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11.13.19

Links 13/11/2019: Docker Enterprise Bought, WordPress 5.3, Qt 5.12.6 Released

Posted in News Roundup at 1:04 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Server

      • Mirantis acquires Docker Enterprise

        Docker, the technology, is famous. It kick-started the container revolution. Docker, the company, is famous for failing to profit on its technology. Now, in a move indicating that Docker CEO Rob Bearden wasn’t able to obtain badly needed capital, Mirantis, a prominent OpenStack and Kubernetes cloud company, has acquired Docker Enterprise product line, developers, and business.

        The deal is effective immediately. Mirantis CEO and co-founder Adrian Ionel, said in an e-mail interview, “We are not disclosing the terms of the deal. The deal closes Wednesday [Nov. 12, 2019] morning.”

      • IBM

        • Kubernetes: 3 ways to get started

          Why has Kubernetes developed a reputation as a powerful tool? As Red Hat technology evangelist Gordon Haff has noted, “Kubernetes continues to gain steam in enterprises, and for good reason: It tames the complexity that arises as you begin to use containers at scale. It automates and orchestrates Linux container operations, eliminating many manual tasks involved in deploying and scaling containerized applications.”

          It’s also known for its learning curve: You can get a cluster up and running in a sandbox with relative ease, but running Kubernetes in production isn’t actually child’s play.

          That means that getting started with Kubernetes can feel daunting for individuals and teams new to it. This shouldn’t be crippling, though. Everyone starts somewhere.

          [...]

          Ram Middela, practice lead at NetEnrich, notes that Minikube gives you a chance to test-drive many of Kubernetes features in a single VM on a local machine.

          “You can explore most of the actual Kubernetes features from a developer perspective and learn about its features so that you can write your application deployment files and then run them on Minikube,” Middela says.

    • Audiocasts/Shows

      • mintCast 321.5 – Wololo

        In our Innards section, we decide when it’s the right time to suggest switching to Linux.

      • 2019-11-12 | Linux Headlines

        Python’s package manager looks forward to some much-needed love, PeerTube and Termshark both have major releases, and Mozilla joins forces to push WebAssembly outside the browser.

      • Distro Disco | LINUX Unplugged 327

        Get to know our Linux Users Group a little better and learn why they love their Linux distros of choice, and the one thing they’d change to make them perfect.

      • Episode 87 | This Week in Linux

        On this episode of This Week in Linux, Pine64 announces the pre-orders for the PinePhone are coming this week! AMD Announces Latest Threadripper & Ryzen 9 CPUs. We’ve got the results from the openSUSE Name Change vote. In Distro News, Ubuntu pledges support for Raspberry Pis, elementary OS Adds Flatpak Support, and we got new releases from KaOS and Chrome OS. Microsoft confirms that their Edge browser is coming to Linux. Linus Torvalds was interviewed recently where he declared he is ‘Not a Programmer Anymore’, we’ll take a closer look at that. In Linux Gaming News, Steam releases beta support for Containers in Steam for Linux. Google Reveals Stadia Launch Games and further info on the service. We also got some really interesting news from Valve where they might launch their own Stadia competitor called “Steam Cloud Gaming”. All that and much more on Your Weekly Source for Linux GNews!

      • Full Circle Magazine: Full Circle Weekly News #153
    • Kernel Space

      • Linux 5.3.11

        I’m announcing the release of the 5.3.11 kernel.

        All users of the 5.3 kernel series must upgrade.

        The updated 5.3.y git tree can be found at:

        git://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-stable.git linux-5.3.y

        and can be browsed at the normal kernel.org git web browser:

        https://git.kernel.org/?p=linux/kernel/git/stable/linux-s…

      • Linux 4.19.84
      • Linux 4.14.154
      • Linux 4.9.201
      • Linux 4.4.201
    • Benchmarks

      • The Gaming Performance Impact From The Intel JCC Erratum Microcode Update

        This morning I provided a lengthy look at the performance impact of Intel’s JCC Erratum around the CPU microcode update issued for Skylake through Cascade Lake for mitigating potentially unpredictable behavior when jump instructions cross cache lines. Of the many benchmarks shared this morning in that overview, there wasn’t time for any gaming tests prior to publishing. Now with more time passed, here is an initial look at how the Linux gaming performance is impacted by the newly-released Intel CPU microcode for this Jump Conditional Code issue.

    • Applications

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • Bridge Constructor Portal – Portal Proficiency DLC out now

        Bridges, Portals, Turrets, Laser Beams and plenty more await in the Bridge Constructor Portal – Portal Proficiency DLC.

        In the first expansion to Bridge Constructor Portal, it offers up another 30 levels where you attempt to safely get your test subjects to the exit. It can get a little complicated though, as it’s not just bridge building this time as you’re also placing multiple sets of portals.

      • Commandos 2 – HD Remaster now releasing next Spring for Linux

        Kalypso Media and developers Yippee! Entertainment have announced that the Commandos 2 – HD Remaster, which will support Linux, is now going to be releasing in 2020.

        Originally due sometime towards the end of the year, Kalypso Media emailed out today a change in the planning. It’s releasing for Windows first in January 2020, with all other versions to follow in Spring 2020. No reason was given for the delay to Linux, Mac and Consoles however they were very clear in their press email to us that Linux is supported still.

      • Cyberpunk side-scrolling stealth shooter Contract Work arrives on Linux this month

        Iterative Games say they’ve combined elements inspired by Contra and Metal Gear Solid to create a cyberpunk side-scroller shooter with stealth elements with Contract Work.

        Funded on Kickstarter way back in 2013, Contract Work is the creation of Kee-Won Hong, the sole developer of Iterative Games. What they’re attempting to do with Contract Work is take some elements of classic retro shooters like Megaman and Contra, add in some character development and mix in a cyberpunk world like you might find in Akira or Ghost in the Shell. What they’ve ended up with here is a mix of so many things.

      • Play as a fusion powered killer android in a tech demo of LAZR, an upcoming Clothformer

        Platformers are out, Clothformers are in. Well, that’s what the developer of LAZR wants you to believe with an impressive tech demo release of their in-development title.

        Stop right there, what’s a Clothformer? Well, it’s a pretty much an action platformer with added “realistic cloth simulations with full destruction” which developer Garrick Campsey thinks makes LAZR unique. Is it though? Well, going by the tech demo I’ve played through I was certainly very impressed with it.

      • Shovel Knight: King of Cards and Shovel Knight Showdown releasing December 10

        After a delay to both, Yacht Club Games have now announced that both Shovel Knight: King of Cards and Shovel Knight Showdown will release with Linux support on December 10.

        Shovel Knight is a very popular side-scrolling platform inspired by the art-style and gameplay from the 8-bit era. It’s a fantastic game and over time it has expanded quite a lot thanks to multiple free expansions. Shovel Knight: King of Cards is the next big expansion, and it’s actually the final campaign in the Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove saga.

      • Small and challenging space game Pulstario where you rescue souls in the void is coming to Linux

        Quick news tip to start your Wednesday morning, as the developer of Pulstario has confirmed their game is coming to Linux.

        Developed by Fred Wood, who previously made the quite popular platformers LOVE and kuso, Pulstario has you pilot a shop through a void to collect lost souls. Quite a short game too, Wood said it should only take around 30 minutes to finish the main game. However, it will have multiple modes and secret levels to find.

