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06.13.19

Links 13/6/2019: CERN Dumps Microsoft, GIMP 2.10.12 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 2:58 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

GNOME bluefish

Contents

GNU/Linux

  • Desktop

    • CERN Ditches Microsoft to ‘Take Back Control’ with Open Source Software

      The European Organisation for Nuclear Research, better known as CERN, and also known as home of the Large Hadron Collider, has announced plans to migrate away from Microsoft products and on to open-source solutions where possible.

      Why? Increases in Microsoft license fees.

      Microsoft recently revoked the organisations status as an academic institution, instead pricing access to its services on users. This bumps the cost of various software licenses 10x, which is just too much for CERN’s budget.

    • CERN Is Working To Move Further Away From Microsoft Due To License Costs Going Up By 10x

      CERN, The European Organization for Nuclear Research that is home to the Large Hadron Collider and a lot of other experiments, is experimenting with moving further away from Microsoft products. Due to Microsoft license fee increases affecting their work in the research laboratory and its budget, they established the Microsoft Alternatives “MAlt” project.

      CERN had already long been involved with developing Scientific Linux (now shifting to CentOS) but they have still been reliant upon Microsoft products in other areas, on some Windows systems as well as using the likes of Skype for Business.

    • Lenovo ThinkPad P53: Core i9, 128 GB RAM, Quadro RTX 5000, OLED

      Windows 10 Pro for Workstation
      Windows 10 Pro
      Windows 10 Home
      Ubuntu Linux (pre-load)
      Red Hat Linux (certified)

    • The Speculative Execution Impact For A 4-Core POWER9 Blackbird Desktop

      Last year we looked at the Spectre mitigation cost on POWER9 using the high-end Talos II server while now several kernel releases later and also having the desktop Blackbird system in our lab, here is a look at how the Spectre/Meltdown mitigation impact is for an IBM POWER9 4-core processor running Ubuntu 19.04.

  • Server

    • Using Kubernetes Operators to Manage Let’s Encrypt SSL/TLS Certificates for Red Hat OpenShift Dedicated
    • No Downtime Upgrade for Red Hat Data Grid on Openshift

      In a blog post I wrote on the Red Hat Developer’s Blog, I wrote about multiple layers of security available while deploying Red Hat Data Grid on Red Hat Openshift. Another challenging problem I see for customer is performing a no downtime upgrade for Red Hat Data Grid images (published on Red Hat Container Catalog). That’s what we’re going to tackle in this post.

      If you’re new to it, Red Hat Data Grid is an in-memory, distributed, NoSQL datastore solution. With it, your applications can access, process, and analyze data at in-memory speed designed to deliver a superior user experience compared to traditional data stores like relational databases. In-memory Data Grids have a variety of use cases in today’s environments, such as fast data access for low-latency apps, storing objects (NoSQL) in a datastore, achieving linear scalability with data distribution/partitioning, and data high-availability across geographies.

    • World domination with cgroups in RHEL 8: welcome cgroups v2!

      One of the great things about open source development is that features can be designed and implemented organically and grow and change as needed. However, a drawback is that this methodology can sometimes lead to a hot mess and uncomfortable technical debt.

      In the case of cgroups v1, as the maintainer Tejun Heo admits, “design followed implementation,” “different decisions were taken for different controllers,” and “sometimes too much flexibility causes a hindrance.”

      In short, not all of the controllers behave in the same manner and it is also completely possible to get yourself into very strange situations if you don’t carefully engineer your group hierarchy. Therefore, cgroups v2 was developed to simplify and standardize some of this.

      Let’s take a look at how the two versions are different. I’m going to show two different diagrams – controllers are in yellow blocks and cgroup directories have a grey background.

    • Cloud Strategies in Frankfurt
    • Are We Ready to Ditch the Data Center? [Ed: Perpetuating the myth that when you outsource all business functions to the Pentagon through its partners the servers just vanish and cease to exist]

      Over the past few decades, organizations have come to rely on their own data centers to run business applications, network their users together and for data storage. Initially, these data centers were largely hardware-centric.In the early days, a mainframe and terminals were the order of the day, before we moved onto the RISC/UNIX era, followed more recently by the server sprawl period of commodity X86 servers.
      But now, the whole concept of an organization-owned data center is going through a radical change. It started with virtualization, which separated the direct relationship between application software and the underlying hardware infrastructure. This helped improve server utilization, efficiency, and provisioning speed. The next step towards an even greater level of abstraction is the move to a software-defined infrastructure (SDI), including compute, storage and networking.

    • Making Kubernetes Work Like Linux: Weaveworks COO

      He gave the example of Linux. Everyone understands how to deploy, monitor, manage and look after Linux distributions. But in the Kubernetes world, nothing is standardized. People do things with their own hand-built tools. Everyone’s building their own house in their own way. “What we are trying to do is provide a standardized workflow for how to deploy, configure, monitor, update and look after Kubernetes. What we are doing is providing a standard set of workflows to work with any Kubernetes and any sets of applications,” he said.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Contention Reduction | BSD Now 302

      DragonFlyBSD’s kernel optimizations pay off, differences between OpenBSD and Linux, NetBSD 2019 Google Summer of Code project list, Reducing that contention, fnaify 1.3 released, vmctl(8): CLI syntax changes, and things that Linux distributions should not do when packaging.

    • The Linux Link Tech Show Episode 813
    • FLOSS Weekly 533: faastRuby

      faastRuby allows you to build serverless applications using functions to deploy to any cloud and scale without cold starts. You can use both Ruby and Crystal in the same appl and schedule periodic runs in plain English and Cron syntax. It allows for real-time cloud syn from your favorite code editor as well.

  • Kernel Space

    • The Linux Kernel Starts Prepping For Intel Ice Lake NNPI Support

      Back during CES, Intel announced the Nervana Neural Network Processor for Inference (NNPI) to be powered by 10nm Ice Lake cores. Now ahead of the Linux 5.3 kernel cycle we’re seeing the very first signs of the Ice Lake NNPI upbringing for the kernel.

    • A ring buffer for epoll

      The set of system calls known collectively as epoll was designed to make polling for I/O events more scalable. To that end, it minimizes the amount of setup that must be done for each system call and returns multiple events so that the number of calls can also be minimized. But that turns out to still not be scalable enough for some users. The response to this problem, in the form of this patch series from Roman Penyaev, takes a familiar form: add yet another ring-buffer interface to the kernel.
      The poll() and select() system calls can be used to wait until at least one of a set of file descriptors is ready for I/O. Each call, though, requires the kernel to set up an internal data structure so that it can be notified when any given descriptor changes state. Epoll gets around this by separating the setup and waiting phases, and keeping the internal data structure around for as long as it is needed.

    • Yet another try for fs-verity

      The fs‑verity mechanism has its origins in the Android project; its purpose is to make individual files read-only and enable the kernel to detect any modifications that might have been made, even if those changes happen offline. Previous fs‑verity implementations have run into criticism in the development community, and none have been merged. A new version of the patch set was posted on May 23; it features a changed user-space API and may have a better chance of getting into the mainline.
      Fs‑verity works by associating a set of hashes with a file; the hash values can be used to check that the contents of the file have not been changed. In current implementations, the hashes are stored in a Merkle tree, which allows for quick verification when the file is accessed. The tree itself is hashed and signed, so modifications to the hash values can also be detected (and access to the file blocked). The intended use case is to protect critical Android packages even when an attacker is able to make changes to the local storage device.

      Previous versions of the fs‑verity patches ran aground over objections to how the API worked. To protect a file, user space would need to generate and sign a Merkle tree, then append that tree to the file itself, aligned to the beginning of a filesystem block. After an ioctl() call, the kernel would hide the tree, making the file appear to be shorter than it really was, while using the tree to verify the file’s contents. This mechanism was seen as being incompatible with how some filesystems manage space at the end of files; developers also complained that it exposed too much about how fs‑verity was implemented internally. In the end, an attempt to merge this code for 5.0 was not acted upon, and fs‑verity remained outside of the mainline.

    • How many kernel test frameworks?

      The kernel self-test framework (kselftest) has been a part of the kernel for some time now; a relatively recent proposal for a kernel unit-testing framework, called KUnit, has left some wondering why both exist. In a lengthy discussion thread about KUnit, the justification for adding another testing framework to the kernel was debated. While there are different use cases for kselftest and KUnit, there was concern about fragmenting the kernel-testing landscape.

      In early May, Brendan Higgins posted v2 of the KUnit patch set with an eye toward getting it into Linux 5.2. That was deemed a bit of an overaggressive schedule by Greg Kroah-Hartman and Shuah Khan given that the merge window would be opening a week later or so. But Khan did agree that the patches could come in via her kselftest tree. There were some technical objections to some of the patches, which is no surprise, but overall the patches were met with approval—and some Reviewed-by tags.

      There were some sticking points, however. Several, including Kroah-Hartman and Logan Gunthorpe complained about the reliance on user-mode Linux (UML) to run the tests. Higgins said that he had “mostly fixed that”. The KUnit tests will now run on any architecture, though the Python wrapper scripts are still expecting to run the tests in UML. He said that he should probably document that, which is something that he has subsequently done.

    • Continuous integration testing for the Linux kernel

      With 14,000 changesets per release from over 1,700 different developers, it’s clear that the Linux kernel moves quickly, and brings plenty of complexity. Kernel bugs range from small annoyances to larger problems, such as system crashes and data loss.

      As the call for continuous integration (CI) grows for more and more projects, the Continuous Kernel Integration (CKI) team forges ahead with a single mission: prevent bugs from being merged into the kernel.

    • Linux Foundation

      • SIGnals from KubeCon

        The basic organizational construct within the Kubernetes project is a set of Special Interest Groups (SIGs), each of which represents a different area of responsibility within the project. Introductions to what the various SIGs do, as well as more detailed sessions, were a core part of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2019, as the different groups explained what they’re doing now and their plans for the future. Two sessions, in particular, covered the work of the Release and Architecture SIGs, both of which have a key role in driving the project forward.

      • Introducing Tungsten Fabric 5.1: Security, Feature, and Performance Enhancements for Network Operators & Developers

        The Tungsten Fabric (TF) community is excited and proud to announce our latest release, 5.1. The TF community has been hard at work on both community and technical challenges to ensure a rich and vibrant community to solve the toughest networking challenges regardless of public cloud, orchestrator, or workload. The 5.1 release reflects that effort. It is an excellent time to take a look at Tungsten Fabric as a developer or an operator for your networking needs in this multi-cloud world. Here is a quick summary of the TF 5.1 release highlights.

    • Graphics Stack

      • Mesa 19.2 Picks Up The Radeon R300~R500 Series On-Disk OpenGL Shader Cache

        Last week an on-disk GLSL shader cache was proposed for the vintage “R300g” open-source Gallium3D driver for this OpenGL code supporting through the Radeon X1000 (R500) series. That shader cache support has now been merged into Mesa 19.2.

      • SDL2 Adds Wayland HiDPI Support

        The ever important Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL) can now handle HiDPI window scaling under Wayland.

        Thanks to developer Sebastian Krzyszkowiak, HiDPI support is now in place for SDL2 on Wayland. This code supports drawing the window based upon a scaling factor.

  • Applications

    • BitTorrent Client Deluge 2.0 Released: Here’s What’s New

      You probably already know that Deluge is one of the best Torrent clients available for Linux users. However, the last stable release was almost two years back.

      Even though it was in active development, a major stable release wasn’t there – until recently. The latest version while we write this happens to be 2.0.2. So, if you haven’t downloaded the latest stable version – do try it out.

      In either case, if you’re curious, let us talk about what’s new.

    • Deluge BitTorrent Client Gets Its First Update in 2 Years

      The Deluge BitTorrent client has made its first stable release in over two years.

      Deluge 2.0 sees the app ported to Python 3 and GTK3, pick up a new app logo, and finally offer support for sequential downloads — long time coming, that one.

      Read on for more detail on this versatile BitTorrent client, the changes on offer in the latest release, and how to install Deluge 2.0 on your own Ubuntu desktop.

    • Deluge 2.0 Released! How to Install in Ubuntu 18.04, 19.04

      Deluge bittorrent client 2.0 was released a few days ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 18.10, Ubuntu 19.04.

    • Deluge 2.0 release notes

      Welcome to the latest release of Deluge, a long time in the making!

    • ledger2beancount 1.8 released

      I released version 1.8 of ledger2beancount, a ledger to beancount converter.

      I ran ledger2beancount over the ledger test suite and made it much more robust. If ledger2beancount 1.8 can’t parse your ledger file properly, I’d like to know about it.

    • 15 Best Open Source Solutions for Your E-commerce Business

      One of the many advantages the Internet age has given us is the ability to launch and manage businesses online using a virtually unending list of resources that are free, paid, open source, and proprietary.

      [...]

      PrestaShop is a freemium e-commerce solution that enables users to launch and manage their online business with several tools that enable them to attract visitors, customize their store, conveniently manage products, sell globally, see traffic analytics, etc.

    • GStreamer Conference 2019 announced to take place in Lyon, France

      The GStreamer project is happy to announce that this year’s GStreamer Conference will take place on Thursday-Friday 31 October – 1 November 2019 in Lyon, France.

      You can find more details about the conference on the GStreamer Conference 2019 web site.

      A call for papers will be sent out in due course. Registration will open at a later time. We will announce those and any further updates on the gstreamer-announce mailing list, the website, and on Twitter.

      Talk slots will be available in varying durations from 20 minutes up to 45 minutes. Whatever you’re doing or planning to do with GStreamer, we’d like to hear from you!

    • This app puts your phone on your desktop, Windows, macOS, Linux included

      The app called scrcpy was released in version 1.9 this week with features that make it the most advanced (yet simple) Android phone mirroring app in the world. This app allows the mirroring of any Android smartphone* using USB (or TCP/IP, wirelessly) and requires no rooting or specialized knowledge. This app works on GNU/Linux, Windows, and macOS, and it’s free to download and use.

    • scrcpy 1.9 Released (View And Control Your Android From A Linux, Windows Or macOS Desktop)

      scrcpy, an application to display and control your Android device from a desktop, be it Linux, Windows or macOS, was updated to version 1.9. The new release includes bidirectional copy-paste, new option to turn the Android screen off while mirroring, and more.

      scrcpy is a free and open source tool to display and control Android devices via USB or wirelessly. It focuses on lightness, performance and quality, offering high resolution, high FPS, and low latency. You can read more about it on this article.

      scrcpy 1.9 includes a new option to have the phone screen off, only showing the screen on the computer (while mirroring). Focus the scrcpy window and press Ctrl + o to turn the device screen off while mirroring, and POWER or Ctrl + p to turn it back on. You can also run scrcpy with -S / –turn-screen-off to turn the device screen off on start.

    • GIMP 2.10.12 Released With Some Useful Improvements

      While looking forward to the long-awaited GIMP 3.0 milestone, in the meantime GIMP 2.10 point releases have tended to be fairly notable and today’s GIMP 2.10.12 update is another useful update.

      GIMP 2.10.12 not only fixes “some annoying bugs” but also offers up improvements to the Curves tool, layers support for TIFF exporting, faster painting, improved symmetry painting, an incremental mode for the dodge/burn tool, a new offset tool, and other enhancements.

    • GIMP 2.10.12 Released

      Though it gets less visibility, work on upcoming GIMP 3 continues and is going well. We will give more news soon enough.

    • The Best Alternatives to Photoshop

      Gimp may be as old as time – and a free download for the whole of that duration – but do get off your high horse for it’s not an app to sniff at.

