Links 30/11/2019: Redox Milestone, Wine 4.21, Qt Creator 4.11 RC

Posted in News Roundup at 12:30 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Systemd 244 Released With New Init System Features For Black Friday

      Systemd has a present for you with a new release that comes bearing more features for this Linux init system.

    • Black Friday 2019 Laptop Specials

      It’s Black Friday! Get 10% off the base Librem 13 v4 and Librem 15 v4 laptops. If you’re looking for added security choose a Pureboot bundle or our anti-interdiction services from the firmware drop-down on the configuration page. Shipping is on us too! We offer free international shipping to pretty much anywhere in the world.

    • Black Friday 2019: Best Chromebook deals

      The best Chromebooks, as well as many others, are available for discounted prices.

    • The best Linux gifts for 2019

      I love Linux. It’s a great operating system that gives me both power and far more privacy than any of its rivals. And it’s fun! Here are some gift suggestions to help give your Linux-using friends and family members a happy holiday season.

    • Holiday gift guide: Books for the learner, explorer, or tinkerer on your list

      It is my pleasure to introduce Opensource.com’s selection of books that would make excellent holiday gift ideas. We hope you find them interesting items to give as gifts this holiday season or to add to your own holiday wishlist. Each book exhibits qualities that make them excellent gifts for open source enthusiasts, as they all encourage learning, exploring, and tinkering.

    • Redox (UNIX-Like)

      • Real hardware breakthroughs, and focusing on rustc

        After the addition of the NVMe driver a couple months ago, I have been running Redox OS permanently (from an install to disk) on a System76 Galago Pro (galp3-c), with System76 Open Firmware as well as the un-announced, in-development, GPLv3 System76 EC firmware . This particular hardware has full support for the keyboard, touchpad, storage, and ethernet, making it easy to use with Redox.

        This particular machine has had a debugging port soldered on, using the unused CEC pin of the HDMI port as RX, and then a custom HDMI to USB serial cable for closed-chassis debug. Now I can get serial output from the board, using the Intel LPSS UART on the PCH, which is supported in this commit to the kernel, and an earlier commit fixing memory-mapped serial ports. This has allowed for easier debugging of the kernel and drivers.

        I am fairly satisfied with how things are going, and will continue to focus on running a permanently installed Redox system. My work on real hardware has improved drivers and services, added HiDPI support to a number of applications, and spawned the creation of new projects such as pkgar to make it easier to install Redox from a live disk.

        It has also become easier than ever to cross-compile for Redox, with the redoxer tool which can build, run, and test using commands similar to cargo. It automatically manages a Redox toolchain and can run executables and tests for Redox inside of a container on demand.

        However, a long-standing issue (the longstanding issue?) of Redox OS has been this: To allow the compilation of Rust binaries on Redox OS.

      • Real hardware breakthroughs, and focusing on rustc

        On the Redox site, creator Jeremy Soller gives an update on the Unix-like operating system written in Rust.

      • After four years, Rust-based Redox OS is nearly self-hosting

        The Redox OS, written in Rust and currently under development, is only “a few months of work away” from self-hosting, meaning that the Rustc compiler would run on Redox itself, according to its creator Jeremy Soller.

        Soller, who is also a principal engineer at the Linux hardware company System76, based in Denver, USA, says that he is now running Redox OS permanently on one of his company’s laptops, with “full support for the keyboard, touchpad, storage and Ethernet”.

        Soller says that a long-standing issue has been “to allow the compilation of Rust binaries on Redox OS”.

      • Redox OS will soon permanently run rustc, the compiler for the Rust programming language, says Redox creator Jeremy Soller

        Two days ago, Jeremy Soller, the Redox OS BDFL (Benevolent dictator for life) shared recent developments in Redox which is a Unix-like operating system written in Rust. The Redox OS team is pretty close to running rustc, the compiler for the Rust programming language on Redox. However, dynamic libraries are a remaining area that needs to be improved.

    • Server

      • Life as a Linux system administrator

        Linux system administration is a job. It can be fun, frustrating, mentally challenging, tedious, and often a great source of accomplishment and an equally great source of burnout. That is to say, it’s a job like any other with good days and with bad. Like most system administrators, I have found a balance that works for me. I perform my regular duties with varying levels of automation and manual manipulation and I also do a fair amount of research, which usually ends up as articles. There are two questions I’m going to answer for you in this article. The first is, “How does one become a system administrator?,” and second, “What does a Linux system administrator do?”.


        After I left the Desktop support group, I moved on to Windows domain administration. I installed a Red Hat Linux 4.0 system that I also hid under my desk from prying eyes. I also installed Samba on it to fool network probes and my annoying team leader who once asked, “What is that Linux server doing for us?” My answer was, “It isn’t doing anything for us, but it’s doing a lot for me. I use it for research.” I kept the Red Hat Linux system until I moved to a different group. Linux was still not allowed on the network. I still didn’t care. Yes, I was defiant and terrible but I was also not going to sit around messing with Windows 3.11 and Windows 95 while the rest of the world embraced Linux.

      • IBM

        • Raytheon Leans on Red Hat to Advance DevSecOps

          Jon Check, senior director for cyber protection solutions for Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services, said Raytheon has developed a set of DevSecOps practices for organizations building applications deployed in highly secure environments, involving government contracts.

          Raytheon and these customers have been challenged by a chronic shortage of IT professionals with the appropriate level of clearance to work on these classified projects. To overcome that issue, Check said Raytheon developed what it describes as a “code low, deploy high” approach to DevSecOps. Developers who lack security clearances can still build applications; however, those applications can only be deployed by IT professionals having the appropriate security clearance.

          In addition, Check said Raytheon has developed integrations between its DevSecOps framework and various IT tools based on the ITIL framework, which so many IT operations teams depend on to foster collaboration across the application development and deployment process. For example, he said, whenever code gets checked into a repository, an alert can be sent to an IT service management application from ServiceNow.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

      • Linux Kernel 5.4 Gets First Point Release, It’s Now Ready for Mass Deployments

        Announced by Linus Torvalds on November 24th, the Linux 5.4 kernel series is the latest and most advanced kernel branch that GNU/Linux users can install on their favorite distributions. It ships with the long-anticipated support for Microsoft’s exFAT file system, a new highly-anticipated “lockdown” security feature, and many hardware improvements.

        Additionally, Linux kernel 5.4 brings improved app memory management on Android, a new high-performance virtio driver called virtio-fs, which can be used for sharing files between hosts and guests, dm-clone for live cloning of block devices, a new security feature called fs-verity for detecting file tampering, as well as many improvements for AMD GPUs and APUs.

      • USB Updates In Linux 5.5 Help Intel Ice Lake, NVIDIA Xavier + More – But No USB 4.0 Yet

        Earlier this week as part of his series of pull requests, Greg Kroah-Hartman has submitted the USB subsystem updates for the in-development Linux 5.5 kernel.

      • The Linux Kernel Disabling HPET For More Platforms – Including Ice Lake

        Reported on earlier this month is the decision by Linux kernel developers to disable HPET for Intel Coffee Lake systems. The High Precision Event Timer was being disabled since on some Coffee Lake systems at least this timer skews when entering the PC10 power state and that makes the time-stamp counter unstable.

        This is believed to be a firmware issue rather than a hardware problem, but the best course of action was just disabling HPET for Coffee Lake systems to avoid the problem. Fortunately, the Linux kernel has other supported clock sources besides HPET and in fact TSC is preferred over it due to lower overhead.

      • The Allwinner “Cedrus” Video Decoder Supports H.265 On Linux 5.5

        The Cedrus video decode driver developed by Bootlin after successful crowdfunding for creating an open-source Linux video decoder for Allwinner SoCs now has H.265 support!

        Cedrus was merged back in Linux 4.20 after raising over thirty-six thousand dollars from crowdfunding to have an intern work on the project. Initially it supported the Allwinner A10/A13/A20/A33/R8/R16 SoCs and supported MPEG-2 and H.264 for video decoding. H.265/HEVC support was in the works but only with Linux 5.5 is now completely wired up.

      • EXT4 For Linux 5.5 Sees New Improvements For This Mature File-System

        While EXT4 is the most common Linux file-system among distributions and is quite mature at this stage, it does continue seeing noteworthy improvements every so often with new kernel releases. With Linux 5.5 there are more notable improvements on deck.

      • Linux 5.5 Brings Logitech G15 Driver, Better Windows Precision Touchpad Support

        The HID area of the kernel is always eventful when it comes to improving the input device support for newer hardware. With Linux 5.5 the HID story means a new Logitech driver and other enhancements.

      • The “Catch-All” Driver Subsystem Changes Sent In For Linux 5.5

        Greg Kroah-Hartman sent in the char/misc changes earlier this week and were already merged for Linux 5.5.

        In the pull request Greg commented, “Here is the big set of char/misc and other driver patches for 5.5-rc1 Loads of different things in here, this feels like the catch-all of driver subsystems these days.” Indeed, char/misc these days is a random smothering of work. There had been talk previously of spinning out portions like a proposed hardware accelerator subsystem but as it stands now no major splits to char/misc but it just continues increasing in scope.

      • System76 ACPI Coreboot Laptop Driver, Huawei Laptop Improvements Sent In For Linux 5.5

        Sent in on Thursday were the platform-drivers-x86 updates targeting the Linux 5.5 kernel.


        - The Huawei laptop driver for hotkeys and related functionality now supports newer models. The Huawei driver also now supports Fn-lock, battery charging thresholds, exposing additional information via DebugFS, and other improvements.

      • Graphics Stack

        • virtio gpu status and plans

          Time for a status update for virtio-gpu development, so lets go …

          Before we begin: If you want follow development and discussions more closely head over to the virgl project at freedesktop gitlab. Git repos are there, most discussions are happening in gitlab issues.


          Little change to reduce image data copying. Currently resources have a guest and a host buffer, and there are transfer commands to copy data between the two. Shared mappings allow the host to use the guest buffer directly.

          On the guest side this is pretty simple, the guest only needs to inform the host that a shared mapping for the given resource — so the host might see changes without explicit transfer commands — is fine.

          On the host side this is a bit more involved. Qemu will create a dma-buf for the resource, using the udmabuf driver. Which in turn allows qemu create a linear mapping of the resource, even if it is scattered in guest memory. That way the resource can be used directly (i.e. a pixman image created for it, …)

          Status: Almost ready to be submitted upstream.

        • VirtIO-GPU Working Towards Vulkan Support, Other Features For Graphics In VMs

          Linux virtualization developer Gerd Hoffmann laid out some of the VirtIO-GPU happenings. Among the features being pursued are shared mappings to reduce image data copying, blob resources, metadata query for querying host render capabilities/requirements, host memory support to implement coherent memory and other features, and then lastly is the Vulkan support. But it’s still likely to be some time until the Vulkan VirtIO-GPU/Virgl support is ready for any end-user usage.

        • vkBasalt, the Vulkan post-processing layer has another new release with new effects

          Adding a little extra visual enhancement to games on Linux is getting more interesting, with the help of the Vulkan post-processing layer vkBasalt which has a new build up.

          Recently, they put up a new build enabling SMAA support and yesterday another new version was released to expand it even further.

          Available in version 0.2.1 is a new “Deband/Dithering” effect and you can now also change SMAA settings in the configuration file. You might also see it having less of a performance impact, as the settings are now “applied at pipeline creation”. There’s also been some changes to the Shader Directory and Config File, with both having multiple possible locations where they can rest to help with distribution specific packages.

    • Benchmarks

      • Windows 10 vs. Linux Performance On The AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X

        The new AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X is performing faster on Linux than Microsoft Windows 10. When carrying out more than 80 different tests on Windows 10 compared to five Linux distributions, Windows 10 was beat out by the open-source competition. However, the performance loss for Windows isn’t as dramatic as we have seen out of earlier generations of Ryzen Threadripper HEDT workstations. Here are those benchmarks of Windows 10 compared to Ubuntu 19.10, CentOS 8, Clear Linux, Fedora Workstation 31, and openSUSE Tumbleweed.

        This is our first cross-operating-system look at the Threadripper 3970X since it was released last week. All five tested Linux distributions installed fine when using the MCE workaround to boot. There were no other problems to report for hardware compatibility with this Zen 2 HEDT system on the different Linux distributions. The hardware used for all of this Windows/Linux testing was the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X at stock speeds, ASUS ROG ZENITH II EXTREME TRX40 motherboard, 4 x 16GB Corsair DDR4-3600MHz memory, 1TB Corsair Force MP600 NVMe SSD, Radeon RX 580 graphics, NZXT Kraken water cooling, and a Thermaltake Toughpower 1250 Watt power supply.

    • Applications

      • 4 best Linux password managers

        Password managers are very popular right now. There are so many of them that many people don’t know which one to use. If you are a Linux user and you’re looking for a way to manage your passwords, follow along as we discuss the 4 best Linux password managers!

      • Calibre e-Book Management Software Releases Version 4.5

        Calibre 4.5 e-book management software releases version 4.5 with bug fixes and enhancements.

        Calibre is a decade old excellent piece of software and must have app for e-book readers. This free and open-source app is loaded with features and it makes the app ideal for casual and expert users. You can nearly do anything related to e-book using this software.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Wine or Emulation

      • Wine Announcement
        What's new in this release (see below for details):
          - HTTP proxy configuration through DHCP.
          - Parameter block support in D3DX9.
          - A few more dlls converted to PE.
          - Various bug fixes.
        The source is available from the following locations:
        Binary packages for various distributions will be available from:
        You will find documentation on https://www.winehq.org/documentation
        You can also get the current source directly from the git
        repository. Check https://www.winehq.org/git for details.
        Wine is available thanks to the work of many people. See the file
        AUTHORS in the distribution for the complete list.
      • The Wine 4.21 development release is now available

        They say Wine improves with age, well my puns certainly don’t get any better so you can relax as this week I’m all out of juice for the release of Wine 4.21.

      • Wine 4.21 Released As Wine 5.0 Inches Closer

        Wine 4.21 is out today as the newest bi-weekly development release as the feature freeze approaches for the Wine 5.0 release in early 2020.

        Wine 4.21 brings with it 50 bug fixes ranging from various games to IE8 issues to other problems now resolved.

      • Wine-Staging 4.21 Released With New Patches Up For Testing

        Built off yesterday’s release of Wine 4.21 is now a new Wine-Staging release that continues shipping over 800 patches on top of upstream Wine for offering an experimental/testing blend that often works out much better for gaming on Linux.

    • Games

      • Epic Games have awarded the FOSS game manager Lutris with an Epic MegaGrant

        The Lutris team announced yesterday that Epic Games have now awarded them a sum of money from the Epic MegaGrants pot.

        In the Patreon post, the Lutris team announced they’ve been awarded $25,000. While this might be quite a surprise to some, Tim Sweeney the CEO of Epic Games, did actually suggest they apply for it which we covered here back in April. To see it actually happen though, that’s seriously awesome for the team building this free and open source game manager.

      • Euro Truck Simulator 2 heads to the Black Sea with the next DLC release on December 5

        Euro Truck Simulator 2 is expanding again, with the Road to the Black Sea expansion that’s now been announced for release on December 5.

        Quite a big DLC giving you access to travel through and expand your company through Romania, Bulgaria and some of Turkey too with Istanbul. Coming with it are 11 new local company docks and industries, 20 new major cities and many smaller towns and settlements, a bunch of new unique 3D assets, local AI trains, trams, and traffic cars, border crossings with feature-rich border controls and more.

      • Atari VCS enters the final stages of pre-production as it heads towards mass production

        Ah yes, Atari VCS, the delayed Linux-powered gaming box that was crowdfunded on IndieGoGo. It’s still a thing and the team seem to think it’s all going well.

        In a new development update on the Atari VCS Medium account, the team posted a set of questions and answers from the COO Michael Arzt as to what’s been happening recently. This follows on from the news back in October, where their system architect Rob Wyatt quit citing non-payment.

      • XWayland Multi-Buffering Lands To Avoid Stuttering / Tearing

        When X.Org Server 1.21 finally lands those relying upon XWayland for running various Linux games should find less (or ideally, none at all) stuttering or tearing.

        The recently reported work on XWayland improvements around game tearing and stuttering have landed! There was some improvements that landed earlier this month while now the multiple buffering support for xwl_window has landed. This is designed to avoid stuttering and eliminating tearing issues thanks to double/triple buffering.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • Qt Creator 4.11 RC released

          We are happy to announce the release of Qt Creator 4.11 RC!

          Find more details on what is new in Qt Creator 4.11 in the release blog post for the Beta, and in our change log. And seize this opportunity to test 4.11 and give us last minute feedback!

        • Aracele Torres: My participation in LaKademy 2019

          Hi, people! Here I am again telling about how I love this community and like to be part of every activity we organize. Almost two weeks ago we had a new edition of LaKademy, the Latin American KDE Summit, which we’ve been organizing in Brazil since 2012. This edition was held in Salvador, Bahia, for the second time (the 2015 edition was there too).

        • KDE Frameworks 6 sprint

          Last week I took a train to Berlin for the KDE Frameworks 6 kickoff sprint. A lot has been said about it by my fellow attendees already, so I won’t go into detail much.

          Work on Qt 6 has begun and with Qt 6 a version 6 of the KDE Frameworks is due. This will gives us the opportunity to clean up and redesign some of our API.

          Main goal for the sprint was to discuss the major design principles for KF6. I personally focussed on two aspects. First, we want to better separate logic from the user interface to allow different UI implementations for desktop and mobile uses. Futhermore, we want to reduce the amount of dependencies our libraries have. While we are doing fine for a lot of frameworks some have very ugly dependency structures. Probably our worst offender here is KIO, the framework that powers Dolphin and many more KDE applications.

        • Plasma Edit Mode refinements

          Editing, moving and customizing widgets in Plasma Desktop improved a lot in 5.17, and then in 5.18 it will get a brand new edit mode, to be really efficient editing your desktop layout (and have less visual noise by default).

          This week another new feature landed in the edit mode for 5.18: it’s possible to set some plasmoids without background and a nice drop shadow, for an extra clean and modern look for your desktop.

          In addition, a plasmoid can specify this backgroundless shadowed mode as its new default, like the digital clock now does (when is on the deskop)

        • Krita Weekly #4

          Phew, I am late this week for the update, kudos to my university exams nevertheless better be late than never. One more week passed, we are now closing on the 4.2.8 release. This week too we can see a steady decrease in the number of bugs. 17 bugs were reported and 23 were fixed, a net decrease of 6 bugs. The rate has gone down a little bit compared to the previous month, cause the folks are now mostly focusing on the resource rewrite.

        • Krita Weekly #5

          This week we got 13 new bug reports while 22 got fixed, a net decrease of 9 bugs. The bug tracker says that there are about 415 bugs remaining, so still a long way to go. And last week the 4.2.8 beta was released. Thanks to all the folks who participated in testing it. You can expect the 4.2.8 release this Wednesday.


          Ivan fixed some inconsistency in the visuals of the line endings. And coming to the resource rewrite, Boud has been working on to make document storage work like bundles. Tiar has been busy with tagging, a working combobox can be found in the corresponding branch to filter resources. And Wolthera has been dabbing with the storage widget ui. Collectively they also fixed some missing parts of the API involved with the resources.

        • Announcing Season of KDE 2020

          Focused on offering an opportunity to anyone (not just enrolled students) contributing to the KDE community, this is a program that is comparable to the well-known Google Summer of Code, with some special differences. A key difference is that SoK projects are not limited to code-focused work, but any that benefit our community. For instance, projects can be about documentation, reports, translation, system administration, web and other types of work as well as code. Each contributor will work with a mentor and within a team that will also help the contributor.

        • October/November in KDE Itinerary

          Time for another bi-monthy status update around KDE Itinerary! Since the last report plenty of things have happened again, ranging from multi-ticket support to integration with the Plasma Browser Integration plug-in, most of which you’ll find in the upcoming 19.12 release.

        • Q_PRIVATE_SLOT with new connect syntax

          When using PIMPL, we sometimes want to move implementation of slots into the private class as well. In order for Qt to be able to invoke those slots that formally exist only in the private class (which usually is not a QObject), we use the Q_PRIVATE_SLOT macro in the main class. It allows Qt to invoke the slot method, even though it exists in the private class.

