, PyPI for Python, Maven for Java, Crate for Rust, GitHub, and others. ClearlyDefined was the subject of a lively workshop at the recent FSFE Legal and Licensing Workshop (LLW), led by project lead Jeff McAffer of GitHub. The project has lots of partners, such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Qualcomm, Software Heritage, and Codescoop.

  • Programming/Development

    • Announcing git-cinnabar 0.5.1

      Git-cinnabar is a git remote helper to interact with mercurial repositories. It allows to clone, pull and push from/to mercurial remote repositories, using git.

    • Daniel Stenberg: Sometimes I speak

      I view myself as primarily a software developer. Perhaps secondary as someone who’s somewhat knowledgeable in networking and is participating in protocol development and discussions. I do not regularly proclaim myself to be a “speaker” or someone who’s even very good at talking in front of people.

      Time to wake up and face reality? I’m slowly starting to realize that I’m actually doing more presentations than ever before in my life and I’m enjoying it.

      Since October 2015 I’ve done 53 talks and presentations in front of audiences – in ten countries. That’s one presentation done every 25 days on average. (The start date of this count is a little random but it just happens that I started to keep a proper log then.) I’ve talked to huge audiences and to small. I done presentations that were appreciated and I’ve done some that were less successful.

    • Podcast about Evennia

      In the interview, which are run by people from the MUD Coder’s Guild (a great initiative!), I talk a bit about the history of Evennia, the text-based multiplayer game engine I’m working on, and go into some various technical aspects of the engine as well. Check it out and support the podcast!

    • Wing Tips: Renaming Symbols and Attributes in Python Code with Wing Pro’s Refactoring Tool

      In the previous Wing Tips post we looked at using multiple selections to edit several parts of code at once. As part of that, we briefly mentioned that refactoring is a better approach when renaming a symbol or attribute globally. Let’s take a closer look at that now.

    • Wing Python IDE 7.0.2 – May 8, 2019

      Wing 7.0.2 has been released.

    • Linux C programming tutorial Part 28 – Typedefs
    • EuroPython 2019: CFP ends on May 12
    • 5 essential values for the DevOps mindset
    • First Rule of Coding: Don’t Panic.
    • Google Quietly Admits It’s Working On Fuchsia OS During I/O 2019
    • Webinar: “42 PyCharm Tips and Tricks” with Paul Everitt

      PyCharm brings a boatload of IDE features to professional Python development. Want to “level up” and learn productivity boosters? This hands-on, fast-paced webinar, run by Paul Everitt from the PyCharm team, covers tips across all the major product features.

    • Pygrunn preparations

      Tomorrow (friday 2019-05-10), I’m going to the nice one-day Dutch python (and friends) pygrunn conference in Groningen (NL) again. Sold out, as usual. And rightfully so.

      Anyway, to be honest, this blog entry is mostly about me testing my blog setup on a new laptop. I’ve got a linux laptop at work (which has its advantages) and since a few months I’ve got a second-hand macbook pro at home (because linux also has its disadvantages). But I never got around to setting up my blog software here till now. And I’m taking the macbook to the conference, so high time to get everything working :-)

    • Test Driven Development with pytest

      Good software is tested software. Testing our code can help us catch bugs or unwanted behavior.

      Test Driven Development (TDD) is a software development practice that requires us to incrementally write tests for features we want to add. It leverages automated testing suites, like pytest – a testing framework for Python programs.

    • Google I/O Extended 2019 – Report

      I attended a Google I/O Extended event on Tuesday at Google’s Kitchener office. It’s a get-together where there are demos, talks, workshops, and networking opportunities centred around watching the keynote live on the screen.

      I treat it as an opportunity to keep an eye on what they’re up to this time, and a reminder that I know absolutely no one in the tech scene around here.

      The first part of the day was a workshop about how to build Actions for the Google Assistant. I found the exercise to be very interesting.

    • Query freely available exchange rate data with ExchangeRate-API

      Last year, I wrote about using the Groovy programming language to access foreign exchange rate data from an API to simplify my expense records. I showed how two exchange rate sites, fixer.io and apilayer.net (now apilayer.com), could provide the data I needed, allowing me to convert between Indian rupees (INR) and Canadian dollars (CAD) using the former, and Chilean pesos (CLP) and Canadian dollars using the latter.

      Recently, David over at ExchangeRate-API.com reached out to me to say, “the free API you mentioned (Fixer) has been bought by CurrencyLayer and had its no-signup/unlimited access deprecated.” He also told me, “I run a free API called ExchangeRate-API.com that has the same JSON format as the original Fixer, doesn’t require any signup, and allows unlimited requests.”

      After exchanging a few emails, we decided to turn our conversation into an interview. Below the interview, you can find scripts and usage instructions. (The interview has been edited slightly for clarity.)

    • Programming languages: Why JavaScript developers are choosing TypeScript [Ed: RedMonk gets paid by Microsoft (their longtime client) to spread Microsoft propaganda, based on Microsoft’s own data (it owns GitHub now) and CBS is happy to relay this propaganda. Propaganda for sale, disguised as contracts for “analysts”. That’s the business model. As they explained only hours ago, “Microsoft and VMware are also RedMonk customers.” Well, they pay for marketing.]

      Microsoft of course now owns GitHub, the go-to code hosting repository for developers, while the popularity of Microsoft’s programming language TypeScript is going off the charts, according to developer analyst firm RedMonk.

    • This Newly Released Python Interpreter Claims To Be Faster Than CPython

      The PyPy team aims to provide a compliant, flexible and fast implementation of Python language which uses the RPython toolchain to enable new advanced high-level features without having to encode the low-level details. The main motivation for developing the translation framework is to provide a full-featured, customisable, fast and very compliant Python implementation, working on and interacting with a large variety of platforms and allowing the quick introduction of new advanced language features.

Leftovers

  • Health/Nutrition

    • To Be Sick and Not Rich

      On this extremely hot summer day, the ear-splitting siren screaming through New York’s streets is coming from the ambulance I’m in — on a gurney on my way to the ER. That only makes the siren, loud as it is, all the more alarming.

      I fell. The pain, its location and intensity, suggests I’ve probably broken my hip.

      The kind face of the emergency medical technician hovering above me asks questions softly and I confess that I’m in terrible pain. Other gentle hands are busy taking blood pressure and doing oxygen counts. These EMT workers, employees of the Fire Department, are good at what they do.

      At the ER entrance, the gurney’s lifted out of the vehicle, wheels are dropped, and it’s rolled inside. Under a ceiling of bright white lights, it passes — and so I pass — one cubicle after another. I catch bits of voices, speaking in several languages.

      My friend, who’s come with me to the ER, roots around in my purse for my insurance and then heads for the admissions office. Alone, I close my eyes to shut out the glare of the ceiling lights. I want one thing: relief from the pain. Oblivion would even be more appreciated.

      My friend returns to my cubicle and asks, “Is this the only insurance you have?” I panic. Will they not accept me? But they have to! It’s the ER! That’s the reassurance I offer myself and then I tell her, “Yes, it’s all I have.”

      She looks doubtful.

      “What?” I ask desperately. “What?”

      “Don’t you have some kind of supplemental?” And she begins to try to explain, but I can’t deal with this right now. All I want is relief from the pain. Any other moment, I’d worry about the money, but not now. I can’t! Instead, simply to remain half-calm, I remind myself that I have insurance, that I have a Health Maintenance Organization, or HMO, a plan that offers a wide range of healthcare services through a network of providers who agree to work with members.