      Available not just for OS and Windows but also GNU/Linux, Gimp (or GIMP to use its official name) gives you all the basic features of Photoshop including a few brushes.

      Less of a designer’s choice and more for an artist or studio creative dabbling in quick photo correction, Gimp continues to be updated and its website remains simple to use without looking old-fashion, packed with tutorials and even a Wiki to help guide you.

    • LMMS – Free Music Creation Tool Lands A Major Release

      LMMS is available for Linux, Windows and MacOS.

      LMMS is available as standalone executable with all dependencies as AppImage which can run on Ubuntu, Linux Mint and other distributions. You can download the 64-bit AppImage using below link.

    • Proprietary

      • Announcing Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager

        Oracle is pleased to announce the general availability of Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager. This new server virtualization management platform can be easily deployed to configure, monitor, and manage an Oracle Linux Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) environment with enterprise-grade performance and support from Oracle.

      • KVM/oVirt-Powered Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager Reaches GA

        While Oracle backs the VM VirtualBox virtualization software, they increasingly are offering new solutions around KVM virtualization. Hitting general availability (GA) status this week is the Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager.

      • Mathpix’s Snip Coverts Screenshots to LaTeX Formulas

        Mathpix writes: “Take a screenshot of math and paste the LaTeX into your editor, all with a single keyboard shortcut.” For macOS, Windows and Ubuntu.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Atari VCS goes on $250 pre-order with Linux running on Ryzen R1000

        Atari has opened $250 pre-orders for its Atari VCS retro game console, which will run Linux on the new AMD Ryzen R1000 SoC. Indiegogo backers are set for a December release while new orders will be fulfilled in Mar. 2020.

        At E3 Expo this week in Los Angeles, Atari announced that public pre-orders will launch this week for its Atari VCS game console, with shipments due in March 2020. The long delayed, Linux-powered product will ship to some 12,000 Indiegogo contributors at the end of December, up from the revised July 2019 ship date.

      • Atari VCS Linux-Powered Gaming Console Is Now Available For Pre-Order for $249

        After last year’s successful Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, Atari announced that its long-anticipated Atari VCS retro gaming console is now finally available for online pre-orders at various online retail and Atari’s official web store.
        Atari issued a press release on Tuesday to announce that after many trials and tribulations it finally has a release date for the official launch of its Atari VCS retro gaming console, along with a release date for those who backed the project during its early days, as well as information about the first key retail partnerships that will have the console ready for pre-order starting today.

        “Atari made a commitment to its fans to make the new VCS the best and most versatile game and home entertainment platform it can be, with a wide array of options.” said Frédéric Chesnais, Atari CEO. “After so many months of working on defining and refining the products, and after the strong initial support of our thousands of original Indiegogo backers, we are excited to finally and officially announce our product launch configurations.”

      • Hyperspace Delivery Service has officially released with Linux support

        Hyperspace Delivery Service, a very sweet looking pixel-art space trading and adventure game has officially released and comes with full Linux support.

        From what I understand about it, it offers up what can basically be classed as multiple mini-games combined together. These include a really retro first-person shooter, space battles, simple puzzles and more. All that on top of basic trading, exploration, resources management and the list goes on.

      • Kingdoms and Castles continues becoming more like a traditional RTS with the Warfare Update

        Originally funded on Fig, Kingdoms and Castles released back in 2017 and while good it was lacking in many areas, since release it has continued to get bigger and the Warfare Update is a good one.

        The Warfare Update, released yesterday, continues laying-out the foundation for the even bigger update coming that will feature rival AI kingdoms. That one I am especially excited for!

        First, the entire military system went through a huge overhaul. It makes it look and fell mechanically more like an RTS, along with click and drag to select multiple units. Units can now walk along walls and towers (which is awesome), units can be queued up for production much like other RTS games, military units like their wages so you need to make sure you have enough to keep paying them.

      • Underworld Ascendant for Linux to hopefully be at the end of June

        OtherSide Entertainment have given out another update on Underworld Ascendant with a big update due soon.

        They’ve been working on Update 4, the contents of which aren’t entirely clear. From what I’ve been able to gather from various updates they’ve been working to add in new characters, additional areas, new quests, possible UI improvements and a better start for new players (lots said it was confusing).

  • Desktop Environments/WMs

    • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

      • KDE Plasma 5.16 Brings Glossy Improvements

        KDE announced the release of its desktop environment, Plasma 5.16. This major release brings some important changes in user interface, widgets, notifications and many areas. KDE Plasma was in development for past few months and as a result of that we have the glossy and shiny Plasma 5.16 desktop environment.

        “For this release, KDE developers have worked hard to polish Plasma to a high gloss. The results of their efforts provide a more consistent experience and bring new features to all Plasma users. We hope you enjoy using Plasma 5.16 as much as we did making it.” – as quoted from the official announcement.

      • GSoC 2019 – Week 2 with the Titler Tool

        In the last week, I gained progress with the QML rendering library (see the code here)

        It is doing what it is supposed to do – it renders an input QML file to output frames of a specified format and renders it as quick as possible (with QQuickRenderControl). If you want to test it out – there is CLI access to it through an executable (which is one of the things I’ve been working in the last week) for the library in the test directory here (make sure you read the READMEs along the way!)

        So let’s try to understand what really happens at the core of the library i.e. the rendering part.

        To render QML, the obvious approach is to take ‘screenshots’ of each frame using a grab() method which would grab all the pixels at each instant of time and then render it – not only is this darned slow and expensive, it is also not possible to render at a custom frame rate that way.

  • Distributions

    • New Releases

    • Fedora

      • Fedora Update Week 20–22

        Oops, again a bit late, but the past two weekends were fairly busy. I decided to post this today so that it wouldn’t slip another full week. So this probably looks a bit larger than usual, but I hope I didn’t miss anything. Two weeks ago was rather busy with many updates. Not just new releases, but I also spent a little time going over old updates that I’ve missed and ignored due to missing dependencies. Some of these dependencies could be skipped, so I did in order to get the update in.

        Last week was a bit calmer with the updates. Instead, I spent the past week preparing several new Go packages that are dependencies for htmltest, an interesting tool for testing HTML files. I’m hoping these will get some reviews soon.

        Last week was also spent trying to figure out several upstream bugs. Pillow has been having issues on s390x. This turned out to be a bug in the types passed via varargs between Python and C code. Because of disagreement on argument size, this generally ends up being problematic on big-endian systems. I’m still waiting for the upstream PR to be accepted, but we’ve used the patch and been able to rebuild several other dependent packages with it now applied.

        With python-zarr, I’ve been running into failures with LMDB on 32-bit systems. This is generally annoying since it requires rebuilds whenever it got built on one of those systems. Basically, the LMDB store opens a very large file mapping and even though there’s enough RAM to do so, it fails. Thanks to some discussion on the devel mailing list I was pointed in the right direction to fix it. The tests rely on old store being garbage collected, and so a lot of old LMDB mappings are still around causing later ones to fail. I’ve opened a pull request upstream to explicitly close these stores, which reduces the overall memory requirement and fixes the tests.

      • Fedora Community Blog: Outreachy with Fedora Happiness Packets: Phase 1

        This blog post summaries what I’ve completed in Phase 1 in my Outreachy internship with Fedora Happiness Packets, things I learned and the challenges I faced

      • Katacoda scenario creation
    • Debian Family

      • The Debian project plans to release the new Debian 10 (buster) on July

        The Debian project does not have a scheduled release date.

        They will be publishing a new versions when they completes the development instead of a specific time-line.

        Debina project have said in a recent mailing list announcement that they plan to release the upcoming release of Debian 10 (buster) on 2019-07-06.

        Niels Thykier advised team/users to upload any bug fixes prior to the freeze. During this period testing will be completely frozen and only emergency bug fixes will be considered in this period.

        If the bug fix changes are not ready to testing, which will not be included in buster for the initial release.

        Those bugs can be fixed in buster via point releases.

      • Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” Operating System to Be Released on July 6th, 2019

        Work on the Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” operating system series started two years ago, since early July 2017, a couple of weeks after the release of the Debian GNU/Linux 9 “Stretch” series, which is currently the latest stable version and with nine point releases already out the door.

        Now, two years later, we finally have an official release date for Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster,” which appears to hit the streets as soon as next month. Debian Project’s Niels Thykier wrote in a recent mailing list announcement that they plan to release Debian GNU/Linux 10 “Buster” on July 6th, 2019.

      • Seeking consensus on dh

        Debian takes an almost completely “hands off” approach to the decisions that Debian developers (DDs) can make in regard to the packaging and maintenance of their packages. That leads to maximal freedom for DDs, but impacts the project in other ways, some of which may be less than entirely desirable. New Debian project leader (DPL) Sam Hartman started a conversation about potential changes to the Debian packaging requirements back in mid-May. In something of a departure from the Debian tradition of nearly endless discussion without reaching a conclusion (and, possibly, punting the decision to the technical committee or a vote in a general resolution), Hartman has instead tried to guide the discussion toward reaching some kind of rough consensus.

        The question revolves around an adjunct to the debhelper tool that is used to build many Debian packages. The additional tool is a “command sequencer” for debhelper commands; it is called dh. Debhelper has commands that get invoked from the rules file that is used to build a .deb from the source code and other files that are part of a Debian package. By default, dh steps through a sequence of debhelper commands that should suffice to build many types of packages; if some of the steps need overrides or changes, that can be handled as well. In effect, dh encapsulates the standard way to build a Debian package using debhelper.

        But not all packages use dh, so Hartman asked whether the distribution wanted to require, or at least recommend, the use of dh. In that posting to debian-devel, he noted that some have said that a package not using dh has a “package smell”, which is an indication that the maintainers should consider fixing it. His question might ultimately boil down to “whether maintainers should be expected to apply well-written patches to convert a package to using dh”.

      • Derivatives

        • Canonical/Ubuntu

          • Get to know these 5 Ubuntu community resources

            As open-source software, Ubuntu is designed to serve a community of users and innovators worldwide, ranging from enterprise IT pros to small-business users to hobbyists.

            Ubuntu users have the opportunity to share experiences and contribute to the improvement of this platform and community, and to encourage our wonderful community to continue learning, sharing and shaping Ubuntu, here are five helpful resources:

          • Ubuntu Server development summary – 11 June 2019

            The purpose of this communication is to provide a status update and highlights for any interesting subjects from the Ubuntu Server Team. If you would like to reach the server team, you can find us at the #ubuntu-server channel on Freenode. Alternatively, you can sign up and use the Ubuntu Server Team mailing list or visit the Ubuntu Server discourse hub for more discussion.

          • The Snap Store Gets Personal with New Distro-Specific Install Pages

            Ubuntu lets you install and run Snap apps out of the box, but on other Linux distros the situation is a tad more …Involved.

            Snapd, the engine that powers the Snap format, was built to run on a swathe of Linux distributions, from Manjaro to CentOS, but it remains an opt-in feature on most; users have to install Snapd themselves.

            So, in an effort to improve the experience of using Snap apps on non-Ubuntu distributions, the Snapcraft team have launched distro-specific store pages for Snap apps.

            These dedicated landing pages provide distro-relevant install instructions for both Snapd and the Snap app they frame.

          • A Modest Ham-Related Proposal

            Now, the beautiful part about the SDF Amateur Radio Club net is that it takes place via the venerable EchoLink system. The package known as qtel allows for access to the repeater-linking network from your Ubuntu desktop. Unlike normal times, the Wikipedia page about EchoLink actually provides a fairly nice write-up for the non-specialist.

            Now, there is a relatively old article on the American Radio Relay League’s website about Ubuntu. If you look at the Ubuntu Wiki, there is talk about Ubuntu Hams having their own net but the last time that page was edited was 2012. While there is talk of an IRC channel, a quick look at irclogs.ubuntu.com shows that it does not look like the log bot has been in the channel this month. E-mail to the Launchpad Team’s mailing list hosted on Launchpad itself is a bit sporadic.

  • Devices/Embedded

Free Software/Open Source

  • CAVO encouraged by—and encouraging—state and local governments’ open source elections systems.

    According to CAVO, the PAVE Act, tendered by United States’ senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Kamala Harris of California, includes provisions to address financial barriers that could be incurred by state and local governments evaluating open source options for their elections systems.

    CAVO communications director Brent Turner explained, the PAVE bill sets a variety of cybersecurity standards, and requires every voting machine used by a state or local government to undergo testing to affirm those requirements are met. In addition to the standards set forth in PAVE, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also has their own requirements. PAVE directs DHS to undertake this testing, of both the standards included in PAVE and their own, on behalf of the state or local government.

    Turner added, “Local and state governments are of course also free to set their own additional cybersecurity standards for voting machines used in their jurisdictions beyond those identified in PAVE and by DHS”. Section 2216 of the PAVE bill states that DHS will cover the costs to test any open source technology against state or local voting standards. Turner noted this is critical for the adoption of open source options as “proprietary providers of voting technology can easily foot the bill themselves to have their product tested for compliance with those state or local standards, but open source projects may not have the resources to fund the certification process, thus eliminating themselves from consideration by state and local jurisdictions.”

    “In essence, the PAVE bill makes it easier for state and local governments to use open source technology, or, at least, to make sure the cost of certification doesn’t get in the way.”

  • Events

    • Making Data Mobile In The Cloud Native World: Ori Bendori, Reduxio

      The interview was recorded at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon, Barcelona.

    • You, Me and IoT Microconference Accepted into 2019 Linux Plumbers Conference

      integral part of our daily lives, controlling such devices as on/off switches, temperature controls, door and window sensors and so much more. But the technology itself requires a lot of infrastructure and communication frameworks such as Zigbee, OpenHAB and 6LoWPAN. Open source Real-Time embedded operating systems also come into play like Zephyr. A completely open source framework implementation is Greybus that already made it into staging.

    • Join us at the Contributor Summit in Shanghai

      For the second year, we will have a Contributor Summit event the day before KubeCon China in Shanghai. If you already contribute to Kubernetes or would like to contribute, please consider attending and register. The Summit will be held June 24th, at the Shanghai Expo Center (the same location where KubeCon will take place), and will include a Current Contributor Day as well as the New Contributor Workshop and the Documentation Sprints.

    • Fedora 30 Release Party Mexico City

      On May 23, 2019, the Fedora Community in Mexico City ran an awesome Fedora 30 Release Party. This activity took place in the local Red Hat office. We really appreciate the space for our activities and particularly thanks to Alex Callejas (darkaxl017) for doing all the necessary paperwork.

      We had three main activities: An amazing talk from Rolando Cedillo (@rolman) about KVM in Fedora, a Q&A session and our networking time with piz

    • LibOCon Latinoamérica – Asunción 2019, July 19 – 20

      A quick video inviting you to the LibreOffice Latin America Conference 2019! (English subtitles are available.) It will be held at the Facultad Politécnica de Universidad Nactional de Asunción (FPUNA) in Asunción, Paraguay on July 19th (Friday) and 20th (Sat). For more information about the conference please visit the website.

  • Web Browsers

    • Mozilla

      • Mozilla Changes The Iconic Firefox Logo To Reflect Its Broader Approach

        Mozilla has replaced its iconic Firefox logo with a new logo with the aim of reflecting the fact that the Firefox brand is now much more than just a browser. In a blog post, Mozilla announced that it is parting ways with the logo after 16 years to turn over a new leaf.

        People who follow Mozilla were already anticipating a new logo as the company said last year that “fast fox with a flaming tail doesn’t offer enough design tools to represent the entire product family.”

