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12.08.19

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

Posted in News Roundup at 10:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • You Can Now Stream Disney+ On Linux Computers

        With Disney+ now lowering the DRM requirements, Linux users should be able to watch their favorite shows like The Mandalorian and High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.

        In order to stream the Disney+ service on Linux devices, users need to ensure that DRM is enabled in their browser.

      • Why choose Xfce for your lightweight Linux desktop

        The Xfce desktop has a specific, self-stated goal: to be fast on a system with low resources while being visually appealing and user-friendly. It’s been the de facto choice for lightweight Linux distributions (or remixes) for years and is often cited by its fans as a desktop that provides just enough to be useful, but never so much as to be a burden.

        You may find Xfce included in the software repository of your Linux distribution, or you can download and install a distribution that ships Xfce as an available desktop (like the Xfce Mageia or Fedora spins or Slackware). Before you install it, be aware that, while it’s lightweight, it is intended to provide a full desktop experience, so many Xfce apps are installed along with the desktop. If you’re already running a different desktop, you may find yourself with redundant applications (two PDF readers, two file managers, and so on). If you just want to try the Xfce desktop, you can install an Xfce-based distribution in a virtual machine, such as GNOME Boxes.

      • 10 Years of Using Linux: How It Was Before, And How it Became

        2020 Marks my 10 years of using Linux, a decade of my life that I also spent in supporting, promoting and developing free software both in my local community and globally. But the Linux ecosystem today was nothing like 10 years ago, and we are here today to take a look at the past and how both the Linux ecosystem and other open source software developed through the decade.

        If you asked anyone who used Linux in 2010, what was your biggest issue? They would tell you: Drivers. Back then, drivers for literally everything on Linux were not that good, and in a lot cases didn’t even exist.

      • Raptor Computing Is Working On More AMD Radeon Driver Improvements For POWER

        Similar to 64-bit ARM (AArch64) improvements we’ve seen with time for the Radeon Linux driver, Raptor’s Timothy Pearson has been working to improve the Radeon support for PowerPC or more specifically POWER9. While NVIDIA offers a POWER9 graphics driver for IBM POWER servers, AMD Radeon graphics jive much better with Raptor’s target customers thanks to the open-source driver stack — allowing a fully open-source graphics/compute stack with the AMD hardware sans the closed-source microcode required by the GPUs, but much better than the completely closed-up NVIDIA driver stack.

    • Kernel Space

      • GRUB Now Supports Btrfs 3/4-Copy RAID1 Profiles (RAID1C3 / RAID1C4 On Linux 5.5+)

        When it comes to the storage/file-system changes with the in-development Linux 5.5 kernel one of the most prominent end-user-facing changes is more robust RAID1 for Btrfs with the ability to have three or four copies of the data rather than just two copies, should data safety be of utmost importance and concerned over the possibility of two disks in an array failing.

        The Btrfs “RAID1C3″ mode was merged last week for this three/four-copy RAID1 while now the GRUB boot-loader has adapted support for these new profiles in order to be able to boot to said arrays.

      • Linux 5.5 Adds NFS Client Support For Cross-Device Offloaded Copies (Server To Server)

        With NFSv4.2 is the server-side copy (SSC) functionality with the Linux 5.5 kernel’s NFS client-side support for that support in allowing “inter” copy offloads between different NFS servers.

        This support allows for server-to-server efficient file copies with NFSv4.2 SSC rather than first having to copy to the client system. The NFS client changes also introduce new RDMA tracepoints for debugging congestion control and various other fixes.

      • Linux 5.5 KVM Adds POWER Support For Secure Guests/VMs

        IBM’s work from over a year ago in working towards secure virtual machines on POWER hardware is finally coming to fruition with Linux 5.5 due out early next year.

        After those original Secure Virtual Machine POWER9 patches were posted last year, the ultravisor / secure bits landed in Linux 5.4 in preparing the foundation. As explained in that earlier article, “The Ultravisor / SVM support is part of IBM’s approach for protected computing that is akin to the approaches of Intel SGX and AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV). IBM’s Ultravisor code runs with higher privileges than the virtualization hypervisor and in turn the virtual machines rely upon IBM Protected Execution for verifying the behavior of the hypervisor/ultravisor.”

      • Graphics Stack

        • RADV’s ACO Compiler Back-End Now Supported For Older AMD “Sea Islands” GPUs

          The Valve-backed “ACO” compiler back-end for the open-source Radeon “RADV” Vulkan driver has added support now for AMD GCN 1.1 “Sea Islands” graphics cards.

          Sea Islands includes the Radeon Rx 200 series with the R7 260/260X/290/295 series and these 2nd Gen GCN GPUs also ended up in the Radeon HD 7790, Radeon HD 8770, Radeon R7 360, Radeon R9 390/390X, and Radeon RX 455. Up to now the ACO compiler back-end has only supported GCN1.2/GFX8 and newer but with the latest Mesa 20.0-devel code as of today in Mesa Git there is now ACO support for GCN 1.1 Sea Islands.

        • Wayland’s Weston 8.0 Reaches Alpha With EGL Partial Updates, Headless OpenGL

          Weston 8.0 is another significant update for this Wayland reference compositor in it offers EGL_KHR_partial_update support to reduce GPU vRAM usage on supported drivers/GPUs thanks to handling partial screen updates, support for building the DRM back-end without Mesa’s GBM, greater hardware planes usage, the Weston headless back-end now supports OpenGL, a direct display extension, HDCP support in the DRM back-end, and various other improvements / features.

        • weston 7.0.91
          This is the alpha release for weston 8.0. Here is a highlight of the
          main new features:
          
          - DRM hardware planes should be used more effectively
          - Headless backend now supports OpenGL
          - DRM backend can now be built without GBM
          - EGL_KHR_partial_update is now used when available, reducing memory
            bandwidth usage on some GPUs
          - Logging framework improvements
          - Documentation for weston can now be built
          
          A lot of fixes have been merged too. Thanks to all contributors!
          
          Full commit history below.
          
          Adam Jackson (5):
                simple-dmabuf-egl: Allow QueryDmaBufModifiers to report no modifiers
                gl-renderer: Fix possible memory leak when no dmabuf modifers are supported
                libweston: Fix integer underflow in weston_layer_mask_is_infinite
                image-loader: Fix undefined left shift in premultiply_data
                tests: Fix undefined left shift in internal-screenshot-test
          
          Ankit Nautiyal (6):
                backend-drm: Add support for content-protection
                libweston: Add functions to modify disable_planes counter for an output
                libweston: Add function to schedule idle task for updating surface protection
                libweston: Notify the client, when output recording is started/stopped
                man: Declare drm-backend support for HDCP
                backend-drm: Check for HDCP Content Type property before setting
          
          Daniel Stone (8):
                renderer-gl: Assert function presence matches extensions
                remoting: Use DRM FourCC formats instead of GBM formats
                Revert "backend-drm: Teach drm_property_info_populate() to retrieve range values"
                config-parser: Export get_full_path and destroy
                backend-drm: Use aspect-ratio bit definitions from libdrm
                config-parser: Make get_bool be bool
                tests/config-parser: Remove useless duplicate test
                option-parser: Make bools boolean
          
          Drew DeVault (1):
                simple-dmabuf-egl: update to xdg-shell stable
          
          Eero Tamminen (1):
                Add include for missing symbols
          
          Emmanuel Gil Peyrot (1):
                shared: Use memfd_create() when available
          
          Harish Krupo (3):
                gl-renderer: Censor protected views when output is recorded
                clients/window: Add viewport destination support
                desktop-shell: Set 1x1 buffers for solid-color backgrounds
          
          Jeffy Chen (2):
                clients: Drop corresponding touch points when destroying windows
                clients: Add more sanity checks to catch destroyed window
          
          Leandro Ribeiro (11):
                build: bump libdrm requirement to newer version (2.4.83)
                backend-drm: remove unecessary ifdef checks
                backend-drm: remove unnecessary ifdefs
                move frame_signal emission to weston_output_repaint()
                screenshooter: stop using frame_signal void *data parameter to get weston_output
                tests: stop using frame_signal 'void *data' argument to get weston_output
                renderer: change frame_signal emission to pass previous_damage as data argument
                screenshooter: get previous_damage from data argument instead of weston_output
                screen-share: get previous_damage from data argument instead of weston_output
                Revert "move frame_signal emission to weston_output_repaint()"
                libweston: remove previous_damage from struct weston_output
          
          Link Mauve (1):
                xwayland: Remove unused variable
          
          Loïc Yhuel (1):
                libweston: fix possible crash after a view is removed the layer
          
          Marius Vlad (53):
                weston-log: s/scope/sub, leftover from the logging framework
                libweston: Fix rename of weston_compositor_destroy() reference
                weston-log: 'new_subscriber' is actually 'new_subscription'
                weston-log: Add 'destroy_subscription' callback for the subscription
                weston-log-internal: Allow to hang-off data over the subscription
                weston-log: Add a subscription iterator
                libweston: Clean-up timeline to make room for a new approach
                libweston: Introduce timeline subscription and timeline subscription object
                libweston: Create the 'timeline' scope
                libweston: Convert timeline points to use the timeline scope
                libweston: Notify timeline of object modification
                libweston: Remove timeline-object and clean-up
                doc/sphinx: Add some documentation about timeline points
                compositor: Allow protocol to be displayed when asked for, even if we're not supplying debug argument
                libweston: Init weston_output's 'destroy_signal' before timeline has a chance to emit a
                compositor: Pass the entire string in one-shot when writting logger data
                weston-log: Avoid prefix-matching the scope name when checking for a
                backend-drm: Teach drm_property_info_populate() to retrieve range values
                backend-drm: Teach drm_property_info_populate() to retrieve range values
                backend-drm: Add zpos DRM-property
                backend-drm: Add a helper to display plane type as a 'string'
                backend-drm: Hard-code zpos values if HW doesn't exposes them
                libweston: Add a new helper weston_view_has_valid_buffer
                libweston: Add a new helper to check if the view spawns the entire
                backend-drm: Construct a zpos candidate list of planes
                backend-drm: Place pixel format checks for the overlay plane in its own
                backend-drm: Place pixel format checks for the cursor plane in its own
                backend-drm: Check pixel format before constructing the zpos candidate list
                backend-drm: Allow for views to reach overlays/underlays planes
                backend-drm: Pass the plane to prepare_overlay_view
                backend-drm: Pass the drm_fb to each prepare_overlay/scanout_view functions
                backend-drm: Move plane's availability in drm_output_try_view_on_plane()
                backend-drm: Print whenever a view will reach the renderer region
                backend-drm: Print whenever a view could not placed on the primary due to
                compositor: Fix some warning when passing debugoptimized to meson
                protocol: Add weston-direct-display extension
                libweston: Add weston-direct-display server side implementation
                libweston: Add the ability to determine if a dmabuf is scanout-capable
                backend-drm: Add dmabuf scan-out check for DRM-backend
                renderer-gl: Avoid retrieving the EGL image it direct_display flag was set
                renderer-gl: Display a solid shader color when direct-display is in use
                clients/simple-dmabuf-egl: Make use of direct-display
                clients/simple-dmabuf-drm: Make use of direct-display
                backend-drm: Assign the primary plane the lowest zpos value
                backend-drm: Skip testing plane state if plane is not enabled
                backend-drm: Turn zpos duplicate check into an hard assert
                backend-drm: Further checks to skip plane assignment to HW planes
                weston-log-flight-rec: Add a global variable to access the ring buffer
                weston-log-flight-rec: Don't allow more than one flight recorder to be
                weston-log-flight-rec: Fix useless comparison when displaying the
                doc/scripts/gdb: Added gdb script to dump contents of the flight recorder
                clients/fullscreen: Refuse to resize the surface size when fullscreen'ed
                gitlab-ci: Update ci-templates to latest SHA commit
          
          Miguel A. Vico (2):
                desktop-shell: Avoid NULL output dereference when getting surface label
                compositor: Do not trigger invalid destructors when hotunplugging
          
          Nicholas Niro (2):
                backend-drm: Fix for gbm modifiers when they are not available.
                backend-drm: Added support for legacy fd_import
          
          Olivier Fourdan (1):
                xwm: Use Xwayland allow commits for repaint
          
          Pekka Paalanen (73):
                backend-headless: fix comment on use_pixman
                backend-headless: refactor into headless_output_enable_pixman
                backend-headless: refactor into headless_output_disable_pixman
                backend-headless: make renderer type an enum
                clients: fix len-string formatting
                gl_renderer: remove unused NO_EGL_PLATFORM
                gl-renderer: fix typo native_window to native_display
                gl-renderer: remove platform_attribs
                gl-renderer: remove gl_renderer_display
                gl-renderer: remove gl_renderer_output_surface
                gl-renderer: remove print_egl_error_state
                backend-drm: use format db for fallback too
                gl-renderer: move into egl-glue.c
                gl_renderer: introduce gl_renderer_get_egl_config()
                gl-renderer: use gl_renderer_get_egl_config() for display_create
                gl-renderer: do not even pick a config with configless_context
                pixel-formats: add RGBA bits and type fields
                gl-renderer: use pixel_format_info internally for EGL
                gl-renderer: fuzzy EGLConfig matching for non-GBM
                backend-wayland: use DRM formats for EGLConfig
                backend-x11: use DRM formats for EGLConfig
                gl-renderer: remove EGLConfig attributes from API
                gl-renderer: configs for pbuffers too
                gl-renderer: pbuffer config for non-surfaceless
                gl-renderer: prefer the base EGLConfig
                gl-renderer: improve get_egl_config errors
                gl-renderer: print detailed EGLConfig list
                gl-renderer: use EGLConfig printer for window outputs
                build: shells do not need matrix.c
                build: use dependency for matrix.c
                xwm: dnd does not need cairo-util.h
                Unify the include style of shared/ headers
                build: simplify include_directories
                xwm: no need for compositor/weston.h
                gl-renderer: display_create needs surface type
                gl-renderer: document display_create
                gl-renderer: document output_window_create
                gl-renderer: add EGL surfaceless platform support
                noop-renderer: zero-initialize struct
                headless, gl-renderer: support pbuffer outputs
                compositor: add use-gl option to headless
                gitlab-ci: fix pages
                build: separate deps for int and ext libweston users
                build: link libm explicitly
                build: link libdl explicitly to DRM backend
                backend-x11: need libdrm headers in build
                build: reduce sub-dependencies of libweston
                compositor: turn weston main() into a lib
                cms-colord: work around unresolved symbols
                backend-rdp: work around unresolved symbols
                Link Weston plugins to libexec-weston.so
                tests: surface-screenshot needs libshared
                build: do not allow unresolved symbols
                libweston: drop a misleading dmabuf comment
                tests: remove static data from viewporter
                tests: remove static data from ivi-layout-test-plugin
                tests: remove static data from ivi-shell-app-test
                tests: remove static data from ivi-layout-test-client
                tests: remove static data from presentation
                tests: fix test-shell init error path
                ivi-shell: fix init error path
                colord: remove destroy listener on clean-up
                Use weston_compositor_add_destroy_listener_once() in plugins
                libweston: allow double-loading modules
                compositor: allow double-loading modules
                tests: write image to current directory by default
                tests/subsurface-shot: hardcode reference image names
                tests: replace fprintf() with testlog()
                tests/xwayland: do not call exit(SUCCESS)
                tests: rename struct weston_test to weston_test_entry
                tests/ivi: rename test_section
                tests: drop FAIL_TEST
                libweston: do not include weston.h
          