    • Metal and Rubber with Your Chicken? No Problem Says Tyson

      Rubber and metal are some of the recent surprise “ingredients” found in Tyson chicken. In January, 36,420 pounds of Tyson chicken nuggets were recalled due to rubber contamination. In March, a recall for possible metal contamination of ready-to-eat Tyson chicken strip products began which continues–now encompassing 12 million pounds. Tyson Foods is the world’s second largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork, operating the Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Sara Lee, Ball Park and other well known brands.

      Were the contaminations deliberate? Possibly speculates a high level USDA compliance operations official who says security at a meat processing plant is so loose “employees could deliberately introduce” harmful products into food.

      As cheap labor and growth drugs make chicken a lucrative franchise, Tyson leads the way. Today a chicken is “grown” to a five-pound market weight in five weeks–twice as fast as 40 years ago. Despite “no antibiotics” claims, an investigation by Reuters found Tyson Foods and other major U.S. poultry firms are using antibiotics “more pervasively than regulators realize” after testing products coming out of feed mills.

      In 2001, Tyson was served with a federal indictment charging that the company paid smugglers to transport illegal workers from Mexico across the Rio Grande, after which they were supplied with phony social security cards and brazenly paid with corporate checks. “This is a company with a bad history,” Rev. Jim Lewis, an Episcopal minister in Arkansas, told the New York Times. “They cheat these workers out of pay and benefits, and then try to keep them quiet by threatening to send them back to Mexico.”

  • Security

    • Security updates for Thursday
    • WordPress Security Guidelines You Should Follow
    • glibc 2.28 cleanup – no more memory leaks

      glibc already released 2.29, but I was still on a much older version and hadn’t noticed 2.28 (which is the version that is in RHEL8) has a really nice fix for people who obsess about memory leaks.

      When running valgrind to track memory leaks you might have noticed that there are sometimes some glibc data structures left.

      These are often harmless, small things that are needed during the whole lifetime of the process. So it is normally fine to not explicitly clean that up. Since the memory is reclaimed anyway when the process dies.

    • Remembering the Morris Worm, the first internet felony
    • Bug in Alpine Linux Docker Image Leaves Root Account Unlocked
    • A Brief History of Containerization: Why Container Security Best Practices Need to Evolve Now

      Maybe it’s the advent of the internet, or perhaps your brain skipped all the way back to the steam engine. When asked that question, how many people do you think would land on shipping containers? They might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but the invention of shipping containers in the 1950s catalyzed change. Introducing a standard container helped pave the way for faster, cheaper and more reliable transportation of goods across the globe.

      In many ways parallel to how physical containers shaped shipping, application containers are revolutionizing software development methods. Much like physical containers, application containers are a form of digital packaging. They rely on that attribute to provide virtual isolation for deploying or running various applications that use the same operating system (OS) or cloud.

      Containers support a microservice-based architecture, an approach to redefining large-scale software projects to be more scalable and modular. Container technology can also help make it easier to run applications in different working environments under different conditions because it provides a solid runtime environment. Combined with the open source wave that has permeated the industry, this new wave of development has been a boon to cloud providers, developers and managed services alike.

    • The fight to reclaim the term ‘hacker’ starts here

      In the early days of computing, ‘hacker’ was generally a positive term.

      It started to gain traction through the Unix hack culture that took place at US universities in the ’60s and ’70s – an era recorded in free software guru Eric Raymond’s ‘A Brief History of Hackerdom’ and articles by GNU creator Richard Stallman, among others.

      The inaugural edition of SwigCast – featuring an interview with ethical hackers Paul Johnston and Santiago Diaz – explores these ideas and delves into why better representations of hackers is needed today more than ever.
      
“Right now, ‘hacker’ is used in an entirely different connotation,” said Johnston.

    • Google’s Project Mainline in Android Q will help speed up security updates

      Android version fragmentation is one of the biggest challenges for Google to solve. While the Google Pixel smartphones are among the most secure smartphones on the market thanks to the incredible efforts of Pixel and AOSP engineers, many other smartphones are vulnerable to exploits due to running outdated OS versions or outdated security patch levels. The latest report from Gartner shows that Android 9 Pie is an incredibly secure OS, yet only approximately 10% of all smartphones are on the release.

  • Defence/Aggression

    • Imagination and Nuclear Weapons

      Einstein believed that knowledge is limited, but imagination is infinite.

      Imagine the soul-crushing reality of a nuclear war, with billions of humans dead; in essence, a global Hiroshima, with soot from the destruction of cities blocking warming sunlight. There would be darkness everywhere, temperatures falling into a new ice age, with crop failures and mass starvation.

      With nuclear weapons poised on hair-trigger alert and justified by the ever-shaky hypothesis that nuclear deterrence will be effective indefinitely, this should not be difficult to imagine.

      In this sense, our imaginations can be great engines for change.

      In our current world, bristling with nuclear weapons and continuous nuclear threat, we stand at the brink of the nuclear precipice. The best case scenario from the precipice, short of beginning a process of abolishing nuclear arms, is that we have the great good fortune to avoid crossing the line into nuclear war and blindly continue to pour obscene amounts of money into modernizing nuclear arsenals, while failing to meet the basic human needs of a large portion of the world’s population.

      The only way out of this dilemma is for the leaders of the world to come to their senses and agree that nuclear weapons must be abolished in order to assure that these weapons will never again be used. Given the state of the world we live in, this is more difficult to imagine.

    • Florida Governor Signs Bill Allowing More Armed Teachers

      More Florida teachers will be eligible to carry guns in the classroom under a bill Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Wednesday that immediately implements recommendations from a commission formed after the Parkland high school mass shooting.

      DeSantis signed the bill in private and didn’t issue a statement afterward. But he made it clear he supports the changes made to the law enacted after a rifle-toting former student walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 people in February 2018.

      The bill was one of the most contentious of the legislative session that ended Saturday. It expands the “guardian” program that allows school districts to approve school employees and teachers with a role outside the classroom, such as a coach, to carry guns. School districts have to approve and teachers have to volunteer. They then go through police-like training with a sheriff’s office and undergo a psychiatric evaluation and a background check.

      The new law expands the program to make all teachers eligible regardless of whether they have a non-classroom role.

    • Airborne portion of Moscow’s annual Victory Day parade canceled

      The military flyover planned for Moscow’s annual Victory Day parade has been canceled due to weather concerns, Interfax reported.

      A journalist standing on the Moscow Kremlin’s Spasskaya Tower announced the cancellation on the air for the state-owned Channel One. Fifty-six airplanes and 18 helicopters were meant to fly in the parade.

    • President Trump’s Insatiable Appetite for Regime Change

      President Donald Trump has decided that the government of President Nicolás Maduro must go.

      Senior officials—led by John Bolton, Trump’s super-hawk national security adviser, and Elliott Abrams, stained by his cover-up and lies about death squads in El Salvador and contras in Nicaragua in the 1980s—boast publicly about their plots for regime change.

      They have recognized an obscure right-wing Venezuelan politician—Juan Guaido—as head of state. They’ve tightened sanctions again and again, adding directly to the dire suffering of the Venezuelan people.

      They’ve encouraged the military to revolt. And when the failure of Guaido’s latest coup attempt embarrassed them last week, they’ve threatened direct military intervention.