      • 7 Reasons Why Firefox Is My Favorite Web Browser

        Here are 7 Reasons why Firefox is my favorite web browser to use. This is an opinion video and I don’t expect everyone agree with me but these are some of the reasons that I prefer to use Firefox over any other browser. There are many other reasons but I had to draw a line somewhere.

      • A Firefox browser extension promoting quality online content?

        Imagine the internet that is a place where meaningful and credible content is easily found. A place where everyone feels safe, empowered, and accurately informed.
        Is this the internet we’re having today? Unfortunately, not. Today’s internet is unsavory mix of intrusive advertising, misinformation, and toxic social media full of offensive language, harassment, and harmful content. The problems plaguing the web are magnified by the economy that benefits from engagement of the most extreme and attention-grabbing material. Instead of improving a civil, informed online discourse, the internet of today is degrading it.
        Solutions to the internet problems exist. Interestingly enough, they are owned by the large tech companies that allowed the problems grow and fester. However, the tech giants are reluctant to implement these solutions because doing so may negatively affect their bottom lines.
        Mozilla is a recognized leader in the field of online Privacy & Security. Our commitment to the open and human internet anchored in the Mozilla Manifesto is solidified by our unwavering desire to put people before profits. This commitment was on display again recently with Mozilla’s launch of Enhanced Tracking Protection that blocks third-party tracking cookies by default.

      • How to create, package and sign a Firefox web extension

        Firefox is one of the most used web browser in the world: it’s a free and open source software built by the Mozilla foundation, and it’s available for all the major operating systems. The browser has all the features that nowadays are considered standard: tabbed browsing, private navigation, a synchronization system and its functionalities can be extended using third party addons written in Javascript. In this tutorial we will see how to create, build and sign a simple web extension.

      • Socorro: May 2019 happenings

        Socorro is the crash ingestion pipeline for Mozilla’s products like Firefox. When Firefox crashes, the crash reporter collects data about the crash, generates a crash report, and submits that report to Socorro. Socorro saves the crash report, processes it, and provides an interface for aggregating, searching, and looking at crash reports.

  • LibreOffice

    • Start developing LibreOffice! Download the source code, and build on Linux

      In the previous part of this tutorial series, we showed how to register with Git and Gerrit, to prepare your setup for building LibreOffice and submitting patches.

      Today, we describe the steps you need to download and compile the LibreOffice source code on Linux. You can, of course, modify the source code you have downloaded and, if you compile it, you can make sure your changes are working well after the compilation.

      In this guide, we are using GNU/Linux distributions (typically Debian and Ubuntu-based distributions) with the apt package management frontend. Those who do not use these distributions need to run apt-get install and similar commands instead.

    • German Company Offers LibreOffice Based Enterprise Grade Alternative To Microsoft Office 365

      CIB, a German maker of powerful standard applications for document management, has chosen LibreOffice to power its enterprise suite of document management solutions.

      CIB is one of the largest contributors to LibreOffice development, with a global multilingual team with decades of hacking and consulting experience on the code base and the product.

  • BSD

    • DragonFlyBSD 5.6 RC1 Released With VM Optimizations, HAMMER2 By Default

      The first release candidate for the next major release of the DragonFlyBSD operating system is now available for testing.

      DragonFlyBSD 5.6 is shaping up to be a hack of a feature update that will be debuting soon while tagged on Tuesday night was the first release candidate while shifting the development track to DragonFlyBSD 5.7 unstable.

  • Licensing/Legal

    • macOS Catalina Switches Default Shell From Bash to Zsh. But Why? [Ed: Why? Patents. Apple is an evil company which wants software patents for leverage and the GPL stands in its way.]
    • Bethesda’s legal department drops the hammer on Doom Remake 4 mod

      “Unfortunately I had to remove all downloads due to legal issues not being sorted,” vasyan777 wrote in the most recent update. “I thought ZeniMax would approve the new build because this time it was distributed as a mod, but it seems the problem was a ‘third-party game engine’ which they said is illegal to use with Doom IP (this is very weird since Doom Remake 4 was bundled with GZDoom which is just a Doom source port forked from original Doom engine which is GPL).”

  • Programming/Development

    • Nageru email list

      The Nageru/Futatabi community is now large enough that I thought it would be a good idea to make a proper gathering place. So now, thanks to Tollef Fog Heen’s hosting, there is a nageru-discuss list. It’s expected to be low-volume, but if you’re interested, feel free to join!

    • Best Free Books to Learn about Haskell
    • RcppArmadillo 0.9.500.2.0
    • Labs update and May highlights
    • Compressed favicons are 70% smaller but 75% of them are served uncompressed
    • This Week in Rust 290
    • How to Build Command Line Interfaces in Python With argparse
    • 2019 Board of Directors Election – Voting is Open

      If you became a PSF Supporting Member*, Contributing Member, Managing Member and/or Fellow by May 31, 2019 you are eligible to vote. You should have received a ballot from Helios with details on how to cast your vote. If you cannot find the email, please search your inbox and also check your spam for the word “helios”.

    • sphinxcontrib.datatemplates 0.4.0

      sphinxcontrib.datatemplates is an extension for Sphinx to render parts of reStructuredText pages from data files in formats like JSON, YAML, XML, and CSV.

    • Fun with LEDs and CircuitPython

      Nina Zakharenko has been programming for a long time; when she was young she thought that “the idea that I could trick computers into doing what I tell them was pretty awesome”. But as she joined the workforce, her opportunities for “creative coding” faded away; she regained some of that working with open source, but tinkering with hardware is what let her creativity “truly explode”. It has taken her years to get back what she learned long ago, she said, and her keynote at PyCon 2019 was meant to show attendees the kinds of things can be built with Python—starting with something that attendees would find in their swag bag.

      As part of her shift in thinking, she realized that “software doesn’t have to be serious”; it can be used to make art, for example. But she also realized that hardware doesn’t need to be serious either, putting up a clip from a YouTube video of “The Breakfast Machine” created by “an incredible maker”, Simone Giertz. She showed pictures of some of her own projects (which can be seen in her Speaker Deck slides), such as an Arduino-based iridescent LED headdress.

    • Best 50 Python Books for Programmers with All Skill Sets

      Python has been one of my favorite programming languages ever since I started working with it. While writing this article on Python books, it reminds me of my early days with Python and searching for resources to get going with this simple but amazing programming language. Since its early days, Python has come a long way to establish its dominance in the field of data science and machine learning. For any programming task you can use Python, right from application development to debugging.Python is a powerful programming language and its contribution to the field of data science is second to none. From a simple file search computer program to the script behind self-driving cars, there is data science backed by Python. There is no surprise there is a huge demand for data science experts in today’s tech savvy world.

    • Broadcasting messages to WebSocket API clients

      Invoking individual WebSocket connections has been supported since Zato 3.0 and Zato 3.1 adds new functionality on top of it – message broadcasting – which lets one notify all the clients connected to a particular channel. Here is how to use it.

    • Building a Todo App with Flask in Python

      In this tutorial, we are going to build an API, or a web service, for a todo app. The API service will be implemented using a REST-based architecture.

Leftovers

  • Science

    • Association of changes in red meat consumption with total and cause specific mortality among US women and men: two prospective cohort studies

      14 019 deaths occurred during 1.2 million person years of follow-up. Increases in red meat consumption over eight years were associated with a higher mortality risk in the subsequent eight years among women and men (both P for trend<0.05, P for heterogeneity=0.97). An increase in total red meat consumption of at least half a serving per day was associated with a 10% higher mortality risk (pooled hazard ratio 1.10, 95% confidence interval 1.04 to 1.17). For processed and unprocessed red meat consumption, an increase of at least half a serving per day was associated with a 13% higher mortality risk (1.13, 1.04 to 1.23) and a 9% higher mortality risk (1.09, 1.02 to 1.17), respectively. A decrease in consumption of processed or unprocessed red meat of at least half a serving per day was not associated with mortality risk. The association between increased red meat consumption and mortality risk was consistent across subgroups defined by age, physical activity, dietary quality, smoking status, or alcohol consumption.

  • Health/Nutrition

    • Corporate Media Enable Industry War Against Medicare for All

      Opponents of Medicare for All have a difficult task ahead of it heading into the 2020 election: They must convince Americans that they don’t want a Medicare for All health care system that would guarantee them and their family health care security regardless of circumstances. The for-profit health industry must achieve this in spite of the cruelty and inefficiency of the current multipayer system and more than a decade of polling showing popular support for Medicare for All.

      To do this, the industry has lobbied, donated and provided talking points to members of both parties and the press, in order to shape the public debate. In today’s hearing on Medicare for All in the House Ways and Means committee we will likely hear industry talking points in spades from members of Congress and in subsequent press coverage.

      This service to the industry doesn’t come cheap. Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Democratic Rep. Richard Neal (one of the industry’s favorite Democrats), for instance, has received $2.4 million in his career from the for-profit health care industry. For the major industry powerbrokers, these expenses are a necessity if they hope to fend off the momentum of the single-payer movement.

      The for-profit health industry is aware that support for a national health system like Medicare for All has risen in recent years, along with unprecedented grassroots energy. Moreover, health care costs rank as the biggest concern among Americans. Resistance is almost entirely driven by the for-profit health industry, who work to portray the illusion of widespread opposition to — and fear of — a national health system. Corporate media outlets have helped them tremendously along the way.

      This isn’t a fair fight for progressives. The opposition to single-payer has deep pockets. The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future (PAHCF), probably the most prominent coalition of private companies and trade associations, is spending aggressively. It is made up of dozens of industry lobbies, including America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Hospital Association, and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, among other industry giants. A large part of the strategy, according to documents leaked to The Intercept, is “earned media,” or reports and articles they helped push into existence to support their agenda or repeat their talking points and statistics.

    • Are You Sure You Actually ‘Like’ Your Private Health Insurance?

      When I talk to friends, family, and colleagues about Medicare for All, sometimes someone asks, “but don’t people like their insurance?” It’s not hard to see where they got that idea. America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the leading lobbyist for the for-profit insurance industry, says 71 percent of Americans “like” their private health insurance. It’s important to scrutinize the messenger and the message here. If McDonald’s told us that 71 percent of their customers said their food was healthy and nutritious, we’d be reasonably skeptical at the very least.

      When independently surveyed, only 16 percent of Americans trust the health insurance industry to put patients before profits. The only group we trust less is Big Pharma (only 9 percent believe these corporations prioritize patients). So how do we make sense of all this? Do people really “like” health insurance plans sold by such untrusted corporations?

    • WATCH LIVE: House Ways & Means Historic Medicare for All Hearing

      While the Democratic chair of the committee, Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, has controversially framed the hearing as one focused on what he prefers to call “universal coverage,” backers of the single-payer legislation introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.)—the Medicare for All Act of 2019, which currently has 112 Democratic co-sponsors—are warning against those seeking to water down the ambitious and specific proposals found in her bill.

      “Today’s hearing on universal coverage,” said Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich), a lead co-sponsor of Jayapal’s bill, “is about fixing a broken system.”

      “Access to healthcare,” Dingell said ahead of the hearing, “is not some academic or partisan debate. It means life and death for many — Democrat and Republican alike. The time is now for a bold push on a new system that will work for everyone. That system is Medicare For All.”

    • Democratic Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal Reportedly Doesn’t Want Phrase ‘Medicare for All’ Used During Medicare for All Hearing

      Ahead of the House Ways and Means Committee’s historic Medicare for All hearing Wednesday morning, committee chairman Rep. Richard Neal—a longtime opponent of single-payer and major beneficiary of insurance industry cash—reportedly informed the panel’s Democrats behind closed doors that he doesn’t want the phrase ‘Medicare for All’ to be mentioned during the session.

      “Neal, a Massachusetts Democrat who has been in office since 1989, told the Democrats on the panel that he didn’t want the phrase ‘Medicare for All’ to be used,” The Intercept reported Tuesday. “Instead, he said, the hearing should focus on all the different ways to achieve ‘universal healthcare’ or ‘universal health coverage,’ which he said was a better term to deploy.”

    • Many breakfast cereals still contaminated by weed killer, environmental group says

      Several popular breakfast foods, including Cheerios and Nature Valley products, continue to test positive for trace amounts of a controversial herbicide that may increase the risk of cancer, according to a report released Wednesday by an environmental advocacy group.

      The Environmental Working Group, which has links to the organics industry, found that all 21 of the products it tested had levels of glyphosate that were “higher than what EWG scientists consider protective for children’s health.”
      Manufacturers maintain that their foods are safe, and the findings aren’t unprecedented: The group also found in October that most of the breakfast cereals it tested contained glyphosate, the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup.
      The new report follows two prominent legal verdicts that determined the herbicide caused cancer in plaintiffs.

    • New Testing Revealed Popular Kids Cereals Contaminated With Weedkiller Roundup

      A new analysis reveals Wednesday that over 20 popular children’s cereals and snacks are contaminated with glyphosate—the main ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup.

      The testing was commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG)—the third round of such testing it’s undertaken—and looked at popular General Mills-made products, including several Cheerios varieties and various kinds of Nature Valley granola bars.

      The findings come as glyphosate, which the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared a “probable carcinogen” in 2015, faces legal scrutiny as thousands of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma sufferers say that Bayer-Monsanto’s Roundup caused their cancer. Three courts in California have so far sided with plaintiffs and ordered the agri-chemical giant to pay billions in damages.

      “As these latest tests show, a box of Cheerios or other oat-based foods on store shelves today almost certainly comes with a dose of a cancer-causing weedkiller,” said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., vice president for science investigations at EWG.

    • New Round of Tests Find Breakfast Cereals Still Full of Roundup, Says EWG

      The latest findings come on the heels of three civil cases in California that have ordered Bayer AG, Monsanto’s parent company, to pay more than $2.2 billion in damages for cancer caused by exposure to Roundup. Thousands more lawsuits have been filed, according to CNN, which has caused investors to flee Bayer. Its share price is half of its 52-week high.

      Glyphosate’s toxicity has been at the center of controversy since 2015 when the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, classified it as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Then, in 2017, glyphosate was classified as a known carcinogen by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

      “Does General Mills really want to keep using a chemical that independent scientists say causes cancer, made by a company that three juries have found guilty of covering up its health hazards?” Naidenko said in EWG’s press release. “Or will they listen to the growing chorus of concerned consumers calling on General Mills and other companies to remove glyphosate from the cereals kids love to eat?”

      Sentiments similar to Naidenko’s that tarnish Roundup in the court of public opinion combined with the recent spate of legal action and legislation targeted at glyphosate prompted the EPA to reaffirm its stance that the herbicide poses no risk to public health, according to the Associated Press.

    • New Round of EWG Tests Finds More Children’s Cereals Tainted With Monsanto’s Cancer-Causing Weedkiller

      A toxic weedkiller linked to cancer was detected in every sample of oat-based cereals and snack products in a new round of laboratory tests commissioned by Environmental Working Group.

      All but four of the 21 products contained levels of glyphosate, the main ingredient in Bayer-Monsanto’s Roundup, higher that what EWG scientists consider protective for children’s health with an adequate margin of safety.

      The highest levels of the weedkiller were detected in General Mills’ Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch at 833 parts per billion, or ppb, and Cheerios, with 729 ppb. EWG’s health benchmark for children is 160 ppb. A child would only need to eat a single 60 gram serving of food with a glyphosate level of 160 ppb to reach the maximum dose considered safe by EWG.

      This is the third round of glyphosate tests by EWG, and it confirms the findings from the first two in August and October last year. Tests of 94 samples of oat-based foods found glyphosate in all but two samples, with 74 samples at levels of glyphosate above EWG’s health benchmark.

