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09.15.19

Links 16/9/2019: Linux 5.3, EasyOS Releases, Media Backlash Against RMS

Posted in News Roundup at 6:49 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Linux VR Headset

      Since most VR Headsets support Windows platforms today, there are very few options for Linux users. Despite its support, many people have faced troubles setting up and running their Headsets on Linux. However, not anymore. The VR gaming experience is now getting better!

      The all-new Xrdesktop is an open-source development that lets you work with various desktop environments like GNOME and KDE. Since this project is under progress right now, we can hope for more features like Steam, Valve and other platforms for gaming and Virtual Reality experience.

      In addition, the Xrdesktop will also offer integration with Windows as well. Once completed, it will be a great step towards traditional Linux desktop environments. The program is available for installation in both packages for Ubuntu Linux and Arch Linux.

    • VRChat for Linux

      VRChat is a massive multiplayer online virtual reality platform launched in 2017 by VRChat Inc. The game was initially released for Microsoft Windows and was accessible by Windows Mixed Reality headsets, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and regular PC users. It was later launched for Oculus Quest platforms in May 2019

      VRChat in non-technical terms is a meeting ground where you can create your own world and avatar, play games, watch anything you like, and just discover as you would in real life. It has players from around the world who you can be friends with during your time while playing. For anyone getting their hands on VRChat for the first time, follow the guide to get started. Also, find out how to download VRChat if you are a Linux user.

    • Top 5 VR games to play on Linux

      The gaming world has also evolved a lot and the current trends are very VR oriented. A large number of games are being ported to VR systems along with regular releases. The good news about this is that developers are also acknowledging the need for stable releases for VR games on Linux systems.

    • Desktop

      • Huawei embraces deepin Linux as Microsoft Windows 10 future remains uncertain

        Huawei makes some of the best laptops around — the company actually puts Apple’s design team to shame. This focus on elegance cannot be said for many other Windows PC manufacturers, as they often just set their sights on cutting corners to keep prices down.

        And that is why Donald Trump’s xenophobic attacks on Huawei are so tragic. Huawei’s computers and smartphones are wonderful, but with uncertainty about access to Windows and proper Android (with Google apps), consumers are correct to be a bit concerned.

      • Op-Ed: Some Huawei laptops in China now come loaded with Deepin Linux

        For its smartphones Huawei has been using Google’s Android operating system (OS). It can still use the system but only the open source version that lacks key features and important apps that the proprietary system had. Huawei has developed its own Harmony OS but so far is used only in smart TVs. It is not clear yet if it will be developed for smart phones.

        In the case of Huawei laptops Huawei had been using Windows 10 another US product by Microsoft. However, in China it is now replacing Windows 10 by Deepin Linux a Chinese release of Linux. There are numerous Linux versions most of them free.

      • Huawei releases Linux variants of the MateBook 13, MateBook 14, and MateBook X Pro

        The prices for the three Huawei Linux laptops are advertised as 5,399 yuan (~US$763) for the MateBook 13, 5,699 yuan (~US$805) for the practically identical but slightly larger MateBook 14, and 8,699 yuan (US$1,229) for the high-end MateBook X Pro. The three devices are scheduled for availability in September, but it’s not known if Huawei plans on releasing laptops operating on Deepin OS outside of China.

    • Server

      • SUSE Enhances Delivery of Modern Containerized and Cloud Native Applications

        SUSE® today announced updates to its application delivery solutions that help customers accelerate production of modern containerized and cloud native applications. These updates advance SUSE’s delivery and support of solutions to create, deploy and manage workloads anywhere – on premise, hybrid and multi-cloud – with exceptional service, value and flexibility.

      • With its Kubernetes bet paying off, Cloud Foundry doubles down on developer experience

        More than 50% of the Fortune 500 companies are now using the open-source Cloud Foundry Platform-as-a-Service project — either directly or through vendors like Pivotal — to build, test and deploy their applications. Like so many other projects, including the likes of OpenStack, Cloud Foundry went through a bit of a transition in recent years as more and more developers started looking to containers — and especially the Kubernetes project — as a platform on which to develop. Now, however, the project is ready to focus on what always differentiated it from its closed- and open-source competitors: the developer experience.

      • Kubernetes in the Enterprise: A Primer

        As Kubernetes moves deeper into the enterprise, its growth is having an impact on the ecosystem at large.

        When Kubernetes came on the scene in 2014, it made an impact and continues to impact the way companies build software. Large companies have backed it, causing a ripple effect in the industry and impacting open source and commercial systems. To understand how K8S will continue to affect the industry and change the traditional enterprise data center, we must first understand the basics of Kubernetes.

      • Google Cloud rolls out Cloud Dataproc on Kubernetes

        Google Cloud is trialling alpha availability of a new platform for data scientists and engineers through Kubernetes.

        Cloud Dataproc on Kubernetes combines open source, machine learning and cloud to help modernise big data resource management.

        The alpha availability will first start with workloads on Apache Spark, with more environments to come.

      • Google announces alpha of Cloud Dataproc for Kubernetes

        Not surprisingly, Google, the company that created K8s, thinks the answer to that question is yes. And so, today, the company is announcing the Alpha release of Cloud Dataproc for Kubernetes (K8s Dataproc), allowing Spark to run directly on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE)-based K8s clusters. The service promises to reduce complexity, in terms of open source data components’ inter-dependencies, and portability of Spark applications. That should allow data engineers, analytics experts and data scientists to run their Spark workloads in a streamlined way, with less integration and versioning hassles.

      • IBM

        • Fedora Is Beginning To Spin Workstation & Live Images For POWER

          If you are running the likes of the Raptor Blackbird for a POWER open-source desktop and wanting to run Fedora on it, currently you need to use the Fedora “server” CLI installer and from there install the desired packages for a desktop. But moving forward, Fedora is beginning to spin Workstation and Live images for PPC64LE.

          Complementing Fedora’s Power Architecture images of Fedora Everything and Fedora Server, Workstation and Live images are being assembled. This is much more convenient for those wanting an IBM POWER Linux desktop thanks to the success of the Raptor Blackbird with most Linux distributions just offering the server/CLI (non-desktop) images by default for PPC64LE.

        • Are Application Servers Dying a Slow Death?

          There has been concern for nearly five years application servers are dead. Truth be told, they are not dead, but is their usage in decline? The simple answer is yes. Over the years, it appears corporate environments have decided the “return on investment” is not there when looking at Java application servers. On the surface, one might assume that the likes of WebSphere or WebLogic might be the ones in decline due to cost. Perhaps it is just affecting the proprietary choices, while their open source based derivatives are growing or remaining steady? Appears not. Whichever Java application server you choose, all of them are in a state of decline.

          Whether it be proprietary options such as WebSphere or WebLogic, or open source alternatives JBoss or Tomcat, all are in decline based on employment listings we review. However, they are not declining at the same pace. From our collection of data, WebSphere and WebLogic’s decline has been more muted. The rate of reduction for each of these application servers is in the neighborhood of 25-35% over the last couple years. At the same time, the likes of JBoss and Tomcat have declined around 40-45%. Not a drastic difference, but one that still is notable.

        • Red Hat’s David Egts: Commercial Open Source Software to Drive Federal IT Modernization

          David Egts, chief technologist for Red Hat’s (NYSE: RHT) North American public sector division, advises federal agencies to adopt commercial open source software to help advance their information technology modernization efforts, GovCon Wire reported Aug. 23.

          He said Aug. 22 in an FCW thought piece that agencies should seek software vendors that are well-versed in open source technology as well as government security certifications in order to successfully modernize federal IT processes.

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.3
        So we've had a fairly quiet last week, but I think it was good that we
        ended up having that extra week and the final rc8.
        
        Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather
        than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in,
        including some for some bad btrfs behavior. Yeah, there's some
        unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also
        had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues.
        
        One _particularly_ last-minute revert is the top-most commit (ignoring
        the version change itself) done just before the release, and while
        it's very annoying, it's perhaps also instructive.
        
        What's instructive about it is that I reverted a commit that wasn't
        actually buggy. In fact, it was doing exactly what it set out to do,
        and did it very well. In fact it did it _so_ well that the much
        improved IO patterns it caused then ended up revealing a user-visible
        regression due to a real bug in a completely unrelated area.
        
        The actual details of that regression are not the reason I point that
        revert out as instructive, though. It's more that it's an instructive
        example of what counts as a regression, and what the whole "no
        regressions" kernel rule means. The reverted commit didn't change any
        API's, and it didn't introduce any new bugs. But it ended up exposing
        another problem, and as such caused a kernel upgrade to fail for a
        user. So it got reverted.
        
        The point here being that we revert based on user-reported _behavior_,
        not based on some "it changes the ABI" or "it caused a bug" concept.
        The problem was really pre-existing, and it just didn't happen to
        trigger before. The better IO patterns introduced by the change just
        happened to expose an old bug, and people had grown to depend on the
        previously benign behavior of that old issue.
        
        And never fear, we'll re-introduce the fix that improved on the IO
        patterns once we've decided just how to handle the fact that we had a
        bad interaction with an interface that people had then just happened
        to rely on incidental behavior for before. It's just that we'll have
        to hash through how to do that (there are no less than three different
        patches by three different developers being discussed, and there might
        be more coming...). In the meantime, I reverted the thing that exposed
        the problem to users for this release, even if I hope it will be
        re-introduced (perhaps even backported as a stable patch) once we have
        consensus about the issue it exposed.
        
        Take-away from the whole thing: it's not about whether you change the
        kernel-userspace ABI, or fix a bug, or about whether the old code
        "should never have worked in the first place". It's about whether
        something breaks existing users' workflow.
        
        Anyway, that was my little aside on the whole regression thing.  Since
        it's that "first rule of kernel programming", I felt it is perhaps
        worth just bringing it up every once in a while.
        
        Other than that aside, I don't find a lot to really talk about last
        week. Drivers, networking (and network drivers), arch updates,
        selftests. And a few random fixes in various other corners. The
        appended shortlog is not overly long, and gives a flavor for the
        changes.
        
        And this obviously means that the merge window for 5.4 is open, and
        I'll start doing pull requests for that tomorrow. I already have a
        number of them in my inbox, and I appreciate all the people who got
        that over and done with early,
        
                        Linus
        
      • Linux Kernel 5.3 Officially Released, Here’s What’s New

        Linus Torvalds announced today the release of the Linux 5.3 kernel series, a major that brings several new features, dozens of improvements, and updated drivers.

        Two months in the works and eight RC (Release Candidate) builds later, the final Linux 5.3 kernel is now available, bringing quite some interesting additions to improve hardware support, but also the overall performance. Linux kernel 5.3 had an extra Release Candidate because of Linus Torvalds’ travel schedule, but it also brought in a few needed fixes.

        “Even if the reason for that extra week was my travel schedule rather than any pending issues, we ended up having a few good fixes come in, including some for some bad Btrfs behavior. Yeah, there’s some unnecessary noise in there too (like the speling fixes), but we also had several last-minute reverts for things that caused issues,” said Linus Torvalds.