      • Super Indie Karts adds back the Battle Mania mode with the latest update

        The retro kart racing game Super Indie Karts has finally added the Battle Mania mode back into the game after being removed backed in 2017 with a previous update.

        Battle Mania has 9 arenas to race around and battle each with 3 different styles including Super Arenas, Ultra Arenas and Cage Arenas. Included modes are: Egg Crackers – protect your 3 eggs, Shroom Hunters – find the Shrooms first and Jewel Grabbers – collect the most jewels.

        With it now back, the developer said they will be making further updates to expand it with some “Indie themed modes and arenas too”.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KDE Frameworks 5.64.0 released with several new improvements

          Yesterday, KDE announced the release of KDE Frameworks 5.64.0. The October 2019 monthly release includes many changes and bug fixes.

          KDE Frameworks is 80 add-on libraries for coding applications with Qt, the free, open-source widget toolkit for creating graphical user interfaces and cross-platform apps that work on various platforms, such as Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux platforms.

          The planned KDE Frameworks 5.64.0 release is part of a monthly release series designed to quickly and predictably make improvements available to developers.

    • Distributions

      • Screenshots/Screencasts

      • Debian Family

        • Debian reconsiders init-system diversity

          The immediate motivation for a reconsideration would appear to be the proposed addition of elogind, a standalone fork of the systemd-logind daemon, to Debian. Elogind would provide support for systemd’s D-Bus-based login mechanism — needed to support small projects like the GNOME desktop — without the need for systemd itself. The addition of elogind has been controversial; it is a difficult package to integrate for a number of reasons. Much of the discussion has evidently been carried out away from the mailing lists, but some context on the problem can be found in this bug report. In short: merging elogind appears to be complex enough that it would be hard to justify in the absence of a strong commitment to the support of non-systemd init systems. It seems possible that this commitment no longer exists across the distribution as a whole; the purpose of a general resolution would be to determine whether that is the case or not.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Outs Major Linux Kernel Security Updates for All Supported Ubuntu OSes

          As announced the other day, Canonical was quick to respond to the latest security vulnerabilities affecting Intel CPU microarchitectures, so they now published Linux kernel updates to mitigate them. These are CVE-2019-11135, CVE-2018-12207, CVE-2019-0154, and CVE-2019-0155, which could allow local attackers to either expose sensitive information or possibly elevate privileges or cause a denial of service.

          On top of these security issues affecting Intel CPUs, the new Linux kernel security updates also address three vulnerabilities (CVE-2019-15791, CVE-2019-15792, and CVE-2019-15793) discovered by Google Project Zero’s Jann Horn in the shiftfs implementation, which could allow a local attacker to either execute arbitrary code, cause a denial of service (system crash), or bypass DAC permissions.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • What you need to know about burnout in open source communities

        Earlier this year, I was burned out. Coincidentally, at the time, I was also researching the subject of burnout. It’s taken some time for me to take what I researched and experienced and put it into words.

        Recently, the International Classification of Diseases classified burnout as an occupational phenomenon. It defines burnout as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”

      • CMS

        • WordPress 5.3 “Kirk”

          5.3 expands and refines the block editor with more intuitive interactions and improved accessibility. New features in the editor increase design freedoms, provide additional layout options and style variations to allow designers more control over the look of a site.

          This release also introduces the Twenty Twenty theme giving the user more design flexibility and integration with the block editor. Creating beautiful web pages and advanced layouts has never been easier.

      • Public Services/Government

        • Big believer in government open source? Help with an open task on code.gov

          Want to collaborate on government open source code projects? Don’t forget about code.gov.

          Technologists who want to support the various missions of the federal government need not take on a full-time role to contribute. The General Services Administration‘s lead for code.gov, Karen Trebon, gave a shoutout to the site’s “open tasks” tab during a panel at the Red Hat Government Summit on Tuesday.

      • Programming/Development

        • Qt 5.12.6 Released

          m happy to Announce we have released Qt 5.12.6 today.

          The Qt 5.12 LTS is in ‘strict’ phase, so it will receive only the selected important bug and security fixes. This sixth patch release for Qt 5.12 LTS series contains more than 50 bug fixes including fixes for CVE-2019-16168 , CVE-2019-14973 , CVE-2019-17546 and CVE-2019-13720. Please check other most important changes from Qt 5.12.6 Changes Files.

          Qt 5.12.6 is now available via the maintenance tool of the online installer. For new installations, please download latest online installer from Qt Account portal or from qt.io Download page. Offline packages are available for commercial users in the Qt Account portal and at the qt.io Download page for open-source users. You can also try out the Commercial evaluation option from the qt.io Download page.

        • How to drive customer experience with agile principles

          Customer experience has never been more important. People can find out just about anything with a few clicks or a voice search on their phones. They can research products, services, and companies. They can do business with organizations all over the world. They can buy with a swipe and have things shipped right to their home within a day.

        • When your data doesn’t fit in memory: the basic techniques

          You need a solution that’s simple and easy: processing your data on a single computer, with minimal setup, and as much as possible using the same libraries you’re already using. And much of the time you can actually do that, using a set of techniques that are sometimes called “out-of-core computation”.

  • Leftovers

    • Health/Nutrition

    • Security (Confidentiality/Integrity/Availabilitiy)

      • Canonical Announces Ubuntu Updates to Mitigate Latest Intel Vulnerabilities

        Following on the footsteps of Red Hat, Canonical also announced today that it has prepared updates for all of its supported Ubuntu Linux releases to mitigate the latest Intel CPU security vulnerabilities.

        As we reported earlier, Intel announced today that several new security vulnerabilities are affecting various of its Intel CPU microarchitectures, as well as associated GPUs. These vulnerabilities are known as TSX Asynchronous Abort (CVE-2019-11135), Intel Processor Machine Check Error (CVE-2018-12207), and Intel i915 graphics hardware vulnerabilities (CVE-2019-0155, CVE-2019-0154).

        The first security vulnerability, TSX Asynchronous Abort (TAA), is related to the previously announced MDS (Microarchitectural Data Sampling) vulnerabilities. However, Canonical’s Alex Murray explains that it only affects Intel processors that support the Intel Transactional Synchronization Extensions (TSX). As such, the existing MDS mitigations will also mitigate TAA.

      • Linux vs. Zombieland v2: The security battle continues

        Here’s the bad news: We’re going to keep seeing fundamental Intel CPU security holes popping open until every last one of the current generations of these chips is in landfills. Zombieland v2 is only the latest of a line of problems, which go back to Meltdown and Spectre. The “good” news is for now Intel and the operating system companies are staying ahead of hackers. Here’s what Linux and Red Hat are doing about the latest nastiness.

      • Equifax Data Breach Update: Backsliding

        After Equifax’s calamitous 2017 data breach, its settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the private attorneys representing victims appears to offer two potential remedies to all 147 million American consumers affected: free credit monitoring, or if individuals already had free credit monitoring, an up to $125 cash payment. The FTC directed consumers affected by the breach to a third-party website where they could quickly and easily file their claim.

        At the time, EFF tepidly commented on the settlements’ efforts to compensate consumers. But we also noted that the $125 payments would come from a $31 million fund, meaning that if all 147 million victims chose the payment, each person’s payment would be reduced on a pro rata basis to as little as 21 cents each.

