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10.05.19

Links 5/10/2019: FreeBSD 12.1 Beta 3, DXVK 1.4.2

Posted in News Roundup at 2:01 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Resurrecting Ancient Operating Systems on Debian, Raspberry Pi, and Docker

      wrote recently about my son playing Zork on a serial terminal hooked up to a PDP-11, and how I eventually bought a vt420 (ok, some vt420s and vt510s, I couldn’t stop at one) and hooked it up to a Raspberry Pi.

      This led me down another path: there is a whole set of hardware and software that I’ve never used. For some, it fell out of favor before I could read (and for others, before I was even born).

      The thing is – so many of these old systems have a legacy that we live in today. So much so, in fact, that we are now seeing articles about how modern CPUs are fast PDP-11 emulators in a sense. The PDP-11, and its close association with early Unix, lives on in the sense that its design influenced microprocessors and operating systems to this day. The DEC vt100 terminal is, nowadays, known far better as that thing that is emulated, but it was, in fact, a physical thing. Some goes back into even mistier times; Emacs, for instance, grew out of the MIT ITS project but was later ported to TOPS-20 before being associated with Unix. vi grew up in 2BSD, and according to wikipedia, was so large it could barely fit in the memory of a PDP-11/70. Also in 2BSD, a buggy version of Zork appeared — so buggy, in fact, that the save game option was broken. All of this happened in the late 70s.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • CentOS 8 New Release Overview

          There is just so much to be excited about in CentOS 8 and the addition of CentOS 8 Stream will surely offer a lot of possibilities we haven’t even thought of yet. One additional thing worth noting is that the Red Hat documentation for RHEL 8 (which CentOS mostly points users to rather than trying to also produce rebranded documentation) has undergone massive changes. Rather than offering the various guides we have grown accustomed to in the past (like the System Administrators Guide, the Network Guide, the Security Guide, etc), the RHEL 8 documentation is task oriented rather than reference oriented. For example, they have a Configuring basic system settings guide and a Deploying different types of servers guide. I’m guessing that there is probably quite a bit over of overlap in the material between the two styles of documentation but the newer one will take a little getting used to. Those who are completely new to the documentation may prefer the new style.

          In any event, I really look forward to using CentOS 8 more and putting it through its paces, seeing how Stream evolves, and enjoying all of the new features a new major release offers. Thanks for all of the hard work Red Hat and CentOS!

        • Understanding Red Hat Linux Price and Pricing

          RHEL was first released in 2000, after the discontinuation of Red Hat Linux. With the new version came a new pricing model and also Fedora Linux, a free, community-supported Linux distribution that functions as the upstream source of RHEL.

          RHEL uses a much more conservative release cycle than Fedora. New features are typically first made available to Fedora users and don’t make it to RHEL until they are polished. While both RHEL and Fedora can be used for commercial purposes, only RHEL receives commercial support.

          “Developers and Linux enthusiasts flock to Fedora for the latest features and the opportunity to directly collaborate with Red Hat engineering,” explains Red Hat on its website. “Banks, stock exchanges, hospitals, and businesses that run the world’s leading websites choose Red Hat Enterprise Linux for the platform’s performance, stability, and security, which lets them implement mature and well-organized IT infrastructures across the enterprise.”

        • CentOS 8 review – Let’s toast to the next ten years

          Let’s see how we wrap this up. If we look at CentOS 8 as it, then it comes with lots of problematic areas, which preclude it from being fun and enjoyable out of the box. The big issue is the ability to manage Gnome extensions, without which the desktop simply isn’t usable. But then, if we remember this is a server distro, never intended for desktop use per se, things look quite all right, as there are many dedicated for-home systems that manage much less than this. Don’t forget stability and ten years of support.

          On top of that, I was actually able to achieve a fair deal, I managed to add new and cool software, multimedia and smartphone support are quite good, and you can depend on this system going forward. Performance is meh, networking can be better, and there should be a simplified mechanism to enable the desktop element. All in all, CentOS 8 deserves something like 7.5/10. After polish and tweaks, a rather nifty 9/10. Plus CentOS 8 is better than its predecessor all around, respect. You should try.

          I am going to attempt an in-vivo upgrade. Maybe a Plasma test, too, yes! And CentOS Stream, which might be just what I’ve been looking my whole life – a rolling-release version of the distro designed to stay modern and relevant even many, many years after the initial release. This could be the magic formula of stability, support and latest software. We shall see. Plus I owe you all those tutorials. Stay tuned.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • 10/04/2019 | Linux Headlines

        The Software Freedom Conservancy takes aim at two hardware vendors, Mastodon 3 is out, several countries continue on the warpath against end-to-end encrypted communications, and more.

    • Kernel Space

      • Try out this new Linux exFAT kernel module for improved performance

        Some time ago, Microsoft brought to Linux support for the exFAT filesystem. Turns out, the driver brought to Linux by MS is based on older code, which was “leaked” and found its way to Samsung. That Microsoft promise of delivering a quality Linux/exFAT experience is not even close to being realized. For those that need to reliably read devices formatted to the exFAT filesystem on Linux, this has been an issue.

      • Linux Security Summit North America 2019: Videos and Slides

        LSS-NA for 2019 was held in August in San Diego. Slides are available at the Schedule, and videos of the talks may now be found in this playlist.

      • 6WIND Announces 6WINDGate 5.0 Source Code for Linux Networking Containers, Linux Transparency, NETCONF/YANG Management and Arm Support

        6WIND, a high-performance networking software company, today announced 6WINDGate 5.0 packet processing software for Linux networking. 6WINDGate is a complete Layer 2 through Layer 4 networking stack available in source code form factor optimized for standard Commercial-off-the-Shelf (COTS) servers. For two decades, 6WINDGate has been integrated by OEM vendors to develop a complete networking appliance, solution or system.

      • Linux Foundation

      • Graphics Stack

        • AMDGPU Performance In Linux 5.4 Is Now Faster With “Bulk Moves” Landed

          Linux 5.4 is already exciting with its many new features and changes but was made even more so on Friday night with the honoring of the latest DRM fixes pull request that includes the “fix” of enabling LRU bulk moves for the AMDGPU DRM driver!

          The LRU bulk moves functionality is the code we mentioned earlier this week that would be sent in as a “fix” to Linux 5.4 to restore behavior reverted back during the Linux 5.0 cycle. The bulk moves is the feature Valve developers noted can help with performance in demanding Linux games and can also help other Vulkan and OpenCL workloads.

        • It Looks Like HDMI FreeSync/VRR For Linux + Wayland Support Will Eventually Come For AMD

          AMD provided an update on their Linux FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync support at this week’s X.Org Developers Conference event in Montreal. There’s good news both for HDMI and Wayland Linux users with Radeon graphics.

          Harry Wentland, a longtime member of the AMD Linux graphics team and patch wrangler around the DC display code, was the presenter at XDC2019. One of the big complaints of the AMD FreeSync/Adaptive-Sync Linux support to date has been the lack of supporting HDMI outputs… Wentland explained that on Windows, AMD uses a proprietary AMD-developed protocol for enabling FreeSync on HDMI. Obviously that won’t fly for the open-source AMDGPU kernel driver. But as for the formal HDMI Variable Rate Refresh (VRR) support, they note it’s “pending” but held up by a HDMI VRR conformance test suite being released. So hopefully once that CTS is available, HDMI VRR will be flipped on for Linux users wishing to enjoy Adaptive-Sync/VRR functionality for HDMI displays.

        • TensorFlow 2.0 with GPU on Debian/sid

          Some time ago I have been written about how to get Tensorflow (1.x) running on current Debian/sid back then. It turned out that this isn’t correct anymore and needs an update, so here it is, getting the most uptodate TensorFlow 2.0 running with nVidia support running on Debian/sid.

        • The ACO Radeon Compiler Alternative To AMDGPU LLVM Looks Good But Work Isn’t Done Yet

          In addition to Intel announcing their work on the new “IBC” compiler back-end for their OpenGL/Vulkan drivers, the developers working on the Radeon “ACO” in cooperation with Valve were presenting the latest work on their compiler back-end at this week’s XDC 2019 event in Canada.

          For those that missed it, this Valve-funded ACO shader compiler landed in Mesa 19.3-devel last month after being announced earlier in the year. This compiler back-end is an alternative to the existing AMDGPU LLVM compiler back-end used currently by both the OpenGL and Vulkan drivers. ACO is focused on better gaming performance and also quicker shader compile times over LLVM. So far though ACO has just been plumbed into RADV and not the AMDVLK driver or RadeonSI OpenGL.

        • Radeon ROCm 2.9 Released With New “RALI” Library, rocTX

          Just one week after the release of Radeon Open Compute 2.8, AMD has now released ROCm 2.9 as the newest feature release for this open-source GPU Linux compute stack for Radeon hardware.

          Radeon Open Compute 2.9 introduces the Radeon Augmentation Library “RALI” for efficient decoding and handling of images from a variety of formats via a programmable processing graph. ROCm 2.9 also introduces rocTX as a new C API for performance profiling.

        • Zink’s OpenGL Over Vulkan Implementation Aiming For Mesa 19.3 Integration

          For the past year “Zink” has been in development as the OpenGL API implemented over Vulkan and done as a Gallium3D driver. That code by Collabora’s Erik Faye-Lund will likely be merged to Mesa 19.3 in the coming weeks.

          After talking about Zink the first time at last year’s XDC, Erik Faye-Lund provided an update at this week’s XDC 2019 event in Montreal. Zink remains focused on serving as a Gallium driver translating Gallium API calls into Vulkan, which for the main part means using the OpenGL state tracker to get a full OpenGL implementation running over Vulkan. At this time, OpenGL 2.1 / OpenGL ES 2.0 is supported but more extensions and various optimizations continue to be pursued.

    • Applications

      • 5 Best Ubuntu Screen Recorders for Every User

        Tools like screen recorders are not used by normal computer users but there is a particular set of users whose work heavily relies on screen recorders such as professional YouTube Creators who make many video tutorials, gaming and software reviews, How-to guides and for professional gamers who like to go online while playing their favorite game.
        There can be plenty reasons apart from these to use screen recorders and there are many really good and reliable screen recorders are available on internet for Linux and Ubuntu users. But finding the best is tough task because output video file is what matters the most and not every screen recorder gives you output file in the screen resolution, frame rate and quality you prefer.

        Linux and its distributions come with built-in screenshot tool out-of-the-box but screen recording tool is always missing. So today we’re going to give you in-depth guide to best screen recorders which you can find very useful on Linux and its distro’s like Ubuntu.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

    • Games

      • A little look over ProtonDB reports for Steam Play in September 2019

        Like our look over the data for August, we’re going to continue this method of looking over the top twenty titles being most reported through September. This is basically the list of what games were the most popular in terms of users testing and reporting how they work with Steam Play. If they have a number of Platinum and Gold ratings, they probably work quite well. Sorted by total number of ratings, while also showing how many were Platinum or Gold to give you a good idea how they run overall.

    • Distributions

      • Dominique Leuenberger: openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the week 2019/40

        Back on a weekly cadence for the reviews. So this time I again only review a single week, in which Tumbleweed has seen 4 snapshots being published (0926, 0927, 0930 and 1002).

      • New Releases

        • MX-19 Beta 3 available for testing

          We are pleased to offer MX-19 Beta 3 for testing purposes.

          As usual, this beta includes the latest updates from debian 10.1 (buster), antiX and MX repos.

          [...]

          sysVinit remains the default init system. systemd is available as a boot option on installed systems (but not on live systems). In other words, exactly the same as MX17/18.

          Set your gtk scaling in Appearance, log out/log in and Qt apps should follow the scaling set.

          New conky configs (conky-manager for selections)

      • Fedora Family

        • Fedora drops 32-bit Linux

          Seven years ago, Linus Torvalds dropped “ancient-386-CPUs” support from the Linux kernel, dismissing it with “good riddance.” While 32-bit Linux lingered on, it was no longer part of Linux’s mainstream. Gradually, distributions such as Arch Linux dumped it, as well. Then, Canonical decided to boot 32-bit Linux out of Ubuntu, and people threw a fit. Canonical backed off and returned some 32-bit Linux libraries. Now, it’s time to see what people think of Fedora Linux dropping support for its last 32-bit — i686 — Linux.

          This has been coming for some time. Fedora’s developer first proposed getting rid of this 32-kernel when it was putting together Fedora 27 in 2017. The last 32-bit version was given a reprieve to see if the Fedora community would keep it afloat without any Red Hat help. It didn’t.

        • Fedora 29 release features

          Fedora is among the most popular Linux distributions so far. Fedora 29 is looking up to be another great release. Fedora is not just a core, but also a workstation and a server . This release has new features which include performance improvements compared to the previous version. In this article, we will discuss the most highlighted features of Fedora 29 workstation.

        • FPgM report: 2019-40

          Here’s your report of what has happened in Fedora Program Management this week.

          I have weekly office hours in #fedora-meeting-1. Drop by if you have any questions or comments about the schedule, Changes, elections, or anything else.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Robotics security: What is SROS 2?

          We at Canonical have been hard at work on the security features of version 2 of the Robot Operating System (ROS 2). However, if we lift our collective heads up out of the weeds it’s easy to see folks completely misunderstanding how security works today in ROS 2. We’ve written some design articles to help distill all the moving pieces into something comprehensible, but I wanted to do the same here in a slightly less formal way.

        • Crestron Virtual Control VC-4 Series Control Platform Wins CI BEST Award. Here’s Why.

          Crestron Virtual Control is sold through authorized Crestron dealers and requires installation on a customer supplied server running the Ubuntu server operating system.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Events

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Distributed Teams: Regional Peculiarities Like Oktoberfest and Bagged Milk

            It’s Oktoberfest! You know, that German holiday about beer and lederhosen?

            No. As many Germans will tell you it’s not a German thing as much as it is a Bavarian thing. It’s like saying kilts are a British thing (it’s a Scottish thing). Or that milk in bags is a Canadian thing (in Canada it’s an Eastern Canada thing).

            In researching what the heck I was talking about when I was making this comparison at a recent team meeting, Alessio found a lovely study on the efficiency of milk bags as milk packaging in Ontario published by The Environment and Plastics Industry Council in 1997.