      • Linux 5.3 Kernel Released With AMD Navi Support, Intel Speed Select & More

        Linus Torvalds just went ahead and released the Linux 5.3 kernel as stable while now opening the Linux 5.4 merge window.

        There was some uncertainty whether Linux 5.3 would have to go into extra overtime due to a getrandom() system call issue uncovered by an unrelated EXT4 commit. Linus ended up reverting the EXT4 commit for the time being.

      • Intel Continues Investing In Execute-Only Memory Support For The Linux Kernel

        One of the steps Intel’s open-source developers continue working on for Linux is supporting “execute only memory” that will already work with some of today’s processors and serve as another defense for bettering the security of systems particularly in a virtualized environment.

        Ultimately they have been working on an implementation to create execute-only memory for user-space programs similar to work already done for other architectures as well as the kernel itself. This “not-readable” memory would help when paired with other precautions like address space layout randomization (ASLR) for leaking less data about the system (i.e. where different bits are in memory) to make other exploits more difficult.

      • AMD Dali APU Spotted On Linux Patch, Mobile Devices Could Have Budget APU in 2020

        Salvador Dali apparently is going to be the inspiration for the next generation of APUs besides the Renoir APUs that have already been discussed because we’re actually finding out in Linux drivers that there is potentially a new AMD APU class called Dali. It’s not clear what this is going to be, especially since Renoir is supposed to be Zen 2 CPU with Vega graphics. Maybe, potentially this is nice pit balling Dali is likely going to be Zen + CPU with Nova graphics and they’re just gonna complicate everything in differentiating APUs. Last week updated Linux patch appeared on Freedesktop.

      • Linux 5.4 Cycle To Begin With exFAT Driver, EPYC Improvements & New GPU Support

        The Linux 5.3 kernel is expected to be released as stable today and that will mark the opening of the two-week Linux 5.4 merge window. Here is a look ahead at some of the material expected to make it into this next version of the Linux kernel that will also be the last major stable release of 2019.

      • This PPA Lets You Try an exFat Kernel Module Based on Samsung Code

        A new PPA gives Ubuntu users the opportunity to try an alternative exFAT kernel module based on the latest Samsung code.

        You may recall that, back in August, Microsoft announced it would help bring exFAT to the Linux kernel under a permissible license. This move ended years of legal uncertainty and should allow exFAT to be fully supported in the mainline Linux kernel.

      • An Alternative exFAT Linux File-System Driver Based On Samsung’s sdFAT

        While the upcoming Linux 5.4 kernel cycle is finally bringing a driver for Microsoft exFAT file-system read/write support, it’s dated on an old Samsung code drop that has seen little public work over the years. Since queued for staging-next, there has been a big uptick in clean-ups and other activity, but there also exists another alternative out-of-tree exFAT Linux driver.

      • Linux Foundation

      • Graphics Stack

        • Mesa Vulkan Drivers Now Tracking Game Engine/Version For Handling More Workarounds

          Currently the Mesa OpenGL/Vulkan drivers have relied upon matching executable names for applying game/application-specific workarounds. But with Vulkan as part of the instance creation information and VkApplicationInfo it’s possible to optionally advertise the rendering engine and version in use. The Mesa Vulkan drivers are now making use of that information to allow for more uniform workarounds.

          Rather than having to match and apply workarounds to each specific game in the case of broad game engine defects, the Radeon RADV and Intel ANV drivers have introduced the infrastructure for tracking the exposed engine name and version for allowing workarounds to be applied at that higher-level rather than just each executable name.

    • Benchmarks

      • Intel’s Gallium3D Driver Is Running Much Faster Than Their Current OpenGL Linux Driver With Mesa 19.3

        Last month I did some fresh benchmarks of Intel’s new open-source OpenGL Linux driver with Mesa 19.2 and those results were looking good as tested with a Core i9 9900K. Since then, more Intel Gallium3D driver improvements have landed for what will become Mesa 19.3 next quarter. In taking another look at their former/current and new OpenGL drivers, here are fresh benchmarks of the latest code using a Core i7 8700K desktop as well as a Core i7 8550U Dell XPS laptop.

        This month so far Intel’s new Gallium3D OpenGL driver has seen OpenGL 4.6 support added, an optimization to help the Java OpenGL performance (one of the deficiencies noted by our earlier rounds of benchmarks), and other performance work.

        For some weekend benchmarking fun I tested the Core i7 8700K desktop and Dell XPS 13 laptop with Core i7 8550U graphics while comparing the OpenGL driver options. The driver state for both the i965 and Iris Gallium3D drivers were of Mesa 19.3-devel Git as of this week and also running with the near-final Linux 5.3 kernel.

    • Applications

      • Linux Shell Roundup: 15 Most Popular Open Source Linux Shells

        Unix systems have captivated the world since its inception in the 70s. One of the fundamental features that helped Linux and BSD distributions in securing their current stature is the Linux shell. The shell is one of the essential tools for many Linux aficionados due to its immense power and diverse applications. It is a command-line interface to your operating system, which allows you to perform any kind of operation depending on your criteria. Moreover, Linux shells are not just an interface but also a full-fledged scripting language with its own set of syntax and semantics.

      • MusicBrainz Picard 2.2 Released with Built-in Media Player

        MusicBrainz Picard, a cross-platform music tagger, released version 2.2 a day ago. Here’s how to install it in Ubuntu 18.04, Ubuntu 19.04.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine 4.16 Released with Improvements

        Wine (i.e “Wine Is Not an Emulator”) is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on several POSIX-compliant operating systems, such as Linux, macOS, & BSD. Instead of simulating internal Windows logic like a virtual machine or emulator, Wine translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls on-the-fly, eliminating the performance and memory penalties of other methods and allowing you to cleanly integrate Windows applications into your desktop.

    • Games

      • Pavlov VR | Linux Gaming | Ubuntu 19.04 | Steam Play

        Pavlov VR running through Steam play.

      • DiRT Rally is Currently FREE on Steam, Saving You $39.99 [Limited Offer]

        Codemasters, who publish the game, have teamed up with Steam to give away a free, fully-featured version of the game to any Steam user who wants it — saving them $39.99!

        DiRT Rally delivers an exceptional rally racing experience with more than 40 rally cars available to race on more than 70 stages.

        [...]

        You?ll need a valid Steam account (free, requires e-mail) in order to redeem the offer, as well as to download and install the game.

      • Minecraft Game Free Download for Linux

        Minecraft is a Swedish video game. Minecraft is a Sandbox and survival game developer Markus Persson. Minecraft developed and published by Mojang. The Minecraft has been described one of the most influential greatest video games in the history and won the numerous awards. The Minecraft game has been used in educational environment especially in computer systems. The game was released in November 18, 2011 for Microsoft Windows, masOS, Linux.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • digiKam 6.3.0 is released

          We received a lot of excellent user feedback after publishing the third digiKam 6 release in August 2019. We are now proud to briefly announce the new digiKam 6.3.0, a maintenance version which consolidates this feedback and acts as an important phase of this 3-year-old project.

        • This week in KDE

          See, I told you I’d continue to blog about the cool things that have happened in KDE-land.

        • KDE’s KWin Options UI Improved, Various Other Enhancements During Akademy Week

          KDE’s annual Akademy developer conference took place this past week in Milan, Italy. But even with that in-person event the development of the KDE desktop environment didn’t let up in landing new improvements.

          While the KDE Usability & Productivity initiative is over with now KDE focusing on Wayland, consistency, and application improvements, KDE contributor Nate Graham is continuing with his weekly blog posts highlighting the usability/productivity changes and other improvements to the KDE stack.

        • KDE Akademy 2019 Recap

          After eight densely packed days Akademy 2019 is over. As always it was very nice to meet everyone again, as well as to meet some people I have been working with online for the first time in real life.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Nostalgia is a GNOME Wallpaper App with a Twist

          Nostalgia a free GTK app for the Linux desktop that enables you to browse through official GNOME desktop wallpapers, and quickly set them as your desktop background.

          Like Ubuntu, each new release of the GNOME desktop comes bearing its own unique wallpaper (which, again like Ubuntu, tend to stay within a loose theme).

          While GNOME’s default wallpapers aren’t as well known or as revered as Ubuntu’s default wallpapers (by lieu of the fact they’re usually not used by default, i.e. so fewer people see them) they’re still high-quality pieces of art.

        • GNOME and gestures, Part 2: HdyLeaflet

          A folded HdyLeaflet, just like GtkStack, shows one of its children at any given moment, even during child transitions. The second visible child during transitions is just a screenshot. But which child is “real” and which is a screenshot? Turns out the real child is the destination one, meaning the widget switches its visible child when the animation starts. It isn’t a problem if the animation is quick and time-based, but becomes very noticeable with a gesture. Additionally, it means that starting and cancelling a gesture switches the visible child two time.

          One solution would be only switching the visible child at the end of the animation (or not at all if it was canceled). The problem is that it’s a major behavior change: applications that listen to visible-child to know when to update the widgets, or sync the property between two leaflets will break.

          Another solution would be to draw both children during transitions, but it still means that visible-child changes two times if the gesture was canceled. The problem here is similar: applications wouldn’t expect the other child to still be drawn, but at least it’s just a visual breakage. And it still means that starting and canceling the gesture would mean two visible-child changes.

          The second solution may sound better, and yet the current WIP code uses the first one.

    • Distributions

      • New Releases

        • EasyOS Buster version 2.1.3 released

          EasyOS version 2.1.3, latest in the “Buster” series, has been released. This is another incremental upgrade, however, as the last release announced on Distrowatch is version 2.1, the bug fixes, improvements and upgrades have been considerable since then. So much, that I might request the guys at Distrowatch to announce version 2.1.3.

        • EasyOS Pyro version 1.2.3 released

          Another incremental release of the Pyro series. Although this series is considered to be in maintenance mode, it does have all of the improvements as in the latest Buster release.

        • IPFire 2.23 – Core Update 136 is available for testing

          the summer has been a quiet time for us with a little relaxation, but also some shifted focus on our infrastructure and other things. But now we are back with a large update which is packed with important new features and fixes.

      • PCLinuxOS/Mageia/Mandriva Family

        • An Easy Fix for a Stupid Mistake

          I waited a long time for Mageia 7 and for OpenMandriva Lx 4. When both distros arrived, I was very happy.

          But new distros bring changes, and sometimes it is not easy to adapt. Mageia 7 has been rock-solid: it is doing a great job in my laptop and both in my daughter’s desktop and in mine. There is one thing, though. I have been avoiding a strange mesa update that wants to remove Steam.

          OpenMandriva is also fantastic, but this new release provided options like rock, release, and rolling. When I first installed the distro, I chose rock because I was shying away from the rolling flavor. Eventually, I had to move to rolling because that was the only way in which I could manage to install Steam in both my laptop and desktop machines.

      • Arch Family

        • Manjaro 18.1 ‘Juhraya’ Released: A Beginner-friendly Arch Experience

          In response to the same, the Manjaro team clarified that it was an independent decision and no money was exchanged.