      • The Way America Votes Is Broken. In One Rural County, a Nonprofit Showed a Way Forward.

        Choctaw County’s election centers opened at 7 a.m. last Tuesday, and voters were greeted by poll workers who’d just set up brand-new voting machines.

        “If you need any help, just holler,” poll worker Albert Friddle told a voter as he walked her through the new system.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Walls in the Head: “Ostalgia” and the Berlin Wall Three Decades Later

        Walls have always served a dual purpose: they keep people in, and others out. The mentality of the wall is one of imprisonment and exclusion. Three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we see such infrastructure, both symbolically and in actuality, potent.

      • The Wall and General Pyrrhus

        Media jubilation reaches a climax on November 9th, thirty years after the bumbling, perhaps even misunderstood decision to open the gate for all East Germans to stream through, hasten to the nearest West Berlin bank for their “welcome present“ of 100 prized West German marks, and taste the joys of the western free market system. Within less than a year they would end the experiment known as the German Democratic Republic to join, and fully enjoy, the wealthy, healthy, prosperous united Germany, with its freedom of the press, speech, travel and consumer bliss.

      • Europe Poll Supports Killer Robots Ban

        Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At the conclusion of a diplomatic meeting scheduled for November 13-15, 2019, states will determine the next steps for addressing the threats posed by such weapons, which, once activated, would select and attack targets without human intervention.

      • Hazing was supposed to be dead in the Russian military. Now, a soldier who shot eight fellow servicemembers is bringing the issue back into the spotlight.

        On October 25, Ramil Shamsutdinov killed eight of his fellow soldiers. The shooting took place on a secret military base in Russia’s Zabaikalsky region that specializes in nuclear equipment operations. Both Shamsutdinov’s father and the soldier himself, who was serving Russia’s mandatory military term and was not a professional servicemember, said the motive behind the mass murder was hazing at the hands of Shamsutdinov’s fellow soldiers and officers. The Defense Ministry has categorically denied that claim. Meduza summarized what journalists have learned so far about the mass shooting and hazing in the contemporary Russian army.

      • Fidel, Three Years Later

        Fidel Castro, dead three years this month, resisted US power in a way that could be learned from. I don’t mean the Revolution. It began earlier. Castro insisted on that. Thus, the old flag and anthem were retained. The country was not renamed.

      • South Sudan Has 100 More Days to Transition to New Government

        Leaders and stakeholders of war-torn South Sudan have agreed to an additional 100 days to form a transitional government. Originally, the leaders of the peace process had a deadline of November 12.  

      • Philippine Vice President Could Score a ‘Drug War’ Win

        No one was surprised when Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo said recently that the country’s “war on drugs,” in which police have admitted to killing more than 5,500 people, was “not working.” What came as a surprise was Duterte’s reaction.

      • De Facto Martial Law in the Philippines

        In 2010, I was a summer intern for the largest, progressive human rights organization in the Philippines, Karapatan: Alliance for the Advancement of Peoples Rights. As a non-Filipino, I never imagined that I would become so involved in the Filipino cause. Faced, however, with the dire human rights situation as well as the fervor of the people’s movement – I realized that I not only supported the cause, but that I wanted to dedicate my life to the Philippine struggle. Suffice it to say, that summer changed my life.

      • How Iran-Backed Forces Are Taking Over Iraq

        Iraqi security and pro-Iranian paramilitary forces are shooting into crowds of protesters in a bid to drive them from the centre of Baghdad and end six weeks of demonstrations that have challenged the political system to an extent not seen since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

      • ‘She turned into a monster’ The St. Petersburg historian who murdered and dismembered his former student has his first day in court

        On November 9, police in St. Petersburg removed 63-year-old historian Oleg Sokolov from the Moyka River. He was found alive and carrying a backpack that contained two severed, apparently women’s hands. The body parts, it turns out, belonged to a Anastasia Eshchenko, a 24-year-old former student who lived with Sokolov as his fiancée. The St. Petersburg State University senior lecturer has confessed to murdering her, and on November 11 a court jailed him for two months, as investigators prepare their case against him. Meduza attended the first day of his trial.

      • Trump’s Syrian See-Saw: From Pullout to Pillage

        To withdraw, or not to withdraw? That is the question Donald Trump, in his own inimitable way, has answered both ways.

      • Supreme Court Lets Sandy Hook Shooting Lawsuit Go Forward

        The Supreme Court said Tuesday that a survivor and relatives of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting can pursue their lawsuit against the maker of the rifle used to kill 26 people.

      • Latest Israeli Assault on Gaza Continuation of ‘Torture and Torment of Palestinians,’ Says Jewish Voice for Peace

        “The illegal blockade of Gaza by Israel imprisons every aspect of life for Palestinians in Gaza, and the inhumane restrictions on food, electricity, and healthcare are all forms of violence, carried out daily for the past 11 years by Israel.”

      • Israel Targets Islamic Jihad Leader, Sending Message to Iran

        Israel on Tuesday targeted two senior commanders from the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, killing one in the Gaza Strip and missing the second in Syria as it stepped up its battle against Iran and its proxies across the region.

      • Horrifying Emails Reveal Stephen Miller’s White Nationalism

        Trump White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, as The Washington Post reported in August, “rarely puts anything in writing, eschewing email in favor of phone calls.” Despite making extensive anti-immigration comments in high school, and being, as the Guardian pointed out in 2017, “the architect of the first travel ban,” there has been little written evidence of Miller’s white nationalist views, aside from college newspaper columns and emails to reporters while an aide to then-Sen. Jeff Sessions. Until now.

      • Top Trump Aide Stephen Miller’s Affinity for White Nationalism Revealed in Leaked Emails

        “What Stephen Miller sent [in these] emails has become policy at the Trump administration,” says former editor for the far-right Breitbart news outlet.

      • Dreamers and Allies Rise Above Trump’s Latest ‘False, Divisive’ Attack as Supreme Court Hears Pivotal DACA Case

        “It is patently false that DACA recipients are ‘hardened criminals.’ Trump is just a frothing-at-the-mouth racist.”

      • South Korea Deports Two From North to Likely Abuse

        The South Korean government deported two North Korean fishermen on November 7, 2019 to face murder charges in North Korea, where they face likely torture.

      • Sweden’s 100 explosions this year: What’s going on?

        When three explosions took place in one night across different parts of Stockholm last month, it came as a shock to residents. There had been blasts in other city suburbs, but never on their doorstep.

        Swedish police are dealing with unprecedented levels of attacks, targeting city centre locations too. The bomb squad was called to deal with 97 explosions in the first nine months of this year.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

      • ‘Putin’s chef’ no longer owns catering company that was the largest business officially held in his name

        St. Petersburg businessman Evgeny Prigozhin is known for many things, from his reported control of a troll factory in the city to his alleged ties with the Wagner private military company (PMC). However, the largest enterprise Prigozhin officially owned was Concord. The restaurant and catering enterprise is recognized in the Russian public sphere as a frequent winner of government contracts and the subject of a recent dysentery scandal in Moscow schools. As of November 11, however, Russia’s federal registry of corporations and organizations lists a company called The Development Corporation, not Prigozhin, as the singular owner of Concord. RBC first reported on the change, while Current Time claimed that Concord’s ownership had actually been split between The Development Corporation and Prigozhin.