    • U.S. Annually Uses 388 Million Pounds of Potentially Fatal Pesticides Banned in the EU, China and Brazil

      When it comes to banning harmful pesticides, the U.S. lags behind the European Union (E.U.), China and Brazil, according to a study published in the journal Environmental Health. Eighty-five pesticides currently in use across the country have been banned or are in the process of being phased out in the three nations, in large part due to their harmful impact on human health or the environment.

      [...]

      “It’s appalling the U.S. lags so far behind these major agricultural powers in banning harmful pesticides,” said study author Nathan Donley, who is affiliated with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The fact that we’re still using hundreds of millions of pounds of poisons other nations have wisely rejected as too risky spotlights our dangerously lax approach to phasing out hazardous pesticides.”

      The study focused on 13 pesticides that are currently approved in the U.S. but banned in at least two of the three other leading agricultural economics, though the researchers compared the approval status of a total of more than 500 pesticides used in outdoor applications. Of the 1.2 billion pounds of pesticides used across the nation in 2016, 322 million pounds had been banned or were being phased out in the E.U., compared with 40 million pounds in China and 26 million in Brazil.

    • The Climate Crisis Is Also a Health Emergency

      Rising global temperatures are intensifying the effects of extreme weather events across the United States and around the world. Wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis, floods, and severe storms are becoming the norm, not the exception.

      Extreme weather events don’t just hurt people with blunt force—they also spread disease and other serious health impacts. For already vulnerable populations, the health risks can be deadly.

      Extreme heat can cause cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and respiratory effects, and even death. Urban heat islands amplify impacts on cities, while long hours in the heat put farm workers and other outdoor laborers at severe risk too.

      Extreme cold can cause hypothermia, cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, and (as with heat) death. Prolonged exposure due to homelessness or housing insecurity puts transient populations at extreme risk for cold exposure in particular.

  • Security

    • Security updates for Wednesday
    • Why Smart Cards Are Smart

      I hope you’ve found this discussion of the benefits of OpenPGP smart cards useful. With the large market of USB security tokens out there (which has grown even larger with the interest in secure cryptocurrency storage), you have a lot of options to choose from in a number of price ranges. Be sure to check which GPG key sizes and algorithms a smart card supports before you buy it, especially if you use newer elliptic curve algorithms or larger (3072- or 4096-bit) RSA keys.

    • Are Your Linux Servers Really Protected?
    • ProdataKey, DW Partner to Integrate Access Control and VMS

      DW customers can add a pdk io system to their site via a Cloud platform that reduces upfront investment in on premise hardware and management. DW Spectrum IPVMS is accessed with freely distributed client software for Windows/Linux/Mac, the DW Cloud web client for all leading web browsers and via the free DW Spectrum mobile app for iOS and Android.

      The server software is included with pre-configured DW Blackjack NVR servers or it can be installed on third-party Windows or Ubuntu Linux-based systems.

    • This is grim, Vim and Neovim: Opening this crafty file in your editor may pwn your box. Patch now if not already [Ed: What utterly nonsensical sensationalism from El Reg (The Register). They make it sounds like the end of the world when it's difficult to exploit (you need to download a file). Focus on Windows back doors instead. Journalism in 2019 may be taking every small bug and making it look like a doomsday scenario; this merely discredits publications that do this.]
    • If you haven’t patched Vim or NeoVim text editors, you really, really should [Ed: Inevitably, drama queen Dan Goodin just had to grossly exaggerate the severity of this at Ars Technica. It's hard to exploit and not a big issue compared to proprietary software back doors.]
    • macOS Security Will Never Stop Us From Running Software of Our Choice [Ed: There's no "macOS Security"; Apple is a chronic liar on the subject (and was caught many times before). NSA PRISM, back doors and so on. It's all part of the design and the company routinely lies ("marketing").]
  • Defence/Aggression

    • How Not to Honor Jamal Khashoggi

      After the Saudis murdered dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in their consulate in Istanbul, the Trump Administration swung into action—and approved permits to transfer US nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. We learned this from Senator Tim Kaine on June 4. Senator Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s 2016 running mate, represents Virginia where Khasshogi was a permanent resident.

      We already knew part of the story. In March, the public learned that Trump’s Secretary of Energy Rick Perry had approved seven permits allowing American companies to transfer nuclear tech to the Saudis. We did not, however, know when the permits were issued.

      We do now. Senator Kaine, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had badgered the Administration for two months to disclose the dates when the permits were granted. Senator Kaine’s inquiries went unanswered until the Committee’s Chairman, Republican James Risch of Idaho, interceded. This led to Secretary Perry’s disclosing that he approved two of the seven permits on October 18, 2018—sixteen days after Khashoggi was murdered—and on February 18, 2019.

      [...]

      This brings us back to the seven permits issued by the Department of Energy. The permits were issued under Title 10, Part 810 of the Code of Federal Regulations (thus, “Part 810 Authorizations”). Unlike 123 agreements, Part 810 Authorizations do not require Congressional approval. Part 810 authorizations often precede a 123 agreement and allow limited, routine transfers of non-classified information such as reactor designs. Is the Trump Administration trying to exploit a loophole in the law in order to transfer nuclear tech which needs Congressional approval? At this point, we don’t know. We won’t until we know the 810 authorizations’ contents or what companies they were issued to. The Administration says it is keeping the information confidential because the 810 authorizations contain proprietary technology.

      Seeking answers, Senator Rubio and Senator Menendez wrote to Secretary of Energy Rick Perry on April 2 to ask what tech is covered under the permits and who the permits were issued to.[3] The answers to these questions can help determine whether the Administration is acting within the law.

      The Saudis cannot be trusted with nuclear power. Henry Sokolski, Executive Director of the Nonproliferation Policy Education Center, an NGO in Washington DC, calls nuclear reactors “nuclear bomb starter kits.” We can best honor Jamal Khashoggi’s memory by making sure that his murderers never get technology that could lead to a nuclear weapon.

    • What Everyone Knows About D-Day

      Four days of coverage of D-Day on CBC radio and no one explains “free world”. After seventy-five years, everyone knows what it is.

      Evolutionary biologist Steven Jay Gould said nothing is as dangerous as what “everyone knows” but no one remembers the arguments for. Che Guevara called out the US president, at an economics conference, for what “everyone knows” democracy is.[1] Guevara said the conference was political, not about economics. JFK made no arguments.

      But there were arguments and Che Guevara knew them. He refuted them, as Gould refuted scientific arguments for white supremacy. Today the arguments for “free world” are forgotten, even by some who study such things. Nothing is as dangerous as ideology not recognized as ideology.

      Gould knocks out one peg of that ideology: an idea of reason. Evolution has no final purpose, Gould argued. It aims for no ideal. Yet if you wind back the tape of evolution to any point, the next steps are constrained by myriad causal factors.[2] Gould used the word “contingency”. It means dependence.

      Marx had this view of reason, radically contingent upon circumstances and conditions. He got part of his view from Hegel, who saw reality structured organically and developmentally.[3] Marx accepted Hegel’s vision but found Hegel’s explanation “mystical.” For Marx, it was just a fact that the world is structured dialectically, and so the best way to know it is in terms of organic tendencies and systems.

    • Border conflict shakes city between Chechnya and Dagestan

      The area where the signs were located is Chechen territory. Dagestani government head Vladimir Vasilyev noted in his comments on the incident that the signs in question were located on a section of border territory within Chechnya that has not been disputed. At the same time, he called on the Chechen government to “have understanding for the fact that some of the population saw things differently — not as signs, but as an attack on our territorial interests.” The historian Zurab Gadzhiev, a member of Dagestan’s border negotiations commission, also wrote that the land under the sign belonged to the Chechen Republic but that Chechen road signs had not been present there before, making them “geographic news for the residents of Kizlyar.”

  • Environment/Energy/Wildlife/Nature

    • Radiohead Makes Stolen Tracks Available to Help ‘Extinction Rebellion’

      The band was recently the victim of hackers who stole the music from singer Thom Yorke’s private archive.

      Those behind the hack had demanded $150,000 (€133,000) in return for not publishing the tracks, but Radiohead went on the offensive, announcing, “We’re releasing all 18 hours on Bandcamp [a music-sharing site] in aid of Extinction Rebellion.”

      No surprises?

    • Aldi plastic fruit and veg bags to cost a ‘symbolic’ cent

      Thin plastic produce bags are often used only once to carry fruits and vegetables home from the supermarket, and are then thrown away without a second thought.
      Supermarket chain Aldi on Tuesday said that it would begin charging 1 cent for single-use plastic produce bags, starting this summer. It didn’t offer an exact date. The company said it wanted its customers to “rethink” using smaller plastic bags.
      The produce bags on offer will now be composed of biodegradable natural plastic made with raw material leftover from sugar production. Aldi supermarkets will also start offering a reusable alternative, nets to hold fresh fruit and vegetables, later in the year.
      According to the German Environment Ministry, more than 3 billion of the thin plastic produce bags were used in 2018. That equates to roughly 40 per person, per year.
      Read more: 180 countries — except US — agree to plastic waste agreement
      German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze told Germany’s dpa press agency that the move by Aldi was a positive sign that her policy to get German retailers to use less plastic was working.

    • Canada Passes ‘Free Willy’ Bill Banning Whale and Dolphin Captivity

      The so-called “Free Willy” bill passed the Canadian House of Commons by an overwhelming majority Monday, CBS News reported. It now must pass through a process called “royal assent” in which either the governor general or their deputies sign off on the bill. It will make it illegal to keep cetaceans in captivity, breed them or import or export the intelligent marine mammals. Anyone who violates the law could face a fine of up to $150,000.

      “Today is a really good day for animals in Canada,” Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who sponsored the bill in the House, said after it passed, according to the Huffington Post.

    • Canada’s “Free Willy” bill bans keeping orcas and dolphins in captivity

      In a huge win for animal rights activists, Canada overwhelmingly passed a bill Monday making it illegal to hold dolphins, orcas and other whales in captivity. Those who violate the rule could face fines of up to $150,000.

      The legislation, known as the “Free Willy” bill, is named after the 1993 movie under the same title. It now faces “royal assent” in which either the governor general or deputies to the governor general sign off on the bill.

    • Canada Bans Keeping Whales, Dolphins In Captivity

      A federal bill banning the keeping of whales and dolphins in captivity jumped its last parliamentary hoop, and will become Canadian law by the end of June.

      Bill S-203, the so-called “Free Willy” bill, was passed by the House of Commons at third reading Monday. “Today is a really good day for animals in Canada,” Green Party Leader Elizabeth May said.

      The bill, which originated in the Senate, amends the Criminal Code to make it illegal to keep a cetacean (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) in captivity, and to breed them in captivity. The bill also bans the import and export of marine mammals, as well as their embryos and sperm.

    • A Bipartisan Group of Former EPA Heads Say the Agency Must Return to Its Mission

      Former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leaders from four different administrations testified before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee Tuesday, and all agreed on one thing: They don’t like what the Trump administration has done with the place.

      Officials who had led the EPA under Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama urged Congress to use its authority to make sure the agency was doing its job of protecting the nation’s environment and public health.

    • Former EPA chiefs blast the Trump administration over rollbacks, budget cuts, bad science

      On Tuesday morning, the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hosted what amounted to the most awkward Environmental Protection Agency reunion ever. Former EPA administrators from the Obama, George W. Bush, and Reagan administrations came together to criticize the agency’s current direction under President Trump, calling for Congress to exercise its oversight powers to ensure the agency is fulfilling its obligation to protect the air, water, and human health.

      “This administration, from the beginning, has made no secret of its intention to essentially dismantle the EPA,” said Christine Todd Whitman, who oversaw the agency under George W. Bush. The agency has attempted to roll back several regulations on environmental issues such as fuel standards, mercury air toxic standards, methane emissions, and offshore drilling.

      “There is no doubt in my mind under the Trump administration the EPA is retreating from its mission,” Whitman said.

    • 3 Republican former EPA chiefs accuse Trump of ‘undermining of science’

      Three Republican former heads of the Environmental Protection Agency accuse the agency’s current leadership of supporting the “undermining of science” and a potentially “catastrophic” approach to climate change.

      In an exclusive interview with ABC News Live, before a rare joint appearance on Capitol Hill, former EPA administrators William Reilly, Lee Thomas and Christine Whitman warned that recent gains in cleaner air and water in the U.S. are beginning to “backslide.”

      “If we continue business as usual, it’s catastrophic,” said Reilly, who led the agency under President George H.W. Bush. “We’re the number two emitter in the world after China.”

      Whitman, a former New Jersey governor who ran the EPA under President George W. Bush, raised concerns about “the disrespecting of science in the administration and the undermining of science and the importance of science.”

      Thomas said his old boss, President Ronald Reagan, would have wanted the agency to recommit to its central purpose.

    • Former EPA administrators blast Trump admin on science, regulation rollbacks

      Several former Environmental Protection Agency administrators on Tuesday offered strong rebukes of the Trump administration’s approach to environmental policy and commitment to science, saying its handling of the EPA will have negative consequences for Americans.

      During her testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Christine Todd Whitman, who served under President George W. Bush, cited a 2018 American Journal of Public Health study that concluded the Trump administration “has explicitly sought to reorient the EPA toward industrial and industry-friendly interest, often with little or no acknowledgment of the agency’s health and environmental missions.”

    • Rising US heat spurs urban rats’ numbers

      In the heat of a US summer, urban rats’ thoughts focus on one goal: it’s reproduction time, as the media make clear.

      They go for the type of headlines which send shivers down the spine. “Rats love climate change”, says one. “Climate change is scary; rat explosion is scarier”, says another.

      Reports from several cities in the US indicate that city rat populations are increasing, and many point to climate change as a primary cause of what is a growing rodent problem.

      The actual reasons for what some of the more florid commentators refer to as a “ratpocalypse” are difficult to gauge. Little research has been carried out.

      Take, for example, New York City. Estimates of the size of the city’s rat population – the human population is 8.6 million – range anywhere between 2 and 32 million.

    • Adding to Planetary Alarm Bells, Top US Finance Official Warns Climate Crisis a Recipe for Global Economic Collapse

      Rostin Behnam is part of the five-member Commodities Futures Trading Commission, an independent federal agency. As the sponsor of CFTC’s Market Risk Advisory Committee, he convened a public meeting Wednesday to discuss climate-related financial threats and the formation of a panel to produce a report which reviews those threats and offers solutions.

      “As most of the world’s markets and market regulators are taking steps towards assessing and mitigating the current and potential threats of climate change, we in the U.S. must also demand action from all segments of the public and private sectors, including this agency,” Behnam said in his opening statement Wednesday.

      “The impacts of climate change affect every aspect of the American economy—from production agriculture to commercial manufacturing and the financing of every step in each process,” he continued. “Any solutions seeking to address and mitigate climate risk must be equally focused on ensuring the safety and continued prosperity of our urban cores and rural communities. Failing to address financial market risks associated with climate change will impede economic growth, and most likely hit rural communities the hardest.”

    • US Renewable Energy Capacity Beats Coal for the First Time

      What’s the future of coal? The answer may be blowing in the wind. Or running through our waters. Or, maybe it’s at the end of a sunbeam.

      Wherever the answer is found, the message is clear. Coal is on a downward trend in the U.S. and renewables are on the rise, according to a new report released by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC.

      The report shows that renewable energies had slightly more installed capacity than coal, as CNN reported.