          The team also changed their stance by letting the users choose between LibreOffice and FreeOffice during the installation process. As a result of this change, Manjaro 18.1 has become the first version to give users this choice. Now, during the installation itself, you’ll be asked to choose the office suite. Alternatively, you can go without an office suite at all.

      • Debian Family

        • Molly de Blanc: Free software activities (August 2019)

          The Debian Community Team (CT) had a meeting where we discussed some of our activities, including potential new team members!

        • miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus – Oct 25-27 2019 – Call for Presentations

          We’re opening the Call for Presentations for the miniDebConf19 Vaumarcus now, until October 20, so please contribute to the MiniDebConf by proposing a talk, workshop, birds of feather (BoF) session, etc, directly on the Debian wiki: /Vaumarcus/TalkSubmissions We are aiming for talks which are somehow related to Debian or Free Software in general, see the wiki for subject suggestions. We expect submissions and talks to be held in English, as this is the working language in Debian and at this event. Registration is also still open; through the Debian wiki: Vaumarcus/Registration.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Workarea Commerce Goes Open-source

        The enterprise commerce platform – Workarea is releasing its software to the open-source community. In case you don’t already know, Workarea was built to unify commerce, content management, merchant insights, and search. It was developed upon open-source technologies since its inception like Elasticsearch, MongoDB, and Ruby on Rails. Workarea aims to provide unparalleled services in terms of scalability and flexibility in modern cloud environments. Its platform source code and demo instructions are available on GitHub here.

      • Wyoming CV Pilot develops open-source RSU monitoring system

        The team working on the US Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program in Wyoming have developed open-source applications for the operation and maintenance of Roadside Units (RSUs) that can be viewed by all stakeholders.

        The Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) Connected Vehicle Pilot implementation includes the deployment of 75 RSUs along 400 miles (644km) of I-80. With long drive times and tough winters in the state, WYDOT needed an efficient way to monitor the performance of and manage and update these units to maintain peak performance. With no suitable product readily available, the WYDOT Connected Vehicle team developed an open-source application that allows authorized transportation management center (TMC) operators to monitor and manage each RSU at the roadside. The WYDOT team found that the application can also be used as a public-facing tool that shows a high-level status report of the pilot’s equipment.

        [...]

        For other state or local agencies and departments of transportation (DOTs) wishing to deploy a similar capability to monitor and manage RSUs, the application code has been made available on the USDOT’s Open Source Application Development Portal (OSADP). The code is downloadable and can be used and customized by other agencies free of charge. WYDOT developed this capability using USDOT funds under the CV Pilot program as open-source software and associated documentation. The application represents one of six that the program will be providing during its three phases.

      • You Too Can Make These Fun Games (No Experience Necessary)

        Making a videogame remained a bucket list item until I stumbled on an incredibly simple open source web app called Bitsy. I started playing around with it, just to see how it worked. Before I knew it, I had something playable. I made my game in a couple of hours.

      • From maverick to mainstream: why open source software is now indispensable for modern business

        Free and open source software has a long and intriguing history. Some of its roots go all the way back to the 1980s when Richard Stallman first launched the GNU project.

      • Analyst Watch: Is open source the great equalizer?

        If you had told me 25 years ago that open source would be the predominant force in software development, I would’ve laughed.

        Back then, at my industrial software gig, we were encouraged to patent as much IP as possible, even processes that seemed like common-sense business practices, or generally useful capabilities for any software developer.

        If you didn’t, your nearest competitor would surely come out with their own patent claims, or inevitable patent trolls would show up demanding fees for any uncovered bit of code.

        We did have this one developer who was constantly talking about fiddling with his Linux kernel at home, on his personal time. Interesting hobby.

      • Scientists Create World’s First Open Source Tool for 3D Analysis of Advanced Biomaterials

        Materials scientists and programmers from the Tomsk Polytechnic University in Russia and Germany’s Karlsuhe Institute of Technology have created the world’s first open source software for the 2D and 3D visualization and analysis of biomaterials used for research into tissue regeneration.

        [...]

        Scientists have already tested the software on a variety of X-ray tomography data.

        “The results have shown that the software we’ve created can help other scientists conducting similar studies in the analysis of the fibrous structure of any polymer scaffolds, including hybrid ones,” Surmenev emphasised.

      • Making Collaborative Data Projects Easier: Our New Tool, Collaborate, Is Here

        On Wednesday, we’re launching a beta test of a new software tool. It’s called Collaborate, and it makes it possible for multiple newsrooms to work together on data projects.

        Collaborations are a major part of ProPublica’s approach to journalism, and in the past few years we’ve run several large-scale collaborative projects, including Electionland and Documenting Hate. Along the way, we’ve created software to manage and share the large pools of data used by our hundreds of newsrooms partners. As part of a Google News Initiative grant this year, we’ve beefed up that software and made it open source so that anybody can use it.

      • Should open-source software be the gold standard for nonprofits?

        Prior to its relaunch, nonprofit organization Cadasta had become so focused on the technology side of its work that it distracted from the needs of partners in the field.

        “When you’re building out a new platform, it really is all consuming,” said Cadasta CEO Amy Coughenour, reflecting on some of the decisions that were made prior to her joining the team in 2018.

      • Artificial intelligence: an open source future

        At the same time, we’re seeing an increasing number of technology companies invest in AI development. However, what’s really interesting is that these companies – including the likes of Microsoft, Salesforce and Uber – are open sourcing their AI research. This move is already enabling developers worldwide to create and improve AI & Machine Learning (ML) algorithms faster. As such, open source software has become a fundamental part of enabling fast, reliable, and also secure development in the AI space. So, why all the hype around open source AI? Why are businesses of all sizes, from industry behemoths to startups, embracing open source? And where does the future lie for AI and ML as a result?

      • How open source is accelerating innovation in AI

        By eradicating barriers like high licensing fees and talent scarcity, open source is accelerating the pace of AI innovation, writes Carmine Rimi

        No other technology has captured the world’s imagination quite like AI, and there is perhaps no other that has been so disruptive. AI has already transformed the lives of people and businesses and will continue to do so in endless ways as more startups uncover its potential. According to a recent study, venture capital funding for AI startups in the UK increased by more than 200 percent last year, while a Stanford University study observed a 14-times increase in the number of AI startups worldwide in the last two years.

      • Adam Jacob Advocates for Building Healthy OSS Communities in “The War for the Soul of Open Source”

        Chef co-founder and former CTO Adam Jacob gave a short presentation at O’Reilly Open Source Software Conference (OSCON) 2019 titled “The War for the Soul of Open Source.” In his search for meaning in open source software today, Jacob confronts the notion of open source business models.

        “We often talk about open source business models,” he said. “There isn’t an open source business model. That’s not a thing and the reason is open source is a channel. Open source is a way that you, in a business sense, get the software out to the people, the people use the software, and then they become a channel, which [companies] eventually try to turn into money.”

        [...]

        In December 2018, Jacob launched the Sustainable Free and Open Source Communities (SFOSC) project to advocate for these ideas. Instead of focusing on protecting revenue models of OSS companies, the project’s contributors work together to collaborate on writing core principles, social contracts, and business models as guidelines for healthy OSS communities.

      • New Open Source Startups Emerge After Acquisition, IPO Flurry

        After a flurry of mega-acquisitions and initial public offerings of open source companies, a new batch of entrepreneurs are trying their hands at startups based on free software projects.

      • TC9 selected by NIST to develop Open Source Software for Transactive Energy Markets

        TC9, Inc. was selected by National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to develop open source software for Transactive Energy Bilateral Markets based on the NIST Common Transactive Services.

        Under the contract, TC9 will develop open source software (OSS) for agents for a transactive energy market. The software will be used to model the use of transactive energy to manage power distribution within a neighborhood. Transactive Energy is a means to balance volatile supply and consumption in real time. Experts anticipate the use of Transactive Energy to support wide deployment of distributed energy resources (DER) across the power grid.

      • Open Source Software Allows Auterion to Move Drone Workflows into the Cloud

        “Until today, customizing operations in the MAVLink protocol required a deep understanding of complex subjects such as embedded systems, drone dynamics, and the C++ programming language,” said Kevin Sartori, co-founder of Auterion. “With MAVSDK, any qualified mobile developer can write high-level code for complex operations, meaning more developers will be able to build custom applications and contribute to the community.”

      • Events

        • ApacheCon 2019 Keynote: James Gosling’s Journey to Open Source

          At the recent ApacheCon North America 2019 in Las Vegas, James Gosling delivered a keynote talk on his personal journey to open-source. Gosling’s main takeaways were: open source allows programmers to learn by reading source code, developers must pay attention to intellectual property rights to prevent abuse, and projects can take on a life of their own.

        • 20 Years of the Apache Software Foundation: ApacheCon 2019 Opening Keynote

          At the recent ApacheCon North America 2019 in Las Vegas, the opening keynote session celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Apache Software Foundation (ASF), with key themes being: the history of the ASF, a strong commitment to community and collaboration, and efforts to increase contributions from the public. The session also featured a talk by astrophysicist David Brin on the potential dangers of AI.

      • Databases

        • MariaDB opens US headquarters in California

          MariaDB Corporation, the database company born as a result of forking the well-known open-source MySQL database…

        • ScyllaDB takes on Amazon with new DynamoDB migration tool

          There are a lot of open-source databases out there, and ScyllaDB, a NoSQL variety, is looking to differentiate itself by attracting none other than Amazon users. Today, it announced a DynamoDB migration tool to help Amazon customers move to its product.

        • ScyllaDB Announces Alternator, an Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-Compatible API

          ScyllaDB today announced the Alternator project, open-source software that will enable application- and API-level compatibility between Scylla and Amazon’s NoSQL cloud database, Amazon DynamoDB. Scylla’s DynamoDB-compatible API will be available for use with Scylla Open Source, supporting the majority of DynamoDB use cases and features.

        • ScyllaDB Secures $25 Million to Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-compatible API

          Fast-growing NoSQL database company raises funds to extend operations and bring new deployment flexibility to users of Amazon DynamoDB.

        • ScyllaDB Announces Alternator, an Open Source Amazon DynamoDB-Compatible API

          ScyllaDB today announced the Alternator project, open-source software that will enable application- and API-level compatibility between Scylla and Amazon’s NoSQL cloud database, Amazon DynamoDB. Scylla’s DynamoDB-compatible API will be available for use with Scylla Open Source, supporting the majority of DynamoDB use cases and features.

        • ScyllaDB powers up Alternator: an open Amazon DynamoDB API

          Companies normally keep things pretty quiet in the run up to their annual user conferences, so they can pepper the press with a bag of announcements designed to show how much market momentum and traction that have going.

          Not so with ScyllaDB, the company has been dropping updates in advance of its Scylla Summit event in what is perhaps an unusually vocal kind of way.

          [...]

          Scylla itself is a real-time big data database that is fully compatible with Apache Cassandra and is known for its ‘shared-nothing’ approach (a distributed-computing architecture in which each update request is satisfied by a single node –processor/memory/storage unit to increase throughput and storage capacity.

        • Percona Announces Full Conference Schedule for Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2019

          The Percona Live Open Source Database Conference Europe 2019 is the premier open source database event. Percona Live conferences provide the open source database community with an opportunity to discover and discuss the latest open source trends, technologies and innovations. The conference includes the best and brightest innovators and influencers in the open source database industry.