      • The company owned by Arkady Rotenberg that built Russia’s Crimean Bridge says it didn’t make a profit on the project

        Arkady Rotenberg’s “Mostotrest” construction company will likely earn no profits for building the bridge that connects Russia to Crimea, company head Vladimir Vlasov told Forbes magazine. Vlasov says “Stroygazmontazh” — another company Rotenberg owned until recently — will also net zero profit for its role in building the Crimean Bridge. “It will be good if [...] Stroygazmontazh stays out of the red,” he explained.

      • Esau, Shanghala forced to resign

        FISHERIES minister Bernhard Esau and justice minister Sacky Shanghala resigned from their government positions on Wednesday.
        Their resignations comes after The Namibian and other international media exposed how the two and Investec Namibia’s managing director, James Hatuikulipi, were alleged kingpins in a fishing scheme that generated kickbacks of at least N$150 million over four years.

        Documents show that their fishing schemes could involve as much as N$2,5 billion.

        The Namibian understands that president Hage Geingob told his inner circle earlier this month that Esau and Shanghala should “do the right thing and resign”.

    • Environment

      • Why SpaceX’s plan to put 25,000 satellites in orbit is bad news for astronomers [iophk: space junk]

        The private, Elon Musk–founded company launched one of its reusable rockets from Cape Canaveral on Monday with 60 satellites onboard, as part of the Starlink constellation, which will collectively provide satellite internet around the world, among other uses. The launch was the second payload of a satellite constellation that will eventually be made up of tens of thousands of orbiting transmitters, if all goes as planned. However, despite the mission being disguised by a humanitarian cause, this week’s launch brings forth ongoing worries many in the space science field have about the footprint of so many satellites, like reflected sunlight.

      • Greenpeace Report Offers Vision of ‘Smart Supermarkets’ and a Future Free of Single-Use Plastics

        “This report should serve as a model for retailers to follow, and shows that it is possible to end our throwaway culture for the sake of our oceans, waterways, and communities.”

      • Microplastics found in oysters, clams on Oregon coast, study finds

        Tiny threads of plastics are showing up in Pacific oysters and razor clams along the Oregon coast—and the yoga pants, fleece jackets, and sweat-wicking clothing that Pacific Northwesterners love to wear are a source of that pollution, according to a new Portland State University study.

      • Microplastics “washing right out into the ocean,” marine biologists say

        “These fibers are coming off fishing rope but a lot of them are coming off our own clothes. So as you’re washing your clothes, they’re washing down the drain,” Branden said. “They’re too small to get caught at the waste water treatment plant and they’re washing right out into the ocean.”

      • Baby Fish Nurseries Are Riddled With ‘Prey-Sized’ Plastic, Alarming Study Finds

        The study, led by researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences, found that larval fish nurseries off the coast of Hawaii are hotbeds of plastic pollution, with trash pieces outnumbering actual fish seven to one. As a result, baby fish looking for a bite are sometimes chowing down on tiny flecks of “prey-sized” plastic instead.

      • In Borneo, healthy people equals healthy forests

        At first, Webb was simply angry. But when she talked to people, she discovered that in many cases they have no choice. If a child or other family gets sick, they told her, logging is one of the only ways to get cash to pay for medical care.

        “At another national park where we recently just started working, one woman told me, ‘If anyone ever tells you that they have not logged to pay for health care, they are lying to you,’” Webb says. “Because there is no other way to get that much money and one medical emergency can cost an entire year’s income.”

      • How the U.S. betrayed the Marshall Islands, kindling the next nuclear disaster

        Between 1946 and 1958, the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs on, in and above the Marshall Islands — vaporizing whole islands, carving craters into its shallow lagoons and exiling hundreds of people from their homes.

        U.S. authorities later cleaned up contaminated soil on Enewetak Atoll, where the United States not only detonated the bulk of its weapons tests but, as The Times has learned, also conducted a dozen biological weapons tests and dumped 130 tons of soil from an irradiated Nevada testing site. It then deposited the atoll’s most lethal debris and soil into the dome.

        Now the concrete coffin, which locals call “the Tomb,” is at risk of collapsing from rising seas and other effects of climate change. Tides are creeping up its sides, advancing higher every year as distant glaciers melt and ocean waters rise.

      • How to Make ‘Farm-to-closet’ Clothing a Reality
      • Cuba’s urban farming shows way to avoid hunger

        Urban farming, Cuban-style, is being hailed as an example of how to feed ourselves when climate change threatens serious food shortages.

      • 350 Action Endorses Three ‘Progressive Climate Champions’ in 2020 House Races Against Establishment Democrats

        Jamaal Bowman, Jessica Cisneros, and Alex Morse will provide “the climate leadership required to address the crisis and take us into the climate decade,” the national organization said.

      • Experts Warn This Industry-Backed Attack on Science at EPA Would Be Among ‘Most Damaging’ of All Trump-Era Policies

        “Let’s call this what it is: an excuse to abandon clean air, clean water, and chemical safety rules.”

      • Energy

        • Koch Industries Ramps Up Lobbying Against Clean Car Policies

          Mandatory disclosure forms reveal that lobbying by Koch Industries is up by almost 20 percent compared to this time last year. According to the forms, Koch lobbying expenditures through the third quarter total $9.1 million, compared to $7.7 million through the third quarter of 2018. This increase comes after Democrats took control of the House, as the Green New Deal entered the political discourse, and while a number of clean transportation policies were considered by lawmakers. 

      • Wildlife/Nature

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • ‘That’s Ridiculous,’ Says Billionaire After Sanders Campaign Returns Her $470 Donation

        “What’s ridiculous is billionaires existing,” responded grassroots group People for Bernie.

      • Serve With Honor, Honor Those Who Serve; or Support Trump?

        Starting as Armistice Day, celebrated for the first time November 11, 1919–the first anniversary of the end of World War I in 1918—what we now call Veterans Day is the observance of thanks to those who have served military duty. It acknowledges the living and the dead for honorably representing the country during peacetime and war. This year it is imperative that people understand that honor and the name Donald Trump cannot fit in the same sentence. His dishonor to the service and sacrifice of American service members in Syria and to our Kurdish allies is the epitome of disgraceful.

      • Lula Free, Bolsonaro in Rage

        Last Friday, November 8, 2019, former President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva walked out of a prison in Curitiba and was greeted by throngs of supporters, many of whom had camped out since he was sent to jail more than two years ago.

      • Lula is Free: Can Socialism Be Restored?

        Just before 5 p.m. on Friday the 8th of November, Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva walked out of his prison in Curitiba, Brazil. Lula went to prison in April last year on a 12-year sentence. Five-hundred and eighty days of prison are now over, as the Federal Supreme Court ruled that inmates who have not yet exhausted their appeals should not be held in prison.

      • Israel is Silencing the Last Voices Trying to Stop Abuses Against Palestinians

        It has been a week of appalling abuses committed by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank – little different from the other 2,670 weeks endured by Palestinians since the occupation began in 1967.

      • Bolivia and Venezuela: Two Countries, But Same Hybrid War

        A coup took place in Bolivia on November 10. The fact that the president of the country, Evo Morales, resigned does not contradict the fact that a coup has taken place. Morales was forced by the military to resign. The perpetrators of the Hybrid War were envisioning this same scenario for Venezuela but failed while they succeed in Bolivia. What made the difference?