          Sebastian Wick (7):
                shared: add read-only anonymous file abstraction
                CI: build wayland from source
                input: bump wl_seat version to 6
                clients/window: bump wl_seat version to 6
                input: bump wl_seat version to 7
                clients/window: bump wl_seat version to 7
                input: use ro_anonymous_file to minimize duplication of keymap files
          
          Simon Ser (4):
                build: reopen master for regular development
                clients: drop simple-dmabuf-drm
                clients: remove leftover from simple-dmabuf-drm
                build: bump to version 7.0.91 for the alpha release
          
          Stefan Agner (10):
                backend-rdp: don't use shadow buffer for the RDP backend
                backend-headless: fix build issue without gl-renderer
                clients: avoid build error without gl-renderer
                gitlab-ci: add build configuration without gl-renderer
                backend-drm: use DRM_ constants everywhere
                remoting: make sure GL renderer is enabled
                backend-drm: separate out DRM virtual support
                backend-drm: make GBM optional
                weston-launch: show when a signal is sent to a child
                weston-launch: use exec to ensure signal delivery
          
          Veeresh Kadasani (1):
                simple-dmabuf-egl: make application generic
          
          Vivek Kasireddy (2):
                gl-renderer: Replace EGL_*_WL macros with locally defined enums
                gl-renderer: Add support for XYUV format (v2)
          
          sichem (1):
                libweston: Bring back 'weston_output_move'
          
          git tag: 7.0.91
          
          
        • Mesa 20.0 Now Includes Intel’s Gallium3D Driver To Build By Default

          As part of the ongoing effort for Intel’s plans to use their new Gallium3D OpenGL Linux driver by default on next quarter’s Mesa 20.0 for Broadwell “Gen8″ graphics and newer, another step in that direction was achieved on Friday.

          Intel’s “Iris” Gallium3D driver is still making good progress in its goal for Mesa 20.0 to switch the default “i965″ classic driver to Intel Gallium3D for Broadwell and newer hardware. Earlier this week was adding a build-time option to change the Intel OpenGL driver default so those building from source or distribution vendors can change the default on their own with ease.

    • Benchmarks

      • CentOS 6 Through CentOS 8 Benchmarks On Intel Xeon

        Complementing the CentOS 8 benchmarks I did following the release of that Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 rebuild in late September, here are tests going back further for showing the performance of CentOS 6, CentOS 7, and CentOS 8 all benchmarked from the same Intel Xeon Scalable server. These tests were done about a month ago albeit with all the hardware launches, new child, and other factors, only now getting to posting the data.

        These benchmarks are of CentOS 6, CentOS 7, and CentOS 8 with all available stable release updates for each as of early November (prior to TAA, JCC Erratum, and other more recent disclosures). This was done to look at how the performance of these CentOS releases compare that track RHEL6, RHEL7, and RHEL8 respectively. Additionally, for each operating system was also a secondary run when booted with mitigations disabled to also provide a look at the CentOS Linux performance with the various CPU security mitigations disabled.

    • Applications

      • Top 7 Best Linux Terminals

        It doesn’t matter if you’re a casual Linux user or a season system administrator, a good terminal emulator can vastly improve your experience, allowing you to unleash the full potential of Linux and various command-line tools.

        This article isn’t about Linux terminals that ship with popular desktop environments, such as GNOME Terminal, Konsole, or xfce4-terminal. Instead, we’re focusing on the best available alternatives so you have a lot of options to choose from regardless of whether you place greater value on minimalism or features.

      • 8 Best Open Source Accounting Software

        Accounting software is a necessity when it comes to managing billings, debts, stocks, invoices and any other kind of financial transactions. You might require something for your personal finances or perhaps for enterprise-focused accounting software. No matter what, it is important to consider open source solutions available (especially being Linux enthusiasts).

        So, in this article, I list out some of the best open source accounting software that I think would come in handy for you. At the end of the list, feel free to suggest your favorite ones in the comments.

      • Some Free Sticky Notes Applications For Ubuntu Linux!

        Sticky notes application is one application that looks trivial but is very useful. This application is usually used to note something. We can choose several Sticky Notes applications below to be used on Ubuntu and other linux distributions!.

      • What’s your favorite terminal emulator?

        Preference of a terminal emulator can say a lot about a person’s workflow. Is the ability to drive mouseless a must-have? Do you like to navigate between tabs or windows? There’s something to be said about how it makes you feel, too. Does it have that cool factor? Tell us about your favorite terminal emulator by taking our poll or leaving us a comment. How many have you tried?

        We asked our community to tell us about their experience with terminal emulators. Here are a few of the responses we received.

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Games

      • HD Remastered Games for Linux that Never had a Linux Release Earlier

        Many game developers and publishers are coming up with HD remaster of old games to extend the life of franchise, please fans requesting compatibility with modern hardware and of course, to make a profit. Linux has its own share of these remastered games. This article will specifically list games that never had a Linux release back in the day, but a got a HD remaster version in recent times.

      • Prepare for Half-Life: Alyx with the full and complete Beta of Half-Life recreation Black Mesa out now

        Black Mesa, the seriously impressive recreation of the original Half-Life can finally be completed! Crowbar Collective have put up the big complete Beta. A great way to prepare for the Half-Life: Alyx release next year.

        To get in, all you have to do is own Black Mesa on Steam and opt into the “public-beta” branch. Full release notes can be found here. So we’re finally closing in on Black Mesa leaving Early Access!

        If you just want to jump into the newer Xen levels, you can unlock all chapters quite easily. Go to Options, Keyboard, Advanced, Enable Developer Console. Bring up the console and type “sv_unlockedchapters 19″.

        A few quick shots of it on Linux…

      • A round-up of some good sales going on Linux games for you this weekend

        Roll up! Roll up! Come and see what could possibly be your next game purchase. Here’s a little round-up of what’s going cheap for you this weekend.

      • 60 FPS Screen Recording Apps for Linux

        There are a number of screen recording apps available for Linux, each with their own feature sets. They work fine in most of the use cases, however I found that many of these apps struggle to record videos at 60 frames per second (FPS) at full HD resolution.It is understandable that recording videos at 60 FPS can be taxing on hardware and performance will depend on your PC’s strength, specially when you are recording graphically demanding PC games. However, in my testing I observed that some of these screen recording apps don’t provide an option to set FPS at all while others limit it to a predetermined value. Further, some apps were able to consistently record around 58-60 FPS videos with ease while others struggled to achieve even 50 FPS on the same set of hardware. During this test, I disabled on the fly encoding wherever it was possible.

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KF6: How We Organize The Work

          In the previous post, I mentioned the KF6 Workboard. I also promised that I would make a specific post once the workboard would be properly organized. I didn’t write it right away, so this post is now long overdue. :-)

          If you clicked on the link above, you might be a bit scared by the massive board you’re seeing. Yes, this is a massive endeavor even if a bit less overwhelming than the kdelibs to KDE Frameworks transition (but just a bit really). Anyway, if you’re scared: I’m here to help.

        • This week in KDE: Easy Emoji input and more

          Something cool this way comes… easy Emoji input! Speaking personally, lack of easy Emoji input on Plasma has been irritation for years. But no longer! Plasma now has a built-in Emoji chooser similar to the ones on other competing operating systems. Ours is invoked with the Meta+period keyboard shortcut.

        • KDE Plasma 5.18 Introducing Built-In Emoji Picker

          KDE Plasma is gearing up for 2020 by introducing a built-in emoji picker… Coming with Plasma 5.18 is easier support for inserting Unicode emojis.

          With Plasma 5.18 and later, the Meta + period keyboard shortcut will launch this emoji picker where one can see all available emojis sorted by category.

      • GNOME Desktop/GTK

        • Getting started with the GNOME Linux desktop

          The GNOME project is the Linux desktop’s darling, and deservedly so. It began as the free and open desktop alternative to proprietary options (including KDE at the time), and it’s been going strong ever since. GNOME took GTK+, developed by the GIMP project, and ran with it, developing it into a robust, all-purpose GTK framework. The project has pioneered the user interface, challenging preconceptions of what a desktop “should” look like and offering users new paradigms and options.

          GNOME is widely available as the default desktop on most of the major modern Linux distributions, including RHEL, Fedora, Debian, and Ubuntu. If your distribution doesn’t offer a version of it, you can probably install GNOME from your software repository. Before you do, though, be aware that it is meant to provide a full desktop experience, so many GNOME apps are installed along with the desktop. If you’re already running a different desktop, you may find yourself with redundant applications (two PDF readers, two media players, two file managers, and so on). If you just want to try the GNOME desktop, consider installing a GNOME distribution in a virtual machine, such as GNOME Boxes.

    • Distributions

      • Here are the 5 Lightweight Linux Distributions We Recommend

        Linux is quite good in that it offers a lot of options for almost any use case. A lot of you may have an old desktop or laptop thrown in some dark corners of your house, but did you know that you can fully renew it with Linux? Here are some lightweight Linux distributions that we recommend for the task.

        A lot of other people and websites may recommend a totally different set of lightweight distributions for you, but in our selection, we didn’t just care for resources usage and the distro’s ability to work on old hardware. Instead, we also cared for the ease of use and your ability as a user to deal with the distribution on daily basis to do your tasks. At the end, the goal is not simply to get an old computer to just work – the goal is to get an old computer to work and do things that you need as someone living in 2020.

      • SUSE/OpenSUSE

        • SUSE Revives Patches For Exposing /proc/cpuinfo Data Over Sysf

          Back in 2017 were patches for exposing /proc/cpuinfo data via sysfs for more easily parsing selected bits of information from the CPU information output. That work never made it into the mainline kernel but now SUSE’s Thomas Renninger is taking over and trying to get revised patches into the kernel.

          Renninger sent out revised versions of the “sysfs-based cpuinfo” on Friday that within /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpuX/info/ would expose nodes to easily parse pieces of cpuinfo like bogomips, cpu_family, flags, model, model_name, stepping, vendor_id, and more. Reading the information via sysfs with a single-value-per-file makes it much easier for parsing compared to having to parse the entire /proc/cpuinfo output and complements other CPU information already accessible via the very convenient sysfs.

      • Fedora Family

        • Updated NeuroFedora Computational Neuroscience ISO image available

          We’ve been working on making more software available in NeuroFedora. Neuron is now built with IV support, so models from ModelDB that use these should now be runnable using NeuroFedora.

          The Computational Neuroscience ISO image has been updated to include these improvements. After receiving some feedback, we’ve also added Julia and R to the image. The new version, 20191201, is available for download here. The checksum file is also provided. So please test your download for correctness before you proceed to use it.

        • Time needed to dist-upgrade Fedora

          Every couple of months I upgrade my main home computer to the latest Fedora. As this process is not instantaneous, this means some time without internet, wifi, smart home controls etc. This time I decided to measure how long it takes exactly.

          Hardware is mid-range home server: Core i5 CPU, 16GiB of RAM, storage is 2x HDD in btrfs raid1, over LUKS, bcached on NVMe drive.

      • Debian Family

        • Debian 11 “Bullseye” Alpha 1 installer released

          Yesterday, the Debian Installer team announced the first Alpha release the Installer for Debian 11, codenamed “Bullseye.”

          Debian originally announced their upcoming Debian 11 Bullseye, the next major Debian release, in July of this year at the 20th annual DebConf19 conference in Brazil. Development on Debian 11 began months ago.

          Yesterday’s announcement of the Installer’s Alpha release is the first news we’ve had from the Debian Development team since DebConf19.

        • Public service announcement for a modern Debian

          Don’t forget to vote!

        • Debian init systems GR – voting guide

          If you don’t know what’s going on, you may wish to read my summary and briefing blog post from a few weeks ago. There are 7 options on the ballot, plus Further Discussion (FD). With this posting I’m trying to help voting Debian Members (Debian Developers) cast their votes.

          I am going to be neutral about the technical merits of systemd. My advice does not depend on your opinion about that.

          So my advice here is addressed to people who like systemd and want to keep running it, and developing with it, as well as, of course, people who prefer not to use systemd. I’m even addressing readers who think systemd has useful features which they would like Debian packages to be able to use.

          However, I am going to be opinionated about one key question: My baseline is that Debian must welcome code contributions to support running without systemd, just as it welcomes code contributions for other non-default setups. If you agree with that principle, then this posting is for you. Unfortunately this principle is controversial. Several of the options on the current GR mean rejecting contributions of non-systemd support. So in that sense I am not neutral.

        • Charles Plessy: I voted

          Nevertheless, I am crushed under the number of options. Their texts are long, sometimes very similar, and do not separate clearly the normative from the preambles. Like in a parody of the dysfunctions of modern democracies, I ended up considering only the proposals written or seconded by people with whom I feel in phase. I have not voted for the others, which ranks them equally under « further discussion ».