        • Thwarting Digital Ad Fraud at Scale: An Open Source Experiment with Anomaly Detection

          Our experiment assembles Kafka, Cassandra, and our anomaly detection application in a Lambda architecture, in which Kafka and our streaming data pipeline are the speed layer, and Cassandra acts as the batch and serving layer. In this configuration, Kafka makes it possible to ingest streaming digital ad data in a fast and scalable manner, while taking a “store and forward” approach so that Kafka can serve as a buffer to protect the Cassandra database from being overwhelmed by major data surges. Cassandra’s strength is in storing high-velocity streams of ad metric data in its linearly scalable, write-optimized database. In order to handle automation for provisioning, deploying, and scaling the application, the anomaly detection experiment relies on Kubernetes on AWS EKS.

      • Pseudo-Open Source (Openwashing)

      • Funding

        • Square Crypto Grants $100,000 to Open-Source Crypto Payment Processor

          Bitcoin (BTC)-supporting payments service Square Crypto is giving the first of what will be many grants to support open-source Bitcoin projects to BTCPay Foundation.

        • CasperLabs Raises $14.5M Series A Round, Aims to Scale Blockchain Opportunities for Everyone

          CasperLabs, the open-source blockchain platform powered by the Correct-by-Construction (CBC) Casper proof-of-stake consensus protocol, today announced it has raised $14.5M in Series A funding led by Terren Piezer, the “Zelig of Wall Street,” through his personal holding company, Acuitas Group Holdings. Other major investors include Arrington XRP Capital, Consensus Capital, Axiom Holdings Group, Digital Strategies, MW Partners, Blockchange Ventures, Hashkey Capital, and Distributed Global. The new investment will be used to accelerate product development and expand hiring of world-class engineers.

        • Akeneo raises $46 million for its product information management service

          Akeneo started as an open-source PIM application. Today, thousands of companies actively use that open-source version. But Akeneo also offers an enterprise edition with a more traditional software-as-a-service approach. The startup has managed to attract 300 clients, such as Sephora, Fossil and Auchan.

        • Where have all the seed deals gone?

          When it comes to big business, the numbers rarely lie, and the ones PitchBook and other sources have pulled together on the state of seed investing aren’t pretty. The total number of seed deals, funds raised and dollars invested in seed deals were all down in the 2015-2018 time frame, a period too long to be considered a correctable glitch.

          [...]

          Gone were the days of investing millions of dollars in tech infrastructure before writing the first line of code. At the same time, the proliferation of increasingly sophisticated and freely available open-source software provided many of the building blocks upon which to build a startup. And we can’t forget the launch of the iPhone in 2007 and, more importantly for startups, the App Store in 2008.

      • FSF/FSFE/GNU/SFLC

        • MIT scientist appears to DEFEND Jeffrey Epstein
        • MIT professor defended Jeffrey Epstein associate in leaked emails, claimed victims were ‘entirely willing’

          In the email thread, leaked by MIT alum Salam Jie Gano to VICE on Friday, Stallman argued that the late Marvin Minsky – an AI pioneer who died in 2016 and is accused of assaulting one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, – had not actually assaulted anyone.

          “The word ‘assaulting’ presumes that he applied force or violence, in some unspecified way, but the article itself says no such thing. Only that they had sex,” he wrote, referring to an article about Giuffre’s testimony against Minsky. “The most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him an entirely willing.”

        • Remove Richard Stallman

          I’m writing this because I’m too angry to work.
          I’m writing this because at 11AM on Wednesday, September 11th 2019, my friend sent me an email that was sent to an MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) mailing list.
          This email came from Richard Stallman, a prominent computer scientist.
          In it, he’s responding to a female student’s email about this Facebook event, which calls for a protest by MIT students and affiliates regarding Jeffrey Epstein’s donation.

      • Public Services/Government

        • Sandboxie’s path to open source, update on the Pentagon’s open source initiative, open source in Hollywood, and more

          In 2016, the White House mandated that each government agency had to open source at least 20 percent of its custom software within three years. There is an interesting article about this initiative from 2017 that laid out some of the excitement and challenges.

          According to the Government Accountability Office, the Pentagon’s not even halfway there.

          In an article for Nextgov, Jack Corrigan wrote that as of July 2019, the Pentagon had released just 10 percent of its code as open source. They’ve also not yet implemented other aspects of the White House mandate, including the directive to build an open source software policy and inventories of custom code.

          According to the report, some government officials told the GAO that they worry about security risks of sharing code across government departments. They also admitted to not creating metrics that could measure their open source efforts’ successes. The Pentagon’s Chief Technology Officer cited the Pentagon’s size as the reason for not implementing the White House’s open source mandate. In a report published Tuesday, the GAO said, “Until [the Defense Department] fully implements its pilot program and establishes milestones for completing the OMB requirements, the department will not be positioned to take advantage of significant cost savings and efficiencies.”

        • GAO: DoD Not Fully Implementing Open-Source Mandates

          The Department of Defense has not fully implemented mandates from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to increase its use of open-source software and release code, according to a September 10 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

          The report notes that the 2018 NDAA mandated DoD establish a pilot program on open source and a report on the program’s implementation. It also says that OMB’s M-16-21 memorandum requires all agencies to release at least 20 percent of custom-developed code as open-source, with a metric for calculating program performance.

          However, DoD has released less than 10 percent of its custom code, and had not developed a measure to calculate the performance of the pilot program. In comments to GAO, the DoD CIO’s office said there has been difficulty inventorying all of its custom source code across the department, and disagreement on how to assess the success for a performance measure. While the department worked to partially implement OMB’s policy, the department had not yet issued a policy.

        • Pentagon moves slowly on open-source software mandate amid security concerns

          The Defense Department has been slow to meet a government-wide mandate to release more open-source software code, as DOD officials have concerns about cybersecurity risks and are struggling to implement such a program across the department, according to a new audit.

        • DOD struggles to implement open source software pilots

          The Department of Defense’s congressionally mandated efforts to create an open source software program aren’t going so well.

          DOD must release at least 20 percent of its custom software as open source through a pilot required by a 2016 Office of Management and Budget directive and the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. Open source software, OMB says, can encourage collaboration, “reduce costs, streamline development, apply uniform standards, and ensure consistency in creating and delivering information.”

        • GAO report on open-source software

          The Sept. 10, 2019 Government Accountability Office report finds that the Defense Department “has not fully implemented an open-source software pilot program and related Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirements as mandated by the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018.”

        • DOD drags feet with open-source software program due to security, implementation concerns

          The Defense Department has been slow to meet a government-wide mandate to release more open-source software code, as DOD officials have concerns about cybersecurity risks and are struggling to implement such a program across the department, according to a new audit. Since 2016, DOD has been required by law to implement an open-source software pilot program in accordance with policy established by the Office of Management and Budget.

        • DOD pushes back on open source
        • DOD pushes back on open source
        • CONNECT Interoperability Project Shifting to the Private Sector

          The CONNECT project, an open source project that aims to increase interoperability among organizations, is transitioning from federal stewardship to the private sector and will soon be available to everyone.

          Developed ten years ago by a group of federal agencies in the Federal Health Architecture (FHA), CONNECT was a response to ONC’s original approach to a health information network. The agencies decided to build a joint health interoperability solution instead of having each agency develop its own custom solution, and they chose to make the project open source.

      • Licensing/Legal

        • Is Open Source licensing irretrievably broken?

          Jonathan Ellis is the CTO and Founder of DataStax. At ApacheCon 2019 in Las Vegas, he gave a keynote that will make many in the industry uncomfortable. The focus of that keynote was the state of open source licensing. Ellis believes that there is a problem, if not what some would call a looming crisis in how open source software licences are being used.

          He believes that the last 10 years, in particular, have seen a significant change in attitudes around what open source means. One of the big changes has been the shift from a hobbyist, part-time code development role to venture capital funded companies. Many of these like the open source model. As Ellis told Enterprise Times, making something open source is about instant exposure to a wider audience.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

        • Color Open-Sources Playbook for Population Genomics Programs

          By open-sourcing this playbook, Color is supporting global efforts to make genetics and precision health programs accessible, convenient, and cost effective, while offering responsible clinical grade return of results to all participants.

          Despite rapidly decreasing sequencing costs and growing interest in population-scale genomics, many programs have struggled to launch and scale as expected for two primary reasons.

          First, many programs have been rebuilding critical components of the architecture from the ground up, including lab infrastructure, bioinformatics, clinical interpretation & reporting, as well as secure and flexible data management systems. This process often dramatically extends timelines and forces programs to incur unnecessary costs and implementation risks.

        • Open Hardware/Modding

          • Delta X open source delta robot kit hits Kickstarter from €179

            After previously being unveiled earlier this month the Delta X open source delta robot kit has now launched via Kickstarter offering open source hardware, firmware and software for the community. Watch the demonstration video below to learn more about the Arduino powered 3D printed open source robot kit which is now available from €179.

            The Delta X offers both a complete desktop robot and a modular kit and can be combined with a range of end effectors to complete a wide variety of different applications, offering increased speed and flexibility when compared to other robotic arm kits on the market.

          • AXIS open source 3D printer from $125

            An affordable 3D printer has launched via Kickstarter this week in the form of the AXIS 3D Printer which is priced from just £99, $125 or €115. Complete with dual 3D printing head the 3D printer is based on open source technology with “tried and tested industry standard components designed to work right, first time” say it’s creators.

          • Freemelt raises $1.6 million in investment round for open-source EBM 3D printer
          • 3D printing stethoscopes, tourniquets and crucial dialysis-machine parts in Gaza

            Tarek Loubani is a Palestinian-Canadian doctor who works with the Glia Project, a group that creates open-source designs for 3D-printable medical hardware. Their goal is to let local populations manufacture their own medical wares at prices considerably lower than in the marketplace, and in situations where — because of distance or war — it may not even be possible to ship in equipment at any price. Some of their early work has been in blockaded Gaza, for example.

            So far, Glia has designed a stethoscope that can be made for about $2.83, and a tourniquet that costs about $7 to make.

          • GameShell Kit – Open Source Portable Game Console

            This portable console has a GNU/LINUX embedded operating system that lets you play all kinds of retro games from Atari, GB, GBA, NES, MAME, MD, PS1, and more. You can even create your own games if you want. Get one for yourself or build it together with your kids. Check out more details by clicking the link above.

          • Play classic games on an open-source console with GameShell: $143 (Orig. $199)
          • The GameShell Open Source Portable Game Console is 28% off today

            But when it comes to truly great games, the classics never fade. The GameShell Kit: Open Source Portable Game Console allows you to play thousands of classic games on an incredibly portable console, and you’ll even be able to create your own games using simple code—all for over 25% off at just $142.99.

      • Programming/Development

        • Hey, We’re Open Source Again! Eclipse Unveils Jakarta EE 8

          The enterprise developers’ edition of Java has gone completely open source with a new version managed entirely by the Eclipse Foundation. The Foundation released Jakarta EE 8 with a flourish yesterday.