    • Distributions

      • Pretend to be Using Windows with Kali Linux Undercover Mode

        As you can see, unless someone is looking closely, it’s not easy to figure out that it is not a Windows computer.

        The undercover mode could be helpful in a few situations. For example, if you are using your laptop in a public place and don’t want to ‘alarm’ the person sitting beside you with the Kali Dragon, the undercover mode help you blend in.

        This could also be used to lure some dumb tech support scamster who offers to help repair the PC and installs malware instead.

        Now that you know what undercover mode is, let’s see how to use it.

      • Kali Linux Adds ‘Undercover’ Mode to Impersonate Windows 10

        Kali Linux 2019.4 was released last week and with it comes an ‘Undercover’ mode that can be used to quickly make the Kali desktop look like Windows 10.

        Kali is a Linux distribution created for ethical hacking and penetration testing and is commonly used by researchers and red teamers to perform security tests against an organization.

        As most people are used to seeing Windows and macOS devices being used, it may look suspicious to see a user running Kali Linux with it’s distinctive dragon logo and a Linux environment in an office lobby or other public setting.

        With this in mind, in Kali Linux 2019.4 the developers created a new ‘Undercover’ mode that will make the desktop look similar to Windows 10 in order to draw less suspicion.

        “Say you are working in a public place, hacking away, and you might not want the distinctive Kali dragon for everyone to see and wonder what it is you are doing. So, we made a little script that will change your Kali theme to look like a default Windows installation. That way, you can work a bit more incognito. After you are done and in a more private place, run the script again and you switch back to your Kali theme. Like magic!”

      • Exton|OS Distro Is Now Based on Ubuntu 19.10 and Ships with Linux Kernel 5.4

        As we reported last week, Arne Exton started upgrading some of his GNU/Linux distributions on the latest Linux 5.4 kernel series, but Exton|OS is the first to ship with the stable version of Linux kernel 5.4, which was announced by Linus Torvalds on November 24th, a major release that features exFAT support, AMD improvements, and a new lockdown feature.

        This new Exton|OS release is built for UEFI PCs and ships with the latest Budgie 10.5 desktop environment by default with the Papirus icon theme, the Calamares graphical installer instead of Ubuntu’s Ubiquity installer, and up-to-date packages synced with upstream as of November 28, 2019, including GIMP, Gparted, Mozilla Firefox, SMPlayer, and SMTube.

      • OSGeoLive Distro Opens Doors to Geospatial Worlds

        OSGeoLive is a unique Linux distro. It pulls together a large library of Linux tools and applications that support geospatial workloads. It is not designed to be a general usability Linux operating system, but if you add the software it’s missing, you can happily use it for other computing tasks.

        I was particularly intrigued by some of its standalone applications and Web app offerings. Browsing through this distro’s feature tools was a fun-filled discovery experience.

        Nothing needed to be set up or configured. One click led to another. With each new screen came interesting information that teased my inquisitive mind. The experience actually sparked an interest in the world of geospatial elements.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

      • Debian Family

        • Debian welcomes its new Outreachy interns

          Debian continues participating in Outreachy, and we’d like to welcome our new Outreachy interns for this round, lasting from December 2019 to March 2020.

          Anisa Kuci will work on Improving the DebConf fundraising processes, mentored by Karina Ture and Daniel Lange.

          Sakshi Sangwan will work on Packaging GitLab’s JS Modules, mentored by Utkarsh Gupta, Sruthi Chandran and Pirate Praveen.

          Congratulations, Anisa and Sakshi! Welcome!

        • Mike Gabriel: My Work on Debian LTS/ELTS (November 2019)

          In November 2019, I have worked on the Debian LTS project for 15 hours (of 15 hours planned) and on the Debian ELTS project for 5 hours (of 5 hours planned) as a paid contributor.

          For LTS, I, in fact, pulled over 1.7 hours from October, so I realy only did 13.3 hours for LTS in November.

          (This is only half-true, I worked a considerable amount of hours on this libvncserver code bundle audit, but I am just not invoicing all of it).

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Build smart display devices with Mir: fast to production, secure, open-source

          Mir is a library for writing graphical shells for Linux and similar operating systems. Compared to traditional display servers, it offers numerous benefits that are important for IoT devices: efficiency, speed of development, security, performance, and flexibility. All are required by the devices of today, and even more so for the devices of tomorrow. In this whitepaper we’ll explain how Mir, alongside Ubuntu Core and Snapcraft, lets developers build devices that are ready for the future of IoT, while offering stable, secure and performant solutions to the problems the industry faces today.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Auditing For Accessibility Problems With Firefox Developer Tools

            First, select the Accessibility Inspector from the Developer Toolbox. Turn on the accessibility engine by clicking “Turn On Accessibility Features.” You’ll see a full representation of the current foreground tab as assistive technologies see it. The left pane shows the hierarchy of accessible objects. When you select an element there, the right pane fills to show the common properties of the selected object such as name, role, states, description, and more. To learn more about how the accessibility tree informs assistive technologies, read this post by Hidde de Vries.

          • Auditing For Accessibility Problems With Firefox Developer Tools

            Since its debut in Firefox 61, the Accessibility Inspector in the Firefox Developer Tools has evolved from a low-level tool showing the accessibility structure of a page. In Firefox 70, the Inspector has become an auditing facility to help identify and fix many common mistakes and practices that reduce site accessibility. In this post, I will offer an overview of what is available in this latest release.

          • CSS zoom, a close up on issues

            CSS zoom is a non-standard feature.

            It was initially implemented by Microsoft Internet Explorer, then was reversed engineered by Apple Safari team for WebKit, and exist in Google Chrome on Blink. Chris talks briefly about the origin.

          • Week notes – 2019 w48 – worklog

            The end of the 2019Q4 is approaching at the speed of light, specifically for me, given that I will be away starting December 21 until January 2. Previous instance of the week notes has been published.

          • This Week in Glean: Differences 29.11.19 10:37

            Currently my team is responsible for the Telemetry framework inside Firefox on Desktop and also the Glean SDK, targeting our mobile products. We’re working on bringing the Glean experience to Firefox on Desktop, but in the meantime Telemetry is what we have, need to support and sometimes implement new features on.

            One of these features is a new ping (or, better, a change in a ping), that we now want to support across all our products. I’m speaking of the deletion-request ping here. When a user opts out of Telemetry we take this as a signal to also delete associated data from our pipeline.

            Implementation in Firefox Desktop was merely renaming an existing ping that is triggered when the user disables “Data Collection and Use” (about:preferences -> Privacy & Security). It contains no additional data. Implementation in Glean was not much harder either. Glean already supports custom pings: Pings that can be defined and send by the application using Glean. Glean’s internal pings follow the same pattern, they are just pre-defined. The biggest difference?

            It’s called deletion_request ping instead.

            On ingestion data from a ping is decoded from its JSON form and put into tables on BigQuery (in our documentation you can find an overview of the data pipeline if you are interested). BigQuery table names can only contain alphanumeric characters and underscores (see “Table naming” in the BigQuery documentation). We avoid any translation in the pipeline by just enforcing this directly on ping names.

          • Historical Reasons

            I’ve known for a while how to override bash builtins, but it was something I’d long filed under “ok but why” in my mental repository of software esoterica. Until I saw this comment I hadn’t considered how useful it could be.
            I’ve long held the position that our tools are so often ahumanist junk because we’re so deeply beholden to a history we don’t understand, and in my limited experience with the various DevOps toolchains, they definitely feel like Stockholm Spectrum products of that particular zeitgeist. It’s a longstanding gripe I’ve got with that entire class of tools, Docker, Vagrant and the like; how narrow their notions of a “working development environment” are. Source, dependencies, deploy scripts and some operational context, great, but… not much else?

          • Async Interview #1: Alex and Nick talk about async I/O and WebAssembly

            Hello from Iceland! (I’m on vacation.) I’ve just uploaded the first of the Async Interviews to YouTube. It is a conversation with Alex Crichton (alexcrichton) and Nick Fitzgerald (fitzgen) about how WebAssembly and Rust’s Async I/O system interact.

      • LibreOffice/Calligra

        • Local event update: LibreOffice at OpenFest in Sofia, Bulgaria

          Sofia’s OpenFest looks like probably the largest open source software and hardware festival in Bulgaria. There were plenty of people – more on Saturday than on Sunday.

          There were three tracks, and a huge room for many workshops (four or five usually), which covered topics such as electronics skills improvement (eg soldering), or padlock cracking, or developing with Elasticsearch…

          There was also an awesome kindergarten (with backlit sand projection game), a relaxation area and a speaker’s corner, to allow attendees pose more questions to speakers, after their lectures. The organisation of the event was great, I must say, which includes pre and post parties, lead by Yana Petrova.

        • LibreOffice Git Lands Its Skia Drawing Code – Leading To Vulkan-Accelerated Office Suite

          With LibreOffice 6.4 branched ahead of its release next year, feature development is open on what will be the next follow-on release for later in 2020. And this week one big underlying code change was merged… Using Skia for drawing the interface in an effort to ultimately replace the Cairo usage.

          The Skia graphics library is what has been in development by Google for well over a decade and is used by the Chrome web browser, Chrome OS, and other projects. Skia supports CPU-based rasterization as well as GPU acceleration via OpenGL and other APIs. Skia excitingly also has a Vulkan GPU back-end too. Skia sees much more development by Google and others compared to Cairo that has rather stagnated in recent years. Those unfamiliar with Skia and wanting to learn more can do so via Skia.org.

      • Public Services/Government

        • FHIR + openEHR

          Standards are great, but as per the GDS Service Manual, always start with user needs and work back from the problem you are trying to solve. Too often I have seen procurements or projects that are based on a set of technical outputs, not business or user outcomes. The danger with this is you implement a thing, which maybe complies with a standard, but doesn’t infact solve an entire user problem. What I have outlined in this post are a couple of models, but as with all patterns they are to be used as a baseline or blueprint of how to approach a particular kind of problem. They can be customised and reused but they do not represent the answer. The key point is to select the approach/standard/technology that best meets your need. Don’t identify everything as a nail, just because you have a hammer.

      • Programming/Development

        • Play-ing with Godot

          I’ve finally come to a point where I have a project that is useful, and at a good enough quality (anyone with graphics skills who wants to help?) to be shared with the broader world: Mattemonster. What I’m trying to say is that I just went through the process of publishing a Godot app to the Google Play store.

          There is already good documentation for how you export a Godot app for Android, and detailed guides how to publish to Google Play. This blog is not a step by step tutorial, but instead mentioning some of the things I learned or noticed.

          First of all, when setting up the Android tooling, you usually have an android-tools package for your distro. This way, you don’t have to install Android Studio provided by Google.

          The configuration settings that you use to export your app goes into the export_presets.cfg file. Once you put the details for your release key in, you should avoid storing this file in a public git, as it contains sensitive data. But even before then, it contains paths that are local to your machine, so I would recommend not storing it in a public git anyway, as it makes merging with others painful.

        • Haskell
        • Python

          • Unit Testing in Python with Unittest

            In almost all fields, products are thoroughly tested before being released to the market to ensure its quality and that it works as intended.

            Medicine, cosmetic products, vehicles, phones, laptops are all tested to ensure that they uphold a certain level of quality that was promised to the consumer. Given the influence and reach of software in our daily lives, it is important that we test our software thoroughly before releasing it to our users to avoid issues coming up when it is in use.

            There are various ways and methods of testing our software, and in this article we will concentrate on testing our Python programs using the Unittest framework.

          • python-gnuplotlib knows about multiplots

            gnuplotlib and numpysane are becoming mature (i.e. I use them all the time, have done that for a while, and they work very well), so I’m going to start doing some proselytizing on this front. I want to do a talk in the near future, and looking forward to that, I’m going to expand the docs, and I’m implementing some long-envisioned-but-never-completed features. The first one of these is now complete: multiplot support for gnuplotlib.

            Gnuplot multiplots are a way to create more than one plot in a single window (or hardcopy). These are a bit of a corner case, and I’ve been mostly getting by without ever using these, but sometimes they’re really nice.

          • #100DaysOfCode, Day 009 – The Collections Module

            I wanted confirmation of my thought process, and realised that if I was going to figure out the code itself, this would take much, much longer.
            Besides, writing Python will come to me if I stick with this as I have been doing, so no guilt about copying code.

          • Python 3.7.5 : Script install and import python packages.

            This script will try to import Python packages from a list.
            If these packages are not installed then will be installed on system.

  • Leftovers

    • Scorsese’s Irishman, Dobbs’ Hoffa

      This fall, I’ve suffered through some of the worst Hollywood films I’ve seen in eighteen years of film reviewing. Each year I get a bunch of DVDs or Vimeo links from Hollywood studios to influence the ballot I cast for the NY Film Critics Online (NYFCO) awards meeting in early December. This year I began to lose sleep worrying over whether I would be able to nominate any English-language films for best of 2019. Emulating the upscale Academy Awards ceremony, NYFCO has a separate category for foreign language films—an artificial distinction. Theoretically, NYFCO can choose a foreign-language film for best film of the year, but it never happens. The only thing that seems foreign to me is a Noah Baumbach movie.

    • Sacha Baron Cohen Comes out Swinging

      Having made a name for himself causing cringing controversy, forging alter egos with the ease of a spam producer, Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G, Borat, Bruno) has taken a plunge into waters swum by every indignant activist, commentator and show pony worth column space in the media scape. The target is predictably dull, normal and soporific: the digital monsters of Silicon Valley and their tyrants as demon conjurors.

    • America’s Darkest Secrets Are Laid Bare in ‘The Report’

      While most Americans will never be able to see the full Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture committed in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, even the publicly available executive summary reveals shocking facts about the agency’s heinous acts. “The Report,” a new film by director Scott Z. Burns—whose work includes “The Bourne Ultimatum” and, more recently, “The Laundromat”—brings to life this dark chapter of recent American history with a cast that includes Annette Bening, Adam Driver and Jon Hamm.

    • Science

      • Underwater [Internet] cables can detect offshore earthquakes

        The researchers used a technique called distributed acoustic sensing, which works by sending pulses of light through the cable and analysing the light that returns to detect slight movements.

        “If you start moving a certain portion of the fibre because there’s some seismic wave propagating, you’ll be able to see that seismic wave strain on the cable,” says Lindsey.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • FBI Investigating Newark Beth Israel’s Transplant Program for Possible Fraud

        The FBI is investigating the organ transplant program at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, according to people contacted by the bureau.

        The bureau is looking into whether the program, which kept a vegetative patient on life support for the sake of boosting its survival rate, attempted to defraud federal insurers Medicare and Medicaid, said one person familiar with the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. FBI spokeswoman Patty Hartman said that the agency could neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation.

      • $11 Million Medicare Tool Gives Seniors Wrong Insurance Information

        The federal government recently redesigned a digital tool that helps seniors navigate complicated Medicare choices, but consumer advocates say it’s malfunctioning with alarming frequency, offering inaccurate cost estimates and creating chaos in some states during the open enrollment period.

      • Unions Dig In to Protect Hard-Fought Health Plans

        Deep under Los Angeles, laborers are busy digging more subway lines to connect a complex and diverse populace with sometimes conflicting goals. While changing the city, union workers like those from Laborers Union Local 300 will also have much to do with rebuilding a health care system that is presently unfair, overpriced and cumbersome.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • checkra1n on Linux nearing release, Apple TV DFU helper coming too

          Despite being a closed ecosystem, iDevice users enjoy an advanced level of control over the OS through jailbreaking. But, not many opt for it because the Cupertino tech giant denies warranty claims for jailbroken gadgets.

          Moreover, one has to choose the jailbreaking tool so carefully that an incompatible selection will make your iPhone/iPad a fiasco. Owing to the frequent vulnerability fixes released by Apple, we can’t use a single tool for every iOS iteration.

        • Jony Ive is no longer on Apple’s leadership page

          His new firm is called LoveForm, which sounds an awful lot like LoveFilm – right down to the fact that both will score you 16 in a Scrabble match, assuming you’re competing without someone that plays fast and loose with the ‘no brand names’ rule. That’s where the similarities end though: it’s more focused on design than posting DVDs to people.

          Unlike most people starting their own business, Ive won’t have to hustle for new clients right away. Apple led the press release announcing Ive’s exit by saying it would be one of LoveForm’s clients, which is kind of like writing a blank cheque. But, hey, if anybody can write a blank cheque and not worry about the consequences then it’s Cook & Co.

        • Security firm Prosegur hit by Windows Ryuk ransomware

          Well-known British security researcher Kevin Beaumont was one of the first to point to a statement on on the Spain-based company’s website in which it said that there had been “a security information incident on its telecommunications platforms”.

          Prosegur is the largest security firm in Spain and listed on Madrid Stock Exchange in 1987.

        • [Older] IBM: ‘Mac users are happier and more productive’ [iophk: duh]

          IBM CIO Fletcher Previn talked up fresh IBM findings that show those of its employees who use Macs are more likely to stay with IBM and exceed performance expectations compared to [Windows] users.

        • [Older] IBM: Mac users perform better at work and close larger high-value sales compared to [Windows] users

          Today, IBM announced some major news showing the benefits of using a Mac over a [Windows machine] at work. According to IBM research, there are 22% more macOS users who exceed expectations in performance reviews compared to Windows users. High-value sales deals also tend to be 16% higher for Mac users compared to [Windows] users.

        • [Older] IBM: Our Mac-Using Employees Outperform Windows Users in Every Way

          According to IBM, one staff member can support 5,400 Mac users, while the company needed one staff member per 242 [Windows] users. Only 5 percent of Mac users called the help desk for assistance, compared with 40 percent of [Windows] users. This Mac-IBM love affair has been ongoing for a few years, and the same IBM PR points out that in 2016, IBM CIO Fletcher Previn declared that IBM saves anywhere from $273 to $543 when its end users choose Mac over [Windows].

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Openwashing

            • Microsoft Teams spurs open source in Aussie channel [Ed: Gross case of openwashing. How on Earth did Microsoft manage to have proprietary software that’s mass surveillance inside businesses framed as “open source”?

              Qbot is the brainchild of UNSW senior lecturer David Kellermann. Antares helped bring Qbot to life and, as it is the bot’s primary developer, supports the code.

            • US Air Force says they are developing an Open Source Jet Engine

              The Responsive Open Source Engine (ROSE) is designed to be cheap enough that it can be disposable, which has obvious military applications for the Air Force such as small jet-powered drones or even missiles. But even for the pacifists in the audience, it’s hard not to get excited about the idea of a low-cost open source turbine. Obviously an engine this small would have limited use to commercial aviation, but hackers and makers have always been obsessed with small jet engines, and getting one fired up and self-sustaining has traditionally been something of a badge of honor.

              The economies of scale generally dictate that anything produced in large enough numbers will eventually become cheap. But despite the fact that a few thousand of them are tearing across the sky above our heads at any given moment, turbine jet engines are still expensive to produce compared to other forms of propulsion. The United States Air Force Research Laboratory is hoping to change that by developing their own in-house, open source turbine engine that they believe could reduce costs by as much as 75%.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Alibaba Cloud makes available its self-developed algorithm via open source on Github [Ed: Outsourcing one's code to a proprietary spying and censorship platform of a foreign firm and foreign regime]

              Launched in 2009 and headquartered in Singapore, the cloud subsidiary of Alibaba Group offers cloud computing services to enterprises.

            • Alibaba Publishes AI Algorithms on Github [Ed: Alibaba gives its code to Microsoft to further facilitate surveillance]
            • GitHub Seeks Security Dominance With Developers [Ed: GitHub is proprietary software in NSA PRISM, so assume back doors. Ignore these Forbes puff pieces of Microsoft (lots of them).]
            • Rav1e Picks Up More Speed Optimizations For Rust-Written AV1 Encoding [Ed: Still stuck inside GitHub]

              The Rust-based “rav1e” AV1 video encoder continues picking up performance optimizations.

              During the month of November we’ve seen SSE4.1 and various x86 Assembly optimizations, other CPU performance optimizations, and also happening recently was the initial tagged release of rav1e (v0.1).