      “All options are on the table,” Trump repeats.

      Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Trump has a “full range of options” when it comes to next moves against the Venezuelan government, claiming that Trump doesn’t need congressional authorization to act.

      John Bolton announced that the “Monroe Doctrine is alive and well. It’s our hemisphere.” He noted that he wasn’t prepared to apply Teddy Roosevelt’s corollary that asserted the U.S. power to intervene unilaterally anywhere in the hemisphere “yet.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Trump EPA Ignored Its Own Scientists’ Calls to Ban Asbestos, ‘Bombshell’ Report Shows

      In a report that elicited calls for congressional action, The New York Times revealed Wednesday that “senior officials at the Environmental Protection Agency disregarded the advice of their own scientists and lawyers in April when the agency issued a rule that restricted but did not ban asbestos.”

    • E.P.A. Leaders Disregarded Agency’s Experts in Issuing Asbestos Rule, Memos Show

      Senior officials at the Environmental Protection Agency disregarded the advice of their own scientists and lawyers in April when the agency issued a rule that restricted but did not ban asbestos, according to two internal memos.

      Because of its fiber strength and resistance to heat, asbestos has long been used in insulation and construction materials. It is also is a known carcinogen. Last month’s rule kept open a way for manufacturers to adopt new uses for asbestos, or return to certain older uses, but only with E.P.A. approval.

      Andrew Wheeler, the E.P.A. administrator, said when the rule was issued that it would significantly strengthen public health protections. But in the memos, dated Aug. 10, more than a dozen of E.P.A.’s own experts urged the agency to ban asbestos outright, as do most other industrialized nations.

      “Rather than allow for (even with restrictions) any new uses for asbestos, E.P.A. should seek to ban all new uses of asbestos because the extreme harm from this chemical substance outweighs any benefit — and because there are adequate alternatives to asbestos,” staff members wrote.

    • UK Achieves First Coal-Free Week Since Industrial Revolution
    • Britain goes week without coal power for first time since industrial revolution

      Britain has gone a full week without using coal power for the first time since the industrial revolution.

      The new record – set at 1.24pm on Tuesday – marks the first coal-free week since the world’s first coal-fired plant opened in London in 1882.

    • The U.S. Has More Climate Deniers Than Any Other Wealthy Nation, Survey Finds

      Awareness of climate change is growing in the U.S., but the country still has some catching up to do when compared to other wealthy nations.

      A 23-country poll found that the U.S. led rich nations in the percentage of people who said that climate change was not caused by humans, The Guardian reported Wednesday. Thirteen percent of Americans agreed with the statement that climate change was happening, “but human activity is not responsible at all.” An additional five percent denied climate change all together.

    • ‘Climate Change Is the Real Job Killer’ – CounterSpin interview with Joe Uehlein on Green New Deal

      Republican Rep. Sean Duffy likely thought he was onto a winner when he dismissed the Green New Deal as “elitist,” the sort of thing that “sounds great” if you are “a rich liberal from maybe New York or California.”

      Opposing environmental concerns with the livelihoods of working-class people has been a tried and true method for dividing people: industry versus industry, the coasts versus the supposed “heartland,” and dividing people against themselves, as we’re presumed to have to choose between having clean air to breathe or having a job.

      The immediate, cogent pushback to Duffy’s characterization from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez—who, along with Ed Markey, introduced the Green New Deal—is one indication that things have changed. Old fissures can’t be counted on to confuse people about their shared interest in fighting climate change and advancing workers’ rights. Though that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for confusion about what alternative visions could look like—particularly when news media, as in coverage of the Green New Deal, shortchange the role of workers in that vision.

    • As Sanders Calls for Nationwide Fracking Ban, Inslee Signs Bill to Prohibit Destructive Drilling Practice in Washington

      Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch Action, celebrated Inslee’s move—which made Washington the fourth U.S. state to ban fracking—but urged him to join fellow 2020 contenders Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard in calling for a nationwide ban on the extractive technique.

      “A clear majority of Americans want political leaders to take real action on climate change,” Hauter said in a statement. “Now would be the perfect opportunity for Inslee to join fellow candidates Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard in calling for a national ban on fracking, and for a halt to all new fossil fuel infrastructure everywhere.”

      “We’re pleased that Governor Inslee has banned fracking in Washington,” added Hauter. “This is great news, but as a presidential candidate, in order to show real national leadership on climate and clean energy, Inslee must endorse a ban on fracking across the country.”

      In a tweet on Tuesday, Sanders highlighted fracking’s poisonous impact on air and water quality as well as its contribution to the climate crisis before declaring, “We need to ban it nationwide.”

    • Kick the Cows Out of Point Reyes National Seashore

      Privately owned livestock are polluting the streams running through OUR property. Indeed the livestock-polluted waters of Point Reyes National Seashore rank in the top 10 percent of U.S. locations most contaminated by feces indicated by E. coli bacteria.

      Privately owned livestock are spreading exotic weeds throughout OUR property. Ranchers plant non-native species for livestock forage, helping to erode the native biodiversity of the park further.

      Privately owned livestock are spreading Johne’s, a highly contagious digestive disease that spreads quickly through manure and contaminated water. It has infected park wildlife including Tule elk.

    • A Matter of Independence: Equinor and Drilling the Great Australian Bight

      Such companies advertise themselves as slick and professional, the best in the business, all things to men, women and everyone in between. They insist that we can all have that vast cake of wealth and eat it too. Equinor, a Norwegian multinational beast of an energy company with its headquarters in Stavanger, has been doing much in the way of making cakes and eating them. It seeks “to be the world’s most carbon-efficient oil and gas producer” but at the same a sound investor in renewables. The earth may well be heating up, but there is no point in not having a bet each way as the frog boils. Whatever its formula, the company is boastful. “We energize the lives of 170 million people. Every day.”

      Interest has now shifted to the Great Australian Bight, an area deemed by the Great Australian Bight Alliance “one of the most pristine ocean environments left on Earth, supporting vibrant coastal communities, jobs and recreational activities.” The Norwegian company is determined to drill for oil at a location some 476km west of Port Lincoln, a site which is intended to become the Stromlo-1 well with an intended depth of 2,240m. A period of 60 days is anticipated, with commencement taking place for late 2020. A submitted proposal to do so is currently being assessed by the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA).

      The company has every reason to be confident that hiccups will be few and far between. As Coalition campaign spokesman Simon Birmingham told reporters in Adelaide last week, “There are a large proportion of constituents who want to see jobs and opportunities created, as long as there is no environmental harm.”

      Outside the good offices of NOPSEMA, disputes over the science feature. For Equinor, all is manageable and realisable. For James Cook University marine biologist Jodie Rummer, a utopia reconciling drilling and sustainability is questionable: environmental frameworks need to be far more sensitive. Her own research showed that “even small boats and the noise that motors make are disturbing fish and the way they develop.” Rummer’s descriptions are of marine communities at risk and trauma; even a few drops of oil, she asserts, would cause “massive effects on behaviour and even physiological performance.” The terror for concerned citizens such as the Wilderness Society’s South Australian director Peter Owen is clear: “It’s very remote where they’re proposing to drill, so if it all goes wrong out there, there’s nothing they can do.”