    • 2050 zero-carbon: Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley says setting a target is not “action”

      “What most of the discussion has missed since the Prime Minister’s announcement is, however, the positive possibilities that a strong, fixed zero-carbon target date means for businesses.

      “With Finland setting the goal of 2035, businesses there will be racing forward with new technologies and approaches.

    • Conference leaders’ speech: Green Party backs global climate strike

      The Green Party co-leaders have called for adults to join children in the global strike against climate change later this year.

      In their speech [1] at Green Party conference in Scarborough the leaders backed the Student Climate Strikes and called on those able to do so to join the strike in September.

      The Green Party’s conference comes after a successful period for the party – seeing them achieve record results in both the local and European elections. Recently polling has also seen them achieve their best-ever position in general election voting intention polls, and seen the environment shoot towards the top of people’s concerns.

    • Fracking Companies Lost on Trespassing, but a Court Just Gave Them a Different Win

      A week after the West Virginia Supreme Court unanimously upheld the property rights of landowners battling one natural gas giant, the same court tossed out a challenge filed by another group of landowners against a different natural gas company.

      In the latest case, decided Monday, the court upheld a lower court ruling that threw out a collection of lawsuits alleging dust, traffic and noise from gas operations were creating a nuisance for nearby landowners.

      Charlie Burd, executive director of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia, said the latest ruling lets “Wall Street know capital investment in oil and natural gas is welcome in West Virginia” and increases the possibility of more such investments in drilling and in so-called “downstream” chemical and manufacturing plants related to the gas industry.

    • Britain has 30 years to cut emissions – after Brexit we must lead the world on climate change

      What is the cost to our health and environment if we do not avert the breakdown of our climate, and with it the ecosystems that support the way of life of billions around the world?

    • Britain to become first G7 country with net zero emissions target

      Britain has announced it will enshrine a new commitment to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 into law, marking a first among G7 nations facing increasingly severe impacts from the climate crisis.

    • Britain to intensify fight against climate change

      Theresa May said the plan will be put before Parliament later in the day. The amendment to the 2008 Climate Change Act will intensify Britain’s push to drastically reduce carbon emissions ahead of a European Union summit next week that’s expected to address the bloc’s effort to tackle global warming. Though Britain plans to leave the EU, there is broad cross-party support in Parliament for the international fight against climate change.

    • Climate change: UK government to commit to 2050 target

      Greenhouse gas emissions in the UK will be cut to almost zero by 2050, under the terms of a new government plan to tackle climate change.
      Prime Minister Theresa May said there was a “moral duty to leave this world in a better condition than what we inherited”.
      Cutting emissions would benefit public health and cut NHS costs, she said.
      Britain is the first major nation to propose this target – and it has been widely praised by green groups.

    • Britain to Become First G7 Country to Commit to Net Zero Carbon Emissions by 2050

      Britain has a new goal to reach net zero carbon emissions, making it the first G7 country to implement such a target.

      Outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled the government’s plan Tuesday, which builds on a previous target set by MPs in 2008 to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050. The government’s advisory Committee on Climate Change recommended the new target in May.

    • ‘We Don’t Have Time for This’: Activists at Party Headquarters Demand DNC Hold Climate Debate

      That’s the message from over a dozen progressive groups and organizations who descended on the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Wednesday to demand the party devote a debate to the climate crisis in the presidential primary debates.

      The demonstration featured speeches and the delivery of 200,000 petitions to the DNC demanding the party provide a space for candidates to discuss how they will handle the crisis.

    • New Report Exposes Pentagon’s Massive Contributions to Climate Crisis Post-9/11

      From the 2001 launch of the so-called War on Terror to 2017, the Pentagon generated at least 1.2 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases—with annual rates exceeding the planet-warming emissions of industrialized countries such as Portugal or Sweden—according to new research.

      Boston University professor Neta C. Crawford details the U.S. Department of Defense’s massive contributions to the global climate emergency in a paper (pdf) published Wednesday by the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs.

      “The U.S. military’s energy consumption drives total U.S. government energy consumption,” the paper reads. “The DOD is the single largest consumer of energy in the U.S., and in fact, the world’s single largest institutional consumer of petroleum.”

      “Absent any change in U.S. military fuel use policy, the fuel consumption of the U.S. military will necessarily continue to generate high levels of greenhouse gases,” the paper warns. “These greenhouse gases, combined with other U.S. emissions, will help guarantee the nightmare scenarios that the military predicts and that many climate scientists say are possible.”

    • In ‘War On Terrorism,’ Pentagon Has Emitted Over A Billion Metric Tons Of Greenhouse Gases

      The United States military has emitted over a billion metric tons of greenhouse gases since the beginning of the global war on terrorism in 2001, according to a report from Brown University’s “Costs of War” project.

      It is equivalent to the annual emissions of 257 million passenger cars, “more than double the current number of cars on the road in the U.S.”

      With over 800 military bases in more than 80 countries, the Pentagon remains the “world’s largest institutional user of petroleum” and “producer of greenhouse gases.”

      The Pentagon is not transparent when it comes to fuel consumption or greenhouse gas emissions. However, the project used the Department of Energy’s emissions data for the report’s estimates.

      In 2017, the Pentagon’s greenhouse gas emissions were about 59 million metric tons. That same year, this was more than Finland (46.8 million metric tons), Sweden (50.8 million metric tons), or Denmark (33.5 million metric tons).

      At least 400 million metric tons of greenhouse gases are a result of consumption in war zones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria.

    • The Defense Department is worried about climate change – and also a huge carbon emitter

      Scientists and security analysts have warned for more than a decade that global warming is a potential national security concern.

      They project that the consequences of global warming – rising seas, powerful storms, famine and diminished access to fresh water – may make regions of the world politically unstable and prompt mass migration and refugee crises.

      Some worry that wars may follow.

      Yet with few exceptions, the U.S. military’s significant contribution to climate change has received little attention. Although the Defense Department has significantly reduced its fossil fuel consumption since the early 2000s, it remains the world’s single largest consumer of oil – and as a result, one of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters.

  • Finance

    • Even the 1% Know They Aren’t Paying Their Fair Share: New Poll Shows 60% of Millionaires Support Warren’s Ultra-Wealth Tax

      “Taxing the rich is popular among… the rich!”

      That was the comment from the Patriotic Millionaires, a group representing progressive people of wealth who call for higher taxes on themselves, in reaction to a new CNBC poll out Wednesday that showed a full 60 percent of millionaires surveyed voiced support for the wealth tax proposal put forward by 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

      “A majority of Americans, even the 1% of us, know that our inequality is out of control and we need to make some big changes if we want to fix things,” the group said on Twitter.

    • Trump to Working Class: ‘Adios, Chumps’

      Congratulations on that nice pay raise you got last year, a 7% hike—wow!

      Seven percent might not sound all that big, but after 40 years of stagnant wages, even a small uptick can help cover some of your old credit card bills or get an upgrade on your 10-year-old pickup.

      Oh, wait … You say you didn’t get 7%? Oops, my mistake. It was the CEOs of corporate giants who reported to the Associated Press that they enjoyed a median jump of 7% last year. And as their paychecks were already king-size, that uptick amounted to an extra $800,000 in their take-home, for a median yearly income of $12 million each. Bear in mind that “median” means half of the corporate bosses grabbed more than 7%. For example, David Zaslav, honcho of the Discovery television network, had a 207% boost in pay, raising his total take in 2018 to $130 million.

      These lavish payouts to top-floor bosses—combined with a miserliness toward rank-and-file employees who actually produce the corporate wealth—is creating an untenable income disparity in corporate America, stretching inequality in our Land of Egalitarianism to the snapping point. The pay gap between aloof CEOs and typical employees nearly doubled last year at a range of corporate giants, from PayPal to CVS Pharmacy, and it tripled at Discovery. AP’s recent survey of 340 major corporations found that compensation inequality is now so extreme that a middle-wage employee would have to work 158 years to make as much as his or her chief executive was given last year alone. This separation is widening at warp speed, propelled by the boundless greed and narcissism of so-called leaders like Zaslav. To amass as much pay as he pocketed in 2018, a typical Discovery employee would have to work 989 years.

    • Facing Affordable Housing Crisis & Record Homelessness, New York Passes Landmark Rent Protection Law

      In New York, housing rights advocates are celebrating after state lawmakers announced an agreement that would provide the strongest tenant protections in over a quarter of a century. The deal came just days ahead of the expiration of the current rent laws at the end of this week. Democracy Now! co-host Juan González explains how lawmakers agreed to abolish laws allowing landlords to deregulate rents on apartments after they exceed a certain limit, and to curb provisions allowing landlords to raise the rent of rent-controlled apartments after renovations. The law is one of several similar efforts nationwide and is expected to give municipalities around the state more authority to regulate rents and ensure greater access to affordable housing.

    • Migrants will pay the price of Mexico’s tariff deal with Trump

      Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is celebrating an agreement avoiding U.S. tariffs as a major political and diplomatic triumph for his government.

      “We didn’t win everything, but we were able to claim a victory with there being no tariffs,” said chief negotiator Marcelo Ebrard, Mexico’s foreign affairs secretary, on June 9.

      The two neighbors have been at odds since United States President Donald Trump on May 30 threatened to hit all Mexican imports with steadily rising tariffs unless Mexico successfully halted the northward flow of Central American migrants fleeing extreme poverty and violence through Mexico toward the United States.

      Approximately 80% of Mexican exports are destined for the United States. Tariffs would have devastated Mexico’s economy.

      To keep its goods untaxed, Mexico had to convince President Trump that it was serious about stopping migration. After a week of frantic negotiations, Mexico said it would deploy up to 6,000 National Guard troops to its southern border with Guatemala to stop migrants from entering Mexico.

  • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

    • As He Blocks Election Security Bills, McConnell Takes Checks from Voting Machine Lobbyists

      Three years later, security experts warn that not enough has been done to address vulnerabilities in the U.S. election system. The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations recently told Congress that “the threats just keep escalating,” adding that he viewed the 2018 midterms as a “dress rehearsal for the big show in 2020.”

      In fourteen states, some 2018 midterm voters submitted their votes on touchscreens that did not produce paper trails necessary to verify their votes or audit election outcomes. If votes had been inaccurately processed in these precincts—whether through equipment errors or foreign hacking operations—election officials wouldn’t have been able to find or correct the problems.

      Several Democratic and Republican members of Congress have submitted legislation to shore up election security. Proposals from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) and Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) include replacing paperless electronic voting machines with hand-marked paper ballots and optical scanners, subjecting voting equipment vendors to rigorous cybersecurity standards, and requiring vendors to report cybersecurity incidents.

    • Microsoft and the Pentagon Are Quietly Hijacking U.S. Elections

      Good news, folks! We have found the answer to the American election system!

      Why do we need an answer? Well, our election system is … how do you say … a festering rancid corrupt needlessly complex rigged rotten infected putrid pus-covered diseased dog pile of stinking, dying cockroach-filled rat shit smelling like Mitch McConnell under a vat of pig farts. And that’s a quote from The Lancet medical journal (I think).

      But have no fear: The most trustworthy of corporations recently announced it is going to selflessly and patriotically secure our elections. It’s a small company run by vegans and powered by love. It goes by the name “Microsoft.” (You’re forgiven for never having heard of it.)

      The recent headlines were grandiose and thrilling:

      “Microsoft offers software tools to secure elections.”

      “Microsoft aims to modernize and secure voting with ElectionGuard.”

      [...]

      Did you catch that? Galois claims to be a private company, but its only investor is the fucking Pentagon. To rephrase something you already understood in another way so that you get mildly annoyed with me: Microsoft and our war machine are taking over the American election system.

      Honestly, who would put election software in the hands of DARPA? DARPA’s the department that tries to put microchips in soldiers’ brains to create Terminators or Robocops or other dystopian hounds of hell. If your first response upon hearing about an invention is, “That’s fucking awful!”—DARPA came up with that.

      I wouldn’t even let someone from DARPA look after my cat for the weekend. We all know I’d come home, the cat would have half a head and a Game Boy duct-taped to its ass. “Fuck you, DARPA! I don’t care if the Mario Kart theme song plays when it shits. Get out of my apartment!”

      Now, imagine that scenario but replace the cat with our entire election system.

    • Sanders to Discuss ‘What Democratic Socialism Means to Me’

      Seeking to rebut President Donald Trump’s attempts to cast him and Democrats as too liberal, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders plans to give a speech Wednesday on democratic socialism, the economic philosophy that has guided his political career.

      Sanders made similar remarks during his first presidential campaign in 2016, when he faced questions about his decadeslong association with democratic socialists. He’s again confronting criticism from within and outside the Democratic Party during his second presidential bid, and the speech, which the campaign is billing as a major address, is an attempt to reframe the debate about his views.

      But he’s doing this in a reshaped political landscape in which he’s no longer the sole progressive taking on an establishment candidate, as he was in 2016 when he battled Hillary Clinton. He’s one of two dozen Democratic White House hopefuls , several of whom are also unabashed liberals. And they’re all operating in an environment dominated by Trump.

      “We now have a president who is attacking me and others because we believe in democratic socialism,” Sanders said in a Tuesday interview with The Associated Press in which he previewed his speech. “This is a president who believes in socialism, but the difference is he believes in socialism for large corporations and the wealthy, not the working people.”

      [...]

      While in Tuesday’s interview Sanders promised he would be more explicit this time in describing his belief in democratic socialism, some of the themes he will discuss echo the 2015 remarks, including positioning himself as the heir of the ideals that originated with Roosevelt in 1944.

      “Over 80 years ago, Franklin Delano Roosevelt helped create a government that made huge progress in protecting the needs of working families,” Sanders will say, according to prepared remarks. “Today in the second decade of the 21st century, we must take up the unfinished business of the New Deal and carry it to completion. This is the unfinished business of the Democratic Party and the vision we must accomplish.”

      As he did in his first presidential run, much of Sanders’ campaign speech is focused on promising a wholesale revolution, including a fundamental rethinking of the political system. Asked Tuesday how he would tangibly change Washington’s centers of political power to make his visions a reality, he said he would do so “by taking politics out of Washington.”

    • Straight People Should Be Glad They Don’t Need a Parade

      Especially after neo-Nazis invaded Detroit Pride celebrations, this stunt feels like no joke.

      That said, here are the circumstances under which I would support a straight pride parade:

    • White nationalists disrupt Detroit pride parade
    • Euphemisms All the Way Down

      It’s an incredibly positive term that has burrowed so deeply into our language that we rarely think to question it. In practice, “development” often means the destruction of historic architecture, the disruption of neighborhood interconnections and, of course, the driving out of existing residents—often low-income people, people of color or immigrants. None other than Frank Lloyd Wright derided the influence of “advertising men; the realtor, the so-called ‘developer’—all defacing life,” in his 1957 book-length essay A Testament.

      But scare quotes around “developer” have long ceased, with even their most ardent critics accepting that flattering term. Our language has become so distorted, it’s hard to keep track.

      Part of the issue is that there’s no obvious replacement for the term. Perhaps, taking a cue from Wright, we could adopt the dysphemism “defacer.” This notion was a regular refrain from Wright, who continually called for an architecture “that belonged where you see it standing—and was a grace to the landscape instead of a disgrace.”

      And it is, after all, “developers” who are likely responsible for defacing, or at least distorting, our language, such that euphemisms like “rebirth” and “revitalization” have become euphemisms for gentrification. I should hasten to add that Barbara Schiffler charged in a letter to the Los Angeles Times (12/1/15) that “‘gentrification’ is a euphemism for market cruelty.” Indeed, it just might be euphemisms all the way down.