          Jakarta took a winding road to get to this point. Originally called J2EE when released in 1999, it was renamed to Java EE in 2006. Then, Oracle bought Sun three years later, which locked the product up in Fort Larry for the best part of a decade.

          Citing a wish to make things more open, it agreed to give Java EE back to the open source community in 2017, choosing the Eclipse Foundation. While it gave the Foundation the IP rights to the code, though, it held onto the name. So Eclipse had to find another one. Hence, Jakarta.

        • Jakarta EE now operates under open, community-driven process

          After transitioning from Oracle to the Eclipse Foundation in 2017, Jakarta EE (previously known as Java EE), has reached another major milestone.

          With today’s release of the Jakarta EE 8 Full Platform and Web Profile specification, the project now has a new baseline for having an “open, vendor-neutral, community-driven process.” Now, Java vendors, developers, and consumers will have a foundation for migrating Java EE applications to a standard enterprise Java Stack.

        • The Eclipse Foundation releases Jakarta EE 8, the first truly open-source, vendor-neutral Java EE

          Yesterday, the Eclipse Foundation announced the release of the Jakarta EE 8 full platform, web profile specifications, and related Technology Compatibility Kits (TCKs). This marks the completion of Java EE’s transition to an open and vendor-neutral evolution process.

          Explaining the vision behind this release, Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation said, “There are tens of thousands of companies with strategic investments in Java EE and over 10 million Java developers globally. The finalization of the Jakarta EE 8 specifications means that the transition of Java EE to our new open, vendor-neutral, and community-based process has been completed, and paves the way for an entirely new era in Java innovation for enterprise and cloud workloads.”

        • The Eclipse Foundation Releases Jakarta EE 8 Specifications; Completes Transition to Eclipse Foundation as the New Home for Open Source Cloud Native Java
        • Top 20 Best Python IDE for Linux. Some of Them are Open Source

          Python is a programming language. User can apply it for general purposes to design program from the backend web development, scientific computing, artificial intelligence, and data analysis. Moreover, it works on developing Apps, games and productivity software, and many more purposes. Python is one of the most popular and extensively used programming languages because of its easy to use and simple nature. Additionally, IDE implies an Integrated Development Environment that facilitates debugging, testing, and writing code easier way. It offers highlighting code insight, code completion, and resource management for the users.

        • Python Programming Language Is Considered Better Than Other Languages

          Python is a high-level scripting language. It is easy to learn and powerful than other languages because of its dynamic nature and simple syntax which allow small lines of code. Included indentation and object-oriented functional programming make it simple. Such advantages of Python makes it different from other languages and that’s why Python is preferred for development in companies mostly. In industries, machine learning using python has become popular. This is because it has standard libraries which are used for scientific and numerical calculations. Also, it can be operated on Linux, Windows, Mac OS and UNIX. Students who want to make future in Python are joining online video training courses and python programming tutorial.

        • Python inotify examples
        • How to work with Jupyter Notebooks in PyCharm
        • Immer, “Most Impactful Contribution” JavaScript Open Source Award Winner, Releases V4

          Alec Larson released a few days ago the fourth major iteration of award winner JavaScript library Immer, patching an important edge case. Immer is a JavaScript package which allows developers to work with immutable state as it were mutable, by implementing a copy-on-write mechanism. Immer was recently distinguished this year with the Breakthrough of the year React open source award and the Most impactful contribution JavaScript open source award.

        • Ballerina Reinvents Cloud Native Middleware as a Programming Language, Puts ESB on the Path to Extinction

          Ballerina 1.0, which is available under the Apache License, is being announced in conjunction with ApacheCon North America 2019. Ballerina, an ApacheCon Gold Sponsor, will offer technical sessions and demos of the new Ballerina release at the event. WSO2 CTO Paul Fremantle will also hold a session on Tuesday, September 10 at 2:30 p.m., “Ballerina – Re-inventing Middleware in a Programming Language.” ApacheCon North America 2019 is being held September 9-12, 2019 at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

        • SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: Ballerina

          The open-source programming language Ballerina hit 1.0 generally availability this week.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: pinp 0.0.9: Real Fix and Polish

          Another pinp package release! pinp allows for snazzier one or two column Markdown-based pdf vignettes, and is now used by a few packages. A screenshot of the package vignette can be seen below. Additional screenshots are at the pinp page.

  • Leftovers

    • The End of Aquarius and The Dawn of a Death Star: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

      Quentin Tarantino’s latest (and last?) film was under fire for its subject matter (a mostly fictional retelling of the Manson murders) even before it went into production, and has since taken hits on multiple fronts from the thumb sucking segment of the peanut gallery, convinced that the director is hiding a fugitive agenda at odds with their prevailing group think imperatives. Chief among them: A howling mob should be put at the helm of a film to ensure the audience is safely strapped into their car seats. As usual, Tarantino’s detractors are flinging birdshot at a master flame thrower.

    • How China Sees the World
    • Bearing Witness at Aeon’s End: the Wound Becomes the Womb

      PR: Kenn, this question haunts me: Is it still possible, amid constant inundation by the mass and social media simulacrum, for literature, poetry or a music to rouse the heart and foment rebellion against one’s complicity in what amounts to a bondage of sensibility? Naturally, we are given to outrage but, for the most part, it is directed, if we are honest, at our own sense of powerlessness against the mind-stupefying roil of events.

    • From Bach to ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit,’ here’s the music Russia’s government is using to inject the youths with ‘cultural literacy’

      Russia’s Culture Ministry has issued a new set of recommendations for what it calls “The Schoolchild’s Cultural Standards.” This new educational project is intended to bolster “the spiritual, aesthetic, and artistic development of Russian schoolchildren and increase the cultural literacy of our rising generation.”

    • Science

      • Here’s to the Last Philosophes, the Frankfurt School

        The “Frankfurt School” refers to a group of unorthodox Marxist intellectuals associated with Frankfurt, Germany’s Institute for Social Research. The most famous first-generation members, whose collective work spans from the 1930s into the early 1970s, include Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer, and Herbert Marcuse. They wondered why advanced capitalist societies were sinking into new forms of barbarism rather than, as Marx envisioned, transitioning to a humane society that uses technological gains to abolish toil and promote human flourishing. To supplement Marx’s theories of ideology and social reproduction, they drew on a wide range of thinkers, including Sigmund Freud and Max Weber, developing a sizeable canon of radical and often pessimistic analyses of a “totally administered society.”

      • When You Mess With Creation Myths, the Knives Come Out

        I would have ended my challenge to “Hamilton, The Revolution” after a four night reading of the script that took place at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe last January. It was one of the actors, Robert Mailer Anderson, a filmmaker (Windows on the World) and novelist, who said that he’d put up money for a full production. He doubled the amount that he promised. The second largest contributors were the late Toni Morrison and her son, Ford, who saved us big bucks by making their New York apartment available to us during rehearsals and performances. Plus audience members sent us donations.But even the reading, which cost me $5,000.00, the backlash from “Hamilfans” was furious.

      • Dissociative Identity Disorder: The woman who created 2,500 personalities to survive

        Contemporary Australian experts refer to Jeni’s condition as Dissociative Identity Disorder, and say it is heavily linked to experiences of extreme abuse against a child in what is supposed to be a safe environment.
        “DID really is a survival strategy,” Dr Pam Stavropoulos, a childhood trauma expert, told the BBC.
        “It serves as a very sophisticated coping strategy that is widely regarded as extreme. But you have to remember, it’s the response to extreme abuse and trauma the child has undergone.”
        The earlier the trauma and the more extreme the abuse, the more likely it is that a child has to rely on disassociation to cope, leading to these “multiple self-states”.

      • Shirish Agarwal: Freedom, Chandrayaan 2 and Corporations in Space.

        Before we get to Chandrayaan 2, there are few interesting series I want to talk about, share about. The first one is AltBalaji’s Mission Over Mars which in some ways is similar to Mars 6-part series Docu-drama made by National Geographic and lot of movies, books etc. read over years. In both these and other books, movies etc. it has been shown how Corporate Interests win over science and exploration which the motives of such initiatives were and are. The rich become richer and richer while the poor become more poorer.

        There has been also lot of media speculation that ISRO should be privatized similar to how NASA is and people saying that NASA’s importance has not lessened even though they couldn’t have been more wrong. Take the Space Launch System . It was first though of in the 2010 after the NASA Authorization Act of 2010 came into being. When it was shared or told it was told that it would be ready somewhere in 2016. Now it seems it won’t be ready until 2025. And who is responsible for this, the same company which has been responsible for lot of bad news in the international aviation business Boeing. The auditor’s report for NASA while blaming NASA for oversight also blames Boeing for not doing things right. And from what we have come to know that in the american system of self-regulation leaves much to be desired. More so, when an ex-employee of Boeing is exercising his fifth Amendment rights which raises the suspicion that there is more than just simply an oversight issue. Boeing also is a weapons manufacturer but that’s another story altogether. For people interested in the arms stuff, a wired article published 2 years back gives enough info. as to how America is good bad or Arms sale.

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Defence/Aggression

      • From A Russian: Our Planet is So Small that We Must Live in Peace

        “Our planet is so small that we must live in peace” said the head of the organization for mothers of military veterans in Yakutsk, Siberia, Far East Russia and called for “mothers to unite against war,” a sentiment that, despite the actions of our politicians and government leaders, is one of the many common threads that ordinary Russians and ordinary Americans share.

      • Son of Bin Laden Killed in U.S. Strike, White House Says

        The White House announced Saturday that Hamza bin Laden, the son of the late al-Qaida leader who had become an increasingly prominent figure in the terrorist organization, was killed in a U.S. counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

      • Democratic Debate’s Top Ten in Texas

        Well, as CNN’s Jake Tapper told Stephen Colbert Thursday night after the Democratic presidential debate, one thing’s for certain: Beto O’Rourke isn’t leaving the race to run for the US Senate from Texas.Not after what he said about guns. “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47,” he declared.

      • Cowardly Democratic Senator Coons Attacks Beto for Standing Up to NRA

        O’Rourke: “But the time for letting status quo politics determine how far we can go is over. If we agree that having millions of weapons of war on the streets is a bad idea, we have to do something about it. “

      • Yemen’s Houthi Rebels Attack Key Saudi Oil Sites

        DUBAI, United Arab Emirates—Yemen’s Houthi rebels launched drone attacks on the world’s largest oil processing facility in Saudi Arabia and a major oil field Saturday, sparking huge fires at a vulnerable chokepoint for global energy supplies.

      • All We Are Saying, Is Give Peace A Chance (Bring It Home!)

        As you come to know the seriousness of our situation – the war, the racism, the poverty in the world—you come to realize it is not going to be changed just by words or demonstrations. It’s a question of living your life in drastically different ways. – Dorothy Day

      • Despite GOP Death Threat, Beto Doubles Down on “We’re Going to Take Your AR-15″ Promise

        “Hell yeah, we’re going to take your AR-15 and your AK-47.”

      • Never Forget

        Never forget. Never forget. Never forget.