            • Daniel Stenberg: curl: 25000 commits [Ed: Unhealthy dependence on GitHub]

              The first ever public release of curl was uploaded on March 20, 1998. 7924 days ago.

              3.15 commits per day on average since inception.

              These 25000 commits have been authored by 751 different persons.

              Through the years, 47 of these 751 authors have ever authored 10 commits or more within a single year. In fact, the largest number of people that did 10 commits or more within a single year is 13 that happened in both 2014 and 2017.

              19 of the 751 authors did ten or more changes in more than one calendar year. 5 of the authors have done ten or more changes during ten or more years.

        • Security

          • Security updates for Friday

            Security updates have been issued by Debian (libvpx and vino), Fedora (grub2 and nss), and SUSE (cloud-init, libarchive, libtomcrypt, ncurses, and ucode-intel).

          • Friday Fluff: Chess password cracked after four decades

            A good password paired with strong encryption protects data against unexpected loss. No password is unbreakable, but some can last for quote a long time. After 39 years, recently a few old Unix passwords were cracked. Computer pioneer Ken Thompson had hidden his access behind a chess opening.

          • ThreatList: Healthcare Breaches Spike in October

            October experienced a 44.44 percent month-over-month increase in healthcare data breaches, resulting in 661,830 healthcare records exposed or stolen during the month.

            That’s according to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights’ monthly report reported via HIPAA Journal. The department said that hospitals and other healthcare organizations reported 52 breaches to HHS during the month. Year-to-date, the total number of breached healthcare records stands at 38 million, affecting 11.64 percent of the population of the United States.

          • Private Internet Access Sold Out! | Choosing A New VPN

            This video goes over the purchase of Private Internet Access and Choosing a new VPN. I also layout the 3 points you NEED when choosing a new VPN.

          • Undercover mode for the Fedora Security Lab

            Every time when there is a new release of Kali Linux it doesn’t take long till people start to ask when a feature or tool will be added to the Fedora Security Lab.

            This time the most asked feature is the “undercover mode”.

            To make it short: Never.

            The reason is that the Fedora Security Lab live media doesn’t need this. We are running Xfce (in the meantime for several years now) with the default Fedora wallpaper and a default theme. It pretty hard to tell (reading impossible if you don’t have the menu open) for a person who only get a quick look at your desktop that you have a lot of specialized tools at your disposal.

            You are even stealthier if you only add the Fedora Security Lab toolset to your default Fedora installation. This make the Fedora Security Lab the perfect tool to perform security-related tasks in an office environment at customer’s sites.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Privacy and Big Tech’s Surveillance of Our Lives and Bodies

              Data privacy is the biggest tech human rights concern today. While this contention might seem exaggerated to some, to most people working in tech today experts are aware of how new technology poses serious threats to our privacy as the recent case of Google’s recent purchase of Fitbit which ensures the tech giant’s reach into private health information. And this would not be the first case of big tech overreaching privacy laws.

            • Apple card? Google checking account? Why Big Tech wants to be your banker.

              And partners seem to be key. By teaming up with existing banks and other financial institutions, the high-tech giants won’t have to bother with all the regulatory plumbing that comes with financial transactions. The partnerships offer tech firms a better chance of avoiding such government scrutiny. Even Amazon, which is the leader in the U.S. in integrating digital commerce with transactions, including credit cards and even cash advances to its merchants, is partnering with Synchrony Bank to offer its card.

            • Hey Congress, How’s That Privacy Bill Coming Along?

              The privacy framework was spearheaded by the top Democrats on the four powerful committees with jurisdiction over the issue. Besides Cantwell, who is the ranking member of the Commerce Committee, the group includes the Judiciary Committee’s Dianne Feinstein (D-California), the Banking Committee’s Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and the top Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Patty Murray (D-Washington).


              Next Wednesday, the Commerce Committee will hold a much anticipated hearing on privacy. While the hearing is seen as a positive step by many, some Democrats say the GOP shouldn’t get a pat on the back just for doing their most basic duty. That sentiment helps explain, in part, why they dropped their own blueprint.

            • Pressure mounts for federal privacy law with second bill

              Pressure is gathering for a federal privacy law in the US with the introduction of a second bill that would protect consumer data. The Consumer Online Privacy Rights Act from Washington Senator Maria Cantwell not only outlines strict privacy and security rules, but also establishes a dedicated FTC office to enforce them. Cantwell also pointed out in her Bill announcement that it defines privacy as a right in federal law.

              The proposed law would prevent companies from mishandling data to cause individuals harm. They’d also have to hand over a copy of the data to the individual owning it at their request and name any third party that they’d given it to. They’d also have to delete it when asked.

              Companies would need to publish clear privacy policies, and they’d need to get a person’s consent before weakening their privacy measures. The consent measures are pretty close to those under the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) that comes into effect on 1 January 2020, in that they require companies to get permission to process someone’s data and allow individuals to opt-out of having their data transferred to others.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • The Life and Times of Jimmy Hoffa

        Jimmy Hoffa used to say he’d be forgotten ten years after his death. This was an uncharacteristically unintelligent judgment. Forty-four years after his murder on July 30, 1975, Hoffa is still famous enough that one of the most celebrated movies of the year is about the man who claims to have killed him, Frank Sheeran. Called The Irishman, the film, directed by Martin Scorsese, stars Robert De Niro as Sheeran, Al Pacino as Hoffa, and Joe Pesci as Russell Bufalino, the Mob boss who approved the killing. For a labor leader, such a level of fame is not only extraordinary; it is unique.[1]

      • Ohio’s Pro-Nuke Assault Threatens American Democracy with Violence & More

        The nuclear industry’s violent assault on democracy in Ohio has taken a surreal leap. It could seriously impact whether Donald Trump will carry this swing state—-and the nation—-in 2020.

      • Trump Sentences Future War Criminals to Death

        On November 15, US president Donald Trump pardoned two US Army officers accused of war crimes (one convicted, the other awaiting trial).

      • What is Happening in Spain?

        The transition from dictatorship to democracy in Spain (1978) was carried out under conditions very favorable to the profoundly conservative forces that controlled the Spanish state and the majority of the media. The democratic forces (lead by the clandestine left wing parties) were institutionally weak. It is true that popular resistance against the dictatorship had been strong primarily among the working class, the base of these parties. Spain had the largest number of political strikes in Europe during the transition period (1975-1979), which played an important role in forcing the end of the extremely repressive regime (for every political assassination undertaken by the Mussolini dictatorship, Franco’s regime killed 10,000 people). Institutionally, however, the left wing forces were at a disadvantage. Their leaders were in jail, or exiled abroad, and there was an enormous imbalance of forces at the negotiating table. On one side, the inheritors of the fascist state controlled the state apparatus and had the support of the Army, of the Church, and of the major economic and financial interests in the country. On the other side were the democratic forces that had come out of hiding only a few months before the transition started. The popular mobilization was critical in forcing the end of the dictatorship, but the political branch of those mobilizations was not strong enough to break with the previous dictatorial regime. As an example, the King, appointed by the dictator Franco as the head of state, continued to be the head of the new democratic regime and the head of the armed forces, holding enormous power in guiding the process of transition.

      • Statement Condemning US Removal of Democratically-Elected Evo Morales

        Following months of destabilization, on November 10, 2019, the legitimate, constitutional, democratically-elected President of Bolivia, Evo Morales, was driven at gunpoint out of office and the country by the US and its allies, among them Bolivian fascists and several members of the Organization of American States (OAS), including Canada. This latest aggression follows centuries of colonial, imperialist, and neo-colonial conquest and plunder of the Indigenous-majority population of Bolivia.

      • Evo Morales and the Rights of Mother Earth

        I lived in Bolivia for about 9 months in 1991, in a small town near Vinto.

      • Bolivia: Anatomy of a Coup

        On Sunday, October 20 Evo Morales was re-elected president of Bolivia with 46.85 per cent of the vote against his nearest competitor, Carlos Mesa, who received 36.74 percent. In anticipation of a Morales victory the U.S. corporate media launched a fake news disinformation barrage nine days earlier aimed at discrediting the result and setting the stage for a well-orchestrated fascist-led coup. Presented to the world as a popular democratic revolution against a dictator, the coup was led by fascist groups in alliance with Bolivia’s defecting police and army. The relentless media watchdog, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), aptly reported: “The New York Times’ editorial (11/11/19) accused Morales of “brazenly abusing the power and institutions put in his care by the electorate. The Washington Post (11/11/19) alleged that ‘a majority of Bolivians wanted [Morales] to leave office’ –a claim for which they provided no evidence – while asserting that he had ‘grown increasingly autocratic’ and that ‘his downfall was his insatiable appetite for power.’ The Wall Street Journal (11/11/19) argued that Morales ‘is a victim of his own efforts to steal another election,’ saying that Morales ‘has rigged the rules time and again to stay in power.’” FAIR’s corporate media accounting goes on to list several major media outlets in the country that dutifully sang the same song. Not a single major daily challenged these baseless accusations. These “manufacturing consent” specialists were unanimous in denouncing Morales and his re-election long before the votes were tallied. The Bolivian coup was conceived as a relatively quiet U.S.-supported regime change endeavor in comparison to the overt and monstrous full court failed coup that U.S. imperialism conducted against the Venezuelan government of Nicholas Maduro several months earlier.

      • Reversing Pro-Palestinian Stance of Evo Morales, Bolivia’s Coup Government Moves to Restore Ties With Israel

        Morales cut off diplomatic ties with Israel over its deadly 2009 assault on the occupied Gaza Strip and called for top Israeli officials to be charged with genocide.

      • Israel’s Next Move: The Real Danger in US Decision to Normalize Illegal Jewish Settlements

        It is hardly shocking that the United States government has finally decreed that illegal Jewish settlements which have been built in defiance of international law, are, somehow, “consistent” with international law.

      • ‘Instead of her face, I saw a pizza’: How women in Russia are fighting back against sexual assault

        In life and in news reporting, violence against women is a sadly “evergreen” topic, but the issue has taken on new and growing momentum in Russia, where there’s a rising number of high-profile cases involving rape and self-defense. Meduza has reported extensively on these investigations, and, in this first episode of “The Naked Pravda,” managing editor Kevin Rothrock speaks to a handful of activists and journalists who are working to shed more light on these cases and the social movement that hopes to transform how Russia handles women’s safety.

      • Iraqi Prime Minister to Step Down After Weeks of Anti-Government Protests

        Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi announced Friday that he would resign following weeks of anti-government protests and a violent response from security forces which has been condemned by global human rights campaigners.

      • Iraqi Prime Minister to Step Down as Human Rights Defenders Condemn Security Forces’ Attacks on Anti-Government Protesters

        The country’s top Shiite cleric called for a change in leadership Friday “to preserve the blood of [Iraq's] children.”

      • Iraqis Rise Up Against 16 Years of “Made in the USA” Corruption

        As Americans sat down to Thanksgiving dinner, Iraqis were mourning more than 60 protesters killed by police and soldiers on Thursday in Baghdad, Najaf and Nasiriyah.

      • Iraqi Prime Minister to Resign in Wake of Deadly Protests

        Iraq’s prime minister announced Friday that he would submit his resignation to parliament, a day after more than 40 people were killed by security forces in protests and following calls by Iraq’s top Shiite cleric for lawmakers to withdraw support.

      • Danes see Greenland security risk amid Arctic tensions

        The FE’s head Lars Findsen said Greenland was now a top security issue for Denmark because a “power game is unfolding” between the US and other global powers in the Arctic.

      • The Hague stabbing: Three injured in attack on shopping street

        However, in a later update, police said that description was wrong without providing further details.

      • 2 Killed in London Stabbings; Police Fatally Shoot Suspected Attacker

        A man wearing a fake explosive vest stabbed several people Friday in London, killing two in what police are treating as a terrorist attack before being tackled by members of the public and then fatally shot by officers on London Bridge, officials said.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • The Lies About Assange Must Stop Now: John Pilger

        After almost a decade of smear, mainstream media outlets like The Guardian and Fairfax are getting nervous, now that they understand what is happening to Assange can happen to them, writes John Pilger.

        Newspapers and other media in the United States, Britain and Australia have recently declared a passion for freedom of speech, especially their right to publish freely. They are worried by the ‘Assange effect’.

        It is as if the struggle of truth-tellers like Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning is now a warning to them: that the thugs who dragged Assange out of the Ecuadorean embassy in April may one day come for them.

        A common refrain was echoed by the Guardian last week. The extradition of Assange, said the paper, “is not a question of how wise Mr. Assange is, still less how likable. It’s not about his character, nor his judgement. It’s a matter of press freedom and the public’s right to know.”

        What the Guardian is trying to do is separate Assange from his landmark achievements, which have both profited the Guardian and exposed its own vulnerability, along with its propensity to suck up to rapacious power and smear those who reveal its double standards.

      • NDR reimbursed criminal charges

        Systematic video surveillance, recordings of conversations, notes on guests and spied-out phones: Confidential documents accessible to NDR and WDR document how WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his visitors were spied on in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. The e-mails, photos, audio and video recordings show how surveillance measures have gradually been developed over the years.

        In addition to video footage of the inner workings of the London diplomatic property and audio recordings of confidential conversations, security officials apparently recorded serial numbers of cell phones and made notes about guests.

        For this purpose, they are said to have copied passports, disassembled electronic devices and installed hidden microphones in the embassy building. According to statements made by former employees, the collected material has also been made available to clients in the USA – allegedly a secret service.


        Assange lived in the Embassy of Ecuador in London from 2012 to April 2019. For the security within the embassy building, the Spanish security company Undercover Global – UC Global for short – was responsible until 2018, commissioned by the Ecuadorian government to film and review guests.

        Former security firm UC Global, with whom German Public Broadcaster NDR and WDR were able to speak, however, accuse the company and its CEO, David Morales, of passing on intelligence gained within the embassy to alleged US intelligence agents.

        In corporate emails which are available to NDR and WDR there is always talk of improving the audio quality of the sound recordings. Repeatedly, it is also about the establishment of a secure livestream from the embassy. UC Global rejects the allegations of its employees and emphasizes that the company has always acted on behalf of the government of Ecuador.

      • JOHN PILGER: Visiting Britain’s Political Prisoner

        I set out at dawn. Her Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh is in the flat hinterland of south east London, a ribbon of walls and wire with no horizon. At what is called the visitors centre, I surrendered my passport, wallet, credit cards, medical cards, money, phone, keys, comb, pen, paper.

        I need two pairs of glasses. I had to choose which pair stayed behind. I left my reading glasses. From here on, I couldn’t read, just as Julian couldn’t read for the first few weeks of his incarceration. His glasses were sent to him, but inexplicably took months to arrive.

        There are large TV screens in the visitors centre. The TV is always on, it seems, and the volume turned up. Game shows, commercials for cars and pizzas and funeral packages, even TED talks, they seem perfect for a prison: like visual valium.

        I joined a queue of sad, anxious people, mostly poor women and children, and grandmothers. At the first desk, I was fingerprinted, if that is still the word for biometric testing.

        “Both hands, press down!” I was told. A file on me appeared on the screen.

      • Kerry O’Brien uses Walkey Awards speech to rally journalists, saying press ‘freedom is eroded gradually’

        The Journalism Is Not a Crime campaign came about after Australian Federal Police (AFP) raided ABC’s Sydney headquarters and the home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst in June.

        Newsrooms across the country joined a public protest calling on the Federal Government to address threats against press freedom, petitioning Prime Minister Scott Morrison to change laws that would protect whistleblowers and journalists from prosecution when acting in the public interest.

        On Thursday night, Smethurst told the awards ceremony she was unable to tweet the details of the raid on her home as the AFP had her phone.

        O’Brien said the media industry was challenged by the polarisation of journalists as being left or right-leaning, a trend that “has to be resisted”.

        “For journalists to call out the powerful of any political colour for their abuses of power is not about ideology,” he said.

        “It is simply journalists doing their job, practising their craft.”

        O’Brien, who hosted 7.30, Four Corners and Lateline, was inducted in the Logies Hall of Fame earlier this year, using the opportunity to defend the ABC in the wake of successive budget cuts and to reflect on the industry’s failures to “cut through fake news”.

    • Environment

      • European Parliament declares climate emergency, calls for major emissions cuts

        The groundbreaking declaration, which urges the 28-country bloc to reduce its emissions by 55 per cent by 2030, was issued yesterday after it was backed by 429 and opposed by 225 Members of the European Parliament.

        Europe thereby became the first continent to follow in the footsteps of numerous scientists and national and local governments in formally recognising the emergency.

      • Pictures: Inside the newly-opened Hesburger made entirely out of recycled trash

        A newly-reopened branch of Hesburger on Helsinki’s Kasarmitori is made almost exclusively out of the company’s own waste materials. Customers in the restaurant can sit on repurposed ketchup barrels and eat under lights made from deep fat fryers.

      • How the worlds’s demand for palm oil is driving deforestation in Indonesia

        They’re not only burning the forest, they’re destroying the peatlands that lie beneath it — the world’s largest natural terrestrial carbon sink.

      • Climate adaptation now

        Even if we meet the Paris agreement’s goal of limiting the average global temperature increase to well below 2°C, at least 570 cities and some 800 million people will be at risk from rising sea levels and more frequent and destructive storms. And these dangers will grow as temperatures climb ever higher. The very existence of some island countries and coastal communities will be threatened.

        It is thus essential to reduce the risks that climate change poses to humans and the economy. Unless action is taken, climate change will reduce global GDP per capita by more than 7 percent by 2100, with equally severe consequences for countries, whether they are rich or poor, hot or cold.

      • Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists

        Evidence is mounting that these events are more likely and more interconnected than was previously thought, leading to a possible domino effect.

        In an article in the journal Nature, the scientists call for urgent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent key tipping points, warning of a worst-case scenario of a “hothouse”, less habitable planet.

        “A decade ago we identified a suite of potential tipping points in the Earth system, now we see evidence that over half of them have been activated,” said lead author Professor Tim Lenton, director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter.

      • Climate Justice Movement Turns Up the Heat on Democrats

        The fossil fuel industry knows it’s the world’s largest source of total greenhouse gas emissions, and that wealthy countries must take decisive action to reduce those emissions to avoid catastrophic global warming by the end of the century. The industry also knows that green tech and renewable energy is only getting cheaper. The latest climate report released this week by the United Nations (UN) makes these facts alarmingly clear.

      • Could California’s Public Banks Finance a Statewide Green New Deal?

        After years of claiming to be a leader in climate action, California might be finally starting to step into its promised role — and it is bringing a secret weapon to the challenge.

      • Do your maths and tackle the climate crisis

        So you want to be a climate scientist? For a start, you’ll need good maths. And Oxford educators have found a way to help you.

      • Dozens Arrested for Demanding Food Justice at Jane Fonda’s Fire Drill Friday Protest in DC

        The weekly demonstration coincided with a global youth-led climate strike that aimed to put pressure on governments attending COP 25.

      • Lauren MacCallum | Accidental Activism
      • ‘We See No Other Options’: Youth Activists Lead Global #ClimateStrike Ahead of COP 25

        “Countless negotiations have produced much-hyped but ultimately empty commitments from the world’s governments.”

      • Why We Strike Again

        For more than a year, children and young people from around the world have been striking for the climate. We launched a movement that defied all expectations, with millions of people lending their voices – and their bodies – to the cause. We did this not because it was our dream, but because we didn’t see anyone else taking action to secure our future.

      • The Grand Illusion

        As the ecological crisis deepens, nearing the infamous Tipping Point – taking us closer to planetary catastrophe – we are being led to believe that an imminent “greening” of the world economy will deliver us from a very dark future. Somehow, against all logic, we have adopted a collective faith in the willingness of ruling governments and corporations to do the right thing. Carbon footprints will be drastically reduced thanks to a combination of market stratagems and technological magic. While greenhouse mitigation seamlessly advances, the ruling forces can return to what they do best – indulge their religion of endless accumulation and growth.