      This is all part of a process Neil deMause (FAIR.org, 2/19/16) has called “developer-speak,” in which “rebirth or revitalization or renaissance is what happens to neighborhoods when you build new stuff.” Ironically, the word “developer” is itself one of the greatest triumphs of “developer-speak.”

    • White House Asserts Executive Privilege in Census Fight

      President Donald Trump has asserted executive privilege over documents that were subpoenaed by Congress related to the Trump administration’s decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, the Justice Department said Wednesday.

      The claim comes as the House Oversight Committee considers whether to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for failing to turn over the subpoenaed documents.

      In a letter to the committee’s chairman, Rep. Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the Justice Department asserted that the Trump administration has “engaged in good-faith efforts” to satisfy the committee’s oversight needs and said the planned contempt vote was premature.

    • Trump’s War on Science Is Grounds to Impeach

      Since the earliest days of the Trump Administration, we’ve heard how Trump and his allies may have covered up evidence and obstructed investigations into Russiagate and other improprieties. Unsurprisingly, this has led to calls for the President’s impeachment.

      But there are other, more serious forms of obstruction that haven’t generated anywhere near as much attention, despite potentially catastrophic consequences for the country and the world. And the most dangerous of these has been the Trump administration’s near-constant war on science.

      Trump and his administration are slashing common-sense regulations and censoring science to enrich their fossil fuel industry backers, exposing the country and the whole world to potentially catastrophic consequences. They are literally willing to endanger human lives and the very future of humanity for corporate profit.

      A recent report by the Union of Concerned Scientists, “Science under Siege at the Department of the Interior,” documents how the Trump team has set out to obfuscate the findings of scientists through the use of censorship and distortion. And just this month, the State Department blocked a State Department official from testifying to Congress on the “possibly catastrophic” security impacts of climate change, even as an Australian study warned that civilization itself could be under dire threat by 2050.

    • House Panel Votes to Hold Top U.S. Officials in Contempt

      A House committee voted Wednesday to hold two top Trump administration officials in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with subpoenas for documents related to a decision adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

      The Democratic-controlled House Oversight Committee voted 24-15 to advance contempt measures against Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, who has said he supports an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump, was the sole Republican to join with Democrats.

      The vote sends the contempt measures to the full House, although congressional leaders could go directly to court to try to force compliance with the subpoenas under a resolution approved earlier this week.

      The committee’s action marks an escalation of Democratic efforts to use their House majority to aggressively investigate the inner workings of the Trump administration.

    • Hope Hicks Agrees to Judiciary Interview

      Former White House communications director Hope Hicks has agreed to a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary Committee, the panel announced Wednesday, a breakthrough for Democrats who have been frustrated by President Donald Trump’s broad stonewalling of their investigations.

      The Judiciary panel subpoenaed Hicks, a close and trusted Trump aide who worked for the presidential campaign and in the White House, last month as part of its investigation into special counsel Robert Mueller’s report and obstruction of justice. Her June 19 interview will mark the first time a former Trump aide has testified before the panel as part of its probe.

    • Facebook’s Zuckerberg Is the Focus of Latest Doctored Video

      Three weeks after Facebook refused to remove a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi slurring her words, Mark Zuckerberg is getting a taste of his own medicine: fake footage showing him gloating over his one-man domination of the world.

      It’s the latest flap over deviously altered “deepfake” videos as Facebook and other social media services struggle to stop the spread of misinformation and “fake news” while also respecting free speech and fending off allegations of censorship.

      The somewhat crude video of the Facebook CEO, circulating on Facebook-owned Instagram over the past few days, combines news footage of Zuckerberg with phony audio.

    • How to Stop Google and Facebook From Strangling Journalism

      The last two decades have been perhaps the worst in American history for journalism. After years of decline, newsroom employment fell a further 23 percent from 2008-2017—a trend which shows no sign of stopping.

      There are three big reasons why. First, the rise of the internet, which undermined traditional newspaper revenue models, especially classified ads. Second, the Great Recession, which tanked employment of all kinds. Third and most importantly, the rise of online monopolies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

      It raises a question: How can we stop these corporate behemoths from strangling the life out of American journalism? A good place to start would be breaking up the tech giants, and regulating the online advertising market to ensure fair competition.

    • NY Times Publishes Laughable Propaganda To Argue Google Owes Newspapers Like Itself Free Money

      Earlier this week, I posted about a silly new organization that claims it’s going to “save journalism” mainly by whining about how evil Google and Facebook are. As I noted in that piece, even if you believe Google and Facebook are evil, it’s not clear how whining about them being evil provides any new journalists jobs. But the news industry as a whole has been on this weird “blame someone else” kick for way too long. The “News Media Alliance” (formerly the Newspaper Association of America) has been on a weird anti-tech protectionist kick for years now, and on Monday published a “study” claiming that Google made $4.7 billion from news — a number that was then trumpeted loudly by the NY Times, which just happens to be one of the larger members of the News Media Alliance.

      There’s just one tiny problem. The “study” is no study at all and basically everyone in the media business is laughing at the NY Times for publishing such a ridiculously bogus study without highlighting how bogus it was. The $4.7 billion is not based on any careful research. It’s based on one off-hand comment from over a decade ago by an exec who hasn’t been at Google in years, and then extrapolated forward. Really.

    • ‘The Ocasio-Cortez Effect’: Democratic Grassroots Ignoring Establishment Threats as Yet Another Progressive Announces Plan to Primary Incumbent

      Ghebreghiorgis, a 33 year-old special education teacher from Mount Vernon, New York, drew a line between his politics and Engel’s in excerpts of a speech announcing his run obtained by The Washington Post. In the remarks, Ghebreghiorgis called out Engel for “millions of dollars in contributions from real estate, the healthcare industry, the military/defense lobby, and Wall Street.”

      Further, said Ghebreghiorgis, Engel represents a way of doing politics that hasn’t been effective to change things for the better for the country and the younger generation.

      “For my generation of students born after 9/11, all they have known, every year of their life, is war; the threat of climate extinction; and the intractability of wage stagnation, college unaffordability, and income inequality,” Ghebreghiorgis said.

    • CodePink Wants to Bring Giant ‘Baby Trump’ Blimp to DC for July 4th Protests

      With Trump slated to hold a large “Solute to America” rally and deliver a speech on the National Mall, Ariel Gold, CodePink’s co-director told the Post that the plan will be to get the blimp as close to the official activities as possible and that the 30-foot-high inflatable baby would be a fitting attendee at any demonstration against the sitting president and his policies.

      “We see it as an image of Trump’s behavior, which is, as we all know, unpredictable and prone to tantrums about things that are really, really dangerous,” Gold said. “It’s a way of saying, we really need an adult in the White House.”

  • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Social Media Platforms Increase Transparency About Content Removal Requests, But Many Keep Users in the Dark When Their Speech Is Censored, EFF Report Shows

      San Francisco and Tunis, Tunisia—While social media platforms are increasingly giving users the opportunity to appeal decisions to censor their posts, very few platforms comprehensively commit to notifying users that their content has been removed in the first place, raising questions about their accountability and transparency, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said today in a new report.

      How users are supposed to challenge content removals that they’ve never been told about is among the key issues illuminated by EFF in the second installment of its Who Has Your Back: Censorship Edition report. The paper comes amid a wave of new government regulations and actions around the world meant to rid platforms of extremist content. But in response to calls to remove objectionable content, social media companies and platforms have all too often censored valuable speech.

      EFF examined the content moderation policies of 16 platforms and app stores, including Facebook, Twitter, the Apple App Store, and Instagram. Only four companies—Facebook, Reddit, Apple, and GitHub—commit to notifying users when any content is censored and specifying the legal request or community guideline violation that led to the removal. While Twitter notifies users when tweets are removed, it carves out an exception for tweets related to “terrorism,” a class of content that is difficult to accurately identify and can include counter-speech or documentation of war crimes. Notably, Facebook and GitHub were found to have more comprehensive notice policies than their peers.

      “Providing an appeals process is great for users, but its utility is undermined by the fact that users can’t count on companies to tell them when or why their content is taken down,” said Gennie Gebhart, EFF associate director of research, who co-authored the report. “Notifying people when their content has been removed or censored is a challenge when your users number in the millions or billions, but social media platforms should be making investments to provide meaningful notice.”

    • Facebook Tested With Deepfake Of Mark Zuckerberg: Company Leaves It Up

      Over the last few weeks there’s been a silly debate over whether or not Facebook made the right call in agreeing to leave up some manipulated videos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that were slowed down and/or edited, to make it appear like she was either confused or something less than sober. Some Pelosi-haters tried to push the video as an attack on Pelosi. Facebook (relatively quickly) recognized that the video was manipulated, and stopped it from being more widely promoted via its algorithm — and also added some “warning” text for anyone who tried to share it. However, many were disappointed that Facebook didn’t remove the video entirely, arguing that Facebook was enabling propaganda. Pelosi herself attacked Facebook’s decision, and (ridiculously) called the company a “willing enabler” of foreign election meddling. However, there were strong arguments that Facebook did the right thing. Also, it seems worth noting that Fox News played one of the same video clips (without any disclaimer) and somehow Pelosi and others didn’t seem to think it deserved the same level of criticism as Facebook.

      Either way, Facebook defended its decision and even noted that it would do the same with a manipulated video of Mark Zuckerberg. It didn’t take long to put that to the test, as some artists and an advertising agency created a deep fake of Zuckerberg saying a bunch of stuff about controlling everyone’s data and secrets and whatnot, and posted it to Facebook-owned Instagram.

    • Police violently arrest more than 400 peaceful protesters, journalists, and bystanders in Moscow

      Moscow police have arrested more than 400 people during a Moscow march against fabricated criminal cases and in support of Meduza journalist Ivan Golunov, OVD-Info reported. Golunov was released yesterday after an unprecedented solidarity campaign to draw attention to false drug charges against him. Those arrested during today’s protest included a number of journalists from both Russian and foreign outlets as well as bystanders who did not take part in the event.

      Protesters walked west from Chistye Prudy in the northeast part of the city’s downtown to the city’s police headquarters on Petrovka Street. The march did not receive approval from municipal authorities in advance. To disperse the crowd and make arrests, riot police used force, dragging members of the crowd to police vans.

    • Police forcibly disperse peaceful march for civil liberties in central Moscow, arresting hundreds

      A march in support of Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov and against the fabrication of criminal cases in Russia took place in central Moscow on June 12. Protesters walked from Chistye Prudy in the northeast part of the city’s downtown to the city’s police headquarters on Petrovka Street to the west. The march did not receive approval from municipal authorities in advance. Riot police violently arrested more than 400 people, using clubs and water jets to disperse the crowd.

    • Ivan Golunov goes free
    • Historical Documentation Of Key Section 230 Cases

      We’ve been talking a lot lately about the fact that people seem incredibly confused (i.e., mostly wrong) about the history, purpose, and even language of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. No matter how many times we try to correct the record, it seems that more people keep getting it wrong. We’ve talked a few times about Jeff Kosseff’s excellent new book called The Twenty-Six Words That Created the Internet, and, as Kosseff explains, part of his reason for putting together that book is that some of the early history around CDA 230 was at risk of disappearing.

    • Journalist wearing Ivan Golunov T-shirt sits directly across from Putin during hour-long awards ceremony
    • How Moscow’s vice mayor responded (or not) to outreach from June 12 protest organizers: A transcript

      Police arrested more than 400 people during a peaceful protest against fabricated criminal cases following the end of the case against Meduza correspondent Ivan Golunov. Among those arrested was Yevgeny Berg, a journalist who also served as one of the protest’s organizers. When police arrested him, Berg was on the phone with none other than Moscow Vice Mayor Alexander Gorbenko. That call was the final stage in a series of unsuccessful attempts on the part of the protest’s organizers to negotiate with Gorbenko and receive government approval for the event, which would have created a much lower risk of arrest for protesters. Those attempts began when the organizers called for dialogue on the TV channel Dozhd and Gorbenko subsequently threatened to submit a complaint to prosecutors, claiming they had made no attempts to negotiate with the government. The turning points that followed are transcribed below.

  • Privacy/Surveillance

    • Oversight Says FBI’s Facial Recognition System Has Gotten Bigger, But Not Better

      It appears the FBI’s facial recognition program will never live up to the minimal expectations its oversight has placed on it. The FBI’s database went live in 2014, far preceding the Privacy Impact Assessment that was supposed to be delivered in 2012.

      Two years after its debut, the Government Accountability Office found the FBI’s database — which went live with a 20% failure rate — was still a mess. The FBI showed little interest in improving the accuracy of its searches. It also showed little interest in periodically testing the system to see if it was improving or, quite possibly, getting worse.

      The FBI’s hands-off approach to facial recognition only applies to its oversight of the program. Otherwise, it’s an enthusiastic participant. At the time of the GAO’s examination, the FBI’s database contained 411 million photos, drawn from both criminal and non-criminal databases. Indicative of the FBI’s lackadaisical approach to facial recognition was a bank robbery case in Colorado, where the feds pitched in to help arrest the wrong person twice.

    • Details of Justice Department Efforts To Break Encryption of Facebook Messenger Must Be Made Public, EFF Tells Court

      The Electronic Frontier Foundation asked a federal appeals court today to make public a ruling that reportedly forbade the Justice Department from forcing Facebook to break the encryption of a communications service for users.

      Media widely reported last fall that a federal court in Fresno, California denied the government’s effort to compromise the security and privacy promised to users of Facebook’s Messenger application. But the court’s order and details about the legal dispute have been kept secret, preventing people from learning about how DOJ sought to break encryption, and why a federal judge rejected those efforts.

      EFF, the ACLU, and Stanford cybersecurity scholar Riana Pfefferkorn told the appeals court in a filing today that the public has First Amendment and common law rights to access judicial opinions and court records about the laws that govern us. Unsealing documents in the Facebook Messenger case is especially important because the public deserves to know when law enforcement tries to compel a company that hosts massive amounts of private communications to circumvent its own security features and hand over users’ private data, EFF said in a filing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. ACLU and Pfefferkorn, Associate Director of Surveillance and Cybersecurity at Stanford University’s Center for Internet and Society, joined EFF’s request to unseal. A federal judge in Fresno denied a motion to unseal the documents, leading to this appeal.

      Media reports last year revealed DOJ’s attempt to get Facebook to turn over customer data and unencrypted Messenger voice calls based on a wiretap order in an investigation of suspected M-13 gang activity. Facebook refused the government’s request, leading DOJ to try to hold the company in contempt. Because the judge’s ruling denying the government’s request is entirely under seal, the public has no way of knowing how the government tried to justify its request or why the judge turned it down—both of which could impact users’ ability to protect their communications from prying eyes.

    • Watchdog says MI5 spy agency mishandled snooping data for years

      British intelligence agency MI5 was criticised by a privacy watchdog on Tuesday for “illegally mishandling” surveillance data and storing information about innocent people for years.

    • Green peer responds to highly critical report about storage of data under the ‘snoopers’ charter’

      The campaigning group Liberty has highlighted the conclusions of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office that MI5 had “illegally mishandled” data including calls, messages, location and web-browsing history.

      Commissioner Adrian Fulford said compliance failures first became clear in January 2016, but were only brought to the IPCO’s attention in February 2019.

      Jenny said: “This report has confirmed what we’ve known for some time, that the security services, as well as the police, are operating their surveillance systems without accepting that they have to operate lawfully, and in a properly targeted manner.

      “I know from my own experience of being put on the domestic extremism database that valuable security time and energy are wasted on the wrong targets.