        • Update to packaging the Jekyll import tool

          For moving my personal blog away from blogger I’ve put a lot of work into packaging and/or updating (the most common) Jekyll plugins for Debian. To ease the work further I began to package the Jekyll importers. But they need some (yet) unpackaged gems. So I’ve created an issue to track the progress and put my work on this package on hold. Yesterday @utkarsh2102-guest contacted me and asked me for more details. So I’ve spent the last hours to track down what actually needs to be done. And the news are a lot better than expected.

        • When terms and policy turn users away

          When asked to accept terms of use and privacy policies that state it will to remove rights I otherwise had or accept unreasonable terms undermining my privacy, I choose away the service. I simply do not have the conscience to accept terms I have no indention of upholding. But how are the system and service providers to know how many people they scared away? Normally I just quietly walk away.

      • Canonical/Ubuntu Family

        • Canonical Announces Ubuntu AWS Rolling Linux Kernel for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS AMIs

          Until now, the Ubuntu images for AWS (Amazon Web Services) have been using a normal Linux kernel that was updated whenever a new security update was available. With the new rolling model, the kernel in the Ubuntu AWS images gets all the latest fixes, performance tweaks, and security patches from upstream, as soon as they are available.

          “The Ubuntu rolling kernel model provides the latest upstream bug fixes and performance improvements around task scheduling, I/O scheduling, networking, hypervisor guests and containers to our users,” said Canonical. “Canonical has been following this model in other cloud environments for some time now, and have found it to be an excellent way to deliver these benefits while continuing to provide LTS level stability.”

        • First Ever Release of Ubuntu Cinnamon Distribution is Finally Here!

          Ubuntu Cinnamon is a new distribution that utilizes Linux Mint’s Cinnamon desktop environment on top of Ubuntu code base. It’s first stable release is based on Ubuntu 19.10 Eoan Ermine.

        • Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix 19.10 Eoan Ermine Released

          I am speechless. I have gained so much help from the community, and people across the world.

          I am glad to present that with the help of people from Ubuntu Budgie, Alan, and Simon Quigley’s (Lubuntu Lead) jokes, Ubuntu Cinnamon 19.10 Eoan Ermine is now released.

        • Ubuntu Cinnamon Unofficial Flavor Gets Its First Ever Release, Download Now

          After many months of hard work, the team behind the unofficial Ubuntu Cinnamon flavor has announced the release of the first ever version.

          The popular Ubuntu Linux operating system comes with a wide range of variants, with some of the most popular Open Source desktop environments, including GNOME, KDE Plasma, Xfce, LXQt, MATE, and Budgie, but it never had an official flavor featuring the Cinnamon desktop environment made by the creators of the Linux Mint distro.

          Well, someone has been working on a Cinnamon flavor for Ubuntu for quite some time now, and we kinda observed the progress during several months. After a lot of hard work, a final release is now finally available for download of the first, unofficial Cinnamon flavor, which, for now, is called Ubuntu Cinnamon Remix.

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • US 2020 Election Security: Auditing Tool Coming Soon

        The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said it is working with a non-partisan, non-profit group to customize an open source, post-election auditing tool to verify votes in the upcoming 2020 elections.

        The tool is known as Arlo. VotingWorks, an organization focused on developing secure election technology, is CISA’s partner. Arlo is used to conduct risk-limited audits (RLA), which VotingWorks calls the “best safeguard we have against hacked or otherwise faulty voting systems.” In an RLA, Arlo determines how many ballots to count, selects which ballots to inspect and compares audited votes to tabulated votes. Election officials in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Ohio and Georgia are currently piloting the software and others are expected to join. Colorado became the first state to implement RLAs when in 2017 it audited one race in each of 50 of its 64 counties.

      • New machine learning from Alibaba and Netflix, mimicking animal vision, and more open source news

        Have you ever wondered how your dog or cat sees the world? Thanks to work by researchers at the University of Exeter in the UK and Australia’s University of Queensland, you can find out. The team just released software that allows humans to see the world as animals do.

        Called micaToolbox, the software can interpret digital photos and process images of various environments by mimicking the limitations of animal vision. Anyone with a camera, a computer, or smartphone can use the software without knowing how to code. But micaToolbox isn’t just a novelty. It’s a serious scientific tool that can help “help biologists better understand a variety of animal behaviors, including mating systems, distance-dependent signalling and mimicry.” And, according to researcher Jolyon Troscianko, the software can help identify “how an animal’s camouflage works so that we can manage our land to protect certain species.”

      • Web Browsers

        • Mozilla

          • Firefox 70 review – the inversion point?

            I am happy that Mozilla has found some of its old identity, the one before it tried to copypasta Chrome. The privacy message resonates well with all that’s been happening lately. So perhaps it’s difficult to convince the Average Joe about memory consumption and perceived speed and such, but “they gonna git yo data” argument might stir an odd photon or two in a brain somewhere. When it comes to privacy, Firefox definitely leads the field, and this is a great selling point.

            It’s not everything of course, but the combination of a toned down message, the ability to change pretty much every setting, including the browser look & feel, do offer a sense of freedom in a world of diminishing liberties for consumers. Firefox 70 offers a nice bundle, and it might be the version that slowly brings the stray ones back to the fold. Hopefully. All in all, if you have reasons to like Firefox, version 70 should give you a dose of extra happiness. If you don’t, it might be the version that makes you reconsider. From the most cheerful reviewer of software on the planet, goodbye.

      • Productivity Software/LibreOffice/Calligra

      • Funding

        • Some Of The Interesting Open-Source Projects For Outreachy’s Winter 2019 Round

          Outreachy recently kicked off their winter (December to March) round of internships for diversity in tech with 49 individuals tackling a range of open-source tasks.

          Complementing the useful contributions made this summer during their previous round, some more interesting tasks are being tackled over the next few months too. In going through the 49 projects, some of the interesting ones include:

          - Adding “did you mean?” hints to Git when entering incorrect sub-commands.

      • BSD

      • Programming/Development

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RcppArmadillo 0.9.800.3.0

          A small Armadillo bugfix upstream update 9.800.3 came out a few days ago. The changes, summarised by Conrad in email to me (and for once not yet on the arma site are fixes for matrix row iterators, better detection of non-hermitian matrices by eig_sym(), inv_sympd(), chol(), expmat_sym() and miscellaneous minor fixes. It also contains a bug fix by Christian Gunning to his sample() implementation.

          Armadillo is a powerful and expressive C++ template library for linear algebra aiming towards a good balance between speed and ease of use with a syntax deliberately close to a Matlab. RcppArmadillo integrates this library with the R environment and language–and is widely used by (currently) 679 other packages on CRAN.

        • Dirk Eddelbuettel: RDieHarder 0.2.1

          A new version, now at 0.2.1, of the random-number generator tester RDieHarder (based on the DieHarder suite developed / maintained by Robert Brown with contributions by David Bauer and myself) is now on CRAN.

          This version has only internal changes. Brian Ripley, tireless as always, is testing the impact of gcc 10 on CRAN code and found that the ‘to-be-default’ option -fno-common throws off a few (older) C code bases, this one (which is indeed old) included. So in a nutshell, we declared all global variables extern and defined them once and only once in new file globals.c. Needless to say, this affects the buildability options. In the past we used to rely on an external library libdieharder (which e.g. I had put together for Debian) but we now just build everything internally in the package.

        • There are (at least) three distinct dependency types

          Using dependencies is one of the main problems in software development today. It has become even more complicated with the recent emergence of new programming languages and the need to combine them with existing programs. Most discussion about it has been informal and high level, so let’s see if we can make it more disciplined and how different dependency approaches work.

          What do we mean when we say “work”?

          In this post we are going to use the word “work” in a very specific way. A dependency application is said to work if and only if we can take two separate code projects where one uses the other and use them together without needing to write special case code. That is, we should be able to snap the two projects together like Lego. If this can be done to arbitrary projects with a success rate of more than 95%, then the approach can be said to work.

          It should be especially noted that “I tried this with two trivial helloworld projects and it worked for me” does not fulfill the requirements of working. Sadly this line of reasoning is used all too often in online dependency discussions, but it is not a response that holds any weight. Any approach that has not been tested with at least tens (preferably hundreds) of packages does not have enough real world usage experience to be taken seriously.

        • Monads aren’t as hard as you think

          I’ve been scared of monads ever since I first heard of them. So many references to burritos, or nuclear waste containers, or some other analogy that didn’t make sense to me. So if you’re scared of monads too, maybe my take on what a monad is will help.

        • Print all git repos from a user
        • Print all git repos from a user
        • Do’s and Don’ts of implementing a hamburger menu

          The infamous hamburger menu is one of the examples where I see bad practice very often. Surf the web one day using a screen reader or using only your keyboard and you will most likely experience some of the problems as well. Let’s have a look at the most common errors and how to avoid them.

        • The GCC Git Conversion Heats Up With Hopes Of Converting Over The Holidays

          Decided back at the GNU Tools Cauldron was a timeline to aim converting from Subversion as their default revision control system to Git over the New Year’s holiday. For that to happen, by the middle of December they wanted to decide what conversion system to use for bringing all their SVN commits to Git. As such, now it’s heating up ahead of that decision.

          Eric S Raymond announced the conversion work in progress. Right now he’s been working on addressing the remaining problems with Reposurgeon in being able to convert the GCC SVN repository to Git. Following those lingering issues being resolved, he’s seeking broader review of the Reposurgeon “recipe” and then “the conversion progress starts to become desirable.”

        • Python

          • Talk Python to Me: #241 Opal: Full stack health care apps

            Open source has permeated much of the software industry. What about health care? This highly regulated and important industry might seem to be the domain of huge specialized software companies.

          • Sleepy snake

            I love this drawing! I’ve always been charmed by cartoonists’ ability to capture an essence in a seemingly simple drawing. Objects are reduced to stereotypes, but with some whimsy thrown in. Ben has always had this gift: to create just the right stroke to perfectly express an attitude or feeling.

            Here Sleepy is snug in his bed, covered by a blanket. Even in his custom bed, he’s too long to fit, but he’s comfortable. The pillow isn’t shaped like a real pillow, but it’s exactly our cartoon Platonic ideal of a pillow.

          • Generate a Python Random Number

            Here is a quick guide on Python’s random number. You can always refer to it whenever you need to generate a random number in your programs.

            Python has a built-in random module for this purpose. It exposes several methods such as randrange(), randint(), random(), seed(), uniform(), etc. You can call any of these functions to generate a Python random number.

            Usually, a random number is an integer, but you can generate float random also. However, you first need to understand the context as a programmer and then pick the right function to use.

          • Trigger Local Python App Remotely

            With an old Mac I have lying around at home and free web-based services, I’ve setup a simple app that fetches some data from an external service (YNAB) in order to run some daily budget calculations that I used to calculate manually for a long time. The output of my app is then sent back to my phone within seconds so I can trigger it from anywhere. I wanted to share the approach I’m using which has cost me nothing.

            This (obviously) isn’t an approach that should be used for large scale applications or anything other than pet projects. I just wanted to highlight how simple it can be using existing free tools. There are plenty of low cost, production ready, and scalable options out there (like AWS Lambda) if you prefer to start with that approach.

            My app is written in Python and served via Flask to a local endpoint (http://localhost:5000) which ngrok points to. I then have a IFTTT webhook hitting the Ngrok URL after clicking an IFTTT button widget from my phone. The app ends up broadcasting the output to my Slack account so I end up getting a push notification on my phone containing the app output within seconds of hitting the button:

          • PyGotham 2019 Speaker Coaching Recap

            I’m one of the organizers for PyGotham, the yearly Python programming conference in New York City. This year thirteen PyGotham speakers received training from opera singer and speaking coach Melissa Collom, paid for by the conference and free for the speakers. Eight of the speakers were new to the conference scene; Melissa helped them focus on delivering value to their audience, structuring their talks clearly, and speaking with conviction. All the speakers who responded to a survey said they felt more confident and they were more likely to propose conference talks again.

            Here’s what some of our speakers said:

            “Melissa helped me pick out the areas I needed to improve, that I could work on for maximum impact in the limited time that I had before the conference. More importantly, she told me what she thought were my strengths and it helped me immensely to know what I had working for me.”

            “It was fun and Melissa made me feel comfortable to be myself! She brought out the best in me. The positive and constructive feedback was helpful and provided in a supportive way.”

  • Leftovers

    • Across the Balkans: From Banja Luka to Sarajevo

      An account of a journey from Croatia to Kosovo, by way of Bosnia-Hercegovina and Serbia, and with a detour into Montenegro. This is part III of a series.

    • Parasitic Sounds

      Even movie soundtracks are going green.

    • Marco Zehe: The myth of getting rich through ads

      In addition, the web hosting was expensive, but not really performant. And they often let essential software get out of date. My WordPress at some point had started complaining because my PHP version was too old. Turned out that the defaults for shared hosts were not upgraded to a newer version by default by the hoster, and one had to go into an obnoxious backend to fiddle with some setting somewhere to use a newer version of PHP.

      I then decided to try something completely new. I exported the contents of my three blogs and set up blogs at WordPress.com, the hosted WordPress offering from the makers themselves: Automattic. I looked at their plans, and the Premium plan, which cost me 8€ per month, per blog felt suitable. I also took the opportunity to pull both German language blogs together into one. I just added two categories that those who just want to see my tecnical stuff, or the private stuff, could still do so.

      With that move, I got a good set of features that I would normally use on a self-hosted blog as well, so I set up some widgets, some theme that comes with the plan, and imported all my content including comments and such. I lost my statistics from the custom plugins, but hey, I had lost years of statistics from before that when I decided to no longer use JetPack on my self-hosted blogs, too, so what.

      And I did two more things. I added a “Buy me a coffee” button so people could show their appreciation for my content if they wanted to. And I opted into the Word Ads program, that would display some advertisement on the blog’s main page and below each individual post. I simply wanted to see if my content would be viable enough to generate any significant enough income.

      [...]

      When I compare my experience to that of my wife, who runs both a guide and a forum for the popular Sims FreePlay game in Germany, it is clear that even she with her thousands of visitors to both the guide and forum does not always generate enough traffic to get the minimum Google Adsense payout threshold per month. And that is just enough to cover her monthly domain and server costs, because the traffic is so heavy that shared hosting cannot cope. So she has to run a dedicated v server for those, which are way more expensive than shared hosting.