      • Gleaning the Dumps of Deonar: “I Was Born in Garbage, I Will Die in Garbage”

        Kitabun Nisa Shaikh is standing on the edge of a hillock of rubble and garbage, picking out plastic from a nallah slowly flowing by her house in Rafiq Nagar. Some of the waste has slithered there from the adjoining Deonar landfill, some of it is garbage thrown right into the open drain. Using a long wooden stick with a hook, she manages to draw in a pink plastic bottle entangled in a slimy black rag. Then she reaches across with the stick for the next item of value to her.

      • What Should You Do About Climate Change?

        Earth’s climate is changing before our eyes, and at a faster rate than given by all previous scientific predictions. The melting of glaciers and permafrost, and the methane burping from tundras and the Arctic Sea; the enhanced power of hurricanes, rain and snow storms, and floods; the swelling of the oceans and the creeping inundation of shorelines worldwide; the unrelenting severity of droughts and wild fires; the acidification of the oceans, die-off of corals and reduction of marine life; and the havoc all these geophysical phenomena play on food production and on the habitability of the many environments both humans and wildlife call home, are all startling clear to see.

      • Energy

        • Unhappy Thanksgiving: Explosions at Texas chemical plant keep more than 50,000 out of their homes

          The Houston Chronicle said TPC Group, which until 2010 was known as Texas Petrochemical, “has a spotty environmental record in recent years.’’

          The newspaper reported that earlier this year TPC Group was fined $214,000 for excessive emissions and pollution, including a failure to report incidents. The Chronicle also said a storage tank at the company’s Houston facility caught fire last year, although there were no injuries.

          Texas has seen multiple petrochemical industry fires this year, including one that burned for days near Houston and another one that killed a worker at a plant in nearby Crosby.

        • Fight or Switch? How the Low-carbon Transition Is Disrupting Fossil Fuel Politics

          As the Trump administration works to weaken regulations on fossil fuel production and use, a larger struggle is playing out across multiple industries. Until recently, oil companies and their defenders generally reacted to calls for regulating carbon emissions by spreading doubt and promoting climate denialism. However, I believe this approach is becoming less effective as climate change effects worsen and public demands for action intensify worldwide.

        • Koch Network Jumps Into 2020 Races by Backing GOP Senators

          The Charles Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity is running ads backing Republican senators, marking the first election-related spending of the cycle for the Koch network that has undergone significant restructuring this year.

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

      • Some CEOs Earn 1,000 Times More Than Their Workers. Here’s How We Stop That
      • The Impunity Doctrine: The Meek Shall be Buried Beneath the Earth

        The ruling class are feeling the heat. By feeling the heat, I mean they are disproportionately perturbed by toothless condemnation of their tax-avoiding wealth accumulation by presidential hopefuls looking to shore up “progressive” support during the primaries. Never mind that this highly scripted spectacle is underwritten by Wall Street, and its executive producers are the military/tech/industrial complex, the plutocracy will no longer countenance ANY ruptures or least resistance to the neoliberal dragnet it has cast over the earth. Thus they have decided that impunity – as opposed to stealth avoidance of being detected at their crime scenes – is the only way to fortify the “borderless”, garrisoned, surveillance state against the huddled masses. The lucky few experience this heavily stratified, toxic biosphere as their own private pleasure dome, while the luckless majority, with their heads barely above water, are slowly being boiled alive.

      • As Global Inequality Rises, So Are the Movements Fighting It
      • How People Are Using Our Chicago Parking Ticket Data in Their Research

        When we published Driven Into Debt — our series looking at how Chicago’s traffic enforcement system unfairly burdened black and poor motorists — we knew people would want to see the raw data behind our investigation.

        So we published all 66 million rows of it on our site, for free, making the city’s internal ticket-tracking system easily accessible to the public for the first time. Then, in December 2018, we used this data as the backbone for our interactive database, The Ticket Trap. While we’ve found a number of stories in the data, our analysis only used a piece of what we had; we hoped people with the time and means would be able to find more for themselves.

      • The Seattle WTO Uprising & the Indymedia Movement, Twenty Years Later
      • Gas Mask in a Shopping Bag: Looking Back at WTO Seattle
      • WTO Shutdown: I Was Jane Doe #520

        WTO Shutdown 20-Year Anniversary Series: The Shutdown WTO Organizers History Project and Common Dreams have produced this series of ten people’s history accounts and forward-looking lessons from organizers who were in the streets…

      • “It Was Twenty Years Ago Today:” Seattle Diary

        Seattle has always struck me as a suspiciously clean city, manifesting a tidiness that verges on the compulsive. It is the Singapore of the United States: spit-polished, glossy, and eerily beautiful. Indeed, there is, perhaps, no more scenic setting for a city set next to Elliot Bay on Puget Sound, with the serrated tips of the Olympic Mountains on the western skyline and hulking over it all the cool blue hump of Mt. Rainier.

      • Seattle +20: What the Global Justice Movement Got Right

        Twenty years ago, protesters forced the cancellation of parts of the third ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle. A combination of internal advocacy within the ministerial and protests outside (The Battle of Seattle) stopped the WTO from carrying out an agenda designed to enrich corporate elites and impoverish everyone else.

      • Development: A Failed Project

        “They talk to me about progress, about ‘achievements,’ diseases cured, improved standards of living. I am talking about societies drained of their essence, cultures trampled underfoot, institutions undermined, lands confiscated, religions smashed, magnificent artistic creations destroyed, extraordinary possibilities wiped out.

      • Black Friday Protests Across Europe Demand Amazon ‘Start Treating Workers Like Humans—Not Robots’

        “Workers are breaking bones, being knocked unconscious, and being taken away in ambulances.”

      • Progressives Condemn ‘Nonsensical and Dishonest’ Pete Buttigieg Ad Attacking Free Public College

        “This is such a disingenuous attack that can be used for literally any universal program.”

      • Gentrification
      • New Poll Finds Majority of Americans Across Political Spectrum Back Warren’s Ultra-Millionaire Tax

        At rallies, the White House hopeful has criticized billionaires for their complaints about her plan to impose a two percent tax on wealth over $50 million.

      • Capitalism’s Failures Have Ignited Protests Worldwide

        What follows is a conversation between journalist Ben Ehrenreich and Marc Steiner of The Real News Network.

      • How World Bank Arbitrators Mugged Pakistan

        Wall Street hedge funds and lawyers have turned an arcane procedure of international treaties into a money machine, at the cost of the world’s poorest people. The latest shakedown is a $5.9 billion award against Pakistan’s government in favor of two global mining companies – Antofagasta PLC of Chile and Barrick Gold Corporation of Canada – for a project that was never approved by Pakistan and never carried out.

      • Rental scams

        One of the cybercrimes that bothers us at Cambridge is accommodation fraud. Every October about 1% the people who come as grad students or postdocs rent an apartment that just doesn’t exist. Sites like Craigslist are full of ads that are just too good to be true. While the university does what it can to advise new hires and admissions to use our own accommodation services if they cannot check out an apartment personally, perhaps 50 new arrivals still turn up to find that they have nowhere to live, their money is gone, and the police aren’t interested. This is not a nice way to start your PhD.

        Some years ago a new postdoc, Sophie van der Zee, almost fell for such a scam, and then got to know someone here who had actually become a victim. She made this into a research project, and replied to about a thousand scam ads. We analysed the persuasion techniques that the crooks used.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Mr. Johnson, Tear Down This Wall!

        On June 12, 1987, the greatest president in the history of the United States of America (according to US opinion polls), Ronald Reagan, challenged Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Twenty-nine months later, November 9, 1989, the communist party leaderships of the DDR and Soviet Union, complied and opened the wall.

      • Destruction by Egotism

        President Donald Trump claims to proceed from a unique wisdom but his real drivers are how to win the next election and enlarge his personal wealth. His concerns are not the good of his country or the well-being of humanity, but what is good for him. Hostile to expertise and good advice, Trump  wreaks mayhem in every  corner of the world.  Every week if not every hour brings a new outrage.. Just consider what he has done in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

      • Thanksgiving 2019: Where Are We Now?

        Thanksgiving is a fine time to take stock.


        “Kakistocracy” is an old word that Trump and his minions have made timely. It ought to be used more than it is in accounts of our president and his administration. It means rule by the worst, most inept, most unscrupulous, most contemptible, and most vile.

        On this Thanksgiving, with a general election less than a year away, there is much to take stock of — because, as Donald Rumsfeld might say, there are so many “known knowns.” Formerly on top of George W. Bush’s gang of miscreants, the hapless Rumsfeld is now only the second most ludicrous Donald in the American political firmament of the past twenty years.

        Among those known knowns, we know that Congressional Democrats will vote, probably unanimously, to impeach Donald Trump. Trump is not just the most ludicrous Donald in recent decades, but also, far and away, the most god-awful president in more than a century and half. Arguably, he is the worst president ever, though some pieces of work just before and after the Civil War set the bar for that title rather high.

        The reason is not that the inveterate cowardice of the Democratic Party’s leadership or of most of its rank-and-file is subsiding. It is that Trump’s “high crimes and misdemeanors” have become too numerous and too egregious for Democrats – indeed, for anyone still blessed with the wits they were born with — not to want him gone right away.

      • Nancy Pelosi’s Daring Diagnosis

        Victor Lustig, who was born in Bohemia in 1890, was a child of unusual charm and imagination. He used these talents in unique ways during his life. Taking advantage of his mastery of several languages, he tricked the passengers of ocean liners steaming between Paris and New York City, making them believe that he had a money-making machine. He sold the machine at the exorbitant price of $30,000. Over 12 hours the machine would produce two $100 bills. As Lustig’s supply of those bills was limited, once they were finished, the machine ceased producing them. When the buyers realized what had happened, Lustig was long gone.

      • Why the UkraineGate Hearings Didn’t Move the Dial

        CNN and MSDNC’s talking heads seemed surprised and disappointed that the recent televised impeachment hearings do not appear to have moved any but a small number of Republicans into supporting the impeachment and removal of the demented fascist oligarch Donald Trump.  Liberals roll their eyes while discussing surveys showing that Republican voters are unmoved by clear evidence of Trump’s corrupt conduct in trying to extort political dirt on Joe Biden out of Ukraine with the bribe of American missiles.

      • When Trump Became Messiah to the American Right

        The Divine Right of Rulers isn’t a new concept—it’s one of the oldest and worst political tricks in the book. So when Energy Secretary Rick Perry appeared on Fox News and referred to President Trump as the “chosen one” and “sent by God to do great things,” no one should have been shocked. Of course, Perry is just echoing Trump himself. Already, he’s referred to himself as, “the second coming of God” and “the chosen one.” Those in his base, who are evangelical by a large margin, have yet to be upset by these characterizations. Perhaps that’s because Rick Perry and Co. genuinely believe it.

      • Now Is Not the Time for Democrats to Waver

        As the House Judiciary Committee opens the final round of hearings next week in the impeachment investigation of Donald Trump, there are, once again, reports of wavering among centrists and moderates in the Democratic Party. Although conservative news outlets have taken the lead on such reporting, there is little reason to believe the coverage is fake or exaggerated.

      • The House Is Not a Home: A Common Sense Impeachment Proposition

        Now that the House of Representatives case for impeachment has been made as the public hearings have concluded, it is assumed that a vote to impeach must follow. For those who believe that Donald Trump is unfit to serve as President, there is a far better option.

      • Rural America Has a Young People Problem

        From 1990 to 2010, according to US Census data, the number of people in our town between the ages of 25 and 34—in other words, young adults who have put down roots—declined from 14 percent of the population to 7 percent. And those who left are likely to have been among the best and the brightest: According to Rob, almost all his high school acquaintances who were in advanced placement classes went off to college and never returned.

      • The Real Barack Obama Has Finally Revealed Himself

        Barack Obama is using his post-presidency to attack the Left and protect the status quo. The historical myth believed by so many liberals that Obama was a progressive leader who was hemmed in by the presidency’s political constraints is collapsing fast.

      • Apple, Bowing to Russian Pressure, Recognizes Crimea Annexation on Map

        But Russia’s Parliament is now rejoicing at getting at least Apple to fall partly into line. When viewed from inside Russia, Apple apps show Crimea as part of the Russian Federation and separated from Ukraine by an international border.

        This means that Apple has joined Google, Yandex and some other technology companies in redrawing Ukraine’s borders to satisfy Moscow’s territorial claims, at least for customers viewing their maps on devices inside Russia. Viewed on devices outside Russia, Crimea remains part of Ukraine.

      • Several journalists arrested in crackdown in Saudi Arabia

        From November 16 to 21, Saudi authorities arrested at least seven journalists, bloggers, and columnists, according to reports by The Associated Press and London-based human rights group Al-Qst. Saudi authorities have not publicly stated any reasons for the arrests, which included many who have not published in recent years.

      • Wayne Barrett on Rudy Giuliani, Melissa Goodman on the PATRIOT Act

        CounterSpin this week revisits two interviews from the past, on topics very much of today. First up: Now that Rudy Giuliani is known as Donald Trump’s rabid fixer, whom we learned none other than John Bolton described as “a hand grenade” who would “blow everyone up,” the former New York City mayor has fallen out of elite media’s good graces. To which New Yorkers say, what took you so long? Much of media’s story around Giuliani was about how cool and effective he was on September 11, 2001. And much of that story is myth. In 2006, CounterSpin spoke with the late journalist Wayne Barrett, then at the late Village Voice, about his book, Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11, co-authored with Dan Collins. We’ll hear that interview today.

      • Impeachment Inquiry Throws Spotlight on Family Favoritism in Politics

        As the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s dealings with Ukraine progresses, the issue of nepotism has become one of the subplots. President Trump is accused of withholding U.S. military aid as he pressured Ukraine’s president to investigate Hunter Biden, the son of presidential candidate Joe Biden. As recently as November 20, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee suggested that Hunter Biden should be subpoenaed to testify. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, Jr., of all people, alleges that Hunter Biden is profiting off his father’s name. As many have been quick to point out, the same critique could apply to Donald, Jr., Ivanka, Eric, and Jared Kushner.

      • Ralph Nader: Trump Should Be Impeached for His Climate Policy Alone

        It is time to take Donald Trump’s disregard for climate crisis seriously. As Commander in Chief, Trump is abdicating his duties to protect his people, instead actively aiding and abetting the corporate polluters who are causing the climate chaos. Trump is wasting irreplaceable time that we need to prevent a worsening climate crisis. Trump’s actions, expanding the fossil fuel industry’s emissions, make the perils even worse. This is another reason for impeachment—climate crisis jeopardizes the American people in major ways.

      • Return of the Mao Suit

        The CBC noted that the new Chinese ambassador to Canada appeared wearing a Mao suit to present his credentials to the Governor-General, representative of Queen Elizabeth II. In the recent past delegates of the Communist Party of China wore Western-style business suits to such events, so the CBC asked what message might be intended by the return of the Mao suit?

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • Malta journalist murder: Businessman offers to testify in exchange for pardon

        Maltese businessman and murder suspect Yorgen Fenech offered on Thursday to testify against top politicians in case of the 2017 murder of a journalist in exchange for a presidential pardon, according to Reuters news agency and The Times of Malta.

        The Maltese Cabinet met for an emergency meeting on Thursday evening as the ongoing murder probe threatens to destabilize the government. Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced early Friday that no pardon had been granted to Fenech.

        Fenech officially requested the pardon in exchange for more information, after he was arrested on his yacht last week.

      • Daphne Caruana Galizia: Malta suspect will not get immunity

        Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat has said a suspect in the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia will not be granted immunity to reveal what he knows about the case.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • If There’s a Warrant for Your Arrest, the Government Should Have to Tell You

        I read about Eric Barrier, half of the classic rap duo Eric B. and Rakim, and how he recently wound up in jail. The story is interesting not because it’s unusual but because it’s typical.

      • Street Fighting Man: The Night New York City Cops Beat Me Bloody

        I know your eyes are glued to the circus in D.C. and the slaughter that’s taking place in Afghanistan and half-a-dozen other places in a world that’s on fire. I’m paying close attention, too. I’m also paying attention to my strangely electrifying memories of the night I was arrested and beaten by a dozen or so New York City cops until I was black and black, my skull cracked open and bones broken. There have been worse beating since then, but at the time the ACLU said it was the worst beating in NYC history. Fifty years later, some of my bones haven’t healed; several fingers are crooked and a near-constant reminder of the occasion when my pal, Robert Reilly, and I were detained for hours in two precincts in Manhattan and worked over, so to speak, at the behest of John Finnegan, known informally as “Captain Jack,” the head of the infamous Red Squad, which was the subject, decades ago, of a documentary by Joel Sucher (of Pacific Street Films).

      • Britain’s Chief Rabbi is Helping to Stoke antisemitism

        Chief rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has not only misrepresented the known facts about Labour and its supposed antisemitism crisis. He has not only interfered in an overtly, politically partisan manner in the December 12 election campaign by suggesting that Jeremy Corbyn – against all evidence – is an antisemite.

      • Why Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis is Wrong About Labor Anti-Semitism

        The Tories strategy for ‘hiding’ their deep-rooted racism involves them perpetuating gratuitous acts of racism so regularly that they are effectively normalised. Nothing to report here apparently.

      • Haiti on my Mind

        Racism is an ulcerated ostrich, or a crenulated werewolf, perhaps an infected tourniquet or an awkward viper – Will Alexander

      • Pilgrim Songs

        Edward Winslow’s Good Newes from New-England published in 1624 in London begins its narrative in November of 1621.  There is no word of the first Thanksgiving. That didn’t happen until 1623 and was a day of devout prayer and penance rather than one of festive celebration and culinary surfeit.

      • He Defended the Confederate Flag and Insulted Immigrants. Now He’s a Judge.

        When South Carolina lawmakers confirmed a batch of new magistrates this year, one nominee stood out from the pack: Mike Pitts.

        The former state House member had made a name for himself in Columbia as a staunch defender of the Confederate flag, and on Facebook he has penned anti-immigration screeds and used racially charged language. In May, for example, he posted a photo of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, an African American Democrat running for president. His caption: “Cory Booker alway [sic] looks like he just hit crack real hard.”

      • The Torture Called Solitary
      • #NoMusicForICE Campaign Against Amazon Enters Second Phase

        #NoMusicForICE, which is a campaign by musicians who are boycotting Amazon over its ties with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), entered its second phase on Black Friday, with musicians demanding that the company stop streaming and selling their songs.

      • Iran: Arrested Protesters Are In Grave Danger Of Torture And Execution

        Security forces have arrested at least two thousands of protesters and civil activists in the recent days in Iran. They are in danger of torture, forced confessions and several can be sentenced to death.

        Given the Islamic Republic’s dark history of torture and mass executions, Iran Human Rights (IHR) urges the UN and the Red Cross to send a special team, including human rights expert, to visit Iranian prisons and detention centers.

        IHR’s Director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, said: “Detainees are in grave danger of torture to extract false confessions. We also worried about issuing death sentences for some of the protesters. Today, Iranian people need the international community’s attention, more than ever.”

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Access Now calls on Internet Society to halt the sale of .ORG

        This opaque decision was made without consulting civil society groups that rely on .ORG to operate, without taking into consideration the human rights impacts of the business deal, and without taking into account the sale’s deleterious effects on the governance of the open and free internet. It follows closely on the heels of the removal of price caps in the .ORG Registry Agreement, despite overwhelming community opposition. With this sale, Internet Society has pulled the rug out from under civil society around the world to allow a sale that stands to benefit only a few.


        We call on ISOC to stop the sale of .ORG until we get answers to the important and fundamental questions this agreement presents. [...]

      • The Future of Internet Regulation at the European Parliament

        Last week, I gave three talks in Belgium, starting with one titled “Dear regulators, please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” at an event on The Future of Internet Regulation organised by the Greens and Pirates at the European Parliament on Tuesday.

        You can watch it via the Peertube embed, above, thanks to the lovely folks at La Quadrature du Net who took the initiative to rip the recording of the live stream and host it on their own instance. They also edited together a version with my slides, captions, and translations. I’ve embedded that version at the end of this post.

    • Monopolies

      • From Standard Oil to Google and Amazon

        One of the very first investigative journalists, Ida Tarbell went after the “throttling hand” of Standard Oil and John D. Rockefeller. By 1880, the company owned 90 percent of US oil, its transport and its sale.