            I highly recommend you skim it for its graphs and the study conclusions. The best parts for me are how it highlights that the consumption of milk (by volume) increased 22% from 1968 to 1995 while at the same time the amount (by mass) of solid waste produced by milk packaging decreased by almost 20%.

          • Celery AMQP Backends

            Celery comes with many results backends, two of which use AMQP under the hood: the “AMQP” and “RPC” backends. Both of them publish results as messages into AMQP queues. They’re convenient since you only need one piece of infrastructure to handle both tasks and results (e.g. RabbitMQ). Check the result_backend setting if you’re unsure what you’re using!

          • The Mozilla Blog: Breaking down this week’s net neutrality court decision

            This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued its ruling in Mozilla v. Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the court case to defend net neutrality protections for American consumers. The opinion opened a path for states to put net neutrality protections in place, even as the fight over FCC federal regulation is set to continue. While the decision is disappointing as it failed to restore net neutrality protections at the federal level, the fight for these essential consumer rights will continue in the states, in Congress, and in the courts.

            The three-judge panel disagreed with the FCC’s argument that the FCC is able to preempt state net neutrality legislation across the board. States have already shown that they are ready to step in and enact net neutrality rules to protect consumers, with laws in California and Vermont among others. The Court is also requiring the FCC to consider the effect the repeal may have on public safety and subsidies for low-income consumer broadband internet access.

      • Databases

        • PostgreSQL puts the pedal to the metal with some smart indexing tweaks in version 12

          Open-source database darling PostgreSQL emitted a new version of its eponymous database last night with more nods to standard SQL and a performance boost.

          The performance gains can be attributed to improvements in the indexing system as well as to partitioning. Frequently modified B-tree indexes have been optimised and the team claims a 40 per cent reduction in space utilisation.

          The performance of adding data to partitioned tables via INSERT and COPY has also been improved, as well as the critical addition of the ability to attach a new partition to a table without blocking queries.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • BSD

        • FreeBSD 12.1-BETA3 Now Available
          The third BETA build of the 12.1-RELEASE release cycle is now available.
          
          Installation images are available for:
          
          o 12.1-BETA3 amd64 GENERIC
          o 12.1-BETA3 i386 GENERIC
          o 12.1-BETA3 powerpc GENERIC
          o 12.1-BETA3 powerpc64 GENERIC64
          o 12.1-BETA3 powerpcspe MPC85XXSPE
          o 12.1-BETA3 sparc64 GENERIC
          o 12.1-BETA3 armv6 RPI-B
          o 12.1-BETA3 armv7 BANANAPI
          o 12.1-BETA3 armv7 BEAGLEBONE
          o 12.1-BETA3 armv7 CUBIEBOARD
          o 12.1-BETA3 armv7 CUBIEBOARD2
          o 12.1-BETA3 armv7 CUBOX-HUMMINGBOARD
          o 12.1-BETA3 armv7 RPI2
          o 12.1-BETA3 armv7 PANDABOARD
          o 12.1-BETA3 armv7 WANDBOARD
          o 12.1-BETA3 armv7 GENERICSD
          o 12.1-BETA3 aarch64 GENERIC
          o 12.1-BETA3 aarch64 RPI3
          o 12.1-BETA3 aarch64 PINE64
          o 12.1-BETA3 aarch64 PINE64-LTS
          
          Note regarding arm SD card images: For convenience for those without
          console access to the system, a freebsd user with a password of
          freebsd is available by default for ssh(1) access.  Additionally,
          the root user password is set to root.  It is strongly recommended
          to change the password for both users after gaining access to the
          system.
          
          Installer images and memory stick images are available here:
          
          https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/ISO-IMAGES/12.1/
          
          The image checksums follow at the end of this e-mail.
          
          If you notice problems you can report them through the Bugzilla PR
          system or on the -stable mailing list.
          
          If you would like to use SVN to do a source based update of an existing
          system, use the "releng/12.1" branch.
          
          A summary of changes since 12.1-BETA2 includes:
          
          o An issue with imx6-based arm boards had been fixed.
          
          o An issue with 64-bit long double types leading to link failures had
            been fixed.
          
          o An overflow logic error had been fixed in fsck_msdosfs(8).
          
          o An issue in destruction of robust mutexes had been fixed.
          
          o Support for the '-vnP' flags to the zfs send subcommand had been
            added for bookmarks.
          
          o The ixgbe(4) driver had been updated to prevent a potential system
            crash with certain 10Gb Intel NICs.
          
          o A regression with the zfs send subcommand when using the '-n', '-P',
            and '-i' flags had been fixed.
          
          o The freebsd-update(8) utility had been updated to include two new
            subcommands, updatesready and showconfig.
          
          o Support for 'ps -H' had been added to kvm(3).
          
          o An issue when compiling certain ports targeting Intel Atom CPUs had
            been fixed.
          
          o A use-after-free in SCTP had been fixed.
          
          o A regression that could lead to a system crash when using vmxnet3 had
            been fixed.
          
          A list of changes since 12.0-RELEASE is available in the releng/12.1
          release notes:
          
          https://www.freebsd.org/releases/12.1R/relnotes.html
          
          Please note, the release notes page is not yet complete, and will be
          updated on an ongoing basis as the 12.1-RELEASE cycle progresses.
          
          === Virtual Machine Disk Images ===
          
          VM disk images are available for the amd64, i386, and aarch64
          architectures.  Disk images may be downloaded from the following URL
          (or any of the FreeBSD download mirrors):
          
          https://download.freebsd.org/ftp/releases/VM-IMAGES/12.1-BETA3/
          
          The partition layout is:
          
              ~ 16 kB - freebsd-boot GPT partition type (bootfs GPT label)
              ~ 1 GB  - freebsd-swap GPT partition type (swapfs GPT label)
              ~ 20 GB - freebsd-ufs GPT partition type (rootfs GPT label)
          
          The disk images are available in QCOW2, VHD, VMDK, and raw disk image
          formats.  The image download size is approximately 135 MB and 165 MB
          respectively (amd64/i386), decompressing to a 21 GB sparse image.
          
          Note regarding arm64/aarch64 virtual machine images: a modified QEMU EFI
          loader file is needed for qemu-system-aarch64 to be able to boot the
          virtual machine images.  See this page for more information:
          
          https://wiki.freebsd.org/arm64/QEMU
          
          To boot the VM image, run:
          
              % qemu-system-aarch64 -m 4096M -cpu cortex-a57 -M virt  \
          	-bios QEMU_EFI.fd -serial telnet::4444,server -nographic \
          	-drive if=none,file=VMDISK,id=hd0 \
          	-device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd0 \
          	-device virtio-net-device,netdev=net0 \
          	-netdev user,id=net0
          
          Be sure to replace "VMDISK" with the path to the virtual machine image.
          
          === Amazon EC2 AMI Images ===
          
          FreeBSD/amd64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:
          
            eu-north-1 region: ami-07085de4e26071c9e
            ap-south-1 region: ami-095bd806d8acfffb1
            eu-west-3 region: ami-0314542b8d7579bdd
            eu-west-2 region: ami-06ec921eb87ef4d7b
            eu-west-1 region: ami-0f0051c800be4091e
            ap-northeast-2 region: ami-0f109258a463177bb
            ap-northeast-1 region: ami-0224a1cb8e19333b8
            sa-east-1 region: ami-0536a86bff5f33356
            ca-central-1 region: ami-06709921360dccfa3
            ap-east-1 region: ami-0142af9336f6e529c
            ap-southeast-1 region: ami-0c439e0bc0c567dd3
            ap-southeast-2 region: ami-0fa770b7f07583b48
            eu-central-1 region: ami-0dfca49cf2ba89c43
            us-east-1 region: ami-06884b4e2e511590f
            us-east-2 region: ami-06c687665309d8b17
            us-west-1 region: ami-0dce597e8b07a6c6d
            us-west-2 region: ami-0e1f5ccdd2221b1d6
          
          FreeBSD/aarch64 EC2 AMIs are available in the following regions:
          
            eu-north-1 region: ami-0914805810f9fcca2
            ap-south-1 region: ami-0862409434d8089f2
            eu-west-3 region: ami-08e6dc501b060fa7c
            eu-west-2 region: ami-000f2362fef121710
            eu-west-1 region: ami-0c7a18e2b216a1b0c
            ap-northeast-2 region: ami-047bc72d91ab47b95
            ap-northeast-1 region: ami-082dcca6b9ac52f3f
            sa-east-1 region: ami-0a9fd8ffffc889430
            ca-central-1 region: ami-0d513e584801de3fa
            ap-east-1 region: ami-089a6b231886f692f
            ap-southeast-1 region: ami-09c6f305a761c8712
            ap-southeast-2 region: ami-0ee5e02b85aecbef3
            eu-central-1 region: ami-08321cbac28d28d71
            us-east-1 region: ami-0a9c2fdd733536b50
            us-east-2 region: ami-0a5b46f4260ed9ca5
            us-west-1 region: ami-01aca4de517a623fe
            us-west-2 region: ami-0ac8b561fb3597d89
          
          === Vagrant Images ===
          
          FreeBSD/amd64 images are available on the Hashicorp Atlas site, and can
          be installed by running:
          
              % vagrant init freebsd/FreeBSD-12.1-BETA3
              % vagrant up
          
          === Upgrading ===
          
          The freebsd-update(8) utility supports binary upgrades of amd64 and i386
          systems running earlier FreeBSD releases.  Systems running earlier
          FreeBSD releases can upgrade as follows:
          
          	# freebsd-update upgrade -r 12.1-BETA3
          
          During this process, freebsd-update(8) may ask the user to help by
          merging some configuration files or by confirming that the automatically
          performed merging was done correctly.
          
          	# freebsd-update install
          
          The system must be rebooted with the newly installed kernel before
          continuing.
          
          	# shutdown -r now
          
          After rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to install the new
          userland components:
          
          	# freebsd-update install
          
          It is recommended to rebuild and install all applications if possible,
          especially if upgrading from an earlier FreeBSD release, for example,
          FreeBSD 11.x.  Alternatively, the user can install misc/compat11x and
          other compatibility libraries, afterwards the system must be rebooted
          into the new userland:
          
          	# shutdown -r now
          
          Finally, after rebooting, freebsd-update needs to be run again to remove
          stale files:
          
          	# freebsd-update install
          
      • Programming/Development

        • PHPUnit 8.4

          RPM of PHPUnit version 8.4 are available in remi repository for Fedora ≥ 29 and for Enterprise Linux (CentOS, RHEL…).

        • A concise resource repository for machine learning!

          This is the reflection of our Machine Learning journey so far. So, along with our learning journey, we’ll continue to update this repository and will remain concise but yet comprehensive to highlight the most relevant resources from time to time. The main points are:
          - Concise and comprehensive
          - Keep updating
          - Turning web-bookmark into git-repo

          However, ML-Bookmarks is still of its early stage. There’s a lot of modification of this repository still left. We need your support and constructive feedback to turn this repository more robust and reliable to everyone.

        • Django vs Ruby on Rails: Web Frameworks Comparison

          There are more than 90 web development frameworks out there. No wonder it’s hard to choose the one that’ll suit your project best. Still, there are at least two major frameworks that are widely used by the tech giants of nowadays, and for good reason. Ever heard of Django or Ruby on Rails? If both web frameworks are quite good, how do you compare Django and Ruby on Rails to choose which one to use for web development?

          Instagram, YouTube, Spotify, Dropbox and other online and app-based services that we use daily are powered by Django, a Python programming language framework. On the other hand, Airbnb, Bloomberg, Shopify, and other leading companies use Ruby on Rails, a Ruby programming language framework. Both languages were created to serve the web and make web applications (including mobile web apps) possible.

        • Getting to Know Go, Python, and Benchmarks

          Hello, my name is Vadym, and this is my story about how I started learning Go, what it felt like compared to Python (the language I currently use at work), and benchmarking.

          I believe that every developer should learn constantly to be good at what they do. And it’s not only about knowing new frameworks, databases, or platforms like AWS Lambda. It’s about knowing how the services you use from day to day interact with each other, differentiate when your favorite language uses a link to an object or a copy of the object, and many other things.

          I’ve been using Python as my main language for writing production code for 10 years. But even as a devoted Python developer, I’ve tried different languages over time. I like to learn new languages, because I might pick up something for my daily work – even from ones I won’t use or from languages I don’t really like, such as Ruby or Java. Also, it’s not very important for me to learn new languages only. I like to spend time on old and rarely used languages as well. For example, I’ve tried Lisp for more than writing a config for Emacs. I also like Erlang a lot, but it’s not very popular nowadays.

        • Code Challenge 64 – PyCon ES 2019 Marvel Challenge

          This weekend is Pycon ES and in the unlikely event you get bored, you can always do some coding with PyBites.

        • Solving Systems of Linear Equations with Python’s Numpy

          The Numpy library can be used to perform a variety of mathematical/scientific operations such as matrix cross and dot products, finding sine and cosine values, Fourier transform and shape manipulation, etc. The word Numpy is short-hand notation for “Numerical Python”.

        • Episode #232: Become a robot developer with Python

          When you think about the types of jobs you get as a Python developer, you probably weight the differences between data science and web development.

          But did you consider programming robots in Python? And not just toys, but serious, productive machines. It turns out there is a gap in the industry where we could use more Python developers in robotics.

        • CFP: Southern California Linux Expo 2020 (SCALE 18x)

          Important Dates
          14 Sep, 2019: CFP Opens
          30 Nov, 2019: Deadline for abstracts/proposals submissions
          5 Mar, 2020: Conference starts

        • Hiding from cats

          /usr/bin/cat is a tool which reads data from one locations and writes it to another; in most cases, it is used to read text from a file and write it to STDOUT. Cat also supports some control characters, such as line-feeds \f, carriage returns \r, and newlines \n.

          Here’s a fun little proof-of-concept of how \r could be used to hide shell-script commands from cat: [...]

  • Leftovers

    • Reclaiming Difference

      “Disability and Art History”

    • Science

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Our Global Gas Chamber

        One of the great (mostly) untold stories of the Age Of Oil is the array of toxic chemicals in hydrocarbon exhaust and the accumulation of exhaust-borne particulates in the bloodstream and brain. We are largely indifferent to these byproducts of our industrial-grade obsession with hydrocarbons, but our willful ignorance cannot hide the facts the way catalytic converters hide the odors they produce.