    • Patently-O Software Law Bits & Bytes: Data Privacy by Grant Harrison

      Data Privacy: Data Privacy or Information Privacy Law is, in short, a way to regulate how companies, individuals, and governments access, use, and collect public information, usually via online. Contemporaneous information privacy law has been around since the 1970’s when the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) first released the Fair Information Practice Principles or the FIPPs, which then served as a foundation for subsequent Data Privacy laws. The principles primarily give the people the right to know when, where, what, and how our data is used and collected. It gives the people substantial transparency with the company regarding our private data and treats our data as our property so that companies must ask before doing anything with our private information. This has been huge news in the last few years because the United States is one of the only highly developed countries that has not enacted comprehensive Data Privacy regulations.

    • “See Your Junk” – Behind the scenes

      At Purism, we aim to promote privacy and freedom through the use of free software (and we see it as ethical software). When we work, and in order to produce our content–such as what you see in this page–we use free software, too. And so, with a small budget and some basic audio and video gear, along with a few Librem laptops (running free software only, of course), we have made this video the ethical way, using ethical tools from beginning to end.

    • Facebook’s ‘Research’ App Is Back: This Time It Pays Adults For Sharing Data

      In January, Facebook landed itself in trouble and got its developer license revoked after it was revealed by TechCrunch that the social media company is paying teenagers to install its research app that grants the company access to user’s web activity and internet usage.

      Now, Facebook has relaunched its research app, but this time it targets adults instead of teens. “Study from Facebook” is available only for Android users above 18 years of age in the U.S. and India. Facebook will choose adults via ads on its platform for the app to gather data from them in exchange for a monthly payment.

  • Civil Rights/Policing

    • Why I Can’t Bring Myself to Watch “When They See Us”

      This is about fear.

      I can’t watch “When They See Us” … yet I know I must. I have to watch Ava DuVernay’s miniseries about the five wrongly convicted Black and Brown children labeled the “Central Park Five.” I have to watch it myself and then, at some point now or in the near future, I have to watch it again with my son. But I am a Black Mother in the #BlackLivesMatter Era. I am feeling personal terror too heavy to weigh, too absolute to penetrate.

      These narratives terrify me. My stomach is in knots when I think about those children, five beautiful Black and Brown babies. My stomach is in knots all the time.

      I try to be strong, to gird my loins, to woman up, to chill, even. I am failing at playing Strong Black Mother.

      I think about my ancestors, about the trauma of parenting enslaved children. How can my fear compare to the realities my foremothers faced? Children dragged from their love and into a pure white terror. Why do I feel so suddenly unable to cope, when they survived far worse?

      But then, I remember, things have not changed so much after all. Videos like this one that I recently encountered of white police officers brutally attacking Black families — knocking over a toddler — in Columbus, Ohio.

      Someone, a family member or perhaps a neighbor, records the encounter: A young man calmly talks with an officer. Another officer, gun at the ready, approaches, pushes the young man in conversation. Within a moment, mere seconds of time, the young man who was once standing and engaging with law enforcement is splayed on the ground. The crowd protests, and one woman’s voice is most prominent as she witnesses her child’s dehumanization. More disturbingly, another officer charges forward, stepping over a tiny girl, a person no more than two or three years old, and nearly stomps her. She, who was once standing, is also down on the ground. Two generations rendered prone. “Look what you’re doing to my grandbaby!” the woman cries from off camera. Not seeing her face makes the sound more agonizing, the scene more macabre.

    • ‘This Is Sick’: Horror as Trump Administration Plans to Detain Migrant Children at Former Japanese Internment Camp

      Lending even greater significance to the parallels commentators and historians have drawn between U.S. migrant detention centers and concentration camps of the past, the Trump administration is reportedly planning to hold more than a thousand immigrant children at an Oklahoma army base that was used as an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II.

      According to Time, Fort Sill “has been selected to detain 1,400 children until they can be given to an adult relative.”

      [...]

      News of the Trump administration’s decision to send over a thousand children to the base as it detains a record number of immigrants was met with horror.

      California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted, “This is sick.”

      “We will look back at this moment in time and ask ourselves what we did to put a stop to these horrific, inhumane policies. Speak up. Speak out. Be on the right side of history.”

      Echoing a sentiment that was common across social media, Yale legal scholar Tiffany Li added, “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

    • How Nine Sheriffs Who Lost Reelection Made Life Harder for Their Successors

      Last year, 10 Alabama sheriffs lost their reelection campaigns. Afterward, nine of them took steps that their successors say negatively affected their ability to perform their new jobs.

      Some of the new sheriffs, who took office on Jan. 14, accused their predecessors of pocketing sheriff’s office funds or purchasing thousands of dollars of items the new sheriffs described as wasteful or unnecessary. Other outgoing sheriffs took steps that their successors described as petty, like refusing to communicate for months and purchasing promotional items with their name printed on them on their way out the door. The now-former sheriffs generally disputed these accusations.

    • Wasted Funds, Destroyed Property: How Sheriffs Undermined Their Successors After Losing Reelection

      Shortly after Phil Sims became the sheriff of Marshall County, Alabama, at 12 a.m. on Jan. 14, he found a cardboard box in a storage closet containing five government-issued smartphones, each with multiple holes drilled clear through them.

      It was the first time Sims had been allowed to enter the sheriff’s office, a red-brick building overlooking Lake Guntersville, a foggy bass-fishing mecca, since he defeated longtime Sheriff J. Scott Walls in the June primary election.

      It didn’t take long for Sims to learn that the destroyed iPhones and Androids had belonged to his predecessor and his top brass. Sims also discovered that the hard drives had been removed from the computers in his and his chief deputy’s offices, and reams of records were nowhere to be found.

      The records Walls did leave behind revealed that in the months following his electoral loss, he was wired tens of thousands of dollars from the sheriff’s office’s general fund, and more than $30,000 was missing from its commissary fund. The records, which were reviewed by AL.com and ProPublica, show that the sheriff’s office spent tens of thousands of public dollars on expenditures that Sims described as unnecessary and excessive, including over 20,000 rolls of toilet paper, hundreds of boxes of garbage bags and 10 massive drums of dishwashing liquid.

    • The Lula Conviction Was a Gigantic Legal Farce

      Operation Car Wash implemented a veritable free-for-all against the PT and Lula which included illegal coercion, psychological torture of witnesses, induction of guided plea bargain testimonies, illegal leaks of telephone conversations, unequivocal use of Bayesian inference and an ocean of political convictions in a desert of evidence.

      Even Lula’s defense lawyers’ office was wire-tapped by the zealous vigilantes. In the US, the country that inspired our vigilantes, wire tapping of a law firm is an extremely serious crime which automatically throws out any conviction and results in prison for the perpetrators.

      But, with the support of the press and the true owners of power, our vigilantes became heroes. Heroes to the cause of anti-PTism and to a rampant proto-fascism which had its triumph in elections that were manipulated by fake news and fake justice.

      In this manner, the game that was arranged between judge and prosecutors served a big political project, beyond mere personal ambitions.

      This, however, is just a small part of the story.

      This distorted and politically motivated Operation Car Wash was not created and conducted by Moro or Dalton Dallagnol.

      It was created and guided by the US Department of Justice. This is notorious and public information.

      The influence of the USA on the Brazilian prosecutors office is shown in various US diplomatic communications that were leaked to Wikileaks and widely disseminated in other news articles. These communications show how Car Wash was basically created by the DOJ and conducted by it according to its own methodology.

      The fact is that the USA uses its own laws from its own legal system to impose its interests on the world.

      One example is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), a US law that seeks to to prevent companies from making payments to government officials in exchange for advantages, which has a clear extraterritorial character.

      According to the the US, Department of Justice (DOJ) corruption investigations can take place in any country if an investigated company has any kind of connection, no matter how small, to the USA. In this way, any company that trades shares on the US stock exchange or holds any bank account in the US can be investigated.

    • Turkish Gov’t: Erdogan’s Bodyguards Needed To Attack DC Protesters Because They Were Too Close When They Said Mean Things

      A few years back, thin-skinned thug/President of Turkey Recep Erdogan paid the US a visit. He brought his security detail with him, which isn’t unusual. World leaders always travel with security. What was more surprising were the actions of his security team. When faced with protesters hurling dangerous words in the direction of Erdogan, his security personnel decided “when in Rome” wasn’t applicable. Acting as though they were on their home turf, Erdogan’s bodyguards began physically assaulting protesters and journalists covering the protests.

      This put Washington DC police in the awkward and novel position of protecting protesters and journalists from beatings. It also put Erdogan and his security officers under the heading of “Defendants” in a federal lawsuit. Erdogan’s off-the-cuff defense of his bodyguards’ actions — that they were right to retaliate against insults targeting the president — appears to be the defense the Republic of Turkey is using in its attempt to get this lawsuit dismissed.

    • 72 Sent to Hospitals in Hong Kong Protests

      Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam blamed protesters for a politically motivated riot marked by violence and police force that followed a demonstration over a proposal allowing extradition to the Chinese mainland.

    • New York Teachers Fight for Divestment From Prison Industry

      Teachers in Rochester, New York, recently discovered, to their horror, that their pensions are invested in the private prison and immigrant detention industry. After learning this from Basma Eid, an organizer with the group Freedom to Thrive, one teacher, Michelle Sapere, spearheaded the formation of a rank-and-file organization in her union called Teachers Against Student Exploitation (TASE).

      The organization has launched a campaign to get the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS), the independent fund that manages their pensions, to divest their $8 million holdings in the for-profit prison system.

      “I was shocked to hear that my pension was invested in this system,” Sapere said. “Since then, I started researching and found out more and more. Then I started telling teachers and students in my school, and none of them knew about it, and they, too, were shocked and disgusted by it. Especially retiring teachers.”

      TASE is joining a national movement to target prison profiteers. “We launched the campaign to break the lobbying power of the private prison industry,” Eid said. Still, such divestment activists know that they are up against big businesses fully backed by the federal government.

    • How Fears of Abolition Shaped the Second Amendment

      Article 1, Section 8, of the proposed Constitution had southern slave owners concerned about the future of their economy.

      Slavery can exist only in the context of a police state, and the enforcement of that police state was the explicit job of the militias.

      If the antislavery folks in the North could figure out a way to disband those southern militias—or even just to move the militias out of the states—the police state of the South would collapse. And, similarly, if the North were to invite into military service the slaves of the South, then they could be emancipated, which would collapse the institution of slavery—and the southern economic and social systems—altogether.

      These two possibilities worried southerners like James Monroe, George Mason (who owned more than 300 slaves), and the southern Christian evangelical Patrick Henry (the largest slaveholder in the state of Virginia).

    • Mauled by American Meritocracy

      The news that Amy Chua, the semi-notorious author of the dual memoir and parenting self-help book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” secured her daughter a Supreme Court clerkship under the tutelage of Justice Brett Kavanaugh is many things, but it is not surprising. America’s meritocratic rulers have grown increasingly brazen in recent years, and using your celebrity to ensure your overachieving offspring ultimately enjoys a lucrative gig in the private sector is less objectionable than, say, the president dragging his progeny along on state visits to pimp their chintzy resorts and bad fashion brands.

      Outrage over Chua’s shameless public sycophancy does, however, indicate just how deeply the myth of meritocracy remains ingrained in the ostensible American left. Yes, I am quite sure that there is a brilliant legal mind toiling away at a second-tier regional law school and burying herself beneath a mountain of student debt who is smarter, more perspicacious and more deserving. But isn’t this really just the lean-in fallacy popularized by Sheryl Sandberg, another psychotic celebrity of the ruling class?

      The Supreme Court may be more clubby than ever before—two of our current justices went to the same private high school, at the same time—yet it has always been a profoundly anti-democratic artifact of our profoundly anti-democratic American system of government. Expanded individual access to these archaic institutions of inequality doesn’t solve a more fundamental problem: that they exist in the first place.

    • Watch Bernie Sanders Deliver Speech on Why Democratic Socialism ‘Only Way to Defeat Oligarchy and Authoritarianism’

      In a speech at George Washington University on Wednesday, Sen. Bernie Sanders laid out his vision of a democratic socialist society and made the case for why an ambitious agenda centered on economic rights for all is the only way to confront America’s deep inequities and defeat far-right authoritarianism.

      “We must recognize that in the 21st century, in the wealthiest country in the history of the world, economic rights are human rights,” said Sanders, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. “And that is what I mean by democratic socialism.”

      Decrying an economic system that has left millions of families one accident or sickness away from complete “devastation” while billionaires thrive, Sanders said the Democratic Party must “take up the unfinished business of the New Deal and carry it to completion” by guaranteeing healthcare, education, housing, and a clean environment to all as a right.

    • Hung Jury in Humanitarian Aid Trial Shows Arizonans Still ‘Standing Their Ground’ for Justice

      An activist who was put on trial for providing water and humanitarian aid to migrants in the American Southwest desert was acquitted Tuesday by a hung jury.

      Scott Warren, a 36 year-old from Ajo, Arizona, who is a professor of geography at Arizona State University, worked with the humanitarian organization No More Deaths for years to save lives at the southern border. Those efforts, as Common Dreams reported, resulted in one felony count of conspiracy to transport undocumented immigrants and two felony counts of harboring undocumented immigrants.

      Warren’s trial saw the jury in his case return to the courtroom deadlocked at eight to four in favor of acquittal. The judge in the case set a hearing to proceed on the status of the case for July 2.

    • Body Cameras and Tasers Make Billions for Axon, But Don’t Solve Police Violence

      Last August, Cincinnati police officer Kevin D. Brown tased an 11-year-old Black girl who was suspected of shoplifting food, sparking outrage and a review of the city’s use-of-force policy. This year, Minneapolis resident Clifford Johnson sued the city and two police officers after he was tased during a mental health crisis. “The use of the Taser caused Mr. Johnson to suffer a severe mental breakdown, which required hospitalization for approximately 10 days and then a prolonged period of outpatient treatment and recovery,” the lawsuit said.

      Despite such incidents, Taser and body-worn camera manufacturer Axon continues its meteoric rise. Stock of the publicly traded company rose from about $13 per share in May 2014 to approximately $67 per share in late May this year, an increase of 415 percent. In 2018, CEO Rick Smith netted a $246 million compensation package, a sum that’s “about 20 times the median pay” for the CEO of an S&P 500 company, according to the Wall Street Journal. Axon’s ethos is best articulated by Smith himself: “Killing is a technology problem. We kill because, today, it is the most reliable way to stop a threat. But we can imagine better solutions.”

      Today, 17,000 of America’s roughly 18,000 law enforcement agencies use Tasers as a “less lethal option.” But the biggest beneficiaries are police themselves, who experience 76 percent fewer injuries when the stun device is available. Tasers do not make policing less lethal for civilians: In February, Reuters published a piece documenting more than 1,000 deaths after the use of a Taser since its introduction 20 years ago, and there’s no evidence that police use of the device led to a reduction in the use of firearms, or reduction in use of force.

      Worse, technology like Tasers widens the net of policing nationwide. As Yale law professor Monica Bell wrote in 2017, real reform requires “shrinking the footprint of armed bureaucrats” who are “performing functions that supplant work ideally done by the welfare state and social services.”