      • Patents

        • Patents were assigned in New Hampshire from Nov. 3 to Nov. 10

          The following patents were assigned in New Hampshire from Nov. 3 to Nov. 10.

        • Software Patents

          • VirnetX patent win against Apple vacated by U.S. appeals court

            Zephyr Cove, Nevada-based VirnetX, which was founded by employees at government contractor Science Applications International Corp, holds patents related to secure networks, known as virtual private networks, and secure communications links.

          • U.S. Appeals Court Overturned a Major $503 Million Patent Infringement Case against Apple by VirnetX

            We’re now learning today that a “U.S. appeals court on Friday voided a jury’s calculation that Apple Inc should pay $503 million for infringing patents owned by licensing firm VirnetX Holdings Corp , setting the stage for another potential trial in a decade-old legal battle.

          • Apple wins partial reprieve over VirnetX $503 million patent case

            A US appeals court has upheld two rulings that Apple infringed VirnetX patents, but reversed the decision on two others. The nearly decade-long legal case must now go back a Texas judge who will consider further hearings.

          • 40 law and economics professors supporting FTC against Qualcomm’s appeal contradict themselves just two pages apart

            At least one other amicus brief I’ve downloaded by now makes that point as well, and it’s too important for a mere footnote. Those monetization-focused SEP holders who refuse to license component makers–Qualcomm, Nokia, Ericsson, and various trolls (though there’s only a floating border between former handset makers and trolls)–come up with arbitrary and shifting-sand-style positions on what hardware components are needed in order to implement a standard. For an example, in its German infringement actions against Daimler, Nokia argues that only an end product–in that case, a car–implements a standard, but car makers purchase telematics control units (TCUs) that, in turn, come with connectivity modules (often called network access devices, or NADs), and the NADs actually are like a complete phone, just without a screen, and cars add absolutely nothing that is required to practice the standard.

            Even if the debate is about chipsets used in smartphones (as in FTC v. Qualcomm), the phone is an arbitrary choice: as the footnote quoted above notes, only the combination of an entire network (with all its base stations) and the end-user devices would implement the standard if one followed Qualcomm’s (or Nokia’s or Ericsson’s) logic. As a result, no company other than a Huawei or Samsung (which make base stations as well as end user devices) would be entitled to a cellular SEP license–or maybe telcos that operate networks and resell phones could obtain a license, too. Such a nonsensical result would be an invalid outcome that would make it impossible to give any remotely reasonable interpretation to FRAND licensing pledges.

            The second part of Professor Contreras’s amicus brief explains that Qualcomm’s reference to its own past license agreements as a point of reference for determining reasonable (the “R” in “FRAND”) royalties is “circular logic.” Here, Professor Contreras cites to a publication by Professor Thomas Cotter (University of Minnesota and author of the highly recommended Comparative Patent Remedies blog): Reasonable Royalties, in Patent Remedies and Complex Products: Toward a Global Consensus.

      • Copyrights

        • ‘Pirate’ IPTV Reseller Boom Media Wants $250,000 in Donations to Fight Lawsuit

          Former ‘pirate’ IPTV reseller Boom Media is being sued in the US by broadcaster DISH Network. A defeat could cost tens of millions of dollars but that’s not all. Boom Media owner John Henderson says what DISH really wants is information on his suppliers and customers, so he want to take the case to trial. To finance that, however, he needs at least $250,000 in donations.

        • Planned .Org Registry Sale Puts The Pirate Bay at Risk

          The Internet Society is in the process of selling the Public Interest Registry to private equity firm Ethos Capital. The planned sale has raised widespread concerns over a possible price hike and suspensions of .org domains. This could also be relevant for many pirate sites including The Pirate Bay, which still operates from its original .org domain

        • Court of Appeal Denies Kim Dotcom Access to Illegal Spy Recordings

          The New Zealand Court of Appeal has refused to grant Kim Dotcom access to his private communications captured illegally by the country’s spy agency. The Court found that while the intercepted communications, which formed part of the Megaupload investigation, are ‘relevant’, the need to protect national security tips the scales in the state’s favor.

Management of the EPO is Afraid of Scientists and Judges

Posted in Europe, Law, Patents at 8:22 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Cuno TarfusserLast year: It Wasn’t Judges With Weapons in Their Office, It Was Benoît Battistelli Who Brought Firearms to the European Patent Office (EPO)

Summary: Lawlessness prevails at Europe’s second-largest institution as the managers (i.e. people with connections, not skills, some with notorious military background) try to suppress both science and justice (much like the Trump administration across the ocean); this has become a parasites’ paradise and a bottomless pit for graft (theft)

THOSE who follow our series about Thierry Breton will be very well aware that Breton accomplished most things because of people who knew rather than things he knew. He left a destructive tail behind him (many dead people, too) and there are lots of parallels/overlaps with the EPO, as we noted in part 17 yesterday.

“Not many people were enraged; sites/sides owned and controlled by patent maximalists viewed Battistelli as a liability and were happy to accept just about anyone but Battistelli (even if it’s another Battistelli).”Battistelli managed to rig the process and spurn the judge (Cuno Tarfusser) who wanted to become President of the European Patent Office (EPO), instead ‘fixing’ the appointment process for a longtime friend and compatriot, António Campinos. Not many people were enraged; sites/sides owned and controlled by patent maximalists viewed Battistelli as a liability and were happy to accept just about anyone but Battistelli (even if it’s another Battistelli).

“EPO management carries on as if nothing happened.”Things have not changed at the EPO and a strike is likely imminent (5 out of 6 workers voted in favour a couple of days ago). We are grateful to each courageous person — usually examiner — who votes for a strike. The EPO needs to be fixed to avoid total collapse and great economic harm to Europe (the US is a cautionary tale in this regard).

EPO management carries on as if nothing happened. A day after the vote for a strike it was ‘business as usual’ and retweeted by EPO on Friday was this UK-IPO tweet that said: “Come and join us and the @EPOorg at the @TheCIPA in #London on 5 or 6 Dec. We will be providing an update on our latest and upcoming online service developments.”

“All they want is litigation, litigation and more litigation.”So EPO management is once again mingling with patent and litigation zealots instead of scientists. CIPA is a very integral part of Team UPC, lobbying our politicians by endlessly lying to them. All they want is litigation, litigation and more litigation.

There’s meanwhile that rekindled ‘debate’ (fake news) about UPC, manufactured by CIPA’s friends at Managing IP. Don’t fall for it. They’re pestering judges in Germany, as usual. These people couldn’t care any less about the law and about the Constitution. They’d burn the Magna Carta on Bonfire Night if they could.

“The latter two men are both parked elsewhere at the moment; one heads a law school (yes, a criminal heading a law school!), whereas the second is meanwhile creating a private firm in Zagreb.”The UPC will never exist, but in the meantime the Office relies on a panel of terrified judges, whose colleague was driven close to insanity after years of bullying by Battistelli and his Croatian Mafioso. The latter two men are both parked elsewhere at the moment; one heads a law school (yes, a criminal heading a law school!), whereas the second is meanwhile creating a private firm in Zagreb. What they’ve made of the EPO’s tribunal is a sordid mess in Haar. The judges there have repeatedly complained — even in public — that they lack autonomy/independence. But their decisions, likely made in violation of the EPC (not the judges’ fault!), are still being adopted as de facto EPO practice. Just promoted in Mondaq (shortly before the weekend) was this article by HGF Limited (law firm) regarding a Technical Board Of Appeal decision:

Inherency is not relevant to the novelty of a “purpose-limited product claim” filed in accordance with Article 54(5) EPC.

The EPO’s Technical Board of Appeal 3.3.09 in T0694/16 has clarified that claims to purposively selected patients for treatment with a known drug is novel over the prior art treatment of a broader and/or overlapping patient group with the same drug.

If there is a functional relationship between one or more biomarkers and responsiveness to treatment with a drug, and the claim defines the drug for use in the treatment of a patient defined by said biomarkers, then the presence of this functional relationship confirms that the purposive selection of the patients is an essential technical feature qualifying the claim(s), and this must be taken into account when assessing novelty.

In a separate thread from the latest one that concerns the EPO “The Convention Watchdog” wrote about the Boards Of Appeal (BoAs):

Labelling the co-applicants approach an EPO approach appears somewhat misleading. Requiring that co-owners of the priority right exercise their right in common has been widespread practice in the member states to the Paris Convention outside the US and is present practice in the EPC Contracting States as exemplified by the recent decisions in the UK HTC v Gemalto , [2013] EWHC 1876 (Pat), at pt. 131 f., confirming Edvards v Cook, [2009] EWHC 1304 (Pat), at pt. 99, and in Germany, BGH – Drahtloses Kommunikationsnetz, GRUR 2019, 271, at pt. 60ff. The co-applicants approach is an expression of the general legal principle that jointly owned rights have to be exercised in common. It protects the co-owner of the priority right against the exploitation of this right without his participation.

There’s an upcoming BoA case regarding software patents in Europe and Campinos already meddles in the case to get the ‘desired’ (by him and patent maximalists) outcome. The EPO is so broken that it’s not even sad; it’s almost infuriating as they also seem to be defrauding the public and their staff.

Imagine what would happen if Tarfusser, a former International Criminal Court (ICC) judge, was given the top position. How many EPO officials past and present would face the court and be arrested?

The Unified Patent Court (UPC) is Dead and Alexander Ramsay is Only Making a Total Fool of Himself

Posted in Deception, Europe, Patents at 6:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Sadly, Ralph Jimmy Schulz has also just died (5 days ago of pancreatic cancer at the age of 51), according to Benjamin Henrion, but he fought a good fight against evil agenda

UPC meme
Zoobab’s (Benjamin Henrion) new UPC meme

Summary: The Unified Patent Court (UPC), or “Unitary Patent” as some like to call that vision (it was known as many other fantasies), is doomed; any attempts to claim otherwise are met with scorn and ridicule — to the point where even Team UPC is mostly keeping quiet these days

THE patent system in Europe languishes. Litigation? Not the same thing. After the European Patent Office (EPO) had granted loads of Invalid Patents (IPs), which were wrongly enshrined as European Patents (EPs) because Campinos and Battistelli break the rules (software patents are illegal in Europe for a number of reasons, not just the EPC*; the same goes for patents on life and nature), litigation that’s frivolous saw a sharp rise. Pertinent figures from Germany have been published in annual studies and we wrote several stories about these. So, in short, patent quality down, litigation up. As expected. And that’s not even counting the number of assertions/shakedowns happening outside courts…

“So, in short, patent quality down, litigation up. As expected. And that’s not even counting the number of assertions/shakedowns happening outside courts…”The courts, which are national, are currently an important obstruction to fake patents. As we keep showing, many EPs are nowadays rejected and invalidated by such courts. Law firms, joined by EPO thugs who shamelessly violate the EPC, tried hard to replace these courts. They lied, they broke laws, they sought to subvert a lot of constitutions in a great hurry/rush (before the public finds out), but thankfully they failed. They failed for a number of different reasons. And the longer these things drag on, the harder it becomes for them (more constitutional challenges arise, along with independent studies that demonstrate how awful, illegal and undesirable the UPC/A really is).

On Thursday the JUVE propagandist in chief (on UPC it's a megaphone of Team UPC) tweeted: “Here’s the exclusive JUVE Patent interview with #UPC Prepatory Committee chair, Alexander Ramsay. Ramsay explains how the constitutional delay has worked to the committee’s advantage, and why the UK should remain part of the European #patent project.”

So they have “exclusive” (yes, EXCLUSIVE) “JUVE Patent interview” with a known liar. Only months ago they admitted to the Financial Times that they had been faking progress to maintain their self-made illusion that UPC had a chance. At the same time they used psychological warfare (like spreading deliberate lies) against German Justices in the FCC — to the point where one of them gave an “exclusive” (totally inappropriate [1, 2, 3]) interview to a Team UPC front group/pressure group. These people play dirty. I responded to JUVE yesterday (Friday), joking about that part that says “the constitutional delay has worked to the committee’s advantage…”

“These people play dirty.”What an utter lie!

“Oh, I see,” I responded. “We got caught violating constitutions across Europe and that… and that, well… “worked to the committee’s advantage”

“Smoking is good for you,” was my analogy, “makes your lungs stronger!”

Thank you for smoking!

This is the sort of laughable argument style we’ve become accustomed to. Watch Team UPC getting burned in the comments (that even Team UPC allows past strict moderation; yes, they censor comments). It’s very revealing everywhere one turns. Team UPC isn’t believed by anyone except Team UPC and we’ve even seen some longtime UPC proponents changing their mind/tune. Even IAM a year ago.

Taking note of something we covered some days ago (US stance on UPC), AstraZenecaKat wrote about such patent fanaticism (extremism?) and how Donald Trump’s government uses the EPC as a vehicle of patent maximalism in the UK. It goes beyond what we covered a day after the leak:

This Kat was probably not alone in being slightly bemused by the recent media reporting on the leaked “451-page dossier” describing US/UK talks on future trade arrangements. The BBC reportsthe dossier as showing that the US is interested in “extending patents” in the UK. How strange. Is the US government proposing some novel form of patent term extension currently unavailable to patentees in the UK? Fear not, IPKat is here to provide some clarity!

It turns out that, contrary to media reporting, the dossier does not mention anything radical with respect to patent term extension. However, there are some interesting insights to be gained from the dossier on the potential battleground for IP rights in future US/UK trade negotiations. Most notable is the US government’s position on grace periods for disclosure before patent filings, which are not permitted under the European Patent Convention (EPC).


The US delegation was also interested to hear the UK government plans with respect to the UPC. [Merpel: wouldn’t we all?] The US expressed surprise that the UK government had ratified the UPC agreement before the UK’s exit. The US mentioned that US stakeholders were strongly in favour of the UK participating in the UPC. The UK replied that “we intend to stay part of the agreement through the implementation period…Beyond this is subject to negotiation”. This position was described in the subsequently published FEB white paper. The dossier thus does not make us any the wiser with regards to the UK’s intended negotiating position in post-Brexit negotiations with the US. Whether the UK will be able to be a member of the UPC after Brexit was discussed in a recent report from the European Parliament think-tank (IPKat: Can the UK become and stay a member of the UPC?)


The dossier therefore does provide some tip-bits of interesting information regarding US/UK thinking on IP protection and its relation to drug pricing. Reassuringly, despite the media reporting, there does not appear to be anything radical “on the table” with respect to patent term or data exclusivity. The US position on grace periods is the most concerning of all the issues under discussion. It would be an extraordinary act of self-harm for the UK to withdraw from the EPC, and this would have significant disadvantages not only the UK but also the US and third parties such as China and Japan. However, the dossier highlights throughout many areas that still need clarification. Final negotiating positions between the US and UK will also be highly dependent on the UK’s negotiating position with the EU following Brexit.

As usual, especially with AstraZenecaKat, the better and more informative tidbits are in the comments (those that are allowed anyway; they still censor comments).

“Let’s be honest,” a certain “Anonymous” wrote in the responses. “The reason the US think the UK might be able to introduce a grace period is because they don’t, and will never, understand that the EPC isn’t related to the EU. Further the US is strongly in favour of the UK participating in the UPC which would, of course, be impossible if the UK isn’t part of the EPC. The big issue is the possible extension of UK data exclusivity for biologics from 8+2 to 12. The public would undoubtedly see this as extending “patents” for pharmaceuticals.”

Oh, pharmaceuticals like AstraZeneca. We’ve been rather disturbed but not surprised to see this blog relaying pro-UPC lies.

Another comment said: “We in the UK need to be honest about our future position in the world. We need to belong in some way to a big powerful trading block. The US would be a natural ‘home’ once we leave the EU. Risking that over a grace period disagreement does not seem sensible. The sooner we see that bringing ourselves into alignment with the US brings a lot of benefits, the more clearly we can develop our post-Brexit relationships and alliances. We can be the ‘gateway’ to Europe for the US if we compromise a little on our laws. It will be a delicate balancing act to please both the US and the EU, but surely we have little choice now?”

Well, if anything, the above shows that “brexit” is about selling the UK to Donald Trump and equally dubious corporations (as his). The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is limited in reach and scope (more so due to 35 U.S.C. § 101), so they want a corrupt EPO, where the quarter of all patents are granted to the US (almost the same as the number of patents granted to Europe!).

As an elderly (and apparently very experienced) attorney, MaxDrei, then put it: “If the UK leaves the EU it will have little or nothing of that ongoing business.”

It’s a good comment and it’s one among several that condemn the UPC. To quote in full:

The comment from “Honesty” is hard to swallow. The EU is indeed a big Bloc, with 600 million consumers and, within it, the UK is one of the “Big 3″ Member States. So, a Big Fish in a Big Pool.

As the 51st State of the USA though, with zero representation in the US Congress, it is not even a Fish, and in a pool only half as big. And what’s all this nonsense about a “bridgehead” into Europe. The EU is already fully cognisant of the threat of a deregulated UK free-riding the European market. Use of force to effect a landing on the European Mainland is not an option except in times of war.

As we are now, given our language and professional skills, we in the UK should be filing at the EPO the Lion’s Share of everything sent to the EPO by both Asia and The Americas. If the UK leaves the EU it will have little or nothing of that ongoing business.

Is there no limit to the skill with which Westminster politicians squander in a few decades the huge reserves of soft power built up by the UK over centuries?

Well said. UPC is, as we’ve been saying for years, part of a trend, part of which is neo-liberal policies that are ruinous to all except very few, usually foreign few (foreign to the country where these policies are implemented). As we put it earlier this month, "Europe is Under Attack" (except the Bretons, Battistellis and Lagardes of Europe). Their ‘handlers’ know what they want and how to get it. We still have one final part to publish in the Thierry Breton series; then we’ll prepare the epilogue.
* It’s saddening to learn that Jimmy Schulz, who fought software patents in the political arena, has perished. “RIP Jimmy Schulz,” Henrion wrote last night, “one of the initiators of the motion, warned that trivial patents or patents harm small and medium-sized software developers https://www.ip-watch.org/2013/04/22/german-parliament-sends-message-stop-granting-software-patents/ [] RIP Jimmy Schulz, German MP software developer and opposed software patents…”

Windows (Vista 10) is Nowadays Being Sold as ‘Linux’

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista 10, Windows at 2:55 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

'Windows Terminal does the splits' so Microsoft can now do what gnu/linux did decades ago? Why do 'Linux news' sites push WINDOWS NEWS? Please remove

Summary: The tactic is working; over the course of Thanksgiving many sites that claim to be about GNU/Linux relayed Windows news, instead

IRC Proceedings: Friday, November 29, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 2:47 am by Needs Sunlight



#techrights log

#boycottnovell log



#boycottnovell-social log

#techbytes log

Enter the IRC channels now

Guest Article: It All Began With Stallman

Posted in Free/Libre Software at 12:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Another guest post by Jagadees.S.

Free Water

Summary: How “Free Water” and “Free/Libre Software” (nowadays rebranded “OSS” or “FOSS”) relate to one another

THIS is a guest post by Jagadees. He focuses on Free/Libre software, as usual.

Free water

The water we drink was once upon a time free. It was a free gift from nature. Gradually that changed. Even 20 years back people in my village could not believe that in cities they sell water. But now it’s a reality everywhere and soon enough water became a political issue. So lot of movements began to free water from private hands (back to the Commons). Wherever water gets privatised there are people in newly-formed organisations and parties that fight against it. Even though we don’t have a single global movement to free water, we do not say to those who are fighting against water privatisation that “your work is good. But water was free before you began your movement. That’s why others have got chance to fight against privatisation.”

“You have to remember that a lot of people lost their lives fighting against water privatisation.”Is that what you say to people who put their lives at risk in the name of fighting against corporate greed? No sensible person would tell you that. You have to remember that a lot of people lost their lives fighting against water privatisation. We have to respect their effort.

Political movements will come about and changes occur when there is a political issue

Like water, once upon a time software programs were also free. Everybody enjoyed software, code, and its freedom. But unlike water when it was privatised the issues were not visible. Nobody understood what would happen if software became private. Nobody could (fore)see that the software would change badly, becoming a chain on its user’s body.

“Nobody could (fore)see that the software would change badly, becoming a chain on its user’s body.”But in 1983 Richard Stallman began a movement to free the computer users from the chains of proprietary software. Since he is a computer programmer he doesn’t have to wait for anything.