      • Watch Out, Seniors! Trump Just Launched a Stealth Attack on Medicare

        Watch out, older Americans and people with disabilities! President Trump just announced a plan to give corporate health insurers more control over your health care. His new executive order calls for “market-based” pricing, which would drive up costs for everyone with Medicare, eviscerate traditional Medicare, and steer more people into for-profit “Medicare Advantage” plans.

      • Pharmaceutical Companies Are Luring Mexicans Across the U.S. Border to Donate Blood Plasma

        Every week, thousands of Mexicans cross the border into the U.S. on temporary visas to sell their blood plasma to profit-making pharmaceutical companies that lure them with Facebook ads and colorful flyers promising hefty cash rewards.

        The donors, including some who say the payments are their only income, may take home up to $400 a month if they donate twice a week and earn various incentives, including “buddy bonuses” for recruiting friends or family. Unlike other nations that limit or forbid paid plasma donations at a high frequency out of concern for donor health and quality control, the U.S. allows companies to pay donors and has comparatively loose standards for monitoring their health.

      • After Supreme Court Agrees to Hear First Abortion Case With Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, Warnings Right-Wingers Could ‘Decimate’ Access in Louisiana

        “We are counting on the court to follow its precedent; otherwise, clinics will needlessly close.”

      • Lung Damage From Vaping Resembles Chemical Burns, Report Says

        The lung damage in some people who have become ill after vaping nicotine or marijuana products resembles a chemical burn, doctors from the Mayo Clinic reported on Wednesday.

        Their findings are based on samples of lung tissue from 17 patients around the country whose biopsy specimens were sent to Mayo to be examined under the microscope by experts in lung pathology. Two samples came from patients who died.

      • ‘On Message as Always’: Sanders Works His Heart Procedure Into Case for Medicare for All as #GetWellBernie Trends

        “None of us know when a medical emergency might affect us. And no one should fear going bankrupt if it occurs. Medicare for All!”

      • “It’s Very Unethical”: Audio Shows Hospital Kept Vegetative Patient on Life Support to Boost Survival Rates

        On a Thursday morning this past April, 61-year-old Darryl Young was lying unconscious in the eighth-floor intensive care unit of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. After suffering from congestive heart failure for years, Young, a Navy veteran and former truck driver with three children, had received a heart transplant on Sept. 21, 2018. He didn’t wake up after the operation and had been in a vegetative state ever since.

        Machines whirred in his room, pumping air into his lungs. Nutrients and fluids dripped from a tube into his stomach. Young had always been fastidious, but now his hair and toenails had grown long. A nurse suctioned mucus from his throat several times a day to keep him from choking, according to employees familiar with his care. His medical record would note: “He follows no commands. He looks very encephalopathic” — brain damaged.

      • Trump’s USDA Is Letting Factories With Troubling Safety Records Slaughter Chickens Even Faster

        Sixty miles northeast of Atlanta, a chicken statue atop a 25-foot monument proclaims the small city of Gainesville, Georgia, the “Poultry Capital of the World.” In the rolling hills outside of town, white feathers trail the trucks turning into a slaughterhouse operated by a local company called Fieldale Farms.

        The Fieldale factory employs about 1,900 people. A lawn sign advertises jobs for $11-plus an hour and a big banner shouts “Think Safe, Work Safe.” But in recent years, according to federal safety records obtained by ProPublica, the factory has been the site of several grisly accidents, resulting in hospitalizations, amputations and death.

      • Out of Surgery, Dying Activist Ady Barkan Still Waiting to Talk With Joe Biden About Medicare for All

        “We may disagree, but if you want to be president, you’ll have to have some hard conversations.”

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availability)

      • Security updates for Friday

        Security updates have been issued by Arch Linux (exim, ruby, ruby-rdoc, ruby2.5, and systemd), Debian (openconnect), Mageia (thunderbird), openSUSE (lxc and mosquitto), Oracle (kernel and patch), Scientific Linux (patch), SUSE (firefox, java-1_7_0-ibm, and sqlite3), and Ubuntu (clamav).

      • Canonical Releases Major Kernel Security Update for Ubuntu 19.04 and 18.04 LTS

        Canonical has released today a new major Linux kernel security for Ubuntu 19.04 and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS operating systems to address eighteen security vulnerabilities.

        The new kernel security update comes a few days after another major patch released on Tuesday for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) systems running the Linux 4.15 kernel. This one fixes issues affecting the Linux 5.0 kernel in Ubuntu 19.04 (Disco Dingo) and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver) systems.

      • Linux Returns To Parallel CPU Microcode Updates To Reduce Cloud Disruption

        Following the Spectre mitigations coming to light last year, the late microcode update process for CPUs was serialized. However, this has led to complaints from cloud vendors and other customers with large core count servers where downtime/disruptions need to be minimal. So now the CPU microcode update process is being parallelized again.

        Serial late microcode updates on large core count servers was slow with it being done one CPU at a time. In the change by an Intel engineer, he acknowledged “cloud customers have expressed discontent.” So now it’s being parallelized again while ensuring only one core is updated at a time, i.e. not the SMT sibling thread.

      • Dutch Govt Explains the Risks Behind DNS-Over-HTTPS Move

        The Dutch National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) explains how DNS-monitoring will get more difficult as modern encrypted DNS transport protocols are getting more popular in a fact sheet published this week.

        The fact sheet’s audience is represented by system or network admins and security officers who want to move to DNS over TLS (DoT) and DNS over HTTPS (DoH) DNS encryptions protocols that offer increased security and confidentiality.

        Both DoH and DoT are designed to allow DNS resolution over encrypted HTTPS connections instead of using the currently common plain text DNS lookups.

        [...]

        Senior scalability engineer Kristian Köhntopp said that Mozilla is “about to break DNS” seeing that Cloudflare will be used for DNS resolution over the default server assigned by system administrators, leading to leaking visited website addresses inside corporate environments to Cloudflare.

        Peter Hessler, an OpenBSD developer, tweeted at the time that OpenBSD disabled DoH in their Firefox package in the current releases and will also disabled it in future ones since “sending all DNS traffic to Cloudflare by default is not a good idea.”

      • Ohio Man Sentenced for Cyberattacks on Government Websites

        Federal prosecutors say Robinson’s denial-of-service attacks overwhelmed websites with traffic, making them unavailable to users.

        They say Robinson was tracked down through a Twitter post taking credit for shutting down Akron’s websites.

      • IoT dangers demand a dedicated group

        It’s absolutely true that these kinds of corporate disconnects — where one department doesn’t take seriously another department’s requests — happen all the time and is certainly not something that IoT created. But the complex nature of IoT (it’s in so many departments, touching just about every aspect of product life cycle, supply chain and every executive area), coupled with its independent communication capabilities, means that it presents especially challenging threats to the business, along with some wonderful advantages. It needs specialists who are authorized to focus all of their time on IoT issues.

        That team can certainly jointly report to the IT and security teams, but a dedicated IoT group for most enterprises is now essential.

      • Iran-linked group targeted email accounts for US presidential campaign, government officials [iophk: MSFT products are liabilities in all contexts]

        In addition to U.S. officials and the presidential campaign, the threat group also targeted accounts belonging to journalists covering global politics and to Iranians living outside of Iran, according to the company.

      • Voting Machines Pose A Greater Threat to Our Elections Than Foreign Agents

        As the election security conversation widens beyond Russia…

      • Iranian [Attackers] Targeted a US Presidential Candidate

        Microsoft wouldn’t say which candidate’s operations the Iranian assailants hit, but Reuters reported on Friday that the target was President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign, which is known to use Outlook as its email provider. Microsoft noted that the attacks on the campaign did not succeed. In a 30-day stretch during August and September, Microsoft saw hackers launch 2,700 attempts to identify specific target email accounts, including those belonging to current and former US government officials, journalists, and Iranians living outside Iran. They ultimately attacked 241 of those and successfully compromised four—none of which were associated with the US presidential candidate or government officials. Microsoft has notified the victims.

      • a group of side-channel vulnerabilities in implementations of ECDSA/EdDSA in programmable smart cards and cryptographic software libraries

        This page describes our discovery of a group of side-channel vulnerabilities in implementations of ECDSA/EdDSA in programmable smart cards and cryptographic software libraries. Our attack allows for practical recovery of the long-term private key. We have found implementations which leak the bit-length of the scalar during scalar multiplication on an elliptic curve. This leakage might seem minuscule as the bit-length presents a very small amount of information present in the scalar. However, in the case of ECDSA/EdDSA signature generation, the leaked bit-length of the random nonce is enough for full recovery of the private key used after observing a few hundreds to a few thousands of signatures on known messages, due to the application of lattice techniques.

      • Security advice for sysadmins: Own IT, Secure IT, Protect IT

        In case you haven’t heard, October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. This is an initiative which the US Department of Homeland Security calls “a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online.”

        A number of other organizations provide awareness training resources in addition to references back to the NICCS site. This year’s theme is “Own IT, Secure IT, Protect IT” and includes topics such as online privacy, e-commerce, social media, and the digital home.

        At first glance, all the topics appear to be focused on helping individuals be more secure in their personal activities. What does this have to do with an industry system administrator? After all, there is nothing about using the latest advances in identity management, SELinux, auditing, or automation.

      • Google Finds Hundreds Of Data-Race Conditions In The Linux Kernel

        Kernel Concurrency Sanitizer (KCSAN) is focused on discovering data-race issues within the kernel code. This dynamic data-race detector is an alternative to the Kernel Thread Sanitizer. In their testing just last month, in two days they found over 300 unique data race conditions within the mainline kernel.

      • Google Uncovers CPU Bug For Geminilake, Affecting At Least Firefox & Chrome

        We were alerted this morning to a CPU bug resulting in crashes for Intel Geminilake processors. At least Chrome and Firefox are affected but sounds like other software may be affected too, just that Google has enough engineering resources for investigating the issue.

        Google’s Chrome team have been receiving “many “impossible” crashes on Intel Gemini Lake, Family 6 Model 122 Stepping 1 CPUs” in recent months. These crashes happen with 64-bit Chrome and span multiple versions of Chrome.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • US Press Horrified By Trump’s “Shoot Migrants in the Legs” But Ignores What Israeli Snipers Do to Palestinian Protesters

        Americans were horrified to hear that Trump wanted to have US forces at the US-Mexico border to charge migrants with bayonets or shoot them in the legs.

      • After US Senator Asks Public to ‘Imagine’ CIA Interfering in Foreign Elections, Historians Are Like… Uhhh

        Australia, of course, is not the only country whose politics the U.S. has meddled in since the creation of the C.I.A. in 1947.

      • Why I Confronted Trump’s Architect of U.S. Sanctions Against Iran and Called Her a ‘Weapon of Mass Destruction’

        Last week I exposed the architect of the U.S.’s deadly ‘maximum pressure’ sanctions policy, Sigal Mandelker, in front of the United Against a Nuclear Iran conference in New York City.

      • Nigeria: Army Frees 25 Child Suspects After Abuse Reports

        The Nigerian army’s release on October 3, 2019 of 25 detained children is an important step towards rights-respecting treatment of children affected by the Boko Haram conflict in northeast Nigeria, Human Rights Watch said today. The 23 boys and 2 girls had been detained at Giwa barracks, the main military detention facility in Maiduguri, Borno State, for suspected involvement with the armed Islamist group Boko Haram.

      • Securocratic War, Securocratic Borders Securocratic Emissions

        Globally, human societies are veering towards the precipice of a cascading extinction event that is traceable to 20th century wars and to accelerated dangers following the end of the Cold War. This pivotal time could have seen the end of nuclear weapons and the near elimination of greenhouse gas emissions. Instead, the major nuclear weapons states are modernizing their arsenals, and greenhouse gas emissions since 1990 surpass cumulative emissions since the beginning of the industrial revolution. From 1990, transformations of global militarization have proven to be both a cause and effect of interconnected crises. Israeli militarization, inflicted on Palestinian people and territory, has been integral, at times a groundbreaking catalyst, facilitator, and collaborator in this global disaster. Post-Cold War Israel put its so-called peace process in “formaldehyde” (in the words of Dov Weisglass). .

      • How the U.S. Military Undermines the American Economy

        On January 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower gave his now-famous farewell address, warning the nation…

      • Breaking really bad Russian chemist who reportedly ran massive European amphetamine production ring gets top job at Israeli research company

        Pavel Kudryavtsev, a Russian chemist and entrepreneur who reportedly supplied a key component for amphetamine production throughout Europe, has landed new gigs as a research CEO and journal editor in Israel. Kudryavtsev and his family are known for significantly improving the production of a reagent necessary for amphetamine synthesis; they reportedly produced enough of the chemical in Russia and Armenia to make 50 million dollars’ worth of drugs. We’ve summarized a new report on the family by the newspaper Kommersant.

      • No Development Without the Politics of Mass Mobilization and Demilitarization in Kashmir

        Amidst that pandemonium of 1947, Jammu and Kashmir was the first state in the newly freed Indian subcontinent to have its own written constitutional plan. The constitution guaranteed enfranchisement of all adult citizens, men and women, and took particular care to protect the dignity and religious freedoms of minorities. The admirable egalitarian and democratic quality of their achievement was partially a result of the political dissidence and collective consciousness that grew in retaliation to oppressive monarchical institutions, which had curbed their freedom for generations. The people of Kashmir were able to bridge religious and class divides to further the nationalist consciousness of a society in the process of self-determining.

      • A Year After Khashoggi’s Murder, Saudi Arabia is Lurching Toward Chaos

        The Saudis are taking a pasting. Video pictures from the Houthis of Saudi soldiers and their allies killed or surrendering inside the Saudi border town of Najran represent a devastating blow to a kingdom which is constantly threatening war against Iran.

      • The Las Vegas Shooter, Two Years Later

        Paddock. Palast. We sat next to each other at Fernangeles Elementary School, and later at Poly High in Sun Valley, Calif.