    • Do Your Jobs: Sick and Dying, They Brought Themselves Down Here to Speak – To No One

      For a scathing, potent, gut-punching look at the efficacy of righteous rage in the name of change, look no further than Jon Stewart’s blistering testimony to an almost empty House Tuesday on the shameful failure of Congress to adequately compensate 9/11 First Responders, dying of cancer and other ills at horrific rates even as glib lawmakers continue to spout “Never Forget” bullshit. A longtime advocate for New York City firefighters and police who for weeks inhaled toxic waste from working on “The Pile” – over 20,000 people have contracted or died from thousands of kinds of cancers, including brain and lung, along with breathing ailments – Stewart was alternately livid and tearful as he ripped the “callous indifference and rank hypocrisy” of GOP lawmakers who didn’t even show up. At issue is the need for Congress to reauthorize a 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund that’s running short on money and has already had to cut payments by more than half to the sick and dying, many of whom came and/or spoke at the hearing. Luis Alvarez, a retired NYPD detective and ailing 9/11 responder starting his 69th round of chemotherapy Wednesday, told lawmakers, “You all said you would never forget. I’m here to make sure that you don’t.”

    • At White House Gates, Hundreds of Religious Leaders Demand Trump and His Enablers “Repent of Their Sins”

      Instead of covenantal leadership for justice, compassion, healing, and the empowerment of all, these sinful acts of the current administration pursue subjugation: subjugation of racial, religious, ethnic, and gender minorities; of women; of children; of the suffocating middle class, workers, family farmers, the poor, and people who fall sick; of immigrants and refugees; of the free press; of the Constitution; even of Earth, our common home. This hate-filled subjugation violates the Covenant. It must not stand.

    • In Russia, where at least one in three women faces abuse, an interactive media project against domestic violence goes international

      Kirill and Nastya’s backstory may say they appear from the outside to have a normal life, but Project 911, an interactive multimedia project released in Russian in December 2018, shatters that illusion immediately. The main feature of the site, a role-playing exercise called Game 116, introduces the couple with unsettling graphics and the explicit knowledge that Kirill’s aggression has caused Nastya to become increasingly closed off to the world around her.

    • ‘What Is He Hiding?’ Trump Asserts Executive Privilege Over Census Question Documents Subpoenaed by Congress

      The administration’s claim of executive privilege came in the form of a Department of Justice letter sent to House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) just before a meeting on Wednesday morning where the committee was set to vote on contempt of Congress charges against Attorney General William Barr and Secretary Wilbur Ross for their refusal to share requested documents—first subpoened in April—for oversight purposes.

      Like Lee, Cummings asked out loud what the administration had to hide by claiming the privilege.

      “This begs the question: what is being hidden?” Cummings asked at the outset of the proceedings. “This does not appear to be an effort to engage in good faith negotiations or accommodations. Instead, it appears to be another example of the administration’s blanket defiance of Congress’s constitutionally mandated responsibilities.”

    • Overcrowding, Rotten Food & Nooses: DHS Watchdog Confirms Horrific Conditions at Immigrant Jails

      We look at horrific conditions for some 52,000 immigrants held in for-profit jails around the country. At least 24 immigrants have died in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement under Trump, and at least four more died shortly after being released. Now Homeland Security’s own inspector general has revealed how detained immigrants are subjected to rotten food, severe overcrowding, inadequate medical care, and broken and overflowing toilets. This comes as a separate report recently documented “dangerous overcrowding” at a Border Patrol processing facility in El Paso, Texas. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has announced it plans to hold some 1,400 immigrant children at a site on Fort Sill Army Base in Oklahoma that was once used as an internment camp for Japanese Americans during World War II. We get an update from Aura Bogado, immigration reporter for Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, who has been speaking with migrants held in these facilities.

    • Biden Can Run for President, But He Can’t Hide From His Record

      Status Quo Ante Uncle Joe’s campaign has made the mistake of letting one pool reporter cover each of his big-dollar fundraisers in the interests of fairness and transparency.

      On Monday night, Biden reportedly reassured a group of wealthy donors and lobbyists that he thinks quite well of the oligarchs whose interests they (and he) represent.

    • Bernie Sanders Says Former Brazilian President Lula Should Be Freed After Leaked Documents Expose ‘Politicized Prosecution’

      Sanders’s comments came just two days after The Intercept published several stories on the massive trove of documents, which included conversations showing that Judge Sérgio Moro—who is now serving as justice minister under Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro—worked with prosecutors to craft the corruption case against Lula that landed him in prison in 2018.

      “Overall,” The Intercept reported Sunday, “the documents depict a task force of prosecutors seemingly intent on exploiting its legal powers for blatantly political ends, led by its goal of preventing a return to power of the Workers’ Party generally, and Lula specifically.”

      Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), the first U.S. lawmaker to speak out in response to the leaked documents, told The Intercept in a statement earlier Tuesday that the trove of documents “confirms what we knew all along—that Moro was a bad actor and part of a larger conspiracy to send Lula to jail.”

      Khanna said the Trump administration—which has a friendly relationship with Bolsonaro—should back a full investigation into the case that imprisoned Lula and paved the way for Bolsonaro’s rise to power.

      “While [it's] not for America to make a factual judgement on Lula’s innocence, this reporting shows Moro was not impartial and coordinated with the prosecutors,” added Khanna. “This violates all judicial norms and ethics. I hope the Trump administration supports a full investigation into this matter given Lula is still in jail and Moro is Bolsonaro’s justice minister.”

  • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Here’s Why Net Neutrality Still Matters One Year After Repeal

      One year ago the FCC ignored a bipartisan majority of the public and killed popular net neutrality consumer protections at lobbyist behest. But contrary to conventional wisdom the FCC’s “Restoring Internet Freedom” order didn’t just kill “net neutrality”: it neutered the FCC’s authority over ISPs, ceding much of its remaining power to an FTC that lacks the authority or resources to really police bad behavior in telecom (the whole point). Those who continue to insist the repeal couldn’t have been that bad because the internet didn’t immediately explode only advertise their ignorance to the scope of what the telecom lobby actually accomplished.

      Again, the telecom industry didn’t just eliminate net neutrality rules (after allegedly trying to stuff the FCC website comment ballet box using fake and dead people), they eliminated most oversight of some of the most predatory, uncompetitive, and disliked companies in America. We effectively took the very ideas that helped create monopolies like Comcast, and doubled down. Should it be allowed to stand, the FCC’s repeal leaves telecom giants (with two decades of anti-competitive behavior under their belts) free from both competition and meaningful regulatory accountability.

      If you don’t see the problem there, you probably haven’t spent much time looking at your broadband bill, watching AT&T do business, or talking to Comcast customer support.

      With a few exceptions (like AT&T using its usage caps to harm competitors like Netflix, or Centurylink blocking internet access to spam its own security products), most ISPs have tried to be on their best behavior in the year since. Why? They’re worried about state laws that popped up to protect consumers in the wake of FCC apathy. They’re also worried about the lawsuit by 23 AGs filed against the FCC, a ruling in which is expected any day now. Should the FCC lose, the FCC’s 2015 rules could be fully restored. ISPs don’t want to significantly change their business models at scale only to have the rules pop back up declaring them in violation.

      As a result ISPs are just biding their time, waiting for the full green light to behave anti-competitively. They’ve spent some of that time getting their biggest sycophants in Congress to push bogus net neutrality laws framed as serious attempts at “bipartisan consensus” intended to “put the issue to bed.” In reality these bills, literally written by industry, only serve one purpose: pre-empt tougher state or federal efforts to protect net neutrality. Such bills are filled with loopholes and the tech policy equivalent of a head fake.

    • 10 State AGs Join Forces, Will Sue To Stop T-Mobile Sprint Merger

      While the FCC has indicated it’s more than eager to approve T-Mobile’s $25 billion merger with Sprint (despite an endless list of red flags), other regulators have proven to be a harder sell. The DOJ, for example, seems a bit sheepish on signing off on a deal that will reduce already semi-tepid US wireless competition by 25%. They’re correct to worry: US telecom is awash with examples of how such consolidation tends to devastate employment, and results in significantly higher rates for consumers and businesses alike.

      Granted with the DOJ now run by former Verizon attorney Bill Barr, it’s still very possible the DOJ approves the deal anyway. But even then, the deal is going to have to get past a new coalition of 10 state attorneys general, who say they’ve joined forces and will file a lawsuit to block the deal whether the DOJ approves it or not.

  • Intellectual Monopolies

    • On DOJ’s behalf, former Qualcomm lawyers file amicus brief in support of Qualcomm and point to paper co-authored by Qualcomm lobbyist: Ninth Circuit appeal of consumer class certification

      In early May, the Antitrust Division of the DOJ, under Qualcomm’s former outside counsel and now-Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, filed an amicus brief with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California more than three months after the FTC v. Qualcomm trial (!), seeking to dissuade–to no avail, as we know by now–Judge Lucy H. Koh from ordering injunctive remedies against the chipset maker that generates two thirds of its profits from patent licensing, not product sales. The FTC sharply disagreed with this attempt by a government department to influence the outcome of an antitrust case brought by an independent government agency, and Judge Koh, in her late-May ruling, gave the DOJ’s initiative short shrift.

    • LG Electronics and industry group support FTC’s opposition to Qualcomm’s motion to stay enforcement

      This is the second part of today’s little trilogy of FRAND posts. Like the previous one, it deals with some Qualcomm antitrust litigation pending in the U.S. and involves third-party submissions (amicus curiae briefs).

      Yesterday evening, the FTC filed its opposition to Qualcomm’s motion to stay the enforcement of antitrust remedies pending its Ninth Circuit appeal. Qualcomm had unsuccessfully moved to shorten time. The FTC’s opposition brief argues that the delay requested by Qualcomm “would adversely affect competition at a critical time, just as the cellular industry is transitioning to 5G technology” (this post continues below the document):

    • Broadbased IoT industry support for CWA2 set of standard-essential patent (SEP) licensing guidelines and best practices

      At times, courts are asked to clarify what FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) means for standard-essential patent (SEP) licensing terms. The two most fruitful U.S. cases in this regard have been Microsoft v. Motorola (Judge James L. Robart, Western District of Washington) and FTC v. Qualcomm (Judge Lucy H. Koh, Northern District of California). In the EU, Huawei v. ZTE proved reasonably helpful, though definitely not at a level with the aforementioned U.S. cases.

      But besides litigation, policy initiatives as well as efforts by standardization bodies can and do provide orientation. In the U.S., the IEEE has become a particularly important discussion forum, and the arguably most important European guideline-development effort, a workshop under the umbrella of European standard-setting organizations CEN and CENELEC with support from Germany’s DIN, has just concluded with the publication of a 51-page “CEN Workshop Agreement” on the “Core Principles and Approaches for Licensing of Standard-Essential Patents” after more than a year of discussions. The official dcoument number is “CWA 95000.” The shorter name is “CWA2.” Why the number 2? Because there’s another set of recommendations by another group of companies, and it advocates pretty much the opposite approach, but it has considerably less support from industry than CWA2.

      This is an important time for the publication of such proposed guidelines for different reasons. The industry is transitioning to 5G, and in an Internet of Things world, ever more–and an ever greater diversity of–devices will implement wireless industry standards. Also, a new EU Commission will be appointed this year, and the incoming Commission will have to address SEP licensing principles in different fields of policy-making as well as in competition enforcement.

      The Fair Standards Alliance issued a press release on CWA2 this morning. The FSA partnered with ACT | The App Association. ACT already pointed to CWA2 yesterday evening in an amicus brief supporting the FTC against Qualcomm’s motion for an enforcement stay. FSA and ACT teamed up with the leading German standard-development body, Deutsches Institut für Normung (DIN), and DIN served as the secretariat for this workshop.

    • News from Abroad — Technetix v Teleste: Doctrine of Equivalents

      Prior to Actavis v Lilly, if a patent’s features were novel and inventive (feature Z over X), a patent was valid.

      Further, if a patent’s features were not embodied in the alleged infringement (Z is not Y), a patent was not infringed. It followed that under the above example, the patent would be valid but not infringed.

      The position potentially changes after Actavis v Lilly because the patent can now be infringed by a product which has an equivalent feature (Y is the equivalent of Z). If Y is obvious over X (but Z is not obvious over X), the patent remains valid but is infringed by an “obvious” product. This is an untenable position: it is a fundamental principle of patent law that a party must be free to do that which was either not new or obvious at the priority date.

      [...]

      Teleste counterclaimed, challenging the validity of the patent.

      Following an adjournment of the trial (see Technetix v Teleste: Adjournment of Patent Trial), the claim was heard before the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) in November 2018. The patent was held to be invalid, but the court provided its obiter comments on infringement. This defence was fully pleaded on both sides and argued at the trial.

      HHJ Hacon declined to hold whether such a defence exists. However, he offered a proposal as to how such a defence (if it exists) may operate. Drawing on the Germany Federal Supreme Court in Formstein, he posited that a defence could be adopted in English law so that, if an accused product or process is an equivalent and for that reason is nominally within the scope of the claim, but the equivalent would have lacked novelty or inventive step over the prior art at the priority date, then it is deemed to fall outside the scope of the claim.

      HHJ Hacon noted that such a defence also exists under Dutch law, see Core Distribution Inc v Lidl Nederland GmbH, and was analogous to the principle of ensnarement in the USA.

    • Even More Ill-Conceived Remedies from Congress Regarding Prescription Drug Costs [Ed: Kevin E. Noonan, patent maximalist and proponent of patents on life/genetics/nature, protests and objects to measures that are "boon to generic and biosimilar companies"; he wants poor people dead so he can bill clients more]

      While a boon to generic and biosimilar companies, the provision’s presumption ignores the reasons why there are various related patents in a portfolio, such as the workings of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office with regard to imposing restriction requirements and encouraging continuation practice with its attendant requirement for terminal disclaimers. Instead of these procedures, which differ in response to each individual application and how these inventions are claimed and examined, Rep. Jeffries would impose a presumption that the patentee would be required to rebut, this increasing uncertainty in patent protection for inventions already burdened with risk.

    • Trademarks

      • Neymar scores at EU General Court: “Neymar” trade mark declared invalid due to bad faith registration

        With an application filed in December 2012 Mr Carlos Moreira sought to register the word mark “Neymar” as an EU trade mark (EUTM) for goods in class 25 (clothing, footwear, headgear) of the Nice Classification. The EUTM was registered and published in 2013.

        In February 2017, the intervener, Neymar Da Silva Santos Junior (currently with PSG and probably facing bigger headaches than IP-related ones), filed an application for a declaration of invalidity under Article 59(1)(b) of the EU Trade Mark Regulation (EUTMR), against this EUTM in respect of all the goods.

    • Copyrights

      • UK IPO launches new copyright education resources for schools [Ed: IPO participates in obligatory school indoctrination for copyright barons. I don’t suppose (UK-)IPO gives a damn about its reputation, it’s just licking Hollywood’s boots now.]

        On Monday, the UK IPO launched it’s latest materials aimed at helping teachers to bring copyright education into schools.

      • Italian court confirms that unauthorized use of Audrey Hepburn’s likeness infringes (post mortem) image rights

        Italian image rights protection is notoriously quite strong and is also available post mortem. In the latter case, consent to the use of one’s own likeness must be obtained, in the first place, from the person’s spouse and children.

        An estate that has been quite keen on enforcing post mortem image rights is that of actress Audrey Hepburn. Not all readers might be aware of the fact that the late icon had a close connection with Italy: in fact, her second husband was Italian psychiatrist Andrea Dotti. They had a soon together, Luca Andrea, who was born in 1970.

        The IPKat has already reported on a case brought jointly by Luca Andrea Dotti and Audrey Hepburn’s other son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer, and decided by the Court of First Instance of Milan in 2015 concerning unauthorized evocation (not even direct use) of the likeness of Audrey Hepburn in an advertisement.

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