He began his work on freeing users from the proprietary software chains. But one person cannot complete this colossal piece of work or task. So what Stallman did was, after completing his first program he shared the source code and the rights to its users and said writing proprietary software would be unethical. He asked other programmers to not write/code proprietary software, since it does not respect users’ freedom. Lots of people joined forces with him. Even young Linus Torvalds was motivated by the GPL licence of GCC, so he released his code under a Free software licence.

Anyway, it all began with Stallman. And it’s still with Stallman. Till now nobody on this planet has ever had any idea, or a sentence or a word other than what he said. All of them are just repeating whatever he said — that software should respect its users. It is not a greatly complicated thing. It’s a very simple idea — like saying water must be free.

Hiding politics

But you may know that a whole range of groups are saying a lot of things about software around us — things like OSS, FOSS etc. Somebody said things about now we have anything from open source space craft to open source ice creams. It came to such a point/level that the word has no meaning at all. Really — think about it — they are all impostors who have just bolstered ‘diluted propitiatory software’ to hijack the revolutionary movement that Stallman began. And for the profit of corporates. Because they see the Free software movement as a threat to their profits.

“All of them are just repeating whatever he said — that software should respect its users. It is not a greatly complicated thing. It’s a very simple idea — like saying water must be free.”But if you see the technical aspect of Stallman’s work, you may think that his software is not fast or fancy or special or there may be delays. Actually, it’s stupid to think like that. Or a tactic leveraged by propitiatory software companies, intended to hide his real contribution. Stallman’s real contribution to humanity is his politics of Software Freedom. That idea influenced a whole lot of discourses. The sad thing is that the impostors reframed it in their terms. The common progressive people too use their own terms, thinking that it is them who are the revolutionary user freedom movement. A few days back I heard an independent media person talking about the impostors’ software helping them at the time of WTO protests in Seattle 20 years back.

“The sad thing is that the impostors reframed it in their terms.”We have to end that takeover. We need more people like Stallman who defend users’ freedom and Free software politics in the Free software movement, rather the dumb software workers just obeying money power. For that to materialise we have to build a committed users’ community that supports software projects without taking corporate money — a community that demands, “We want Free software!”

Note: this doesn’t mean that he is unquestionable a leader or a god. On lot of issues I disagree with him.

“Once GNU is written, everyone will be able to obtain good system software free, just like air.”

Richard Stallman


Links 29/11/2019: Ubuntu’s 32-Bit Plans and Lakademy 2019

Posted in News Roundup at 12:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • My Linux story: Covering open source in Spanish

        got to know GNU/Linux at university about 25 years ago; it attracted my attention, and I used it for several months. For whatever reason—maybe I wasn’t sufficiently prepared, maybe the distribution, Slackware, was too much for me—I decided to abandon it when I started working. However, it stuck in my memory.

        About 10 years ago, I was tired of bringing office work home, and I decided to come up with a solution. At that moment, some recollection of that GNU/Linux operating system came back to me, and I thought using a different operating system might be the solution. The incompatibility between the two would make it hard to bring work home, I thought.

        I chose Ubuntu as my platform, and this distribution has stayed with me until today, a distribution that showed me my mistake: With Ubuntu, or really any other distro, I can still do office work at home!

        Yes, in the beginning, I had some difficulties. And these difficulties were what led to the birth of Atareao.es, because that was where I posted the lessons I learned from this incredible operating system.

    • Server

      • IBM

        • YJFX Adopts Red Hat OpenStack Platform to Build Out Customer Service Infrastructure

          Red Hat, Inc., the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that YJFX, Inc., a financial subsidiary of Yahoo Group focused on foreign exchange services, has adopted Red Hat OpenStack Platform to build out the company’s private cloud infrastructure. Red Hat’s massively scalable Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering, Red Hat OpenStack Platform offers YJFX extensive scalability, helping it deliver new infrastructure more quickly as it seeks to bring differentiating applications and services to end users.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

    • Kernel Space

    • Applications

      • 18 Essential LaTeX Tools – typeset beautifully (Updated 2019)

        LaTeX is a document preparation system and document markup language for high-quality typesetting. The system was originally developed by Leslie Lamport in the early 1980s. LaTeX is based on Donald E. Knuth’s TeX typesetting language. Lamport says that LaTeX “represents a balance between functionality and ease of use”.

        LaTeX is often used for technical or scientific documentation, particularly because it generates well formatted papers with beautifully crafted formulae, but the system can be used for any form of publishing. It employs beautifully crafted typesetting algorithms. Academic journals will often accept submission in this format.

        Using the LaTeX system leads the author to concentrate on the structure of the document rather than its appearance. The author therefore focuses on what he/she wants to say, instead of fretting over page borders, font attributes, or formatting. Moreover, the author will be guided in the organization, structure, and flow within the document.

        The recommended LaTeX distribution is the one that comes with TeX Live, the replacement of its counterpart teTeX. This is a general TeX distribution that is actively maintained by the TeX Users Group.

        Almost any editor or wordprocessor can be used to write LaTeX documents, but many users of the system prefer to use software specially designed for LaTeX.

      • The 20 Best Control Panels for Hassle-Free Server Management

        It’s not very hard to manage web servers for most Linux powers users. However, it’s certainly not a child’s play, and new site owners often find it extremely difficult to manage their servers properly. Thankfully, there’s a huge list of robust control panels that makes server management hassle-free even for beginners. It can also be useful for experienced server owners who’re looking for convenient hosting panel management solutions. That’s why our editors have curated this guide outlining the 20 best admin panel for modern web servers.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Techland have updated Dying Light again, Drop Attack should be fixed on Linux

        Techland continue to improve their 2015 game, Dying Light. Another patch went out this week and it’s a nice one for Linux owners of Dying Light too.

        For some people, an issue that has plagued Dying Light on Linux is a crash when using the Drop Attack ability. Techland said with Patch 1.22, that’s actually been finally fixed. Additionally they said the overall stability of the game has been improved.

      • Impostor Factory, following on from To the Moon has a new trailer and more confusing details

        Freebird Games are finally starting to give us a little more information on the upcoming narrative-driven adventure Impostor Factory.

        If you’ve not been following Freebird Games previously made To the Moon, A Bird Story and most recently Finding Paradise. All of which support Linux and it seems their next game, Impostor Factory, will as well. Details have been extremely light on it, at least until now. Still not exactly clear what’s going on and their updated description of it doesn’t exactly help “Impostor Factory is a narrative-driven adventure game that is categorically out of its mind.”—okay then.

      • Hinterland tease new info for the upcoming Survival Mode update to The Long Dark

        Cold and lonely survival game The Long Dark is getting a huge update to the survival mode next month, it sounds great too with some of the details Hinterland Studio have teased.

        The Long Dark is certainly an interesting one, especially since it has a Story Mode and a Survival Mode to give the best of both worlds. It hasn’t been long since the release of Episode 3 for the story back in October, so Hinterland have certainly been busy.

      • Google Stadia Pro games for December, Buddy Pass is live and new hires – a roundup

        For people who purchased the Founders Edition, it came with a Buddy Pass system enabling you to gift a three month Stadia Pro subscription to a friend. That’s now actually live. If you have it, you can find the option to do so in the Stadia mobile application (the little ticket button in the top left corner).

        Also announced recently is the next set of games available to those with Stadia Pro, which everyone has right now since Stadia Base doesn’t launch until next year.

      • teach your kids to build their own game with Python – 2

        Since the last part of this series got a lot of positive reactions, I am publishing this second one and will make sure to publish the last part before this weekend hopefully so stay tuned!

        (want to jump and see the final outcome of this lesson? feel free to visit the original repo or jump to the end of this)

        So, without further due, lets pickup from where we left last time.

      • MOLEK-SYNTEZ from Zachtronics is now DRM-free on GOG and it’s great

        Combine and convert ordinary industrial chemicals into a variety of small molecules with various pharmacological effects in MOLEK-SYNTEZ, the latest puzzle sim from Zachtronics. Recently, the team at Zachtronics announced that GOG have accepted their game onto their store!

      • DRM-free store GOG have started up their own big Black Friday sale

        No store will miss an opportunity to run a big sale now of course, we already have Steam and Humble Store running their own and now the DRM-free store GOG has a massive sale too.

      • Khronos + W3C Collaborating On SPIR-V Potentially Being The Shading Language For The Web

        The W3C put out an interesting status update this week on web games technologies and the various standardization efforts at play.

        The updated included that the core WebAssembly specifications are “imminent” for publishing, the web gamepad specification continues being moved along, WebCodecs continue to be explored, and on the WebGPU front they are exploring the choice of shading language to use for next-generation web graphics.


        The report from the Workshop on Web Games, held in June 2019, recommended next standardization steps for individual topics discussed at the workshop to enrich the open Web platform for games. Now, less than 6 months after the workshop, thanks to the efforts of workshop participants and a few others, most of these topics have already made significant progress. This seemed to warrant a status update.
        The creation of a games activity at W3C, to gather continuous feedback on Web technologies from the games community, track identified needs and steer standardization efforts, is still being investigated. If you’re interested, please reach out to François Daoust.

    • Distributions

      • Kali Linux 2019.4 released with new DE, undercover, and more

        This new release allows users to use a BTRFS filesystem for the root partition. What is great about this is that it allows users to very easily roll back to older versions after a system upgrade.

        Also, pentesters (while learning or even otherwise) tend to use a lot of VMs. Users often need to take a snapshot of their stable system state, so that if it gets messed up, they can quickly revert. This had become somewhat difficult in the bare metal versions of Kali. Now with BTRFS as an option for the root partition, this becomes much easier.

      • Why Are There So Many Linux Distribution? How To Choose The Most Appropriate?

        The title above is one of the questions that once existed in my mind, maybe also the readers. I am currently a Xubuntu user, but many of my community partners use different distributions. Some use Linux Mint, Arch, Ubuntu, Kali and many others.

        Each linux user have their own preferences. We as users also cannot force other Users to use the same Linux distribution that we use. The point is need. The needs of every linux user are definitely different. Some people use Linux distributions for the purposes of programming, design, or network security and others.

        From these various needs, there are many Linux distributions that can be chosen by users based on their needs. There are thousands of Linux distributions listed in Distrowatch. In fact, almost every week we will get information about new releases that are listed on this site.

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Fedora Family

        • A quick introduction to Toolbox on Fedora

          Toolbox allows you to sort and manage your development environments in containers without requiring root privileges or manually attaching volumes. It creates a container where you can install your own CLI tools, without installing them on the base system itself. You can also utilize it when you do not have root access or cannot install programs directly. This article gives you an introduction to toolbox and what it does.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • i386 in focal: an update
          Thanks to thorough feedback from our community, we now have a reasonably
          comprehensive answer to the question of what 32-bit compatibility library
          packages are needed on x86 for Ubuntu 20.04. 
          Some developers will have noticed changes this week to the behavior of focal
          builds in Launchpad.  Out of 30,000 source packages in focal, there is now a
          whitelist of about 1,700 source packages which will trigger builds on i386
          in Launchpad.  This means that other packages which previously built on i386
          will need to have the binaries from the old version of the package removed
          before they will be migratable from focal-proposed to focal.
          As a side note, the implementation of this also affects PPA builds, because
          the whitelist applies to the focal series as a whole.  In general, you
          should not expect to need i386 builds of third-party packages in PPAs for
          focal either, given that i386 in focal exists solely for compatibility with
          legacy binary software.  However, if you have a third-party package that you
          believe it's important to continue producing i386 binary builds of in
          Launchpad for Ubuntu 20.04, please contact the Ubuntu archive admins
          (ubuntu-release at lists.ubuntu.com, or #ubuntu-devel on freenode.net for best
          results), and we can evaluate including your PPA package in the whitelist.
          At the moment, I am doing some manual removals of the i386 binaries as I see
          them show up as blockers on
          and as I'm able to determine that the removals aren't going to cause
          near-term knock-on problems.  But if some i386 binaries aren't being removed
          fast enough and this is blocking your work, feel free to reach out to an
          archive admin to ask for their removal.
          In the slightly less near term, the plan is to do a mass binary removal of
          all of the i386 binary packages in focal built from sources other than those
          in the whitelist.  However, before pulling the trigger on this mass removal,
          there are some changes that should be landed to our autopkgtest
          infrastructure, so that we can continue to run autopkgtests for those
          remaining 1700 packages.  In summary: the plan is not to retain the test
          dependencies of those 1700 packages on i386, but instead to cross-test the
          i386 libraries on an amd64 host, which ultimately means testing them in an
          environment that better models the expected real-world usage.  The work is
          in progress for this change and I'm currently anticipating landing it next
          In the meantime, if you need any help getting packages migrating to the
          focal release from -proposed, please reach out on #ubuntu-release on IRC.
        • Canonical Formulates The 32-Bit Support Strategy For Ubuntu 20.04 LTS

          Canonical’s Ubuntu engineers in cooperation with community members have figured out their 32-bit support adjustments for the Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release.

          After dropping their original proposal of clearing out 32-bit packages entirely, Ubuntu 19.10 shipped with a trimmed down set of 32-bit packages (32-bit x86) available to x86_64 users. Those 32-bit packages on Ubuntu 19.10 were based on popularity with what 32-bit packages might still be in prevalent use today on modern Intel/AMD systems. For Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, some minor adjustments are being made.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • [Older] OpenZFS Developer Summit 2019

        The much-discussed hope to unify the OpenZFS code bases across the supported operating systems went from dialog to action item with the bold declaration by OpenZFS co-founder Matt Ahrens that the ZFS on Linux repo will be renamed simply “OpenZFS” and that the next milestone release will be “OpenZFS 2.0”. “As far as I’m concerned, this can’t come too soon,” said one attendee. Remarkably, there has been zero public objection to this effort. OpenZFS developer on macOS and Windows Jörgen Lundman supported this point with Michael Dexter in their talk “OpenZFS Everywhere”, in which they reported on the status of OpenZFS on the obvious platforms: Illumos, FreeBSD, and GNU/Linux, but also macOS, NetBSD, and Windows.

      • Events

        • Mini-DebCamp pre FOSDEM 2020

          This is to inform you about a Mini-DebCamp happening right before FOSDEM 2020, in Brussels, which is a city in Belgium in Europe on planet earth.

          The Mini-DebCamp will take place at the Hackerspace Brussels (HSBXL) from Wednesday, the 29th of January 2020 until Friday, the 31st, as part of Byteweek and you should all come around if you can!

          Not so much more information can be found at the event wiki page.

        • Lakademy 2019

          In this post, I will relate my experience at Lakademy 2019. For who doesn’t know what it is, it’s the Latin American meeting of KDE community, it happens every year and this year it was hosted on Salvador – Bahia. It exists since 2012 and this year I had my first participation and my first experience in person with KDE community.

          I arrived on November 14th, in the middle of the afternoon. I didn’t know what to expect because it was my first experience, but I actually felt welcomed and comfortable. I spent the rest of this day with Caio (my GSoC mentor) trying to prepare the laptop to work, because I don’t have a laptop then they lent me one.

          My purpose on Lakademy was to continue my GSoC work, what means: work on Khipu bugs and on what is missing. Then on the next day I actually focused on fix the search bug on Khipu. When I searched on the search bar to find the spaces by their names, it was returning the correct spaces, but if I edit any of these results, the change was happening on the wrong index. I was stuck on this bug for months, because I knew that I needed to use mapToSource to fix it, but I didn’t know how to use it. I spent the day thinking and thinking and in the end of the day I could solve the most of this problem.

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Mozilla and the Contract for the Web

            Mozilla supports the Contract for the Web and the vision of the world it seeks to create. We participated in helping develop the content of the principles in the Contract. The result is language very much aligned with Mozilla, and including words that in many cases echo our Manifesto. Mozilla works to build momentum behind these ideas, as well as building products and programs that help make them real.

      • FSF

        • FSFE

          • The last 12 months in the light of software freedom

            In the last 12 months, we have achieved a lot with the help of our volunteers, through their donations and hard work. Thanks to their support, we were able to successfully continue our PMPC campaign, simplify licensing practices through our REUSE initiative, and stand up for router freedom in Europe. We will be back in 2020 with even more vigour towards our work. Please help us with a donation so that we can continue our successful commitment to Free Software.

        • Licensing / Legal

          • Racket 7.5 Changes License

            Racket has been updated and is being released under a new, less-restrictive license: either the Apache 2.0 license or the MIT license. The new release also adds a standard JSON MIME type for the Web Server.

            Racket is described as a “full-spectrum programming language” that goes beyond Lisp and Scheme with dialects that support objects, types and laziness. When coding in it, you can link components written in different dialects, and write your own project-specific dialect if you want. The Racket libraries support applications from web servers and databases to GUIs and charts.


            Chez Scheme is both a programming language and an implementation of that language, with supporting tools and documentation. It is a superset of the language described in the Revised Report on the Algorithmic Language Scheme (R6RS). Chez Scheme supports all standard features of Scheme, including first-class procedures, proper treatment of tail calls, continuations, user-defined records, libraries, exceptions, and hygienic macro expansion. The Racket team says they expect that Racket CS will be ready for production use by the next release.

            Elsewhere in this release, the Web Server now provides a standard JSON MIME type, including a response/jsexpr form for HTTP responses bearing JSON; and GNU MPFR operations run about three times faster.

      • Openness/Sharing/Collaboration

      • Programming/Development

        • SDL is expanding gamepad support with 8Bitdo SN30 Pro, Google Stadia and more

          Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL), the awesome cross-platform development library used by Valve, Feral Interactive, Unity, MonoGame, FNA, DOSBox and so many more is expanding.

        • 64 Bits ought to be enough for anybody!

          How quickly can we use brute force to guess a 64-bit number? The short answer is, it all depends on what resources are available. So we’re going to examine this problem starting with the most naive approach and then expand to other techniques involving parallelization.

          We’ll discuss parallelization at the CPU level with SIMD instructions, then via multiple cores, GPUs, and cloud computing. Along the way we’ll touch on a variety of topics about microprocessors and some interesting discoveries, e.g., adding more cores isn’t always an improvement, and not all cloud vCPUs are equivalent.

        • Python

          • Select Pandas Dataframe Rows And Columns Using iloc loc and ix

            In this post, I will talk about how to use Python library Pandas iloc, loc and ix functions to select rows and columns from csv and excel files

          • Navigating Python Code with Wing Pro 7 (part 3 of 3)

            Last week and the week before, we looked at some of the code navigation features in Wing, including goto-definition, find uses, and project-wide search, code index menus, and the Source Browser.

            This week we’ll finish up this mini-series by looking at how to quickly and easily find and open files or visit symbols in Python code by typing a name fragment.

          • API access for Google Calendar and Google Sheet access

            Doing some research, it seemed that gspread python library was the easiest one to get the access to the spread sheet and then be able to process it.

            Access requires setting up a credentials.json that is created using the google developers console (we should create a new project, create new credentials, etc). Please, read gspread documentation on requisites and steps for obtaining this file.

          • How I learned Python

            I never thought about learning python. However, once I got into machine learning it was a no-brainer. Everything was python and I just had to know it. So when I did the AI Nanodegree course at Udacity, I learned all the python I needed.


            Python is super fun and you can prototype stuff so fast it’s insane. If you are just a little skilled, you can write scripts to scrape the web, shuffle and move your data around, develop a UI etc. in less than half an hour. It just doesn’t get in your way in any shape or form.

          • Python CSV

            A CSV (Comma Separated Values) format is one of the most simple and common ways to store tabular data. To represent a CSV file, it must be saved with the .csv file extension.

          • How to write a Python web API with Django
          • Variable Explorer improvements in Spyder 4

            Spyder 4 will be released very soon with lots of interesting new features that you’ll want to check out, reflecting years of effort by the team to improve the user experience. In this post, we will be talking about the improvements made to the Variable Explorer.

            These include the brand new Object Explorer for inspecting arbitrary Python variables, full support for MultiIndex dataframes with multiple dimensions, and the ability to filter and search for variables by name and type, and much more.