      • IT worker kills four colleagues in stabbing frenzy at Paris police headquarters

        France also remains on high alert after a succession of jihadist attacks since 2015, which have included both large synchronised assaults and isolated knife and gun attacks, and left more than 250 people dead.

      • Franco-German documentary reveals Qatar’s money laundering in Europe

        Qatar has been accused of using charitable institutions to fund extremism in Europe in a new documentary released by Arte Channel, a Franco-German free-to-air television network that promotes cultural programming.

        The documentary, which premiered on September 17, showcases how Qatari royals and officials have been laundering money and funding the Muslim Brotherhood and other terrorist organizations in European countries including Italy, France, Germany, and the UK.

        Documents leaked to journalists Georges Malbrunot and Christian Chesnot reveal in detail how Qatar Charity, an NGO founded in 1992 and active today in seventy countries, has been used to finance the Muslim Brotherhood. The journalists were given the documents – evidence of bank transfers, emails, and other information – on a hard drive by a whistleblower.

      • Military Keynesianism Marches On

        Our elected representatives do not have to be bribed with campaign contributions from weapons makers to support the Department of Defense budget. They may, shockingly, be representing our nation. Australian political scientist David T. Smith states: “The National Security State maintains democratic legitimacy because of the way it disperses public and private benefits while shielding ordinary Americans from the true costs of high-tech warfare.”

      • Amid all of the War and Mayhem… Sam’s Story

        Sam and Eileen had traveled in an old car across the US in 1996. They had stopped at places I had long wanted to visit like the campus of Kent State University in Ohio, the site of the May 4, 1970 massacre of students protesting the Vietnam War. They had met on a beach in San Diego, California.

      • New Study Warns India-Pakistan Nuclear War Could Kill 125 Million Immediately—Then Spark Global Mass Starvation

        “The world cannot afford the impacts on public health, the environment and our climate that would result from any use of nuclear weapons. They must be eliminated before they eliminate us.”

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

      • Death Metal Remix of Greta Thunberg UN Climate Action Speech Goes Viral

        Thrash-metal drummer John Meredith said those words resonated with him. He says he was impressed by her passion and outrage. He said her words evoked the darkness of the metal music he loves, so he set about remixing it.

      • Great Pacific Garbage Patch cleanup is underway, finally

        The results are promising enough to begin designing a second system to send to the garbage patch. Slat sounded a note of caution: “If the journey to this point taught us anything, it is that it’s definitely not going to be easy.”

      • Ocean Cleanup: Plastic-harvesting device ‘successful’

        The device, operated by the non-profit Ocean Cleanup project has successfully harvested plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a huge area of floating waste twice the size of Texas halfway between California and Hawaii.

        Known as System 001, the device uses a 600-metre boom to catch waste as it drifts on the current while allowing marine life to safely swim beneath it.

      • Youth Climate Strikers Have Accused World Leaders Like Me of Failure. They Are Right

        On the eve of the September UN Climate Action Summit, young women and men around the world mobilized by the millions and told global leaders: “You are failing us.”They are right.Global emissions are increasing. 

      • Anonymous Message To Greta Thunberg

        We understand and sympathize with your concerns about the environment, and agree that the blame lies with many of the world’s most powerful corporations. However, you may want to be careful that you are not led astray by people who are a part of the problem, and it appears that this may be happening. Many of the powerful politicians that you met with and took photographs with, are deeply involved with many of the industries you speak out against.

        Many of the policies that you are advocating for are also misguided, despite their seemingly good intentions. For example, heavy carbon taxes will not have much of an effect on the fossil fuel industry, aside from making their cost of doing business a little bit higher. The large corporations that are destroying the planet have teams of lawyers on standby for any accusations that are brought against them, and they have money budgeted specifically for dealing with all of the fines that they intend to violate.

      • Already Burning for a Month, Fracked Gas Blowout in Louisiana Could Last Two More Months

        The flare has gone out at times, resulting in fluid from the well, including what the oil and gas industry calls “produced water,” spreading a mist into the sky over a mile away, alarming nearby residents.

      • Washington Petrochemical Plant Subsidies Would Violate Federal ‘Double Dipping’ Rules Say Environmental Groups

        The Port of Kalama methanol plant, if built on the Columbia River between Washington and Oregon, would expand North America’s capacity to export products produced by fracked shale gas wells, and is part of a $5.2 billion plan to develop methanol plants in this corner of the Pacific Northwest. It has applied for funding from a controversial Department of Energy “Advanced Fossil Energy Projects” program — an $8.5 billion fund offering taxpayer subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

      • Trump’s Decision to Hamstring California’s Climate Authority Is Illogical and Uninformed
      • Human ancestors lived in a low-carbon world

        Carbon dioxide levels are higher now than in all human history, and prehistory too: a low-carbon world nurtured our distant forebears.

      • Geoengineering is a Scam
      • How Fossil Fuels Pollute STEM Education

        Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg has a message for policy makers: “Listen to the scientists.”

      • Counting Sheep as Grasslands Shrink in Gujarat

        “Is there rain in your village?” It was Karabhai Aal on the phone from Banaskantha district in North Gujarat. “There is none here.” That was in the last week of July this year. “If it rains, we will go home,” he had declared with half a hope.

      • Report Shows ‘Stunning and Dramatic’ Scenes of Thawing Permafrost in Siberia That ‘Leaves Millions on Unstable Ground’

        “Rivers are rising and running faster, and entire neighborhoods are falling into them.”

      • Lessons from Hurricane Harvey, for a Still-Flooded Houston

        After Hurricane Harvey damaged or destroyed nearly 135,000 homes, killed eighty-eight people, and led to the deliberate flooding of west Houston as two main reservoirs threatened to fail, what did the city

      • Greta Thunberg in Review

        Last December, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Poland, elite decision-makers from across the world once again cosied-up to discuss how they might stop the destruction of our planet. Their lacklustre objective at this Conference being to simply implement the totally inadequate capitalist plans that were previously enshrined in the Paris Agreement that they first ratified in 2016. One speaker at the Conference, however, a small and determined fifteen-year-old child named Greta Thunberg, wisely used her platform to berate these world leaders. In her short and fiery speech she was clear that:

      • 4 Gorillas to Save the Earth

        The Greta/AOC generation is marching for our place on this planet.

      • Energy

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Trump’s Trade War With China: Is It About to End?

        The latest de-escalation of the trade war with China — with exemptions from some tariffs on both sides — has left markets uncertain as to whether it will end before there is serious escalation. But if I were managing a hedge fund, I would bet on it.

      • The Lies of Capitalism

        Neoliberals love to quote the World Bank’s rosy statistics about capitalism lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty. Unfortunately, those statistics are skewed and manipulated to the point of outright prevarication, as Seth Donnelly demonstrates in his new book, “The Lie of Global Prosperity.” He quotes a breathless World Bank press release, “soon 90 percent of the world’s population will live on $1.90 a day or more.” No matter that translated into local currency at local prices, in many places that $1.90 per day purchases the equivalent of 30 cents a day or that $1.90 per day means the pauperization of billions – for as Donnelly shows, a truer metric of avoiding desperate poverty is over $5 per day. If that far more honest measure is applied, 80 percent of South Asians and sub-Saharan Africans are, Donnelly explains, horribly impoverished. Even more disturbing, achieving a 70-year life expectancy requires $7.40 a day, something the world’s cold and pampered capitalists will certainly not shell out or even allow for the billions of wretchedly poor.

      • Ralph Nader: Why Isn’t the 99% Revolting?

        I could go on and on. Pick up the pace, readers. Senator Elizabeth Warren has correctly called for “big structural changes.”

      • Capitalism’s Triumph: Labor Rights Violated in Every Country on Earth

        In what country are labor rights fully respected? The sad answer is: none.

      • ‘Stunning Rebuke to Predatory Wall Street Megabanks’ as California Gov. Signs Law Allowing Creation of Public Banks

        “The people of California just went up against the most powerful corporate lobby in the country—and won.”

      • Studying the ABCs of Capitalism

        Capitalism Denotes Both an Economy and Society

      • U.S.-Europe Dispute Puts World Trade at Risk

        The trade wars threatening to push the global economy into recession are entering a new phase, with the United States and European Union escalating a dispute that endangers the world’s biggest trade relationship.

      • To ‘Shift Power Back Towards Working People,’ Warren Plan Aims to End Decades-Long Attack on Organized Labor

        “We cannot have a truly democratic society with so little power in the hands of working people.”

      • Exploring Limits on Wealth
      • The Bailout Was 11 Years Ago. We’re Still Tracking Every Penny.

        Eleven years ago, with the stock market in free fall, Congress passed a $700 billion bailout of the financial system.

        ProPublica was still in its infancy, our website only a few months old. Like everyone else, we were just trying to get a handle on what was happening.

      • They’re Retired. They’re Insured. The Government Pays for It. And Trump Loves It.

        It was happy hour on a typical Thursday, and Debi Hahn was twisting and shouting with the rest of the M-T Heads (pronounced: empty heads) at a bar on the main town square. Today, her right hand was wrapped in a purple bandage matching her colorful top.

        She and a friend were talking about surgeries, cancer and rising treatment costs, even in a community with a health care model seen as an innovative — and frugal — alternative to traditional Medicare. “I have a lot of squamous cells,” the 67-year-old confided, detailing her string of past, present and future skin cancer treatments and her $95-a-month cost for an experimental chemotherapy cream.

      • How a Politically Powerful Family Muscled a Nonprofit Out of Some of a City’s Most Valuable Land

        For decades, Camden, New Jersey, has exemplified urban decay. A steady exodus of residents and jobs turned the once-thriving industrial port into the state’s poorest city. The waterfront was mostly parking lots and vacant land. More than half the city’s budget was funded through state aid.

        In the fall of 2013, state lawmakers sought to change that. Promising economic renewal, the Legislature passed a bill creating lucrative tax breaks for companies that agreed to move to distressed communities, with special incentives for Camden.

      • Most of Us Are Not Doing So Well: Numbers Crunching Working People

        Though a recent poll suggests the majority of Americans disapprove of President Trump’s “overall performance,” they support his “handling of the economy” more than other issues surveyed.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Head of State

        The body politic has human parts: head, limbs, heart. That body has an abundance of these in the case of the royal giant that brandishes sword and scepter on the frontispiece of Leviathan of Thomas Hobbes. This colossus has arms and torso made up of his anonymous subjects, their backs turned to the reader and their faces hidden for good measure beneath wide-brimmed hats. Yet we are sure that they look up in awe at their absolute ruler, the head of state.

      • The Myth of the Scandal-Free Presidency

        It was to be expected. The miserableness of Trump and his overt racism, nationalism, misogyny, cruelty and belligerence would come to eclipse the crimes of other (let’s say all) former US presidents. I saw it after Bill Clinton left office. His conservative policies and war crimes became footnotes. I saw it with the way establishment liberals loved on the portrait painting grandpa, George W. Bush. Never mind that he was the architect of the war against Iraq, an orchestrated bloodbath based solely on lies which killed, maimed and displaced millions of people and decimated an entire region. And I see it again regarding Barack Obama. He is being lauded now for having a “presidency without scandals.” Memes and smug laughter are making the rounds regarding his only supposed scandals: wearing a tan suit and a bicycle helmet. So perhaps what is at issue here is how Americans define scandal.

      • The United States of Bribery and Sanctioning

        The USBS.

      • ‘Is That Not Racist?’ Hasan Pushes Trump Advisor to Condemn President’s Remarks

        Stephen Moore was one of the president’s picks for the Federal Reserve board but withdrew after years of misogynistic writings consumed the news around his nomination. 

      • The Battles Now

        One real battle we are in now – human caused global warming – is a battle we realized very belatedly we are in. The other – the political one – is, in a President Trump retweet, heading toward “a Civil War like fracture in this nation” and is a Mad Hatter sort of battle in which both sides see the other through a shattered looking glass, and hear each other through a madhouse Twitter echo chamber.

      • Posting $24.6 Million Third-Quarter Haul, Warren Far Surpasses Biden ‘Without One Single Fancy Fundraiser’

        “The online small dollar operations of Bernie and Warren are disrupting the old campaign model.”

      • Donald Trump’s Phone Around

        When the squalid, absurd and occasionally hilarious accounts are compiled by a sober mind, the Trump administration will stand out as much gargoyle with more than a touch of paranoia. But there will be one thing that might save the man who has given an era his name: The fact that there were those out to get him from the start.

      • The Politics of Trolling

        Back in the mid-90s, when the Internet was first taking off, spurred by AOL’s making the web available to the masses, it was easy to become a cyber-utopian. Manuel Castells, a Spanish sociologist, became one of its prophets. In books like the 2001 “The Internet Galaxy: Reflections on the Internet, Business, and Society”, Castells recognized its drawbacks—particularly its being materialized by money-driven entrepreneurs—but ultimately could “unleash the power of the mind” and allow individuals to achieve “greater spiritual depth and more environmental consciousness.”

      • Bernie: Keep Fighting On

        Senator Sanders. Sorry to hear about your heart surgery but it will make you stronger. We can’t let your opponents seize on this and imply that it proves something about your age or your heart. You have more heart than most of the dead-people-walking Democratic pretenders. A stent is a commonly used procedure to open up blocked arteries. Last year, 1 million people had this procedure and came out much stronger. While I have challenged many of your policies and even your worldview your strong heart has never been up for debate.

      • Campaign: Sanders Had Heart Attack, Released From Hospital

        Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders had a heart attack, his campaign confirmed Friday as the Vermont senator was released from a Nevada hospital.

      • Former US Envoy Kurt Volker Details Attempts to Steer Giuliani and Trump Away From Pressure Campaign Targeting Ukraine

        “The most remarkable thing about this Volker testimony is just how much he and seemingly other U.S. officials were working to try and undo whatever Rudy Giuliani was doing.”

      • House Dems Take Aim at Pence Role in Ukraine Scandal as Impeachment Inquiry Continues

        “Pence is neck-deep in this scandal.”

      • House Investigators Seek Documents From Pence

        The Latest on President Donald Trump and the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry (all times local)…

      • The Africa-Palestine Conference: Why South Africa Must Lead the Way

        On September 16, I visited South Africa, a country where many Palestinians have always felt welcomed, if not overwhelmed by the degree of genuine and meaningful solidarity.