        Never forget that the U.S. government was warned that Osama bin Laden was determined to strike within the United States.

        Never forget that the hijackers who used airplanes as weapons on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates, not from Afghanistan and Iraq.

        Never forget that George W. Bush spoke to a joint session of Congress and to the American people, saying, “Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists,” before launching a war that would become never-ending.

        Never forget that George W. Bush called the 9/11 terrorists enemies of freedom.

      • Biden Takes Iraq Lies to the Max at Democratic Debate

        Presidential candidate Joe Biden is adding lies on top of lies to cover up his backing of the Iraq invasion.At last night’s Democratic Party debate hosted by ABC News Biden lied about his Iraq record, just like he did at the first two debates.

      • #NeverForget the War in Afghanistan

        When President Donald Trump announced this week that a highly anticipated peace deal with the Taliban was dead, Afghans braced for more violence. Their fears were realized as fresh fighting broke out immediately between Taliban forces and U.S.-backed Afghan government forces.

      • Yemen as Arabian Vietnam

        It wasn’t supposed to end this way. The last soldiers and agents of the world’s biggest and deadliest empire, fleeing Saigon with their thorned tails between their legs as a rag-tag army of half-starved guerrillas inched closer by the hour. The last Bell helicopters, stuffed to the brim with bourgeois refugees of the fascist Yankee quisling state of South Vietnam, bumbling about before they scatter like highway vultures interrupted by a semi as they attempt to pick the last bone clean on a withering carcass. This was unthinkable just a decade earlier, when LBJ decided to turn a contentious civil war into a full blown holocaust. We had thrown everything but the White House kitchen sink at those yellow commie savages; bombs, napalm, agent orange, near institutionalized campaigns of rape and slaughter. We had turned the jungles of Indochina into a living hell, just a few Pinkville’s shy of a full tilt genocide. But they just kept coming. Tiny men and women in black pajamas with hearts like lions, throwing their malnourished bodies into the guts and gears of the war machine. At the end of the day, the empire’s efforts were all for nothing. Billions of dollars, millions of lives, and the sterling reputation we had built on the myths of the Good War were gone like dust scattered to the wind. Was there a lesson to be learned here? Was anybody but Charlie interested in learning it?

      • At #SandtonShutdown, South African Women Disrupt Business as Usual as Fury Over Gender-Based Violence Boils Over

        “My body is not your war zone,” read one protest signs.

      • Challenging Biden on Iraq War Vote, Sanders Denounces Bloated Trump Pentagon Budget During Democratic Debate

        “I don’t think we have to spend $750 billion a year on the military when we don’t even know who our enemy is.”

      • Teaching the “War on Terror”: Lessons for Contemporary Politics

        As we move past the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, it helps to be aware of the changes in U.S. political culture that have transformed this nation over the last two decades. I teach a history class at Lehigh University, “The War on Terrorism in Politics, Media, and Memory,” which is billed as examining the “meaning” of this war, via an exploration of “personal experiences and critical perspectives on the war,” as depicted in official rhetoric, the news media, and popular film.

      • Taliban Negotiators Go to Moscow After Trump Declares Talks ‘Dead’

        MOSCOW—A negotiating team from the Taliban arrived Friday in Russia, a representative said, just days after U.S. President Donald Trump declared dead a deal with the insurgent group in Afghanistan.

      • The Age of Constitutional Coups

        The contemporary global neofascistic right has become adept at seizing power through legal and parliamentary coups that do not involve military units dramatically taking over government headquarters and radio and television and rounding up opponents.

      • The Russian officials responsible for authorizing supposed CIA informant Oleg Smolenkov’s trip abroad have reportedly been punished

        The state officials who allowed suspected CIA informant Oleg Smolenkov to leave Russia have been punished, a source told the news agency Interfax. Smolenkov took his family to Montenegro on vacation in 2017 and never returned. According to Interfax’s source, the trip was permitted, despite the fact that Russia barred state officials from traveling to Montenegro at the time.

      • The War in Eastern Ukraine May be Coming to an End But Do Any Americans Care?

        On Saturday September 7, Russia and Ukraine agreed to a prisoner swap which has brought hope of improved relations between the two countries and an end to the 5-year long conflict in Eastern Ukraine.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • Snowden Tells Life Story and Why He Leaked in New Memoir

        Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has written a memoir, telling his life story in detail for the first time and explaining why he chose to risk his freedom to become perhaps the most famous whistleblower of all time.

    • Environment

      • Singapore smog worst in three years as forest fires rage

        Every dry season, smoke from fires to clear land for palm oil and pulp and paper plantations in Indonesia clouds the skies over much of the region, raising concerns about public health and worrying tourist operators and airlines.

      • Alaska Villages Run Dry And Residents Worry ‘If This Is Our Future Of No Water’

        John Kvasnikoff is the village’s chief and Nina Kvasnikoff’s brother-in-law. He says Nanwalek’s leaders realized its reservoir was running low about a month ago due to lack of rain and low snowpack.

      • “We Are Striking to Disrupt the System”: An Hour with 16-Year-Old Climate Activist Greta Thunberg

        Today we spend the hour with Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old Swedish climate activist who has inspired millions across the globe. Last year, as a 15-year-old, she launched a school strike for the climate, started by going in front of the Swedish parliament every day for three weeks, then skipped school every Friday to stand in front of the parliament, demanding action to prevent catastrophic climate change. Her protest spread, quickly going global. Hundreds of thousands of schoolkids around the globe have participated in their own local school strikes for the climate.

        Since her strike began in 2018, Greta has become a leading figure in the climate justice movement. She has joined protests across Europe. She has addressed world leaders at the U.N. climate talks in Poland and the European Union Parliament. She has even met the pope.

        Now she’s in New York to join a global climate strike on September 20th and address the U.N. Climate Action Summit at the U.N. on September 23rd. Greta has refused to fly for years because of emissions, so she arrived here after a two-week transatlantic voyage aboard a zero-emissions racing yacht. She is also planning to attend the U.N. climate summit in Santiago, Chile, in December.

        I sat down with Greta Tuesday in our Democracy Now! studio.

      • ‘ABC and the DNC Should Be Ashamed,’ Say Progressives, After Just One Question on Climate Crisis During Democratic Debate

        “I don’t know how Tom Perez and DNC leaders can look themselves in the mirror after tonight.”

      • How’s the Weather?
      • Highlighting Number of Years Left to Save Earth, Greta Thunberg Joins 11-Minute Die-In Outside White House

        “We’re seeing entire communities being decimated by the climate crisis. That’s why we strike here today, that’s why we strike here every Friday.”

      • It’s Not About Your Straws and Your Light Bulbs

        A few years ago, I had a cupcake problem. I’d go to the cupcake store almost daily and I’d eat at least one cupcake, sometimes more.

        [...]

        That’s similar to what presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren just said about fixing climate change. She was asked about her position on small changes like banning plastic drinking straws or inefficient light bulbs.

        “Give me a break,” she said. “This is exactly what the fossil fuel industry wants us to talk about… They want to be able to stir up a lot of controversy around your lightbulbs, around your straws” when “70 percent of the pollution” comes from “the building industry, the electric power industry, and the oil industry.”

        Like my cupcakes, those three industries are the real problem. Banning straws while leaving those three industries in place will make about as much of a dent in the climate as eating two cups of parsley a day while continuing my cupcake habit would have made in my waistline: Not much.

        My cupcake habit was a problem, but it was also a symptom of a larger problem. In the end, I got therapy for difficult feelings I was dealing with. Once I took care of my mental health, the emotional eating stopped, and I lost 30 pounds.

      • Maxime Bernier Attacked Greta Thunberg’s Autism. Naomi Klein Says Autism Made the Teen a Global Voice of Conscience

        Maxime Bernier wants us to think he is sorry. The leader of the extremist People’s Party of Canada had tweeted that Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is “clearly mentally unstable. Not only autistic, but obsessive-compulsive, eating disorder, depression, and lethargy, and she lives in a constant state of fear. She wants us to feel the same.

      • Energy

        • French city of Dunkirk tests out free transport – and it works

          More revealing than the simple increase is the way that the free buses are changing residents’ habits. In a town where a large majority of residents (about two-thirds) have typically depended on their cars to get around, half of the 2,000 passengers surveyed by researchers said they take the bus more or much more than before. Of those new users, 48 percent say they regularly use it instead of their cars. Some (approximately 5 percent of the total respondents) even said that they sold their car or decided against buying a second one because of the free buses.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Montana’s Wilderness Deficit

          Montana has a wilderness deficit. People may be surprised to learn that only 3.4 million acres out of the state’s nearly 94 million acres are congressionally designated wilderness under the 1964 Wilderness Act. There are at least 6.3 million more U.S. Forest Service acres that potentially could be designated as wilderness, as well as additional lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service.

        • Protect the Sacred Grizzly Bear, Follow Those Who Know Grandmother Earth
        • Wild Love Preserve Founder: Our Path Forward

          In 2010 when I founded Wild Love Preserve, folks told me it would not be possible to bring stakeholders together in a new light, one told me to stop reinventing the wheel, another even attempted to shut me down, however I stayed true to my beliefs and spearheaded collaborative efforts with the Idaho Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and stakeholders. Wild Love Preserve is a unique legacy project that includes our innovative wild horse conservation program, conflict resolution, education platform, comprehensive range health fixed on sustainability, and the creation of our wildlife preserve in the heart of Idaho’s wild horse country, which will serve as permanent home to our current 136 Challis-Idaho wild horses and future Idaho wild horses not otherwise adopted. Kindness, mutual respect, accountability, science, and education drive Wild Love’s mission to protect and preserve western wild horses in their native habitats and nurture the legacy of respective indigenous ecosystems as an interconnected whole by bridging divides, and our conservation efforts have turned Challis-Idaho wild horses into an asset for the community, region, and state.

    • Finance

      • Russia Has ‘Oligarchs,’ the US Has ‘Businessmen’

        Even in corporate media, you will occasionally see references to the United States as an “oligarchy.” That is the judgment of former President Jimmy Carter, of peer-reviewed academic studies, and even opinion pieces in our most prestigious media (e.g., Washington Post, 4/8/14; New Yorker, 4/18/14). Indeed, Paul Krugman has been saying it in the New York Times (11/3/11, 5/15/15, 7/15/19) for years.  Just three men hold more wealth than the bottom 50% of the country combined, and the richest people in society use their money to influence media, society and the government.

      • Privatisation to begin this year, says minister

        He said the government intends to generate revenue through privatisation of state-owned entities (SOEs) to meet large debt servicing obligations of the country.

        Secretary Privatisation Commission Rizwan Malik said the government wants active privatisation plan initially for 6 to 7 SOEs while another 10 entities have been included for the next phase.

        The most important in this list of initial privatisation are 1,230MW Haveli Bahadur Power Plant and the 1,223MW Balloki Power Plant owned by National Power Parks Company (NPPC).

      • Rideshare Drivers are Employees, Not Contractors

        In 2015, Waheed Etimad immigrated with his wife and their children to the United States from Afghanistan, where he’d been a translator for the U.S. Army.