            It is important to mention that several of the above improvements were made possible through integrating the work of two other projects. Code from gtabview was used to implement the multi-dimensional Pandas indexes, while objbrowser was the foundation of the new Object Explorer.


            As can be seen above, this viewer will also allow users to browse extra metadata about the inspected object, such as its documentation, source code and the file that holds it. It is very important to note that this work was accomplished thanks to the generosity of Pepijn, who kindly changed the license of objbrowser to allow us to integrate it with Spyder. To expose this new functionality, we decided to set the option to hide arbitrary Python objects in the Variable Explorer to disabled by default, and introduced a new one called Exclude callables and modules. With this enabled by default, Spyder will now display a much larger fraction of objects that can be inspected, while still excluding most “uninteresting” variables.

        • Shell/Bash/Zsh/Ksh

          • Data validation on entry with YAD

            The best way to clean a data table? Clean the data before it gets entered.

            A straightforward method is to build and check a stand-alone lookup list, then enforce the use of that lookup list for data entry. It may not be possible to do this for every field in the data table, but for a field with only a limited number of potential entries, a lookup list can save a lot of data cleaning work in future.

  • Leftovers

    • Thankful for Montana and Much More
    • Just Part of Doing Business

      Songwriter James McMurtry released a song several years ago that told the story of many working people in the United States. Titled “We Can’t Make It Here Anymore,” McMurtry’s lyrics described broken lives in a broken town in a nation broken by an economic disaster engendered by the greed of the capitalist class. Describing broken people and broken homes bedeviled by addiction and poverty, disability and despair, this tune is an angry cry virtually bereft of hope even while its characters refuse to give up. McMurtry points his acerbic pen and accomplished guitar at those whom he holds responsible…

    • Hardware

      • Debullshitifying the Right to Repair excuses Apple sent to Congress

        Apple’s response to the Congressional committee investigating monopolistic behavior by tech giants contains a chapter on Right to Repair, whose greatest enemy is Apple — the company led successful campaigns to kill 20 state level Right to Repair bills last year.

        Apple’s response was parsimonious with the truth.

      • Right-to-Repair Groups Don’t Buy Apple’s Answers to Congress

        iFixit and US PIRG both contest some of Apple’s responses, particularly around the ways in which Apple may or may not advise against non-authorized repairs. Another point they take issue with is Apple’s use of the phrase “same unit repair,” which is worth unpacking. Many key components within an iPhone or Mac can be repaired, Apple says in its response, but “same unit repairs” aren’t possible for all products because of the challenges around disassembling and reassembling devices.

        In other words, a customer might go into the Apple Store or other authorized repair shop for a fix, and the repair might be so complex that the product is effectively replaced. The topic of “repairs” not only becomes one of semantics but also raises the question of whether Apple (and other electronics makers) could be slotting full replacement devices into a definition of repairs. Proctor, of US PIRG, says in his blog post that this is Apple attempting to “create a new category of repair.”

    • Health/Nutrition

      • New Online Tool Aims to Help You Have That Big Medicare for All Talk at This Year’s Thanksgiving Feast

        “Turkey, mashed potatoes, and arguing politics with your family: the holidays are just around the corner! But talking about politics doesn’t have to get heated. The vast majority of people are unhappy with our hugely expensive, profit-driven health care system and are ready for a change.”

      • I Have Multiple Sclerosis. Here’s Why I Am Fighting for Medicare for All

        Family, friends, and fellow patriots,I have Multiple Sclerosis. Every morning, the first thought I have in the first millisecond that I am awake, is that I can’t do it—I can’t go to work, for a walk, to the gallery, to my studio, I can’t get out of bed. And almost every morning, I do anyway. Imagine that you have the flu every day. That is not so far off from how I feel.

      • Wilderness of Mirrors .co.uk

        There is only one question that really matters about the origin of the document leak:

        Is the leaker a private individual, or an organisation (in particular, a state intelligence agency)?

        Creating a matrix for an Alternate Competing Hypothesis analysis is pretty easy when there are only two options.

      • Why are Americans’ lives getting shorter?

        Two data points, it is often said, do not make a trend. Researchers studying America’s dismal life expectancy now have three. After climbing gradually over the past half century, life expectancy in America reached a plateau in 2010 and then fell for three consecutive years from 2015 to 2017, the latest for which data are available. An American baby born today can expect to live 78.6 years, on average, down from 78.9 in 2014. A new paper by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, attempts to explain why.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Jony Ive has left Apple

          Apple will be a client of Ive’s new design company, LoveFrom, which the designer started in collaboration with his long-time friend and collaborator Marc Newson. “Apple will continue to benefit from Jony’s talents by working directly with him on exclusive projects, and through the ongoing work of the brilliant and passionate design team he has built,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook at the time. Software and hardware design is now the responsibility of COO Jeff Williams.

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • ByteDance Moves To Separate TikTok from Its Chinese Operations

              Reuters is reporting that ByteDance, which is the parent of TikTok, is stepping up attempts to separate the app from its Chinese operations in the wake of a U.S. government investigation of its data handling policies.

            • Public SSH keys can leak your private infrastructure

              This article describes a minor security flaw in the SSH authentication protocol that can lead to unexpected private infrastructure disclosure. It also provides a PoC written in Python.

            • Choosing the Right Messenger

              One of the most common questions users have when it comes to privacy is about messaging services. It seems almost all of them mention some level of privacy or encryption to entice the user to sign up for their service, but how can you be sure you’re using the most secure, privacy respecting platform?

              The answer actually lies in one’s threat model, which is often an ignored step in choosing all privacy related apps and services, meaning a lot of users limit their internet and communication experience because they believe they need Edward Snowden level privacy settings.

            • [Old] The Schrems Saga Continues: Schrems II Case Heard Before the CJEU

              The CJEU’s judgment in the Schrems II case, which is not expected before early 2020, could cause a real earthquake in the EU data protection landscape as it may result in the invalidation of the SCC, the mechanism that is most commonly used in practice to legitimize transfers of personal data from the EU to non-EU countries. There is also a risk that the CJEU’s decision on the broad questions that were referred to it may impact the validity of other transfer mechanisms, such as the EU- U.S. Privacy Shield, potentially leaving companies with limited alternatives to legitimize international data flows that are crucial for their business. For now, these mechanisms remain valid, but organizations should take steps to identify potentially impacted data flows, and consider whether alternative data transfer mechanisms are available. This issue should be kept under close review.

            • [Old] ANALYSIS: Will Privacy Shield Withstand Schrems’ Second Strike? [iophk: paywall]

              The European Commission recently released its highly anticipated Third Annual Report on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. Unlike prior reports, however, the Commission did not confirm that the U.S. continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred under the Privacy Shield Framework. That omission is highly significant for companies that currently rely on the Privacy Shield; it signals the need to explore other data transfer mechanisms should the Privacy Shield fall.

            • You’re Tracked Everywhere You Go Online. Use This Guide to Fight Back. [iophk: better to fight through improved legislation]

              Here are some mildly terrifying things I learned when I recently did an online privacy checkup: Google was sharing my creditworthiness with third parties. If you want Target to stop sharing your information with marketers, you have to call them. And, my favorite: If you would like Hearst, the publishing giant, to stop sharing your physical mailing address with third parties, you have to mail a physical letter with your request to the company’s lawyers.

            • Judge says Facebook users entitled to better security but not $ damages

              In San Francisco on Thursday night, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said neither credit monitoring costs nor the reduced value of stolen personal information was a “cognizable injury” that supported a class action for damages.

            • Facebook must face data breach class action on security, but not damages: judge

              A federal judge said up to 29 million Facebook Inc (FB.O) users whose personal information was stolen in a September 2018 data breach cannot sue as a group for damages, but can seek better security at the social media company after a series of privacy lapses.

            • India reportedly wants unrestricted access to non-personal data

              The Indian government is planning to gain unrestricted access to non-personal data of people in India, according to a report by Tech2. Non-personal data is anonymized data which can’t be traced back to identify a person. For example, weather sensors without a specific location or e-Commerce data without personal identification.

              This comes on the heel of the data privacy bill, which is listed to be tabled in the winter session of parliament. Apart from access to non-personal data, the bill will also tackle topics such as intermittent liability of social media platforms, and data localization and storage issues.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • How to Commit War Crimes and Get Away With It

        U.S. President Donald Trump sacked his Navy secretary on Twitter. The main reason is that the Navy secretary did not follow Trump’s advice regarding Navy Special Warfare Operator Edward Gallagher. Trump wanted Gallagher to retain his position as a Navy Seal. Gallagher was accused of stabbing to death a wounded fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) in 2017; he was also accused of other incidents of murder (of a schoolgirl and an elderly man), and then of obstruction of justice. In July 2019, a military court acquitted Gallagher of most of the charges but found him guilty of posing with the body of the fighter who had been stabbed to death.

    • Environment

      • Boris Johnson replaced by ice sculpture after dodging election debate on climate crisis

        The program’s editor had earlier said Johnson “sent his two wing men” — Gove and Johnson’s father, Stanley — to attempt to “argue their way into” a program intended only for leaders.

        Johnson and fellow no-show Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party, were ultimately replaced with ice sculptures bearing their parties’ logos, which Channel 4 said was intended to “represent the emergency on planet earth.”

      • Climate tipping points — too risky to bet against

        Here we summarize evidence on the threat of exceeding tipping points, identify knowledge gaps and suggest how these should be plugged. We explore the effects of such large-scale changes, how quickly they might unfold and whether we still have any control over them.

      • Nine climate tipping points now ‘active,’ warn scientists

        More than half of the climate tipping points identified a decade ago are now “active,” a group of leading scientists have warned.

        This threatens the loss of the Amazon rainforest and the great ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, which are currently undergoing measurable and unprecedented changes much earlier than expected.

        This “cascade” of changes sparked by global warming could threaten the existence of human civilisations.

        Evidence is mounting that these events are more likely and more interconnected than was previously thought, leading to a possible domino effect.

      • Zimbabwe ‘on brink of man-made starvation’, UN warns

        Ms Elver said the Zimbabweans she spoke to “explained that even if food is generally available in supermarkets, the erosion of their incomes combined with an inflation skyrocketing to more than 490%, made them food insecure”.

      • Who is Greta Thunberg, the #FridaysForFuture activist?

        One day in late August 2018, Greta Thunberg took up position outside Sweden’s Parliament for the first time. She held a simple sign, black letters on a white board, that said “School Strike for Climate.”

      • Climate Tipping Points Could Hit Harder — and Sooner — Than We Think

        Citing an “existential threat to civilization,” a group of top climate scientists have put out a new paper warning that the latest evidence related to climate tipping points—when natural systems reach their breaking point and cascading feedback loops accelerate collapse—could mean such dynamics are “more likely than was thought” and could come sooner as well.

      • EU Lawmakers Declare ‘Climate Emergency,’ But Campaigners Say Only ‘Emergency Action’ Will Prove They Mean It

        “Our house is on fire. The European Parliament has seen the blaze, but it’s not enough to stand by and watch.”

      • Eating Well Without Destroying the Climate

        As you sit down to eat a holiday dinner with family or friends this year, the Earth’s climate may be the farthest thing from your mind. But if you are looking for a good New Year’s resolution in a few weeks, you can’t go wrong with climate-friendly eating. The links between food and climate are significant but fairly simple to understand.

      • Eating Is Profoundly Political. Which Food Future Will You Choose?

        It’s time to talk turkey!No, not the Butterball sitting in the Oval Office. I’m talking about the real thing, the big bird, 46 million of which we Americans will devour on this Thanksgiving Day. It was the Aztecs who first domesticated the gallopavo , but leave it to the Spanish explorers to “foul up” the bird’s origins. They declared it to be related to the peacock — wrong!

      • Earth nears irreversible tipping points

        Changes afoot now in at least nine areas could drastically alter the Earth’s climate. There’s no time left to act on these tipping points.

      • ‘Existential Threat to Civilization’: Planetary Tipping Points Make Climate Bets Too Dangerous, Scientists Warn

        “I don’t think people realize how little time we have left,” said one co-author of a new paper warning that the systems of the natural world could cascade out of control sooner than was previously thought.

      • Dear DNC, What Happened to All Those ‘Early and Often’ Climate Debate Questions?

        As the Democratic Party prepared for its first presidential primary debates in June, climate activists pushed the DNC to schedule a single-issue debate on the climate crisis, given the urgency of the problem and the lack of attention given to it in previous debates.

      • Energy

        • Why We Mu Permanently Safeguard Chaco Canyon


          In New Mexico, there are some places where oil and gas development makes sense. But there are others, like in the Greater Chaco area, where the risks of additional development are far too great. That is why I was so excited to see that the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed the Chaco Cultural Heritage Area Protection Act with bipartisan support (“House vote on Chaco a huge win for sacred sites,” My View, Nov. 1).

          The Senate now must do its part and take action as soon as possible, because the clock is winding down on the one-year moratorium on oil and gas leasing within 10 miles of Chaco Culture National Historical Park announced by Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt in May.

          It is our responsibility — as ranchers and stewards of our public lands — to continue to work to preserve places like the Greater Chaco Landscape for future generations. Passage of this bill is a great first step toward doing just that.

          As the owner of a ranch in northwest New Mexico, I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with the oil and gas industry. My family has been running cattle since the 1870s, and while we’ve never minded producers as long as they drill responsibly, the concentration of oil and gas wells has grown so great that the federal public lands surrounding our property can no longer support an operating ranch.

          I am not opposed to oil and gas development.

        • Trump’s Climate Recklessness Is Grounds for Impeachment

          It is time to take Donald Trump’s disregard for climate crisis seriously. As Commander in Chief, Trump is abdicating his duties to protect his people, instead actively aiding and abetting the corporate polluters who are causing the climate chaos. Trump is wasting irreplaceable time that we need to prevent a worsening climate crisis. l

        • ‘Be on the Right Side of History’: Ahead of COP 25, Demand for Govts to Break Free From Fossil Fuels

          “We expect governments to come to these climate talks to live up to the moral urgency at hand.”

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • A Humboldt Thanksgiving

          It’s Thanksgiving here in America, a day of infamy for turkeys. At my place in Humboldt County, northern California, turkeys learned their lesson a few years ago, when five fine specimens of Meleagris gallopavo—wild turkey to you—wandered onto my property. I assume they forgot to check the calendar. Under California fish and game regulations, you can shoot them legally for two weeks around Thanksgiving.

        • A Collective Ignorance of Ecosystems

          A researcher in California is collecting seeds of sugar pine that appear to have resistant to bark beetles. Her goal is to capture and propagate trees that can withstand beetle attacks. According to the article, past logging of sugar pine has dramatically reduced the genetic diversity of the sugar pine population.

          Loss of genetic diversity is one consequence of the Industrial Forestry Paradigm that dominates the timber industry and all public agencies from the state forestry agencies to the federal agencies like the Forest Service.

          For example, on a recent field trip, the foresters in the group told us they were going to log some fir trees that had “root rot” as well as adjacent fir trees that “might” get the pathogen. No one in our group, which included several so-called “conservation groups”, questioned the starting assumption that it was desirable to eliminate root rot. When I asked the lead forester, why he felt it was necessary to log the trees, he responded by saying the trees were likely to die.

          So I inquired further. “So, you want to kill the trees by logging, so they don’t die from root rot?” And then I went on and said: “Isn’t that kind of like our policy in Vietnam where we had to dest

    • Finance

      • ‘An Unjust Society Is Far Costlier’: AOC Says Beware the Deficit Scolds Who Only Complain About Paying for Stuff When It Benefits People

        “I see decisions made every day that cost the American public billions of dollars a year for bogus reasons and nobody asks how we pay for it.”

      • Retail Giants Gear Up for Black Friday—And Political Giving

        Ready, shoppers? Your long-awaited holidays are afoot — so are the countless deals up for grabs.But as millions of Americans gear up to flood drop-in shops and online stores for Black Friday sales, some of the top retail giants are pouring big bucks into the political sphere.

      • A Nation Run by Billionaires and Lobbyists

        In 1961, I left Greece for the United States. The reason for that life-changing decision was education. The University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin welcomed me and gave me a free education. I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Illinois and my doctorate from Wisconsin.

      • China Has Hugely Outgrown the US Under Trump

        This is one in the “whose is bigger?” category; which country has added the most to their GDP over the last three years. There is not any particular reason anyone should care about this, except that Donald Trump has made a big point of touting something about how no one says China will soon be the world’s largest economy anymore.

      • Cryptoqueen: How this woman scammed the world, then vanished

        Ruja Ignatova called herself the Cryptoqueen. She told people she had invented a cryptocurrency to rival Bitcoin, and persuaded them to invest billions. Then, two years ago, she disappeared. Jamie Bartlett spent months investigating how she did it for the Missing Cryptoqueen podcast, and trying to figure out where she’s hiding.

      • Black Friday Alternative Planning

        It has become an odd tradition in America to effectively “battle shop” on the Friday following the Thanksgiving holiday. It is already weird that we even have the Thanksgiving holiday here as it is something that pretty much only Canada and the USA have.


        As for me, I am going to be avoiding the stores Friday if at all possible. Going out in the craziness is just not worth it at this time…

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Labour’s New Internationalism: Chagos and Western Sahara

        There are a number of issues pertaining to UK foreign policy which campaigners and activists have long believed will forever reside at the margins. Never to be taught in schools or discussed on panel shows, these sidelined issues affecting the ‘unpeople’ wordlessly trampled by consecutive British governments were assumed to remain hidden in little-reported legal cases, written about only in dusty volumes undisturbed on library shelves. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party manifesto, unveiled last week, changes this considerably. Vowing to end the ‘bomb first, talk later’ approach to ‘security’ (a term of propaganda referrring typically to state-corporate interests, not the welfare of the UK public), Labour intends to place human rights, international law and tackling climate change at the forefront of international policies.

      • Trump in Afghanistan for Surprise Thanksgiving Visit
      • A Meaningful Thanksgiving

        The impeachment proceedings to investigate allegations of impropriety in the Donald Trump presidency will impact many American households this Thanksgiving. Families will be confronted by political tensions of a profound nature this year. There is no sugar coating it, there is a base of people who believe Trump’s lies and the absurd defenses offered for his corrupt acts.

      • Will Impeachment Affect Trump’s Re-Election Chances?

        One of the hallmarks of a democratic political system is that voters change their minds. In North Korea, 100 percent of voters support the ruling party coalition in election after election. In South Korea since 1998, voters backed 10 years of progressive candidates followed by 10 years of conservative candidates. Then, after a dramatic turnaround in public opinion, South Koreans rallied to impeach the previous president, Park Geun-hye.

      • “God Bless Martin O’Malley”: Former Maryland Governor Takes Trump Administration Immigration Hardliner Ken Cuccinelli to Task at DC Bar

        “We all let him know how we felt about him putting refugee immigrant kids in cages.”

      • On This Day of Thanks and Mourning, a Call to Demilitarize the US Border

        One year ago this week, as families across the country were preparing to sit down together for a Thanksgiving (or Day of Mourning) meal, families at the U.S.-Mexico border were facing a potentially deadly threat…

      • Now Is Not the Time for Democrats to Waver

        As the House Judiciary Committee opens the final round of hearings next week in the impeachment investigation of Donald Trump, there are, once again, reports of wavering among centrists and moderates in the Democratic Party. Although conservative news outlets have taken the lead on such reporting, there is little reason to believe the coverage is fake or exaggerated.

      • WTO Shutdown: What Now and What Next

        We remember Seattle 1999 in a moment when the world is exploding with people’s uprisings.

      • FDR Got Everything that Trump Does Not About Thanksgiving

        When he is not ranting at rallies or speaking off the cuff to reporters, Trump has offered up rather more traditional fare with the Thanksgiving proclamations he has issued since assuming the presidency. But he doesn’t go much beyond the predictable recitation of a first Thanksgiving story and rumination on “the virtue of gratitude.”

        Contrast that with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who mastered the art of giving thanks.