      • 77 Groups Demand Trump Rescind Attack-on-Facts Executive Order Slashing Expert Advisory Committees

        The committee losses “will undoubtedly result in a net loss of independent expert capacity and institutional knowledge and leave important work unfinished or underdeveloped.”

      • The Obscured Horror Show

        Karl Marx used a metaphor about a camera obscura to describe the contortions in the interpretations of ideology, and it’s also an interesting metaphor to think about how information is delivered to us from power. A camera obscura receives an image from a tiny hole where the image is then projected in a state that is inverted and reversed, such is the perspective given to us by the powers that be where we are fed a myopic view and what is shown to the people is the opposite of what is really going on. The pictures taken from the camera obscura of the ruling class are then captioned for the people by the corporate media and government PR providing obscured narration around the already obscured images which are carefully curated so that nothing is ever perceived by the people other than what is intended by the propagandist photographers.

      • Why Does Trump Keep Doing This?

        Does Trump understand democracy? I’m really asking.

      • ‘Gave Me Goosebumps’: Praise for Independent Video That Captures Side of Bernie Sanders Corporate Media Ignores

        “This video lifts up so many marginalized voices that are consistently downplayed and discounted by the corporate media. Bernie Sanders hears you.”

      • House Democrats Hit White House With Subpoena as Trump Impeachment Inquiry Intensifies

        “We deeply regret that President Trump has put us—and the nation—in this position,” wrote Democratic chairmen of three key committees, “but his actions have left us with no choice but to issue this subpoena.”

      • Dirt Cheap
      • Drain the Swamp
      • Robot Trolls on Amazon: How Fake Reviews Could Undermine Progressive Politics

        Every big personality or corporation uses algorithmic robots (“bots”) to boost themselves and their products. Until recently, US President Donald Trump had a Twitter following of around 59 million. But nearly half of those “followers” were fake, spam, and/or dormant accounts. Twitter’s purge of “Trump supporters” was actually a purge of fake accounts. (The real story is that the President used his position to try to influence the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, by holding a private meeting in the Oval Office. That’s the “free market.”) But it’s not just politicians.

      • We Meddle Too: Trump, Empire, and “The National Interest”

        Never underestimate the power of the United States’ American Exeptionalist and imperial doctrine. Look at the recent Washington Post revelation regarding wannabe fascist strongman Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Lavrov in the White House in 2017. Trump told Lavrov and another high-ranking Russian official that he wasn’t concerned about Russia meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election because the United States does the same thing in other countries.

      • Impeachment, Pelosi-Style

        Nancy Pelosi’s first stint as Speaker of the House came after Democratic victories in the 2006 midterm election.

      • Russian journalist arrested in Iran on charges of spying for Israel may face up to 10 years in prison

        Russian journalist Yulia Yuzik has been arrested in Iran. News of the arrest first became public when Yuzik’s daughter posted about it from Yuzik’s own Facebook account. She did not explain the reasons for the arrest but indicated that her mother “knew a situation like this could happen but went anyway.” The Russian Embassy in Tehran confirmed Yuzik’s arrest to the state wire service Interfax. “The Embassy is staying informed. We are figuring out the situation,” said Russian press attaché Andrey Ganenko. Ganenko also told the outlet Podyom that Russian diplomats were unaware of Yuzik’s visit to Iran. The Telegram-based outlet Mash wrote that she was in the country as a tourist. Russia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry responded to Yuzik’s arrest by summoning the Iranian ambassador to Moscow.

      • ‘Doesn’t Rule Out Potential Mental Issue,’ Says Ocasio-Cortez After Learning #EatTheBabies Was Stunt by Pro-Trump Trolls

        “I was concerned there was a woman in crisis and want to ensure we treat the situation compassionately,” Democrat from New York had said earlier.

      • ‘Filled to the Brim With Quid Pro Quo’: Explosive Texts Shine New Light on Trump Effort to Push Ukraine to Open Biden Probe

        “I never expected anything this explicit in writing. It’s truly astounding.”

      • Despite Big-Money Events, Joe Biden Raises $10 Million Less in Third Quarter Than ‘Small-Donor-Only Socialist’ Bernie Sanders

        “If your ideas are actually popular, you can raise lots of money without relying on lobbyist fundraisers.”

      • Green Party Debates Green New Deal

        Despite the furor over the Green New Deal (GND), many of its supporters have no idea of the wide variety of views on it, especially within the Green Party (GP), where it originated in the US. From June through August, 2019 Missouri Greens held public discussions contrasting at least three distinct GP views to those from the Democratic Party (DP).

      • Shaman who walked across Russia to exorcize Putin deemed unfit to stand trial in extremism case

        An official panel of experts has found Alexander Gabyshev unfit to stand trial. Olga Timofeyeva, the attorney from Open Russia’s Human Rights Project who is representing Gabyshev, received the panel’s results from Yakutia’s regional FSB branch on October 3.

      • Warnings of ‘Stealth Privatization’ Effort as Trump Signs Executive Order Expanding Medicare Advantage Plans

        “Today’s executive order is yet another giveaway to the corporations that run Medicare Advantage plans.”

      • ‘It’s Gotta Be Bernie’: Democracy, Mass Politics and Our Next Organizer-in-Chief

        Leftists are fighting, as they do, over which member of the Senate Democratic leadership is best prepared to lead them to the holy land (Denmark, basically). It’s important, then, to take a step back and acknowledge what we can: that in fall 2020, the Democratic Party nominee will be facing off against a proto-fascist who would enjoy the support of a third of the United States even if he personally stabbed their grandmother (she pulls through). Whoever that person may be, their promises of change, be they basic and moderate or big and structural, will slam up against republican institutions that deflate the power of a center-left majority — the first one being the Electoral College. Make it past that and it will be on to the rest.

      • Fans in Siberia send George R.R. Martin a handcrafted silver Night Watch statuette, earning a video thank-you in return

        A group of Game of Thrones fans in the Siberian republic of Yakutia decided to thank the creator of the series, George R.R. Martin, by commissioning local artisans to make the celebrated writer a sterling silver statuette. The gift depicts a member of the Night Watch posed to resemble an Oscar trophy. It is inscribed “To George Martin, from Yakutia with love.”

      • Impeaching the Symptom, Not the Disease

        I feel like I’m watching a sitcom called “America.” Next episode: Will they impeach the president? Stay tuned!“Impeachment is therefore imperative, not only to protect the integrity of next year’s elections but to secure America’s continued democratic existence.

      • Russian ‘troll’ indicted by U.S. Justice Department reportedly has ties to nationalist organization

        Anna Bogacheva, one of the dozen or so “Internet Research Agency” Russian “trolls” indicted by the United States in 2018, was previously an activist in the “Russkii Obraz” (Russian Image) nationalist movement, according to a new report by Radio Svoboda.

      • Politicians: A Necessary Demystification

        Politicians are people with jobs and with bosses.

      • Rhetoric Meets Reality in Mexico: AMLO’s State of the Union

        Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador delivered his first state of the union address on September 1 from a position of strength. A little over a year since he swept the presidential election with 53% of the vote, he boasts strong majorities in both houses of congress and his approval rating stands between 60 and 70 percent– among the highest for any head of state in the democratic world. The opposition parties are in disarray, plagued by internal conflicts in the run-up to intermediate elections in 2021.

      • Trump Is Losing the Most Important Impeachment Battle

        On Thursday, President Donald Trump stood before the White House press corps, an Air Force One helicopter whirring nearby, and committed the very offense that has triggered his impeachment investigation. Then he appeared to commit another impeachable offense for good measure. “I would think that if they were honest about it, [the Ukrainian government] would start a major investigation into the Bidens,” he said. “It’s a very simple answer. They should investigate the Bidens. Because how does a company that’s newly formed, and all these companies, if you look at it. … And by the way, likewise, China should start an investigation into the Bidens.”

      • ‘Just Because He Does It in the Open Does Not Make Abuse of Power OK’: Outrage After Trump Asks China to Investigate Bidens

        “Let’s be very clear what’s happening here: Trump is openly asking foreign governments to interfere in the 2020 presidential election against his political rivals.”

      • Trump Calls on China to Investigate Bidens

        Ensnarled in an impeachment investigation over his request for Ukraine to investigate a chief political rival, President Donald Trump on Thursday called on another nation to probe former Vice President Joe Biden: China.

      • When the Fringe Is Mainstream and the Mainstream Is Fringe: On Orwell and US Oligarchy

        In 1984, George Orwell said, “And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth.”

      • ‘Is This Thing On?’: FEC Chair Forced to Remind Trump (Again) That It Is ‘Illegal’ to Solicit Election Help From Foreign Governments

        “Oh, it’s on—but someone isn’t listening or can’t read (or both).”

      • Boris Johnson has one week to improve his Brexit plan or EU officials will refuse to even discuss it at a crunch summit

        The warning means there will almost certainly not be time to reach a deal by the “do-or-die” October 31 deadline.

      • Impeachment, Brought to You by the CIA

        For the first time in half a century, the political left in the U.S. is ascendant. Bernie Sanders is holding his own in the primaries. A group of well-considered programs to save the environment and provide good jobs and health care for all is gaining political traction. And the need is dire. The climate is warming, the seas are polluted and fished out and industrial agriculture threatens to end life on the planet. So, it’s time to change the subject?

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Free Speech: Use It or Lose It

        Awash in our national, sputtering “John Le Carré novel starring the Marx Brothers,” it’s comforting to remember the resisters out there. The tireless Freeway Bloggers, working on the principle that if you put up a sign, multitudes will see it before it’s taken down, have released the video “Free Speech Freeway.”

      • ‘It’s disgusting to realize this country is still in the Middle Ages’ Sentenced to five years in prison, Russia’s most ‘dangerous’ Twitter user speaks in court

        On October 3 and 4, the Moscow City Court’s judicial chamber considered an appeal filed by Vladislav Sinitsa, the 30-year-old blogger sentenced last month to five years in prison for tweeting about police officers’ children. Sinitsa maintains his innocence, and defense attorneys say his conviction was based “solely on the court’s speculations.” His lawyers say the prosecution’s psycho-linguistic analysis from the Center for Sociocultural Expertise and experts at Russia’s Federal Security Service was low-quality, and they question case testimony from National Guard members who apparently have children but no Twitter accounts. Meduza is publishing a translation of Sinitsa’s courtroom speech, which he gave on Friday before the judicial chamber rejected his appeal.

      • Egypt’s Harsh Crackdown Quashes Protest Movement

        Though some people have been released, at least 2,285 Egyptians remain detained in the crackdown that followed the first protests on Sept. 20, lawyers and monitoring groups said.

        As many as 400 detainees are being questioned every day, so many that the central prosecutor’s office has had to bring in reinforcements from other prosecutor’s offices, lawyers said.

        Police stations and prisons are so overstuffed that detainees are being housed in state security camps around greater Cairo, where there are not enough toilets to meet the growing need. Some prisoners have gone without food or water; virtually none have been allowed to speak to their families.

      • Khashoggi colleague: ‘They took me away and they told me that I’m the target of a Saudi threat’

        “The history of the threats against me really started less than two weeks after Jamal’s murder,” he told The World’s Marco Werman. “That’s when I was first made aware through a private contact that I am on some sort of a list that someone in the Saudi royal court had been building of dissidents who should be silenced.”

      • The New York Times Called a Famous Cartoonist an Anti-Semite. Repeatedly. They Didn’t Ask Him for Comment.

        Earlier this year the Portuguese cartoonist António Moreira Antunes drew one of the most controversial political cartoons in history. His cartoon about U.S.-Israeli relations sparked so much controversy that The New York Times, whose international edition published it in April, decided to fire its two staff cartoonists, neither of whom had anything to do with it. Then the Times permanently banned all editorial cartooning.

      • Senator Mark Warner Repeats Senator Ted Cruz’s Mythical, Made Up, Incorrect Claims About Section 230

        Senator Mark Warner was supposed to be the “tech savvy” Senator. He’s not really showing that. He’s been leading the charge to regulate various parts of the internet, which might be fine if he knew what the fuck he was talking about. But, as is made clear in his latest interview with Newsweek, he’s extremely confused about the legal underpinnings of the internet. Specifically, he is repeating Senator Ted Cruz’s myth that Section 230 was designed to only apply to “neutral” platforms that don’t moderate.

      • Bogus Terrorism Charges Against Russian Journalists

        The Russian government’s abuse of the country’s broad, harsh counterterrorism legislation is on shocking display as two journalists now face potential lengthy prison sentences on politically motivated charges. The Russian government’s abuse of the country’s broad, harsh counterterrorism legislation is on shocking display as two journalists now face potential lengthy prison sentences on politically motivated charges. 

      • China: Release Supporters of Hong Kong Protests

        Chinese authorities should immediately release activists detained in China for peacefully voicing support for the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

      • China-Based TikTok Actively Banning The Gay Away When Not Helping Authoritarians Be More Authoritarian

        TikTok is the new Vine. (I apologize if this sentence is incomprehensible. If I wasn’t raising teens, it would be pretty much incomprehensible to me too.) The social media platform that allows users to upload short video and encourages remixing via duets or reaction videos has roped in a billion users in a surprisingly short amount of time.

      • Facebook Can Be Forced to Remove Content Worldwide, EU Court Rules

        The European Union’s highest court ruled Thursday that individual member countries can force Facebook to remove what they regard as unlawful material from the social network all over the world _ a decision experts say could hinder free speech online and put a heavy burden on tech companies.

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • Governments to Facebook: Stop Making Encryption Easy

        Today, the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia put billions of Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp users’ privacy and security at grave risk by pressuring Facebook to stop plans to widely implement end-to-end encryption.