      • Majority in US Back Free College Tuition and Student Debt Cancellation, New Poll Finds

        The proposals of Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have been dismissed as “extreme” by some of their opponents, but most Americans support such ideas.

      • The Solution to Homelessness Is Staring Us in the Face

        It’s no secret that homelessness in the United States, especially in California, has reached critical levels. That the wealthiest state in the wealthiest nation in the world is dealing with a crisis that stems so clearly from inequality and neglect should have its predominantly left-leaning residents up in arms. And to some extent, they are.

      • Marjorie Cohn on Afghanistan’s Unending War, Amit Narang on Deregulation & Corporate America
      • UAW Extends Ford, Fiat Chrysler Pacts; Strike Possible at GM

        DETROIT — Leaders of the United Auto Workers union have extended contracts with Ford and Fiat Chrysler indefinitely, but the pact with General Motors is still set to expire Saturday night.

      • Ralph Nader: Trump Learned His Tricks From Corporate America

        For avalanche-level lying, deceiving, and misleading, mega-mimic Donald Trump need look no further than the history of the corporate advertising industry and the firms that pay them.

      • Cutting Social Security to Offset Paid Parental Leave Would Weaken Retirement Security

        Two recently introduced bills allowing workers to trade part of their future Social Security retirement benefits for parental leave benefits after the birth or adoption of a child would undercut Social Security’s benefits and structure, weakening the retirement security it offers workers.

      • The Plutocratic War on People: Centrists and Conservatives are Ignoring the Giant Elephant in Our National Living Room

        The best analogy I can think of to characterize what passes for political “debate” in America these days, is a bunch of people stuck in a rubber life raft with a big leak hissing away, drifting in the midst of a vast ocean surrounded for as far as they can see by starving sharks, while a few “leaders” insist on arguing about 1) whether there’s a leak; 2) whether to patch it…

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Ex-Muslims are “not an authority on Islam!”

        Similar to new Muslims and their conversion stories, ex-Muslims have every right to express their life world discourse experiences without being an authority in Islam and with whatever knowledge of Islam they possessed when they decided that they could no longer practice or believe in the religion.

        Attempting to silence that lived experience would truly be intellectually dishonest within itself.

      • In ‘Massive Victory’ in Fight Against Trump’s ‘Unconstitutional Conduct,’ Federal Appeals Court Reopens Emoluments Case

        “We never wanted to be in a position where it would be necessary to go to court to compel the president of the United States to follow the Constitution. However, President Trump left us no choice.”

      • The Pirates of Gibraltar

        When I hear the word “pirates” certain images conjure up: the silly, moldy, dusty “Pirates of the Caribbean” ride in Disneyland that I saw in my youth; the banal, boring, childish Hollywood movies by the same title that I could not watch for more than a few minutes; or the actual pirates, such as the modern day bandits who were actively raiding ships a few years ago off the coast of Somalia. But the image of British, American and Israeli politicians in three-piece suits or skirts as pirates never came to my mind until very recently. If you don’t know what I am talking about, read the script below which appears in chronological order.

      • The Vox Populi

        Donald J. Trump won the presidency partially because of his already existing Reality TV celebratory status. Audiences got used to his dealing tactics and he became proficient in reaching those who enjoyed — perversely at a time when layoffs were rampant in the land — hearing “You’re fired!” That segment of the population aided him in discovering the nature of the current populism. As president he has put into play what he learned: bigotry and prejudice to the point of racism has populist appeal, so too does a ridiculing of any authority, whether political, scientific, legacy media, academe, the EU and all Western agreements.

      • Break Up the Democratic Party?

        Thursday’s debate on Walt Disney’s ABC channel shaped up as yet another shameless charade. The pretense was that we are to select who the Democratic presidential candidate will be. But most Americans, as the Irish say, vote with their backsides, belonging to the informal but dominant party of non-voters who choose not to be sucked into legitimizing the bad choices put before them.

      • ‘No Policy, No Facts, Just Displays of Violence’: Ocasio-Cortez Says Hysterical Ad Proves GOP Has No Response to Progressive Vision

        “We are fighting to guarantee healthcare in America. To make education and housing dignified and accessible. To save our planet. To set living wages. To establish justice at home and peace abroad.”

      • The Sacking of John Bolton

        It was compelling viewing (one does not so much read Twitter as see it as a series of violent flashes). John Bolton, the armed-and-ready national security adviser who has been tiring of the US President’s jerks and adjustments, had floated the prospect of resignation. “I offered to resign last night and President Trump said, ‘Let’s talk about it tomorrow.’” To the New York Times, Bolton reiterated the account. “Offered last night without [Trump] asking. Slept on it and gave it to him this morning.”

      • Why is the Left Without a Single Elected Official in LA?

        In no way is this essay attempting to “situate” or “articulate” the vast complexity that is Los Angeles through the question the title poses. Instead, it is a public engagement with humanist social movements in LA, focused on human recognition and human value, and their inability to be institutionalized as government, especially as city commissions. Like many other cities in the US, Los Angeles suffers from what Alex Honneth terms “a failing sociality” or “a failure in the power of civic imagination, political will, and open democracy”. Henri Giroux elaborates on the idea in The Terror of The Unforeseen, his masterpiece of a takedown of American fascism and its complexity and complicities. Like many other cities, this failing sociality has come with late capitalism, as an urbacide of community, personality, and life in general. Like many other cities, large parts of Los Angeles refuse to die, despite the failing sociality.

      • How the South Could Help Flip the US Senate

        Since taking office in 2017, President Donald Trump has instituted dramatic policy changes that have hurt the most vulnerable U.S.

      • Hong Kong and the Future of China

        Something didn’t quite add up.

      • For the First Time in My Life I’m Against Impeaching the President

        I had hoped to make the above statement after electing a president whom I did not consider a vile mass-murderous warmongering climate-destroying threat to humanity. I’m saying it early. I’m saying it while Trump is president.

        [...]

        The reason I’m against impeachment is that House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler has made clear that he will use it to focus on the disastrous and counterproductive unproven and unprovable claims of Russiagate rather than on the dozens of indisputable public acts through which Trump has committed open and acknowledged (and in some cases acknowledged by Nadler) impeachable offenses.

        Yes, yes, yes, someone in Russia may have bought an infinitesimally small amount of very weird advertisements on Facebook.

        Yes, of course, Trump has shady business dealings in Russia as in every other part of the earth.

        Yes, Trump has obstructed justice and refused to comply with subpoenas in connection with Russiagate-ish things.

        But a Russiagate impeachment is good for Trump and bad for humanity.

      • Jeremy Corbyn: Electoral “Chicken” or Political Mastermind?

        Britain’s hard-right Tory Prime Minister, Boris Johnson (BoJo the Racist Clown), recently told US Vice President, Mike Pence, that Labour’s genuinely left-wing leader, Jeremy Corbyn, is “a gigantic chlorinated chicken.” The official Tory Twitter account even featured a Photoshopped image of Corbyn wearing a chicken costume, making the joke (which doesn’t even work) that the Tories have found a bigger chicken than KFC. (KFC is a corporation, not a chicken.) KFC tweeted negatively in response. The person who took the original photo tweeted (later deleted) that his image was being used without license; the word “Tory” comes from Gaelic for outlaw. Tories and ex-Tories, including Alistair Burt (co-convenor of the political wing of the anti-Assad terrorists who wrecked Syria) and former chair, Sayeeda Warsi, who four-times over the last few years called for an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia, tweeted or stated in response to the official chicken tweet that the Tory party should stop such puerility because it is better than this. No it is not.

      • The Unprincipled – and Potentially Racist – Lib Dems

        One might hope the role of the monarchy in the prorogation plot, and then Theresa May’s cronies getting honours in her resignation list, might do enough to undermine public confidence in some of the systems that define the British establishment. But the honours list will shortly be further devalued by political muck as Jo Swinson’s office is proffering peerages and knighthoods in the dissolution honours to candidates and their constituency chairmen in winnable seats, if they are willing to make way for Blairite entryists like Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger.

      • ABC Debate Lowlights

        Only three climate questions were asked, by Univision anchor Jorge Ramos. The first, a query to vegan candidate Cory Booker about whether “more Americans [should] follow your diet,” was not even a policy question.

      • Bernie Sanders and the Realignment of the American Left

        The neoliberal revolution that has been underway since the mid-1970s fundamentally reoriented American governance toward the interests of capital. While the distance between government and the so-called private sector was never that great, all pretense that government served the broader public interest was cast aside in favor of state-corporatism. This wasn’t simply a matter of privatizing the public realm— it overlaid a capitalist rationale on all public undertakings.

      • Report on Election Security Gains Attention, and a Sharp Rebuke

        In July, election officials across the country received a mass email from NormShield, a Virginia-based cybersecurity company few had heard of.

        The company informed the officials it was about to publicly release the results of a “risk scorecard” it had generated assessing vulnerabilities in their internet-facing election systems. States could request their scorecards in advance, the company said, and join what it termed “a joint marketing and public service project.”

      • It’s Time to Talk About Our Broken Democracy. Will Tonight’s Democratic Debate Moderators Step Up?

        Amanda Litman of Run for Something wants to know if the presidential candidates will support introducing ranked choice voting in federal elections, and also if they will commit to pursuing full congressional representation for the 4 million Americans — a total almost equal to our six smallest states—who live in territories without a voting member of Congress.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Facebook removed doctors’ fact-check of false anti-abortion video because Ted Cruz complained

        Three doctors authored a fact-check for Health Feedback, an organization that seeks to debunk misleading medical coverage. The fact-check deemed the video “inaccurate,” noting that “certain medical conditions such as placenta previa and HELLP syndrome can make abortion a necessary medical procedure in order to prevent the mother’s death.”

      • Google pays 700,000-ruble fine for refusing to filter search results according to Russian demands

        Google has paid a 700,000-ruble ($11,000) fine in Russia, where the federal censor penalized the tech company for refusing to block all content banned by Russian officials. According to Roskomnadzor, Google only selectively filters search results, and roughly a third of the hyperlinks blacklisted in Russia are still available to the search engine’s users. 

      • Twitter Stands Up For Devin Nunes’ Parody Accounts: Won’t Reveal Who’s Behind Them

        A couple weeks ago, we noted that the judge in Virginia presiding over Devin Nunes’ bullshit censorial lawsuit against Twitter, some parody Twitter accounts, and political strategist Liz Mair, had demanded that Twitter reveal to the judge who was behind the two parody accounts (for “Devin Nunes’ Cow” and “Devin Nunes’ Mom.”) As we pointed out at the time, this request was highly unusual. Yes, the judge was in the process of determining if the case did not belong in Virginia, so he wanted to know if the people behind the accounts were based in Virginia, but there are ways to do that that protect the anonymity of the account holders (anonymity being a 1st Amendment right). Specifically, he could have just asked whether or not the account holders appeared to be based in Virginia.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Looks Like Israel Was Caught Spying on Capitol Hill Cell Phones and Trump Was Fine With It

        Daniel Lipmann at Politico dropped the bombshell that mysterious electronic spying devices placed throughout Washington, D.C. and close to the White House and the Capitol were traced by the FBI to Israel.