      So, ads on the web are really not a sustainable model for many. Yes, there may be some very popular and widespread 8content-wise) blogs or publication sites that do generate enough revenue through ads. But the more niche your topic gets, if you don’t generate thousands of visitors per month, ads sometimes may cover the costs of a service like WordPress to run your blog, but only if you are on one of the lower plans with less control over what your blog can do or the ads that are being displayed.

      I believe that a more engaged interaction with the actual audience is a better way to generate revenue, although that, of course, also depends on readers loyalty and your own dedication. I think that initiatives like Grant For The Web are the future of monetisation of content on the web, and I may start supporting that once my move back to self-hosting is complete. I’ll keep you posted.

    • Health/Nutrition

      • Global Poison Spring

        The power of the chemical industry in the United States all but wiped out the US EPA. The politicized department administers laws and regulations that prescribe what it can do. However, in practice, it’s the political appointees that decide what EPA does. Related to this political reality, and knowing the deep roots of industry influence in Congress and the White House, EPA does its work reluctantly most of the time.

      • We Asked Public Universities for Their Professors’ Conflicts of Interest — and Got the Runaround

        Sharon Donovan and Richard Mattes have a lot in common. Both are full professors of nutrition science at leading public universities. Both sit on a federal advisory committee that helps craft the nation’s dietary guidelines. And both have extensive ties to the food industry.

        That last similarity isn’t easy to uncover. Donovan, who teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has reported in required state filings that she received gifts, honoraria or consulting income from infant formula companies such as Wyeth Nutrition and Mead Johnson. The state makes her annual reports, and those of other University of Illinois employees, available to the public.

      • Medical Professors are Supposed to Share Their Outside Income With the University of California. But Many Don’t.

        For nearly two decades, Dr. Neal Hermanowicz has led the movement disorders program at the University of California’s Irvine campus, where he earns more than $380,000 a year in salary and bonuses. The widely respected expert on Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases adds to his income by consulting for drug companies.

        Since 2014, 11 pharmaceutical companies have paid him a total of at least $588,000 for consulting, speaking and honoraria, according to federal data. For example, he has received more than $225,000 in speaking and consulting fees from San Diego-based Acadia Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of a controversial drug for Parkinson’s-related psychosis. In 2017, he was the company’s highest-paid physician consultant in the U.S. That year, he prescribed the drug more than 180 times, costing patients or their insurers more than $445,000.

      • Federally Funded Health Researchers Disclose at Least $188 Million in Conflicts of Interest. Can You Trust Their Findings?

        Federally funded health researchers reported more than 8,000 “significant” financial conflicts of interest worth at least $188 million since 2012, according to filings in a government database obtained by ProPublica.

        The database of disclosures reported to the National Institutes of Health, which has not been made public before, details the financial relationships of researchers at universities, hospitals and nonprofit organizations. These outside interests range from stock holdings in companies that may benefit from the outcome of research to payments for royalties, consulting work and speaking engagements. The total value of the conflicts is likely much higher than $188 million, in part because 44% of the disclosures did not place a dollar value on the investigator’s financial relationship.

      • ‘We already learned this lesson’ A regional health minister in Russia is asking clinics to cancel their abortion licenses voluntarily. Here’s what local doctors have to say about it.

        On November 20, Samara Regional Health Minister Mikhail Ratmanov announced that his agency had asked all private clinics in the region to refuse to provide abortions. Ratmanov said that out of the 31 clinics in his region that are licensed to perform abortions, 10 responded to his recommendation: By the time the health minister made his announcement, all ten had “voluntarily given up” their licenses. Beginning in 2020, private clinics in the Samara region will stop performing abortions entirely, according to Ratmanov. Regional officials have assured their constituents that state-owned medical facilities will continue to provide those services on the condition that staff at public facilities will try to persuade patients to continue their pregnancies. Anti-abortion protests, sometimes lasting several days, preceded the announcement both in the Samara region and elsewhere.

      • The Extraordinary Danger of Being Pregnant and Uninsured in Texas

        Rosa Diaz was no stranger to hunger and stress and a throbbing pain in the gut that was usually nothing serious — gastritis, she had been told, or lactose intolerance. When she became ill on the evening of Jan. 6, 2015, she figured it was the hot chocolate she’d been drinking with her family to celebrate El Día de los Reyes. It was made with milk, but she finished it anyway, savoring every drop.

        In the middle of the night, her oldest daughter, Diana, found her on the couch, clutching her belly and moaning. Diana half-carried her to the bathroom, offering her some Alka-Seltzer and a sip of Gatorade to wash the antacid down. Rosa started to shiver and cry. “Let me drive you to the emergency room,” Diana urged. “No, I don’t have insurance,” Rosa protested. “I just want to go to sleep. I’m sure I’ll feel better tomorrow.”

      • Recreational Marijuana Becomes Legal in Illinois on Jan. 1. Here’s How Communities Across the State Are Dealing With the New Law.

        This week in our state: weed and taxes! With less than one month left of 2019, and with recreational marijuana set to become legal on Jan. 1, officials in cities and towns across the state are wrestling with the issue and determining where they’ll stand.

        Some of the biggest news on the issue this week occurred in Evanston, where the City Council voted Monday to use sales tax revenues from marijuana to fund a local reparations program, according to the Chicago Tribune. While logistics are up in the air, aldermen who approved the measure see it as a way to try to retain the city’s black population, which has fallen in recent years, while “investing in residents who were harmed by discriminatory housing and other past policies.”

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Microsoft: 44 Million User Passwords Have Been Breached

          It found a match for over 44 million Microsoft Services Accounts, used primarily by consumers, and AzureAD accounts, which is more worrying for businesses.

          “For the leaked credentials for which we found a match, we force a password reset. No additional action is required on the consumer side. On the enterprise side, Microsoft will elevate the user risk and alert the administrator so that a credential reset can be enforced,” it explained.

        • Anti-Virus Vendors Flag uTorrent and BitTorrent as a “Threat” Again

          The popular BitTorrent client uTorrent is currently being flagged as a threat by several anti-virus tools. The issue affects the desktop client as well as the Web version and the BitTorrent Mainline client. According to the anti-virus vendors, the flags were likely triggered by bundled advertisements or other unwanted software.

        • DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman is moving to Google

          Suleyman announced over the summer that he was taking open-ended leave from DeepMind, fuelling speculation of a rift. However, he has emerged, seemingly unscathed and will now take up a role involving AI at Google. It’s not clear exactly what that looks like

        • Pseudo-Open Source

          • Developers join call for GitHub to cancel its ICE contract

            Since at least September, employees of GitHub have been pressuring the Microsoft-owned code repository to terminate its contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, without success. Now they’re getting reinforcements from a constituency that could have more clout.

            In an open letter published Wednesday on GitHub, software developers representing the open source community joined the call for GitHub to immediately cancel the $200,000 contract with ICE.

          • Openwashing

            • Exadel Launches Adobe Experience Manager Authoring Toolkit as Open Source Tool for Digital Marketing Community

              Exadel, a global leader in digital software engineering solutions, announced the availability of its Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) Authoring Toolkit. An open source project developed and maintained by the Exadel Digital Marketing Technology team, the Toolkit is available as a packaged, fully supported solution to Exadel’s enterprise clients and as an open source tool for the community. The Toolkit supports an automatic yet versatile and extendable generation of UI elements for AEM authors and provides a next-gen authoring experience in Adobe’s Coral UI-powered environment.

          • Entrapment (Microsoft GitHub)

            • Alibaba Cloud Releases Machine Learning Algorithm Platform on Github [Ed: Alibaba gives its code to proprietary software and Microsoft will control it. Is this "open source" or trapsource?]

              Alibaba Cloud, the data intelligence backbone of Alibaba Group, announced that the core codes of Alink, its self-developed algorithm platform, have been made available via open source on Github, the world’s largest developer community. The platform offers a broad range of algorithm libraries that support both batch and stream processing, which is critical for machine learning tasks such as online product recommendation and intelligent customer services.

        • Security

          • Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt/Fear-mongering/Dramatisation

            • OpenBSD bugs, Microsoft’s bad update, a new Nork hacking crew, and more

              The freely available OpenBSD operating system is the host of some annoying security holes.

              Researchers at Qualys found and reported authentication bypass flaws that can be exploited locally, and potentially remotely, to log into services without valid credentials.

              “We discovered an authentication-bypass vulnerability in OpenBSD’s authentication system: this vulnerability is remotely exploitable in smtpd, ldapd, and radiusd, but its real-world impact should be studied on a case-by-case basis,” notes Qualys. “For example, sshd is not exploitable thanks to its defense-in-depth mechanisms.”

              Admins will want to update their systems as soon as possible.

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Another Federal Court Says Compelled Production Of Fingerprints To Unlock A Phone Doesn’t Violate The Constitution

              Where the Fifth Amendment ends for device owners largely seems to be determined by their favored security measure. If it’s a password keeping a device encrypted, courts seem more willing to call compelled production a Fifth Amendment violation. If it’s a biometric feature — most commonly fingerprints or faces — the courts are more likely to consider body parts non-testimonial.

            • California Supreme Court Closes Warrantless Vehicle Search Loophole

              The California Supreme Court has overturned 17 years of questionable case law, restoring a bit of the Fourth for drivers in the state. (via Courthouse News)

            • The FBI Says Your TV Is Probably Spying On You

              Like most of the infamous “internet of things,” (IOT) smart TVs are a security and privacy dumpster fire. Numerous set vendors have already been caught hoovering up private conversations or transmitting private user data unencrypted to the cloud. One study in 2017 surmised that around 90% of smart televisions can be hacked remotely, something intelligence agencies, private contractors and other hackers are clearly eager to take full advantage of.

            • Strengthen California’s Consumer Data Privacy Regulations

              EFF and a coalition of privacy advocates have filed comments with the California Attorney General seeking strong regulations to protect consumer data privacy. The draft regulations are a good step forward, but the final regulations should go further.

              The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA) created new ways for the state’s residents to protect themselves from corporations that invade their privacy by harvesting and monetizing their personal information. Specifically, CCPA gives each Californian the right to know exactly what pieces of personal information a company has collected about them; the right to delete that information; and the right to opt-out of the sale of that information. CCPA is a good start, but we want more privacy protection from the California Legislature.

            • No Credit Score: What Happens Without a Credit History?

              There are two major credit analytics companies that calculate your credit scores: Fair Isaac Corp., commonly known as FICO, and VantageScore. Both assign credit scores, which may be similar but aren’t calculated identically.

              FICO and VantageScore have different minimum requirements for generating a score. According to Shawn Lane, co-founder and chief operating officer of credit repair company Financial Renovation Solutions Inc., FICO needs: [...]

            • TikTok may be leaking people’s data from the US to China

              But court cases and investigations are raising concerns about how the app shares people’s data. The fact that the app is owned by the Chinese tech giant ByteDance seems to be heightening the alarm.

              Earlier this week, a student in California filed a lawsuit against TikTok for allegedly transferring “vast quantities of private and personally-identifiable user data” to servers in China. The student, Misty Hong, claims that TikTok transfers data about users’ phone use, including websites visited outside the app, surreptitiously to Chinese servers. Hong claims that this was done despite her never creating an account, and that the information secretly transmitted to China included draft videos she had made using the app but never posted.

            • FISA reauthorization: What will Europe think?

              In the Sept. 18 hearing before the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary, and again in the Nov. 6 hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary , representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation and National Security Agency urged Congress to permanently reauthorize FISA’s roving wiretap, business records, lone wolf and call detail records provisions. The administration does so while acknowledging that neither the lone wolf or CDR authorities are in use.

            • How Ring Transmits Fear to American Suburbs

              There’s a crucial, unstated aspect of owning a Ring camera: You aren’t just making the decision to surveil your own property and visitors when you buy one. You make a decision on behalf of everyone around you. If someone walks by your house, lives next door, or delivers packages to your home, they will be recorded and surveilled. They don’t get a choice. Buying even one Ring camera is a fundamentally communal decision.

            • Confidentiality

              • ‘The Information Nation’: Kremlin researchers and forensic journalists intersect at Russia’s black market for leaked personal data

                The Russian Presidential Affairs Department’s Scientific Research Computing Center (GRCC) develops systems to monitor and deanonymize social-media users, and it sells these systems to government and private clients alike. Using the company’s services, insurance companies can root out dishonest employees, and security-guard companies can recruit new staff. Other GRCC programs allow the police to hunt down “extremists” online. In a special report published in late September, Meduza learned that these computing systems collect information on Russians not just from open sources, but also from leaked databases that are sold illegally on the black market. 

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Terror Links Probed in Florida Naval Base Shooting; 10 Saudi Students Held

        PENSACOLA, Fla.—The Saudi student who fatally shot three people at a U.S. naval base in Florida hosted a dinner party earlier in the week where he and three others watched videos of mass shootings, a U.S. official told The Associated Press on Saturday.

      • US scholar released in Iran, jailed Iranian scientist freed in prisoner swap

        Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday said Chinese-American graduate student Xiyue Wang and Iranian scientist Massoud Soleimani would be reunited with their families.

        “Glad that Professor Massoud Soleimani and Mr. Xiyue Wang will be joining their families shortly. Many thanks to all engaged, particularly the Swiss government,” Zarif tweeted.

      • NATO is a Brain Dead, Obsolete, Rabid Dog. Euthanize It.

        In early November, French president Emmanuel Macron complained that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization  (NATO) is experiencing “brain death” as its member states go their own ways, with “no coordination whatsoever of strategic decision-making.” US president Donald Trump’s reply: “Nobody needs NATO more than France.” The two continued their duel over NATO’s future at an early December meeting of the alliance’s members in London.

      • Bolivia’s Coup Government: a Far-Right Horror Show

        Since coming to power on November 12, Bolivia’s right-wing coup government, led by interim president Jeanine Añez, has quickly consolidated power and achieved international legitimacy. So far, the Añez government has succeeded in calling elections for 2020; persecuting journalists, political opponents, and human rights activists; and, following two massacres of unarmed, mainly indigenous protesters that left at least nineteen dead — first on November 15 in Sacaba (near Cochabamba) and again on November 19 in El Alto (adjacent to La Paz) — negotiating a truce with the country’s trade union and social movements to remove road blockades in cities and countryside. It has also returned the armed forces to the barracks with impunity and $5 million in extra funds and equipment.