      • Trump Applauds Bolivia’s Military Coup As US Establishment Media Blame Morales For Turmoil

        President Donald Trump celebrated a military coup in Bolivia that forced President Evo Morales, who recently won a fourth term, to resign on November 10. “After nearly 14 years and his recent attempt to override the Bolivian constitution and the will of the people, Morales’ departure preserves democracy and paves the way for the Bolivian people to have their voices heard…”

      • Bolivia: Prioritize Rights in Wake of Morales Resignation

        The Organization of American States (OAS) members meeting about the situation in Bolivia on November 12, 2019, should send a strong message to Bolivian authorities to ensure full respect for people’s basic human rights.

      • In Statement That ‘Reads Like a Chilling Warning of More Coups to Come,’ Trump Celebrates Military Coup in Bolivia

        “The Trump administration has cast aside the pretext of calling for new elections. Now it’s praising Evo Morales’ resignation at the barrel of a gun.”

      • After Morales Ousted in Coup, the Lithium Question Looms Large in Bolivia

        Bolivia’s President Evo Morales was overthrown in a military coup on November 10. He is now in Mexico. Before he left office, Morales had been involved in a long project to bring economic and social democracy to his long-exploited country.

      • Democrats’ Slogans
      • Explainer: No, House Democrats Aren’t Violating Trump’s Rights

        “If the facts are your side,” famed attorney and former law professor Alan Dershowitz instructed his students, “pound the facts into the table. If the law is on your side, pound the law into the table. If neither the facts nor the law are on your side, pound the table.”

      • The Perfectly Legal Ways Foreign Powers Subvert US Democracy

        Foreign influence in America is the topic du jour. From the impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s request that a foreign power investigate a political opponent to the indictment of associates of his personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, for illegally funneling foreign money into U.S. elections, the nation has been transfixed by news of illegal foreign influence…

      • Trump’s Crime Against Humanity

        There is a different and better case to be made for the impeachment of President Trump than what we have seen so far.

      • Giuliani Was Close to a Podcast Deal With the News Outlet That Spread His Ukraine Conspiracies

        After John Solomon ran columns in The Hill that touched off a disinformation campaign against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, the publication had discussions with Rudy Giuliani about a business venture.

        As ProPublica revealed last month, Giuliani associate Lev Parnas had helped arrange an interview Solomon conducted with a Ukrainian prosecutor who claimed the Obama administration interfered with anti-corruption cases involving high-profile people, including Biden’s son Hunter. Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, trumpeted Solomon’s work on cable news. The Hill articles are now a central component of the Trump impeachment investigation.

      • Mulvaney Won’t Sue Over Impeachment, Declines to Cooperate

        White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Tuesday that he no longer plans to sue over the House impeachment proceedings and will instead follow President Donald Trump’s directions and decline to cooperate.

      • Sanford Suspends GOP Presidential Primary Challenge to Trump

        Mark Sanford dropped his challenge to President Donald Trump for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, saying the focus on impeachment has made it difficult for his campaign to gain traction.

      • Donald Trump Jr. Is Actually Laughing

        It is the day before Donald Trump’s inauguration. Don Jr. joins his father for a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, and Don Sr. lays a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. An Army bugler plays taps. “In that moment,” Don recalls in his new book, “Triggered,” he thought of “all the attacks we’d already suffered as a family, and about all the sacrifices we’d have to make to help my father succeed,” including giving up bits of the family business.

      • Europe is ‘terrified’ ISIS fighters will go free if repatriated

        Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Saturday that Turkey would send captured ISIS members back to their home countries, and he complained about European inaction on the matter.

      • A Taliban escapee, an English baby – and the dramatic story that followed

        For the mullahs, the sin of teaching English was compounded by teaching boys and girls under the same roof. They bullied Shams – and his family – but he was undeterred.

      • Socked Into the Puppet-Hole on Wikipedia

        How a lowly WIRED columnist got caught up in a secret war at one of the world’s biggest websites.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • John Oliver Takes On SLAPP Suits And Anti-SLAPP Laws With A Grand Musical Number

        Ever since coal boss Bob Murray threatened and then sued John Oliver and HBO over their story mocking his supposed concern for coal miners, I’ve been publicly (and possibly privately*) bugging Oliver and his team at HBO to do an episode specifically about SLAPP lawsuits and anti-SLAPP laws. And I’m happy to say that they listened! This past Sunday, Oliver’s big story was all about SLAPP suits and anti-SLAPP laws, and focused again on Bob Murray, who finally dropped his case against Oliver and HBO earlier this year. It is well worth watching all the way up until the end…

    • Privacy/Surveillance

      • FBI Asks Congress To Permanently Reauthorize The Phone Record Collection The NSA Voluntarily Shut Down

        Earlier this year, the NSA — after a few months of hedging — finally mothballed its phone record collection program. The modified phone metadata collection had posed problems for the NSA since its remodeling with the enactment of the USA Freedom Act, which forced the NSA to ask telcos for specific records, rather than just demanding they hand over everything on a rolling 90-day basis.

      • Russian ‘business patriotism’ group wants government registration for all Internet users

        The “Avanti” Entrepreneurs Association for the Development of Business Patriotism is asking Russia’s Parliament to introduce mandatory government registration for Internet access.

      • What Reporters Should Look For in Latest Facebook Document Leak

        NBC’s latest release of 7,000 pages of leaked internal Facebook documents has revealed how Facebook treated user data as leverage with external developers and spun anti-competitive moves as privacy improvements. As members of the press and civil society continue to inspect this massive volume of information in the documents, here are the most important things to look for from an antitrust and competition policy perspective.

        The first thing to look for is communications that help illustrate Facebook’s internal thinking about the market it operates in, its position, and the threats it faces. For any antitrust investigations around Facebook, one of the most relevant questions is how the company’s market itself is legally categorized and defined. Often companies facing scrutiny will argue that the market they operate in is enormous and diverse, with various competitors at all levels.

      • Federal Court: Suspicionless Border Searches Violate Journalists And Travelers’ Constitutional Right To Privacy

        A federal court declared that suspicionless border search policies employed by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) violate the Fourth Amendment right to privacy.

        The United States District Court in Massachusetts also ruled that seizures of electronic devices, without “reasonable suspicion,” violate the Fourth Amendment.

      • Federal Court Rules Suspicionless Searches of Travelers’ Phones and Laptops Unconstitutional

        In a major victory for privacy rights at the border, a federal court in Boston ruled today that suspicionless searches of travelers’ electronic devices by federal agents at airports and other U.S. ports of entry are unconstitutional. The ruling came in a lawsuit, Alasaad v. McAleenan, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and ACLU of Massachusetts, on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at U.S. ports of entry.“This ruling significantly advances Fourth Amendment protections for millions of international travelers who enter the United States every year,” said Esha Bhandari, staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project. “By putting an end to the government’s ability to conduct suspicionless fishing expeditions, the court reaffirms that the border is not a lawless place and that we don’t lose our privacy rights when we travel.”“This is a great day for travelers who now can cross the international border without fear that the government will, in the absence of any suspicion, ransack the extraordinarily sensitive information we all carry in our electronic devices,” said Sophia Cope, EFF Senior Staff Attorney.The district court order puts an end to Customs and Border Control (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) asserted authority to search and seize travelers’ devices for purposes far afield from the enforcement of immigration and customs laws. Border officers must now demonstrate individualized suspicion of illegal contraband before they can search a traveler’s device. The number of electronic device searches at U.S. ports of entry has increased significantly. Last year, CBP conducted more than 33,000 searches, almost four times the number from just three years prior.