      • Web sites have a problem after top EU court rules that pre-ticked checkboxes for tracking cookies aren’t valid for consent

        Last week we wrote about two important judgments from the EU’s top court – the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). It has just released another long-awaited ruling that is likely to have an even bigger impact on privacy and the Internet. It involves the use of pre-ticked checkboxes for allowing cookies. It’s an approach used extremely widely to track users as they move around the Internet. The underlying idea is presumably that pre-ticking boxes is acceptable, because people still have the option to untick boxes. Unfortunately for the online advertising industry, the CJEU begs to differ:

      • A Race to the Bottom of Privacy Protection: The US-UK Deal Would Trample Cross Border Privacy Safeguards

        Last year, we warned that the passage of the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (CLOUD) Act would weaken global privacy standards, opening up the possibility of more permissive wiretapping and data collection laws. Today’s announcement of the U.S.-UK Agreement is the first step in a multi-country effort to chip away at privacy protections in favor of law enforcement expediency. 

        U.S. Attorney General William Barr and British Home Secretary Priti Patel announced that the U.S. and UK have signed an agreement that will allow each country to bypass the legal regimes of the other and request data directly from companies in certain investigations. The text of the agreement has not yet been released, but the countries were able to enter into such a regime through the controversial powers granted in the U.S. CLOUD Act and the UK Investigatory Powers Act and the 2019 Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Act. At EFF, we fought against the provisions in these bills that weaken global privacy standards, and we are concerned based on the U.S. and UK press statement that this agreement will not include necessary privacy provisions. 

      • Edward Snowden, You Legend!

        Edward Snowden’s newly-released memoir, Permanent Record, is a timely and welcome entry into the current clown show debate on whistleblowing that has filled the Big Tent in Washington with hot air, old farts, and effete lions sitting around eating bon-bons and reading Sartre’s Being and Nothingness — in French. Because, among other things, Snowden’s book strives to ignite an albeit self-serving ‘national conversation’ on whistle-blowing, how it differs from mere leaking, and why he qualifies for the protections afforded those who cop a whistle against government abuses. Indeed, not only is he arguing his own patriotic virtues, but he is calling on government-embedded “geeks,” like himself, to wake from their slogmatic dumber and pull a BogieBugle for the team. You want some liberty — or don’t you?

      • WhatsApp vulnerability allowed GIFs to be weaponised

        The bug, discovered by a researcher going by the name of Awakened, is what’s known as a double-free vulnerability, meaning it’s a weakness where the memory can be corrupted to crash apps or compromise the device’s security more generally. A weakness in WhatsApp meant that a hacker could simply create a malicious GIF, get it to the target and then wait for the target to open the WhatsApp gallery.

      • Mark Zuckerberg livestreamed his latest Facebook employee Q&A and blamed an intern for leaking the last one

        An engineer asked Zuckerberg’s opinion on Bernie Sanders’ assertion last week that billionaires shouldn’t exist. At time of writing Zuckerberg is fifth on Bloomberg’s Billionaires Index, with a net worth of $69.4 billion.

        Zuckerberg appeared to profess a libertarian view, suggesting that rich people rather than the government should determine how their billions are spent.

      • [Attackers] Target Sex Forum Exposing Users’ Email Addresses

        Although it’s not clear how many of the users on the [cracked] forum are genuine rather than fake or bot accounts designed to mislead members as some dating and sex sites have previously done, the news shows how the anonymity of users on particularly sensitive websites can be broken.

      • Officials Push Facebook for Way to Peek at Encrypted Messages [iophk: Facebook/WhatsApp are not end-to-end encrypted, the users has no control over the end points]

        The request, addressed to Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, raises anew the conflict between technology firms intent on protecting user privacy by scrambling messages with encryption, and government agencies contending that doing so would let wrongdoers hide their schemes.

      • WhatsApp Flaw Allows Remote Code Execution via Malicious GIF File

        The vulnerability was reported by the researcher to Facebook and it was patched with the release of version 2.19.244. The flaw allows remote code execution on devices running Android 8.1 and 9.0, but on previous versions of the mobile operating system it can only be exploited for denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, Awakened said.

        The vulnerability exists in an open source library named libpl_droidsonroids_gif.so, which is used by WhatsApp to generate previews of GIF files. The bug has also been fixed in libpl_droidsonroids_gif.so.

        Exploiting the vulnerability can allow a malicious actor to escalate privileges on a compromised Android phone and gain access to files stored on the device, including the WhatsApp messages database. It can also be used to create a remote shell in the context of WhatsApp.

      • How ICE Picks Its Targets in the Surveillance Age

        Tracking immigrants in this country is an increasingly trivial exercise because it’s an increasingly trivial exercise to track any of us. The same phenomenon helped make the reporting for this article possible: Over the course of more than a year, I tried to reverse-engineer individual ICE officers’ use of America’s vast post-Sept. 11 domestic-surveillance apparatus, retracing their hunt for targets down to the very searches they entered into their computers. Based on hundreds of government-procurement records, dozens of interviews and thousands of pages of documents I and others obtained via public-records requests, the account that follows reveals new evidence of surveillance of detainees’ voice and video calls at ICE facilities and extensive proof that the agency relies on state D.M.V. databases and information products like CLEAR, from Thomson Reuters, to target immigrants. It shows how the Real ID Act of 2005, along with funding from the Department of Homeland Security (D.H.S.) and help from umbrella groups like the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (A.A.M.V.A.), has laid the groundwork for real-time, real-world monitoring of American residents. It’s still a partial view. But it’s enough to show the scale of the machine.

        [...]

        ICE now needed systems that could more intelligently parse priority targets from the general population of millions of undocumented immigrants. Under Obama, the agency signed several key data and analytics contracts that have since drawn controversy, including with Thomson Reuters, the Silicon Valley firm Palantir and the Beltway start-up Giant Oak, and it relied ever more on local-federal data-sharing initiatives that flourished after Sept. 11. Information that was once siloed or tedious to access — driver’s-license photos, phone records, jail bookings — was increasingly at deportation officers’ fingertips.

      • A Week’s Break from Facebook Can Make You Less Depressed

        The findings were as nuanced as they were intriguing. A break from Facebook led respondents to disconnect from the news cycle, according to the Nieman Journalism Lab, though that’s probably also good for staving off feelings of misery. After just a week-long break from Facebook, they felt better in general — but in a surprising twist, they were excited to return to Facebook, too.

        After a week’s vacation from Facebook, participants also felt that the social media platform was 20 percent more valuable, financially speaking, than those who continued using it, according to a study conducted on Texas A&M undergraduate students that was published last week in the journal Experimental Economics.

      • The Open Letter from the Governments of US, UK, and Australia to Facebook is An All-Out Attack on Encryption

        Top law enforcement officials in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia told Facebook today that they want backdoor access to all encrypted messages sent on all its platforms. In an open letter, these governments called on Mark Zuckerberg to stop Facebook’s plan to introduce end-to-end encryption on all of the company’s messaging products and instead promise that it will “enable law enforcement to obtain lawful access to content in a readable and usable format.” 

        This is a staggering attempt to undermine the security and privacy of communications tools used by billions of people. Facebook should not comply. The letter comes in concert with the signing of a new agreement between the US and UK to provide access to allow law enforcement in one jurisdiction to more easily obtain electronic data stored in the other jurisdiction. But the letter to Facebook goes much further: law enforcement and national security agencies in these three countries are asking for nothing less than access to every conversation that crosses every digital device. 

      • DOJ Using The FOSTA Playbook To Attack Encryption

        For years now, the various DOJ folks pushing to break encryption have whined and complained that the tech industry won’t even consider having an adult conversation about encryption. This, of course, has never been true. Indeed, in just the past few weeks we’ve highlighted two separate examples of attempts to bring together law enforcement folks and technology/cryptography experts to see if there are legitimate ways to move the conversation forward. That first one came up with an interesting and useful framework for judging any conversation about “lawful access” to encrypted communications, while the second demonstrated just how much various tech companies have been doing over the years — in particular in helping law enforcement deal with the issue of child abuse.

      • ‘Dystopian’ Plan by Trump Administration to Harvest DNA From Undocumented Immigrants Draws Outrage From Rights Advocates

        “Expansion from tracking individuals suspected of crimes to creating permanent files on whole classes of people is one of the hallmarks of a concentration camp regime.”

      • Victory! EFF Wins Access to License Plate Reader Data to Study How Law Enforcement Uses the Privacy Invasive Technology

        San Francisco—Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) have reached an agreement with Los Angeles law enforcement agencies under which the police and sheriff’s departments will turn over license plate data they indiscriminately collected on millions of law-abiding drivers in Southern California.The data, which has been deidentified to protect drivers’ privacy, will allow EFF and ACLU SoCal to learn how the agencies are using automated license plate reader (ALPR) systems throughout the city and county of Los Angeles and educate the public on the privacy risks posed by this intrusive technology.

      • Yet Another Study Shows The Internet Of Things Is A Privacy Shitshow

        Day in and day out, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the smart home revolution simply isn’t all that smart.

      • Millions of smartphones vulnerable to SimJacker mobile phone exploit

        Earlier this month, Adaptive Mobile Security released a report on a vulnerability and set of exploits which have since been named SimJacker. Adaptive Mobile Security showed that this attack vector has been used for at least the last two years to hack into target mobile phones. The security firm was able to identify that the SimJacker exploit had been used across multiple countries by a “highly sophisticated threat actor,” and represents a huge leap in complexity over previous mobile phone exploits. Adaptive Mobile emphasized that the discovery of this actively used vulnerability in the wild is absolutely a sign of raised stakes in the arms race between hackers and users.

      • Barr Seeks Police Access to Encrypted Facebook Messaging

        U.S. Attorney General William Barr wants Facebook to give law enforcement a way to read encrypted messages sent by users, re-igniting tensions between tech companies and law enforcement.

      • Facebook encryption threatens public safety, say ministers

        Facebook said it is “consulting closely with child safety experts, governments and technology companies and devoting new teams and sophisticated technology” to keep people safe.

        [...]

        In a series of tweets on the issue, Facebook’s ex-technology officer Alex Stamos attempted to clarify.
        “This agreement would allow UK courts to issue requests equivalent to US courts, but it does not grant them access to anything a US court can’t get already,” he wrote.
        “Orders for wire taps of products like WhatsApp can get some data, like IP addresses, phone numbers, contact lists and avatar photos. It cannot get encrypted messages and attachments.”
        A BBC investigation earlier this year found that encrypted apps were taking over from the dark web as a place to host criminals.

    • Freedom of Information/Freedom of the Press

      • Hong Kong: Face Mask Ban Violates Assembly Rights

        The Hong Kong government’s broad ban on protesters wearing face masks is a disproportionate restriction on peaceful assembly rights.  

      • ‘Aggressive and obstructive’: Hong Kong Journalists Association files legal challenge against police over treatment of press at protests

        The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) has filed a legal challenge against the police over what it described as improper treatment of media at ongoing protests.

        The legal challenge was made on Thursday against the Commissioner of Police in relation to officers allegedly failing to facilitate journalists’ activities in accordance with their constitutional and legal duties.

      • Dangerous Detention: Julian Assange in Belmarsh Prison

        Much ink has been spilt in textbooks describing situations where autocratic states can behave badly. They abuse rights; they ignore international law and they ride roughshod over conventions. Liberal democracies may boast that they follow matters to the letter of the law, and make sure that citizens are given their fair and just cause in putting forth their cases. The practice suggests all too glaringly that the opposite is true.

      • Snowden Knows Exactly Why No One Wants to Be a Whistleblower

        “I have a lot of respect for whistleblowers,” President Donald Trump said at a news conference Wednesday, before qualifying, “but only when they are real.” It remains unclear what the first U.S. president who comes from reality television means by “real.” What is clear is that the impeachment inquiry announced last week by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has infuriated Trump as it picks up steam. The inquiry is based largely on the complaint of a single whistleblower, who revealed, through legally prescribed channels, details of Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukraine’s newly elected president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to investigate one of Trump’s 2020 presidential rivals, former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. That a single whistleblower could trigger Trump’s potential impeachment reminds us how important whistleblowers are to a functioning democracy. It also compels us to recognize that far too many of them over the years have been vilified, persecuted and prosecuted for their courageous acts.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Appeals Court Takes Immunity Away From Cop Who Entered A House Without A Warrant And Killed The Family Dog

        Qualified immunity has been stretched to cover a wide variety of rights violations, law enforcement misconduct, and excessive force deployments. Every so often, a federal court will refuse to extend this courtesy to sued officers, but these decisions are relative rarities.

      • For Their Efforts to ‘Save Our Planet,’ Dakota Access Pipeline Opponents Face More Than 100 Years in Prison

        “I wish the government would use the same resources to go after the oil companies and pipeline companies, but clearly they’re not interested in that.”

      • Why Do Black Americans Always Have to Forgive?

        What follows is a conversation between Lisa Snowden-McCray and The Real News Network.

      • The Refugee Crisis Unlike You’ve Ever Seen It Before

        As conflicts spread and climate change worsens, the refugee crisis worldwide is breaking astounding records. There currently are 70.8 million forcibly displaced people around the globe, according to the United Nations refugee agency. Each of these individuals has a tale to tell about overcoming immense obstacles and dangers as he or she sought safety and stability away from homes they were forced to leave. One such story is told in the documentary “Midnight Traveler,” filmed by Afghan director Hassan Fazili and his family on three cellphones over the course of three years. The film documents their displacement from Afghanistan after receiving threats from the Taliban because of a film Fazili made about the terrorist organization, and their journey toward Europe in search of refuge.

      • UN: Deny Venezuela Human Rights Council Seat

        Venezuela’s abusive government is unfit to serve on the United Nations Human Rights Council, and UN member states should defeat its candidacy, Human Rights Watch said today. For years, Venezuela’s authorities have led a vicious crackdown on dissent and failed to address a self-inflicted humanitarian emergency that has sent more than 4.3 million Venezuelans fleeing the country.

      • Sara Nelson Is the Face of America’s Resurgent Labor Movement

        During the chaos that transpired from Dec. 22, 2018, to Jan. 25, 2019, in the most recent government shutdown, two speeches by a woman named Sara Nelson, our Truthdigger of the Month, spread like wildfire across the internet.

      • Iran: Stadium Seating Cap Endangers Women

        Iran’s plan to cap the number of women who can attend a football World Cup qualifier match in Tehran is discriminatory, deceptive, and dangerous, Human Rights Watch said today.  