      • Trump Fails Again to Bring Troops Home From the Middle East

        Donald Trump’s Pentagon is allegedly mulling sending 14,000 U.S. troops to the Middle East to counter Iran.

      • Authorizations for Madness; The Effects and Consequences of Congress’ Endless Permissions for War

        For the first time in decades, passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has been delayed due to disagreements between Democrats and Republicans. The disagreements at the center of the delay in Congress are, as usual, partisan in nature: funding for the President’s border wall with Mexico, a Space Force the Pentagon doesn’t want, the impeachment hearings, and other domestic political issues. This delay in passage of a reconciled NDAA between the two houses of Congress, however offers an opportunity, because buried within the NDAA are possibilities to repeal the pieces of legislation that have brought mass human, financial and moral consequences to the US, have wrecked entire nations and societies abroad, and have made the United States less safe.

      • Why the Douma Chemical Attack Wasn’t a ‘Managed Massacre’

        In the long-running nightmare of the Syrian civil war, the attack at Douma was a déjà vu atrocity with big consequences in Washington.

      • Trump Fails Again to Bring Our Troops Home From Mideast: Mulling Escalation of 14,000 US Troops to the Middle East to Counter Iran

        Trump’s Pentagon is allegedly mulling sending 14,000 US troops to the Middle East to counter Iran.Although the Pentagon pushed back against the initial report, that had only said they were considering the troop escalation, and the Pentagon did not deny considering it. | By Juan Cole

      • Why Do We Punish the Peacemakers?

        You’re liable to run into trouble if you try to suggest there is a greater threat to planetary survival than climate change. But there is. It’s called nuclear war.

      • Trump-Led Shift Away From Multilateralism Risks Survival of Future Generations and Planet, Warn The Elders

        Former leaders and peace advocates known as the Elders urge countries to continue working together to fight nuclear proliferation, the climate crisis, and global injustice.

      • A ‘No-Brainer’: Anti-Nuclear Movement Urges Trump to Accept Putin Offer to Renew START Treaty

        “Losing New START would set the United States and Russia on a path to nuclear anarchy: a state of affairs where legal constraints of nuclear arsenals has ended and norms of voluntary restraint are weak or nonexistent. We’d all be flying blind into a nuclear arms race.”

      • Of Course John Kerry Endorsed Joe Biden

        On Thursday afternoon, the Washington Post sent out a news alert headlined “John Kerry Endorses Biden in 2020 Race, Saying He Has the Character and Experience to Beat Trump, Confront the Nation’s Challenges.” Meanwhile, in Iowa, Joe Biden was also touting his experience. “Look,” Biden said as he angrily lectured an 83-year-old farmer at a campaign stop, “the reason I’m running is because I’ve been around a long time and I know more than most people know, and I can get things done.”

      • Kerry’s Endorsement of Biden Fits: Two Deceptive Supporters of the Iraq War

        On Thursday afternoon, the Washington Post sent out a news alert headlined “John Kerry Endorses Biden in 2020 Race, Saying He Has the Character and Experience to Beat Trump, Confront the Nation’s Challenges.” Meanwhile, in Iowa, Joe Biden was also touting his experience.

      • Srinagar’s Shikaras: Still Waters Run Deep Losses

        Gulzar Ahmad Bhat is sitting quietly on a wooden bench at Ghat No. 15 of Dal Lake. Like other shikara rowers in Srinagar, he has seen barely any customers since August 2, when the Jammu and Kashmir government issued an advisory to tourists to leave Kashmir Valley immediately. “That made our future uncertain. In my 18 years here, I have never seen such bulk bookings [getting cancelled],” says 32-year-old Gulzar.

      • What Religion is Your Nationalism?

        In India today, if you do not belong to the majority community, your nationalism is suspect. If you do not hail their worship, you are a dissenter. But can a deity represent a nation’s ‘asmita’, self-esteem? Is building a temple nationalism?

      • Is Kashmir India’s Palestine?

        In August of this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India suspended Article 370 of the constitution, the provision that granted some level of autonomy to Kashmir. Already heavily policed by Indian soldiers, nearly 40,000 additional troops were deployed to ‘calm’ (read: further oppress) the population following Modi’s repressive and illegal decision. Travel in and out of the country was banned, with even news reporters forbidden from entering, and all communication was disrupted, leaving people around the world with no word on the status of their friends and family members in Kashmir.

      • Saudi Air Force Pilot in Shooting Spree at US Naval Base

        The U.S. Navy and law enforcement officials identified the shooter as a Saudi pilot, one of up to a few hundred foreign nationals who had come to the base in Pensacola for training.

        [...]

        Before the pilot opened fire at the base, he tweeted a will and quoted Osama bin Laden in justifying his actions, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which translates jihadist threats and communications.

      • Trump speaks with Saudi king after Pensacola shooting

        The president echoed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s denials of involvement in Khashoggi’s death and argued the economic relationship between the two countries was critical. The Trump administration ultimately sanctioned several individuals involved in the murder, but did not target the crown prince.

        The CIA later concluded the crown prince likely ordered Khashoggi’s killing.

      • World Bank adopts $1 billion-plus annual China lending plan over US objections

        The World Bank said its board on Thursday adopted a new plan to aid China with $1 billion to $1.5 billion in low-interest loans annually through June 2025, despite the objections of U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and several U.S. lawmakers.

        Mnuchin told a House Financial Services Committee hearing that the Treasury’s representative on the board had objected on to the plan on Wednesday, adding he wants the World Bank to “graduate” China from its concessional loan programs for low- and middle-income countries.

      • Pearl Harbor shooting: US sailor kills workers at Hawaii navy base

        The shooting was reported at about 14:30 (00:30 GMT) local time. The identities of those involved in the shooting have not yet been confirmed.

      • War and Betrayal: Change and Transformation
    • Environment

      • Not just Greta: Young people worldwide take charge on climate

        All over the world, in big cities and small villages, in developed and still-developing countries, in global powers and tiny island nations, young people are mobilizing and marching, as seen in Friday’s global climate strike. Beyond that, young people are starting their own organizations and innovating greener everyday-living practices, all in the name of addressing climate change.

        Motivated by increasingly grim scientific reports on where the planet is headed – rising temperatures, rising seas, rising drought – and by the reality that they will be inheriting the Earth, young people are taking action.

        But to speak with just about any of these young activists is to realize that they are also motivated by hope – hope in humanity to have the intelligence and determination to address this era’s existential threat, and hope that their own role, that any individual’s involvement, is a key factor in moving the whole world forward.

      • New Report on Ocean Oxygen Loss Gives ‘Ultimate Wake-Up Call’ to Act on Climate

        “Decisions taken at the ongoing climate conference will determine whether our ocean continues to sustain a rich variety of life, or whether habitable, oxygen-rich marine areas are increasingly, progressively, and irrevocably lost.”

      • Oceans losing oxygen due to climate emergency

        The authors say the report, “Ocean deoxygenation: Everyone’s problem,” is the largest ever peer-reviewed study into the causes, impacts and possible solutions to the ocean’s oxygen loss.

        “With this report, the scale of damage climate change is wreaking upon the ocean comes into stark focus. As the warming ocean loses oxygen, the delicate balance of marine life is thrown into disarray,” said Dr Grethel Aguilar, Acting Director General at the The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a body comprised of governmental and civil societies.

      • Climate policy needs negative carbon-dioxide emissions

        And soon Drax—the power plant is owned by a company of the same name—hopes to be more than an electricity supplier. It hopes to be a carbon remover. By pumping the CO2 it produces from its pellets into subterranean geological storage, rather than returning it to the atmosphere, it hopes to pioneer a process which climate policymakers see as vital: so-called “negative emissions”.

      • Commuting costs Americans over $16 billion per year, data shows

        Not only can commuting increase your stress load, but it can also be a strain on your financial resources. In fact, real estate service Clever reports that Americans spend more than $16 billion annually on commuting when we account for the cost of not just fuel and vehicle maintenance, but also, time spent on the road. And that’s reason enough to take steps to shrink your commute – or perhaps eliminate it altogether.

        The typical American spends $1,249 a year on fuel and automobile maintenance to drive to and from work. That equates to 2% of the average U.S. salary, as per Clever’s research.

      • 6 Youth Climate Activists Explain Their December 6 Climate Strike

        We caught up with six youth activists (ages 16-25) from various climate change action groups around the country who are striking today. We asked them how they got involved and what activism means to them. Here’s what they had to say.

        Answers have been edited for clarity and length.

      • Australia bushfires north of Sydney ‘too big to put out’

        The fire across almost 300,000 hectares (1,150 sq m) is just an hour’s drive from the nation’s most-populous city.

      • Calling Him Only 2020 Candidate Whose Plan ‘Can Save Our Planet,’ US Youth Climate Strike Leaders Endorse Bernie Sanders for President

        As sit-ins targeted establishment Democrats nationwide to demand the Green New Deal, Sanders stood with climate campaigners in Iowa on Friday and applauded striking youth worldwide who are saying: “Hey, we want a planet that we can grow up in and have kids in that is healthy and inhabitable.”

      • Greenland ice melt feeds glacier instability

        In a runaway effect, the Greenland ice melt lets surface water gurgle down to the bedrock – and at unexpected speeds.

      • Could the Pentagon Be a Climate Change Leader?
      • Alternative Climate Summit Honors Victims of Corporate Crimes

        We broadcast from Madrid, Spain, where the United Nations Climate Change Conference, known as COP25, began Monday and will continue through next week, as environmental leaders from around the world gather to negotiate global solutions to the climate crisis. Activists have converged on Madrid for the conference and are hosting an alternative summit of their own: Cumbre Social por el Clima — the Social Summit for the Climate. The alternative summit has been organized by social justice and environmental groups to draw attention to the ongoing political repression in Chile, corporate influence on the climate summit, Spain’s own failure to address the climate crisis and the Eurocentrism of the climate conference. This is the third year in a row that the conference is being held in Europe. We speak with Tom Kucharz, one of the organizers of the alternative climate conference. He is a journalist and activist with the group Ecologists in Action.

      • Young People Are Escalating to Sit-ins in Politicians’Offices Today. Here’s Why.

        Three weeks ago, hundreds of young people stormed the field during the annual Harvard vs Yale football game, holding banners reading, “Nobody wins. Yale and Harvard are complicit in climate injustice,” calling for their universities to divest from fossil fuels. When asked to leave the field, they responded with a resounding…

      • Even as 500,000 March in Madrid, Greta Thunberg Warns Climate Movement Has ‘Achieved Nothing’ Until Emissions Fall

        “We cannot afford more days going by without real action being taken.”

      • Cross-Generational Power to Change

        Greta Thunberg was just a little girl in Sweden who learned about the emerging threats to all of us–literally to every human being on Earth and to all species–from anthropogenic (human-caused) climate chaos.

      • Despite Warmest Decade on Record, We Still Act Like “Addicts Blowing Our Carbon Budget”

        For those following our climate crisis and the near-daily stories of extreme weather being experienced around the world, this will come as no surprise.

      • As Press Swarm Greta, Fellow Youth Activists Stage ‘Powerful and Strong’ Silent Protest at COP 25

        “We need climate action and we need change right now. And the time to act is now.”

      • ‘Fleeing Not Migrating’

        The term “climate refugee” has real meaning for Jose, who says he was forced off his family farm in Tabasco, Mexico due to pollution from oil production, which damaged crops and contributed to climate change.

      • Permafrost Hits a Grim Threshold

        For tens of thousands of years the Arctic’s carbon sink has been a powerful dynamic in functionality of the Earth System. However, that all-important functionality has been crippled and could be permanently severed. According to new research based upon field observations conducted from 2003 to 2017, a large-scale carbon emission shift in the Earth System has occurred.

      • What We Must Do

        The Warming Planet

        [...]

        If we now conclude that “worlding” is a kind of unfortunate thing humans do and that’s it’s too bad we can’t all live in accordance to or congruent with the facts, we need to re-read Book Three of Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels where Gulliver encounters a society where words are eschewed:“[M]any of the most learned and wise adhere to the new scheme of expressing themselves by things; which has only this inconvenience attending it, that if a man’s business be very great, and of various kinds, he must be obliged, in proportion, to carry a greater bundle of things upon his back, unless he can afford one or two strong servants to attend him.” Merely pointing to this or that to circumvent the processes of “worlding” and thus fashion universal understanding is an absurdity that Swift enjoys describing.

        Our often-screwy mediation of “the things themselves” wherein each of us insists things speak for themselves and we’re the ones who hear what they are saying makes our human “worlding” what human history shows it to be. “Mehr Licht” (“more light”) are said to be Goethe’s last words, as I suppose the wreckage of human history passed before his dying eyes.

        Both individuals and cultures live within various worlding bubbles, thus transmuting even absolute necessities into what is palpable within those bubbles, those mediated zones. Thus, you may have no fear of what an increase of temperature by 2040 will do to you personally because, say, you’re a member of the Dividend Class and anticipate being on some Olympian remove where the perils of global warming will not affect you. You may even be anticipating turning such catastrophe into a winning situation for yourself, as savvy market players tend to do.

      • Africa Could Power a Green Revolution

        Just before this year’s global climate summit opened in Madrid recently, researchers announced that emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels will hit a record high in 2019.

      • The Climate Emergency Has Already Begun as Earth Systems Collapse

        More than 11,000 scientists across 153 countries are shouting out a new climate change warning. The delay for action has been too long. Addressing our rapidly degrading and already overly dangerous climate is now officially an emergency.

      • Energy

        • Big Energy Front Group Launches Push for Troubled Atlantic Coast Pipeline

          The group argued that building the pipeline would save North Carolinians money by bringing more natural gas into the non-drilling state, characterizing that as an “energy justice” issue.

        • Bankrupt PG&E Makes $13.5 Billion Deal With California Wildfire Victims

          Pacific Gas and Electric announced Friday it has reached a tentative $13.5 billion settlement resolving all major claims related to the deadly, devastating Northern California wildfires of 2017-2018 that were blamed on its outdated equipment and negligence.