      • Privacy Rights Group Demands Answers From Trump Administration on ‘Coercive’ DNA Testing at Border Crossings

        The UN High Commissioner for Refugees says the use of DNA testing “to establish family relationships in the refugee context…can have serious implications for the right to privacy and family unity.”

      • ‘Enormous Victory’: US Judge Rules Suspicionless Searches of Travelers’ Electronic Devices Unconstitutional

        “The court reaffirms that the border is not a lawless place and that we don’t lose our privacy rights when we travel.”

      • Court: Warrantless Searches of Phones Violate Fourth Amendment

        A federal court in Boston has ruled that warrantless U.S. government searches of the phones and laptops of international travelers at airports and other U.S. ports of entry violate the Fourth Amendment.

      • Copyright Professors Back ISP Charter to Avoid Dangerous Piracy Liability Precedent

        A group of 23 law professors are warning that a recent recommendation from a Colorado magistrate judge opens the door to unprecedented piracy liability risks. In addition to threatening Charter and other Internet providers, customers could be faced with privacy-invasive monitoring and permanent disconnections.

      • About the Apple Card

        I care about transparency and fairness. It’s why I was deeply annoyed to be told by AppleCard representatives, “It’s just the algorithm,” and “It’s just your credit score.” I have had credit in the US far longer than David. I have never had a single late payment. I do not have any debts. David and I share all financial accounts, and my very good credit score is higher than David’s. I had a career and was successful prior to meeting David, and while I am now a mother of three children — a “homemaker” is what I am forced to call myself on tax returns — I am still a millionaire who contributes greatly to my household and pays off credit in full each month. But AppleCard representatives did not want to hear any of this. I was given no explanation. No way to make my case.

      • Apple owns every mistake Goldman Sachs makes with its card

        Of course, you wouldn’t expect Goldman Sachs to apologize, because that could be used against it in the upcoming lawsuit. You also wouldn’t expect Goldman Sachs to apologize because it’s Goldman Effing Sachs, one of the architects of the housing crisis a decade ago that had to pay a $5 billion settlement and admit to a series of facts about how it misled investors.

        You know, the company that Apple partnered with to launch the Apple Card.

      • Google secretly swallowed health data of ‘tens of millions’ of Americans

        This data, which Google is said to be using to design new health-care focused software underpinned by its AI technology, was collected from “tens of millions” of US citizens across 21 states without patients or doctors having first been informed. As many as 150 Google staffers had access to the data, according to the report.

        Since the WSJ published its damning report, Google confirmed that it’s partnered with Ascension and moved quickly to quash privacy confirms, stating the deal is compliant with HIPAA, the federal law regulating the security and privacy of certain medical information.

      • The problem with Google’s health care ambitions is that no one knows where they end

        The problem is not the reporting; it’s that Google’s own ambitions in health care have no clear limits, which is something that Project Nightingale illustrates.

        At its core, this is a data deal. Google is centralizing patient information for Ascension, a nonprofit health care provider with thousands of facilities in 23 states. With the help of its cloud tools and G Suite, Google is collating Ascension patient data, including medication history, lab tests, and biographical information. This should improve treatment. In return, Google learns how to build its own medical tools, which it hopes to sell far and wide. As a creepy little extra spin, neither Google nor Ascension informed patients that their information was being used in this way — but this is completely legal, as Wired explains.

        Where things get murky is asking: what will Google do next? What does it do with this data, and what are its long-term ambitions with Ascension? According to the stories and press releases from yesterday, Google is doing the following: [...]

      • Why Facebook Passed on Buying the Predecessor to TikTok

        Facebook Inc. held talks over several months in 2016 to determine whether to buy Musical.ly, a rival app that would eventually evolve into global teen video sensation TikTok.

        Facebook ultimately walked away out of concern about the app’s young user base and Chinese ownership, according to a person familiar with the matter. But its interest back then may be pertinent to current government inquiries into Facebook’s history of pursuing and buying out competitors. Discussions started three years ago when Kevin Systrom, then chief executive officer of photo-sharing platform Instagram, visited Shanghai on an unrelated trip and met with Musical.ly’s founders, the person said. ByteDance Inc. — now the world’s largest startup — ended up acquiring the service for $800 million.

      • EFF Sues DHS to Obtain Information About the Agency’s Use of Rapid DNA Testing on Migrant Families at the Border

        San Francisco—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today to obtain information that will shine a light on the agency’s use of Rapid DNA technology on migrant families at the border to verify biological parent-child relationships.In a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) complaint filed today in federal court in San Francisco, EFF asked a judge to require DHS to disclose information about the agency’s deployment of Rapid DNA systems, including the number of individuals whose DNA has been collected, the accuracy of DNA matches, and the exact gene processing used to identify parent-child relationships. The lawsuit also seeks training materials, consent forms and privacy statements given to families, and locations of DHS’s Rapid DNA pilot programs.According to media reports, DHS, and its component Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), began a pilot program in May to conduct Rapid DNA testing on adults and children presenting themselves at the U.S. border. The purpose of the testing was to find individuals who were not related through a biological parent-child relationship and prosecute them for fraud. The pilot program then grew, with testing at seven locations at the U.S.-Mexico border. In June, DHS indicated that Rapid DNA testing is now part of the agency’s policy.DNA contains an extensive amount of sensitive personal information beyond mere identifying information and has the potential to reveal intensely private details about a person’s life. Rapid DNA is an automated system that produces DNA profiles in less than two hours from cheek swabs analyzed by a desktop machine. Rapid DNA testing has been criticized for failing to meet standards used by accredited DNA laboratories, with a Swedish report showing incorrect profiles and problems or errors in 36 percent of tests run on one particular Rapid DNA system.“Congress has never authorized ICE to conduct Rapid DNA testing on migrant families at the border, yet DHS has deployed this privacy-invasive technology without explaining how accurate the testing is, whether families can challenge the results, or how the program may be expanded in the future,” said EFF Staff Attorney Saira Hussain.One the most troubling aspects of the program is the government’s claim that the DNA testing is “voluntary.”

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • India Is Stifling Kashmir Journalists And Twitter Is Helping Get The Job Done

        India has expressed an interest in being considered a top-tier totalitarian state. Not content to let nearby nations claim all the glory in the “Terrible Places to Live” race, India has been stepping up its censorship and its domestic surveillance, presumably in hopes of being the next country to claim a coveted UN blacklist spot.

      • Wisconsin County Briefly Considers (Then Drops) Resolution To Threaten Journalists With Prosecution For Not Reprinting Entirety Of Gov’t Report

        It’s kind of stunning how frequently we see elected officials proposing things that are so blatantly unconstitutional that you wonder how they were proposed in the first place. Take, for example, a situation in southwest Wisconsin. Last week it was reported that the Lafayette County’s board would be considering a hilariously overbroad resolution that threatened to prosecute journalists if they did not report on the local “Review Board of the Water Quality Study.” The proposed resolution did not mince words, noting that it was put in place because of worries about “slander”:

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Causing ‘Profound’ Trauma, Trump Administration Detained Record-Breaking 70,000 Children in 2019

        “Does the U.S. provide mental health services for separated families who ask to be deported in order to reunite?”