      • The “Moscow Case”: What You Need to Know

        In mid-July 2019, peaceful protests began in Moscow, triggered by the exclusion of independent candidates from the September 8 city legislature elections. Authorities responded with brute force, in many cases violently confronting the peaceful protesters. Seventeen people were arrested on charges of “mass rioting” and/or assaulting police. The mass rioting charges are groundless: video footage of the events leading up to these arrests show police breaking up peaceful marches and assemblies.  

      • Texas Plans to Execute Jewish Man Denied a Fair Trial by an Anti-Semitic Judge

        UPDATE: On Friday, October 4, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, where Halprin had sought relief before turning to the U.S. Supreme Court, granted a stay of execution for Randy Halprin. We commend this decision.

      • Gay parents who left Russia after home searches tell ‘Meduza’ about a happier new life in Seattle

        In mid-July of 2019, Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal neglect case against a group of Moscow social workers, arguing that the suspects had caused harm to two children by allowing them to be raised by their adoptive fathers. Those two fathers, Andrey Vaganov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, escaped Russia with their sons after security officials searched their apartment and their relatives’ homes. It later came to light that the family’s troubles began when a doctor who was treating the children brought their parents’ same-sex relationship to the attention of security officials.

      • Demanding Transcript of Trump Call With Xi, Warren Slams President for Selling Out People of Hong Kong ‘Behind Closed Doors’

        “The public must see the transcript of Trump’s call with Xi. And we need a leader who will stand up for our values.”

      • Cruel Optimism and the Settler-Colonial Roots of White Grievance

        This past summer I was camping in rural Wisconsin with my partner and son when a huge thunderstorm forced us to seek out the closest local pub for dinner one evening. Our four-year old had been going through some kind of cranky asshole phase all summer and our options for feeding him in the middle of a torrential downpour were either to stay put in our tent and make the best of the water crackers and dried fruit we had lying around—and in the process, risk another epic toddler meltdown—or put on our rain gear and head out into town where our always gregarious kid would at least find someone or something to distract him from feeling too hungry before we got some hot food in front of him.

      • How Sears Catalog Fought White Supremacists

        Sears, the department store founder, was not motivated by social justice. As a businessman, he was in it for the money. Once Sears realized that African Americans were using the catalog to avoid discrimination at the hands of white supremacists, he took steps to make sure they could continue to shop the catalog.

        Sears set up systems that gave black patrons the option to go directly to the postal carrier, completely bypassing the country store, which in some cases, was also the post office.

      • Hong Kong’s Carrie Lam announces face mask ban

        Carrie Lam announced that the use of face masks at “illegal” and “unauthorized” protests will constitute as unlawful under the new regulation, which comes into effect at midnight.

        Anyone breaching the law could face up to one year in prison and a fine of up to 25,000 Hong Kong dollars (US $3,200, €2905) if they fail to adhere to the new rules.

      • The liberal West has a blind spot for Islamism

        Yet it seems our collective imagination can only conceive of Islamist extremism when it is gunning people down in those same town centres while yelling “Allahu Akbar”. But terrorism is only one tactic of one small component of the overall challenge posed by global Islamism.

      • Swedes are Fleeing

        Swedes are leaving their towns and cities for other reasons as well, such as a lack of personal security. The frequently reported gang [sic] violence, assaults, shootings, bombs and car-torchings have been taking their toll. On August 31, Aftonbladet ran a story about Emma Zetterholm, who chose to leave Malmö with her family after living in the city for 18 years. “I still love Malmö but my family and I cannot live here” she told the newspaper. “The violence crept closer and closer to me, my relatives, friends and colleagues.”

        Six years ago, Zetterholm moved into an idyllic area with old villas. Soon enough, however, car-torchings, shootings and explosions filled the night. An illegal nightclub operated close by and the noise around it — explosions and shootings — went on all night. Neighbors who complained received verbal threats and stones thrown through their windows. One day, a man was murdered in broad daylight, close to a playground full of people. At other times, children were nearly hit by bullets that had gone through windows.

      • Non-Muslims not allowed to rent, purchase property in Karachi’s posh areas: Pak activist

        Islamabad has also reportedly been discriminating against its religious minorities, manifested in various forms of targeted violence, mass murders, extrajudicial killings, abduction, rapes, forced conversion to Islam among others, making Pakistani Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyyas and Shias one of the most persecuted minorities in the region.

      • Property for sale, unless you are a non-Muslim

        It is no secret that Pakistan has an abysmal record when it comes to protecting religious minorities and ensuring that their rights are safeguarded. But legislation and government action can only do so much; ultimately, it is the attitude of the masses which will determine whether we as a nation wish to protect religious plurality or not. Thus far, that seems rather unlikely. A torrential downpour of blasphemy cases, forced conversions and the fleeing of religious minority groups from Pakisatn has only led to the increasing marginalisation of those who belong to a religious minority in the country.

      • New report offers government think-tank perspective on reforming Russia’s prison system

        On October 3, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order allowing the head of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service to retire. Shortly beforehand, a report titled “Crimes and Punishments: What to Do about Russia’s Prisons” was published to detail the current state of the country’s penitentiary system. The report’s author, Olga Shepeleva, is a project leader at the Center for Advanced Governance, a newly formed Russian government think tank. Meduza summarizes her perspective on prison reforms below.

      • ‘If We Don’t Fight… Who Will?’: In Name of Students, Chicago Teachers Union Sets Oct. 17 Strike Date

        CTU could be joined on the picket lines by SEIU members who work as school support staff and for the city’s park district—which would mean 35,000 striking workers all at once.

      • Reforms Will Grant Nationality to Children of Iranian Women

        After more than a decade of women’s rights activism, Iran’s Guardian Council has finally approved an amendment that would grant Iranian citizenship to the children of Iranian women married to foreign men.

      • EU Governments Face Crucial Decision on Shared Sea Rescue Responsibility

        European Union governments should improve on and then sign up to a plan to ensure timely disembarkation and relocation of people rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today, on the sixth anniversary of the “Lampedusa shipwreck,” in which at least 368 people died. EU interior ministers gathering in Luxembourg on 8 October, 2019 are expected to discuss a joint declaration agreed upon by Germany, France, Italy, and Malta on 23 September in Valletta.

      • The Supreme Court Cases That Could Change the Course of History

        Major cases this year address the immigration program for young people (“Dreamers”) known as DACA, the Affordable Care Act (again), and public money for religious schools.

      • After Largest Workplace Raid in a Decade, Immigrant Workers Are Organizing

        On August 7 the poultry towns of central Mississippi suffered the largest workplace raid in the U.S. since 2006. Some 680 chicken-processing workers from seven factories were detained and incarcerated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

      • The New Age of Protest

        Led by young people, climate strikers blocked traffic on two mornings at the end of last month in Washington, DC. On the first day, protestors chained themselves to a boat three blocks from the White House, and 32 activists were arrested. On the second day, activists targeted the EPA and Trump International Hotel.

      • The President Is Attacking Our Children

        Okay, I’ll admit it. Sometimes I can’t take the bad news. It’s too much. It’s so extra, as the kids like to say.

      • Federal Lawsuit Naming Top Trump Officials Seeks Damages for ‘Horrific’ Trauma Imposed on Separated Children and Families

        “Some may never recover, but we are fighting to give them a chance.”

      • Protecting the Children on a Trumpian Planet

        Okay, I’ll admit it. Sometimes I can’t take the bad news. It’s too much. It’s so extra, as the kids like to say.When I hit that wall of hopelessness and anxiety so many of us have become familiar with, I take what I think of as a “kid break.” I stare into the faces of my three children seeking solace and sanity. I remind myself that they are the why of it all.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Dana Gold on Whistleblower Protections, Craig Aaron on Net Neutrality Setback

        This week on CounterSpin: Who knows what will have happened by the time you hear this show, as Donald Trump seems to think nothing goes better after evidence that you tried to strongarm a country into digging up dirt on your opponents than evidence that you tried to strongarm another country into digging up dirt on your opponents. We’re in uncharted water with Trump and impeachment; part of what’s exceptional are Trump’s open threats to the whistleblower who brought forth the evidence of his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. What protections does that person have? And what’s media’s role and responsibility? We’ll talk with Dana Gold, senior counsel and director of education at the Government Accountability Project.

      • US Court Sends Mixed Signals on Net Neutrality

        Firefighters struggling against one of the largest blazes to hit California in 2018 had to pause and turn to a much more mundane fight – with their internet service provider. In the midst of the blaze, data speeds slowed to a trickle, hampering their efforts to effectively respond to the fires.

      • Update: Approaching IPv4 Run-out

        Today we allocated the last of our contiguous /22 IPv4 address blocks. We still have approximately one million addresses available, in the form of /23s and /24s, and we will continue making /22-equivalent allocations made up of these smaller blocks. Once we can no longer allocate the equivalent of a /22, we will announce that we have reached run-out. We expect this to occur in November 2019.

      • It’s Time to Fight Trump’s Assault on Net Neutrality

        Of course, there is still the matter of the presidency, which is currently occupied by the man who put in place the FCC that has gutted net neutrality. It’s essential that those who seek to replace Trump make a commitment, as Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has, to “appoint FCC Commissioners who will restore net neutrality, regulating internet service providers as ‘common carriers’ and maintaining open access to the Internet.”

      • Silver Linings to Today’s Net Neutrality Court Loss

        The court’s 186-page decision boils down to this: The judges deferred to the so-called expert agency.

        This is in line with the established Supreme Court precedent, even when you have an agency as misguided, biased and plain wrong on the facts as this one.

        One of the judges who joined the opinion acknowledged her hands were tied, even as she admitted being “deeply concerned that the result is unhinged from the realities of modern broadband service.”

        This deference to the FCC is the same legal reasoning that first put Net Neutrality in jeopardy in 2005. And it’s the same legal reasoning that helped us win it back 10 years later.

        So that’s the first silver lining: It’s up to the FCC to decide. A new FCC in 2021 could reverse course again and put the Obama-era Net Neutrality rules back in place.

    • Monopolies

      • House committee pressing Zuckerberg to testify on digital currency Libra

        Zuckerberg will be asked to testify about the digital coin Libra as well as other issues the committee has jurisdiction over, including data privacy and whether the platform’s online advertising system enables housing, employment or credit discrimination.

      • PayPal withdraws support for Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency

        PayPal has decided to withdraw from the Libra Association, the 28-member nonprofit organization formed in June 2019 to oversee the cryptocurrency’s creation and eventual consumer rollout.

        The company doesn’t cite a specific reason, saying only in a statement to The Verge that it decided “to forgo further participation in the Libra Association at this time and to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities as we strive to democratize access to financial services for underserved populations.”

      • PayPal Unfriends Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency

        On Friday, after a tumultuous start for Libra involving incensed regulators, testy congressional hearings, and reports of cold feet from Libra Association members, PayPal said it is leaving that vision behind.

        In a sense, PayPal is declining to join that vision at all. Its departure from the Libra Association comes before the association formally exists. As WIRED reported when Libra was announced, the 28 founding members were provisional, having yet to devise a charter for the group or fork over the required $10 million investment. The association is scheduled to have its first meeting, in Geneva, on October 14.

      • Senators Frustrated by Amazon’s “Evasive” Response to Questions on Driver Safety

        Amazon has refused a request from three U.S. senators to disclose the names of the companies that deliver millions of packages to homes across the country, providing what one lawmaker called “evasive” responses to questions about the e-commerce giant’s network of delivery contractors.

        Last month, Senators Richard Blumenthal, Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown demanded information from Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos after the company’s delivery network was the subject of investigations by BuzzFeed News and ProPublica. Those reports found that Amazon uses contractors to carry out an increasingly large share of its deliveries and that the system has led to worker abuses and jeopardized public safety. When problems arise, Amazon denies responsibility, saying it can’t be held to account for the actions of independent contractors, though the company keeps a tight grip on how the drivers do their jobs. At least 10 people have died in crashes involving Amazon delivery providers, ProPublica found.

      • Lets Move Ahead With IP-Watch 2.0: We Need Your Input!

        What’s new in the international policymaking on intellectual property, innovation and information?

        What’s at stake at this year’s @WIPO Assemblies? This is first year since 2004 that @IP-Watch has not been at the #WIPOGA to bring you the latest news on critical policy deliberations and outcomes, new initiatives and emerging issues.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Continental tries again to add Sharp to Avanci FRAND/antitrust case in California — Munich court affirms original anti-antisuit decision

          Continental may refile its U.S. antisuit motion. It had withdrawn it in part further to the Munich AAIIs. What played a role in Judge Lucy H. Koh’s decision to deny the motion without prejudice was confusion about whether Continental meant to enjoin Sharp, another contributor to the Avanci patent pool. While Sharp also sued Daimler a while ago (the first complaint was filed in mid-April), Continental brought its amended complaint adding Sharp only in late July–and Sharp argued in the defendants’ joint motion to dismiss that Sharp’s Japanese group parent hadn’t been properly served.

          Yesterday Continental’s lawyers filed two declarations of service on Sharp Japan, which constitute another set of attempts to serve Sharp Japan through U.S. entities (as opposed to cross-border service of process under the Hague Convention). In one of those cases, Sharp’s lawyers served a Sharp entity in New Jersey, and in the other case, they served on a Sharp Electronic Corporation office in Los Angeles. We’ll see whether Sharp is now satisfied or still complaints about improper service. The motion-to-dismiss hearing will be held on November 21 (though Judge Koh might just take the matter under advisement, as she frequently does in such situations).

        • For Drug Treatment Patents: Prior Art Must Show Efficacy

          Apotex petitioned the USPTO to cancel several claims, including Claim 44 so that it could begin marketing a generic version. The PTAB agreed to hear the case and eventually cancelled the claims — finding them obvious when laid next to a prior patent (Schnur) in view either of an academic review article on anticancer drug targets (Gibbs) or OSI’s own 10-K (OSI SEC filing).

          [...]

          On appeal, however, the Federal Circuit has reversed — holding that the references did not create a “reasonable expectation of success.” As such, the Board’s factual conclusion was not supported by substantial evidence.

          Over the past several years, the Federal Circuit has been rebuilding its obviousness doctrine post-KSR. The court now asks two key questions of fact: would a person of ordinary skill in the art (1) have been motivated to combine/modify the prior art teachings in order to make the invention; and (2) have had a reasonable expectation of success in doing so.