    • A Green New Deal Must Prioritize Regenerative Agriculture

      We are at a radically new stage in our fight for the planet. The Green New Deal proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the youth-led Sunrise Movement, and hundreds of other climate justice leaders and organizations has given us a new holistic framework for tackling both the climate crisis and structural inequality.

      This bold vision for the future has, in a matter of months, radically expanded what is politically possible and clarified what is morally required of us as a society. Just a year ago, the progressive movement was struggling to articulate climate solutions that were capable of meeting the severity and scale of the problem, relying instead on piecemeal reforms.

      With any luck, those days are decisively behind us. The goal is no longer to slow the bleeding; it’s to heal the wound. The Green New Deal is about utilizing the full power and resources of the federal government to transform U.S. society so that we can rapidly achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, create millions of good jobs, and bring justice and equity to our economy.

    • Stuck in Yellowstone With the Grizzly Sardine Can Blues Again

      We can’t support any more bears. We’ve got bears coming out of our ears. We’ve reached carrying capacity. Such is the purported state of grizzly bears in Yellowstone.

      Sound familiar? It should. For those of you who have been paying attention to the rhetoric relentlessly voiced by agency spokespeople for the last 6 years, you will have heard the refrain about too many bears in too little space over and over again. In fact, this claim undergirds much of the argument made by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and state wildlife managers for removing ESA protections from Yellowstone’s grizzlies (which is to say, “delist” them).

      This rhetoric emerged with a vengeance during 2015 when, in a conversation with environmentalists, then-FWS Director Dan Ashe emphasized that “the Yellowstone ecosystem just can’t hold any more bears.” Frank van Manen, leader of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) soon followed with the quip: “we are packing more sardines in the sardine can.” The monotonous refrain has continued since then, most recently voiced (again) by van Manen at an April 2019 meeting of bear managers: “…I think we might have now reached the point where 100 percent [of suitable habitat] is occupied.”

    • Wild giant panda spotted in closed mining area in SW China

      A wild giant panda was spotted by infrared cameras in the Jiudingshan Nature Reserve in Mianzhu city, southwest China’s Sichuan Province, the nature reserve said Wednesday.

      It was the first time a camera has captured a wild panda in Mianzhu, said Liao Liang, who works at one of the nature reserve’s management station.

      Two videos with the animal were shot on April 1 and three pictures were taken the second day. The videos showed an adult wild panda with a muddy butt, weighing between 80 to 150 kg, strolling through a bamboo forest, alternating between looking around and eating.

  • Finance

    • Sian Berry on Labour launch: Yes, a People’s Vote is potentially healing. But voters need certainty, not fudge

      Sian Berry, co-leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, has responded to the Labour European election campaign launch this morning.

      She said: “What we wanted to hear from the Labour leader was a commitment to free movement and the People’s Vote on any deal. But we were again disappointed. Instead have been served more of the fudge we are used to from him on Brexit.

      “Jeremy Corbyn is right to say that a referendum could be a healing process, although of course it depends whether people have a proper choice in that referendum, which has to include remain on the ballot paper.

    • To Tackle Greed of Wall Street ‘Loan Sharks,’ Ocasio-Cortez and Sanders Plan Would Cap Outrageous Credit Card Rates

      “Today’s loan sharks wear expensive suits and work on Wall Street, where they make hundreds of millions of dollars in total compensation by charging sky-high fees and usurious interest rates,” Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez will say in a joint statement accompanying the plan, The Intercept’s David Dayen reported ahead of the bill’s release.

      According to Dayen, Ocasio-Cortez “plans to suggest postal banking as a public option for consumer lending, though that is not in the legislation.”

      “A postal lending option would in theory minimize the impact on access to credit from the rate cap,” wrote Dayen. “Sanders endorsed postal banking during his 2016 presidential campaign.”

    • New Study Suggests Late-Stage Capitalism Stripping Humanity of Simple Joy: Frequent Sex

      A new study conducted in the United Kingdom has found current generations of adults—in part due to the “sheer pace of modern life”—are having less sex than their predecessors.

      In other words, the grind of late-stage capitalism is stripping humanity of one of its unique (though not exclusive) features: screwing for fun.

      The study—among the largest of its kind ever undertaken—analyzed the sexual lives and habits of over 34,000 men and women ages 16 to 44 in the UK and found a dramatic drop in the frequency of sexual activity this century.

      “Using data from the British National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles (Natsal),” a summary of the report explained, “researchers found a general decline in sexual frequency in Britain between 2001 and 2012, with the biggest falls seen among over 25s and married or cohabiting couples.”

    • CEOs Can’t Wait to Replace Workers With Robots

      Corporate bosses don’t talk about it in public, but among themselves — psssst — they whisper excitedly about implementing a transformative “AI agenda” across our economy.

      AI stands for artificial intelligence, the rapidly advancing digital technology of creating thinking robots that program themselves, act on their own, and even reproduce themselves. These automatons are coming soon to a workplace near you.

      Not wanting to stir a preemptive rebellion by human workers, corporate chieftains avoid terms like automation of jobs, instead substituting euphemisms like “digital transformation” of work.

    • US-China Trade Talks in Shadow of Coming Tariff Increase

      U.S. and Chinese negotiators are to resume trade talks just hours before the United States is set to raise tariffs on Chinese imports in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

      In Beijing, Chinese officials said Thursday they will retaliate if President Donald Trump goes ahead with more tariff hikes but offered no specific penalties.

      The talks starting up again Thursday were thrown into disarray this week after top U.S. trade negotiator Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin accused the Chinese of reneging on commitments they’d made earlier. In response to the alleged backsliding, the United States is raising tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports from 10% to 25% at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time Friday.

      The two countries are sparring over U.S. allegations that China steals technology and pressures American companies into handing over trade secrets, part of an aggressive campaign to turn Chinese companies into world leaders in robotics, electric cars and other advanced industries.

    • ‘Unhinged, Insensitive, and Lying’: Trump Uses Bar Graph to Spread Falsehood About Puerto Rico Hurricane Aid

      President Donald Trump spent the opening minutes of a campaign rally in Panama City Beach, Florida on Wednesday attacking hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico for not sufficiently appreciating his administration’s relief efforts—which critics have decried as grossly inadequate—and attempting to use a bar graph to bolster his repeatedly debunked claim that the island has received a record amount of storm aid.

      “I brought a chart. Would you like to see a chart?” Trump said, pulling a piece of paper from his jacket pocket to cheers from the audience.

      “That’s Puerto Rico and they don’t like me,” said the president, pointing to a section of the bar graph purporting to show that Puerto Rico has received $91 billion in hurricane relief funding.

      As The Associated Press reported, Trump’s “number is wrong, as is his assertion that the U.S. territory has set some record for federal disaster aid. Congress has so far distributed only about $11 billion for Puerto Rico, not $91 billion.”

    • The Constitution Desperately Needs a New Amendment

      “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” the Founding Fathers stated in the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Of course, they didn’t really mean “all men,” excluding slaves and indigenous Native Americans. And they certainly didn’t include women. The U.S. Constitution that followed a dozen years later maintained the inequality. Over the intervening 240 years, this governing document, the oldest written constitution in the world still in use, has been amended many times — but never to extend the guarantee of equality to women. The Equal Rights Amendment, or ERA, first introduced in 1923, seeks to correct that, and may now, nearly a century later, be close to passage. As with all significant progressive advances achieved over the history of this country, grassroots organizing has brought the ERA this far. Whether it gets passed and included as the 28th Amendment depends on the strength of the intersectional movements demanding equality for women.