      • A Refrain of ‘Drop the Charges’ Rises as Scott Warren Faces Retrial for Giving Aid to Migrants in Need

        “No one should die while attempting to migrate, and no one deserves to be punished for working to prevent those deaths.”

      • Ensuring All Get Aid During Humanitarian Crises

        Can you imagine living in a refugee camp and having to crawl to the latrine because it’s not accessible for you? Sadly, this is the reality for many people with disabilities and older people in countries experiencing conflict or natural disasters around the world.

      • For The Simple Cause Of Justice

        Chanting “Liberté Ou la Mort!” and bearing muskets, pitchforks and cane knives, over 500 black people marched 26 miles through former plantations in Louisiana this weekend to recreate this country’s largest but long-overlooked slave uprising.

      • Nigerian State Pushes to Keep Pregnant Girls in School

        Ekiti State in southwest Nigeria has adopted a policy to ban the expulsion of girls from schools during and after pregnancy, an important step in ending the longstanding discriminatory practice.

      • UAE: Political Detainees Languish Behind Bars

        The United Arab Emirates is hosting its second World Tolerance Summit as several activists are serving lengthy prison sentences following unfair trials, Human Rights Watch said today. The two-day conference on November 13 and 14, 2019 in Dubai under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE prime minister and the Dubai ruler, is part of UAE efforts to present itself as the “global capital of tolerance.”

      • The Sad Death of James Le Mesurier

        We should never forget that all human deaths are tragedies. No human is perfect and none is completely evil. Even the most wretched, snivelling excuse of a human being you can possibly imagine – say Ian Austin – has known a mother’s love. Le Mesurier leaves a wife and children who will be mourning. We should not forget that.

      • Girls as Young as 12 Were Strip-Searched in Australia

        From mid-2016 to mid-2019 in New South Wales, a state of 7.5 million people, 122 girls under the age of 18 were strip-searched in places outside police stations. Among them were two 12-year-olds and eight 13-year-olds. Searches of boys were not included in the data.

      • Treaties Between the United States and Indigenous Nations, Explained

        Treaties, and the U.S. government’s history of unilaterally breaching them, have had a profound effect on Native people. To be blunt, we were lied to. Treaties were used as a ruse to coax tribes out of defending their territory and to steal Native lands and resources.

        The U.S. made hundreds of treaties with Native nations. The list is exhaustive. I am Dakota and Lakota from the Oceti Sakowin (Great Sioux Nation), so I will focus on treaties that my people have signed with the government and how that has affected us.

      • Life Under Islamic State: Child Slaves

        As Islamic State militants lost their territorial holdings in Iraq and Syria, VOA chronicled the events through the words of the victims, in a 12-part series called “Life Under Islamic State.”

        Now, three years later, we bring you voices of victims who were silenced until recently. Officials estimate nearly 3,000 Yazidi people remain missing after being captured and enslaved by IS.

      • Border officials can’t have ‘boundless’ access to search devices, court rules

        The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, argued that the searches were unconstitutionally invasive. Those searches have been widespread under the Trump administration, with border officials searching devices 15,000 times in the first half of 2017 alone.

        The court said in its ruling today that government interests are “paramount” at the border, but that “even border searches are not boundless.” Electronic searches of gadgets still must meet the reasonable suspicion standard — otherwise, they violate the privacy interests of travelers. (The plaintiffs had asked for the court to find that a warrant was required.)

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

    • Monopolies

      • Facebook Pay is a new payment system for WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook

        Facebook is launching a new payments system today, appropriately named Facebook Pay. It will be available across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp, and it’s designed to facilitate payments across Facebook’s popular social networks and apps. You’ll be able to use Facebook Pay to send money to friends, shop for goods, or even donate to fundraisers. The service will be separate from Facebook’s new Calibra wallet and the Libra network, and it’s “built on existing financial infrastructure and partnerships,” according to the company.

      • Patents and Software Patents

        • Alice Doesn’t Block Good Patents, It Protects the Public By Requiring Real Invention

          Leaders of the Senate IP Subcommittee have been working, for nearly a year now, on producing some kind of legislation to weaken Section 101 of the Patent Act. Their proposal would throw out all the case law based on Section 101, including the Alice decision, which has been especially critical for keeping bogus software patents out of the system.

          They held three days of hearings on the Senate floor in June, but still haven’t presented a bill detailing the changes they want to make.  As we’ve explained before, weakening Section 101’s protections would be a disaster for innovation, and encourage patent trolls to squeeze money from small businesses.

      • Trademarks

        • The Color Magenta, Or How T-Mobile Thinks It Owns A General Color

          You might think that throwing a word like “magenta” into the Techdirt search engine wouldn’t get you any results. But you would be wrong about that and you’d be wrong entirely because of T-Mobile and its parent company Deutsche Telekom. See, Telekom has trademark rights in several countries for a very specific shade of magenta. And with those trademarks, Telekom rather enjoys threatening other businesses that dare to use anything that remotely looks like magenta in their trade dress, whether the color in question is actually magenta or not, and regardless of whether the other company is even a competitor or not.

      • Copyrights

Rebranding Malware and Spyware as ‘Linux’ to Dilute the Brand (and the News)

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft at 6:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

No, Nappa, it's a trap! I know, it's just more Microsoft proprietary software marketed as 'for Linux'

Summary: Signal-to-noise ratio continues to be reduced, as a lot of “Linux” news has nothing to do with GNU/Linux or even with Free software

Understanding Thierry Breton: In the Beginning…

Posted in Europe, Finance at 4:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Overview

Understanding Thierry Breton

  • You are here ☞ Part 1: In the Beginning…
  • Part 2: “Mister Cash” Arrives at France Télécom
  • Part 3: Toxic Management Goes on Trial in France
  • Part 4: Moral Responsibility for “a Capitalism That Kills”?
  • Part 5: Chirac’s Entrepreneurial “Joker”
  • Part 6: The “Cost-Killer” Tries to Tame the National Debt
  • Part 7: “Rhodiagate” and the Vivendi Universal Affair
  • Part 8: Insider-Trading Scandal at EADS
  • Part 9: Noël Forgeard and His “Golden Parachute”
  • Part 10: What Thierry Did Next…
  • Part 11: Atos Healthcare – “The Ugly Face of Business”
  • Part 12: Thierry and the $100 Billion Man
  • Part 13: Socialising With the Elite
  • Part 14: More Influential Friends in High Places

Further parts pending review and research


Bretton's profile

Summary: Career roundup of Thierry Breton, possibly the next EU Commissioner

IN the course of a high-profile career which has spanned the worlds of business and politics since the 1990s, Thierry Breton has grown accustomed to rubbing shoulders with the great and good of the French elite.

But it wasn’t always plain sailing for the curly-haired computer whiz-kid who was born in Paris in 1955.

“He’s more of a second-rank “non-commissioned officer”, a hands-on “man of action” and ruthless “cost-killer” who is not afraid to get his hands dirty and who gets called in by the generals to act as a hatchet-man when there’s a job to be done.”Unlike his political patrons from UMP circles, Jacques Chirac, Dominique de Villepin and, more recently, Emmanuel Macron, Breton is not a graduate of the illustrious Ecole Nationale d’Administration and so he does not belong to the uppermost echelons of the French administrative and political elite.