        • Chernobyl, Lies and Messianism in Russia

          “How much are these lies going to cost?” asks the nuclear physicist Legasov, as played by Jared Harris in the American series Chernobyl. This HBO series, broadcast a few months ago and based partly on Svetlana Alexievich’s book Voices from Chernobyl, reveals how the Soviet state tried to cover up the lethal explosion of the nuclear power station, by telling lie after lie. How much do lies cost? Today this question is just as valid as in the days of Gorbachev, Stalin and Lenin,

        • Why Are Some of the World’s Biggest Polluters Sponsoring UN Climate Summit?

          A group of climate activists walked out of a panel at the U.N. climate summit in Madrid on Thursday to protest the presence of Shell, BP and Chevron. Representatives from the oil companies were taking part in an event organized by the International Emissions Trading Association. This comes as the Spanish government is facing criticism for reaching out to Endesa, Spain’s biggest corporate greenhouse gas polluter, to sponsor the U.N. climate talks. We speak with Pascoe Sabido, a researcher and campaigner for the Corporate Europe Observatory, who has been organizing toxic tours of Madrid to expose the corporations and financiers driving the climate crisis.

        • BP Challenged Over Ads That Mislead Consumers About Its Polluting Portfolio

          Environmental lawyers have made a formal complaint against oil giant BP, claiming its latest advertising campaign is misleading consumers about its commitment to tackling climate change.

        • EPA Watchdog: White House Blocked Part of Truck Pollution Investigation, Caused Lack of Public Information

          The Trump administration pushed through an exemption to clean air rules, effectively freeing heavy polluting, super-cargo trucks from following clean air rules. It rushed the rule without conducting a federally mandated study on how it would impact public health, especially children, said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Inspector General Charles J. Sheehan in a report released yesterday, as the AP reported.

        • ‘Now Let’s Do This Everywhere’: Kansas City, Missouri Approves Free Public Transit for All

          Measure championed as “visionary” way to reduce inequality and better serve everyone in the community.

      • Wildlife/Nature

        • Factory Farm Conditions Are Bad for People Too

          In 2014, the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, commissioned by the UK government and Wellcome Trust, estimated that 700,000 people around the world die each year due to drug-resistant infections. A follow-up report two years later showed no change in this estimate of casualties. Without action, that number could grow to 10 million per year by 2050. A leading cause of antibiotic resistance? The misuse and overuse of antibiotics on factory farms.

        • Nature’s ‘Brita Filter’ Is Dying and Nobody Knows Why

          Freshwater mussels, like pollinators and trees, are critical to their larger ecosystems and the world around them. They create habitat for other species, like freshwater coral reefs, and help maintain the structure and rigidity of the waterways they call home. They scoop up algae and nutrients, processing and concentrating them for others to eat.

          But perhaps most importantly, these soft-bodied invertebrates improve the water quality around them (check out this video.) They filter out sediment and agricultural runoff, limiting the size and impacts of dead zones. They reduce fecal bacteria from water, lowering the risk of E.coli. They sequester carbon, phosphorous and heavy metals. There’s even evidence they can remove man-made contaminants from water, like pharmaceuticals, flame retardants and personal care products.

          A single freshwater mussel can filter more than 15 gallons of water in a day.

        • Aldo Leopold, Revisited

          I had long heard of Aldo Leopold but never got around to reading his famous book till my sister put it in my hands a few weeks ago. Any book considered a classic almost certainly has a lot to recommend it, and this is no exception; but before getting around to that, I would point out what were, to me, some surprising features of Mr. Leopold’s behavior and opinions.

          [...]

          Before relating the above anecdote, he had told, in a section called “Red Legs Kicking,” of killing the last duck that had not left for winter. He achieved this with exquisite knowledge of fowl behavior, guessing that if one were around it would come to the only place not totally iced over. There he waited for a long time in the cold. “I cannot remember the shot; I remember only my unspeakable delight… p. 121”

          Whatever one thinks of such sport it is clear that, as a young man, Aldo Leopold was prone to wanton killing. “When she climbed the bank toward us and shook out her tail, we realized our error: it was a wolf. A half-dozen others, evidently grown pups sprang from the willows and all joined in a welcoming melee of wagging tails and playful maulings. What was literally a pile of wolves writhed and tumbled in the center of an open flat at the foot of our rimrock.

          “In those days we had never heard of passing up a chance to kill a wolf. In a second we were pumping lead into the pack… When our rifles were empty, the old wolf was down, and a pup was dragging a leg into impassable slide-rocks… I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean a hunters’ paradise. But seeing the green fire die, [in the old wolf’s eyes] I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view. p. 130”

          Leopold distinguishes between the young trophy-hunter and the mature. “The trophy-hunter is the caveman reborn. Trophy-hunting is the prerogative of youth, racial or individual, and nothing to apologize for.

      • Overpopulation

        • From Caesar’s Last Breath to Ours

          Human Life is a sexually transmitted planetary disease, Climate Change is the disinfectant that will cure it. (I’ll explain myself on this later.)

    • Finance

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Fastest-Growing Washington Lobbying Firms Benefit From Trump Ties

        For many well-connected Washington lobbying firms, business is booming after President Donald Trump’s 2016 election.

      • The Truth About this Election

        This is the most vital fact to understand what has happened so far in this election. There is a striking consistency across the opinion polls that the Tories have stabilised around 42%. That is just less than they achieved at the 2017 election.

      • How Media Turn Support for Public Schools Into Opposition to Children of Color

        Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and other Democratic presidential candidates are rejecting the Obama administration’s embrace of charter schools, and media observers aren’t taking kindly to it. “Minority Voters Chafe as Democratic Candidates Abandon Charter Schools,” blared a recent New York Times headline (11/26/19). “The front-runners for the presidential nomination are moving away from the charter school movement, and black and Latino families ask why their concerns are lost,” read the subhead.

      • House Impeachment Report Cites Abuse of Power, Bribery, Corruption

        Previewing potential articles of impeachment, the House Democrats on Saturday issued a lengthy report drawing on history and the Founding Fathers to lay out the legal argument over the case against President Donald Trump’s actions toward Ukraine.

      • Los Angeles County’s District Attorney Must Go, and Here’s Why

        All over the nation, organizers are calling attention to the tremendous power of prosecutors and demanding reforms that protect public safety and accountability for all communities, especially black people, people of color and poor people.

      • Misconceptions About Lobbying Representatives and Agencies

        Never overestimate the knowledge, intelligence, or courage of elected representatives.

      • With Support of Just One Republican, House Passes ‘Historic’ Bill to Restore and Expand Voting Rights

        “Brings us one step closer to restoring the Voting Rights Act.”

      • The Focus on Trump Reveals the Democrat Model

        In 2016, the democrats and republicans openly agreed on one major vital point in the presidential campaign. Both organizations agreed that the best candidates they could put forward were devious, obfuscating windbags who disingenuously and deliberately used words to give the impression that they gave a rat’s ass about people who were suffering under the corruptions to which both candidates were intimately aligned. As events unfolded, the one person who seemed to have a clue as to how things needed (and still need) to change proudly allowed his supporters’ wishes to be jettisoned as he embraced the democrats’ fraud.

      • A Presidential Speech the World Needs to Hear
      • Are Democrats Blowing Trump’s Impeachment?
      • Law Seminar in the Hearing Room: Impeachment Day Six

        The week began with a few tweets from ignorant congresspeople and the president decrying the supposed unfairness of the proceedings. Pompeo chimed in with a remark that the timing was “unfortunate.” His reasoning was that Trump had important business to take care of in Britain at the NATO meeting. You know, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which Trump claims to hate. Personally, I think if they changed the name of it to North Atlantic Trump Organization, he would be fine with it. Like a dog pissing on every tree he passes by, Trump wants people to know he’s been there. Preferably, he hopes they will not only acknowledge his greatness but like him, too. Still, it’s about more than Trump’s ego.  Like I wrote before, it’s also about trumpism remaking the United States in his image—white and rude. He has a good start on that aspect, given that many US residents are precisely that. It’s also about giving the US government to the most reactionary factions of the US ruling class.  That’s why the white supremacist Stephen Miller remains in charge of immigration and why each head of the State Department is more belligerent sounding than the previous one. Admittedly, there’s a fine line involved there, but the trend does seem to hold true.

      • Phoning It In
      • The Chosen One

        It all made sense thanks to a simple trumpian tweet.  At first glance it had seemed to be just another in the never-ending tweet storm inflicted on the country by the boy in the Oval Office. Placed in the proper context, however, it makes perfect sense.

        [...]

        In an interview on Fox News, the Secretary said he believed the trump was chosen by God to lead the country. Acknowledging something virtually all democrats, and perhaps a handful of Republicans such as Mr. Perry are aware, Mr. Perry said that the trump is not perfect. He said: “God’s used imperfect people all through history. King David wasn’t perfect. Saul wasn’t perfect. Solomon wasn’t perfect.”

      • Appalachia Has a Rich History of Women-Led Social Movements

        After the 2016 presidential election, many people in the United States sought to understand the rise of Trump through stories of rural America. Books like “Hillbilly Elegy” and “Strangers in Their Own Land” examined conservative communities as a way to explain the rise in right-wing politics.

      • Why Not Also Go With “The Kitchen Table” Impeachable Offenses for Removal?

        Failure by Congress to prevent devastating precedents from being invoked and followed by future presidents will create a legacy of disgrace for Congress.

      • Who Is the Audience for the Judiciary Committee Hearing?

        An evaluation of the House Democratic leadership’s performance.

      • ‘Where’s the Party? Come On, Man’: Biden Claims Democrats Not Down for AOC-Style Progress Like Medicare for All

        “OK boomer,” progressives responded.

      • The Dismal Dollar Dems and the Subversion of Democracy

        I never cease to be amused by the brazen hypocrisy of the dismal, dollar-drenched Goldman Sachs-Citigroup-JP Morgan Chase-Council on Foreign Relations Democrats. Yesterday morning, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Net Worth: $101 million, D-CA) blessed the drafting of Articles of Impeachment against the demented fascist oligarch Donald Trump. She gave the nod in a short oration that cited the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution to accuse the rancid and rogue President of the United States of trying to enlist foreign leaders in helping him undermine the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.

      • Trump Gets Away with Stuff Because He Does

        “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters, okay?” Donald Trump said at an Iowa campaign rally in January of 2016. That remark gets quoted, mostly by liberals bemoaning the unquestioning loyalty of the president’s stupid supporters, a lot.

      • We Need to Talk About Joe Biden
      • Pete Buttigieg Faces New Scrutiny for McKinsey Past

        Days after reports surfaced about the global consulting firm McKinsey’s work advising the Trump administration on immigration policy, calls are growing louder for South Bend, Indiana mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg to disclose details about the work he did for the company.

      • Demand Grows for Buttigieg to Come Clean About His Time at ‘Corporate Greed Machine’ McKinsey

        “The political risk is not that his former employer, a multibillion-dollar corporate entity that promotes fraud across the globe, will be mad at him. It’s what he would have to disclose.”

      • Dennis Kucinich, Tulsi Gabbard and the Slow Death of the Democratic Delusion

        As a practice, I despise both major parties with a passion usually reserved for religious zealotry. But I’m not ashamed, even as a lifelong leftist, to admit that I hate the Democrats most of all. In fact, it’s precisely because I’m a leftist that I hate the Democrats most of all. The only thing worse than a racist horde of war hungry zillionaires is a racist horde of war hungry zillionaires who try to pass them selves off as the high handed voice of egalitarianism. It’s like having Strom Thurmond throw on a Rasta wig and wax poetic about how he understands why the n*ggers feel cold and the slum’s got so much soul (compliments to Jello Biafra). It doesn’t exactly make me feel better that I use to be a member of that limp-wristed blackface fraternity.

      • Whatever Happened to the Obama Coalition?

        Kamala Harris is out. This makes me almost sad; she was a snarky debater and, for a “moderate,” she wasn’t all that bad. Perhaps her managers ought to have stressed that point: “Better Than Booker” would have been a fine slogan for her to run on. Now, with Harris gone, it falls to that dreadful Obama wannabe to take the lead in keeping talk of “reviving the Obama coalition” on the front burner.

      • Conviction and Removal Aren’t the Issue; It’s Impeachment of Trump That is Essential

        A lot of pundit verbiage and Democratic Party internal debate as well is being wasted on the question of whether Trump could be convicted successfully in a Senate currently run by a lickspittle Republican majority afraid of their shadows and devoid of any concern for the fate of Constitutional government.

      • Trump Will Likely Survive Impeachment — But It Will Still Hurt Him

        After deliberating with the members of her caucus and reading the House Select Committee on Intelligence report on the Ukraine bribery scandal, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday morning that she has directed the chairs of the Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight and Reform, Financial Services and Ways and Means committees to begin writing articles of impeachment against President Trump.

      • Eat an Impeachment

        Alexander Cockburn and I had our most ferocious arguments not over climate change or the relative merits of Muddy Waters versus Howlin’ Wolf, but about the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Alex didn’t think Clinton should be pilloried for lying about sex. I thought the more trivial the offense the better, for the man whose murderous sanctions on Iraq killed a half million innocent kids.

      • The Audacity of Hypocrisy

        It is the era of disavowal of Trump.  Long despised by anti-racists and humanists of many stripes, his foreign policy has now even offended US empire builders, leaving us with an overlap of interests between those who wish to scuttle Trump’s overt policies of hate and those who hate to see US power decrease in the world. Whether via impeachment or election, the time has come for a new carrier of the torch. That person will almost certainly be a Democrat, one who is “liberal” enough to appear to support human rights, justice and democracy but who is also committed to the maximization of US economic and political influence, just more nicely done.

      • Imperiling Progressive Change ‘For as Long as We Live,’ One in Five Federal Judges Now a Trump Appointee

        “Without a meaningful plan for court reform any presidential attempts to make needed change will simply be blocked by the courts.”

      • Fastest-Growing DC Lobbying Firms Benefit From Trump Ties

        For many well-connected Washington lobbying firms, business is booming after President Donald Trump’s 2016 election.