      • Victory! Individuals Can Force Government to Purge Records of Their First Amendment Activity

        The FBI must delete its memo documenting a journalist’s First Amendment activities, a federal appellate court ruled this week in a decision that vindicates the right to be free from government surveillance.

        In Garris v. FBI, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered the FBI to expunge a 2004 memo it created that documented the political expression of news website www.antiwar.com and two journalists who founded and ran it. The Ninth Circuit required the FBI to destroy the record because it violated the Privacy Act of 1974, a federal law that includes a provision prohibiting federal agencies from maintaining records on individuals that document their First Amendment activity.

      • Facebook Must Better Limit Its Face Surveillance

        Last week, Facebook started sending a small portion of its users a new notification about its face surveillance program, which concludes with two important buttons: “keep off” and “turn on.” This is a step in the right direction: for these users, the default will be no face surveillance, unless the user gives their affirmative opt-in consent.

        But as EFF recently explained, Facebook will not provide this privacy-protective default to billions of its current users, and it is unclear whether the company will provide it to its new users. Facebook should not subject any of its current or new users to face surveillance, absent their informed opt-in consent.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Spanish Reporter Detained for Weeks Without Charge, Deported From Iraqi Kurdistan

        On August 8, in the Nahla Valley, in northwestern Iraqi Kurdistan, Kurdish Asayish security forces arrested Barber, a freelance reporter and photographer who contributes regularly to Spanish outlets including Publico and El Mundo, and detained him until September 4, according to the journalist, who spoke with CPJ via messaging app, and news reports.

        Authorities in Iraqi Kurdistan did not file any charges against Barber and barred him from contacting anyone during his detention, including a lawyer, he told CPJ. He was deported to Egypt on September 8 and returned to Spain on September 9, he said.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Uncensored Tony Serra: Consummate Criminal Defense Lawyer

        On December 2, 2016, a fire swept through a living and workspace in Oakland, California. Thirty-six people died, many of them attending a late night party in a converted warehouse known as the “Ghost Ship.” Investigators never determined the cause of the fire, but the Alameda County District Attorney charged “master tenant” Derick Almena and his assistant, Max Harris, with 36 counts of involuntarily manslaughter. The DA did not bring charges against the “acting landlord,” Eva Ng, or against her mother, Chor Ng, and her brother, Kai Ng, who together own the building.

      • ‘Justice is Indivisible’: Screams of Israa Ghrayeb Should Be Our Wake-up Call

        The death of Israa Ghrayeb has ignited furious reactions regarding the so-called ‘honor-killings’ in Palestine and throughout the Arab world.

      • Resisting a World That Privileges Whiteness—While We Still Can

        “My Time Among the Whites: Notes From an Unfinished Education”

      • Me First and the Loss of Compassion

        America stands at a crossroads today. Terrorism and nuclear proliferation, immigration, climate change or the growing gap between rich and poor reveal policy priorities that increasingly segregate society. Americans have been taking their divisions to the streets. Voicing opinion as part of the political process or outside of it are signs of a healthy democracy. However, more and more, political parties and interest groups promote their goals with the sole purpose of winning without any real interest in compromise, let alone collaboration. As we are losing interest in and eventually the ability to compromise, we are losing the very essence of our democracy.

      • The Likely End to Roe v. Wade?

        A 2017 U.S. government report, “SUPREME COURT DECISIONS OVERRULED BY SUBSEQUENT DECISION,” notes, “while the Supreme Court sometimes expressly overrules a prior decision, in other instances the overruling must be deduced from the principles of related cases.” The report identifies 237 Court decision that have been either overturned or revised.

      • ‘From cultural capital to gangland’ An election monitor explains how chaos in St. Petersburg has led to mass fraud

        Days after election day, the results in St. Petersburg still haven’t been announced. In precincts where opposition candidates apparently won, election officials are busy with recounts that have handed opposition seats to candidates from United Russia, the country’s ruling political party. To learn more about this chaos, Meduza spoke to the “Golos” election monitoring group’s local coordinator in St. Petersburg, Natalia Menkova, who says her beloved city has succumbed to “gangland” rule. 

      • High-Level DOJ Official Latest Gov’t Employee To Be Caught Watching Porn While On The Clock

        It’s good to know government employees are hard at work. (This statement mainly applies to male employees.)

      • Justice Department Will Fund More Prosecutors, Jails and Cops in Rural Alaska

        The U.S. Department of Justice is adding federal prosecutors to pursue cases in remote Alaska towns and villages where U.S. Attorney General William P. Barr recently declared a public safety emergency.

        After visiting Alaska and meeting with Alaska Native leaders, Barr declared the problem to be a national emergency, promising $10.5 million in immediate relief. On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Bryan Schroder in Anchorage announced new details on how the money will be spent, as well as related efforts by federal agencies and the state of Alaska.

      • Lessons From America’s Greatest Grassroots Campaigns

        For 50 years the environmental movement has depended on laws and regulations from the 1970’s enforced by lawyers and judges to achieve its goals. But since Trump’s election, the regulations, processes, courtesies, assumptions and norms undergirding America’s approach to the environment have been systematically discarded, reversed and dismantled. Accordingly, grassroots organizing will have to evolve and play a larger role in the future.

      • Homage to the Tabloids

        Are you ready for some football?  Big story in the LA Times this week: “Will the NFL allow players to use marijuana? League wants Science to determine drug policy. ” It should come as no surprise that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell  is taking refuge behind “More Research is Needed.”

    • Monopolies

      • Copyrights

        • Judge Recommends to Deny Summary Judgment Against Tor Exit Node Operator in Piracy Case

          A long running piracy lawsuit between a piracy-accused Tor Exit Node operator and the makers of the Oscar-winning movie Dallas Buyers Club has yet to see a breakthrough. A Magistrate Judge from a federal court in Oregon recommends to deny motions for summary judgment filed from both sides. This means that a jury may eventually have the final say.

        • Plex is a Pirate’s Dream But Could Also Build Bridges to Legal Content

          Popular media server Plex is an entirely legal tool to arrange movies, TV shows and other content and present them in a Netflix-beating interface. Some have described Plex as a pirate’s dream, especially when its augmented with little-known third-party ‘pirate’ services. But Plex also has grand plans that could help to build bridges between content pirates and media companies that might otherwise prove impossible.

        • Manga Publishers Sue Pirate Site “Hoshinoromi” in New York Court

          Four of the largest manga publishers have sued ‘pirate’ site Hoshinoromi in a New York federal court. The Japanese companies accuse the site of blatant copyright infringement and request damages. According to the publishers, Cloudflare is helping the site’s operators to conceal their identities.

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    IRC logs for Monday, December 09, 2019



  7. Demonstration Against Unitary Software Patents, Thursday 12 Dec in Brussels

    FFII's call to demonstrate against the UPC



  8. Links 9/12/2019: China on GNU/Linux, Canonical Wants Help to Improve Ubuntu

    Links for the day



  9. Links 9/12/2019: Linux 5.5 RC1, EasyOS Buster 2.1.9

    Links for the day



  10. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 08, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 08, 2019



  11. Mandatory Education for Those Who Use and Misuse Buzzwords Would Go a Long Way

    In an age of substitution — where marketing terms replace meaningful words and concepts — it has gotten more difficult to have honest debates, for example about the scope of patents



  12. Once Upon a Time Banter Was Allowed on Mailing Lists

    Hours ago Torvalds announced RC1 of the next Linux (kernel) release; it has been a while since he last said something ‘controversial’ (following his month at the penalty box); free speech deficit can make us weaker, not stronger (advantage to those who work in the dark)



  13. Links 8/12/2019: Debian Init Systems GR, NomadBSD 1.3

    Links for the day



  14. Can We Quit Celebrating DRM in GNU/Linux?

    Over the past couple of days various news sites and "Linux" sites expressed great satisfaction [1-5] over the passive embrace of Disney's DRM ploy (Disney+), even when Disney itself rejects DRM, seeing the harms practically caused by it [6,7]



  15. You Know WSL is Bad for GNU/Linux Because Anti-Linux People, Microsoft and Its Propagandists, Want People to Use That

    Microsoft and its boosters (and media partners) haven’t grown tired of spreading falsehoods to stigmatise and take control of GNU/Linux by creating their own versions and traps for it



  16. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, December 07, 2019

    IRC logs for Saturday, December 07, 2019



  17. 5 Years Ago the Linux Foundation Turned Linux.com Into a Non-Linux Site

    One can leverage the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to better understand how, over time, the Foundation called “Linux” deviated or diverged away from its mission statement for the sole purpose of raising corporate funds and selling influence to corporations (passing the community’s hard work to them — a form of tacit privatisation)



  18. Microsoft Redefining Ownership and Identity of GNU/Linux

    The idea that “Microsoft loves Linux” is as insane as it gets; but the lie which is “Microsoft loves Linux” is a powerful enabler of Microsoft entryism, e.g. if Greg steps down, does a Microsoft employee become the deputy of Linus Torvalds?



  19. Things That Cannot Be Said

    The limits on what we can say are mostly defined by what sources permit us to say publicly (for the sake of source protection)



  20. Fake European Patents (on Algorithms) Leading to Fake Embargoes

    Law firms have gotten their way in Germany; instead of supporting the productive workers the patent system is nowadays promoting the litigation 'industry' and it ought to be corrected



  21. From Moderate Advice to FUD and Misinformation: The Case of a VPN Vulnerability (CVE-2019-14899)

    What should have been a trivial bugfix in a variety of operating systems and bits of software — both proprietary and Free software — somehow became anti-Linux FUD, clickbait and worse



  22. Dangerous Thinker

    Society oughtn't be alarmed by people who say unusual things; it should be wary and sceptical of those corporations ever so eager to silence such people



  23. Unitary Patent (UPC) Died Along With the Credibility of Managing IP and the Rest of the UPC Lobby

    It is pretty astounding that Team UPC (collective term for people who crafted and lobby for this illegal construct) is still telling us lies, even in the absence of underlying supportive facts, and pressure groups disguised as "news sites" latch onto anything to perpetuate an illusion of progress (even in the face of a growing number of major barriers)



  24. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 06, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, December 06, 2019



  25. Links 7/12/2019: Fedora 31 Elections Results, Lots of Media Drama Over VPN Bug

    Links for the day



  26. Links 6/12/2019: DRM in GNU/Linux and Sparky Bonsai

    Links for the day



  27. The EPO Rejects Innovation

    The EPO ceased caring about the needs of scientists whose work involves invention; instead, EPO management crafts increasingly lenient guidelines that yield illegal European Patents (not compatible with the EPC) that heavily-besieged EPO judges are unable to stop



  28. Startpage CEO Robert Beens in 'Damage Control' Mode, Trying to Get Startpage Relisted After Selling to a Massive Surveillance Company

    PrivacytoolsIO is being lobbied by the CEO of Startpage to relist Startpage, based on no actual refutations at all



  29. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 05, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 05, 2019



  30. Links 5/12/2019: qBittorrent 4.2.0, Expensive Librem 5 and OpenBSD Bugs

    Links for the day


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