      • How a Would-be Thanksgiving Argument Can Spawn a Revolution

        It’s become something of a cliché: Many people dread Thanksgiving in part because they have to break bread with friends — and especially relatives — who they adamantly disagree with politically.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Rabbi Michael Lerner: The Pied Piper of Love

        Few figures on the American left have elicited more antipathy than Rabbi Michael Lerner, and, at the same time, few figures have elicited more admiration and even adoration. Over the past half-century, and ever since the protest against the Vietnam War, no one has been a more polarizing figure among radicals and progressives than he. In part, that’s because he’s defended Palestinians and Muslims and criticized Zionists and the State of Israel. He can be awfully blunt. His own personality and big ego have contributed to the syndrome that attracts people and repels them.

      • How the International Media Greenlights Israeli Aggression Toward Palestine

        In November, an Israeli-led assassination effort targeted senior Islamic Jihad leader Bahaa Abu el-Atta and his wife, reporting that it killed them both as they were sleeping in their home in Gaza. Armed factions of Islamic Jihad retaliated by launching homemade rockets and mortars toward southern Israel.

      • Jordan: New Arrests of Activists

        Jordanian authorities are seeking to limit protests over austerity policies throughout 2019 by targeting protest leaders, participants, and other critics for harassment and arrest, Human Rights Watch said today. At least seven activists have been detained since September.

      • New Bill Would Strip Medals of Honor From Soldiers Behind Wounded Knee Massacre

        On Wednesday, presidential hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, released the Senate companion to the Remove the Stain Act.

      • The Fader Fires CEO Andy Cohn Over Sexual Misconduct Allegations

        In the wake of The Fader firing its head of content Eric Sundermann as a result of sexual misconduct allegations, the site has further fired publisher Andy Cohen after working there for 16 years.

      • Moscow Theater Targeted by Law Enforcement Authorities

        This month, police in Moscow launched an audit of Theater Doc, an independent theater in Moscow known for productions focusing on pressing societal issues in contemporary Russia. Authorities say they are looking for signs of promotion of terrorism, drugs, and “gay-propaganda” in three Theater Doc productions. 

      • Russia: Conviction in Politically Motivated Case

        A court in Moscow found Roman Udot, an election rights activist, guilty on November 28, 2019 of threatening the life of two broadcast journalists in a politically motivated prosecution, Human Rights Watch said today. The court sentenced Udot to 320 hours of correctional labor.

      • Thanksgiving Is Dedicated to Erasing the Ruthlessness of English Settlers

        Thanksgiving is a colonial holiday meant to erase the ruthlessness of English settlers. In a way, Thanksgiving is the perfect American holiday: It is based on the erasure of Indigenous peoples, promotes a false vision of peaceful cooperation between nations, and has now become an excuse to indulge in the spectacles of hyper-consumption and football.

      • Thanksgiving Should Be America’s Day of the Dead

        Once upon a time, in a land far far away, There lived a group of magical white Christians called the Pilgrims. After growing weary of their King’s discrimination against witch trials and buckle-hats, they climbed aboard a magic ship called the Mayflower and sailed the deadly Atlantic on a quest for religious freedom and laissez-faire capitalism. They found a wild, mysterious and sparsely populated New World and quickly busied themselves building the foundation of the exceptional American Dream. When they came face to face with pestilence, they graciously excepted agricultural advice from an unwashed horde of noble savages, who were intern thanked with an invite to a grand feast of Thanksgiving.

      • Prompted by Local Activists, Congressman McGovern Condemns the Coup in Bolivia

        Thirteen of us squeezed into Congressman Jim McGovern’s small office in Northampton, Massachusetts, far outnumbering the number of chairs available. At the head of the table sat Koby Gardner-Levine, the congressman’s Northampton district representative. Outside, a couple dozen more stood in the near-freezing temperature chanting, “Evo, amigo, el pueblo está contigo” (Evo, brother, the people are with you), holding signs that read “Say no to the coup!” and “Hands off Bolivia.”

      • The Indigenous Worldview Is Our Only Hope for Survival

        The recent U.S.-supported overthrow of Bolivia’s Indigenous president, Evo Morales, is but one example of how endemic anti-Indigenous sentiment is within neoliberal movements. This includes many of us who are influenced by their hegemonic strategies and media, including the Organization of American States, which accepted the legitimacy of right-wing Morales replacement Sen. Jeanine Áñez. In 2013, Áñez tweeted: “I dream of a Bolivia free of satanic indigenous rites” and recently disregarded the comments of Christian right-wing minister Luis Fernando Camacho, who stood next to her when she announced her acceptance of the presidency and said, “Pachamama will never return. Today Christ is returning to the Government Palace. Bolivia is for Christ.”

      • How the OAS, and the Media’s Lack of Scrutiny, Caused a Violent Coup in Bolivia

        As often happens when an elite-driven coup leads to US-endorsed regime change, there are powerful attempts to disguise its real character. A recurrent method is to blame the coup on its victim. Of this, the November 10, 2019 coup in Bolivia is a textbook example. The narrative went as follows. Bolivian president Evo Morales, eager to perpetuate himself in power, orchestrated a fraudulent election. His people saw this as deceitful and authoritarian. A popular uprising ensued, eventually leading to Morales’s resignation and exile.

      • Native Women Were Forcibly Sterilized — and They Fought Back

        I was 12 years old when I first heard about the forced sterilization of my people. A close friend of my family — the kind of person you call “auntie,” even though you’re not related — who was Menominee, like me, told me and my sister that she worried about Native girls who were registered tribal members. Even though we didn’t live on a reservation, our “auntie” feared the reach of the government and the violence it had so often disguised as “health care.” She came of age during the 1970s, at the height of the government’s forced sterilizations of Native women. Close friends of hers had been sterilized without their knowledge. I was too young to fully understand the trauma she carried, knowing that such violence had been perpetrated against people she loved, and knowing that any Native person, like her, who was capable of giving birth, was under threat. Looking back, I understand why she remained frightened, in spite of public health victories that had caused forced sterilizations to ebb in the U.S., and in spite of the fact that we didn’t receive our medical care through the Indian Health Service. My “auntie” had lived through a massive genocidal onslaught. Her sense of dread was permanent.

      • ‘This Was a Test Case to See How a Couple of Photos Could Silence Women’
      • China warns of retaliation after Trump signs bill backing Hong Kong protesters

        The bill slaps levies on individuals who commit human rights violations in Hong Kong and prevents them from entering the U.S. It also requires the State Department to give an annual report to lawmakers on whether Hong Kong remains “sufficiently autonomous” from mainland China.

      • Eyewitnesses on the Unrest in Iran

        Poverty, hardship and a sense of hopelessness are driving protesters into the streets in Iran, where they have been met with brutality by the Revolutionary Guard. Witnesses describe the dramatic events unfolding in the country.

      • 1 in 2 Indians paid a bribe at least once in the past year, survey finds

        The survey, conducted by independent anti-corruption advocates Transparency International India (TII) and social media platform LocalCircles, found that bribery had actually reduced by 10% over the past year. But it remains rampant, with 51% of respondents admitting they had paid bribes.

      • The fight to get citizenship for descendants of German Jews

        A British lawyer is accusing the German government of violating the country’s constitution by refusing to restore the citizenship of thousands of people descended from victims of the Nazis. He argues that the law began to be misapplied under the lingering influence of former Nazis in the 1950s and 60s, and that it’s still being misapplied today.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Native IPv6: One Month Later

        That’s telling me I received 1.8 times as much traffic via IPv6 over the past month as I did over IPv4. Even discounting my backups (the 2 v6 peaks), which could account for up to half of that, that means IPv6 and IPv4 are about equal. That’s with all internal networks doing both and no attempt at traffic shaping between them – everything’s free to pick their preference.

        I don’t have a breakdown of what went where, but if you run a network and you’re not v6 enabled, why not? From my usage at least you’re getting towards being in the minority.

      • Why I Voted to Sell .ORG

        Hi, I’m Richard. I’ve been around the Internet for a while. I work for Cisco now, and used to lead security for Firefox. I’ve published a few RFCs and served on the Internet Engineering Steering Group (the board of the IETF). I was a co-founder of Let’s Encrypt and I currently serve on its board. I care about the Internet, and I care about nonprofits.
        I’m also a member of the Board of the Internet Society, and in that role, I joined the board’s unanimous decision to sell the Public Interest Registry (PIR), the registry for the .org top-level domain, to Ethos Capital. Since this transaction has gotten some attention, I’d like to speak a little about why, in my estimation, this deal is a good one for the Internet.

    • Monopolies

      • China issues directive to ‘intensify’ protections around intellectual property [sic] rights [sic]

        The General Offices of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the Chinese State Council issued a joint directive designed to strengthen controls around Chinese IP [sic] rights (IPR).

        While the directive itself was not made public, the Chinese State Council announcement quotes from it, saying that “strengthening IPR [sic] protection is the most important content of improving the IPR [sic] protection system and also the biggest incentive to boost China’s economic competitiveness.”

      • No ‘phase two’ U.S.-China deal on the horizon, officials say

        In October, U.S. President Donald Trump said during a press conference with Chinese vice premier Liu He that he expected to quickly dive into a second phase of talks once “phase one” had been completed. The second phase would focus on a key U.S. complaint that China effectively steals U.S. intellectual property [sic] by forcing U.S. companies to transfer their technology to Chinese rivals, he said at the time.

      • This Czech search engine was beating Google until recently. It says Google isn’t playing fair

        If you live outside the Czech Republic, you’ve probably never heard of the search engine Seznam. But for many Czechs, as the company likes to say, “Seznam.cz is synonymous with the internet.”

        Seznam is an internet search company whose algorithms are built on the Czech language. It launched in 1996 in Prague, with about 50,000 Czech koruna (about $2,200) in funding. Early versions of Seznam.cz displayed a list of popular Czech sites—seznam means “list” in Czech—as well as a summary of Czech news.

        That was two years before Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google in Palo Alto. As Google gobbled up most of the global search market over the next decade, Seznam’s unique Czech identity made it the rare local player that held its ground in search. Seznam also expanded into other free services like maps, email, and price comparison.

      • Patents

        • Delhi HC Division Bench Restores Sanctity of Three-Pronged Test for Interim Injunctions; Sets Aside Two Interim Injunction Orders against Natco

          In a very welcome and significant development, on July 11 this year, a Division Bench of the Delhi High Court set aside two interim injunction orders granted by a Single Judge against Natco, for having been passed without the Court forming an opinion on the three elements of the well-settled test for interim injunctions i.e. prima facie case, balance of convenience and irreparable harm.

          The Court noted that an order in an interim injunction application must necessarily indicate that the court has considered these three elements in arriving at the conclusion as to the grant or non-grant of the injunction. It further emphasised that in case of patent infringement suits, particularly those involving pharma patents, the court must also consider the additional elements that have been discussed in various cases. It accordingly directed the Single Judge to decide both the interim injunction applications afresh, without being affected by the order in Sterlite Technologies case (discussed below) which had been blindly relied upon to grant the injunctions straight away.

      • Trademarks

        • ‘Day day up’ trade mark case and two English systems in China

          Many years ago, in a junior high school English exam, this Kat wrote a phrase she had encountered several times in English magazines and American movies, etc.: ‘Long time no see’. To her surprise, her favourite English teacher – at the time – circled the ‘mistake’ with harsh red ink and sharply criticised this apparently ungrammatical turn of phrase.

          The red circle has remained fresh until today… and it prompted this Kat to realise the co-existence of, at least, two categories of the English language: the one that is considered correct by, well, the ministry of education at that time and the other, which embodies the rest, which apparently includes some widely-used expressions that are not entirely grammatically correct.

          For instance, ‘long time no see’ (the metaphrase of ‘好久不见’, meaning: ‘(I) Have not seen you for a long time.’), functions as a pidgin, which facilitates communication instead of obstructing it. Consequently, it has long been used as a fixed expression in Hard to Kill (movie, 1990), Rabbit Rest (book, 1990), Cider House (book, 1992) and Mask (movie, 1994) – so, it’s not so ‘wrong’, is it?

          Recently, a case in China raised a similar question: when it comes to assessing the similarities between two verbal signs – one in Chinese and the other in English – does the ungrammatical metaphrase of the Chinese sign count?

        • EU joins Geneva Act of Lisbon Agreement on GIs

          WIPO has announced that the European Union has become the fifth member of the Geneva Act of the Lisbon Agreement on Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications. As the EU is the fifth member to join, the Act can now enter into force.

      • Copyrights

Many European Patents Lack Validity and Blogs/Press Won’t Talk About That

Posted in Europe, Patents at 4:47 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Many European Patents Lack Validity. But reporting on such facts won't be good for my readers. So I look the other way while taking payments from patent maximalists.

Summary: The persistent denials from the EPO and inability of the media to cover the news (as opposed to EPO puff pieces) may mean that the avalanche of European Patents will carry on as long as the Office survives

THE USPTO can no longer grant patents on life as hastily and as easily as before. We’ve been including several links to news reports about it (in Daily Links). Mayo and Myriad (in 35 U.S.C. § 101 it’s mostly the former) contributed to this after SCOTUS overturned decisions made by the Federal Circuit. Here in Europe the European Patent Office (EPO) typically ignores justice, laws, courts, and judges. How can it? It can! It’s above the law! Look what Battistelli got away with; António Campinos covers it all up and continues promoting software patents in Europe, even by intervening (one might say “meddling”) in legal cases of BoA regarding software patents. Isn’t it astounding that here in Europe we haven’t the Rule of Law? Nontechnical career-climbing alcoholics can push around judges and punish entire courts by sending them to Haar just to ‘make a point’…

Where’s European media? Sorry, it’s dead. It’s composed by law firms, as we’ve just noted again. It’s like regulatory capture.

“Where’s European media? Sorry, it’s dead. It’s composed by law firms, as we’ve just noted again.”What about blogs? Sorry, they’re also captured by the litigation giants, more so after threats from the EPO. Rose Hughes (AstraZeneca) still leads IP Kat‘s way when it comes to EPO coverage, never touching any of the ongoing scandals, occasionally promoting UPC lies, and intentionally failing to note that the EPC is being violated. IP Kat is the opposite of what it used to be. Yesterday she wrote

Notably, Dirk Visser is not a supporter of the Board’s reasoning in T 1933/12, describing their justification of the co-applicant approach as “poor” (The Annotated European Patent Convention, Article 87(1)). Mr Visser further argues that the co-applicant approach of T 1933/12 is inconsistent with the EPO’s reasoning that all applicants (X and Y) of the priority application (or their successor(s) in title) are named on the subsequent application claiming priority (as in the CRISPR case). The latter is based on the understanding that X and Y are a legal unity that cannot be divided, whilst the co-applicant approach permits a change of the legal unity of X+Y into X+Y+Z.


The GSK patent was revoked on grounds other than invalid priority. GSK has appealed the decision. In reply to the appeal, Eli Lilly has argued that it was incorrect for the EPO to apply the co-applicant to the patent. Lilly particularly cites T 205/14 and T 517/14 in which the Board (3.3.01) required, in a situation analogous to that in the case in EP 1965823 (GSK), evidence of a transfer of the right to priority to the additional applicant (Z) of the PCT application from the applicants (X+Y) of the priority applications. None-the-less, the position of the Opposition Board in EP 1965823 is broadly in line with a number of opposition division decisions, e.g. EP2940044, and the Guidelines for Examination.

There is another pending appeal challenging the co-applicant approach. The case relates to one of AbbVie’s Humria patents (T 1837/19). In this case, Abbott Laboratories was listed as the applicant for the PCT application for all designated states apart from the US. The applicant-inventors of the US provisional applications from which priority was claimed were listed as the applicants for the US designation. The opponent has argued in their Statement of Grounds of appeal that the EP application is just one of the bundle of applications making up the PCT application, and that the EP application is different from and therefore does not include the applicants of the US provisional.

Unlike the issue at stake in the CRISPR appeal, the case law supporting the co-applicant approach is flaky at best. However, it seems likely that we will soon receive clarity on the legality of the co-applicants approach from the Boards of Appeal. Will the Boards of Appeal follow the more lenient approach to priority represented by the co-applicant approach followed by the opposition division, or will we see a tightening up of the requirements?

Well, these Boards of Appeal lack independence (the Office breaks the law). Should not that be mentioned? Notice that many of the above companies are partners and rivals of AstraZeneca, the writer’s paymasters. But the affiliation with AstraZeneca isn’t entirely concealed (to be fair to her). It’s not properly disclosed, so still…

“The lack of actual journalism in the area of patents is a very major crisis and even blogs have been hijacked by patent zealots. They’re a multi-billion-dollar ‘industry’ which produces nothing at all. Except agony.”The quality of European Patents continues to collapse and as we mentioned earlier in the week, many of them perish in courts. No wonder the number of European Patent applications is decreasing. The EPO granted a bunch of fake patents and only lawyers have benefited; it doesn’t matter to them who wins disputes, only that the disputes go on and on (more legal bills).

PR Newswire UK (press release site) has just published this press release about a high-profile dispute over a European Patent:

On November 19, 2019, the Mannheim Regional Court heard two cases brought by SolarEdge, an Israeli provider of power optimizers and solar inverters, claiming that Huawei’s PV optimizers infringed on its patents. The court concluded that Huawei did not infringe on SolarEdge’s patent for one case, and deferred the hearing for the other case due to insufficient evidence. On November 21, 2019, the European Patent Office (EPO) heard a patent opposition case brought by Huawei against SolarEdge. The EPO decided to revoke SolarEdge’s patent relating to the inverter multi-level topology.

A Huawei spokesperson welcomed the court’s decision. As one of the world’s largest holders of intellectual property rights, Huawei actively protects its own intellectual property rights and fully respects the rights of others. Huawei advocates the use of legal means to resolve disputes over intellectual property rights, and insists on taking legal action to protect its rights and interests.

Robin Whitlock of Renewable Energy Magazine has also just mentioned this fake European Patent:

The court heard the two cases on 19th November 2019, in which Israeli provider of power optimisers and solar inverters SolarEdge claimed that Huawei’s PV optimisers infringed on its patents. On 21st November 2019, the European Patent Office (EPO) heard a patent opposition case brought by Huawei against SolarEdge. The EPO decided to revoke SolarEdge’s patent relating to the inverter multi-level topology.

A Huawei spokesperson welcomed the decision by the court that the company did not infringe on SolarEdge’s patents along with the court’s decision to defer the second case on grounds of insufficient evidence.

The Huawei spokesperson said that as one of the world’s largest holders of intellectual property rights, Huawei actively protects its own intellectual property rights and fully respects the rights of others. The spokesperson added that Huawei advocates the use of legal means to resolve disputes over intellectual property rights, and insists on taking legal action to protect its rights and interests.

We derive no pleasure from such news; we feel somewhat vindicated, sure, but what we have here is a couple of companies wasting a lot of money (potential salaries for more workers) on a baseless dispute due to a fake European Patent. Who profits from all this? Lawyers. In-house or otherwise (for smaller companies it’s even more expensive as they lack the staff to deal with this).

Kilburn & Strode LLP and Freddy Thiel have meanwhile published and promoted this self-serving puff piece about the firm’s own lawyers who look to exploit the EPO for endless litigation. In their own words:

The quality of a patent can be directly linked to the relationship between in-house attorney and inventor (and outside counsel, if involved). It is quite possible that, without a good rapport, an attorney may find it hard to get the required attention from the inventor. They may miss much of the detail needed to produce a patent application that stands up in front of the EPO, where flexibility post filing is much more limited.


Keep asking questions, even ones that may seem obvious. Sometimes obvious questions elicit the best answers.

“I’ve never been afraid of telling an inventor that I know nothing about the tech. Simple questions often lead to finding a key ingredient to the recipe for the perfect invention capture. Sometimes popping a simple question or a remark can lead the inventor to think about the fundamental aspects of the invention, which they may otherwise have been overlooked. Inventors are generally much smarter than the EPO’s “Skilled Person” and often disregard what could end up being patentable inventions.The risk with a simple question is that it could cause the inventors to roll their eyes. You can back up a simple question by pointing out an inconsistency or gap in their discussion of the invention to show your true level of understanding and bring them back on board.”

Imagine that this is what counts as ‘journalism’ (and shows up in Google News as EPO and patent “news”). The lack of actual journalism in the area of patents is a very major crisis and even blogs have been hijacked by patent zealots. They’re a multi-billion-dollar ‘industry’ which produces nothing at all. Except agony.

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