      • Great Uncertainties in UK Election Polls Suggest Fight Against Brexit Isn’t Over

        With barely one week to go until the U.K. votes in its general election, opinion polls show Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives out in front. But most of them also show that the race has tightened somewhat in the past couple of weeks. Increasingly, what once looked likely to be a multiparty free-for-all is reverting to the historic norm: a two-way fight between Conservatives and Labour for most voters’ loyalties.

      • Long Overdo
      • Julie Hollar on Election 2020 Coverage
      • With People in the Streets Worldwide, Media Focus Uniquely on Hong Kong

        2019 may be remembered as the year of the protest, as demonstrations are engulfing the world. From the Yellow Vests in France to demonstrations in Lebanon, Gaza, Chile, Ecuador and Haiti, sustained movements all over the planet have taken to the street demanding change. Yet US corporate media have been disproportionately interested in only one: the Hong Kong protests.

      • More than 500 law professors sign letter calling Trump actions impeachable

        The 520 professors said in the letter posted to Medium that impeachment does not require a crime, but rather an abuse of the public trust.

        “There is overwhelming evidence that President Trump betrayed his oath of office by seeking to use presidential power to pressure a foreign government to help him distort an American election, for his personal and political benefit, at the direct expense of national security interests as determined by Congress,” the professors wrote.

      • Episode 57 – Right Wing Conspiracies: From John Birch to QAnon – Along The Line Podcast

        Along the Line, is a member of the Demcast network, brought to you by the Media Freedom Foundation. On today’s episode hosts Nicholas Baham III (Dr. Dreadlocks), Janice Domingo,  and Nolan Higdon discuss unsubstantiated right wing conspiracies. ATL’s  Creative Director is Dylan Lazaga.  Mickey Huff is ATL’s producer. ATL’s engineer is Janice Domingo. Adam Armstrong is ATL’s webmaster.

    • Censorship/Free Speech

      • Duterte threatens to shut down Philippine broadcaster ABS-CBN

        On December 3, Duterte threatened ABS-CBN, a privately owned news network whose franchise agreement is due to expire on March 30, 2020, saying, “Your franchise will end next year. If you expect it to be renewed, I’m sorry. I will see to it that you’re out,” according to a report by Philippine news website Rappler.

      • The Next Chapter in Anti-Censorship

        This talk gets you up to speed on all the ways governments have tried to block Tor, walks through our upcoming steps to stay ahead of the arms race, and gives you some new—easier—ways that let you help censored users reach the internet safely. Full talk blurb here.

    • Freedom of Information / Freedom of the Press

      • The Plot to Discredit and Destroy Julian Assange

        A day after dozens of doctors around the world released a statement about their mounting concerns regarding Julian Assange’s health as he’s detained in a British prison, Truthdig Editor in Chief Robert Scheer spoke with Tariq Ali, a renowned British journalist and co-editor of a recent collection of essays titled “In Defense of Julian Assange.” To Scheer, Ali and the book’s many contributors, the case against the WikiLeaks founder boils down to an international effort to suppress press freedoms. Yet as Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States have co-authored Assange’s downfall, many journalists and publishers, including some at The Guardian and The New York Times—two publications that published work based on WikiLeaks—have refused to defend Assange.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Celebrating WTO+20 and Looking Forward in Seattle

        Marking the anniversary of the WTO street uprising would not be complete without getting into the streets.

      • New Orleans Activists Clash With Sheriff Over Jail Expansion

        Back in 2010, New Orleans Sheriff Marlin Gusman asked the city government for a 6,000-bed jail to replace buildings damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The proposal faced backlash in a city notorious for the conditions in its jail and the brutality of its criminal legal system. In 2015, a new jail opened with only 1,438 beds.

      • Numbers Tell the Story of Hong Kong’s Human Rights

        The highs and lows of the Hang Seng index. Real estate prices. The cost of new cellphones. In the past, it was these sorts of numbers that some people in Hong Kong noticed.

        But now, six months into an unprecedented wave of pro-democracy protests, it’s different figures that capture some people’s attention: 5,800 arrests, 10,000 rounds of tear gas; at least 17 protest applications rejected by authorities, 1,000 retired police officers pressed back into service. And this one: 25 percent of Hong Kong people have participated in a recent protest.

      • Trump Has Built a Bureaucratic Wall to Keep Out Immigrants He Says He Wants

        Samir came to the United States from India in 2006 as a graduate student. He got a master’s degree in environmental engineering, and after a few internships where he picked up programming skills, he was hired in 2010 by UnitedHealthcare, a Fortune 500 insurance company based in Minnesota. He loved his job streamlining its claims process. “There were days where I worked three days nonstop, no sleep, nothing, because we wanted people to get cured—they need to get the treatment,” he recalls. “I put my soul in there.”

      • Police-Perpetrated Torture and Abuse Are Reopening Old Wounds in Chile

        What began over a public transportation fare hike in Chile grew into a massive protest movement against inequality and abuse. The protest demanded a profound social change. On October 19, former Interior Minister Andrés Chadwick, along with President Sebastián Piñera, declared a state of emergency, flooding the country’s streets with police and military officers to limit popular mobilization.

      • Why Are Cops Around the World Using This Outlandish Mind-Reading Tool?

        The police gave Ricky Joyner a pen and a nine-page questionnaire.

        Write what you did, beginning to end, on the day Sandra Hernandez disappeared, one question asked.

      • A Just Society Doesn’t Criminalize Girls

        The policies and unfair practices that disproportionately push girls of color from institutions of learning stem from deeply entrenched biases that require bold, community-based solutions to correct.

      • What the C.I.A.’s Torture Program Looked Like to the Tortured

        Drawings done in captivity by the first prisoner known to undergo “enhanced interrogation” portray his account of what happened to him in vivid and disturbing ways.

      • Going to the ICJ: Myanmar, Genocide and Aung San Suu Kyi’s Gamble

        Leaders currently in office rarely make an appearance before either the International Court of Justice or the International Criminal Court. International law remains affixed to the notion that heads-of-state are, at least for the duration of their time in office, safe from prosecution. Matters change once the time in office expires.

      • A Lesson From the Danes on Immigration

        Denmark is in the news now because of its purported hostility to immigrants. Brooke Harrington, a sociology professor at Dartmouth, published an op ed in the New York Times on Tuesday about how she was nearly carted off to a Danish prison for giving invited guest lectures to the Danish parliament. Danes had tightened up the immigration laws so swiftly recently that apparently even the parliament was unaware that it had become illegal for academics from outside the European Union to give guest lectures.

      • House Chairman Says Trump Administration Misled Congress on Boy’s Death in Custody

        The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee accused the Trump administration of misleading Congress and the public about the death of a 16-year-old boy in Border Patrol custody, and he urged a swift completion of an internal investigation.

        Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said a report by ProPublica on the May 20 death of Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez “calls into serious question the steps U.S. Customs and Border Protection claims to have taken to care for a child in its custody.”

      • Carlos’ Family Objects to Publication of Video Detailing His Death

        The family of a teenage boy whose death ProPublica investigated has objected to the publication of a surveillance video that documented his last hours.

        Yesterday, ProPublica published a detailed account of failings and missteps by the U.S. Border Patrol, in whose custody 16-year-old Carlos Gregorio Hernandez Vasquez died. As part of the story, ProPublica published several moments from a lengthy surveillance video in which Carlos struggles on the floor of his cell and then stops moving. The video, which had not been shared with Congress or the public, contradicts the government’s claim that Carlos was discovered as a result of a “welfare check.’’ It shows that his cellmate awoke, saw his motionless body, and summoned Border Patrol agents.

      • 1619: The Mighty Whitey Arrives

        One of the more interesting sub-narratives of Edward Snowden’s recent memoir, Permanent Record, is his discussion of his All-American heritage. His mother descended from the first Pilgrim child born in the New World, not long after their arrival on the Mayflower in 1620. His father’s side featured seafarers, merchants and adventurers, and other defenders of the far-flung realm. Eventually, his more direct relatives settled in Maryland and with the 1900 acres given them by King Charles II and opened up the Patuxent Iron Works, whose manufacture of cannonballs was later crucial to the War of Independence, and Snowden Plantation, a farm and dairy operation manned by slaves.

      • Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and the Insecurity of China’s Leadership

        Hong Kong is in chaos, with no sign that the protesters will yield on their demands. Mass incarceration and indoctrination of Uyghurs and other Chinese Muslims has become so widely publicized, and evidenced, that Chinese leaders no longer try to deny that a roundup has taken place, though they dispute the numbers. As China extends its economic reach, its leaders have to confront another reality: Reputation matters, and economic clout will not easily convert to political or cultural influence. International repugnance is widespread over the Xi Jinping government’s flouting of human rights norms and seeming indifference to human suffering.

      • Moscow court fines journalist 300,000 rubles for attending protest

        Moscow’s Meshchansky District Court has fined journalist Ilya Azar 300,000 rubles ($4,700) for participating in a demonstration on August 31. In court, Azar rejected allegations that it was an illegal assembly, and his lawyer, Tatyana Molokanova, argued that prosecutors presented no evidence that any disorderly conduct occurred at the rally. “In photographs, you can see Mr. Azar eating ice cream and not chanting any slogans,” Molokanova told the court.

      • Feminist Art Exhibit Threatened in Kyrgyzstan

        The “Feminnale” exhibition at Kyrgyzstan’s National Art Museum centers on the theme of economic independence for women, intentionally challenging gender norms in the country. But instead of treating the event as an opportunity to foster conversation, opponents have instigated an intense backlash

      • Saudi Arabia’s Strategy to ‘Sportswash’ Abuses

        Saudi Arabia has been better known of late for serious human rights violations than sports spectacles. Yet the country is hosting the December 7 heavyweight world title boxing rematch between Andy Ruiz Jr. and Anthony Joshua, with likely millions watching around the world.

      • Brazil Grants Asylum to 21,000 Venezuelans in a Single Day

        On December 5, Brazil’s refugee agency (CONARE) granted asylum to 21,432 Venezuelans . Until then, CONARE had granted asylum to a total of just 263. There are currently 224,000 Venezuelans living in Brazil.

      • Algeria: Crackdown as Election Looms

        Algerian Algerian authorities are cracking down on the protest movement known as “the Hirak,” which opposes holding the presidential elections scheduled for December 12, 2019, arresting hundreds of activists and imprisoning scores for protests or waving flags, Human Rights Watch said today.

      • Russian Trans Woman Sentenced to Three Years in Men’s Prison on Bogus Pornography Charges

        A Russian court has sentenced a 53-year-old trans woman to three years in prison, on bogus “distribution of pornography depicting minors” charges for sharing nude anime drawings on social media.

      • BNP Before a French Court

        A court case is currently running in France that is of relevance to more than the French.

      • U.S. says Iran may have killed more than 1,000 in recent protests

        Tehran has given no official death toll but Amnesty International said on Monday it had documented the deaths of at least 208 protesters, making the disturbances the bloodiest since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

        Tehran’s clerical rulers have blamed “thugs” linked to its opponents in exile and the country’s main foreign foes – the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia – for the unrest.

      • DHS Wanted To Add US Citizens To The Long List Of People Subjected To Mandatory Face Scans At Airports… But Has Backed Down For Now

        We knew the DHS would get to this point eventually. Since the beginning of its biometric scanning program rollout, the DHS has planned on adding US citizens to the list of people forced to trade their faces for air travel privileges. So far, the program has been limited to suspicious foreigners (which is all of them, including those here on visas), but a recent filing — caught by Zack Whittaker at TechCrunch — says flying in the United States would soon require adding yourself to the government’s facial recognition databases.

      • Trump Administration Drops Plans For Mandatory Face Scans of Citizens

        Sen. Ed Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, credited public pressure as the impetus for the agency’s reversal. Markey panned the scheduled proposal as an “outrageous invasion of privacy” when it was made public and pledged to introduce legislation blocking it.

        “Thanks to our pressure, DHS is reversing course and NOT moving forward with its dystopian facial recognition proposal at U.S. airports,” Markey said Thursday. “But we cannot take our right to privacy for granted. I still plan to introduce legislation to ban this kind of surveillance.”

      • UK’s oldest ISP blames DoS attack on attempt to suppress human rights report about West Papua (read it now!)

        Last month, Greennet was taken offline by a massive denial of service attack that it believes was aimed at suppressing this report from Papuans Behind Bars, which documents Indonesian political repression in West Papua, aimed at suppressing an independence movement.

      • New political prisoners, treason charges and lack of judicial transparency in political prisoner cases

        Numerous political arrests have taken place in 2018 and 2019 as the Indonesian authorities attempt to suppress political protests in West Papua and Indonesia. In particular, treason charges have been used to an unprecedented extent to arrest political activists during August and September thisyear, in response to an apparent increase in support across Indonesia for the West Papuan self-determination struggle. Foreign as well as local human rights advocates are being subjected to similar scrutiny.

        Papuans Behind Bars (PBB) documents and identifies Papuan political prisoners/ detainees in order to bring to light their cases, and also monitors for fair and free trials. The people involved in gathering the data are lawyers from non-profit, independent legal aid institutions in West Papua whoalso provide legal assistance to political prisoners, human rights advocates and activists. They collaborate so as to get accurate data on the prisoners/detainees. PBB also analyses the consistency between the data it collects and any reports in the media. Most of these cases, however, are not reported in the media.

      • Rape, aftermath, GST

        While I do not usually like to start with bad news, but seems bad news is the flavor of the month. We seem to be going downhill one day after that. So let’s see what happened. First there is this piece which came in Washington Post and then there was the travel advisory for women travelling by their lonesome from UK and USA . It probably applies to women, even couples for sure . I am sure it was not an easy decision to come to but they had to as they as citizens come first for them. In between my last blog post and this, couple of more horrific things happened. The first thing we came to know is the burning of the Unnao rape victim which happened on Thursday i.e. 2 days from now when I am blogging. Apparently, she had gone to give her statement in a court hearing when the 5 people burned her. It does raise questions about the quality of protection being given to her. Just to be clear, there were no reports of any of the policeman coming to any harm which makes it all the most curious.