          The combination of references state rather plainly that erlotinib is believed to has anti-cancer activity against non-small cell lung cancer and that the drug is safe (enough). On appeal, however, the Federal Circuit rejected the obviousness claim because the prior art did not provide any evidence that the drug would work in humans. “These references thus contain no data or other promising information regarding erlotinib’s efficacy in treating NSCLC.” In its explanation, the court notes that this area is “highly unpredictable” — 99.5% failure rate of NSCLC treatments entering Phase II.

        • Hey Mechanical Engineers: Your Patents are Also Ineligible

          This case focuses on Neapco’s U.S. Patent 7,774,911 that D.Del. Judge Stark found to lack eligibility. On appeal a divided panel has affirmed — with Judges Dyk and Taranto supporting invalidity and Judge Moore writing in dissent.

          The ‘911 patent covers a method of manufacturing a drive-shaft assembly with an internal-liner that is designed to reduce vibration problems. Yes – the method of manufacture is not patent eligible because it is directed to a law of nature.

          One way to see this case is as a battle between Parker v. Flook and Diamond v. Diehr. The majority follows Flook and finds the patent is invalid. As suggested below, the issue here also looks like Halliburton — where the patent “conveniently” uses functional language at the point of novelty. The majority also suggests – but does not decide – that the claims lack enablement and written description.

          [...]

          Since drive shafts and internal liners were already known in the art, the majority found nothing-new there — no inventive step sufficient to transform the abstract idea into a patent eligible invention.

        • American Axle & Mfg. v. Neapco Holdings LLC (Fed. Cir. 2019)

          Recently, Seth Waxman and his team filed a wonderful certiorari petition in the Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo Collaborative Serv. case, which we will discuss in a forthcoming post. Using quotations from the various combinations of Federal Circuit judges in the eight (!) opinions concurring and dissenting from refusal to grant rehearing en banc, the petition paints an accurate picture of a Court struggling to properly apply Supreme Court and its own precedent with regard to claims to reagents and methods for medical diagnostics, and failing (i.e., none of the diagnostic claims brought before the Court have passed eligibility muster).

          [...]

          Judge Moore also believes there is sufficient disclosure of an “inventive concept” for the claims to pass Section 101 muster even if they are directed to a not completely defined (by the court) natural law. In her view there are many inventive concepts disclosed in the ’911 specification, and there exists at least sufficient questions of fact regarding this aspect as to preclude summary judgment. (It should be remembered that Judge O’Malley recently called into question the propriety of another opinion by Judge Dyk, In re BRCA1– and BRCA2– Based Hereditary Cancer Test Patent Litig., where the question was whether the district court properly denied Myriad Genetics’ motion for preliminary injunction and instead invalidated all claims at issue; see “Roche Molecular Systems v. Cepheid”). Here, Judge Moore enumerates a half dozen such novel uses for liners that constitute in her view an “inventive concept” (and a finding of unconventionality) sufficient to overcome Neapco Holdings’ patent eligibility challenge under Section 101. When addressing the citations to the ’911 specification used by the majority to support its conclusion that the claims did not satisfy the “inventive concept” (and unconventionality) prong of the Alice/Mayo test Judge Moore is blunt: “These statements are false.” The Judge’s reading of the very same specification identifies ample instances where the patentee distinguished the invention from what was known in the art (“More than a dozen times in the briefs and during oral argument the patentee argued that the use of liners to attenuate bending mode vibration was one of its inventive concepts.”). The Judge even cites to an instance during oral argument when American Axle’s counsel corrected a member of the majority when he asserted the conventionality of using liners for the claimed purpose, and that “[e]ven Neapco acknowledged that the patent states that liners had not been used to attenuate bending mode vibrations.” Judge Moore characterizes these conclusions by the majority as de novo “fact-finding,” including application of the disclosure of a patent (U.S. Patent No. 3,075,406) “never introduced as evidence in this case or cited by either party” to support its (erroneous, in Judge Moore’s view) conclusions. “Moreover,” Judge Moore states, “a disclosure in a single patent does not establish that the use of liners to attenuate bending mode vibration was “well-understood, routine, conventional activity” as required by the Supreme Court,” and the majority’s statement that “the inventive concept ‘makes no difference to the section 101 analysis’” is “an outright rejection of the second step of the Alice/Mayo test.” Judge Moore asserts that the majority’s explanation that “Section 101 is concerned with whether the claims at issue recite a natural law, not whether the specification has adequately described how to make and use the concretely claimed structures and steps” is “just plain wrong” as a statement of the law.

          [...]

          Anyone having read the Court’s decision not to grant rehearing en banc in Athena Diagnostics v. Mayo Collaborative Serv. should be well aware of the fractious nature of the Section 101 inquiry among the Federal Circuit judges, and the desperate need for the Supreme Court to clarify the patent eligibility standard it recited (murkily) in its Mayo and Alice decisions. Even if in agreement with Judge Moore, it is not difficult to see how the majority arrived at its conclusions, and how easy it is to apply Section 101 in a “sweeping and manipulatable” way. When a specialized appellate court, created by Congress to harmonize and clarify U.S. patent law, can find a method of manufacturing a propshaft for an automobile to be ineligible under Section 101 as a natural law, it is clear that the Court, and as a consequence the rest of us, has clearly lost its way.

        • Tale of a Patent: Seeking Permission to File a Motion to Petition for Correction

          To be clear about PTAB procedure — before filing a motion , you first have to get permission (leave) to file the motion. Here, Honeywell asked PTAB for permission to file a motion for leave from the PTAB to file a petition for correction. The Board did not give permission — rejecting Honeywell’s request for leave. In the process, the Board agreed with Arkena’s “not-minor” arguments and that the correction could prejudice the petitioner. The Board subsequently cancelled the claims – finding that without the priority chain, the late-filed claims are anticipated by intervening prior art.

      • Copyrights

        • Twitter Removes Nickelback Meme Trump Tweets, But Leaves All The Others Up

          By now you’re likely aware that Donald Trump tweets. Like, a lot. An unfortunate amount, actually. And he also often takes a break from tweeting his own authored… I don’t know, let’s call them thoughts… to instead simply retweet any sycophanitic content he can find out there. Sometimes, in fact, he retweets things that may be infringing upon copyright.

        • Trump’s Tweets a ‘Look at This Photograph’ Meme — Nickelback’s Label Warner Music Quickly Rips It Down

          Trump has had at least seven DMCA takedown notices filed against his Twitter account this year. All of those have resulted in the removal of content. What’s worse is that the same video was eventually uploaded to the official White House YouTube channel. Warner Music was quick with another DMCA takedown notice to get that video offline, too.

        • Can the Government Get Your Copyright? The Supreme Court of Canada Says “Yes”.

          “When and how can the government get copyright protection? In a recent Canadian decision on Crown copyright, Keatley Surveying v Teranet, the Supreme Court has for the first time addressed that issue. Its guidance, however, will be hard to implement in practice. Parliament should respond by reforming the century-old statutory provision.

          The decision ends a class action lawsuit brought by land surveyors against a company that makes land survey plans available electronically. The company, Teranet, partnered with the provincial government of Ontario to build a database of documents about all land in Ontario, including digital surveys that mark the legal boundaries of property in the province. When surveyors sued Teranet, one of the company’s defences was that surveyors don’t own the copyrights; the government does. Thus, an issue of Crown copyright arises.

        • Kenya amends its Copyright Act to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty and address a myriad of other issues

          The Amendment Act does not repeal the entirety of the Principal Act. It only repeals certain sections of the Principal Act such as section 21 (appeals against the decision of the Copyright Board to now lie to the Copyright Tribunal); section 26 (nature of copyright now separated from provisions on limitations and exceptions); section 48 (jurisdiction previously held by a “competent authority appointed by the Minister” now held by the Copyright Tribunal appointed by the Chief Justice); etc.

          Some highlights of the Amendment Act include:
          Sui-generis approach to the protection of traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expression: Section 2(e) deletes the definition of “folklore”. With this, it appears the protection of folklore has been removed from “main stream” IP (the copyright bit, at least). The terms “traditional knowledge” and “cultural expressions” are broadly defined under the Act for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and Cultural Expressions and would include “folklore”.

        • London Retailer Convicted for Selling Pirate Streaming Boxes

          The City of London Magistrates’ Court has convicted a local retailer for selling streaming boxes that provided access to pirated content, including controversial BeoutQ broadcasts. The Premier League prosecuted the man, who was sentenced to 300 hours of unpaid community service for a combination of copyright and fraud offenses.

        • Copyright Troll Loses Jury Trial… Which Might Lead To Him Paying Legal Fees In Multiple Lawsuits

          A one-man copyright trolling empire has just crashed into a federal court iceberg. Richard Bell, photographer and [checks filing] attorney, has gone after anyone and everyone who has possibly used “his” photograph of the Indianapolis skyline for anything ever.

        • DMCA Notice Confirms Trump Tweet Was Taken Down By Warner Music

          Earlier today Twitter exploded when a tweet by US President Donald Trump was taken down for alleged copyright infringement. A copy of the DMCA notice obtained by TorrentFreak shows that Warner Music was behind the takedown. It became the seventh copyright complaint filed against Trump’s Twitter account in 2019 alone, raising questions about Twitter’s repeat infringer policy.

        • Steal This Show S04E27: ‘‘The Secret Satoshis’’

          Today we bring you the next episodes of the Steal This Show podcast, discussing renegade media and the latest decentralization and file-sharing news. In this episode, we talk to Finn Brunton, author of ‘Digital Cash: The Unknown History of the Anarchists, Utopians, and Technologists Who Created Cryptocurrency’

        • Netflix has Dwarfed BitTorrent Traffic, South African ISPs say

          Video streaming giant Netflix has always seen itself as the prime alternative to piracy. According to South African Internet providers, it certainly is, at least in terms of traffic. After Netflix launched there three years ago the platform has dwarfed BitTorrent traffic.

        • Jerry Seinfeld Wins BS ‘Comedians In Cars’ Copyright Suit That Was Filed Way, Way Too Late

          Copyright statute of limitations cases are relatively rare, but we have written about a few such cases at times. Still, here’s a new ruling that tosses out a case based on the statute of limitations, involving a guy suing Jerry Seinfeld claiming infringement over the latter’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee series. Though, it seems like the case could have been defeated other ways as well, even if it had been filed within the statute of limitations.

        • Gaming Giants Highlight the Latest Piracy Threats

          The Entertainment Software Association, which represents gaming giants including EA, Nintendo, Take-Two Interactive and Ubisoft, has reported several pirate sites and services to the U.S. Government. In addition to highlighting torrent indexers, cyberlockers and linking sites, ESA also points a finger at hosting companies and a ‘US-based CDN provider.’

        • French Govt. Has Sent 644,000+ Piracy Notices in 2019, Secured 86 Criminal Convictions

          The government agency responsible for anti-piracy enforcement in France has reported its latest set of results. Between January and August 2019, Hadopi sent more than 644,000 warning notices, with around 479,000 going to first offenders and 165,700 to repeat infringers. Ultimately, 86 people ended up with a criminal conviction but many others received fines and other punishments.

        • It’s Amazing All The Cool Stuff We Could Have If Nintendo Didn’t Insist On Nintendo-Ing

          Perhaps because the stories we routinely do on Nintendo doing the Nintendo come out at a clip somewhat spread out, and perhaps because the ultimate reality is that Nintendo’s Nintendo-ing is legally something it is allowed to do, I believe the wider world really doesn’t understand just how much cool stuff the public is deprived of. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, some percentage of Nintendo’s rabid fanbase likes to try to do cool stuff with Nintendo properties as an expression of their fandom. This means creating interesting new games, or trying to get Nintendo classics to work on laughably aged hardware just for funsies. Or celebrating Nintendo game soundtracks. The point is that fans do fan things, right up until Nintendo’s lawyers come calling and shut it all down as copyright infringement.

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  19. Links 14/10/2019: Linux 5.4 RC3, POCL 1.4, Python 3.8.0

    Links for the day



  20. This Week Techrights Crosses 26,000 Posts Milestone, 3 Weeks Before Turning 13 (2,000+ Posts/Year)

    A self-congratulatory post about another year that's passed (without breaks from publishing) and another milestone associated with posting volume



  21. No Calls to "Remove Gates" From the Board (Over a Real Scandal/Crime), Only to "Remove Stallman" (Over Phony Distraction From the Former)

    Jeffrey Epstein's connections to Bill Gates extend well beyond Gates himself; other people inside Microsoft are closely involved as well, so Microsoft might want to cut ties with its co-founder before it becomes a very major mess



  22. “The Stupidest [Patent/Tax] Policy Ever”

    It’s pretty clear that today’s European patent system has been tilted grossly in favour of super-rich monopolists and their facilitators (overzealous law firms and ‘creative’ accountants) as opposed to scientists



  23. Meme: Software Patents at the EPO

    The evolution of “technical effect” nonsense at the EPO



  24. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, October 13, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, October 13, 2019



  25. Firm of Microsoft's Former Litigation Chief Uses Microsoft-Connected Patent Lawsuit Against GNU/Linux (GNOME Foundation) for New Breed of FUD Campaigns

    The patent troll of Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold has fed a patent troll that's attacking GNU/Linux and a firm owned by Microsoft's former litigation chief says it proves "Open Source Software Remains a Target"



  26. "Widespread Adoption" (Did You Mean: Takeover by Monopolies?)

    "Quite a few of them are people that would rather replace David with Goliath, just because he's bigger. Quite a few are already taking money from Goliath."



  27. Links 13/10/2019: Red Hat CFO Fired and KDE Plasma 5.17 Preparations

    Links for the day



  28. Bill's Media Strategy Amid GatesGate

    There are many ways by which to game the media’s news cycle — an art mastered by the groper in chief



  29. Hard-Core Micro-Soft

    The word "core" is increasingly being (mis)used to portray user-hostile proprietary software as something more benign if not "open"



  30. Free Software Timeline and Federation: When Free Software Advocacy/Support is a Monopoly Expansion Becomes Necessary

    Support for Software Freedom — like support for Free software (think Red Hat/IBM and systemd) — should be decentralised and compartmentalised to make the movement stronger and adaptable


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