      “Why didn’t women achieve full constitutional equality in 1787 or 1982? Because the country wasn’t ready?” actor Patricia Arquette asked last week at a congressional House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on the ERA. It was the first such hearing in almost four decades. “Well, I hope you’re ready now! Because women have been waiting 232 years for equality in this country, and it has failed them. Legislators have blocked the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment for decades. But we’re done waiting.”

      California Democratic Congressmember Jackie Speier is leading the renewed push to pass the ERA. She is the sponsor of House Joint Resolution 38, which legislatively strips away an arbitrary deadline for ratification of the ERA, established in 1972, requiring ratification within 10 years. After the deadline passed in 1982, and under assault by the Reagan administration, efforts to approve the ERA faded. “We need the ERA so that we can join the rest of the industrialized countries in the world,” Speier said at the hearing, “so that we can achieve our full economic and social potential. We will no longer allow ourselves to be an afterthought. We need the ERA now.”

      The Equal Rights Amendment states: “Women shall have equal rights in the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” This language was passed by Congress in 1972, then sent to the states for ratification. Thirty states ratified quickly, out of the 38 needed. Several more states joined in during the ’70s. Nevada ratified the ERA in 2017, and Illinois did the same in 2018 — bringing the total to 37 states.

    • Listen to TurboTax Lie to Get Out of Refunding Overcharged Customers

      The makers of TurboTax have long been luring customers into paying for a service that they promised the government they’d give away for free. Now they’re lying to customers to avoid giving refunds.

      We’ve heard from 16 people who say they were denied refunds and told that the truly free version — Free File — is a government product that’s not run by TurboTax. Ten others reported being told that ProPublica’s stories were inaccurate, or that our coverage is “fake news” or “fictitious.”

      None of that is true.

    • The Melting of the Fortress of Solitude

      The American dream is the eternal one: wealth by luck, power by wealth, and freedom from responsibility by power. The American nightmare is our most democratized experience: impoverishment by design, powerlessness by impoverishment, and the shackling of the powerless to responsibility for the crimes of wealth.

      We live in a mediocracy, the mark of failure is success. To be fully human is to fail at being a successfully commodified robot.

      The orgy of gun violence we live with daily is the product of a complete failure to craft and make universally available systems of genuine education. It is because minds are depreciated and discarded en masse to facilitate the obsession for accumulation that our mass consumption and massive violence are so pervasively mindless. We are drowning in the blood of our own unacknowledged denial, our own decapitated awareness of responsibility.

    • The Gig Is Up: Rep. Deb Haaland Introduces Bill to Make Uber & Lyft Pay Their Fair Share of Taxes

      As Uber and Lyft drivers staged a strike on Wednesday, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM) announced legislation that would require Uber and Lyft to pay for drivers’ Social Security and Medicare costs. Because drivers are considered “independent contractors,” they are currently required to pay Social Security & Medicare costs themselves. Haaland’s legislation would place that burden entirely on Lyft, Uber, and other multinational corporations employing large numbers of so-called independent contractors in the gig economy. Rep. Deb Haaland said in a statement “The gig is up.” She joins us from Capitol Hill.

    • Yelp and the Myth of Consumer Power

      If you wait tables for a living, chances are that the website Yelp has affected how you think about and even perform your work. Restaurant managers and owners regularly, sometimes daily, pore over their Yelp reviews and – depending on the content of those reviews – praise, reprimand, and even fire servers who can be identified from customers’ online comments.

      In conducting research for my book Consumer Management in the Internet Age, I interviewed dozens of service workers (as well as managers and reviewers), the majority of whom have been confronted about Yelp reviews by their managers and know of at least one server who has been fired due to being criticized on Yelp. As one server noted, “We all read the reviews, good and bad, (as) it was quite easy to figure out who was being talked about. Most of my working associates hated Yelp. I know of two servers that lost their positions because of the reviews.”

      Similarly, a server at Luke’s Bar and Grill in Manhattan described a case in which a coworker had been reprimanded because of a Yelp review that complained that the employee had not been paying adequate attention on the job. In addition to the reprimand, management demanded that the coworker carefully read and “think about” the five paragraph, reportedly hurtful, review.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • A lag in fundraising casts doubt on DNC’s 2020 influence

      The Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) political power come 2020 remains on the line, as the committee continues to lag behind its Republican counterpart in fundraising, potentially causing problems for Democrats as they prepare for an expensive battle against President Donald Trump in the upcoming election.

      The Republican National Committee (RNC) collected a record-breaking $15.5 million in contributions in March, far surpassing the DNC’s $8.1 million, which included a $1 million loan. About 87 percent of the RNC’s March donations went toward its campaign efforts. That’s more than double the $6.3 million spent by the DNC in the same month. The RNC currently stands with $33.1 million cash-on-hand, triple that of the DNC.

      Although giving to individual candidates and outside groups has steadily risen over the past decade, contributions to the national committees have stayed fairly steady. The DNC has yet to surpass its 2004 fundraising record of $404 million.

      Recent filings show signs of financial trouble ahead for the DNC. This March’s haul is half of what the DNC raised at the same time in 2015. A $6.6 million debt from past election expenses also weighs on the DNC’s financial future. The RNC has no debt.

      This comes as wealthy megadonors are already pumping contributions into joint fundraising committees that split contributions between Trump’s campaign and the RNC. This year, Trump’s Make America Great Again committee has already transferred $4.2 million to the RNC.

    • The Real Muellergate Scandal

      I did not comment instantly on the Mueller Report as I was so shocked by it, I have been waiting to see if any other facts come to light in justification. Nothing has. I limit myself here to that area of which I have personal knowledge – the leak of DNC and Podesta emails to Wikileaks. On the wider question of the corrupt Russian 1% having business dealings with the corrupt Western 1%, all I have to say is that if you believe that is limited in the USA by party political boundaries, you are a fool.

      On the DNC leak, Mueller started with the prejudice that it was “the Russians” and he deliberately and systematically excluded from evidence anything that contradicted that view.

      Mueller, as a matter of determined policy, omitted key steps which any honest investigator would undertake. He did not commission any forensic examination of the DNC servers. He did not interview Bill Binney. He did not interview Julian Assange. His failure to do any of those obvious things renders his report worthless.

      There has never been, by any US law enforcement or security service body, a forensic examination of the DNC servers, despite the fact that the claim those servers were hacked is the very heart of the entire investigation. Instead, the security services simply accepted the “evidence” provided by the DNC’s own IT security consultants, Crowdstrike, a company which is politically aligned to the Clintons.

      That is precisely the equivalent of the police receiving a phone call saying:

    • More than money – How to tame online political ads

      The Electoral Commission’s Director of Regulation, Louise Edwards, recently put out a call for new laws to regulate online political adverts. She argued that the adverts need to show clearly and directly who has paid for them. [1] Whilst knowing who has paid for online ads is important, it’s only part of the picture. The whole process of online political advertising needs to be more tightly regulated.

      Political parties target ads online by using personal data to include or exclude potential voters. This drives down spending by targeting only a narrow slice of the population. In addition, automated messaging is becoming both cheaper and more sophisticated. Both of these practices will significantly reduce the amount of money needed by campaigns.