        The second horrific incident were when the 4 accused in the Hyderabad rape case were ‘encountered‘ . Curiously in this case as well, except for some slight injuries to the policeman there were no injuries. This was when there were 10 policeman accosting the 4 accused. The 4 accused have supposed to taken away all the guns, how we don’t know and still didn’t manage to fire on one of them. It raises and raised too many unanswered questions. Because of these killings, we will never know the answers. What if it turned in investigation that these were not the culprits or there was a fifth or a sixth person who was not named. There was also lot of celebration of this ‘encounter’ which seems that we are still a medieval state rather than a 21st century state. Of course when you have majoritarian narratives such as ‘Hindu Khatre mein hain‘ driving election campaigns rather than anything else than all sorts of things are possible. This is when the country is going through its worst economic history, probably parallel to 1991 although that one was more externally driven while this was is more due to internal factors rather than externals.

    • Internet Policy/Net Neutrality

      • Vowing to Deliver High-Speed Broadband for All, Sanders Plan Would Enshrine Internet as Public Utility

        “Access to the internet is a necessity in today’s economy, and it should be available for all.”

      • Another Day, Another Telecom Giant Caught Taking Taxpayer Subsidies They Didn’t Deserve

        For decades, big and small telecoms alike have abused the FCC Lifeline program, a fund that’s supposed to help subsidize telecom connectivity for low income users. Started by Reagan and expanded by Bush, the fairly modest program doles out a measly $9.25 per month subsidy that low-income homes can use to help pay a tiny fraction of their wireless, phone, or broadband bills (enrolled participants have to chose one). While the program (which you pay into via your telecom bills) has been a subject of fraud, enforcement of abuse hasn’t always been consistent.

      • Why I Don’t Have a Mobile Phone

        In the late 1990’s I bought an early model Ericsson mobile phone. Traveling around the UK countryside visiting farmers, it seemed quite useful, in spite of the very intermittent signal availability of that time. However, I found the masts which transmitted the signals to be extremely ugly and completely unfitting to the rolling beauty of much of the English countryside.

      • Bernie Sanders Says Internet Service Should be a Human Right

        Sanders wants to break up large media and telecommunications giants, force companies to make [Internet] services more accessible to people with disabilities, and regulate broadband prices to ensure affordability. He says he will treat [Internet] service as a human right.

        “Just as President Roosevelt fundamentally made America more equal by bringing electricity to every farm and rural community over 80 years ago, as president, I will do the same with high-speed [Internet],” Sanders said in a statement.

    • Digital Restrictions (DRM)

      • Disney’s Decision Not To Renew SecuROM License Bricks ‘Tron: Evolution’

        Show of hands: who remembers SecuROM? Alright, put your hands down, we can’t see each other anyway. So, SecuROM was a really bad DRM used by several publishers to “protect” video games, by which I mean it mostly just annoyed legitimate buyers, got some of those publishers sued, and ultimately made the game unplayable on modern operating systems. The track record is enough to make you wonder why anyone would use DRM at all after this whole debacle.

    • Monopolies

      • Bernie Sanders Vows to Break Up Comcast, Verizon & AT&T: ‘Their Greed Must End’ [iophk: what about the subsidies they already received but did not build with?]

        “Telecom and cable monopolies exploit their dominant market power to gouge consumers and lobby government at all levels to keep out competition. Just four companies control nearly two-thirds of the entire market,” the proposal reads. But instead of just forcing [Internet] providers to divest from some of their access business, Sanders plans to hit them where it hurts — and effectively roll back much of the media consolidation of the past couple of years.

        Not only does his proposal call for the full reinstatement of net neutrality and for classifying broadband as a public utility, but Sanders also threatened to “unwind anticompetitive vertical conglomerates” and bar [Internet] service providers from also providing content.

      • Uber Reports Over 3,000 Sexual Assaults on 2018 Rides

        Uber, as part of a long anticipated safety report, revealed that more than 3,000 sexual assaults were reported during its U.S. rides in 2018.

      • Uber safety review reports more than 3,000 allegations of sexual assault last year

        According to the 84-page review of 2017 and 2018, Uber received 5,981 allegations of serious sexual assault in the U.S. over the course of 2017 and 2018 and 3,045 last year alone.

        Of those sexual assaults complaints, 235 were reports of rape in 2018, up from 229 in 2017 and 280 were reports of attempted rape in 2018, down from 307 in 2017. There were 1,560 reports of groping in 2018, up from 1,440 in 2017 and 376 reports of unwanted kissing on the mouth, breast or buttocks, down from 390 in 2017.

        Another 594 reports in 2018 involved unwanted kissing of a different body part, up from 570 in 2017.

        These numbers count only those victims who came forward to make a complaint and, as sexual assault is an under-reported crime, may be higher. In all, Uber reported sexual assault and sexual misconduct data in 21 categories.

      • Uber Received Nearly 6,000 U.S. Sexual Assault Claims In Past 2 Years

        The company received 5,981 allegations of serious sexual assault in the U.S. over two years, according to a new report covering 2017 and 2018. The claims range from unwanted touching and kissing to rape.

        The U.S.-only report also covers deaths involving Uber rides. During those two years, 107 people died in crashes involving Uber cars, and 19 people were killed in physical assaults during or soon after an Uber ride.

      • Patents

        • Litigation

          • Super Mario company paved the way for BMW and Daimler’s invalidity defense against a Broadcom patent

            There was a time when a video game console manufacturer like Nintendo and car makers like BMW and Daimler were technologically so far apart that one could hardly have imagined the same patent would get asserted against those three organizations. But times have changed, and a patent on programmable texture processing (a computer graphics patent) can now be alleged–whether with or without merit–to read on game consoles as well as car navigation systems (or other computing technology incorporated into a modern automobile).

            There also was a time when Broadcom was more interested in making products than asserting patents, and often filed pretty good amicus curiae briefs advocating reasonableness in patent enforcement (particularly, but not only, with respect to standard-essential patents). That, too, has changed.

            Time is ticking away for some very old Broadcom patents on the verge of expiry. Last year, however, Broadcom forced the Volkswagen group into a billion-dollar settlement, exploiting the sad state of affairs of German patent law, where injunctions are granted–mnst of the time over patents that would later be held invalid–without an eBay v. MercExchange-like proportionality analysis. One of Europe’s best patent judges believes Germany is in breach of EU law for that reason, and at a conference I recently organized in Brussels, a lawyer said the European Commission could, if it wanted, fine Germany for infringement of an EU directive.

            The latest insanity–Germany-wide patent injunctions obtained by BlackBerry against Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram subsidiaries over four different (most likely invalid) software patents–shows that this situation is unsustainable, and I’m confident that change will come. Germany’s patent infringement judges unanimously oppose reform, but they’re not going to be the ones to decide. At the most, they can influence the unelected officials at the ministry of justice, but the German legislature will make the actual decision and is going to be a million times more interested in strengthening the German economy and protecting German jobs and consumers than in attracting lots of patent troll litigation to the country. There won’t be a single party in the German parliament that would support the status quo. The judges are going to lose this battle.

          • Korea Fair Trade Commission defeats Qualcomm’s antitrust appeal in court, but Qualcomm will appeal–and violate–further

            As Reuters and other media outlets reported, the Seoul High Court upheld the record $873 million fine the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) had imposed on Qualcomm. The issues in the South Korean antitrust case are very similar to the ones in the U.S. FTC v. Qualcomm case, and the most important overlap concerns the obligation to extend exhaustive SEP licenses, on FRAND terms, to rival chipset makers.

            For the South Korean competition authority, this is a major legal victory. Qualcomm has announced its intent to appeal this matter further to the Supreme Court of South Korea. But that appeal will take roughly half a decade to be resolved.

            Qualcomm’s problem is not to cough up the (almost) billion-dollar fine. Korea–with Samsung and LG being based there–is a strategically important market. What hurts Qualcomm much more in the short term is that this Korean decision may also serve to demonstrate to the Ninth Circuit that the U.S. FTC and Judge Lucy H. Koh reached decisions that are simply in the global antitrust mainstream. I guess the U.S. FTC will file a request for judicial notice soon–and, by the way, I believe the companies who lodged EU antitrust complaints against Nokia (Daimler, Continental, Valeo, Gemalto, BURY Technologies) should also try to leverage the Korean decision in Brussels.

            The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hear FTC v. Qualcomm on February 13, 2020. In the post I just linked to, I listed my posts on most of the amicus curiae briefs filed in support of the FTC, and subsequently I also blogged about an automotive-industry brief.

      • Copyrights

        • WinRAR Nukes Pirate Keygen But is a “Good Guy” Towards Regular Users

          WinRAR is one of the most recognizable pieces of software in history and one that’s effectively free to use, forever. Nevertheless, the company behind the product still has to deal with infringement, something that was highlighted in a complaint filed against a keygen creator this week. That said, WinRAR informs TorrentFreak that no one should really need to use a pirated copy of its software.

        • Our Book, “Creative Commons for Educators and Librarians,” Is Now Available

          The book, Creative Commons for Educators and Librarians, is now published under CC BY and offers an additional way to access the openly licensed CC Certificate content. It’s available in print at the ALA store, or it can be downloaded from our website! 

        • Jason Mraz Sues Coors Light for Copyright Infringing ‘I’m Yours’

          Singer Jason Mraz is suing MillerCoors LLC because it used his Grammy-nominated hit song “I’m Yours” in a Coors Light advertisement on Instagram without his consent.

        • Zoe Keating Offers More Evidence That Spotify Royalties Are Declining

          Artist Zoe Keating has announced on Twitter just how much she is earning through Spotify, which appears to indicate that streaming royalty rates from the company are declining sharply.

        • Katy Perry Fights Back Against $2.8 Million Copyright Infringement Ruling

          Katy Perry and her legal team are officially striking back against a recent $2.78 million copyright infringement ruling related to the hit song “Dark Horse” — with the first counter-arguments scheduled for January of 2020.

        • It Doesn’t Take A Genius To Recognize How Dumb Genius’ Lawsuit Against Google Is Over ‘Stolen’ Lyrics

          Earlier this year, we wrote about what we referred to as “the dumbest gotcha story of the week”, in which the annotation site Genius accused Google of “stealing” lyrics from their site — which they “discovered” by a modestly clever use of curly apostrophes and straight apostrophes as hidden markers in their own posting of lyrics, which they then spotted on Google. As we explained, the actual evidence did not suggest at all that Google was copying the lyrics from Genius. Instead, as became obvious, Google (like most other lyrics sites on the internet), licenses lyrics from LyricFind. Indeed, it later came out that basically every site that uses LyricFind had the same “watermarked” lyrics.

        • Access granted!

          We have fabulous news! The Norwegian government has announced an effort to give the public access to court decisions – and credited the rettspraksis.no project for being the inspiration!

        • France proposes upload filter law, “forgets” user rights

          When the European Union adopted the new copyright directive, including its infamous Article 17, the upload filtering provision, it gave Member States time until June 2021 to introduce the new rules into their national copyright laws. France, the most fervent supporter of Article 17, apparently has no time to lose and just presented the new draft law designed to transpose Article 17 and some other parts of the copyright directive.

          France’s implementation proposal is important to follow wherever you are in the EU, because it likely marks the worst-case scenario of how Article 17 could unfold if rightsholders get their way. Given that the French government has been the mouthpiece of the entertainment industry throughout the negotiations, perhaps one should not be surprised that it tries to interpret the new rules in the way most favorable to rightsholders. After all, president Emmanuel Macron personally intervened with Angela Merkel to secure Germany’s support for Article 17 in clear breach of the German coalition government agreement.

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  17. Links 25/9/2020: PostgreSQL 13, DragonFly 5.8.2 and Python 3.8.6

    Links for the day



  18. Code of Ethics Versus Code of Conduct in Action

    Reprinted from Daniel Pocock's Web site



  19. Linux Foundation: “Transformation Through Open Source” is Proprietary Software That Rejects Linux

    The Linux Foundation, run by proprietary software companies that don’t really care about Linux, is still a lot more about openwashing (perception management techniques) than about “Open Source” or even Linux (which most of the Foundation rejects)



  20. Links 24/9/2020: KaOS 2020.09, Arch Conf 2020 Coming, IBM Z Day 2020 Ends

    Links for the day



  21. At ZDNet, in 2020, “Linux” Means Microsoft and Windows

    The incredible charade of ZDNet carries on; the site whose parent company went bust last December isn’t even trying to hide its true agenda



  22. Red Hat is Spamming People in Order to Promote Its Sites and Its Products, Subscribing People to Mass-Marketing Lists Without the Recipients' Consent

    "Engagements" from Red Hat; have the IBM-led marketing people gone overboard, subscribing lots of people to marketing spam without bothering to ask for consent?



  23. “If I'm the Father of Open Source, It Was Done by Artificial Insemination With Stolen Sperm”

    The father of the Free software movement, Richard Stallman, is being wrongly compared to some patron of an “open source” ‘movement’ (an early effort to cancel Stallman and the FSF), which is basically a hostile corporations-led ploy these days



  24. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, September 23, 2020

    IRC logs for Wednesday, September 23, 2020



  25. The Second Wave (of Free/Libre Software)

    Despite some major setbacks and new threats to digital freedom (autonomy is perhaps a more suitable term), progress is being made and activism must adapt to tackle newer trends



  26. Exploring the Relationship Between Red Hat and Microsoft: They're Barely Even Rivals Anymore

    The ‘older Microsoft’ (serial monopolist IBM) bought Red Hat, but evidence shows that one would be wrong to assume Red Hat really competes against Microsoft (any more than Novell did; there’s a strong relationship)



  27. Microsoft Lost More Than 15 Million Web Domains in One Month!

    Microsoft's presence on the Web is being reduced to ridiculously low levels; sooner or later Microsoft will turn from 'king' of parked (unused) domains to master of nothing



  28. Links 23/9/2020: Lenovo's Deeper GNU/Linux Dive and Tor Browser 10/Tails 4.10

    Links for the day



  29. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, September 22, 2020

    IRC logs for Tuesday, September 22, 2020



  30. The Latest Greenwashing Campaign by the EPO is Just 'Chinese Propaganda'

    When the EPO speaks of “innovation” and “clean energy transition” it means nothing but patents on batteries, in effect monopolies being granted in Europe (to a lot of Asian — not European — companies)


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