He’s more of a second-rank “non-commissioned officer”, a hands-on “man of action” and ruthless “cost-killer” who is not afraid to get his hands dirty and who gets called in by the generals to act as a hatchet-man when there’s a job to be done.

Bretton in white coat
A hands-on “man of action” and ruthless “costkiller” who gets called in to act as a hatchet-man when there’s a job to be done.

To appreciate Breton’s career, it is helpful to bear in mind that France’s economic and political leadership are closely intertwined under an economic policy called “dirigisme”, in which technocratic elites from government, finance and industry, all products of the grandes écoles, move with ease between the public and private sectors and confer closely amongst each other to “optimise economic conditions” – mostly for their own benefit as you might have guessed.

“Breton’s career got off to an inauspicious start when he failed his entrance exams to the grandes écoles, France’s elite institutions of higher education.”Breton is probably best understood as a state-sponsored entrepreneurial poster-boy whose renommé has been carefully built up and inflated to mythical proportions by the political establishment.

This iconic figure is wheeled out at regular intervals as part of a public spectacle designed to maintain the carefully cultivated façade of a meritocratic land of “Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité” which masks the ugly truth of the rule by stealth of a patrician plutocratic elite.

Bretton, LEF
The Land of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity where some animals are more equal than others.

Breton’s career got off to an inauspicious start when he failed his entrance exams to the grandes écoles, France’s elite institutions of higher education.

Bretton when young
Young Thierry failed to make the grade for the elite grandes écoles.

Instead he had to make do with attending the far less prestigious École Supérieure d’Électricité for engineering in Paris from where he went on to teach mathematics and information technology at the Lycée Francais, a French high school in New York City, from 1979 to 1981.

“Instead he had to make do with attending the far less prestigious École Supérieure d’Électricité for engineering in Paris from where he went on to teach mathematics and information technology at the Lycée Francais, a French high school in New York City, from 1979 to 1981.”His first foray into the business world came in 1981, when he became chairman and CEO of Forma Systèmes, a systems-analysis and software-engineering concern, where he remained until 1986.

He then took a position as a consultant to the French Ministry of Education and Research and from 1986 to 1990 he occupied himself designing the Futuroscope open-air science and technology theme park in Poitiers under the patronage of the prominent Gaullist politician René Monory.

In 1990 Breton became the CEO of CGI Group, a service-development company. He stayed at CGI until 1993, when he got his first big break as the French government hired him to become deputy director of the Bull Group, the troubled French computer manufacturer.

Breton’s restructuring brought the company back from the brink of bankruptcy and it allowed the young executive to claim his first successful corporate recovery.

“After taking over at Thomson, he closed low-performing factories in Germany and the U.S., moving production to Latin America and Eastern Europe, and he slashed U.S. management ranks by 20 percent.”In 1997 Breton was named chairman and CEO of France’s Thomson Multimedia, a government-owned consumer-electronics company that sold televisions and VCRs under the Thomson, Kenwood, and RCA names and which was tottering on the verge of collapse.

A year before his appointment, Thomson had been in such a shambles that France’s prime minister had failed in his efforts to unload the company on the South Korean Daewoo for a single franc.

Breton was an aggressive CEO and he quickly gained a name as a ruthless “cost-killer” who was not afraid to face down objections to his plans.

After taking over at Thomson, he closed low-performing factories in Germany and the U.S., moving production to Latin America and Eastern Europe, and he slashed U.S. management ranks by 20 percent.

He used share offerings to generate case and also diversified the company’s businesses, bringing Thomson into interactive television, electronic publishing, and the Internet, as well as the higher-margin business of digital film-editing services.

“Some industry analysts believed that Breton received too much credit for the Thomson turnaround, saying the company’s recovery had more to do with agreements made before Breton came on board.”By 1999 Thomson was turning a $230 million profit on sales of $6.5 billion. By the time Breton left in 2002, revenues had increased by more than 80 percent and Thomson was outperforming Sony, Matsushita, and Philips, its major consumer-electronics competitors.

Some industry analysts believed that Breton received too much credit for the Thomson turnaround, saying the company’s recovery had more to do with agreements made before Breton came on board.

For instance, when Thomson bought RCA from General Electric in 1988, the French company agreed to let General Electric keep RCA’s patents for 10 years as part of the purchase agreement. Thomson started to reap significant revenues from these patents from 1999 onwards. By 2001, patents and licensing earnings were generating € 398.8 million for the company.

Breton dismissed his critics by insisting that the Thomson’s recovery was due to his reorganisation plans and that it had been under way well before the RCA patent revenues started coming in.

Others criticized Breton for the problems the computer-maker Bull Group ran into during the early 2000s, suggesting that the troubles stemmed from Breton’s earlier tenure at the helm of that company.

But whatever the truth may be, Breton had succeeded in cementing his reputation in the public eye as France’s “turnaround king”.

DENMARK-FRANCE POLITICS DIPLOMACY ROYALS
By 2002 Breton’s reputation as France’s “turnaround king” was firmly established.

And so it came as no surprise when the French government decided to call on his services once again in 2002, this time to rescue the ailing France Télécom. We will take a look at this important milestone in his career in part 2.

Startpage Has Been Delisted, But it Ought to be Blacklisted

Posted in Deception, Search at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Startpage hypocrisy

Summary: Startpage has just warned its fans (I am a former fan) of what Startpage itself covertly became months back

YOU CAN’T make this stuff up!

More irony?

Startpage tweeted: “What does the internet know about you? Companies are amassing your data — like food orders and Airbnb messages — and selling the analysis to clients. Here’s how to get a copy of what they have on you. cc: @nytimes @kashhill https://nytimes.com/2019/11/04/business/secret-consumer-score-access.html”

Does Startpage try hard to distract from what it did? This is at least the second time in a week!

“I wonder how people can find out what information Startpage’s new owner/investor System1 has on them,” one reader of ours joked, noting that “Startpage is now officially de-listed by http://privacytools.io,” as explained in this blog post by an admin:

We reached out to System1 CEO Ian Weingarten for an explanation. We received a very general response that did not address key questions.

Seemingly prompted by our ongoing concerns, Startpage released a public letter addressed to us from their CEO, and hosted a Q&A on their Subreddit to try and explain the situation. While some of our questions were answered, we noted that the company seemed to be evasive, essentially restating information from a previously published blog post or posting the same response to different questions. People had to really dig to get answers and puzzle all information together, instead of getting a clearly explained and comprehensive answer from the start. Requests for clarification to some important questions went ignored.

Because of the conflicting business model and the unusual way the company reacted, claiming to be fully transparent but being evasive at the same time, we have no choice but to de-list Startpage from our recommendations until it is fully transparent about its new ownership and data processing.

From what we’ve been able to gather, one should assume the worst; their reluctance to clarify means that they prefer uncertainty and confusion over reality itself. Moreover, they’ve already admitted who put the finger in the pie. It’s System1, laughably disguised as ‘Privacy One Group’ and connected to banks.

Facepalm Bear: We sold to a surveillance company because we value your privacy

IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Posted in IRC Logs at 12:28 am by Needs Sunlight

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