    • Joe Biden Doesn’t Deserve Your Nostalgia

      If there is one thing we can take away from the first two weeks of Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign, it’s that the former vice president is feeling nostalgic. Uncle Joe is longing for the good old days, before President Trump happened and before the Republican Party went completely off the rails. The days when Democrats and Republicans could be friends, when compromise wasn’t a dirty word, and when civility prevailed. The days when the center held strong, and pragmatic statesmen like him and his friend Dick Cheney could cut deals behind closed doors. The days, in other words, when things were normal.

      As some have already pointed out, Biden is essentially running a backward-looking campaign of restoration based on Democratic nostalgia for the Obama years, which in itself will get him a long way in the polls (at least in the Democratic primaries). But it is also clear that Biden’s nostalgia goes much further back than the heyday of the Obama administration.

      The former VP embodies a kind of baby boomer nostalgia for the era during which what is now called neoliberalism prevailed. That period started around the time Biden was elected to the Senate as a young man in 1972 (technically, Biden is a few years too old to qualify as a boomer, but he fits right in with that generation). That he harbors a certain romantic longing for the days of old, when the best and the brightest acted like adults and bipartisan centrism was the only game in town, is all one really needs to know about Biden in order to get an idea of how he will govern if elected president. Those who thought Barack Obama was too much of a centrist will miss him once Biden becomes president.

    • On Kids In Cages (Still)

      One year after the Billion Dollar Loser launched a cruelly pointless, state-sanctioned kidnapping of migrant children at the southern border, lawmakers awoke this week to an art installation on the Capitol Hill lawn featuring a child in a cage and an anguished mother in a foil blanket reaching out to him as a protest against the ongoing horrors. The artwork, a joint project by Paola Mendoza and advocacy group Families Belong Together, appeared May 7, the anniversary of the announcement by evil elf Jeff Sessions of a “zero-tolerance” policy that led to over 2,800 children being ripped from their families. Because things can always get worse, it turned out thousands more were likely separated before the policy was made public and that the goons were so inept they didn’t know how to reconnect children to their parents. And while public outrage and a court order forced the regime to halt the atrocities last June, advocates say hundreds of families continue to be ripped apart – 40 a month in Texas and dozens each day in California, some as young as 18 months, with all the pervasive, long-term trauma that experts say will result.

    • House Panel Votes to Hold AG Barr in Contempt

      The House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.

      The vote Wednesday capped a day of ever-deepening dispute between congressional Democrats and President Donald Trump, who invoked executive privilege to block lawmakers from the full report on Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

      Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York declared the action by Trump’s Justice Department a clear new sign of the president’s “blanket defiance” of Congress’ constitutional rights to conduct oversight.

      Nadler said after the contempt vote, “We did not relish doing this, but we have no choice.”

    • Donald Trump Is a Dangerous Human Version of 1980s Muzak

      was in Walgreens the other day in search of Band-Aids with cartoons on them, because my daughter is a self-described “boo-boo catastrophe” who insists I only purchase bandages festooned with beloved children’s movie characters. As my fingers did the walking through various Disney-themed wound care products, I sensed a great disturbance in the Force. The source of my distress? The low moan of ‘80s-era Muzak oozing from the overhead speakers.

      My loathing for the 1980s is almost seamless, a perfection of hatred salvaged only by the existence in that time of people like Henry Rollins and Bob Mould. There was plenty of good music to be found during that pestiferous decade if you had a pick-axe and some spare time. The bad music, being mostly pop music not created by Prince, was omnipresent and on permanent repeat. If a pop song hit big and you were foolish enough to have a radio on, you might hear it three times within a single hour. Compound that over many years and it became personally damaging, like an arterial bleed in your soul. There are many people who enjoy ‘80s music today. Many of them, I strongly suspect, didn’t experience it in real time.

      The Muzak “song” I heard that day in Walgreens? “These Dreams,” by Heart. I recognized it from the first tinny note because I heard it approximately 833,912,007 times after it came out, and it came out when the ‘80s were already half over. All sorts of Seattle people are going to send me indignant emails after reading this, because Seattle people are unusually defensive about hometown bands like Heart, so let me just say that Heart is awesome, Seattle is awesome, but “These Dreams” was a terrible thing that should have never happened. You know this. Cope with the pain like I do.

    • A Constitutional Crisis? House Panel Holds AG Barr in Contempt as Trump Claims Executive Privilege

      The House Judiciary Committee has voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress over his refusal to turn over the unredacted Mueller report and the underlying evidence to lawmakers. Meanwhile, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff has issued a subpoena to the Justice Department for the unredacted report. This all came after the White House invoked executive privilege to prevent the full report’s release to Congress and to bar former White House counsel Don McGahn from providing documents to Congress related to the Mueller probe. We speak with Ian Millhiser, a columnist for ThinkProgress whose recent piece is headlined “Trump’s claim that the Mueller report is protected by executive privilege is hot garbage.”

    • Bolsonaro Is a Threat to Brazil’s Democracy

      Lying is on the rise in Brazil.

      Right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro bets on historical forgeries and frauds to discredit the fundamental values ​​of our civilization — such as human rights, freedom, and the rule of law — and thus strengthen his ideology of intolerance. Democracy is at stake, though some still try to deny it. Through his absurd fabrications, the president works to broaden his supporters’ fanaticism and pave his way toward open authoritarianism.

      Two recent examples show how Bolsonaro works.

      The first came during his visit to Israel. On April 2, after visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center in Jerusalem, he stated that Nazism was a leftist movement. Other members of his government agreed with him. The foreign affairs minister, Ernesto Araújo, had already said and written the same absurdity more than once.

      No serious historian would accept the thesis of a “leftist Nazism,” of course, but Bolsonaro and Araujo don’t care about serious historians. They want to convince Brazilians that Hitler’s great crime was leading a leftist movement. His other mistakes were minor in comparison. Even the holocaust, as Bolsonaro declared on April 11, can be “forgiven.” What should never be forgiven — he did not say, but he strongly suggests — is being a left-wing partisan.

      The second example of lies from Brazil’s head of government is equally serious. At the end of March, Bolsonaro and his spokesman repeatedly stated that the military takeover in Brazil in 1964 was not a coup, and that the regime implemented that year, which remained in power until 1985, was not a dictatorship. The whole world knows that it was indeed a dictatorship. Nevertheless, Bolsonaro ordered a military celebration on March 31 to remember with “due commemorations” the 55th anniversary of the coup.

      At least once a week the government issues an absurd statement against known facts and history. These are not mere gross provocations. Whoever witnesses the performance of current Brazilian government may have the impression that everything is chaotic. But there is a frightening consistency in the lies the president has uttered. They are the essential nucleus of his power — they synthesize his intention to demoralize the culture of peace, the spirit of solidarity, and the institutional stability of a democracy.

    • Why Democrats Should Open an Impeachment Inquiry

      House Democrats are plainly scared of impeachment. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi told The New York Times last weekend that she worried Democrats would get bogged down in an impeachment proceeding, and the only way to get President Trump out was to nominate a bland moderate in 2020.

      She slightly changed her tune Wednesday, saying that Trump keeps “making the case” for impeachment” and that “he’s becoming self-impeachable.” It’s unclear what “self-impeachment” could entail, but as yet Democrats have not taken any concrete steps on the matter.

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • CBS Happily Engages In Censorship To Placate China

      CBS isn’t exactly known for making coherent decisions. You’ll probably recall the company sued Dish Network for simply developing DVR ad-skipping technology consumers asked for. It then went so far as to ban its subsidiary CNET from giving Dish an innovation award for the technology at CES. There was also that time the company sued the public domain for simply existing, or those numerous times it obnoxiously hassled Star Trek fans for their fan service.

      But this week the company did something exceptionally idiotic, even for CBS. Over at the company’s CBS All Access streaming video service, some of the company’s TV shows have taken some additional liberties traditionally restricted on broadcast television. Characters on its “Star Trek: Discovery” spin off, for example, now occasionally say “fuck.” And its show “The Good Fight,” a spin off of its broadcast show “The Good Wife,” occasionally takes some more pointed stances politically than its more ambiguously scripted predecessor.

    • Mainstream Charities Bankroll Islamophobic Hate Groups, New Report Shows

      More than a thousand nonprofit foundations poured $125 million into 39 anti-Muslim organizations from 2014-16, according to a May 6 report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The donors included mainstream charitable organizations linked to companies such as Fidelity Investments and Charles Schwab.

      The authors of the report, Dr. Abbas Barzegar, national research and advocacy director, and Zainab Arain, national research and advocacy manager, used federal tax filings to compile a database of the funders of the “Islamophobia Network”—groups that CAIR considers Islamophobic. CAIR describes the network as “a close-knit family of organizations and individuals that share an ideology of extreme anti-Muslim animus, and work with one another to negatively influence public opinion and government policy about Muslims and Islam.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Years Ago, I Investigated Mississippi’s Prisons. Here’s Why I’m Doing It Again.

      It was an inmate on his cellphone. He was inside a Mississippi prison, and he had something to tell me.

      I waited for the words that I thought would come next. Perhaps he would share the details of the conviction that led to his time there. Or insist he had been railroaded. Or mistreated.

      Instead, he wanted to explain to me all the corruption that was going on inside the prison.

      I was intrigued, and my colleagues and I at the Clarion Ledger began a 13-month investigation into Mississippi prisons.

      In the days that followed, he continued to call, reporting on what was happening inside the prison, sometimes giving me a play-by-play.

      “We’re supposed to be on lockdown, and there are guys [fellow inmates] walking around with samurai swords — 3- or 4-foot swords,” he told me. “We’re living in a Martin Scorsese movie.”

      He and other inmates sent me pictures of the weapons and other scenes from inside prison. Some showed walls that inmates had ripped out to remove reinforcing steel.

      “Why would they do that?” I asked.

    • Trump Hailed This State’s Prison Reforms as a National Model — but the Numbers Reflect a Grim Reality

      Trump talked about the “fantastic job” that Mississippi Corrections Commissioner Pelicia Hall was doing of turning the state’s prisons into places that train inmates for jobs.

      The following month, Trump signed the First Step Act, whose goal is to reduce the federal prison population and better prepare offenders for life outside bars.

    • Arrested Pussy Riot member Veronika Nikulshina accused of drug use post facto as six of her friends are also arrested

      An administrative protocol has been filed against Pussy Riot member Veronika Nikulshina that accuses the actress and activist of using narcotics or refusing to undergo a medical inspection, Mediazona reported. A court may consider the accusations as soon as May 10. Nikulshina was arrested on May 8 without a warrant or a protocol; at the time, the police reportedly attempted to explain their actions by saying that “a group of young people have damaged a piece of government property.”

      Shortly before the protocol was filed, Nikulshina’s friend Alexandra Albova and her boyfriend were also arrested, journalist and fellow Pussy Riot member Pyotr Verzilov wrote on Twitter.

    • The Militarization of Empathy

      ABC News carried an “America Strong”-type segment of a boy, about to celebrate his 9thbirthday, opening a large gift, with his mother, out of sight of the camera, asking him, “Who sent you this special package?” Referring to his deployed soldier- father, he replies, “The best daddy in the whole wide world.” He opens the big package, and finds a smaller package inside – and a note. He stares at the note, then exclaims, “He actually wrote this!” He begins to read his father’s message: “I am so sorry but there have been quite a few problems happening here, and it looks like I will not be able to be home for your birthday this year.” The boy starts to choke up, and slowly and sadly continues to read his father’s note: “I am so sorry. I hope you understand. I would have done anything to be with you. I was able to get you a special surprise. So I hope it makes up for me not coming home. I love you with all my heart. I miss you very much. Daddy.” Then he holds the letter to his face and burst into tears. (“Deployed dad surprises son on his birthday,”ABC News, May 6, 2018)

      The boy’s mother encourages him to open the smaller box – as if what he had read had not affected her. He reacts angrily, “You were about to cry, too!” But he takes her advice, and opens the small package. Inside was a note that read, “Surprise.” He looks around, bewildered. He then looks up and sees his father, who suddenly appears from a hallway, He throws aside the big box, runs across the room and flies into his father’s arms, crying, “Daddy! Daddy! I miss you! I miss you!” (Ibid) It was enough to melt one’s heart, and lead one to not think about what “daddy” might have been doing overseas.

      The militarizing of empathy is repeatedly employed by mainstream media in their airing of heartstring-pulling stories of soldiers’ surprise homecomings. There are the soldiers dressed in disguises: like the father, after a year in Afghanistan, arriving home in a fire truck, decked out in firefighting gear and gas mask. Kneeling before his two daughters, he took off his gas mask, and the surprised daughters cried out, “Daddy!,” and hugged him, “with tears of joy,” much to the delight of a gathered crowd.

      Another is a blindfolded son in a martial arts class, sparring with his instructor. Then his father, dressed in fatigues, replaces the instructor, and as they spar — with an American flag in the background — the father says with a smile, “Keep it going.” The son spars more slowly, and his father comments, “Come on! Is that all you got?.” Knowing that voice, the son quickly pulls off the blindfold and sees his father right in front of him. He says, “Daddy!,” and leaps into his father’s arms, as the class bursts into applause.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • New USPTO Procedures For More PTA Under Supernus

      The USPTO has announced new procedures patent holders can follow to obtain additional Patent Term Adjustment (PTA) under the Federal Circuit’s January 2019 decision in Supernus Pharm., Inc. v. Iancu. According to the May 9, 2019, Federal Register Notice, patent owners can request reconsideration of PTA awards that are based on a deduction for “applicant delay” during a period of time when “there was no identifiable effort” the patentee could have taken to avoid the delay. The USPTO is not providing a new window for requesting reconsideration of PTA on this basis, but a request for reconsideration still could be filed for patents granted within the past seven months.

      [...]

      As noted above, the USPTO is not providing a new window for requesting reconsideration of PTA under Supernus, but notes in the Notice that a request for reconsideration of PTA can be filed “as late as seven months after the date the patent was granted” by paying the maximum (five month) extension of time fees.

    • Federal Circuit: “The Doctrine of Equivalents Applies ONLY in Exceptional Cases”

      Amgen sued Sandoz for infringing its U.S. Patents 6,162,427 and 8,940,878. Both patents relate to Amgen’s biologic products (filgrastim and pefilgrastim) used as treatments for neutropenia. The lawsuit here is unique because it was filed under Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act (“BPCIA”). As an add-on to Hatch-Waxman, the BPCIA defines submission of an FDA biosimilar application (aBLA) as a form of patent infringement. See 35 U.S.C. § 271(e)(2)(C) (defining submission of an aBLA as an act of patent infringement).

      The ‘472 patent claims a “method of treating a disease” by giving a patient Filgrastim/Pegfilgrastim prior to chemotherapy in order to stimulate stem-cell growth. After treatment with Filgrastim, the claims require “administering to the patient a disease treating-effective amount of at least one chemotherapeutic agent.” The idea here appears to be that the Filgrastim will stimulate stem-cell growth so that stem cells will survive harsh cancer treatment.

      [...]

      In its claim construction, the district court held that the claims required separate steps of “applying a refold solution”; washing the solution; and eulting the protein. That construction eliminated infringement since Sandoz process only requires one step — applying the refold solution without washing or eluting. On appeal, the Federal Circuit argued that Sandoz’ approach is effectively the same — and that its claims should be read as functional requirements rather than actual process steps.

      The Federal Circuit sided with the accused infringer — holding that each step in the method is a separate process step that must be done in a particular order. Most notably, the court noted (1) the fact that the patentee had sequentially listed its steps a-g; and (2) the washing and eluting steps are “consistently described in the specification as separate steps performed by different solutions.”

    • Forrester Consulting releases report on Incopro’s Talisman

      Incopro’s Talisman is a software platform which assists companies with the detection and elimination of counterfeits. Forrester Consulting has carried out a Total Economic Impact study to assess the return on investment (ROI) for businesses that use Incopro’s Talisman.

      Forrester interviewed four customers with experience of Incopro’s Talisman platform in order to gain knowledge of the advantages of investing in the system. The consulting company used the data to create a composite organisation with a three-year financial model.

    • Prior art found for Landmark Technology patent!

      Unified is pleased to announce the PATROLL crowdsourcing contest winner, Sachin Srivastava, who received a cash prize of $2,500 for his prior art submission for U.S. Patent 6,289,319, owned by Landmark Technology, LLC, an NPE. The ’319 patent, directed to an automatic business and financial transaction processing system, has been asserted against dozens of companies in over 60 district court cases. To help the industry fight bad patents, we have published the winning prior art below.

    • Trademarks

      • Who needs Proof of Actual Confusion? Not a TM Plaintiff

        The case caption suggests the cause of action – trademark infringement. Segway complained to the ITC, and the ITC agreed that Swagway’s self-balancing hoverboard products infringe — although it found no infringement for Swagway’s use of SwagTron. On appeal, the Federal Circuit has affirmed.

      • USPTO Issues CBD Trademark Guidelines in Light of 2018 Farm Bill: Key Takeaways

        The new guidelines also make clear that the date the 2018 Farm Bill was signed into effect, December 20, 2018, will be the watermark for if previously-filed federal trademark applications can benefit from the 2018 Farm Bill. For applications filed on or after December 20, 2018, assuming a description of goods and services that comports with the new guidelines, everything should be compliant; but those filed before December 20, 2018 have a tougher path.

        Specifically, for those use-based applications filed before enactment of the 2018 Farm Bill, “that identify goods encompassing CBD or other cannabis products, registration will be refused due to the unlawful use or lack of bona fide intent to use in lawful commerce under the CSA.” However, the new guidelines allow applicants of such applications to amend the application to change: (1) the filing date to December 20, 2018 and, for applications based on use in commerce, (2) the filing basis to intent-to-use (as the USPTO will consider any such previously submitted use as illegal prior to the 2018 Farm Bill), to provide a proper, legal basis for registration. The USPTO will also require applicants to amend goods identifications to “specify that the CBD or cannabis products contain less than 0.3% THC” and are derived from hemp. Unfortunately for applicants of amended applications, the guidelines also require the USPTO to conduct a new search based on the amendments, including the new filing date.

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  14. Microsoft is 'Doing Kamikaze' (神風) on Linux

    An analogy for what the Linux (only in name!) Foundation and Microsoft mean to Linux — or by extension to GNU/Linux and Free software whose largest repository Microsoft took control of



  15. The 'New' Linux.com Sometimes Feels Like a Microsoft Promotion Site

    Anything that the ‘Linux’ Foundation touches seems to turn into its proprietors’ agenda; one of those proprietors is Microsoft, which has a "Jihad" against Linux



  16. IBM is a Threat to the Internet, Not Just to Software Development (Due to Software Patents Aggression)

    IBM continues its aggression against technology — a fact that’s even more distressing now that IBM calls the shots at Red Hat



  17. EPO Looney Tunes - Part 1: Is D-Day Approaching for Battistelli’s “Difficult Legacy”?

    European patent justice isn’t working within the premises of EPOnia; a bunch of ‘show trials’ may in fact turn out to be just that — a show



  18. Links 16/7/2019: LXD 3.15, Q4OS 3.8 and D9VK 0.13f

    Links for the day



  19. Links 15/7/2019: Vulkan 1.1.115 and Facebook Openwashing

    Links for the day



  20. Microsoft Office 360 Banned

    OpenDocument Format (ODF, a real standard everyone can implement) and Free/libre software should be taught in schools; it's not supposed to be just a matter of privacy



  21. Microsoft, in Its Own Words...

    Sociopathy, incompetence and intolerance of the rule of law, as demonstrated by Microsoft's top managers



  22. Microsoft's WSL is Designed to Weaken GNU/Linux (on the Desktop/Laptop) and Strengthen Vista 10

    What Microsoft does to GNU/Linux on the desktop (and/or laptop) bears much resemblance to what Microsoft did to Java a couple of decades ago



  23. Links 14/7/2019: Linux 5.2.1, Unreal Engine 4.23 Preview, Linux Mint 19.2 Beta

    Links for the day



  24. 25,500 Blog Posts and Pages

    With our thirteenth anniversary just a few months away we're at a pace of about 2,000 posts per year



  25. With WSL Microsoft is Doing to GNU/Linux What It Did to Netscape

    Embrace, extend, extinguish. Some things never really change even if they become an old and repetitive accusation.



  26. Allowing Bad Guests to Become the Hosts

    Why the so-called 'Linux Foundation', a nonprofit that acts more like a PAC controlled by proprietary software companies and people who don't even use Linux, is increasingly becoming a Linux-hostile front group



  27. Honesty and Collaboration Make Free Software Stronger, Microsoft is Inherently a Misfit

    In spite of all the lies Microsoft and its Web sites spew out on a daily basis, nothing has really changed and Microsoft is still attacking Software Freedom (mostly from the inside nowadays, helped by FUD proxies such as WhiteSource and Snyk)



  28. Patent Certainty Waning, But That's Still OK for Patent Trolls

    Patent maximalism remains a threat to everyone but patent lawyers (and patent office chiefs who measure their own performance only by the number of patents granted); best served are the patent trolls who extrajudicially attack already-impoverished parties behind closed doors



  29. GitHub is Microsoft's Proprietary Software and Centralised (Monopoly) Platform, But When Canonical's Account There Gets Compromised Suddenly It's Ubuntu's Fault?

    Typical media distortions and signs that Microsoft already uses GitHub for censorship of Free/Open Source software that does not fit Microsoft's interests



  30. Canonical is Turning Ubuntu Into a More Proprietary Deviant of GNU/Linux

    Ubuntu is becoming more 'Ubinary'; binaries without their source code available are packed up and cooked up for (or baked into) the ISO; this may be good for widespread adoption, but it's not an advancement of freedom, a capitulation rather


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